A few months ago I was scrolling and came across shirts that had funny sayings and was sending them to my friend, Afton. One in particular caught our attention and we couldn’t stop laughing about it. Since we both sew, in fact that is how we met, we decided it would be fun to make some for ourselves and twin.
We started discussing fabrics and patterns. Afton had heard great things about the bamboo cotton spandex sweatshirt fleece and coordinating ribbing from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. We looked at it and it seemed like a good option for the top we had in mind, and perfect for the coming cooler weather. We picked the heathered grey color for both the fleece and ribbing.
This was my first order with RCF and I was excited to try out something from them. When the fabric arrived I noticed right away how soft and squishy the sweatshirt fleece was. It has great stretch as well, which is a requirement for so many patterns, and as we hadn’t decided on a pattern yet, I wanted to make sure it would work for multiples. The ribbing wasn’t super stiff like some I have come across in the past, and that was a nice feature for me, because my neck is sensitive after a surgery years ago.
Then came the pattern selection. It is surprising how small of an overlap we actually had in our “sweatshirt” type patterns. We looked and looked and nothing seemed to fit what we wanted. Either it would need to be sized up several, changed from a hood to a neckband, reshaping the bodice, the sleeves were wrong, etc. Then Greenstyle Creations posted a sneak peek video on their Instagram, of a pattern in the works. It looked perfect!!
As Afton and I are both in their promotion/tester group, she asked about the testing and release timeline of it. It was meant to be. We were both able to test it, and it was released, just in time for our plans. The pattern is Sav’s Sweatshirt, in the regular length.
Sav’s Sweatshirt is designed for fabrics with minimal to no stretch, and ribbing for the neckband, hem band, and sleeve cuffs. You can read about my non stretch version here. BUT it also can be done with fabrics that have more stretch and so it worked perfectly with the fabric we picked from RCF. I’m glad the fabric has four way stretch and the pattern requires minimal, because I cut my bodice out with the greatest direction, not realizing that the heathering actually would be vertical. Afton cut hers the opposite way ( You can read about her version over on the RCF blog), and they both turned out beautifully.
So what was this super funny saying we decided to use?? I present to you, Retired Hot Girl. 🤣
We all try to feel our best, and for some that means showering and doing our hair, wearing makeup, getting dressed, etc. But as a Mom, or with my health issues, there are days where those things just don’t happen, and I feel less than my best. That feeling is “retired” and I just want to put on something comfy and relax.
I had heard people saying “Hot Girl Summer”, so naturally I had to look up what that meant. The short of it is that feeling of living your life, unapologetically being you, and having a good time. I can get onboard with that! But usually after I have days like that, I need to rest and take it easy, especially in the winter.
So while the saying, Retired Hot Girl, can have different meanings to different people, to me it is feeling relaxed, comfy, and chill, with lots of laughter. And twining with Afton, in this sweatshirt, fits that bill to the tee.
This sweatshirt is made for those warm, minimal to no stretch fabrics, but can also be used for something with a higher stretch. Which means you can use those nice and thick sweatshirt fleece fabrics and soft ribbing for the neck, hem, and cuffs.
I have made a few of these and have fabric on the way for a few more, but I really wanted to try out different looks and styles with this simple white one.
First I tried it on with my regular skinny jeans and white tennis shoes.
I like the simple, almost sporty feel I get with this combo. It’s perfect for errands, grocery shopping, just every day type things.
Then I decided to try out my faux leather leggings. Which I actually really love with it! It changes it to a more glam relaxed look, and I have to say, it was even more comfortable than the jeans.
Perfect length for just a little shaping of the rear too 😉
I had to try it with my scrunchie black boots, and I think it would make a nice casual dinner out outfit, with a little jewelry.
Since its shackett season, and I haven’t had time to make one, I just borrowed my husbands flannel shirt and threw it on over it.
Same outfit, but with my black boots. I like the boots with it, but I’m kinda thinking I’d prefer some boxier, maybe lace up ankle boots, a bit more. What do you think??
This one is with my athletic leggings, and I know I’m going to be wearing this for all the dog walks, chilling around the house, and running errands.
I have to say, I was surprised, but my favorite outfit was pairing it with the faux leather leggings and white tennis shoes. It is ridiculously comfy and I feel great in it!
How would you wear it?? Please share, I’d love to have more suggestions for wearing this amazing sweatshirt!
A few weeks ago we had a storm blow through and it rapidly dropped our temps for a few days. It was so nice and it totally put me in the mood for Fall sewing.
I was looking at fabric and my daughter “happened” to be looking over my shoulder and saw the Purple/Ivory Leopard Brushed Hacci Sweater Knit I was considering. She thought it was cute and asked what I was going to make. Then proceeded to ask if I could make her one as well.
