This is it! The last of the the Suit Up for Summer tour. It’s always bittersweet. I love what we’ve seen all week and the other bloggers on this tour have just been incredible. With each new suit I saw, I had a new favorite. It feels like an honor to be surrounded by such talent!
Today’s post will be covering two things- coordinating swimwear for the whole family and using your favorite everyday patterns for swimsuits. I love that Raspberry Creek fabrics swim line is so full of options. You’re sure to find something to suit your own personality as well as everyone around you. If you’re looking to sew coordinating sets, RCF has you covered!
Each collection has little mini collections that perfectly coordinate making it so easy to pair prints. Throw in all of the swim basic dots, stripes, and ginghams and you can have dozens of cute combinations. This is so fun when you want to do family suits but don’t want to be too matchy.
I put together some more options featuring prints from different collections and throwing in swim solids and CLUB basics too! When shopping on the website, note the colors that are listed in the title of the print. If a color is listed, it will match other prints and solids with the same color.
This year we didn’t try to be too matchy and each kid picked out prints they loved. I was thrilled when went together so well.
Of course you can always just go big and pick one print and sew for the whole crew! I think the tie dyes, the paint splatter, the orange abstract, and the earthtone palms might be my top choices if I went crazy and sewed for all of my family.
One of the questions I hear so much in my sewing groups is what rashguard pattern people use? Or what is your favorite little boy boardshort pattern? And don’t forget, what’s your favorite swim bottom? I think we naturally think that if we’re sewing a swimsuit we need a swim pattern. Guess what? You don’t!
This is particularly true when looking for a rash guard pattern. Chances are you have a good slim fit tee pattern in your stash. I like the Rowan Tee from Titchy Threads for my boys, the Camden Raglan from Hey June or Xfactor Top from Patterns for Pirates for my girls.
The Layer Me Up from Patterns for Pirates is my go-to for myself and the Xfactor is my new favorite. I’m smitten with my new Love Notions Willow Wrap top too! I’m also tempted to try the Summer Basic tank from Love Notions (this one comes with a shelf bra option!), the Hepburn from Patterns for Pirates, and the Be Trendy top from Ellie and Mac. The tricky part for women is finding the support you need but once you figure out that alteration (or if you like to wear a supportive swim top underneath) the skies the limit!
For boys swim trunks, you can use your favorite shorts pattern! The Sew A Little Seam Linden is a swim short and everyday short in one and was the a-ha moment when I figured out that I had way more options than I thought. You can take the lining/underwear piece from a trunks pattern and add it to another pattern if your son prefers them.
For women’s and girls bottoms, look to your underwear patterns! I prefer those with a little more coverage and that makes it easier to fully line them as well. The Norah’s from Petite Stitchery have me so intrigued and I’d love to sew up a pair of swim bottoms with it for this summer.
As far as swim coverups go, this is where we can really think outside the box. Cardigans, robes, dresses, skirts, flowy pants, tunics… you name it will all work when you want to get from the car to the beach in style. I sewed up the Love Notions Boyfriend Cardigan in rib knit and added a removable tie to make this easy coverup that can also be worn over jeans and a tee! I’m all about versatile pieces! The Love Notions Allegros in a lightweight or sheer fabric would make gorgeous beach pants. One more Love Notions pattern I love to throw on over my suits is the easy breezy Laundry Day Tee. When we finally hit the beach earlier this year, I couldn’t wait to wear my Vero Beach Set from Hey June. I made this one during testing and it just was born to be worn at the beach. What are your favorite things to wear over your suits? Do you have a dedicated coverup or do you throw on anything that’s clean?
Can you believe this is it? The end of another great year of the tour. Make sure you head to the RCF Instagram for an extra special giveaway today.
We’re almost to the end of our week ‘o fun! I’m pretty sure I’ll go into swimsuit withdrawals when the tour ends. Good thing for you, you can still pick up Raspberry Creek Fabrics swim fabrics at 15% off with code SWIMTOUR.
Every year my girls and I go swimsuit shopping and every year we leave empty handed. We struggle so much trying to find suits that both fit their personalities and just plain FIT! My oldest daughter is now in junior sizing and somehow that means that their are even less options that work for her. It makes me so happy that I can sew both of my girls suits that really work for them.
This year I tried a few new to us patterns. The first is the Hibiscus pattern from Honeydew Kisses.
I think my girls have been a part of the design process for so long that when I asked for swimsuit ideas this year, I should not have been surprised to get this drawing from Payton. She really wanted the cutouts on the side and a fun strappy back. She was thrilled when I pulled up the Hibiscus pattern and it matched up with her vision!
I sewed up view B in a 9/10 with added length. We skipped all the ruffles to get as close to her inspiration as possible.
When I was her age, I had a very similar suit that I thought was THE COOLEST! My mom loved it because it was a one-piece and I loved it because the little cutouts seemed so grown up to me. This tie dye print just ups the rad factor!
For her second suit I used the Little Lizard King Sanibel. She loves all the little tie front tops in the shops and the Sanibel is absolutely adorable! I love all of the Little Lizard King swim line and plan to work our way through them all.
