Suit Up For Summer Day 5

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Can you believe we made it to the last day of the Suit Up For Summer Blog Tour?!  Not gonna lie, I’m going to sleep well tonight!  I’ve so enjoyed sewing swimwear and the sensational seamstresses on the tour have continued to impress me day after day.  My jaw hits the floor with each new suit I’ve seen.  It’s been a week of incredible ingenuity and I’ve found so many prints and patterns to add to my sewing queue.

Make sure you read to the end of the post to take advantage of the great discounts and to follow the links to all the other stops on the tour.  Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and settle in for some awesome inspiration.

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Today I’m sharing a trio of suits and their matching cover-ups.  This fabric combo right here has been taunting me in my dreams ever since I laid eyes on them.  I saved them to sew up very last as my incentive to get everything else done!  All that blush pink makes my heart burst!

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For the swimsuit I used the Blush Floral swim knit paired with Mauve Polka Dot Mesh.

This fabric combo is so sweet and precious.  I used the Lainey Swimsuit from Made for Mermaids.  I knew I wanted a little ruffle for the mesh and the Lainey includes a ruffle option.  I used the double ruffle hack on the M4M blog to really highlight that pretty mesh.

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I adore this pattern and I think she’s gotten one every year since it released.  I think that’s a tradition I can get behind.  I love the bum coverage and that one shoulder look is just so adorbs!

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If you are new to sewing swimsuits I highly recommend the Made for Mermaids patterns for great step by step instructions (Boo! Designs is another pattern company that is fantastic for swimwear beginners).  The construction of the suits is pretty ingenious to give you hidden seams whether you do a full or partial lining.  For this suit I fully lined the bottoms and just lined the front of the top.  This fabric is surprisingly thick and opaque for having so much white background.  In general, Raspberry Creek Fabrics base is a little thicker than what you might be used to and I never worry about it being sheer.

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I used another Made for Mermaids pattern to create this perfect cover-up.  The Spencer Robe is a great unisex pattern that can be used for so many things.  In this gorgeous french terry it makes the ideal thing to throw on before or after a swim.  It’s not too thick but is still nice and cozy.

Made for Mermaids is celebrating a huge milestone in their Facebook Group with a discount code through tonight March 15th at midnight CST.  Now’s your chance to grab these patterns for a steal!

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This girl has been wanting a real one-piece swimsuit forever!  I always have to gear up for lots of size blending and a couple of muslins to get something that will fit her lean long torso.  The Mairin Swimsuit from Sew A Little Seam was such a good pattern to work with and we’re loving this classic suit.  Paired with some Swim and Surf Shorts from Gracious Threads it’s a look that we both are crazy about.

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I think you can never go wrong with gingham and I’m thrilled that Raspberry Creek is offering it in red this year.  This navy floral board short fabric was one of our most loved prints this collection.   Together they make the most adorable pairing!

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I love that she can wear this outfit from the pool to the picnic afterwards.  Board shorts are my go-to swim cover-up and I’ll happily brainwash convert this little miss to them too 😉

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This little man got one more suit too!  The Palm Euros from Sew Like My Mom are just about the cutest thing on little boys.  I used this stripe for a preppy look that we both can get behind.  I sized up one size for him to give him a bit more wiggle room.  These are jammers length shortened a couple of inches.

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Lowland Kids released this cute Racerback Hoodie this week and I knew it’d be a great top to throw on with his suits.  In a cozy heathered french terry, it will be just warm enough after swimming.

You can also grab a code to get the hoodie for just $4 in the Lowland Kids Facebook Group that is good through midnight tonight as well.

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These suits were some of my favorites ever!  I love the vibrant cute fabrics and I’m glad I turned to some tried and true patterns for them.  As I was sewing swimwear all week I took a few notes on things I couldn’t live without.

