Swimsuit Sewing 2018

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I’ve been holding out on you guys!  I can’t believe I haven’t shared all the swim goodness that’s been happening at our house.  I’d like to thank Raspberry Creek Fabrics for giving me the push I needed to sew a million swimsuits this year- ok, maybe not a million but we’ve been busy for sure.

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This little man has gotten three swimsuits so far this year.  You know me, once I start it’s hard for me to stop sewing swim.  It’s so quick and rewarding and they get worn constantly.  This suit is a Jolly Roger Raglan turned rashguard.  I was dying to try the new Cricut Sportflex vinyl on swim knit and I’m happy to say it’s held up so well.  The rash guards in this post have been to the pool multiple times and washed in the machine as well and the vinyl looks brand new.  I’m happy to have a fun, easy, quality way to personalize our swimsuits.

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The shorts are the Peek-a-Boo Patterns School’s Out Shorts.  I used the girl cut line and love the length on him.  It’s very retro and just like the big boys are wearing.

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This suit is made with the Linden Shorts pattern and add-on pack from Sew A Little Seam.  This palm print from Raspberry Creek’s newest swim line was one of my favorites and I just knew this little guy needed a suit from it.

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Is this just not the picture of a happy kid, living the dream summer life?!

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His last suit, so far, is the Sew Like My Mom Palm Euro suit.  I love the fit of this pattern and that it’s a little looser around the front area, if you know what I mean.  I think it’s cute and not too snug and so easy to play in.

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This sweet tween just keeps shooting up and growing out of her suits.  I’m currently making her a 7/8 width and a 12 length which makes store bought suits something we just can’t do.  She’s loving this darling red suit we just made and she’s rocking these two as well.

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This is the Made for Mermaids Calypso suit (I can’t sing the praises of the M4M Mermaid Shores suits enough!).  I love this fabric combo and this particular suit really comes together so quick.  Those flutters don’t need to be hemmed or gathered- hallelujah!  The RCF swim is nice and thick and not nearly as slippery as some of the other swim I’ve encountered.  It makes sewing through all those layers pretty painless.  I just make sure to clip more than with normal knits and my serger is my bff when it comes to swim knit.

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Can we talk about that booty coverage for a minute?!  That’s one of my favorite things about all the Mermaid Shores patterns.  I hate seeing my kids with wedgies the whole time their swimming and these bottoms just stay where they’re supposed to.  Those M4M girls know what this mama likes!

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Her other suit is a combo of my sons’ looks too.  I just had to try the Palm Euro pattern on her.  She loves boy short bottoms and I think this pattern was so perfect for her!  I love the little extra length they have over normal girl patterns.  This top is our trusty Camden Raglan from Hey June.  The only alteration I did to make it a rash guard was to do a self lining on the front, essentially it’s just two layers of the white swim knit.  It worked lovely and isn’t a bit see through.  I used my Cricut again for her graphic and love this cute little set.

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I’ve got a couple more suits lined up before summer’s end.  I really love being able to sew suits to not only fit their personalities and personal style but also fit their unique body types.   This is the main reason I sew for these kiddos and one of those things that brings my pure joy!

Sew Americana Tour 2018

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The Sew Americana Tour by Katy from Wild and Wanderful is always a favorite of ours.  It’s just the perfect kickoff to all our summer fun and we love capturing these cute girl cousins together.  It’s also a great reminder, even in these troubling times, of just how lucky we are to live in this country.

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It’s been fun to see how much these girls have grown.  We loved our first year of dresses and last year we did easy to wear playtime looks.  A palate of red, white, and blue is just so classic and lends itself to so many different interpretations.  We’ll never grow tired of it!

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We were so lucky to get to pick from some amazing Sly Fox Fabrics for this post.  I’m always up for sewing swimsuits and these swim knits were the perfect place to start.  Those polka dots just screamed to be made into a cute retro swimsuit and my red loving daughter needed a sophisticated solid suit that feels more 70’S swimwear model and less Baywatch, if you know what I mean.  These fabrics were just what I had in mind.

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We combined these fabrics with a couple from Raspberry Creek Fabrics- the navy gingham and navy solid.  My sister sewed up these two darling suits and I love how they coordinate with my girls.

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Can I talk about this look for a minute?!!  When did my little girl get so old?!  She’s always had a bit more mature taste in everything from clothes to books to how she spends her free time (crafting or organizing things usually).  This suit is such a great reflection of that while still being modest and girly.

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The Camila Swimsuit from Made for Mermaids has solidified it’s spot at the top of my swimsuit pattern list.  It’s quick, easy to alter for her slim frame, and so cute on!  I love the coverage on the bottom and the different options with the flounce (either over the shoulder or under the shoulder like on the gingham suit).  I am dying to make me another version too!