We used another fun tie dye and paired it with the light blue and yellow swim solids. The colors are just so cheerful and scream summer to me!
I sewed up a size 10 classic neck tankini length top with tie and the gathered side panel bottoms. This pattern had multiple options for the top and you can add lots of little extras like flutters and ruffles too. It’s no surprise that we skipped most of those. I love that this suit feels sporty but also a little feminine with the side gathers on the bottoms and tie on the top.
Big sis picked out fabrics and had ideas too but I steered her towards the Xfactor top after sewing my own. She was super easy to persuade and picked out the long sleeves for her version.
I added the same bra cups and shelf bra lining to hers that I did to mine and it gives just the right support for her.
She picked out this Dash Dot Abstract print and then we struggled with what to pair it with. It looked great with the black and white micro stripe as well as the bright yellow solid we had too. We settled on this vibrant lipstick pink and I love the pop of color it brings. We used the Calypso bottoms (they’re her most worn from previous years) and I did the same modification from the past, cutting them at the non-banded line but still adding the band. This gives them a little more height and she likes that her top and bottoms just meet.
Sophie has had this inspiration pic saved and wanted to recreate it. The Viridian from Jennuine Design was perfect with it’s separate panel pieces.
She loved this bold leopard print and then pairing it with black really made it suitable for her. She loves fashion but doesn’t like to draw too much attention to herself so this is the perfect way to wear a bold print like this.
For her top, I lined it in a lightweight techno scuba fabric instead of adding cups. This added a bit of smoothness and was a great solution. I sewed up a straight size 12 with the racer-back and she has a teeny bit of growing room so hopefully this will last all summer.
While getting ideas this year we came across this unique top from Albion Fit. She loved it and I immediately started looking for ways to recreate it. It’s a simple peasant style and searched my pattern stash to no luck. I asked in our swim tour group and they were so helpful and I landed on the Gypsy Top from Striped Swallow Designs.
I sewed up a size 12 crop length with short sleeves. We made it so she can wear her Viridian top underneath so this is just like a little coverup top. I made casings instead of following the pattern instructions since she wanted it to look more like the inspiration.
I like the higher neckline but could see her wanting a wider, lower neck in the future. This was a fun, creative make that isn’t your typical swim top and that’s what we love about sewing our own swimwear! It allows you to dream big and try new things.
My girls are loving their new suits and we’re dying for warm weather to break them in! Sewing for tweens and teens can be tricky but I love the collaborative process with my girls. It’s so fun to bring an idea to live and to create suits that fit them so perfectly!
Make sure to check out the other amazing blogger this week! Today’s sewists are bringing it big time!
We’re halfway through this year’s tour and I hope you’re learning lots! I’ve learned we need more swimsuits, lol! I’ve been so inspired by the other bloggers and my sewing list keeps growing with each new make I see. Luckily we can still get 15% off all swim at Raspberry Creek with code SWIMTOUR through Friday.
Every year I try to sew a couple of suits for me but then I get so wrapped up in sewing for all my kids that my own sewing often gets rushed or doesn’t happen at all. This year I was determined to change that! I sewed all of my suits first, even snagging some of the prints my daughter requested for myself, such a bad mom, lol! I know they have PLENTY of suits and she got over it real fast when she saw her own new suits. Plus, the swim season is young and I’m sure she’ll get even more suits by the time the summer is over.
Part of my struggle in sewing for myself is that I have a hard time settling on patterns for me. This year I tried a new to me swim pattern, used my tried and true bottoms pattern, and used a couple of regular top patterns for swim tops that I adore! After seeing what the other bloggers on the tour have sewn up, I think there are a few more adult swim patterns I’d like to try too.
This is the first suit I sewed up this season because I was dying to try this pattern and this print is my absolute favorite from the new RCF swim collection. The colors in this print are so gorgeous and muted and it comes in both swim knit and boardshort fabric. I think it’d make darling little boy swimmers too! This is one of the prints both of my girls were fighting over too but mama won for now.
I sewed up the Midline Swimsuit from Gingham Hive. Ashley is a local friend and has amazing style (check out her Instagram for the proof!). I knew anything coming from her would be well done and this suit pattern is no exception. She has a sewalong on her blog that really helps walk you through anything that might be tricky.
There are multiple support options and you can use this pattern to create a super supportive sports bra as well. I did the shelf bra option and added bra cups. I skipped the extra lining since RCF swim is pretty substantial and the part that really needs it (the bust) has the shelf bra. The bottoms have a genius construction method that leaves you with pretty insides and no exposed seams. I used swim fabric to line my bottoms. I usually use power mesh in the front of my bottoms and didn’t on these. They still feel pretty supportive but I may add it to the front middle piece in the future (I just really love that extra bit of structure it gives). The multiple pattern pieces on the bottom make them fun for color blocking or playing with pattern too.
I am super happy with the coverage of this suit and love that I can mix and match it with the other pieces I sewed up. I’m pretty positive that there will be more Midline Suits in my wardrobe.