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You can find my swim fabric tips here but these are all my favorite tools to have handy.  When it comes to cutting slinky swim knit pattern weights, a rotary cutter, and a cutting mat are your best friends.  When trying to keep your seams lined up, you can never have enough clips.  Glue sticks are also super helpful for bindings, hems, or even stripe matching seams.  I use sharp pins when attaching elastic though so that I can guarantee the elastic won’t pull the clips off.  Swimwear elastic is key!  Most patterns will call for it and the stretch and width of the elastic are all vital.  When sewing on my regular machine, I like to use Eloflex stretch thread in my bobbin.  It gives your seams a little more stretch and stability than a regular thread will.

For hems, I swear by Heat n Bond Soft Stretch.  It will hold your hem in place and makes it super easy to fold the slippery fabric up into place.  When actually hemming a stretch twin needle has always worked well for me.  I will use a zig zag stitch for elastic but love a good double stitch hem on a rashguard or tankini top.

Phew!  Did you make it to the end?!  Thanks so much for joining us this week.  It’s been a privilege to work with so many fantastic designers and so many creative and gifted bloggers.

Make sure to check out the other bloggers on the tour today!

 

 

Friday: Its Liesel / Amber Lauren Boutique / Violette Field Threads / Confetti Unicorn

For this week, March 11-15, 2019, our readers can enjoy 20% off SWIM ONLY from these sponsors!
Wardrobe By Me code: Raspberry Creek
Simple Life Pattern Company code: SLPCO-RCSWIM
Titchy Threads code: SUITUP19

5oo4 code: RCFSWIM

and 15% off SWIM ONLY from Jalie code: SWIMTOUR15OFF



A huge thank you to all of our sponsors!

 

Boo Designs / Sew A Little Seam / Titchy Threads / Simple Life Pattern Co. / Jalie

Little Lizard King / Made for Mermaids / Love Notions / Striped Swallow Designs

Patterns for Priates / Violette Field Threads / Wardrobe By Me / 5oo4 / Sew Like My Mom

 

Suit Up For Summer Day Three

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Day three of the Suit Up For Summer Tour is here!  I’ve got a little blog miracle happening today- you get to see a rarity around these parts.  My oldest is joining in the fun!

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He’s headed to the sun for spring break this year so he was happy to get a new swimsuit.  I love this classic Leaf Outline boardshort print.  It’s a print that works great for everyone and looks fantastic with a little pop of color.

I used the 5 out of 4 Men’s Swim Trunks with a couple easy modifications.  He wears a mens medium in ready-to-wear and fell right into the size medium for these too.  I always think that’s helpful especially when sewing for others.  I added grommets to the outside so we could see the functioning drawstring.  I also shortened the length per his request.  The pattern is a fairly quick sew and the tutorial was very straightforward.  I needed a sewing win and these delivered!

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These fit just like he was hoping.  I’ve gotten to the point with him that I don’t dare buy him clothes anymore since he’s extremely picky.  To get his approval on this suit is a MAJOR mom win! (Cue the confetti cannons!)

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These trunks will work so great for him.  They can go from the pool to the hamburger joint no problemo!

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That’s five kiddos in mama-made swimsuits!  We better hit the pool stat!  I’m so grateful for RCF that I could get fabrics that speak to each of their personalities and tastes.  I love that they can coordinate without being too matchy matchy (they would die of embarrassment at this point!).

Have you been speechless at the amazing suits this week?  I can’t get over the incredibly cute looks each and every day.  Today is no exception!

Make sure to check out the other bloggers on the tour today!

 

 

Friday: Its Liesel / Amber Lauren Boutique / Violette Field Threads / Confetti Unicorn

For this week, March 11-15, 2019, our readers can enjoy 20% off SWIM ONLY from these sponsors!
Wardrobe By Me code: Raspberry Creek
Simple Life Pattern Company code: SLPCO-RCSWIM
Titchy Threads code: SUITUP19

5oo4 code: RCFSWIM

and 15% off SWIM ONLY from Jalie code: SWIMTOUR15OFF



A huge thank you to all of our sponsors!