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This little cutie is rocking her Camila as well.  With the flounce under her arms she’s ready to play!  There are multiple strap options too so she can swim to her heart’s content.

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I knew I had to do the new Catalina Swimsuit from Violette Fields Threads with this fabric.  It’s just such a sweet throwback look and too perfect for this tour.  I love, love the ruffles and that front tie!

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I’ve got to be honest and say I struggled with this suit.  I think to get a properly fitting suit you need lots of measurements in the pattern especially trunk measurements and that’s missing from this pattern.  I graded the pattern according to her measurements and matching the pattern then added an extra inch in the trunk just to be safe (I was thinking I could do a side gather similar to the Camila if it ended up too long).   It actually turned out too short and she’s constantly pulling it up in the front.  I also think it’s hard to sew the straps in place before it can be tried on and they turned out a little too long exacerbating the low neck problem.  I think part of sewing our own swimsuits is getting a better fit than you can buy and that just isn’t the case with this one.  It really did turn out darling though and I know she’ll still get plenty of wear out of it.

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Now this little miss has stolen our hearts and is rocking a Mairin Swimsuit from Sew A Little Seam.  This is the halter neck boyshort option with leg ruffles- a combo I need to try for myself!

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Isn’t it just sweet and classic?  The options with the Mairin are endless and a little daunting at first.  A quick look on Instagram and you’ll be wanting to sew ALL the variations and may be like me- paralyzed with fear of picking the wrong one!  This has convinced me that there is no wrong one.  Must. Sew. All. The. Mairins.

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Thanks so much for stopping by our little stop on the tour.  Make sure you check out all the other fantastic bloggers this year.  There is always so much inspiration and I love all the stories everyone shares.

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Monday, June 25:
Wild + Wanderful | Marvelous Auntie M | Handmade Boy
Phat Quarters | Call Ajaire

Tuesday, June 26:
Musings of a Seamstress | Sea of Estrogen | Sew and Tell Project
5 out of 4 Patterns | Little Heart Threads

Wednesday, June 27:
Middle River Studio | Elli & Nels | SewSophieLynn
Pear Berry Lane | The Eli Monster

Thursday, June 28:
Auschick Sews | EYMM | Mama & Leia
Seams Sew Lo | Stitched by Jennie

Friday, June 29:
Stylin’ Stacy | Rebel & Malice | On Wednesdays We Sew
FairyTale BT | That’s-Sew-Kari | Very Blissful

LOL Swing Top and Expansion Pack

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Our weather has gone from spring to blazing hot summer this week!  It was the perfect time to sew up the new LOL Swing Expansion pack for the LOL Swing Top from Jennuine Designs.  The fact that this pattern can be sewn up in both knits AND wovens meant the sky was the limit!

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The first version I made was an easy knit version using this darling Lemonade Stand print from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  It was the perfect pairing to create the essential summertime top!

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We used the new pinafore option available in the expansion pack for a darling open back look.  She loves the breeziness and didn’t want to take it off after our shoot on this 90+ degree day.

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I think this will get worn mostly on pool days or lazy days around the house.  It’s not up to school dress codes and knowing this little lady we’ll have to be careful because she’s always cartwheeling and flipping any chance she gets!  This top is definitely not ‘tumbling’ proof 😉  I do think the pinafore options looks especially adorable on babies and toddlers!  All that cute baby chub is too darling in this top!

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I did skip the neck gathering on this version (not necessarily a design choice but trying to get it done quicker) and it still turned out so nicely in front.   I seriously love the volume and swing this top has!

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The second version I did was using the dress expansion.  Again, the swing of this pattern is everything!

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I used a large scale buffalo plaid I got from CaliFabrics last year and played with the direction of the print a bit.  I love the bold black and white print with the pop of color from the bias binding.  The pattern calls for narrow bias binding but I really wanted it to pop so I used 1/2″ bias for this version.

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I’m always nervous sewing up tank patterns that the underarm coverage may be lacking.  I love how this pattern fits though!  The racerback style and thick straps keep everything where it should be.

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The knit version can easily slip over the head but the woven version calls for a simple shoulder button.  This makes it easy on and off and keeps the construction clean.

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The dress version includes pockets and I had a hard time deciding whether or not to add them here.  We LOVE pockets but this fabric is slightly sheer so I chose not to do them this go round.

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You can get your copy of the LOL Top here, the Expansion Pack here for just $2 if you already own the LOL Top pattern, or get the bundle here on sale through Sunday June 10th.

