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

Made for Mermaids Mermaid Shore Collection- Lainey and Calypso

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I’ve got a problem people- I can’t stop sewing swimsuits.  It’s seriously so addicting.  They’re quick, take such little fabric and we spend so much time in them that I feel like it’s so worth it.  Plus my swim knit stash keeps multiplying and there is no way I could pass up testing the new Mermaid Shores collection from Made for Mermaids.

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I’m splitting our suits into two posts simply because I have soooo many cute pics to share with you!  First up is the Lainey, a cute one shoulder two-piece suit with optional ruffles at the neck or waist.

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For my version, I did the neck ruffle and added a tiny pom pom trim to the edge.  This border print was just perfect for this suit.  So perfect that the pattern piece for the top barely fit in between the borders and the ruffle piece was almost the exact measurement of the border.  Seriously meant to be!  My sister picked up this fabric at the SAS warehouse in Phoenix.

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One of my favorite things about all the suits in this collection is the bum coverage.  So, so good!  No wedgies here!

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The Lainey comes with a crop and tankini top options.  This little one is adorable in the simple crop version with the ruffle bottom.

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The whole Mermaid Shores collection is all about mixing and matching and these Lainey bottoms pair so well with the Calypso top.

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The Calypso is a two piece suit with optional ruffles on the top and high waisted bottoms.

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It’s so darn cute and easy to sew too! This is the smallest size (1/2) on this tiny miss.

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I love being able to blend sizes easily to get the perfect fit for my girls.  This one is a 6 chest with 7 hips and 8 length- an easy blend using the instructions in the pattern.  You can’t get that kind of fit in an off the rack swimsuit!

I can’t tell you how much we adore this whole collection!  I’m so excited to share our Camila’s with you tomorrow!

Patterns for Pirates Take The Plunge Swimsuit

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Yes, I made yet another swimsuit but you guys, I just couldn’t resist!  Judy at Patterns for Pirates is known for making women feel beautiful and by darn it she’s done it again.  Just check out all the amazing testers and how gorgeous they all look!

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It has been YEARS since I have worn a one piece that fit properly.  I have a long torso, small bust and no waist.  Suits either drowned my bust, gave me major wedgies or were tugged too low in the chest.  I had yet to sew myself a one piece also because I thought it’d be a disaster to try and get the fit right.

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Enter the magical Take The Plunge Swimsuit.   The pattern includes all the instructions and measurements to help you get the best fitting suit ever!  For me that meant making a small bodice graded to a large at the waist then a medium in the bottoms plus adding an inch to both the bodice and the bottoms.  Sounds crazy and confusing but it really was a cinch.  I made the adjustments totally based off my measurements and said a little prayer it would fit right.

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Ta-da!  Best fitting suit ever!  This was also the first time I’d used push-up cups and let me tell you they are AWESOME!  I’m usually not too concerned about the appearance of the ‘girls’ but this suit really highlights them and a little ‘oomph’ was needed.   Whether they need a little taming or a bit of lift, this pattern works wonders!

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There are multiple options for straps and ruching.  I did the plain bottoms and full back.  I love feeling nice and secure for chasing the kiddos at the pool!

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On the fence about sewing swimwear still?  Check out our blog series here, here, here, here, and here for tons of inspiration and tips for sewing swimsuits for the whole family!

And make sure to grab you own copy of the Take The Plunge!

Suit up for Summer Day Five

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We made it folks, today is the fifth and final day of the Suit Up For Summer Tour.  I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.  I’ve been thoroughly inspired and learned so much along the way.

I’ve got to give a HUGE thanks to all our sponsors.  It’s been a great week and we couldn’t have done it without their generosity- from offering bloggers patterns and fabric discounts to sponsoring our giant giveaways.  I wish I could give them all a big hug and lots of chocolate 😉

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You have until Tuesday to enter the giveaways so here’s a little reminder.
Giveaways closed.  Winners have been notified.

Prize 1 Link-up prize, consists of:

1 Pattern of choice from: Closet Case Patterns, Jalie, Gracious Threads, Lil Luxe Collection, My Childhood Treasures, 5 out of 4, Titchy Threads, Call Ajaire, Rad Patterns, and Boo! Designs.