Boo Designs / Sew A Little Seam / Titchy Threads / Simple Life Pattern Co. / Jalie

Little Lizard King / Made for Mermaids / Love Notions / Striped Swallow Designs

Patterns for Priates / Violette Field Threads / Wardrobe By Me / 5oo4 / Sew Like My Mom

 

Day Two Suit Up For Summer

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We’re here on Day Two of the Raspberry Creek Fabrics Suit Up For Summer Tour.  After yesterday’s fantastic posts I now have a list of swimsuit patterns to try out for myself!  So much cuteness!

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Today I’m sharing a couple of girls swimsuits but first let me tell you a little story full of high hopes, dashed dreams, seam rippers and caffeine.   There once was a mom who dreamed of making swimsuits for her little princesses because they struggled fitting into just any old swimsuit.  She knew custom swim gowns were in order and knew she could call on her years of experience to make their wishes a reality.  Fast forward to many long afternoons and unpicked seams later and their mom was hoping for a visit from the sewing fairy godmother.  Back in reality we find the heroine left with mediocre fruits of her hours of labor.

Guys, I’m here to tell you not everything that comes off your sewing machine will be a prize winner.  And even though I’m supposed to be here to share my infinite sewing wisdom with ya’ll, sometimes things just don’t go as planned.

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This cute girly LOVES rashguard suits.  She fell in love with this geometric print and I knew it’d be perfect for the look she wanted.   I used our favorite girls raglan pattern, the Camden Raglan, from Hey June Handmade.  It’s our go-to for jersey tees and I used it for last years suit as well..  I sewed it up in a flash and all looked great until she tried it on.  The neck was way too wide for a true rashguard look, the vinyl was too low, and I had kept the length I usually add to her tees so it was a good two inches too long. So off went the neckband and I seam ripped the whole front off and recut it to bring the vinyl up.  I then sewed on a new, wider neckband that was a touch shorter to bring in the shoulders as well.  The final top is fantastic and I’m glad I took the time to get the look right.

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I used a file found in Cricut Design Space for the graphic and Cricut SportFlex Iron-On for the perfect summer time look.  I used SportFlex Iron-On last year for some rashguards and it held up so well to hours in the pool and lots of washing.  It’s a great product if you’re looking to customize your swim or workout wear.

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We did a pair of boyshort bottoms using the Rissa Hipster Boy Shorts from Plucky Butterfly.   I love the cut of these and think they look darling on her.  They come together quick and the pattern is so full of options from undies to skirted swim bottoms.

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As soon as I saw these stripes I knew I wanted to revisit the Azur Swimsuit from Titchy Threads.  I had sewed this pattern once before but never finished it due to fit issues and my own errors.  Surely I could conquer it now with more experience, right?!  I’ve mentioned earlier that my girls don’t fall into standard size measurements.  I need to blend sizes and add length to most everything I make.  This swimsuit proved to be a challenge to get right.

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I adore the cool retro style.  It’s fully reversible which makes playing with fabric combos so fun.

All errors with this suit are purely my own issues.  It’s a fantastic pattern and the instructions are well written.  Sometimes I think I’ve been doing this long enough I can wing my way through projects.  This time I read over the tutorial multiple times before beginning but only referred to it here and there while actually sewing (tell me I’m not the only one who does this?!).  I forgot to leave an opening in the leg hole and ended up turning my whole suit through the tiny neck straps, talk about a tight squeeze!  Once I’d made the turn there was no going back 😉  The elastic could be tighter across the sides and I really should have used the optional back strap.  I may eventually seam rip it and adjust things to get a better fit but have decided to leave it for now.  This sporty style suits my oldest much better so I may try to make the adjustments for her instead (bonus when both girls have almost identical measurements except for height!).

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You win some, you lose some.  I’m grateful for these little misses that keep me on my toes and definitely keep me humble.  Sometimes things turn out exactly like you envision them and sometimes you chalk them up to learning experiences.  There is no growth in comfort and failure breeds wisdom- not necessarily what we would choose to experience but helpful to think about as we go through our own little challenges.

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In the end I couldn’t give up my dream of coordinating sibling looks.  I love these fabrics together.  I love that the fabric designers use the same colors so that many of the prints throughout the whole collection play so well together.  This teal and pink combo just screams summer to me.

