Home

  • Swimming into summer with RCF

    I’m so thrilled to be a part of Raspberry Creek Fabrics Suit up for summer blog tour this year! Since I was introduced to RCF back in 2019 I’ve been a huge fan, not only because of their fun and unique fabrics but also because I was born and raised in Utah, which is where they’re located! So, I guess in a way they’re a sentiment for me. This is my 3rd year making swim wear for myself and my two kids (second year using RCF swim)

    I think most can agree that shopping for a ready to wear swimsuit can be very challenging. I find that most suits are too low rise for what I’m looking for or if they are high enough, I end up with a droopy bum. With tops there’s not enough coverage or I get gaping in the cups, or I find the top to feel a little too bra like which I don’t like.

    I remember when I first started with swim, I was extremely flustered. It is a very slick fabric. I quickly found that slow and steady wins the race and you can never baste too much. Here are my top 3 favorite notions and tools to use while working with swim fabric.

    A walking foot is wonderful sewing machine foot attachment to use with slick fabrics that may shift while sewing. It has feed dogs on it, so it’ll make sure the top layer of fabric moves at the same speed as the bottom layer! Pretty neat right?!

    I used to use pins for all of my sewing projects but when it comes to fabrics such as swim, I find that while stretching and shifting the fabric the pins pop out of place which can be frustrating. Wonder clips have small grooves on both sides of the clip and grip to the fabric, so they stay exactly where you place them!

    Wash away wonder tape is a water-soluble double-sided tape. I love to use this when I need something to stay in place that I can sew right over the top of. This works wonderfully for elastic when you need it to start in a certain spot on the fabrics. (Example: a part of my suit called the elastic to end 3/4″ from the end so I used wonder tape to keep it secure) I also used it to hold my sons side pockets in place while sewing down.

    Most often I find that I make matching sets with my daughter, so this time I wanted to make a point to match my son. I had him choose the fabric he liked the most (which of course I knew would be turtles as soon as he saw that was an option) Then made my choice to coordinate him. I’ll be honest in saying that I was slightly concerned that the Sea Creatures Main Fabric would look a little babyish. I was so pleasantly surprised to find that this could really work for any age!

    Last year I made my son the Kids Unisex Raglan and High Tide Board Shorts from Ellie and Mac Patterns. It fit his slim figure so well I decided to use the same patterns for this year’s suit. Last year’s suit also included some Peacock Teal Solid, and it still fits this year, so I actually used last year’s top to include with his new swim trunks. Side note, you need to be so careful with heat settings with swim fabric. I wasn’t paying attention while pressing my sons and burned it slightly. Thank goodness it’s not terrible. I keep mine on the lowest iron setting and that works best. Definitely test a scrap piece first to see which setting is best on your iron so you don’t ruin your entire project.

    Last year was my second time working with boardshort fabric, I did run into puckering issues while hemming last year’s bottoms with my coverstitch, so this year I decided to baste the hem first then take it to my coverstitch and no puckering issues! This year I also decided to take it up a notch and add side pockets to his bottoms. It’s recommended to add grommets to the bottom of each pocket to help with water drainage. (I don’t want my child being weighed down by pockets full of water.) When it comes to grommets, I’ve always struggled with stitching around them after they’ve installed. This time around I had a thought where I decided to stitch down the bottom of the pocket to his shorts THEN add the grommets. My goodness what a difference it made!

    Pocket and fabric close up.

    For my suit I decided to switch it up and try a pattern I’ve had my eye on for a while now, The North Shore from Green Style Patterns. I went with view b with the overlay for some added flair and extra bust coverage. I also chose the pullover halter option. For the bottoms I decided on the highest rise but omitted the waist band and decided to use 3/8″ elastic, fold over and top stitch. I also used the solid peacock teal fabric for my top and went for the Random Dot Bubble Print. The bottoms went together rather quickly and were very straightforward with assembly instructions.