$25 gift cards from: The Fabric Fairy, Raspberry Creek Designs, Peekaboo Patterns,

and a $20 gift card to Simply by Ti
Prize 2 Rafflecopter prize, consists of:
$80AUD from Boo! Designs & 2 yards of swim knit from Sash Fabrics (1 Paisley Skulls & 1 Maroon Wild Thing)
$20 gift card to Simply by Ti & a $20 gift card to Patterns 4 Pirates
Enter the Rafflecopter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter the Link up here:

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For this last stop I’m sharing a few more girls swimsuits and some tips for modifying your favorite non-swim patterns to work for swimwear.

Summer is a time of family and we love that we get to spend time with these cute cousins from Arizona.  My sister loves to sew as much as I do (with three kids under 5 she just doesn’t get to do it as often as she’d like!).  I love when she’s in town and we can spend our days sewing together.  This tour was a fun chance to make coordinating suits for all the girl cousins!

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This little munchkin is looking darling in her teeny weeny polka dot bikini.  My sister used the free Classic Maillot Swimskirt from our sponsor Call Ajaire.  It includes the attached swim bottoms!  For the top she used the Made By Rae Flashback Skinny Tee and brought in the sides a bit and added a band to the cropped bottom.

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My oldest has such similar tastes to my own.  I giggled when I asked her what kind of suit she wanted for this last one and she described exactly what I want my next suit to be!  She’s looking hip in highwaisted Cosi Swimsuit bottoms from SewPony paired with a modified Boo! Designs Sleeved Leotard.

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For her top, I simply cropped the bottom of the leotard off and used the mini skirt piece that comes with the pattern.  I modified it a bit to be a full circle skirt, just placing both edges on the fold of the fabric.  You could easily do this same thing to any top pattern and calculate your own circle skirt for the peplum.  We went through a handful of our favorite tee patterns as options before I settled on the leotard pattern since I was sewing while she was at school and couldn’t accurately gauge how much to take the sides in on a standard looser fitting tee without her trying it on.

Other modifications you can make to standard patterns include using your favorite underwear patterns for bottoms.  You can simply line them in swim lining or swim fabric!  Keep that undies pattern handy and add it to your well-loved shorts pattern, catching the top of both in the elastic casing or band, for a cute pair of swim shorts.

Close fitting tops make excellent swimwear.  I love to slim down raglans as rash guards but you could also use a well fitting tank pattern as a swim top too!   I like to line the front bodice piece for girls and add a simple elastic shelf bra for myself.  You can use elastic for the neckline and arms too.  Since it is a tight fitting garment make your elastic just barely shorter than the opening.  I serge the elastic to the wrong side and turn it under once then topstitch with a double needle or zigzag stitch.

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For this cute suit, I used the Leotard Etoile with the included Demi Skirt used as a shoulder ruffle.  I serged the neck elastic to the lining, main suit and ruffle.  I then flipped the elastic under and topstitched it down underneath the ruffle keeping the clean line at the neck.

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It was a breezy day and I loved catching the ruffle blowing in the wind!

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This last cutie is wearing a modified Cosi Swimsuit too!  I just love that little belly but as we discovered last year high waisted suits just don’t want to stay put.

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My sister sewed this one up too and I love this fabric she chose!

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I sure wish these cute cousins could see each other all the time!  They sure do love each other and we can’t wait to spend as much time as possible together this summer!

Well, folks, I quite possibly will never sew another swimsuit again.  Just kidding!  I’m ready to move on to something new but I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before I’m itching to ‘dive in’ to swimsuits again.  They really are so rewarding and such quick sews (minus those epic boardshorts!).

I really hope that you’re ready to Suit Up yourself and I can’t wait to see what you guys make this summer.  It’s really been such a pleasure hosting this tour and hearing from all of you.  Now get off the computer and get sewing!

 

 

Suit Up For Summer Day Four

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We’ve made it to day 4- woot woot!  Have you learned anything so far?  Picked up a pattern or two?