Make sure you’re keeping up with all the stops on the tour.  I can’t believe the talent that I get to be a part of!

Make sure to check out the other bloggers on the tour today!

 

 

Friday: Its Liesel / Amber Lauren Boutique / Violette Field Threads / Confetti Unicorn

For this week, March 11-15, 2019, our readers can enjoy 20% off SWIM ONLY from these sponsors!
Wardrobe By Me code: Raspberry Creek
Simple Life Pattern Company code: SLPCO-RCSWIM
Titchy Threads code: SUITUP19

5oo4 code: RCFSWIM

and 15% off SWIM ONLY from Jalie code: SWIMTOUR15OFF



A huge thank you to all of our sponsors!

Boo Designs / Sew A Little Seam / Titchy Threads / Simple Life Pattern Co. / Jalie

Little Lizard King / Made for Mermaids / Love Notions / Striped Swallow Designs

Patterns for Priates / Violette Field Threads / Wardrobe By Me / 5oo4 / Sew Like My Mom

 

Suit Up For Summer With Raspberry Creek Fabrics

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We’re kicking off a fun and exciting blog tour today!  I’m so excited to be cohosting the Suit Up for Summer With Raspberry Creek Fabrics Swim Tour with Karly of Paisley Roots.  Karly and I hosted the Suit Up for Summer Tour a couple of summers ago and I’m thrilled to be sewing up swim again!  This time we’re so happy to be featuring Raspberry Creek Fabrics newest swim collection.  There are so many prints to choose from and you can grab them on sale through Wednesday, March 13th.

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I’ll be bringing you posts all week, highlighting different aspects of swimwear sewing each day.  Today I’m happy to showcase sewing for the boys in your life.  These two kids were thrilled to have new coordinating suits just in time for our spring break.

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Charlie loves the color teal and picked out this classic gingham board short fabric.  The Raspberry Creek Fabrics Facebook group has gone nuts for the new Swim Boardies pattern from Lowland Kids and I jumped at the chance to sew it up.  I love when pattern releases and fabric releases seem so serendipitous!

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I sewed up a size 6/7 according to his measurements and love the fit.  They’re short and really show off his cute little legs.  He just turned 7 and I know he’s about to grow out of the ‘little kid’ stage but I’m happy to milk it as long as possible!

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This guy is just on the brink of out growing boys patterns.  I was planning on using my go to boys swim pattern, the Linden Shorts and Add-on Pack, but realized his recent growth spurt put him just out of size range (hooray for him, sad for me!).  I turned to my trusty Love Notions Patterns and the Kayak Boardshorts.  He fit perfectly into the size 14, hallelujah!

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I did a little pattern hacking to get the look he was after.  I cut them mid-thigh per his request- not too short and not too long.  The Kayak’s call for a knit waistband but I used the board short fabric and just cut it to fit the waist of the shorts, adding grommets and a drawstring to the waistband.  I also added a swim liner, using the 5 out of 4 Men’s Swim Trunks liner.  Sewn up in Striped Flamingo Board Short it’s the perfect swimsuit to keep him looking cool and on trend.

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I hope you’re excited for a week of incredible swimsuit inspiration!  You’ll see kids suits, women’s wear, learn new tips and tricks, and just be awestruck by the amazing bloggers joining the tour.

Make sure to check out the other bloggers on the tour today!

 

 

Friday: Its Liesel / Amber Lauren Boutique / Violette Field Threads / Confetti Unicorn

For this week, March 11-15, 2019, our readers can enjoy 20% off SWIM ONLY from these sponsors!
Wardrobe By Me code: Raspberry Creek
Simple Life Pattern Company code: SLPCO-RCSWIM
Titchy Threads code: SUITUP19

5oo4 code: RCFSWIM

and 15% off SWIM ONLY from Jalie code: SWIMTOUR15OFF



A huge thank you to all of our sponsors!