Can we talk about this top?!!! This is my absolute favorite piece I made for myself. I love the sportiness of it and the coverage is awesome. I used the Xfactor Top and Dress from Patterns for Pirates. It’s technically not a swim pattern but with a couple of simple alterations it works so well. The pattern has multiple sleeve options and a dress version too. I’m sure I’ll eventually get to all of the options but for now I just want to sew up a million JUST LIKE THIS! I want a couple in my workout wardrobe for summer too.
To make this more practical for swimming, I added a front lining and shelf bra. I cut the lining on the fold (I folded over the front pattern piece on the notch marking) and cut it just under the bust. I added cups to the lining and a taught 1 inch elastic strip near the hem of the lining. The elastic adds support and also keeps the lining in place next to my skin. The rest of the top is a little loose making it comfortable and flattering. That twist in the front is my favorite detail! I sewed up a size small, according to my measurements. If you preferred a tighter fit, you could try sizing down a size.
This pretty sage and white diamond print is such a gorgeous color and pairs so well with so many of the new spring prints as well. It also comes in boardshort fabric and I’m dying to make Charlie a suit out of it.
The bottoms I’ve paired with it are Hello Sailor bottoms, also from Patterns for Pirates. I turn to this pattern year after year for so many reasons. I absolutely love the fit of these bottoms. I sew up a size small and there is quite a bit of negative ease, sucking things in where I need them! I like to use power mesh in between the lining and main fabric on the front from the top of the leg seam to the waist. For these, I used power mesh on the green and brown pair but skipped it on this pair simply because I forgot. I also like to do the waistband slightly wider and add one inch elastic to it but alas I forgot on these ones too (I think I was just too excited to be sewing for myself again!). It doesn’t necessarily need it but when editing these pics I noticed the waistband is rolled in many of the photos. Adding elastic eliminates the rolling and also adds just a little more support too.
I sewed up one more top and I’m in love! I purchased this top for a vacation earlier this year and loved it so much I wanted to recreate it. I turned to my trusty Willow Wrap Dress pattern from Love Notions. It had the perfect cross front and sleeve options like the inspiration. I wanted to add a little more length than the original and while it did complicate things a bit, it was easy to get the length I wanted starting with the Willow Wrap bodice. For this top, I used the dark peach triangle stripe. I love that this print coordinates with so many prints too and it looks darling with the multi stripe from my Midline Suit too.
I’ll tell you what I did and also what I’d do differently next time. Something about swim makes me less nervous to try new things. Maybe it’s the fact that it takes much less fabric or maybe it’s just a chance to be a little more adventurous. For this top, I cut my pattern pieces out per the instructions, cutting the bodice pieces at the shorten/lengthen line. I also cut two front lining pieces out of white swim fabric. I’m really leaning towards lining all of our suits in swim fabric instead of actual swim lining. It’s softer against the skin and doesn’t get snagged or stretched out with wear. Ok, now we’re going to get a little crazy. I layered my bodice pieces at the shoulder like this- front lining, back bodice right side up, front bodice right side down, and sewed the shoulder seams. This gives you a hidden shoulder seam. Next I sewed 3/8″ swim elastic to the inside of the whole neckline. I used my serger and just pulled it tight as I sewed, not stretching it too much but just enough to help it lay snug against the body. Now flip it to the inside to cover the elastic and secure with a zig zag or coverstitch. Now this is where I’d do things a little differently. I basted my sides and then determined where my cups should go. Then pulled out the basting stitches, sewed my cups in and proceeded to sew the rest of the top. I think it’d be genius if you left a small opening in the lining to add removable cups after constructing the top. This is what my RTW version has and then you can adjust the cups to be exactly where you want them.
After sewing on my cups, I basted the front bodice pieces together, leaving off the main front bodice piece that is on the outside. I sewed a plush 1.5 inch elastic across the underbust for support through the three layers of bodice pieces. Again, I would change that up and sew it just to the side of the bodice that will be on the inside next to your skin. If you didn’t want the longer top length, you could omit this all together. My rtw version just has elastic in the bottom band and it hits right under the bust so it’s very supportive. After you finish the front bodice construction you will sew the sleeves and side seams according to the pattern. To finish it off I sewed a band to the bottom of the bodice.
Did I thoroughly confuse you?! There’s a reason I don’t write tutorials, lol! When I do stray from the pattern, I usually wing it and hope it all works out. If you do feel like giving this a try, don’t hesitate to reach out to me and hopefully I can help you out. More than likely, you all have a better, easier way to do it and you can pass those tips along to me!
I did my pictures after grabbing my kids photos and I couldn’t get my remote to work right so my youngest two got to man the camera. I set up the tripod to make it as easy as possible for them and all they had to do was hit the button. I’d ask if I was in the frame and they said yes every.single.time! And guess what, most of the pics I am in the frame even if just barely, lol! I laughed and laughed as I scrolled through the hundreds of pictures they took and this gem right here is me taking tips from my sassy tween.
