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.
Back in April I went to Vegas with my husband, for a work trip. While there I was able to meet up with one of my sewing friends for a little bit and actually meet her in person.
We had previously been shopping for fabric from Fabmere at the same time and she had faster fingers than I did, and scored some gorgeous floral ITY. She is so sweet, and ended up splitting the fabric in half and bringing it to me when we met up.
So I’ve had this gorgeous 1 yard cut of ITY and I’ve been trying to decide what it wanted to become. I thought of and rejected so many patterns when I finally decided to try the Athena from Pattern Niche. I wasn’t sure if the style would work well with ITY, since it is a lightweight fabric with good drape. So I scoured their Facebook group to see if other people had used ITY and found none. After asking Tara if she thought it would work well, I decided to go for it.
There are several different kinds of ITY, some are slinky and slippery, some have a brushed feel, some have a textured feel, and I love them all and how cool I stay while wearing them. This particular ITY has a slight texture to it, which is an added bonus for traveling, as it doesn’t wrinkle in luggage.
The Athena tank has a regular racer back, plus three different scoop and cutout back options. You can choose from a crew neck or a scoop neck for the front neckline. For mine I chose the scoop neck and the option 2 back.
I made a straight size 12, and added 1″ in length for my height. I didn’t make any other mods to the pattern.
I was pleasantly surprised with how simple it was to do the fun cutouts! I have been having machine issues lately, and I was really concerned it would eat my fabric, but it behaved and I love it! The cutout is perfect to show off those cute bralettes, or in my case, my green bra, that just so happens to match.
I have some more fabric that just arrived that I will definitely be using to make another one. I think I’m going to try the option 3 back next and make a coordinating set with a new sports bra.
My family likes to wear patriotic things all year round, but especially on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. Back in April, I came across a shirt from an online boutique and I thought it would be a perfect addition to my patriotic attire.
As you all know, we live in sunny Arizona and because of that, I usually avoid layers in the summer. But this top really needed the layers so I wanted to use a lightweight fabric that I knew would allow me to breathe, even with two layers.
I found a 150gsm solid red modal for the cami. I ended up ordering two different fabrics for the blue tank, a modal Ponte and an ITY. I wasn’t sure which I would prefer with the red modal, so I got both. When my package arrived, I didn’t care for the feel of the modal ponte over the red modal and I ended up with a different fabric instead of the ITY. The fabric I got was an almost exact weight to the red modal, and I’d say it’s either a lightweight modal or a rayon spandex. I chose to use the mystery fabric because it had the perfect drape I wanted for the stripes and didn’t cling weird to the red modal. So blessing in disguise 😉
I knew the perfect patterns for the two tops would be the Cross My Heart Cami and Essential Tank, both from Patterns For Pirates. Both tops have several options so for my recreation I went with the high X front and regular back on the cami. For the Essential Tank, I chose the full back, curved hem, with bands. I wanted to have my front neckline lower to show off the front X a bit more, so I just cut a lower “V” and blended it into the original neckline.
I recalculated the neckband by measuring the new opening and multiplying it by 90%. I kept the original neckband width, and when sewing the band on, I let it smooth out the V so it wasn’t as pointy.
I made no other changes to the patterns and sewed up both before creating the design on the Essential tank. I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted the placement to be so I waited until I had made it and tried it on to determine.
Once made, I tried it on, and marked with two clips where my waist hit. I didn’t want the lowest stripe cutout to be lower than my waist, so the two clips were a simple marking tool.
Then came the fun part, the Stars and Stripes. I did some internet searching and came across a free star printable from First Palette. I used their various sized star template and picked the smallest ones on it. They are about 1″ in size. I needed to print two sheets, to have enough for the design I wanted, and I just cut them out and placed them on the back of the tank.
For the stripes I used the remaining pieces of paper, and cut out 1″ strips, three at 4″ long, one at 7″ long, and the last two at 8.5″ long. I placed the strips about 3/4″ apart and all lined up on the right side.
Once I had the stripes and stars in the placement I wanted, I used my marking chalk and roughly chalked the outline of each.