Boo Designs / Sew A Little Seam / Titchy Threads / Simple Life Pattern Co. / Jalie

Little Lizard King / Made for Mermaids / Love Notions / Striped Swallow Designs

Patterns for Priates / Violette Field Threads / Wardrobe By Me / 5oo4 / Sew Like My Mom

 

Basically Jalie Blog Tour

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I can rarely pass up a blog tour opportunity.  I love the chance it gives me to try new patterns, play with pretty fabrics, and the deadline is always a big motivator to get me in my sewing room.  I was especially thrilled to join in the Basically Jalie Blog Tour hosted by The Petite Sewist  and Auschick Sews.  Jalie is known for their impeccable drafting, huge size range, and classic designs.  Speaking your love language too?!

Make sure you read to the end of this post for all the blog tour goodies- giveaways, sew-a-longs, and soooo many incredible bloggers joining the party!

I’ve had my eye on the Mimosa Scoopneck tee (3890) since it’s release.  It’s full of options- multiple sleeve styles and lengths including plain short sleeves, tie short sleeves, flutter shoulder ruffles, and long sleeves.  My favorite part of each sewing project is sitting down with my kids and picking fabrics and pattern options.  I love to see what they gravitate to and it makes it so much more likely they’ll get lots of wear when they’re part of the design process.

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My spunky Payton went for florals and ruffles.  She’s still super girly and usually picks all the extras- ties, ruffles, ribbons, you name it.  For this top, I dug deep into my Raspberry Creek Fabrics stash for a print I’ve been saving FOREVER.  It’s one of my absolute favorites (I love anything on grey!) and I’d been keen to use it for myself.  One of my goals this year is to CUT THE FABRIC, you know those ones too pretty to actually use…  I’ve decided it’s soooo much better to see it on my kiddos or in my own closet than just sitting on my shelves.  Remember, there’s always more fabric!

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My oldest seriously kills me with her fashion taste.  She tends to be more classic and dresses like a cute college kid and not your average 5th grader.  It was no surprise she picked one of my new favorite fabrics, this dreamy modal jersey stripe from Cali Fabrics.  It’s so incredible soft and those stripes are just perfection!

My girls measured into the same size for their chests which made it super easy.  For Payton, I added an inch to the size L (8) bodice and sleeves and Sophie got 2 inches added to the bodice.  There’s a lenghten/shorten line which made it easy peasy!  Sewing these up was very straightforward and the instructions are so clear.  I love that you can download the pattern instructions before purchasing the pattern.  If it looks too complicated or time consuming you can skip it but I’ve always found it just the opposite!  Looking over the tutorial beforehand gives me the confidence to tackle a new project.

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My little guy lives in raglans and I’ve been hearing the greatest things about the Nico Raglan (3669).  I’m thinking a boys raglan comparison post needs to happen soon.  I have four raglan patterns that I rotate through but I think we may have found the winner.  Just look at that neckline alone!

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The slim fit just fits this kid so well!  I did a size J (6) with a little length added.  He’s generally in a size 7 height and measured into a size 5 chest, 6 waist, and 4 hip in this pattern.  Is he my kid or what?!  I’ve found that Jalie patterns tend to run on the slim side which works really well for my kids but might be something to consider.  My older boys like things a little looser and I usually size up a couple of sizes for them.

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His shirt is all cotton jersey from Raspberry Creek.  He would have only teal in his closet if it were up to him and I’m happy to oblige.  I used this triangle print (retiring this week!) for the sleeves and it’s been one of my favorite boy fabrics to date.  I struggle finding just the right prints for him.  He’s too big for most of the boy fabrics I find in the stores but RCF keeps him pretty well taken care of.

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Ready for the good stuff?

GIVEAWAY!

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Are there some Jalie patterns you’ve been itching to get? Now’s your chance to WIN YOUR JALIE WISHLIST! Head over to Jalie’s website, create an account, add your favorite patterns to your wishlist, and complete the rafflecopter form below (patterns must be added by February 12, 2019 11:59pm EST to be eligible). Incomplete entries will be eligible for fabric prizes only.

For extra entries, join our Jalie sewalong! Make a Jalie “basic” between January 28 and February 12 and share it on Instagram with hashtag #basicallyjalie and/or in the Basically Jalie Album in the Sewing with Jalie Facebook group.

