Sew Caroline Weekend Style

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If you’ve been following me here for very long, you know my style is casual and comfortable but I still like to feel pulled together.  Sew Caroline’s newest book, Weekend Style, is exactly my cup of tea.  Weekend style, everyday style- it’s all the same to me!

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It was a happy mail day when my copy arrived!  I had the hardest time deciding which project to do first.  I knew I had to do the Tilly Tee- who’s closet couldn’t use a new basic Tee?!

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Caroline graciously sent me this cute knit I’d been crushing on (Corollas Ashen).  How perfect is it when you can sew up a designers pattern in her own fabric?!  It was meant to be!

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I couldn’t shake the desire to make an Afternoon Skirt to match so it just had to happen.  Luckily I popped over to Raspberry Creek Fabrics and grabbed this pretty chambray- it’s the perfect weight for this skirt!

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I’ve decided it’s called the Afternoon Skirt because you can easily sew it up in one quiet afternoon.  See how Caroline is speaking to me… stylish, quick and easy projects are heaven!

One of my favorite details of this skirt is the pockets.  They have a cute curved bottom and are nice and deep.  I have a little tip for you for when you go to iron the pocket edges under because it can be pretty tricky.  I like to make a cardstock template from my pocket pattern piece and cut it down to the correct size minus seam allowance.  I simply trace my pocket pattern piece onto cardstock and cut it out.  Then mark the 3/8″ seam allowance line all around and cut it off.  Now you can place your template on top of your pocket and fold your edges up around it to easily iron them in place.  Your template will really come in handy it you plan to use this pattern over again like I do!

One more tip- I will add a hook and eye closure above my top button and just below it also.  My waistband tended to gape a bit and it’s probably due to my lack of a waist and the fact that I did my top and bottom buttonholes horizontal just to be cool (don’t do it!).  A couple hidden closures will fix it up in no time!

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Here it is Thursday and I’m ready for the weekend!  I’m anxious to try out more of the projects in the book! I’ve got a pair of flip flops just waiting to be transformed into yoga band sandals.  And I could always use a new tote bag!  There are 15 easy projects- tees, skirts, a dress, accessories, so much good stuff!

This was one of my first experiences with a book that included all the patterns on a CD-ROM.  I can’t believe how easy it was to use!  I’m so used to tracing patterns from my Japanese pattern books and I think I loaded the patterns on my computer, printed them, put them together and cut them out in half the time it’d take me just to trace a pattern from the Japanese books.  Another point for Caroline!

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On a side note- tell me I’m not the only one to ever pull over AFTER a photo shoot to take even more pics just because the lighting was gorgeous!  These last three pics my cute 9-year-old was nice enough to take for me on our way home after my cool dad took the others.  Family members of bloggers have it rough, yo!

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But who can pass up an empty field and golden hour… hahaha!

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Thanks so much Caroline for letting me join in the fun.  Make sure to follow the fun all month long!  You can grab your own copy here– you know you NEED it!

 

 

Love Notions Bluezette Blog Tour

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Today’s the last day of the Love Notions Bluezette Blog Tour- it’s been two years since this amazing pattern was released.  The Bluezette Dress (affiliate link) was the very first pattern I purchased from Love Notions and while my love of all things Love Notions has grown I still had never made a Bluezette until this week.  While I’m sharing with you my first Bluezette, let me assure you that it’s definitely not my last!

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I’ve had this fabric in my stash since early spring with the intention of sewing up a maxi dress.  It’s a stunning double brushed poly from So Sew English (this colorway is currently out of stock).  When this tour came along I knew it was perfect!

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So did my tour mate and pal, Sneha, of Sewing Curves!  I’ve always admired all of Sneha’s makes and her fabric choices are always the best.  She’s got such a glamorous style and knows how to accentuate all her best features.

As I was busily sewing away on my dress, Sneha posted her teaser to our group.  What are the chances of two of the 12 of us picking the SAME EXACT fabric, not to mention we both made the maxi skirt version of this dress?!  She was such a lovely sport and we are showing you our two twinning dresses and how to style them differently.  I feel honored to be matching from afar with the great Sneha!

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For my version, I did the blousey bodice with short sleeves and simple maxi length.  I used the neck facing piece as a neckband and skipped fully lining the bodice.  I used the pockets from the Olympia because I feel lost without them!

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I’ve styled mine simply because I think it’s perfect for any ol’ summer day.  I wore mine running errands with my oldest and it was quite possibly the comfiest I’ve ever been in Great Clips- haha!  Of course the cute stylist even complimented my dress after his haircut.  I love how stylish I feel in it but not overdressed when paired with sandals and a ponytail.  I know it’ll be perfect for church too- I love a versatile piece in my wardrobe!

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Have you checked out all the options with this dress?!!  There are two bodice styles- blousey and slim, three sleeve- tank, short, and elbow, and five skirt options- tulip, straight, hi-low, circle, and maxi.  So many possible combinations mean I can fill up my closet with these and no one will know I’m using the same pattern.  I already have a striped version on the cutting table.

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Make sure you grab the pattern while it’s on sale.  There’s also a girls version too!