To cut them out, I used my small 28mm Fiskars rotary and my favorite Kai scissor (7100) thread snips.
I started with the stars and found that it was easiest to cut the star out by creating a tiny snip in the center first. Then I cut out to each inner point, which allowed me to just cut out to the outer point and the remaining V.
For the stripes, It got a little tricker since the shirt was already assembled. I ended up bunching up the front of the shirt towards the neckline, almost as if I was turning it inside out. This allowed me to lay the back portion flatISH on my cutting mat. Starting at the bottom stripe I cut the top and bottom horizontal lines with my rotary and straight ruler, then using my kai snips, I cut up the two sides. I worked from bottom to top to have more room and avoid rubbing off my markings.
Once I had finished cutting it all out I noticed the stripes didn’t have as much drape as I wanted and the stars were a little too nice looking for what I had in mind, so I tossed it in the washer. Not only did the washer give it that little extra I was hoping for, but it also removed all my markings for me. I gave both tops a good press and was done.
As I was cutting the starts and stripes out, I really had feelings of apprehension and like I had lost my mind 🤣. Making a shirt, only to cut it up, was a whole new experience for me.
After my daughter saw my SeaChange playsuit (you can read about it here), she asked if I could make her one. She loved how it looked like a dress but was really shorts, and of course, the pockets. Unfortunately the fabric she wanted was a knit, and Pattern Emporium doesn’t have a kids version of the pattern. So I asked her about using the same pattern we did a few years ago for her, the Bayside romper from Pattern Niche.
As soon as I reminded her which it was, she was very excited and asked to see the available options. The pockets sold it for her.
Since the fabric she picked was Bulgaree ITY from So Sew English, it has very nice drape and gives the romper a dress feel, all while feeling relaxed and cool. She has grown quite a bit since the last time, so we had to do several fit check try ons during sewing, and each time she said, “Ohhh, this feels so nice!”
The Bayside has shorts, pants, or dress lengths in mini, knee with a straight or curved hem, mid length or maxi. You can choose short sleeves, flutter sleeve, or tank, and of course, pockets. Something that sets the Bayside apart from other rompers is its fun cross back bodice design. It really makes it easy for my daughter get it on and off and adds such a fun detail.
My daughter picked the tank, shorts cutline, with pockets. She doesn’t like elastic in the cross over back pieces, so I omitted that. It does give the back a slightly more drapy look, but she really likes it. If you have a child prone to things slipping off the shoulders, I wouldn’t recommend that omission, as it can help hold the shape.
When I was making the romper, she asked if we could do some fun stitching so she picked her two topstitch thread colors for the pocket and we did a rolled hem on the shorts, to give it a slight wave look.
Tip: I can not recommend enough. Use your Child’s waist measurement to determine elastic length, and try it on before securing it all. It helps to get a much better fit and allows you to make sure you have enough support to keep the waist where it belongs. It makes such a difference in comfort for my kids and myself.
Have you sewn any patterns from Pattern Emporium?? I have almost purchased a few in the past, but always forget to go back and miss the sale, and since I try to only purchase when on sale, I have yet to make a PE pattern.
Side note, I love watching Kate’s preview videos. Even if the pattern isn’t my style, I just love to listen to her talk and see all the different ways she styles her own pattern. All the fabrics she uses, and her personal thoughts on why she likes which ones. I just love them and her passion for sewing her own clothing.
The video for the SeaChange was no different, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Except this time, I was determined to catch the release sale and make one for myself.
When I was shopping for fabric at Fabmere, for my Siena ( you can read about it here), I saw a gorgeous red floral, with an almost paisley look to the flowers. It made it into my cart and was earmarked for my SeaChange. I have said it before and I will probably say it a million more times, I LOVE RAYON CHALLIS, especially for our spring and summer.
The SeaChange is a jumpsuit (3/4 or full length) & playsuit ( short or mid length) romper. It has short, regular, or tall cutting lengths, wide or narrow straps that can be fixed, adjustable, or tied. Plus optional side ties, sash, and pockets.