We are so grateful to our generous sponsors who have teamed up to provide the following prizes (please stop by their shops and show them some love!):

Grand Prize (Worldwide)
Win Your Jalie Wishlist – Up to $100 CAD in patterns!
Discovery Trekking Outfitters – One (1) x 50 USD gift card
D&H Fabrics co. – One (1) x $50 USD gift card

Sewalong Prize (Continental USA only)
Win Your Jalie Wishlist – Up to $25 CAD in patterns!
The Sewciety – One (1) Subscription box (value: $48 USD)
Simply By Ti – One (1) x $20 USD gift card

Sewalong Prize (Worldwide, excluding Continental USA)
Win Your Jalie Wishlist – Up to $25 CAD in patterns!
PatternReview.com – One (1) x $30 USD gift card
Discovery Trekking Outfitters – One (1) x 50 USD gift card

(Note: gift cards exclude shipping unless otherwise stated on sponsor website)

Hand Drawn Arrow - singleEnter the Sweepstakes Here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blogger Lineup

Be sure to visit these talented sewing bloggers during the tour:

Wednesday, Feb 6 – The Petite Sewist | auschick sews | Replicate then Deviate | Deepika Blogs

Thursday, Feb 7 – Sew What Yvette | Sew Cucio | Shalini’s Sewing Space | Curtiepie | A Jennuine Life

Friday, Feb 8 – SeamsLikeStyle | It’s Liesel | SewSophieLynn | Danvillegirl Sewing Diary | Skirt Fixation

Monday, Feb 11 – The Crafting Fiend | Sprouting JubeJube | its sew colorful | Diskordia’s Curvy Sewing

Tuesday, Feb 12 – All Things Katy! | BigFlyNotions | needle and the belle | Zoopolis

 

Raspberry Creek Fabrics Easter and St. Patrick’s Day Lines

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I always love the chance to sew up the newest CLUB lines from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  My kids LOVE the comfy soft CLUB fabrics and get excited to come up with ideas for all the new prints.

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There are so many cute prints to choose from in the latest Easter and St. Patrick’s Day collections.  We got to work with three different fabrics and had fun coming up with coordinates and creating unique looks that suit their personalities.

First up was a Samson Sweater from Love Notions for Charlie.  He loves a good graphic tee and thought this ‘Lucky’ vinyl was the coolest!  I used St. Patrick’s Argyle in French Terry paired with Light Heather Grey French Terry and Black Cotton Jersey also from RCF.  I’ve been loving all the slightly cropped boxy sweatshirts in the shops lately and the Samson was perfect for recreating that look.  I sized up one for a looser fit (this is an 8 and his chest is a 6 but he’s generally a 7 or 8 for height).

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Next up is a raglan with a twist.  We absolutely love raglans at our house and I instantly fell in love with the new Aurora Raglan from Sofiona Designs.  Sherri of Sofiona Designs is a fellow Project Run and Play alum and I’ve always been a big fan of her style, classic but with a modern edge.  The Aurora Raglan has a couple of fun features but I knew we just had to do the ribbon shoulder ties with this fabric.  It’s such a youthful touch but done in a soft, solid fabric the ties can also look sweet and sophisticated.

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For this top we used the Rainbow cotton jersey paired with royal blue cotton jersey.  I picked up the rainbow ribbon from Hobby Lobby.  It’s such a bright, happy combination that just suits my little miss sunshine!

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I couldn’t let any scraps of that rainbow go to waste so big sis got a tween friendly hoodie.

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I used my favorite Light Heather Grey french terry and went to town with the vinyl and ribbon trim.  We both LOVE ribbon trim on sleeves or pants and this rainbow ribbon is such a cheerful addition to an otherwise plain top.  I used our trusty Constance Sweater from Sew A Little Seam.  It’s so full of options.  For this version I did the regular sleeve with hood and cropped it a couple of inches.  I left off the bottom band and let the hem roll a bit then tacked the side seams to keep that rolled hem in place.

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It needed a little something on the front so I cut strips of vinyl and applied a lucky clover on top.  An easy addition that makes this such a cheerful top that is so on trend too!