    The top was a little bit more time consuming with a lot of pieces and elastic. Between the lining and swim there were 6 layers that needed to be sewn together at the side seams. This is where a lot of basting came into play. I chose to baste together one layer at a time to prevent any mistakes. Once all 6 layers were together, I then went to my serger and finished each side. I also got to learn a couple of new hand sewing techniques! (I always love when I get to try something new)

    Summer is my absolute favorite time of year. There’s just something about being in flip flops, shorts and driving my car with my windows down that makes it very freeing. Living in Las Vegas I know we will get so much use out of these suits. I hope I’ve inspired you today and can’t wait to see what you create using Raspberry Creek Fabrics Swim. Make sure to check out all of the other amazing sewist’s swim wear makes and enter to win the daily giveaway on Instagram.

    Until next time,

    Afton

    This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through this link, I may get a % at no additional cost to you. Thank you! Happy creating!

    Thank you to all of our amazing sewists who are joining us this week!

    Hosted by SewSophieLynn and Paisley Roots

    Sew Hard of Hearing, I Em Sew Happy, Zaji-Kali Makes, Sewing with CWay

    Sew Mary Mac, Lorelei Caroline, Sew With Summer, All My Spare Time

    Made By Kates, The Imperfect Sewist, Intensely Distracted, Lovely for Life

    Sew Whit Designs, Sew What with Afton, It’s Liesel, Clothed in Vermillion

    Kainara Stitches, Stacey Durant, Desert Blooms, That’s Sew Kari

  • Sew ready for spring!

    Spring and summer are my favorite times of the year! I love when everything starts to bloom and the longer days of sunshine! We’ve already had a few days of 70 degree plus temps, so it has really kicked my spring/summer sewing motivation into gear! A couple weeks back I was able to grab these adorable coordinating prints from Bow Button Fabrics. I’ve had my eye on the milk and cookies print for quite some time now to use for my milk obsessed daughter. (This print has been stocked in a few color ways so there’s something for everyone)

    CL jersey from Bow Button Fabrics

    I knew for the Red mini spots I wanted to make some bubble type shorts. After searching through my existing pattern collection and not finding exactly what I had envisioned I decided to shop around all of my preferred pattern companies and found the kids tulip-blossom shorts from Petite Stitchery Co. While this pattern is designed for woven fabric, a quick search in their Facebook group showed that some had used this pattern for knits! I decided to stick with her measured size of 4t instead of sizing down to get more of a bubble look. The only adjustment I made was taking in the leg cuffs about 1.5″ to keep the legs more gathered.

    For her top, I knew I wanted the milk and cookies to be the focal point with a pop of the dots. The pattern I chose was the top version of The Cartwheel Collection from Love Notions. First, I’d like to add that I LOVE how this pattern is packed with multiple options! I love the peekaboo opening in the back to give her more breathability when we’re at our peak temps this summer. I was quite impressed how fast and easy this pattern was to put together. I had it done in about a half hour!

    I think this whole outfit fits her perfectly and she is obsessed with it. She is on day 2 of wearing it, I did get to do a quick wash on it this morning before she went to school! I see this outfit being worn often and need to add more of both patterns to her spring/summer wardrobe. Have you made these patterns? What do you think of them?!

    She picked most of her poses for these pics and I love them!

    Until next time,

    Afton

    This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through this link, I may get a % at no additional cost to you. Thank you! Happy creating!

  • Matching for St. Patrick’s Day

    Can anyone else believe that we’re already in the month of March?! I started this blog at the start of the year with high expectations and goals for myself and then life happened. February, which is usually one of my favorite months (hello birthday month!) was a huge struggle for myself and my family. Between getting sick twice, and my car breaking down in the middle of nowhere it just seemed to be one thing after another. My anxiety and depression really took over and I just found myself in a slump not really motivated to sew or do any of the things I love.