Today I’m talking about the best part of swimsuit sewing- FABRIC!!  If you’re anything like me, you can never have enough fabric.

We have multiple fabric sponsors on the tour and I’m excited to get you guys shopping.  The Fabric Fairy has a HUGE selection of both spandex and board short fabric as well as everything you need to complete your suit- elastic, bra cups, linings, etc.

Peek-a-Boo Fabric Shop offers great custom printed fabrics and coordinates.  You can pick up your PAB pattern and sew it up in PAB fabric- oh cool is that?!

Simply By Ti has some great choices for swim cover-ups- think cozy french terry and bright crochet fabrics.

Boo! Designs is based in Australia and has an unbelievable selection!  Like I want to order a dozen prints right now!

Sash Fabrics is another custom fabric shop full of unique and fun designs!

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My family is all decked out in another of our sponsors latest designs- Raspberry Creek Fabrics!  I love that these fabrics coordinate so well together without us being too matchy-matchy.  When looking through the new line it was so easy to pair up each print to my kids personalities!

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The Sunset Palms were meant to be this kid’s.  He lives in subtle Hawaiian prints and this was just too perfect for him!  You can read more details about his suit in yesterday’s post.

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I’ve been dying to share this suit!! This sweet, sophisticated girl is rocking the Tropical Leaves swim print in a Lil Luxe Leotard Etoile.  I think this is the perfect pattern/fabric pairing!

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The simple silhouette really lets this print shine!

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I need one of these suits for myself ASAP!

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My little man NEEDED these sharks the minute he saw them.  I love the colors in this print and how easily they coordinate to so many others!  You can find his suit in yesterday’s post too!

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This sassy girl loves the bright colors of the Sea Floor print.  Paired with the Nautical Stripe it’s too cute for words!

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She’s wearing a Marilyn Vintage Suit from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  This suit offers plenty of coverage and so many cute options.  This simple view was fun to showcase these prints.

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She certainly loves it!

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I got another suit too!  This time I used the Nautical Stripe for myself.  I used the Edgy Top from George and Ginger.  It’s not designed as a swim top but with a few modifications it worked great!

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I lined the front and added cups and an elastic shelf bra.  I cut my pattern a size smaller and finished the neckline and arm with elastic cut barely smaller than the openings.  I like to serge my elastic on in the round to the wrong side of my fabric then flip it under and topstitch with a twin needle.  Super easy!

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I used the bottoms from the First Crush Suit from Rad Patterns.  The suit offers so many options and great coverage!

I love these stripes and the chance they gave me to play with the directions.  This swim knit is some of the nicest I’ve ever sewn with.  It’s nice and thick and has great 4-way stretch making it super easy for me to use it on the diagonal.  The matte finish gives it a very high-end feel.

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I also used coordinating Navy Board Short Fabric to make me a pair of Swim and Surf Shorts from Gracious Threads.  I love the fit of these and after making my little guys these were such a quick sew.  I love the extra coverage for chasing kiddos around!

Phew!  So…many…swimsuits!  Are you sick of me yet?!! Just one more day…

I’ve got to give a huge thank you to our good friends for letting us borrow their gorgeous backyard for these pics!  It was absolutely perfect!

Make sure to enter the giveaways for your chance to win some of these amazing fabrics from our sponsors with a ton of patterns too!

Head over to the other bloggers to see what they’ve been making too:

Hosted by Sew Sophie Lynn & Paisley Roots

Monday: Pear Berry Lane / Inspinration / It’s Liesel / Sewing For Four

Tuesday: Harper Lu / Call Ajaire / Stylin Stacy / Skirt Fixation

Wednesday: Sewing By Ti / Sewing With Sarah / Sew & Tell / Me Made

Thursday: Made By Melli / Life Sew Savory / That’s What She Crafted / Auschick

Friday: Rebel & Malice / EYMM / Stitching & Making / Lilliepawillie

Suit Up For Summer Day Two

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Are you ready for day two of the Suit Up For Summer tour?  Wasn’t yesterday just awesome?! Today won’t disappoint either- you’ve got one swim newbie, a talented children’s pattern designer and tester call, a swimsuit sewing veteran, and a super cute women’s suit pattern tester call!  Make sure to head over to Paisley Roots for another adorable suit and some fabric shopping tips!