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I did one more quick sew for this guy.  Another raglan, surprise surprise.  He picked out all the elements- coordinating fabric (he loves this teal!), neckband, and sleeve length.  I’m surprised he’s on a 3/4 sleeve kick but I think it’s perfect for transitioning into spring.  We used the Ringer Raglan from Thread Faction because I love the slim fit.  In the Easter Stripes this top makes a great addition to his everyday wardrobe.

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The best part of working with Raspberry Creek is the wonderful community behind it.  We had a blast getting together with a few of the other strike off sewists for an epic photo shoot!  Just look at all those cute kids!  It was the best kind of chaos and I left feeling so inspired and in awe of all that talent in one room.

You can grab all your favorite Easter and St. Patty’s Day prints on sale through tomorrow, Tuesday February 5th.  They’ll stick around in the shop through each holiday before they disappear for good!

 

2018 Year in Review

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I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of another year.  It seems like as my kids get older that time is speeding up.  We reached some major milestones this year in our family as my oldest turned 16 (and got his driver license!), my second oldest started high school,  and my youngest started first grade and is gone at school all day now.   They continue to keep me busy and my happy place is definitely watching them do the things they love.  This picture kills me and I love that my youngest three and I are all wearing handmades.

I love to look back each year on all that I’ve sewn and reflect on the big winners (and losers) that have come off my sewing machines.  One of my goals this year was to be a little more deliberate in my sewing, to avoid testing things that I didn’t see fitting in with our wardrobes, and to pick fabrics that could hold up to our lifestyle.

This year I sewed 130 garments for my kids and 51 for myself and just a handful for gifts.  Those numbers kind of amaze me.  I’ve cut my sewing time way down, sewing just a couple of days a week and trying not to sew at night or on weekends when the family is all home.  I tend to gravitate to quick knit sews so those numbers are a big reflection of that.  I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites from this year and a couple that have already been passed along.

DRESSES

 

I could sew up dresses all day, every day.  They are my favorite thing to make for both me and my girls and I know they’ll get worn.  It’s so nice to look in our closets each Sunday and have so many great choices to pick from.  I’m still not a dress during the week gal so I’ve tried my best to only sew up church appropriate dresses for myself.  Sewing dresses for my girls is so rewarding because I can make them long enough for their long legs!  It’s so great being able to blend sizes, creating dresses that fit like a glove.

Patterns and blog post links clockwise from upper left corner: Waterfall Raglan, Larkspur, Modified Blake Dress, Upton Dress, Fringe Dress, Orchid Midi Dress, Manhattan Dress, and Starlight City Dress

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Between my little man refusing to wear anything besides knit pants and my affinity to joggers, our everyday clothes tend to focus on comfort.  Luckily I think our comfy clothes don’t sacrifice style.  This winter I’ve made my little man a handful of joggers in my hunt to find the perfect pattern for his long legs and tiny waist.  I’m still searching and it’s a challenge I’m happy to continue on as they whip up in no time.

My most used pattern this year was the free Love Notions Leggings pattern.  My oldest daughter can sew them up herself and we’ve made a dozen between the two of us this year.  They pick tunic and leggings outfits almost everyday and I’m all for it.

I reach for my joggers almost every day as well.  I love that they are so comfy for working around the house but I can also run to the store and not feel grossly under dressed.  Brassie Joggers from Greenstyle have become my go-to jogger pattern.  I love the slim but not tight fit and I don’t get the weird crotch bunching I’ve experienced with other patterns.

Patterns and Blog posts clockwise from top left corner: Movie Night Pj’s, Panama Tee and Brassie Joggers, Brassie Joggers and Green Tee, Samson Sweater and LN Leggins, Sloane Sweater and Leggins, Lexi and Lou Loungers and #121 Ringer Raglan, and Mini Hudson Joggers

SWEATSHIRTS

Living in Utah we have sweater weather a good 9 months of the year.  Sewing hoodies and sweatshirts just make sense and they get worn to death!  Everyone in the family got one this year, including my first sews for my dad and my husband.  Nothing beats a cozy top on a cold snowy day!