I’m so excited to have a new set up suits for summer! I’m so looking forward to pool days (even if they’re kiddie pool in the backyard days like last year!). I want the warmth and lazy days right about now.
I hope you’re following along this week as we showcase all of the amazing swim fabrics Raspberry Creek Fabrics has to offer. A huge thank you to all of our sponsors for donating patterns to our team of bloggers as well as patterns and shop credits to our daily giveaways. This sewing community is really the best!
Please stop by all of the other stops on the tour this week. Today’s bloggers have more cute adults suits as well as some darling little girls suits!
It’s day two of the Suit Up tour and I hope you’ve already been thoroughly inspired. Today I’m sharing my tips for adding graphics to your swimwear and a happy little discovery!
The techniques I share work great for embellishing rash guards but they’ll also work well for the front of a swimsuit or wherever you’d love a little something extra. For my kids tops, I turned to two of our go-to patterns: the Hey June Camden Raglan and the Titchy Threads Rowan Tee. I use these patterns often in their everyday wardrobe and they work great for swim tops too. Both of these patterns are slimmer fitting making them perfect for the pool.
I love any chance I get to pull out my Cricut and adding a little personality and pizzazz to their pieces. For these tops I used stretch vinyl and Cricut Infusible Ink. In the past I’ve used Cricut SportFlex HTV and I’ve been thrilled with the results. I use my Cricut EasyPress and their swim tops have held up year after year (until they’ve outgrown them but they still look brand new when we pass them on!). I swear by Teflon sheets when using iron-on vinyl. They add a layer of protection to your garment and also seem to help the vinyl melt into the fabric better. When pressing SportFlex on to swim fabric I set my EasyPress to 305 degrees and do 30 seconds on the right side then flip it and do 15 seconds on the back.
This year I headed to my local vinyl shop, Vinyl Outlet, and picked up these three stretch vinyl sheets. You want to look for stretch vinyl since knits, especially swim, will be stretched when worn. I’ve heard great things about this stretch vinyl so I’m hopeful it will hold up as well as the SportFlex. There were so many colors to choose from that I’d love to be able to match all of the RCF swim fabrics! I designed this digital design and it’s available in the Project Run and Play shop.
For this one, I was dying to try Cricut Infusible Ink. Cricut recommends only using their blanks but that is so limiting. With a little research I found that many had had great results using synthetic fabrics, perfect for this poly spandex swim knit! I did a couple of test swatches and then went for it. I recommend doing all of your embellishing PRIOR to sewing up your pieces. 1- it’s easier to lay our your fabric and 2- it’s not quite as heartbreaking if you mess up!
For this design, I used a graphic available in Design Space and Bright Teal Infusible Ink. I followed the instructions for cutting and fusing the ink (using the Heat Guide here) and it worked beautifully! I love seeing that ink just melt right into the fabrics. I talked to Diana of Raspberry Creek Fabrics and she said the infusible ink process and setting temperature is similar to what they use in their shop when printing swim fabrics so the result should be easy and long lasting.
These both have their pros and cons. The infusible ink will only work on white, possibly light colors, while the vinyl will work on any solid or print. The infusible ink melts into the fabric making it a great choice if you want to add sizing labels to garments without the itchy tag or vinyl. Vinyl is fun to layer and you can create more complicated designs with it. I’m just excited to have options when it comes to creating unique looks for my family!
My little guy got two new suits this year. And I promise he wasn’t as miserable during this shoot as his pictures look! This studio looks out over a busy street and this boy is so car obsessed he hated missing watching them, even for the few minutes it took to take these photos.
His first suit is a Lowland Kids Swim Brief. This pattern is unique because it uses swim knit making is especially soft and great for kids with sensory issues (there’s instructions to fully enclose seams too!). I used this teal tie dye print that I think is perfect for the whole family.
His second suit is Jennuine Designs Cobalt Boardshorts. I like the clean flat front and elastic back. He likes the pockets! I used this Teal Wave Print, another classic print that I think all of my boys would wear.
I hope you’ll follow along all week as these incredible bloggers show off their new swimwear! I promise you’ll be in love!
And make sure to pick up your swim fabrics this week at 15% off with code SWIMTOUR.
I’m so excited to be co-hosting the Suit Up for Summer blog tour again with Karly of Paisley Roots. We hosted our first Suit Up Tour way back in 2017 and the last two years have co-hosted the tour featuring Raspberry Creek Fabrics. Sewing swimsuits is one of my favorite things and this tour always gets me so excited for pool days and sunshine! To get you started on your own suits this year you can use code SWIMTOUR to get 15% off swim fabrics all week long.
This year I sewed up almost twenty different pieces and can’t wait to show them all to you this week! Raspberry Creek’s swim fabrics this year are sooooo good and were so much fun to work with. I loved that my kids and I got to really pick fabrics that suited us and we’re just itching to hit the pool now!