Violette Fields Pixie Dress

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Last post I mentioned we had the pleasure of doing a fashion show as part of UQSM.  Since it was sponsored by Cotton + Steel I decided to sew up a dress so my oldest could join in the fun.  (My youngest daughter wore this dress and was in heaven walking the ‘runway’!)  I picked out this Amalfi Herb Garden cotton from Fat Quarter Shop with more Project Run and Play winnings and knew I wanted to make this sweet girl a dress.  The fashion show was just the deadline I needed to actually get it done!  I have such a love/hate relationship with deadlines- I hate the pressure of HAVING to sew something but I LOVE actually getting a project done.

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I used the Pixie Dress from Violette Field Threads (another PRP prize) and love, love the result.

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The dress came together so quickly and I love the simple style.  The bodice features dolman sleeves and a center panel.  The panel seams are the perfect place to add lace or trims and I just had to add this pretty crochet trim from Hobby Lobby to the bodice.  I love little details like that!

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The back has a v-shape with shoulder ties to keep it in place.  The fact that there are no zippers or buttons makes for a quick sew.

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We both just love this sweet style and she’s already requested another one.  We both absolutely love the stripe versions on the patterns cover and I can’t wait to recreate it.  I think this style is such a great one for tweens.  It’s not too young-looking and it’s so comfortable.  She was so eager to wear this to church after our first photos.

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I love that sweet smile from my girly!  She feels happy and confident and that’s worth it all!

Sewing WITH Kids

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As my kids get older they’ve caught the sewing bug.  They get an idea in their heads then just have to get it sewn up right then- sound familiar sewists?!  Today I’m going to share a few of their favorite makes and our tips for a happy sewing experience.

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This guy just dives right into each project with absolutely no fear.  I never really taught him how to sew and remember the day when he was about 8-years-old and I caught him mending his socks with my serger.  No intimidation with this kid!

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My older kids are not really interested in sewing up pillowcases, bags, or other standard beginner projects.  I think since I sew primarily clothing, that’s what they want to sew too.  He really wanted a hoodie like his older brothers and we sewed this up in an afternoon.  Hoodies are a go-to for me when teaching my kids to sew.  My oldest has made a couple of Greenstyle Hudson Hoodies and my younger kids love the Hey June Hatteras Hoodie.  The bands make it easy to finish with no knit hems and I think a hood can be even easier to do than a tricky knit neckband.  For the most part hoodies can be done on a serger which makes for a more professional finish that they’ll be proud of.  Another bonus with hoodies is that french terry is a great fabric to work with.  It’s nice and thick and doesn’t curl as easily as thinner knits.

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He made this last fall and wore this constantly all winter long!  A couple other easy projects I’ve made with my older boys are t shirts (this one from Jalie or the Jolly Roger Raglan from P4P are favorites), joggers (Boxwoods from Sew Like My Mom and Mini Hudson Pants from True Bias), and pajamas (the free Walk the Plank bottoms from P4P).

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This sweet girly loves to sew as well.  She took a sewing class last summer with her best friend and I’ve been super grateful she did.  She was able to learn all the proper techniques and gain the confidence to really tackle projects on her own.  During her class she used a regular sewing machine and made bags, pillows, and pajamas.  They taught her how to cut out patterns and which stitches to use.  For her first big project at home she also sewed up a Hatteras Hoodie with her brother.  It was so fun having them working side by side!

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She loves to sew birthday gifts for her friends.  She makes backpacks, sleeping masks, and hair things.  We love the Made for Mermaids HUGE collection of Free Patterns– there are tons of great beginner projects and loads of things perfect for gifting.

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Her latest sew was a fun one!  We sewed the Mainland Collection from Striped Swallow Designs together.  She sewed the Rhapsody Joggers and I did the Highlander Dolman.    She picked these darling fabrics from our Project Run and Play winnings from Riley Blake Designs.  They are so cute together and such a great weight, making them easy to work with.

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The top is also another great beginner project that I think she could do on her own next time.  We changed a few things with the patterns to make them even quicker, easier sews.

We did a wide yoga waistband on the joggers and a wide band on the bottom of the top.  She plans to wear this set primarily as lounge wear so comfort was key!  It also made construction even easier.

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The pocket construction on these pants is super fun and quite easy for her to figure out.  I love the oversized look of them too!

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I changed the sleeves to have a wide cuff, one of my favorite features on tops lately.  I think it adds a cute detail to this top.

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I think the most difficult part of this top is the bound neckline and optional ties.  It’s such a nice finish and she’s so meticulous that I’m sure she could handle it next time.  It’s definitely my favorite thing about this pattern!

mainland5Here’s a breakdown of some of my tips for sewing with older kids:

1- Let them pick their project.  They’re more likely to finish a project they’ve picked themselves and will be proud to wear the finished garment if it’s something they’ve been eyeing in stores.

