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

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!