You can find our first year of the swim tour here. I give tips for adding a shelf bra to your favorite raglan or tee pattern for a supportive rash guard. I rounded up girls and women’s swim patterns, sewed the most complicated swimsuit to date (I’ve yet to tackle that pattern again), and even did coordinating family suits. Looking back at these pics brings me back! My kiddos have grown so much since then! Would you believe that Sophie is still trying to squeeze into that darling black and white stripe rashie suit?!
2018 wasn’t a tour year but that didn’t mean there wasn’t swimsuit sewing. This was the year of the Made for Mermaids Mermaid Shores collection and we were instantly smitten! The Calypso, Camila, and Lainey are still go-to’s at our house and I sewed up more Calypso’s this year too! If you are a beginner at sewing swimwear, I highly recommend Made for Mermaids for their spot on fit and excellent construction and instructions. I also love that some of these suits have held up so well and are still in rotation!
2019 brought more gorgeous Raspberry Creek swimwear as we hosted the Suit Up tour through the then new RCF blog. I love looking at the huge variety of prints from that year from bright bold florals and stripes to that soft pink floral. Those black Hello Sailor bottoms are my most worn swim piece ever! Classics like that are the best!
Last year’s tour was epic. It was at the beginning of the pandemic and sewing swimsuits seemed both silly and also just the distraction we all needed. The hope of sunny days ahead kept us going and these fun prints were such a joy to work with.
As you can see, sewing swimwear is something I never get tired of. You can search this blog for all of my past adventures in swimsuit sewing or simply click here. I also have a post over at Cali Fabrics full of all my favorite tips to make sewing swimwear a dream!
Make sure you check back in all week for this year’s new suits! I’m happy to share this tour with an amazing group of bloggers too!
I had the opportunity to sew up six of the ten patterns for the LookBook and I’m loving the variety. If you haven’t had a chance to browse through the LookBook I highly recommend grabbing a beverage and kicking up your feet while you peruse the amazing inspiration. There are so many incredible makes from the designers, other past PRP participants, and testers. Audrey does such a fantastic job putting these together.
Let’s start with the swimsuits! Summer is here and we can’t wait to hit the water. I sewed up two version of the Viridian Swimsuit and this pattern rocked our world. I’m always reaching for my RCF CLUB swim prints but went simple this time with RCF solid swim fabric. For this suit I used deep licac, light blue, and blossom pink solids. Big sister got a classic dusty olive. I love the weight and quality of RCF swim fabrics and these solids are no exception. The matte finish is my favorite and really ups the look of quality and design. There are so many colors to choose from too!
As we browsed our favorite clothing sites this spring, there were so many that could be recreated using this adorable pattern. One piece maillot- check. Two piece color-blocked- check. Ruffles- check and check. Racerback OR scoopback- of course. So many options and looks can be created with this one incredible pattern.
It comes in sizes newborn- 12 years- can you just imagine the tiny baby rolls in this suit?!
My cute little tweens were so happy with their suits. One wanted sweet and feminine and one wanted sassy and sporty. I love that this one pattern gave us both!
For this suit I used pieced front top and bottoms and scoop back. I also used the optional bands and found that adding 3/4″ elastic to them helped keep them in place.
Sophie got a pieced front top with optional ruffles and racerback and solid bottoms. She’s particularly hard to fit and we were both so happy to have an age appropriate suit that looks fantastic on her growing body.
Charlie loves his new Cobalt Board Shorts. They have a grown-up look to them and finishes that we both love. This tonal teal grey and white stripe fabric gives these shorts a ready-to-wear look. It was fun to play with the stripe placement and he loves teal so we made sure to get as much teal as we could showing.
The Cobalts are a unisex pattern in sizes newborn-12 featuring multiple front closure options, pockets, and two length options. I did the flat front, elastic back Bermuda length. I’ve sewn my share of boy swimsuit patterns and this one is up there near the top as far as fit and construction.
The Chromium Cropped Hoodie was just perfect paired with board shorts. Now let’s talk about a pattern with options…this pattern has got them! It’s a unisex pattern and comes in sizes newborn to 16. You can do a hoodie (with ears if you want!), funnel neck, cowl or crew, and either cropped or full length as well as short or long sleeved.
I think there’s nothing better than slipping on a cozy hoodie after a day at the pool so we went with a long sleeve, full length (with rolled hem), and a hood. Cozy perfection in this light grey french terry.
The Coral Wrap Dress is another pattern that is full of choices. You can sew up a top, skirt, or knee, midi, or maxi dress. It fits sizes 1-14 and can be dressed up or down. We love it as a swim cover-up that also doubles as the perfect casual dress too!
This tie dye double brushed poly print was the starting point for our looks and I just can’t get enough of it. I want a whole wardrobe out of it! The subtle pastel colors are so so pretty and it was just meant for this dress pattern.
The Golden Dress is such a classic silhouette. It features dolman sleeves, elastic waist and a-line skirt. In sizes 12 months- 14 years, it’s a simple dress that can be worn as a swim cover-up or an easy-to-wear everyday dress.
The first time I saw this challis print I knew it needed to be a swim coverup of some kind. It’s so light and breezy and was perfect for this pattern. I lends a little maturity to this pattern and will be something she can wear for years as she grows.
