Christmas Gifts with Riley Blake Sparkle

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It’s that time of year to do ALL the gift sewing.  I sat down with my oldest daughter and we had a little sewing afternoon and whipped up some cute, quick presents using FREE patterns from some of our favorite designers.  This fabric from Riley Blake Designs was perfect for accessories that will match everything!

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We used a Swiss Dot on Black Gold Sparkle from Riley Blake.  This fabric would make a darling dress, skirt, pillows, or quilt… there are loads of possibilities!  I love the classic dots and the sparkle of the gold.  There’s just something about a good black and gold combination!

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Our first project was one that has been all over the sewing community since it debuted last year- a hidden pocket infinity scarf.  We followed this tutorial from Patterns for Pirates.  It was easy to follow and so fun!  That hidden pocket is perfect for holding your cell phone, keys, mints, etc. and is such a genius idea.

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She plans on gifting this one to her favorite teacher with a gift card snuck inside the pocket.  I think we’ll have to make a few more for teachers, neighbors, and friends.

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We turned to Made for Mermaids for our other two projects.  Both M4M and P4P do a fun 12 Days of Christmas each year and offer free patterns and projects.  I don’t know how they continue to come up with them year after year but I always look forward to them.

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My girls still love a good simple bow so we just had to make the new Hadley Hand-Tied Bow.  We did the largest size and I think it works great for tweens and teens.  I’m glad they even included a little tutorial on how to tie it up just right.

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We also sewed up the Bow Scrunchie pattern.   My daughter has made dozens of scrunchies and I love the bow addition on this one.  She was easily able to sew up both of these hair accessories (I manned the iron while she sewed!).  I love seeing her sewing confidence grow with each project!

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We had to throw in a Flower Market version with the little scraps we had leftover from this jacket.  These hair things are perfect for all those precious scraps!  She’s planning to gift these to her little sis which is fantastic because that means they’ll stay in the family and I can steal them!

Are you sewing handmade gifts this year?  Do you wait until the last minute or are you already done with your crafting?  I usually think I’m done and then like to cram in some last-minute gift sewing in the final days before Christmas.  Doesn’t that make me a true sewist?!

Personalized Christmas Jammies with Cricut Maker, EasyPress 2, and EasyPress Mini

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


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How many of you have the tradition of fresh new pajamas for Christmas morning?  It was a tradition in my home growing up and one that I’ve loved carrying on with my own kids.  Some years we all sport matching sets, sometimes they’re a mix of store-bought and handmade, and sometimes the littles get cozy footie pajamas while the rest of us are happy with new flannel pj pants.  This year I’m excited to be ahead of the game and my kids are thrilled with their new jammies that match their personalities to a tee.  This post is sponsored by both Cricut and Raspberry Creek Fabrics to really bring their visions to life.

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We broke out all things Cricut for this post and I can’t wait to share all about them.  We used the new Infusible Ink products, some fun Iron-On Designs, Everyday Iron-On with my Cricut Maker, EasyPress 2, and EasyPress Mini.  Having the right products and materials made it so easy to create looks that this crew really loves.

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The first thing we did was head to Raspberry Creek to pick their fabric.  My younger three are all about the CLUB fabrics.  I try to keep them in CLUB pajamas for every season.  The CLUB fabric bases are so soft and comfortable and are their absolute favorites.  I loved that they immediately found prints they loved and that they went for three different base fabrics- the famous cotton lycra, double brushed polyester, and the new sweatshirt fleece.  My big boys wanted flannel bottoms and you can’t go wrong with any of the Robert Kaufman flannels in the shop.  They are so soft and fluffy and wash up better and softer with each wash.  I have a pair from many years ago that still look brand new even after constant washing during the colder months.

With their fabrics picked, we found the perfect matches for their personalized tops.  My big boys wanted simple designs so we tried out a couple of Infusible Ink papers.  My oldest daughter loves buffalo plaid and we just had to do the matching Infusible Ink.  My spunky younger daughter fell for the perfect Iron-On Design and my little man went with easy Everyday Iron-On.

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My littlest was very insistent he needed this adorable Christmas Cactus print for his pj’s.  He sat on my lap and scrolled through DesignSpace with me and just cracked up at this design he picked.  Boy, does it suit him!  He’s sweet to the bone but his curiosity can get the best of him.  We used Kelly Green Everyday Iron-On for a simple tee that we both love!  I used the Titchy Threads Rowan tee for his top and Sew A Little Seam (free) Movie Night Pj’s for his bottoms.

