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.

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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Willamette Shirt from Hey June Handmade

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Meet the newest member of the Hey June family- the Willamette Shirt.

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The Willamette features three different views to keep you looking good all summer!  I chose to do view B during testing which features a waist seam that makes mixing prints or playing with directional fabric so fun!

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The Willamette is a dolman sleeve top, with a back yoke, and wide collar.  I’m a nervous wreck sewing woven tops with collars and plackets but the Willamette is a super easy way to ease into them.  The placket is simply a facing and the collar is sandwiched between the main and facing pieces- no fussy collar stand to deal with.

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This lazy sewist really does plan on a couple more for summer.  They are fairly quick sews with beautiful insides to boot- does it get any better.

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I absolutely love how loose and breezy this top is.  I like that it’s a step up from my normal tee and jeans too!

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This is my face after washing my shirt and having it come out crisp and lovely- no ironing means I really will wear this top at least once a week!  I lucked out that this LA fabric district find just happens to be almost wrinkle free- score!

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Make sure you check out the other views- there’s a simple version without the waist seam and a cute cropped version that looks so cute too!  Head on over and grab your copy today!

Knock it Off Tour

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The Knock-it Off Tour hosted by Sprouting Jube Jube and Lulu and Celeste is for all you do-it-yourselfers.  You know who you are.  You walk through the mall and all you can think is, “I could make that so easy!” or “Man, that top would be so cute if only it was two inches longer/shorter/had sleeves/a v-neck/hood/ruffle/stripes/butterflies/etc…”.  Chances are if you’re a seamstress of any level you will be thinking this on EVERY single shopping trip!

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My inspiration comes from a no longer available Anthropology top I came across during the Tallinn testing.   I loved the simple ruffle and knew the Tallinn was just the pattern for it!

Try not to spit out your soda at my awesome recreation of the pic.  I’m pretty sure this model is a size negative 20 and hasn’t seen a donut in her life.  It’s like I’ve found my long lost twin 😉

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I was really thinking this would be an easy hack.  The Tallinn sweater features the same overlapped front but is a straight angled top piece.  The bands are done in two pieces and the neckline features a turtleneck or slouchy cowl.

Now there’s a reason I don’t really do tutorials. #1- I rarely ever hack patterns.  I can usually just find a pattern that suits my needs.  #2- I definitely don’t have the sewing skill to share with you.  I learn from doing and would hate to teach techniques wrong.  #3- I don’t have the patience to take all the needed pics to properly show what I’m doing.  Now with that out of the way I’ll do my darndest to explain what I did to create this look.

My original mods to the actual pattern pieces were fairly simple.  I used two right front pieces and altered them to be wider at the shoulder and curved at the hem.  I used my french curve for the curve and added 2.5″ at the shoulder seam.  I slashed and spread my sleeve piece to make it a bit looser like the inspiration and made it 3/4 length.  I’m sure I could have just sized up that piece to make it easier.  I also cut the neckline right in between the turtleneck and cowl necklines and made a neck binding piece 1.75″x 80% of the neckline circumference.

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I had to get a little creative sewing it up.  The Tallinn has separate hem band pieces for the front and bottom.  I struggled wrapping my mind around getting one continuous ruffle sewn on since it’s included in the shoulder seam.  I didn’t want the bulk of the ruffle under the other shoulder so my ruffle tapers off underneath and is not included in the right shoulder seam.

So, I got a little crazy and sewed up the right shoulder then sewed about an inch of the outside left shoulder seam.  I then added the sleeves and sewed the side seams.  I could then add the ruffle to the outside hem in one continuous piece.  (My ruffle is 2″ by 2 times the length of the full hem.)  Once the ruffle was on I could then finish the left shoulder seam and attach the neck binding.  Not mind blowing sewing but it did stretch me a bit.

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I honestly wasn’t in love with this when we first took these pictures.  I couldn’t figure out what it was.  I found the original top and read some of the same thoughts in the reviews- not flattering was a general consensus.  For me, it really highlights my broad shoulders.  Not something I usually go for.