Make sure you pick up these patterns and support the Project Run and Play shop! These designers have worked so hard to get these patterns out there and I’m thrilled to be able to be associated with them.
As the tour comes to an end, I’m filled with mixed emotions. It’s been great to have a reason to get behind my sewing machines and also to share a little bit of hope and brightness with the community. Deadlines are great motivators! Not gonna lie though, I can’t wait to take a little break too! It feels awesome to have a head start on the swim season but I’m ready to sew some cozy stay at home clothes now. My emotions have been right on the surface lately and tucking away to my sewing space every now and then is still the perfect way to recharge and emerge ready to tackle the rest of the day. Have you been sewing or is it a struggle to find the time and motivation? This sewing community has been so supportive and it’s great to know that whether we’re sewing up a storm or just scrolling the web for inspiration, we’re all in this together!
For today’s post I’m sharing two swimsuits I made for my oldest daughter as well as how to add cups and elastic for a little bit of support and coverage. I’ve got an easy women’s rash guard with support coming at you too!
As soon as the Tadah Hapuna Swimmers and Leotards hit the scene I knew I needed to make one (or two!). This pattern is full of options and they’re all adorable! There’s a front color block bodice, a v-back or scoop back, one or two pieces, and so many cute sleeve styles. I really want to make a version with the circle flounce sleeves but this one wasn’t having it.
This pattern is full of measurements so I was able to get a great fit with our first suit. I sewed up a size 10 width graded to a 12 through the waist and a 13 length. This is the round scoop back with cap sleeves.
For this version I used the same front bodice piece and color blocked the front to match the v-back color blocking.
Just looking at that long and lean body you can tell that store bought suits just don’t fit this girly. We recently tried to buy one she fell in love with online for our Hawaii trip and I had to alter it by bringing it in a full 1.5″ on each side! Grateful I could make it work but even more grateful I can sew suits that fit her even better!
This girl is just starting to develop breast buds and we wanted to add a little bit of coverage to her suits. She doesn’t need support yet but really just wanted to add some chest coverage. I’ve been adding bra cups to all my suits for years and I knew some light foam cups would be just what she needed. Here’s how I did it:First, I had her hold up the lining front piece. We positioned the cups accordingly. I used light foam cups, similar to what you find in sports or lounge bras. In fact, I save all of the cups from old lounge bras to re-purpose for my swim suits. I also like to stock up when I hit the LA fabric district (they’re a screaming deal at like 4 for $1). Wawak is another option for cups and these ones are light and would work great for tweens. They come in multiple sizes which is perfect for our little girls. One more option would be to buy bra making foam sheets and cut your own cups to fit. Etsy has loads of retailers that stock it.
Next, sew your cups on with a zig zag stitch. I like to sew over the cup edge to really smooth the edge and make it not as noticeable from the outside of the suit. Depending on the thickness of your main swim fabric, you can sew your cups on either the right or wrong side of your lining. With thick quality fabric like Raspberry Creek, I usually put the cups on the wrong side of the lining between the lining and main fabric. I find it more comfortable to not have the actual cup against my skin but it really works either way. For my rash guard, I did the cups against my skin so you can see them more clearly in the tutorial.I love the results of adding this little bit of coverage. I also hand sewed cups to the lining of an already finished suit and she feels so much more comfortable with the extra support. This would work well for ready to wear suits too since most children’s suits don’t adapt for this in the larger sizes. This is new territory for me and I’m glad I could give my girl a little more confidence when she hits the pool this summer.If you or your girl need just a little more support, you can add an elastic band for a shelf bra to your suit too. I don’t need much support, just a little lift and this method is perfect for me.For this rash guard I used the Patterns for Pirates Layer Me Up top. You can use any tight fitting top pattern and the Layer Me Up is one of my favorites. It has lots of sleeve options and gives me a nice slim fitting swim top. I used the Black White Sage Light Blue and Blossom Pink stripe because these colors are so darn good together. I paired it with my Hello Sailor bottoms from last year for a suit that I can’t wait to wear this summer.For my suit, I used the same technique as my daughter to sew on the cups but this time I sewed my lining to the front and back bodice pieces at the shoulders first so I could ensure a good fit when placing them. I don’t like to fully line my rash guards because the extra layer is a little too hot for me. In the past I have fully lined the front but this time I chose to just line the top half. To add the elastic, determine how tight you want it to be. I cut mine two inches shorter than the width of the lining where I was placing it. You will then sew your elastic to your lining, stretching it as you sew. I like to sew my elastic just outside of the side seam allowance. This prevents pulling at the side seam. I use a zig zag stitch but you can use any stretch stitch. I had cut my lining piece longer than I needed so I had some wiggle room to work with. Once I had my elastic sewn on, I trimmed off the extra lining on the bottom.
If you’re like me and just need a little support this works fantastic. I’m not much help when it comes to the more well endowed. You’ll want power mesh and possibly underwires and that’s a whole new ball game. I just know I’ve used this technique for years and I love the results.