I was going to make the Calgary Cardigan from Pattern Niche. They only have the adult sized pattern, but since my daughter is starting to fit into some adult patterns, I decided to see if it would work for her as well. She fits perfectly into the smallest size.
She isn’t tall enough so I needed to remove some height. Fortunately with the amount I needed to remove and the shape and multiple length options of the cardigan, I was able to cut the hip length and it was the perfect tunic length for her. No other mods were necessary which made it a really quick adjustment.
The Calgary has so many options, you can use the same pattern to get a variety of looks.
We chose the standard bands for ours and we love how they turned out! They are so cozy and perfect for cooler weather. Hopefully we get another storm soon so our temps drop again, in the meantime these will be getting worn in the early mornings.
She may be getting into adult patterns, but she still fits under my arm 🤣
Something to note, we usually wear thin long sleeve shirts, tank tops, or short sleeve shirts under most cardigans. This pattern could be a little snug of a fit in the arms, if you were wearing something more substantial under it. You definitely need to pay attention to the required fabric stretch percentage of 35% or more.
A long time ago, (Pre covid), my Mom showed me two skirts she had and loved, and asked if I could recreate them for her. My parents were going on a cruise and the skirts would pack light, small, and resist wrinkles. We discussed fabric options, she looked at my stash, and we placed a fabric order for three separate skirts. One skirt would be a single skirt and the other two would be reversible.
The solo skirt would be made from ITY and the two reversible were from rayon crepe (crinkle woven).
The fabric arrived and I got to work on the skirts. I finished the solo one and got the first reversible one done, up to the hemming fit check. Then covid hit, their cruise got cancelled, and the skirt was put on the back burner.
Fast forward to a few months ago. They were prepping for their rescheduled cruise so it was time to get the skirts done. Plus a few new shirts to wear with them. We had a lot of fun ( Well I did 🤣 hopefully she did too) shopping my stash and coordinating fabrics to maximize her outfit possibilities.
Here are the finished outfits, modeled by my mannequin.
Skirt number one – ITY, elastic waist band, rolled hem. Lightweight, wrinkle resistant, and these colors are so pretty!!!
We used the Hey June Handmade Union St Tee, V-neck and short sleeve options, for both this mauve DBP (Double Brushed Poly) and this light blue DBP shirt.
The other two shirts are both scoop neck with a flutter sleeve. This one is in a tan DBP.
This one is Dark Berry ITY from Surge. My Mom fell in love with the color and how it went with so many of her skirts and other outfits she had, but the only issue was I couldn’t part with it. The dangers of letting people shop your stash 🤣. Fortunately I was able to check with Surge, and they had a few yards remaining. Crisis averted, I got to keep my fabric and she was able to have a shirt in the gorgeous fabric.
We picked these shirt colors since they also work with the reversible skirt. All four look great with this side.
I just love all the colors this fabric has. It really allows for multiple ways to style it.
And three of the tops work well with this side of the reversible skirt.
I love that these tops and skirts will also work well with her current wardrobe, so she can mix and match even more. Once she gets back from her cruise I will be finishing up her second reversible skirt.
My daughter has been growing rapidly and we went shopping at the beginning of the year for some training bras/ sports bras, for her to try out. Then she fell in love with my two Greenstyle Creations Power Sports Bra makes (here and here), and since her store bought ones no longer fit, asked if I could make her some. She just fits into the women’s sizing, and I had scraps left of my stripe one, so I made her one to try.
She wore it for her first day and didn’t want to take it off.
For her first outfit she picked this sunflower print bullet and a solid black performance.
The Chelsea shorts were a first try for us, and she really likes them. This outfit she did the short cutline, with the slanted pockets and the yoga style waistband.
I used the same fabric for the Power Sports Bra as I did for the Tank.
For her second combo she picked this pretty tropical look with the peachy background ITY.
It matches perfectly with the navy blue performance she picked for her shorts. She chose the same options for her Chelsea shorts as her sunflower pair.
I again used the same fabric from her shorts, for the bra.
Her third combo is the test version of the solo tank modification I did with an ombre leopard print ITY, and using the same black performance for the shorts as we did for her sunflower set (bra and tank).
This one she picked the Bermuda length on the Chelsea shorts. For the bra to go with them, I found some scraps of the Dharma I used in an outfit for myself (read about it here).
She has informed me that these power sports bras are insanely more comfortable than the store bought ones we tried first and she loves her new outfits so much.
It’s that time of the year when my kids clean out their drawers and bring me a list of things they need. My daughter has been growing rapidly this past year and needs quite a few new items. She saw a Greenstyle Creations Solo Tank I made and asked if I could make her some, with coordinating shorts. Since the Solo Tank is only available in women’s sizing, and she isn’t fully in the chart, I knew I would have to do some modifying to make it work. BUT she fell in love with the look so I decided to give it a try.