That night as I laid in bed I had one of those hallelujah moments.  I knew the ruffle needed to come in on the shoulder to cut my shoulder in a bit and it was as simple as pleating the shoulder piece.  I really didn’t want to unpick all the ruffle and topstitching to fully alter the whole front piece!

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It’s not a huge difference- before altering on the left and after on the right, but I think it helps a ton.  I really love the final top and think it’s such a great transition top for spring.

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For this top I used a super soft blush french terry from Stylish Fabric.  It looks like this shade is out of stock currently (glad others are sharing my current pink obsession) but there are a ton of other beautiful colors to choose from.

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I’m so excited to pair this top with jeans or my favorite new Brassie joggers.  It’s such a great, comfy mom outfit.

BTW- The Tallinn is a great nursing top and this little hack is a great way to switch it up a bit in case you need a closet full of them.

 

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You can catch all the amazing Knock-offs this week here:

Monday, April 24

Lulu & CelesteCall AjairePaisley RootsAdventures with Bubba and Bug

Tuesday, April 25

Sprouting JubeJubemahlicadesignsSew and Tell Project

Wednesday, April 26

Lulu & CelesteSewSophieLynnNini and AshLittle Heart Threads

Thursday, April 27

Sprouting JubeJubesewingbytiInspinrationHouse of EstrelaBeri Bee Designs

Friday, April 28

Lulu & CelesteDuchess & HareCreative CounselorFilles a Maman (FAM)

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Chalk and Notch Farrah Blouse and Dress

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The Farrah Blouse and Dress released earlier this week and it’s taken all my willpower waiting for my turn to share!  I’m sure your Instagram feed has been flooded with all the gorgeous tester versions- if it hasn’t then hop over and check out the #farrahpattern to have your mind blown!  The testers really made some stunning versions!

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The Farrah pattern features two ruffle options, a lined yoke, high low split hem and dress and top versions.  In sizes 0-18, it’s so flattering on any figure.  I did a straight size 6- my waist is typically a size or 2 larger than my chest but with this loose pattern I didn’t feel the need to do any grading.

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I made my version out of a lightweight swiss dot I’ve had in my stash forever.  It was a great fabric choice- perfect for spring.  I love this pattern in super drapey fabric too- some of my favorite versions were done in voile, rayon challis, or those silky fabrics that you can’t pass up at Joann’s.

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My husband played photographer for this shoot and nailed it.  We had this quick window between dropping off kids and picking them up at all their after school activities.  The wind was blowing, the sun was setting, and this brand new school was the only semi-decent backdrop between point A and B.  We had fun as I tried my darndest to keep my little chin from chattering in the cold.   Not the ideal conditions but you work with whatcha got!

I feel like I just told you all my little secrets- like when someone says, “I love your shirt!” and you feel the need to tell them you got it for 5 bucks from Wal-Mart.  The behind the scenes of a bloggers life is really not all that glamorous 😉

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Let’s just pretend we’re on some fancy city street and I’m not thinking about all the mom duties waiting for me after as soon as we finished these pics!

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I simple adore the details of this pattern!  That mitered corner on the hem is pretty snazzy.

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The wind and those ruffles were not friends.  It was cracking me up!

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K- promise me you’ll check out all the other amazing tester versions.  They are so, so cute you won’t be able to help it when the pattern ends up in your cart.  Trust me, you’ll thank me afterwards!

You can see round one of the testers blog posts here on the Chalk and Notch blog.

 

Love Notions Olympia

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One of my favorite things about pattern testing are the wonderful seamstresses I’ve met- from the designers to the other testers.  My most recent pattern test was the Olympia Dress (affl. link) from Love Notions.  I was thrilled when I realized a few of my local sewing friends were also testing the dress!

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Tiahna from Ammon Lane, Anna from Kainara Stitches, and Rachel from Little Fish all live super close to me so a photo shoot was definitely in order!  It was so fun to see them and I loved the chance to see their dresses in real life.  Like all of Love Notions patterns, the Olympia dress is so flattering on all our different body types.  There are so many options- multiple sleeve and dress lengths plus a zipper front nursing modification!  It’s a great fit for any lifestyle!