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This little miss loved this bright and fun Iron-On Design.  I let her cut it all out and place it on her tee how she wanted.  We used our favorite raglan pattern, Hey June’s Camden, and leggings pattern, Love Notions free Leggins’ to create an easy set.  I wouldn’t be surprised if these pieces made their way into her everyday wardrobe too.  This striped double brushed polyester is one of my favorites from the fall collection and I can always count on my go-to mustard dots to coordinate with just about everything.

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It’s no surprise that this daughter of mine picked something I totally want for myself!  I would live in those cozy fleece joggers!  We used this buffalo plaid sweatshirt fleece for a pair of Made for Mermaids Lexi and Lou Loungers (with added elastic in the waist) that I’m sure she’ll wear every chance she gets.  How fun is it that this Infusible Ink matches so good?!! Perfection!  She picked this darling deer head from DesignSpace for a look that is so on trend.  We used a Cricut blank tee as the base and we were both in awe as we watched the Infusible Ink melt into it.  It was shocking to see how bright and smooth it came out!  We were both mesmerized by it and are already planning more projects with it so we can see the magic again.

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This kid is the ultimate sports fan.  His room is decorated floor to ceiling with all things Broncos, Jazz, Yankees, and soccer.  It was no surprise he wanted a simple Utah Jazz note on his tee.  We used Infusible Ink and a Cricut blank tee paired with his cozy Patterns for Pirates Walk the Plank pj pants (another free pattern!).

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My oldest is a senior this year and spends all his free time playing soccer.  We found this cool silhouette in Design Space that looks soooo much like him- it was perfect!  I added his school name and graduation year to really personalize it.  He also got a pair of Walk the Plank bottoms.

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For the front designs, I used my big EasyPress 2.  I love the even, smooth results I get every time!  I couldn’t live without my EasyPress!  I was so excited to get the EasyPress Mini.  I used iron-on size tags in almost all our handmades (it makes hand-me-downs easier and also helps my kiddos find the back, lol!).  The EasyPress Mini is going to live in my sewing space and makes adding those little tags so.dang.easy.  It heats up fast and is the perfect size to get in the neckline.  My mind was blown!

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A HUGE thank you to Cricut and Raspberry Creek Fabrics for providing all the supplies for this post.  I love that we were able to spend time together creating the perfect jammies for each of my kiddos.  The memories of that day are just as special as the pj’s!  That’s what the holidays are all about!

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

 

Hello Sweetheart from Riley Blake Designs

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Hello Sweetheart from Riley Blake Designs is here and it’ll have your heart swooning!  We love the darling retro feel and it has us gearing up for Valentine’s.  It’s such a sweet collection full of bright colors and playful prints.

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The Gradient Heart is black was such a great choice for my oldest.  It’s got a modern edge to it that was so well suited for one of our favorite dress patterns.

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I love the clean lines of the Blake Dress from Mingo and Grace (you can see our other versions here, here, and here).  Those big box pleats and hidden inseam pockets are the stuff that makes me giddy!

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Can you even stand those ombre hearts?!!  The colors are just so fun!

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For this dress, I made a size 8 width with a 12 length in the skirt.  She actually measures into a 7 width but I was hoping by sizing up it’d fit a bit longer.  The problem is this girly keeps growing up and not out so I’m pretty sure it’ll be too short the next time I blink!  Little sister is already patiently waiting for her to outgrow it 😉

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Speaking of litttle sis- she got a Samantha Skirt from Made for Mermaids paired with an Ocotillo Leotard from Honeydew Kisses with handmade suspenders.

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This floral print is just too cute!  It reminds me so much of some of my favorite art when I was growing up.  Definitely brings me back to the early 90’s with fond memories!  Paired with Riley Blake black and white striped knit gives it a fun, contemporary twist.  This combo is just so adorable!

payton3She loves anything with pockets and thanked me profusely the minute she tried on this skirt.  Both patterns were new to me and I really liked them both.  The Samantha skirt pattern uses the same fabric for suspenders but I left them off this version.  It features an elastic back waistband so hopefully she’ll get to wear this awhile too.  I had to do some grading for the leo using a size 8 width and a 10 length.  It worked out really well and both girls have requested more (a sure sign of a great pattern!).

pair3We picked the warmest day we could for pics and it was a balmy 40 degrees when we did our shoot.  The sodas were both props and bribes for these two troopers!  The things these girls put up with for their dear old mum!