Make sure you see my last post to enter the giveaways. (GIVEAWAYS ARE CLOSED)

You can check out the other great ladies on the tour here:

Hosted by Sew Sophie Lynn & Paisley Roots

Monday: Pear Berry Lane / Inspinration / It’s Liesel / Sewing For Four

Tuesday: Harper Lu / Call Ajaire / Stylin Stacy / Skirt Fixation

Wednesday: Sewing By Ti / Sewing With Sarah / Sew & TellMe Made

Thursday: Made By Melli / Life Sew Savory / That’s What She Crafted / Auschick

Friday: Rebel & Malice / EYMM / Stitching & Making / Lilliepawillie

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I’m talking ladies swimsuits today and I’m going to be completely honest with you all- I really have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to women’s swimsuits.  My past adventures in sewing swimwear for myself have been fairly easy.  I’ve only ever made rash guard tops by adding a lining, cups and an elastic shelf bra to the Lane Raglan.  A raglan is about as beginner friendly as it gets- add a couple more steps and voila! Instant swim top!

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Nothing mind blowing but I usually live in these on our beach vacations and long days at the pool.  For this years suits I wanted to change it up but kept going back to the same look and coverage these suits offered.  I decided to use  a couple of Patterns for Pirates  to achieve this look.  Judy at P4P has generously offered a discount code for our readers during the tour.  Use code ‘swimtour’ to receive $2 off any swim pattern in the shop!

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I used the Hello Sailor Swim Bottoms for nice bum coverage!  I hate worrying that I’m flashing innocent people!  I followed the tip to add power mesh to just the front belly area and love the ‘spanx’ effect.    I did a straight size medium and can’t wait to make more of these.  The pattern comes with a handful of fun options so I’ll be changing it up a bit too.

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I used the Layer Me Up top pattern for this hack.  I’ll tell you what I did and what I’d do differently next go round.  With swim I don’t feel like you can really muslin a pattern so I just go for it and hope it works out!  I cut a front lining piece and cropped the tee to my natural waistline in a straight medium also (my normal size).  I added cups to the lining (I ended up doubling them up for a little more umph!) and did an extra wide band at the bottom, hoping to avoid the elastic of the shelf bra.  Well, it wasn’t love so back to the drawing board.

Off went the band and I ruched the sides of the bottom piece with a small piece of elastic for a little detail and added my standard 3/4″ elastic under the bra cups.  I really wanted the top to meet the bottoms and think this is the best I could get.  I think I’d use the LMU in the future but I will just do it the full length I need and add the cups and elastic shelf bra like I did in my raglan rash guards.

One tip I did learn with the elastic under the cups is to have it not quite meet the side seams.  I usually try to catch it in the seams for extra strength but since this was added after the seams were done I just secured the elastic to the lining only.  The benefit is that it doesn’t pull at the side seam- I’ll share a top later this week that has this issue.

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I really like the coverage of this suit and know I’ll be comfortable wrangling my kiddos at the pool in it.  I picked up the fabric for my top and also my bra cups (4/$1!) in the LA Fabric District.  I love that place!

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I’m really tempted to try my hand at sewing an actual swim top!  Our sponsors have some great choices! The Siren Swim Top from Patterns for Pirates is so cute! Closet Case Patterns offers two super chic swim options- the Sophie Swimsuit and the Bombshell (I actually have one that’s been cut and waiting to be sewn for far too long!).  5 out of 4 Patterns has a bunch of fun, sporty options and Rad Patterns has two swimsuits with the most options I’ve ever seen!  Jalie has a ton of patterns to choose from and you can get one for you and your mini me all in one sweet deal.  Laela Jeyne  has two versatile, cute patterns- a fun skirted one piece and a vintage inspired bikini set.  Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop has swimwear for the whole family!

