Actress Kate Hudson plays badminton on the beach. STEVE SANDS/bauergriffinonline.com

As the winter blahs settle in and beaches located points south beckon, a warm-weather getaway destination can be the perfect break from chilly weather. Before you start packing, stitch a up a quick swimsuit coverup to add some colorful and affordable updates to your bathing-beauty wardrobe. Here's how:

  • Choosing fabric: The fabric that you select depends on the use. Do you need a workhorse coverup that can endure sun, sand and wet suits or something posh that you can throw on for a pool gathering or sunset cocktails? Coverup textiles can run the gamut from colorful cottons (durable and comfy) to sheer polyesters (quick drying and revealing) to pretty silks (more style than function).
  • Simple-to-sew coverup: Basic beach coverups can be one of the easiest and fastest sewing projects. It can literally be as simple as taking a 2 to 3 yards of a favorite fabric, folding it in half lengthwise, and cutting a slit for a neck hole. From there you can get a little more fancy with your finishes, by doing a rolled hem around the edge and using bias tape to reinforce the neck. For a no-sew sarong, just cut fabric to desired length and width, wrap and knot at waist or chest (hemming is optional!). If you want a pattern, check out current and vintage selections.
  • Tunic and caftans, oh my: Take your inspiration from some of the prettiest tunics and caftans around to stitch up your own look Talitha Getty look. The key to making a beach-friendly tunic or caftan is to stick to lighter fabrics, such as cotton and rayon. But don't be afraid to take it a little glam with a dupioni silk or sexy with a sheer print.
  • Add your own touch: For an airplane-ride project, try a little embroidery embellishment around the tunic/caftan collar or sleeve edges to get the true boho vibe. Attach beads and sequins as a nod to this glitter-friendly season. Use metallic thread to get create a coverup that really sparkles. To go really boho chic, do all of the above on the chest or as an all-over design. Whether you want to create a simple and fast beach style or a handmade creation, you'll love having a look that's all your own.

For more DIY Design columns, click here. Next week, stitch up a stylish winter hat.