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For more details on my dress head over to the Cali Fabrics Blog.  I used a gorgeous ponte from Cali Fabrics for my dress and I can’t get over how much I love it!

Pick up your copy of the Olympia today!

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Make It Mine Tour

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The Women’s Waterfall Raglan from Chalk and Notch is such a fantastic pattern.   Every time another one shows up in my feed I fall in love again.  I’m thrilled to be joining in the Make It Mine Tour and sharing my Date Night look with you guys.  Make sure to read to the end for your chance at some fantastic prizes!

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I ordered this gorgeous stretch velvet from LA Finch Fabrics ages ago with the intention of sewing up this dress for the holidays.  A bit late for Christmas but I think Valentine’s Day will be a little sweeter in this cute lil’ number!

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I love me a good twirl dress!!  I made an easy alteration to the pattern and shortened the ruffle a few inches to make the dress hit right at my knees.  I wanted something a little flirty and fun.

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I threw on a denim jacket and I’m ready for our dinner and a movie date night!  Is it super sad that I’m looking forward to a family date to see the new Lego Batman movie this weekend?  We all loved the original Lego movie and this one looks to be just as hilarious!  Throw in a trip to the pizza joint and I’m one happy mama!  So romantic 😉

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Total side note- I just picked up my new glasses and I’m in love!  Not with the fact that I have to wear them but with being able to really see again!  It’s like the world is in HD and I didn’t know what I was missing out on.  This growing older thing is the pits but at least I’ve got my handsome hubby along for the ride!

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Now for your chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Stylish Fabrics head over to Chalk and Notch to link up your Waterfalls!  Check out the #makeitminetour on social media for tons of cute inspiration.   Thanks for joining me!

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Heidi- Handmade Frenzy | Zoe – ZowieZo Handmade | Indu- Kaleidothought | Maria – Creative Needle and Threads | Verinne – boeven bende | Mie – Sewing Like Mad | Victoria – As it Seams

Love Notions Terra Tunic

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If you could only take one top pattern with you to a deserted island then I have the pattern for you- the Terra Tunic (affl. link) from Love Notions!  It has so many options that it’s really all you’ll ever need!

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I did just two of the neckline options but there are 6, yes 6!, different choices.  I did the scoop neck and v-neck hood options but there are also v-neck, boat neck, funnel, and asymmetrical collar.  There are also four different sleeve lengths making this a true all seasons pattern.

I love that fabric choice plays such a role in this pattern.  You can use almost any fabric weight for different looks.  I used fabric from So Sew English for these two tops.  The hoodie is a brushed sweater knit and the tee is a double brushed poly.  Two completely different looks from the same pattern!

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I love the elbow patch option too!  Such a fun detail on the long sleeve versions.

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This will become my go-to tee pattern.  I love how fitted it is up top and then gently skims the waist.  It’s exactly what I look for in a top! (I’m just realizing I should have edited out my goose bumps!  This is what outdoor pics in 20 degrees will do to ya’!)

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And those side vents are another detail that just takes this pattern to the next level.

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I’ve had this sweater knit from Cali Fabrics in my stash for far too long.  I knew I wanted to make a cropped sweater with it but couldn’t find the right pattern.  The Terra was perfect for it!

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I eeked this out of one yard and just made it work.  I did 3/4 sleeves and the scoop neckline.  I omitted the side vents and folded my pattern piece at the hip line (I love all the reference lines given in the pattern!  It makes these little adjustments so easy!).  I did a simple one inch hem and had my sweater done in no time!

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I’ve been under the weather this past week and missing my sewing machine.  This top was just what I needed to get me back into things.  I may head back to bed after this post goes up though- a girl can only do so much!  Life is hard when mom is sick- ain’t nobody got time for that!

Have you grabbed your copy yet?  I can’t wait to see what version you sew up first!