Patterns and Blog Posts clockwise from top left corner: Pixie Tee, Metro Pullover, Hudson Hoodie, Toaster Sweater from Sew House 7, Jolly Roger Raglan, Sloane Sweater, Brunswick Pullover, Constance Sweater, North Star Pullover

SWIMSUITS

Swimsuits just might be the most rewarding things to sew.  We all hate trying them on in stores and they rarely ever fit me and my girls.  We’ve got long torsos and modest tastes which makes it super difficult to find suits in ready-to-wear.  This summer I didn’t sew nearly as many as in 2017 but I did manage to sew a few new favorites.

Patterns and Blog Posts: Mama Camila, Calypso, School’s Out Shorts and Jolly Roger RaglanCamila Suit and Catalina Swimsuit, and Linden Shorts

MISSES

You’ll notice most of these misses are for me with the exception of the tie for my cute boy.  Sewing for my kids is so rewarding because there are rarely ever fit issues and I know what types of fabrics they’ll wear.  The tie was more of a pattern issue and was a sad waste of fabric.  I’m super grateful for the cute pictures I got of my handsome kid and that all makes up for the lost time and fabric.

Now on to my misses.  This year was a bit of an awakening for me.  After a long winter of not taking care of myself, I’d slowly gained more weight than I did my last pregnancy.  I felt tired all the time and hated sewing for myself as I had to size up all my favorite patterns.  Taking pictures and seeing the unhappiness show through to the pictures was too much.  In May I finally decided to do something about it and started a simple fitness and counting calories routine.  I feel a hundred times better, my anxiety is easier to handle, and I look forward to sewing for me again.

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These misses all came early in the year.  My Phoenix Blouse sat in my closet unworn until I passed it on to my sister.  I love the pattern and would like to give it another go in a different fabric.  This crepe was super drapey and so difficult to work with that by the time I was finished sewing it I was so angry at it!  I added the Amalfi sleeves and realized that I’m not a huge fan of them.

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The Sonata Dress testing was the wake-up call for me.  I was at my heaviest and this dress just felt so unflattering.  I planned to wear it as a cover-up this summer but didn’t really have the opportunity.  It will come with me on our beach vacation coming up and I’m hopeful it will get worn a bit this coming summer as well.

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The Driftwood Top was simply a matter of poor fabric choice for this pattern.  I love the feel of this fabric but it was far too structured for this boho-feel blouse.  This one never got worn but I do hope to make another version in something lightweight this spring.

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I had high hopes for this eyelet Harmony Top.  I’ve been searching for a great woven tee pattern and the Harmony is pretty close.  I altered the neckline to be more crewneck since I don’t really like scoop necks.  The biggest issue with this particular top is that I made it too big to begin with.  I sewed up a medium but I’m happily back to my Love Notions small.   Since the eyelet is lacking drape, it’s very easy to see that it’s just too large.

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The Joy Jacket is my saddest miss this year.  I absolutely adore this pattern and hope I will have the time to make another one this year.  I felt so accomplished after I finished this one and I marvel at the beauty of it. BUT, my fabric choice makes it so unpractical.  I’ve yet to wear it for fear of getting it dirty.  C’mon, if it’s cold enough for a jacket there’s a pretty good chance it might get dirty.  The fabric is a tad sheer and with the seams being unfinished (it’s lined so you wouldn’t normally see them) I’m scared that a spin in the washer will leave me with shredded edges that will show through.  It looks beautiful hanging in my closet and I will never get rid of it for pure sentimentality but it was a big lesson learned for me.

I had so much fun looking back on this year and reflecting on all that I was able to accomplish.  As I look forward to the new year I’m not sure if I’ll make any goals or join any challenges.  I’m hoping to continue my journey to find what works for my wardrobe and what’s worth my time and effort to sew.  I realize that I don’t have to sew everything and I’m ok with not wearing handmades all the time.  I want to continue to sew for my kids since they are the ones that really struggle finding ready-to-wear clothing that fits.  I’m so excited for a new year full of possibilities!