Her bust and hip are just under the XXS and her waist is in size XS. Since I was familiar with the shape and fit of the shirt, I felt comfortable making her a straight size XXS.
The issue we were going to have was in her height. The Solo is drafted for a height of 5’7″ and she is just 5′. So while it would be too long in general, the low armscye depth would be crazy low on her and for the test version, I decided to remove 3″. I came up with that amount based off the general guideline of 1/2″ for every 1″ difference in drafting height. I then confirmed I wanted her armscye to come up that exact amount, and decided to take the length out there, vs the usual bodice points.
I don’t usually like taking length out in the armscye, because you have to recalculate the bands, and it can also cause neckline/ neckband changes. But in this instance it was a definite need. To try and avoid messing with the neckline, I picked a spot in the middle, making sure it was at least 3″ below the neckline. She wanted the high neckline, which made this even easier.
I cut the pattern apart at my chosen spot, and then measured and marked a spot on the top portion, 3″ up.
I placed the bottom piece, over the top piece, at those 3″ marks.
As you can see, this changes the shape and our armscyce lines no longer match up. I got these little grading tools a while back, and absolutely love them for these kind of adjustments. Makes it so much simpler than trying to free hand the line. I just laid my tool on the pattern, lining up the curve with the original lines, and blended them together like this.
Then I repeated the same steps on the front pattern piece to make them match.
Since I changed the armscye, I also needed to recalculate the binding. I measured the new armscye (24.25″), then multiplied that by 85% (20.6). I like to round my measurements, and the fabric I was using was ITY (very drapy), so I made it an even 20.5″ by the original width of 1.5″.
Before cutting into the test fabric, I also measured the pattern pieces at three spots. The chest, the waist, and the hip. I took the tape measure and made a circle, the amount of each measurement, and held it around her body at those same spots. I did this to make sure I didn’t loose too much width in the specific spots by taking the 3″ out.
Once she tried it on she decided she wanted a little more length than she would have ended up with once hemmed, so I added 1″ back in, in the lower bodice for her other ones. I’m starting to think she carries her height in the same places I do. 🤣
To allow the test version to still be wearable, I just serged the bottom edge instead of doing a traditional hem.
Because of all her rapid growing, she also now fits in the women’s power sports bra pattern, so I surprised her with a matching one to go with each of her new solo tanks and shorts outfits. You can see all three outfits and their details, in this post.
How do you “torture” your children without even meaning to?? You let them pick their fabrics and patterns for their first Mom made swim suits. Then you sew them, but only half of each set, because you have to change the thread color in your machines, for the second half. And they see their amazing first half, waiting, every time they walk by. 🤣
“Torture” aside, my kids both love their new suits and have been wearing them almost daily to swim, since they were done. I shared earlier this week about my Son’s suit, you can read about it here.
My daughter took a little longer to find the suit pattern she wanted, she kept changing her mind on one piece or two, one strap or two, etc. etc. One thing she was adamant about though, was that there be no ruffles, and she didn’t want any “extras”. When she first saw the Roxy from Made For Mermaids, she wasn’t a fan because the rouching on the bottom, belt, and peplum type skirt on the top. But once she saw the line drawings and realized that they were optional, she was sold.
She picked the plain bottoms and the plain bikini top. While it is labeled as plain, it is anything but. The top has a really flattering sweetheart neckline with cute straps that are wider and slightly gathered at the bodice.
Fabric shopping for her was really fast. She saw the Unicorns and Rainbows and was done. She saw the two coordinating options and immediately chose the Plumtastic Kira to go with. Both these fabrics have a matte look, which she particularly likes, and UPF 50+, which I love!
The quality of these two fabrics was really nice. They weren’t super slick, had a nice weight to them, and they sewed up really well. We even had enough left over after her suit, to make two matching scrunchies. Now she can match and have her hair up when in the pool.
I was really surprised with how simple sewing these swim suits actually was. I really enjoyed the process and they both keep telling me how much they like them.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen little snippets of the backyard renovation my family has been working on for the past several months. We have gone from dirt, to artificial grass, a pool, yard rock, and once done we will also have a pergola/patio and deck by the pool. It has been a long and very labor intensive process, but we have gotten enough done to enjoy it now.
Of course the kids swimsuits from last year, have either become too small, fallen apart, or melted together, didn’t even know they would do that. With having this pool in and our current temps being in the triple digits already, they needed new suits.
Time to cross another first off my sewing list !!
But have you seen all the swimsuit options out there?? It is so overwhelming to me. So I asked the amazing group of sewists at The Fabric Fairy, to point me in the direction of their favorite pattern companies. That helped immensely and my kids had fewer choices to decide between.