I chose the short length playsuit, with narrow fixed straps, and pockets. For fun I did a narrow rolled hem for the legs.
I know the mantra of making a muslin first, I also knew that I only had a couple yards to make this pattern, and this was my very first time making a PE pattern, all very good reasons for making a muslin first. BUT, I have heard great things about Kate’s drafting, I read her tutorial ( the amount of tips and fit help and steps on how to check fit, were amazing!!) and felt really comfortable with just going for it. With not having much time to sew this past month, it was a good call and I had absolutely no fit issues.
I really appreciated the attention to fit that was provided. I know I usually need to make certain adjustments to patterns for my body, and I can’t even begin to explain how nice it was to know if I actually needed to make those adjustments. For an example, the straps. I almost always have to adjust the straps on cami type tops, and usually longer, which means I need to recut. Kate actually made the straps longer, included a note about it, and I was able to do one fit check and use the original straps, vs multiple fit checks and having to recut new longer straps.
I chose to wear my SeaChange loose with no tie or sash. It really feels very springy, breezy, and super comfy (especially with my current health flare). I love how it almost looks like a dress, but I have no worries of things blowing up and being exposed.
Since our weather is currently fluctuating from the 70’s in the morning and evening, and the 90’s during the day, I decided to try it on with some white tennis shoes and my jean jacket.
I love how this looks!!
I am definitely making more of this pattern, and I’m determined to not miss another PE sale 😂
Fabmere Fabrics has this Rayon Challis still in stock, plus a few other solids and prints.
April has been a really busy month for our family with birthdays, events, schooling, and the home renovation we are doing. Because of it all, my sewing time has been little snatches of 15 minutes to an hour, here and there. As someone who hates incomplete projects and being in the middle of multiple projects at the same time, it’s been a source of annoyance and I have had to get really creative with fitting things in.
I missed out on testing a new pattern from Made for Mermaids, but knew I wanted to purchase it as soon as it released, and then I fell in love with a new pattern from Pattern Emporium and had to add it to my list. Since I knew these were both patterns I wanted to make right away, I ordered fabric for them and slowly worked on them both, at the same time. You can read about my first Pattern Emporium experience here.
The Made for Mermaids Siena is almost the exact skirt I pinned a bunch of times on Pinterest and as a woven pattern, I knew it would still be comfy to wear even with our rising temperatures.
The Siena has 6 different hemlines ( mini, knee, high-low in both above the knee or below the knee, midi, and maxi length), each with different tier amounts, plus the option to sew the tier seams with an enclosed or exposed raw edge. There are two different elastic waistband options, with three different elastic configurations, and an optional faux tie.
For this one I did the full maxi length with enclosed tier seams, and the basic elastic waistband, with one piece of wider elastic. I’m feeling very boho and crazy comfortable in this skirt.
For my height I added 2″ total to the skirt, adding 1/2″ to each of the four tiers, to keep it even. Once I got to the hem, I realized the length was almost exact for where I like to wear maxis at, and I decided to finish it with a rolled hem.
I love rolled hems, so fast, so clean, and such a fun little detail!
I like that I can wear this with my most worn Hey June Handmade, Union St. Tee, tied up, or this tank tied up or tucked in, and get a few different looks. I think the tied up tee is my favorite though. Which is your favorite top?
My son loves dinosaurs and shorts in French Terry. So, when So Sew English came out with a new Dino print on French Terry, it was an immediate purchase.
The last few pairs of shorts I have made for him, have all been without pockets. He loves pockets, but I don’t love the surprises those pockets leave behind in my washing machine. He really, REALLY wanted pockets in this pair, and informed me that he was now 7 and had a better memory. Even though Daddy is way older than 7 and still forgets. 🤣
He likes the fit of the Pattern Niche 11th Hour Gear Shorts and I love how quick of a sew it is. I always double check measurements before sewing and saw he had moved up a size, so I ended up needing to redo my pattern pieces. I’m glad I checked though, because he loves the shorts and we have a long summer ahead of us.