Day four is here and I’m so excited for today’s post. Swim capsules are so fun to sew and even more fun to wear. Being able to mix and match pieces gives you so many options and stretches your swim wardrobe so far. Plus it’s amazing for kids and tweens who can’t seem to keep their two-piece suits in one place- just grab any piece and go!
I created two different capsules, one for each of my girls. They each picked their fabrics and I had fun picking patterns to pair with these prints. Raspberry Creek Fabrics offers so many prints that coordinate making it so easy to come up with cute combos. I like to do at least one stripe, a fun print (like the leopard prints or a pretty floral), and a solid or something subtle that will match everything.
I sewed this set up before our trip to Hawaii in January and it was so perfect for our beach days! These pictures make me so wistful for warmer days, traveling, and times when our biggest worry was what flavor of shave ice to get.
For this set I used the Made for Mermaids Calypso pattern. It’s one of my go-tos (you can see our other versions here and here) and it was easy to customize. These are a size 10 with a 12 length. For the bottoms I cut on the plain high-waisted height but still added the band to give it a little more height. This girl is very conservative and likes to be covered. Her tops are all Calypso tops as well. The pink stripe is the view A double flounce. For the leopard top I simple used only the long flounce pieces and omitted the top layer. The orange stripes is a view B bandeaux top. I highly recommend this pattern if you are new to sewing or just a little timid when sewing swim. The pattern is full of tips and the techniques used are now my default way for doing things. All of the pieces are lined (the tops I just did the front bandeaux piece and the bottoms are fully lined) and the way you put them together all of the side seams are nice and hidden making them even more comfortable.
I can’t get over how much I love this set! It’s so cheery and a little bit unexpected. She loved wearing these pieces on our trip and I know they’ll be worn a ton when we finally get some warm days.
Both of these bottoms are the Roxy bottoms from Made for Mermaids. They are a size 10 with a band added to the top. She was right in between an 8 and 10 for waist and hips so I sized up since we’re at the start of the season. They are slightly big and the added band brings them in a bit. This time for the band, I trimmed off the top of both the front and back pieces and then added the band by sewing my elastic in the round, folding the band pieces over it and serging it on. For the tie on the pink pair, I added a couple of inches to the wide end that gets sewn into the side seams so that our bow would be a little longer.
This top is the Calypso with the single long flounce. It’s just so cute and quick to sew that I can’t help making a million of them.
For the rash guard I used my slimmest tee pattern which is the Modkid Perfect Tee. I sewed it exactly per the pattern instructions (adding a lining to the front piece) and in her current size (size 10). I personally like mine a bit more fitted but she was really happy with a bit looser fit.
Let’s talk about the Cottesloe. These pieces are the view D high waisted bottoms with the high scoop back top in a size 9 with 11 length. I tested this pattern last year and it was one of her favorite suits. I do have a couple of issues with this pattern. First there are no trunk measurements which makes it really hard to determine the right size for length. I laid one of our one-piece patterns that fits well on top of this one piece and it was at least 3-inches too short (if I used the longest size Cottesloe). For that reason, I’ll be sticking to the two piece for my girls. I also measure my own elastic for the waist and lower bodice. I cut pieces three inches longer than the pattern called for based on her size.
The Cottesloe has much more negative ease than other patterns that I’ve used. These are the slightly too big Roxy bottoms under the Cottesloe’s. There’s quite the difference but both fit just fine. The Cottesloe’s are stretched much more and the Roxy’s are only stretched a bit across her bottom.
These sets just have me wishing and dreaming of another beach vacation and lazy days in the sun!
Thanks for joining us this week! Make sure you use code SWIMTOUR to get 15% off you swim fabrics order this week.
We’re halfway through the Suit Up for Summer Blog Tour. Do you have a favorite suit you’ve seen yet? Are you making plans for your own swimsuit sewing? I don’t know about you but my list of patterns to try continues to grow with each post!
Today I want to share a few of my favorite suit patterns. I sewed suits up for my four youngest kids this tour (I have the fabric ready to go for my oldest but with limited sewing time he’ll get his a bit later). In sewing so many suits, I had a few patterns jump out as favorites.
First, I want to talk about the Men’s Swim Trunks by 5 out of 4. I sewed these up last year for my oldest and he loved them so when looking for a pattern for this growing boy I turned to them again. He’s now sized out of most boy patterns and is on the small end of men’s patterns. I used a size small and made a couple of adjustments.
He requested this checker fabric but really wanted a plain black waistband. This pattern has you sew on a separate inner waistband piece that gets flipped all the way to the inside. To meet his request I took length off the front and back rise and doubled the width of the waistband piece to make a separate waistband casing. I then sewed it on like a band and left an opening for the elastic. I skipped grommet holes and added a faux drawstring. This pattern calls for 1.5″ elastic in the waist and I think it was perfect. I think after sewing all the board shorts for this tour I need to stock up on that size elastic!
I skipped all of the pockets and kept these nice and simple. I did chop three inches off of the length to get this length on him. The pattern doesn’t have height measurements but instead has finished inseam measurements to help you get the look you want.