My son’s suit was relatively simple since he wanted a t-shirt and pair of shorts. Nothing fancy. He really liked the Waterburst Black Flow Boardshort Fabric from The Fabric Fairy. The colors are so vibrant and the water droplets look so realistic, he immediately picked it for his shorts. Bonus points in my book, it has UPF 50+, which is so important with our almost constant sun. Something else I noticed right away with this boardshort fabric, was how nice it felt. It didn’t have a crunchy feel, like some other board short fabrics I have felt.
A really cool feature on the Fabric Fairy website, is the coordinating fabrics at the bottom of each listing, it makes it really simple to find matches, when you are trying to make outfits. And if nothing is listed, you can send an email or ask in the Facebook group for matching help.
The matching fabric my son picked for his shirt was the Cobalt Palm Rec. Again with the UPF 50+!! Check out this fabric description – Eco friendly, certified recycled, high chlorine resistance, and UV protection. Smooth, cool hand that does not snag. AMAZING !!
The 5 out of 4 Patterns, Kids Swim Trunks were recommended a few times and when I showed the listing photos to my son, he said they were perfect. The swim trunks have two lengths, long or short, plus optional pockets, drawstring, and liner. We did the long length and optional liner for his pair. It was a really quick sew and the fit was spot on.
We used our go to t-shirt pattern for the top, the Jalie 2918. I have made it in a variety of fabrics and it was great with the swim fabric. The fabric was a bit more slippery, so I just slowed down when sewing, to make sure all the layers stayed together.
He loves it!!!
My daughter loves her suit too, blog post about that coming at you later this week 💕
As soon as I finished my first Greenstyle Creations Power Sports Bra ( read about it here ), I knew I wanted to make more. I immediately went through my fabric and started planning my next combo. I didn’t have quite what I wanted, so I went fabric shopping. I saw a combo Heidi posted in April, in the So Sew English Facebook group, and I knew it would be the perfect fabric for the outfit I envisioned. It took a bit to arrive, but once it did I knew it was the right choice.
For this Power Sports Bra, I did almost the exact same options as my very first, adding the optional bra cup opening, and 1/4″ clear elastic in the full neckline and armscye. I opted to add the elastic since this fabric had a bit more stretch than my first, and I didn’t want to chance it gaping once on. I used the Solid Bubble Gum Pink Peached Performance for the straps and remaining pieces, including the lining, is Grey/Ivory Small Stripe Peached Performance. Just like my first power sports bra, I tried on my underbust band elastic, prior to adding it to the bra, and AGAIN, I was glad I did. I used a different elastic than my first one and it stretched a lot easier, allowing me to remove an extra inch, which was still bigger than my suggested size starting point.
I used the same Bubble Gum Pink Peached Performance for my shorts. It is so soft and the perfect fabric for lounging or to run errands. I made my first Run in The Sun Shorts from Striped Swallow Designs for this. It was also my first SSD pattern, and it was fairly simple to assemble. I made my measured size, XL waist to Large hip and Medium thigh, but for my next, I will probably remove some length off the rise and/or go down a size overall in each spot. I love the option to cinch up the side more or less, depending on my outfit and preference.
Since I’m not keen on rocking the sports bra and shorts combo out and about, without coverage, I added a Sundown Tank, also from SSD. I absolutely LOVE the low twist back option, it is so fun and totally creates the perfect showcase for my cute bra and straps. I used the Solid Black Crepe Jersey and it twisted beautifully! My machine seriously did not like the thick bindings though, so my next one, I will skip the binding and just turn and topstitch.
The Sundown tank has three back options, a regular back, and a high or low twist back. I did the low twist, added 1″ in length for my height, and made size Medium graded to Large at the bust and waist. I measured for a Medium graded to Large bust and an XL waist, but when I measured the pattern piece, I felt grading all the way to an XL would be much larger than the look I wanted. I also have smaller hips than I do waist, and while the pattern didn’t provide hip measurements, I know from experience with my body and loose fit shirts, that grading out so far would make my hips look like they are drowning. So with the tank having the shape and ease it does, I opted to grade out to just the Large.
A little sewing tip I like to use: When the pattern size chart doesn’t provide a measurement, you can measure your pattern piece at the approximate spot, minus the seam allowance. Then take your tape measure and hold it around your body part, at the pattern piece measurement and you can get an idea on fit. If the pattern has negative ease, you can do the same with a scrap of fabric (preferably in the same fabric you are using for the final garment).
I can’t wait to sew up my next set, I just got another fabric order that will be PERFECT for this! Plus, I am on the hunt for some swim fabric. I think this would be amazing to wear to splash pads with the kids or just hanging out by the pool.