I came across a few more designers that offer women’s swimwear that I’d love to try too!  Wardrobe By Me, Dandelions and Dungarees, Lily Sage and Co, and Seamstress Erin all offer unique swimsuit pdf’s.

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Do you have a favorite women’s pattern I should try?  My Pinterest Board is full of suits I’m dying to recreate!

A special thanks to all our sponsors:

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Pool Side Beach Party Tour

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I’m so excited to join in the super fun Pool Side Beach Party tour!  Make sure you make it to the end for a fun giveaway and links to all the other great blogs on the tour.

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These cute cousins just can’t get enough of each other.  In matching swim suits, they couldn’t be more adorable!

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I just had to include this cutie and that belly when I started planning for the Pool Side Beach Party Tour!  Don’t you just want to eat her up!!

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We used a handful of patterns and hacked away to get these looks.  This one is sporting The Uptown Bathing Suit by Little Finch Patterns.  I’ve had it on my to-sew list since it released.

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Sophie is wearing a little Peekaboo Pattern Shop– the fabric came from PAB and I used these bottoms.  The top is a modified Cosi featuring a cascade ruffle that I just had to do after seeing my pal Karly’s cute suits.  The headbands are Barb’s Headband, a free pattern from Simple Life Pattern Company.

These two are in modified Cosi’s also.

I feel like this post should be titled ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Darling’ 😉

The Good- My sister has lived thousands of miles away in Alaska for far too long and she’s here for the summer with her darling little family.  We spent the day sewing up these suits together and it was THE BEST!  We’ve spent far too many hours on the phone or FaceTiming about our sewing questions and creations and it was ‘simply marvelous’ being in the same room sewing!  Can’t wait for more of those days in the next couple months.

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The Bad- I’d love to say that sewing these up was a breeze but that’s just not how it went down.  This cute suit from Little Finch needs a little TLC.  The pattern has some drafting issues which were easy to smooth out and it came together so, so fast.  I did a 6 width with an 8 length and it fit like a glove.  The way the front tie is constructed per pattern instructions she couldn’t get it over her head so we improvised and I sewed one end of the tie down to the center front and we just wrap it around her neck and tie.  It has a heck of a time staying up on her chest but I think a little clear elastic in the top band would help.  I will definitely make this suit up again and try to tweak it further to get it perfect.  It’s too cute to give up on- I love the cut of the legs and the sleek, sophisticated style!

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This suit gave me a run for my money.  Those bottoms- ugh!  I’ve made them multiple times and every time I think ‘I need to fix this pattern to fit better’ and I’ve never gotten it quite right.  The pattern is one simple piece with the same front and back rise.  If you look at that tiny booty you might think that’d be just fine but it’s always bugged her and the back is always dangerously close to over-exposing a  little toosh.  I added a wide waistband this time after hacking off the elastic at the waist.  I finally redrafted the pattern and sewed up a new pair in the hot pink fabric that she can wear with this top too.

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I love the ruffle detail and wider neck straps I hacked on this top.  I think I need to make another version with a few little tweaks to get it just perfect.

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This cute chub and that belly were a bit of trouble for the high-waisted Cosi bottoms.  My sister chopped off a couple inches and added a waistband and I’m just loving this two-piece and that tummy!  Not bad for my sister’s very first swimsuit, right?!

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This tiny girl just turned one and the smallest size in the Cosi (6 mos) was still a little big in the chest.  With a little pleat and a decorative bow, this suit is now the perfect fit!

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Ok- now for the Darling!  C’mon, little girls in swimsuits is just about the cutest thing ever!

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Have you keeled over from cuteness overload yet?!!

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One more to push you over the edge…

Make sure you check out all the other stops on this fun tour.  So much summertime inspiration!

Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for your chance at this awesome prize package:
2 patterns of choice* from Mouse House Creations
1 pattern of choice* from 5 Out of 4 Patterns
1 pattern of choice* from Chalk and Notch
*Excludes bundles
Open Internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Starts at 12am EDT June 29th, ends 12am EDT July 1st. Giveaway winner will be notified by email and will have 72 hours to respond before a new winner is pulled.