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Thanks for joining us today on our stop on the Hello Sweetheart Blog Tour.  Riley Blake provided us the fabric to sew up but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Jubilee Fabric Tour with Riley Blake Designs

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It’s my stop on the Riley Blake Jubilee Blog Tour today!  This fabric collection is absolutely darling and I’m excited to be sharing it will you guys.

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I always let my girls help pick fabric for their makes but they struggled this time because they seriously wanted them all.   You know my oldest will always pick red if given the choice and she was crushing on the main prints in this line bad.  I was surprised when she settled on the navy colorway but secretly thrilled to be adding a little different color to her wardrobe.  My younger daughter looks darling in blues and loved the dainty print of this ditzy floral.  Together they coordinate but aren’t too matchy for these sisters.

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If I could pick my favorite color combinations of the moment these would be it.  I love navy, yellow, seafoam, and pink together.  They are perfect colors for fall but also work really well for this weird warm transition season we’re in too.

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The floral prints work so well with this season too.  The hint of summer brights and warm fall colors make these fabrics something I think they’ll wear year-round.

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Let’s talk about these dresses.  My oldest daughter is quickly sizing out of many of our favorite patterns.  I’m grateful for companies like Violette Fields Threads and Hey June Handmade who are now branching into tween pattern size lines.  This is the Zoey Dress from Violette Fields Threads.  My daughter still isn’t quite in a 10 width but she’s at least a 12 or 14 height so I struggle choosing between the tween and child patterns.  In this case, the extra ease in the bodice works with this style and the tween sizing looks great on her.

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I love the boho-feel of this pattern and think it’s perfect for this print.  The cute puff sleeve, elastic cuff and bias bound neckline are pretty features that add to the free spirit look of this dress.

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Little sister got a Sutton Dress from Made for Mermaids.  I wanted something that had a similar vibe as her sister’s and the Sutton was a great choice.  I wanted this print to really shine but knew it needed a little trim and buttons to make it pop.

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I absolutely adore those sleeves!  Such a sweet touch.  I did modify this pattern to use a gathered rectangle skirt (the width of the fabric) instead of the gathered circle skirt the pattern calls for.  This was not really a style choice as it was a lack of fabric choice (that’s what I get for changing my plan for this fabric at the last minute!).

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Make sure to check out your favorite local fabric shops to grab your own Jubilee fabrics.  They’ll brighten your days just as they’ve done ours!

Retro Tees with the Cricut Easy Press 2

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This post is sponsored by Cricut.  I received the Cricut Easy Press 2 in exchange for promotion.  All thoughts in this post are my own.

It’s no secret that we’re huge Cricut fans in our house.  We’ve all gotten spoiled and love to create looks that we dream up ourselves.  As a seamstress, I love to create clothes and pick out pattern and fabric combos that suit both me and my children.  The Cricut Maker, Easy Press 2, and sewing products help us take our handmade wardrobe to the next level.

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I’ve been absolutely loving all the rainbow and vintage vibe tees and sweatshirts that are everywhere these days.  It was so much fun to come up with our own sayings and designs and use our handy Cricut tools to create looks that fit their personalities.

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The Cricut EasyPress 2 makes ironing on your vinyl designs such a breeze.  I’m loving the new vibrant color and three different sizes that will suit all your needs.  The small 6″x7″ size works great for baby clothes and little projects.  The medium 9″x9″ size is super versatile and a great all-purpose machine.  The large 12″x10” has been fantastic for our family.  It’s great for youth and adult clothing and has been getting a work out at our house.

The EasyPress 2 is easy to use and is so quick and handy.  It heats up so fast and the ceramic coated plate produces smooth, even heating (something my iron sure lacked!).  I use mine on my kitchen table and I know that it’s protected from the heat by the insulated safety base and the EasyPress Mat.  It gets up to 400 degrees and irons on your designs in no time.  The easy to read digital display makes it easy to set the temperature and timer to suit your iron-on material and fabric.  And I love that it’s easy to store on my shelf and is light and portable.  Phew!  So many great qualities!  I honestly don’t know how I lived without mine.

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When creating these looks I turned to Cricut Design Space and the loads of fonts at my finger tips!  You can create this look for yourself here.  I used the Playroom Sampler pack, with Kelly, Orange, and Sky but I think it’d look amazing in an array of Glitter Iron-On as well.