    While life has still been a slight struggle, I’m slowly working on bringing myself back up. Making my kids coordinating or matching outfits for the holidays is one of my favorite things to sew. I had bought my kids matching fabric and panels from Raspberry Creek Fabrics for their St. Patrick’s Day tops. I chose to use the kids Valerie from 5 out of 4 patterns. This pattern is so much fun to be creative with due to the color blocking and multiple options, from different sleeve options and even a hood! Since we live in Las Vegas I decided the short sleeve option with cuffs would be the best choice. (Added bonus, no hemming for the options I chose!)

    I really made my fabric selections based off the panel I chose, which reads “Pushing my luck today”. I instantly started laughing upon reading this, because well it can be very true for children! (Heck this can be true for adults and animals even really!) What’s even funnier is while taking pictures of my kids in their new tops, my son really was proving the shirt saying to be true. He was willing to take pictures but only with his sister and only wanted to do his own thing LOL.

    Something I’ve come to learn as I’ve gained more knowledge with sewing is you can make one item of clothing with different fabric types as long as they have similar stretch and draping. For these tops I did a mix of Cotton Lyca Jersey, French terry and Cotton Spandex. I find if we’re limited in the fabrics we chose during a project, it really limits the creativity and fun that truly goes into making something your own. I hope I inspired you today and wait to share with you what I create next!

    Until next time, Afton

    This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through this link, I may get a % at no additional cost to you. Thank you! Happy creating!

  • Valentine’s hoodies with heart pocket hack

    Happy Tuesday everyone! I’m super excited to share one of my most recent makes with all of you! Last year I made my daughter a hoodie with a heart pocket for valentine’s day and wanted to include the same hack again for both kiddos! It’s a super simple and fast hack and I’ll share how I did it below.

    For both of my kids I used the Tami hoodie from Pattern Niche, the only differences being the hoods. My son’s the standard hood, my daughter’s the double hood with drawstring. (I’ve learned over the years that my son can’t have drawstrings on his garments as they make their way into his mouth) All fabrics came from Raspberry Creek Fabrics; the prints are part of this year’s Valentine’s collection and will be available until Valentine’s Day.

    For this hack you can use any top or hoodie pattern that you prefer. First, you’ll cut all your pattern pieces as the tutorial indicates. Once you have all of your pieces cut out you can set everything aside except the front bodice. You’ll want to use a pin/clip or fabric pen to mark the center bottom of your front bodice piece.

    Now we get to move onto the heart pocket! At this time, you’ll decide the size you want to have the heart pocket. I jumped on the projector train last year for cutting out my pdf patterns. That being said I’ve found it very useful for more than just cutting. I’m a very visual person, so I placed my front bodice on my cut mat and projected a heart over the top and played with the sizing. One thing to note, if you choose to do this and aren’t using a program like adobe that allows you to set the scale. This is perfectly fine if you’re just planning to trace the projected image though!

    I used Cricut Design Space to print out my heart on cardstock so I could have a hard copy. (If you do it this way, make sure to measure the heart that’s projected over your bodice and adjust the size. (The one in design space will be much larger than the image projected) After I got my heart cut out, I folded it in half and placed it on the fold of the fabric I was using.

    Grab your front bodice piece and use that mark you made for the center bottom to line the heart up. Also take this time to take into consideration seam allowance or hem allowance. You do not want to line up the bottom of your heart with the bottom of your bodice, when it comes time to hem or add a band that part of the heart will be hidden. I just eye bawled this, it doesn’t need to be exact. Once you’ve determined the center bottom is lined up, grab a ruler and make sure the whole heart is aligned in the center.

    Example of aligning the heart with the center.

    Yay, our heart is lined up! Before we stitch, we need to do more things. First, we need to secure our heart in place so there’s no shifting while sewing. You can do this by using pins, or I like to use Wash away wonder tape. I use wash away wonder tape for nearly every single project I make. It works just like double sided tape, then washes away when you wash your garment.

    The second step we need to do is use a fabric marker to mark where you want your pocket opening to be. If you’re omitting a pocket and just want it to be an accent, you’re free to sew the heart in place! To mark my pocket opening I used my ruler again to make sure that the openings on both sides lined up with the other. How large you want the opening will depend on the wearers size. My sons pocket openings are slightly larger than my daughters because he’s bigger.