2- Pick fabrics that are easy to sew with.  I like thick knits like cotton/lycra (Raspberry Creek, Art Gallery, and Riley Blake are perfect!) or french terry (Raspberry Creek has you covered!).  For wovens, I love Robert Kaufman Mammoth flannels for pj’s or quilting cottons for household projects.  Good quality fabric might be hard on the wallet but it’ll make all the difference in how easy it is to sew and how well the finished project will hold up.

3- If you’d use a serger on the project, let your kids use it also.  I know that blade is scary but I’ve found my kids are cautious and careful around it.  We use clips to hold pieces together and they work great at making sure they sew nice and slow too!

4- Go easy on them but also make them unpick when necessary.  When I learned to sew as a teen I was so resentful of my seam ripper.  My mom made me unpick things until they were perfect.  Guess what I’ve learned- perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!  If it’s close enough and won’t cause problems further in the construction, let it be.  Sometimes though a little seam ripping just needs to be done.  When sewing these joggers my daughter sewed a cuff on with the seam on the outside.  She quickly ripped the seam out and had it sewn on correctly in no time.  Lesson learned!  We grow the most from our mistakes so don’t deny them that opportunity, lol!

5- Have fun!  It’s hard not to think that you could probably finish the project in half the time but sit back and enjoy those moments with your kiddos.  They go too quickly!

 

 

Patriotic Starlight City Dress

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The new Patriotic CLUB line from Raspberry Creek Fabrics has me feeling so inspired.  Corinne really did an amazing job creating this line and I can’t get enough of it!

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I had big plans to use this rayon challis print for myself but had a change of heart when this little miss struggled to find a warm weather dress that still fit- darn growing kids!  I absolutely love the Starlight City Dress from Lil Luxe Collection (you can see our other version here) and knew it’d be stunning maxi-fied.

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That back is just so fun and it’s such a quick, easy sew too since there are no closures!

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I modified it just a bit using the width of the fabric for the skirt and adding length to make it touch the floor.  She is a 7/8 width with a 12 height but I didn’t alter the bodice piece so it hits a little higher on her chest.

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We both love those pockets!  Seriously, there’s nothing more comfy than a soft maxi dress with pockets.

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I did have to be a bit creative with the pattern placement with this print.  You don’t want to end up with medallions is the wrong place on the chest, if you catch my drift.  It’s not such a big deal on my little miss but when I make my own top I think I’ll try to do something similar to this bodice.  Aren’t those colors just so pretty?!!

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You can grab this fabric and the whole patriotic line on sale through the end of today, 5/7.  They’ll stick around in the shop through July 4th so you can get your fun summer clothes ready!

Raspberry Creek Fabrics Patriotic CLUB Line

 

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Summer is coming which means it’s time to start sewing all the red, white, and blue!  I don’t know about you but my kids wear their patriotic stuff constantly between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Summer is just the time of year that makes you so proud of the country we live in.  Raspberry Creek Fabrics newest CLUB line is perfect for all summer long!

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Corinne of Corinne Wells Design did a great job designing this line.  There are six prints on the CLUB base jersey and french terry.  CLUB base fabrics are comparable to expensive knits like Art Gallery but at a fraction of the price.  They are my kids absolute favorite!

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There are also two prints on dreamy rayon challis.  I just had to have that cute red bandanna print so stay tuned for a little something for me!

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My sister and I were excited to sew up these prints for our girls!  They love cousin photo shoots almost as much as we do.

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This cutie is wearing the Navy Stars on White paired with the CLUB red stripes.  My sister used the Issie Top and Dress from SewPony for this darling dress.  Those ruffles are so darn cute!

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My Payton loves comfy clothes with a little sass and the Studio Top from Shwin Designs is so very her!  I combined the two views, adding the sleeves from to the bodice flounce version.  I had a lot of fun playing with the direction of the gingham for each pattern piece and since this knit is a four-way stretch it worked out just lovely.  This big red plaid just screams summer to me!

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This tiny miss was absolutely adorable during our shoot.  She just loves her big cousins and they love her so much too!  She’s wearing a modified Alley Cat Romper from Lil Luxe Collection.  My sister made the bodice per the pattern and then chopped the bottom to be a cute handkerchief hem peplum.

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Finally, my oldest is wearing the Cora Culottes from Made for Mermaids.  They are such a quick sew and so comfortable.  I’ll need to make her a bunch more for summer since she’s not much of a skirt girl but these are great compromise.

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Are you itching for long summer days, bar-b-ques, and lots of family time?  Just looking at these pics again has me so ready for school to be out and for all things summer!  Make sure to head over to Raspberry Creek Fabrics this week to grab these fun prints for a dollar off per yard during the release week sale.  Bring on the sun!!