You can check out all the other lovely dresses this week here:

Monday: Sew Shelly Sew, The Wholesome Mama
Tuesday: Me Made
Wednesday: Sew and Tell Project, Harper Lu
Thursday: Doodle Number 5, Handcrafted by Red, Tales From a Southern Mom
Friday: Sew Sophie Lynn, Sewing Curves

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A huge shout out to my son for taking these pics- I think his high school photography classes are going to come in handy 😉

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Fighter Tee by Handmade Boy Blog Tour

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Kelly at Handmade Boy is one of the busiest gals I know.  She’s also one of the kindest ladies in the sewing world so it didn’t surprise me one bit that her first venture into pattern making would be for charity.

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100% of the proceeds from the sale of the Fighter Tee go to benefit the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.  You can pick up your copy for only $5 and know that not only did you get a fantastic pattern but you did your good deed for the day!

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Tami from Love Notions teamed up with Kelly on this project and drafted this pattern so you know it’s superb!  It’s a loose fitting tee with color blocking on the sides and sleeves.  It makes it perfect for pattern mixing and upcycling!  It comes in sizes 2-12 and is a great unisex pattern.

This little guy absolutely loves this pattern.  I made the palm tee a few weeks ago during the pattern testing and he has worn it any chance he gets.  These will definitely be favorites this summer!

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This palm tree fabric was an old Girl Charlee purchase that we tie dyed last summer.  I love the summer vibe it has and this pattern was perfect for it.  The black side panels tone it down a bit and totally up the cool factor.

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The fabrics for this version came from Raspberry Creek Fabric.  I used the Shark Fin Wave paired with a solid navy.  Charlie has had his eye on these shark fins since he saw the strike offs and has been begging for his very own shark tee.  Of course, he had to wear his shark tooth necklace with it!

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I’m excited to be joining so many friends in spreading the news about this amazing pattern.  Make sure you check out their cute versions for even more fun inspiration.

 Monday: The Wholesome Mama, My Creative Room, Wild & Wanderful

Tuesday: Doodle Number 5, A Jennuine Life, Sew Sophie Lynn

Don’t forget to head over and get your pattern.  You can’t beat supporting a great cause and getting a darn cute pattern in return!

 

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 Three

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Welcome to Day 3!!  Please tell me you’ve been so inspired and are reading this while prepping to sew your very own swimsuit!  I’m really hoping that we can calm your fears and give you the confidence to tackle your family’s swimwear needs.

Today I faced one of my big fears- the dreaded sewing for a teenage boy!  I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

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Before I was brave enough to sew for big brother I got to sew for a much easier critic!  This little man was dying for a swimsuit out of this cool shark boardshort fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics (one of our lovely tour sponsors!).

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I used the Swim and Surf Shorts from Gracious Threads.  I hesitate to promote this pattern in my boy post since it’s drafted for girls in sizes 6 and up but I think these fit his little body well.  I absolutely love the construction and the bias goes on so smoothly.  I used store bought but there are directions to make your own.  I switched up the waistband to just be one wide casing after Brittney’s advice.  I also used swim mesh for the underwear liner inside- I might switch it up to regular swim fabric in the future just for more comfort.

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You know I like to involve my kids in as much of the sewing as I can and with this suit I gave him a handful of drawstring choices.  He shocked me with this choice but was very adamant on the coral cord (a trimmed up shoelace!) because it glows in the dark.  I tried to tell him that at five-years-old he won’t be doing very much night swimming but he was very insistent!  I love it!

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So little brother’s suit was a breeze- cut and done in about an hour.  This guys was a different story!  I used Jalie Boys/Mens Board Shorts pattern and am really proud and happy with the results.  He is too which is such a relief!  I love that I was able to easily modify these to his taste.  We cut about 4 inches from the hem (he’s almost 6′) and brought in the inner leg about an inch so the legs weren’t so wide.  He really likes the more retro fit and I think it suits him well!

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I have such a love/hate relationship with Jalie patterns.  I love, love that they come with so many size options in one pattern.  I could use this same pattern on the 5-year-old and my XL husband- you really can’t get that anywhere else.  I love how well they go together, the end product is always amazing and the finishings are fantastic!  That being said they are usually not my standard quick afternoon projects.  I know I need to concentrate and take my time to achieve a great looking garment.  The instructions are pretty basic (you can preview them before you purchase a pattern to make sure it’s something you want to tackle).  This is where my love/hate comes in.  I love the conciseness.  I tend to read the instructions one or two times through before I start a project and then just go for it, referring back to the directions only occasionally.  With Jalie, you can print the directions on just a couple pages and have them right next to you as you sew.  With this pattern though, I could have used a little more hand holding.  I learned a lot and these were constructed different than I have done anything in the past.  Not bad obviously, just different.

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Lucky for me, my sister came over and manned her coverstitch machine and I did the sewing and serging.  I don’t know what I would have done without her help and the coverstitch.   Almost all the seams are topstitched which can be done with a double needle on your regular machine too but that would mean a TON of switching back and forth between a double and single needle, or if you’re really precise, faking the look by running two single stitches side by side.    Even with the two of us, this project took a good few hours. Granted we were sewing with a lot of little helpers running around too 😉

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This awesome fabric is also from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  You can find the coordinating navy also.  I can’t wait to share with you all our fun CLUB line suits tomorrow!

Looking for more boys swim patterns?  Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop, Titchy ThreadsLife Sew Savory, and Made By Jack’s Mum all offer them!

Have you entered the link up yet?  I’m loving what I’m seeing so far! You won’t want to miss out on your chance at the fun giveaways! (Giveaways are now closed)

Now go check out all the other amazing bloggers joining in the swim party:

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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