    All that’s left is to is stitch down the heart to the bodice. Make sure to stitch as close to the edge as possible, and don’t stitch closed your pocket openings! Assemble the rest of your top or hoodie as indicated in the instructions and you’re done! My kids both love their new hoodies, more specifically my son. Once he realized that the heart was a pocket, he told me I was the best and coolest mom! Mom win! I hope I inspired you today!

    Afton

    This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase through this link, I may get a % at no additional cost to you. Thank you! Happy creating!

  • A little bit about me.

    Hello, everyone! I thought I’d do my first post just to introduce myself a bit. My name is Afton, I am a stay-at-home mom in my 30’s. I have been married to my husband for 12 years now and we have two beautiful children. Our oldest is 8 and our daughter is 4.5. My husband and I are high school sweethearts and have since become a military family when he joined the Air force in 2010.

    Shortly after covid started I decided to take my son out of public school and home school him. My son was diagnosed with autism at age 4, when everything switched to online learning, he didn’t adjust well with the change. Since starting home schooling his learning has been back on track and he enjoys it as much as any 8-year-old does. While I never imagined becoming a home school mom and am not sure if this will be a permanent thing, it has helped in balancing out my son’s busy schedule between school and all of his therapies.

    My two children in their swimsuits I made last summer

    In the 2014 my husband went on his first deployment. Our son was 5 months old at the time, so we made the decision that I move back with my parents in Utah during that time, so I wasn’t all alone. Shortly after my husband left, when I wasn’t tending to my son and his needs, I found it hard to find things to do to help pass the time. My mom told me that I needed to find a hobby, so next thing I know I’m standing in Walmart picking out my first sewing machine.

    I had no idea how to sew and neither did anyone in my family. With the help of my instruction manual and YouTube I quickly caught onto all the basics. I started out by making blankets my son, myself and family members. Looking back now I ask myself why I started with such a difficult fabric to work with… minky! It is so soft and cuddly, but it is so slick and messy (hello trail of fuzzy plush) to work with.

    After I ran out of people to make blankets for, I moved to making accessories for Tula baby carriers. Anyone that had a baby around this time may remember all the craze with Tula. Moving to the baby carrier accessories really opened up a creative outlet for me and I loved it! I actually ran a business through Facebook selling these to other parents for a short period before I decided to take a step back and focus on my family as it was consuming a lot of my time.

    Some of the Tula accessories I made.

    My love for sewing moved to the back burner for a few years as we moved to a new state and expanded our family. Fast forward to early 2019, my daughter was about to be 2 and was obsessed with baby shark. I searched high and low for baby shark apparel for her to wear for her birthday and just couldn’t. I decided that I would try to make her a dress myself. I went to Joann to try to find some fabrics that would fit the baby shark theme (I wasn’t aware of all the amazing online shops yet)

    My daughter has been in love with the color pink for as long as I can remember, I found a pink cotton fabric with a cute, scalloped design on it that I picked for the skirt portion of her dress then went with a solid white knit for the bodice portion. With the help of one of her RTW (ready to wear) tops, I self-drafted her dress. With the help of my Cricut Maker I added a cute shark design with the saying “baby shark is two two two”. It was far from perfect, and it took me a day or two to make because of lots and trial and error but I was excited when I completed it and my daughter loved it, which in the end is all that really matters. Looking back at this I often ask myself how I managed to make a dress having no idea what I was doing and just winging it. It reminds me now that I often get stuck doing is overthinking it. If you really put your mind to something that you want and don’t let yourself stand in your way you can do anything.

    After completing my daughters dress, I knew that my true passion with sewing is clothing. Since that moment I’ve never looked back. I discovered the Facebook sewing community and all the pdf patterns available. I’ve learned so much along the way and have loved every minute. I now mostly work with knit fabrics but have made it my goal for this year to become more comfortable working with woven fabrics again. I look forward to sharing all of my future creations and hacks with you on here.

    Until next time,

    Afton