Since he heard his sister picking her shorts length, he wanted to as well, fortunately his desired length was really close to the pattern length so it was as simple as taking a smaller hem allowance. You can read about how I used this same pattern to make my daughter a pair of shorts a few weeks back, here.
Naturally our puppy, who is almost 6 months now, needed a matching scARF (a.k.a. super soft bandana). I had a two yard cut and was easily able to get both his shorts and the scARF out of it.
If you read my last few posts, you know I’ve been interested in trying new to me fabric bases, so I decided to try out the Brazilian Performance Rib from So Sew English for a matching top. The rib is listed as a horizontal rib, but upon arrival I noticed that it only had around 25% stretch horizontal and around 100% vertical, so I chose to use it as a vertical rib. Unfortunately my camera had a hard time photographing the rib, but the mint color is a perfect complement to the shorts.
On the right side of the fabric, there is a definite rib, and the wrong side is smooth. My son is a little sensitive when it comes to things being soft or having texture, so I wasn’t sure how he would like the rib as the neckband. After wearing, he said he doesn’t mind it, but it isn’t as soft as his Double Brushed Poly or other performance shirts, and that they are his favorites.
The fabric sewed up well, but I did notice that hemming was a bit odd on my machine, with all the ribbing. When compared to other performance fabrics I have used, it feels a little stiffer, again, because of the ribbing.
My husband wants a shirt in it to try too, I knew I should have gotten 2 yards instead of one.
I can’t get over how cute they look together 😍😍.
I used our normal go to t-shirt pattern, the Jalie 2918.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you.Thank you for supporting my sewing 💕
I can’t be the only one that loves to try new fabrics. I have my tried and true bases, that I go back to time and time again. But there is also something fun about trying new types and maybe finding another favorite.
I decided to try the Dharma from The Fabric Fairy and since the description sounding highly appealing, I got it in several colors. I mean, doesn’t this sound intriguing ?? Dharma Heathered Jade Green Poly Spandex is stylish, and durable with a soft hand and wicking treatment, fast recovery, and great stretch. This fashion-forward color has cationic yarns used to create vibrant colors, an ultra-soft hand with excellent moisture wicking management. These high performing qualities make this fabric perfect for yoga apparel, leggings, or any activewear garment.
I got the Jade Green for a top and the Light Grey for a pair of leggings to go with. I was really curious how this same fabric base would act for both a top and leggings.
For the top I picked a pattern I have used a few times, the Tie Back Tank from Greenstyle Creations. Since I’ve made it several times, I was familiar with the fit and felt it would give me a good comparison for this new fabric base.
For the leggings, I chose the Sundial Leggings. I purchased the Sundial leggings when they released, but hadn’t had a chance to sew them up til now. I decided to do the, double crossover waistband.
This fabric was a perfect fit for leggings. It has great stretch and recovery, and it feels really nice on. So nice and smooth, I almost feel like I’m not wearing anything. Since it has such great recovery, the double waistband gave me a lot of tummy support, but I’m not sure how much I will like that when I have a tummy flare. I also noticed that my machine didn’t like the 7 layers in the front.
Using this fabric for the tie back tank, the first thing I noticed was that the fabric had less drape than my usual picks for this top. That translated in a stiffer fit, and a tentish look when worn untied. Once tied up, it looked nice, and the binding was super easy to do with this fabric. I will definitely wear this for workouts and walks, as the moisture wicking feature will be a huge plus.
I really think this fabric would be best suited to a fitted t-shirt, tank top, or sports bra, over a top that needs some drape to keep it from feeling boxy. I’m hoping I have enough scraps left from my leggings and tank, to make myself a sports bra so I can see.
The Tie Back Tank , one of my favorite summer tops, has a low or high neckline, binding or bands, and a racerback or full back. I did the low neckline, binding, and racerback options on mine.
The Sundial Leggings have a V shaped waistband, that can be single or double. It has no side seams and are available in capri or full length. I did the double waistband in the full length, with 1″ added for my height.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I may get a % back, at no additional cost to you.Thank you for supporting my sewing 💕