kids clothing · Kids fashion · sewing · St. Patrick's Day

If you’re happy and you know it!

Cue the kazoo music, okay but seriously, thank you so much to those who reached out to me about my last blog post. You seriously touched my heart and made my day. Now onto today’s topic. I always look forward to Raspberry Creek Fabrics holiday fabrics, the designers are amazing and they’re always offering something unique. My most recent order from them consisted of Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s, and Easter fabrics. Since I started sewing clothing for my family, it has truly become a tradition to sew them a new top for every holiday. Okay, not every holiday, but several of them. I had a very productive week sewing together 3 tops for each of my children and a pair of leggings for my daughter. I’m going to start by sharing my children’s St. Patrick’s Day hoodies because well, that’s what they wanted to wear to school today. As I stated in my last post, we now live in the state of New York. (No not the city, the suburbs) although both my kids love to call New York the “big apple.” This means that we have more cold months than warm months. (Huge Bummer!!) It also means that I can’t do cute bubble shorts or tanks quite yet. I had to remind myself of this when ordering from RCF and planning out patterns I was going to use. I so desperately wanted to make Ellie a pair of bubble shorts for her Easter outfit, because omg little girls in bubble shorts. ADORABLE! Then back to reality, it will most likely still be pants weather come Easter. Oh right, back to St. Patrick’s Day.

Like I said, cue the kazoo music. My son got a kazoo in his music class yesterday, so we’ve been humming tunes since.

I almost always let my kids pick out their own fabrics, coincidentally they both picked out fabrics from the Happy Paddy collection by Bri Powell. My son immediately said, “the dinosaur!” as soon as he started looking. I mean a t-rex wearing a leprechaun hat, how creative and fun! My daughter chose the smiley faces for herself. Aside from the yellow cuff ribbing (which is from Bow Button Fabrics) all of the fabric bases are French terry for these projects. The pattern I chose is the Be Creative hoodie from Ellie and Mac patterns. Ellie and Mac are the true champion when it comes to color block patterns! I love to color block; it just adds a whole new creative aspect to any pattern.

I chose a panel for the front bodice of both hoodies, I also used the retro stripes (which do look so retro, makes me think 70’s) as the top color blocking for both the front and back. I didn’t want Tayln’s hoodie to be too much t-rex so that’s why I continued the stripes for his sleeves. Ellie’s on the other hand, I felt would look better with the smiley faces for her sleeves. While nothing is wrong with having too much t-rex or any of one pattern for that matter, it’s just not the look I was going for. I really wanted each fabric design to stand out in their own way. This is the third year I have included the solid Kelly green into their St. Patrick’s Day tops. This has never been intentional, it’s just that perfect bright green that you think of when you think St. Patrick’s. Then again, that solid has always been included in the fabric design we pick every year, so really, I’m just trying to match. LOL. Although, I may make a point to make using Kelly green as a tradition, because why not?!

I have made Tayln a Be Creative Hoodie once before, with that one I did a plain hood with no grommets, drawstring etc. This time around I wanted to give it a shot. While I have worked with grommets several times, I’d never done patches. Now I know this is such a simple addition, it still adds extra detail to the hood which I love. I used my best friend, aka wash-a-way wonder tape to keep the patches secure while I stitched them into place. Typically, I make my own drawstrings for projects using fabric, this time I used a black polyester cable/pillow cord from Wawak. I initially planned to use a similar white polyester cable/pillow cord, but I didn’t pay enough attention to the size difference and when it arrived, I was shocked, it’s twice the size of the black and just makes me think of a rope you’d use to tie back your drapes. So black it was, and what a happy accident it turned out to be because it really brings out the black in the print, specifically the smiley faces.

It never seizes to amaze me at how a simple yard of fabric can become whatever you dream it to be. I think that’s it for this blog post, I hope you enjoy it! Always be true and always be you. (My new mantra for myself, but that’s for another time)

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!

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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!

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