I’m a Cricut Iron-On convert.  After using different brands I’ve been thrilled with how well our Cricut brand makes have held up.  Cricut has introduced the StrongBond guarantee that will give you the confidence and peace of mind that your iron-on projects will last and last.  The StrongBond guarantee means that if your Cricut iron-on products are used as directed and you’re not completely satisfied, Cricut will replace it for free.  Cricut Iron-on products are made to last 50+ wash and dry cycles and I’m here to testify that ours have taken a beating and still look amazing.  That’s a big deal with kids- their favorites can stick around until they’re outgrown!

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I used the Samson Sweater from Love Notions sized up one and with an extra wide bottom band to give it that oversized look.  This french terry from Raspberry Creek is one of my favorite fabrics for fall.  (I love it so much I used it for my little guys joggers too!)  It’s nice and thick and worked wonderfully with the iron-on.

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This Legendary tee was another fun design.  This kiddo has certainly reached ‘legend’ status at our house so this tee was just too perfect for him.  I used the Boho Sampler pack of Everyday Iron-On for this look.  I used the #121 Ringer Raglan pattern from Thread Faction- I can’t get enough of that slim fit!

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I used the Lexi and Lou Loungers from Made for Mermaids for his pants.  I added a long vinyl stripe down the side and in the pocket for a touch of color.  The large EasyPress made ironing on the stripe simple and easy!  One bonus of making a garment is that you can iron things on flat, before they get completely sewn together.  I sewed up the pockets and side seam, EasyPressed the stripes on, then continued with the construction.

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This design is a trial and error look.  I’m always trying to come up with new ways to use my Iron-On materials and this one was a fun one.  I took strips of each color and taped them together using transfer tape on the plastic backing.  I cut the design out in white iron-on and applied it to the sweatshirt.  I then cut the design out of my rainbow piece and applied it directly on top of the white lettering.  It’s far from perfect but that just means I get to keep trying it until I get it just right!  I love the look and used the same technique here too.  You can get this design in Design Space here.

Her top was made using the Striped Swallow Designs Apres Ski.  Those big full sleeves take this sweatshirt from boring to brilliant.

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I’m thrilled with this whole Retro Rainbow collection and love how quick and easy it was to make with our Cricut products.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Made For Mermaids Mama Camila

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I’ve been sewing swimsuits for my kiddos this summer and I’m finally sharing one for ME!  Let’s be honest though, I’d much rather be posting pics of my kids than of me, especially in swimwear, yikes!  This swimsuit has been in my head since last summer and I’m so excited to have it done, it just has to be shared with the world!

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The Mama Camila suit is one of my favorites (I also have a healthy obsession with the girls version as well).  I wore last year’s Camila so much throughout the year that I knew another one would be a welcome addition.

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When I snagged this lemon print from CaliFabrics last year I knew I selfishly wanted it for myself.  I loved it so much when it arrived that I had to order more just in case my girls needed a suit or two too.  I love that CaliFabrics gets designer ends so their selection is always great quality.  For better or worse, their selection is constantly changing so check back often and make sure to grab your favorite prints before they disappear.

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Let’s talk about this pattern.  I love how incredibly versatile it is.  The main bodice is a simple one piece with elastic ruching through the tummy area.  There are options to sew the flounce like this or over the arms.  I like to do the off shoulder view because you can still slip it off your shoulders and wear it like this easily.  You can do shoulder ties, a halter tie, or skip the ties altogether.   This is my first time doing the double ties and I love them!  If you choose to skip the ties the top of the suit feels super secure with the elastic.

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When I’m chasing kiddos at the pool, I tend to tuck the ruffle under my arms.  It’s a little more freeing, lol!

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Off the shoulders feel so chic though!  This is my vacation with the hubby look.  Cute but a little sexy too 😉

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I like to add all the inner options to my suits.  This one has foam cups, a shelf bra, power mesh and a full lining.  The pattern walks you through adding everything to get a suit that’s flattering and supportive.  I love being able to make something that makes me feel as comfortable as possible strutting around the pool.

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Are you new to sewing swim?  Looking for swim tips?  I’m over on the CaliFabrics Blog too sharing some of the things I’ve learned throughout the years.  Swimsuits are so much fun to sew and I look forward to sewing a new batch each season.  This Camila is at the top of my list of favorites for sure!