If you are looking for a men’s swim trunk pattern, this is a great pattern to work with. It’s a nice base if you want to play around with it too.
The swim briefs are unlike most boy patterns in that they are sewn with regular stretch swim fabric. My little guy LOVES how comfy they are!
This is a size 7/8 in the wider width (the upper sizes have both a regular and wide fit). I skipped the real drawstring and sewed my signature faux drawstring (nothing worse than loose drawstrings falling out). These are not lined- they were my tester for yesterdays pair and RCF swim fabric is nice and opaque so I knew they’d still be wearable. I did line the next pair with sport mesh and he loves them either way.
I was nervous he’d miss the brief-type of liner but he really prefers these over them. He’s a boxer brief kinda kid so this feels natural and comfortable to him.
Let’s talk about the Narwhal. It’s so full of options and with each new version I see I now feel the need to sew them ALL. She’s declared this her favorite suit I’ve ever made her! That makes this momma over the moon!
I sewed the one-piece version with the pieced front and criss-cross detailing. This is a size 8 chest blended to a 10 in hips, waist, and trunk. I loved all the measurements included, with loads of finished garment measurements. This makes it so much easier to get a good fit on kiddos that don’t fall into one size.
I skipped the criss-cross back detail and simply sewed my straps right onto the back binding. Believe it or not, I’m not sure I’ve sewn a swimsuit with binding since my very first suit years and years ago. I’ve been avoiding them like the plague! Turns out- they’re not so scary! I used my twin needle on my sewing machine and they really were pretty easy. Not perfect but still good.
For these suits I sewed up the lemons (paired with the solid yellow swim). I think navy, yellow, and kelly green are one of my favorite combos. So preppy and classic! This is right up there as one of my favorite RCF swim prints ever.
Make sure to head to the other blogs sharing all their cute makes today.
It’s Day Two and I’m feeling so uplifted already. Yesterday’s posts were so enlightening and relatable. I loved the creativity and it’s so heartwarming knowing that we’re all in this crazy situation together. Sending you all lots of love from my little corner of the internet.
He picked all of these fabrics. My kids are lucky to get to see the previews and they all end up with lists of their favorite prints. This guy was adamant that he get Sharks, Surfboards, Pirates, and Checkers (to match big brother of course!). I’m always happy to sew up as much swim as possible!
This is the Linden Shorts. This is a size 8 cut at the skirt ruffle hemline and I used the full elastic waistband and added the swimsuit liner from the add-on pack. I used 1-inch elastic in the waistband although it calls for 1.5″ (I highly recommend sticking with the 1.5″). The fit on these is good. The rise is a little shorter than the others so if your little one tend to need more room I would recommend adding a bit of height to the rise. I like that these are a little slimmer through the leg too.
These are the 5 out of 4 Kids Swim Trunks. This is a straight size 8 shorter length with inseam pockets. His biggest complaint with these is that the hole for the pocket opening is so small he can’t fit his hand in. I’m also not a big fan of the 2″ elastic waistband, I think it’s a bit too wide for his size and he complained about it too but that’s an easy thing to switch out next time. Overall, the fit of these is good. The rise is better on him than the Linden’s and with those little tweaks this will be a great pattern for his body.
These are the Peek-A-Boo School’s Out Shorts. For these I sewed a size 7 and cut them at the 6 mos. knee length line (it’s about an inch longer than the short cut line). I sewed up the Lowland Kids Swim Boardieslast year for him and just love this style. He said the Boardies were too short so I wanted to give the PAB pattern a try again (he had this pair from two years ago). These might be my favorite! I think this style in the Surfboard print is just perfection! They sew up super quick (no hemming, yay!) and I love the look of the bias trim. He did complain that the elastic around the thighs of the liner was too tight but that’s something I can fix in the future as well.
The Lowland Kids Swim Briefs are different from the other patterns in that it uses regular stretch swim fabric. I’ve always loved the Sew Like My Mom Palm Euros and this pattern is a great alternative as he gets older and has a strong opinion on what he wears (no tight suits for him!). The pattern comes with a regular (slim) option and a wider option for sizes 6/7-9/10. This is a 7/8 in the wider option. I did a pocket band instead of binding and skipped the drawstring holes in the waistband. I love this pattern but did really struggle with the waistband- like unpicking it a million times and setting it in time out so I could pour me a stiff drink (Coke on the rocks with a little Coconut creamer for good measure). It was a lot of slippery layers and it was tricky to stretch the elastic to fit but not impossible and it does leave a nice clean finish at the waist. He declared this suit his favorite and definitely the most comfortable. The soft swim fabric I’m sure is so much softer against the skin than board short fabric and that’s a huge plus for this kid that lives in sweatpants everyday.
Are you sewing for boys? Is there any other patterns we should test out? I’m pretty sure we found some keepers with this group and I’m sure he’ll be asking for more come summer time.
Today’s other bloggers are sure to inspire you. Head over to the Raspberry Creek blog for the latest post and don’t forget to hit up IG for today’s giveaway!