sewing for girls

it’s been a while!

Well well… it’s been quite a while hasn’t it?! I’ve been watching my kids grow up and with that… I had been getting this sense of ‘why am I sewing for them’? I was feeling a bit of burn out in terms of sewing. I was making these clothes and outfits because I was enjoying it, only for them to either not seem like they were appreciated, weren’t getting worn or were being outgrown so quickly. It made me feel like I had to sew at a faster pace to keep up with their growing, never mind trying to keep up with the daily life, where I ran from one place to another to drop them off at their extra curricular activities.

I was honestly feeling the burnout. I wasn’t seeing the point of sewing, something I had gotten into because I needed that creative aspect in my life. Something I loved because I enjoyed the process of creating a garment from scratch, the ideas coming to fruition, instead it brought me stress about ‘how much time’ I had to dedicate to it. And so I bailed…

And then life slowed right back down thanks to covid…

If there’s one thing I’m thankful for during this crazy past year, it has been the slow down of things. First, this obviously sucks for my kids, their hockey seasons were cancelled (twice now), my oldest daughter who’s synchronized skating team qualified for provincials never got to attend, and my youngest, well her first year of school (the year she’d been talking about for two years) got cut short. So I understand that it was a crummy year and I truly can’t wait until we return to some sort of normal.

But with it I decided to look at the positives, we started enjoying more of the little things together, like a family game night during the first few months… something that we didn’t have the time for in the past. Lots and lots of family hikes. We read books, spent lots of time together (in a good way) and just genuinely enjoyed the little moments.

And with that joy, that freedom and that time, my sewjo slowly returned. At first I focused on sewing things for myself, still am I fact. But it’s also brought me back to my sewing roots too. I go through my fabric stash and keep looking at the fabric that I had bought with my kids in mind. Knits that had cute prints that I’d never be able to pull off myself. Wovens that are so soft that my first thought might have been a pj for one of my kids.

All this to say… I’m back! I’ve seriously missed this sewing community. I know it looks a little different from the last time you were all here and that’s because we’re getting a fresh start and a fresh new look. We’re switching from the community site over to a Facebook group to share all our makes, which you can join here. You can share anytime of year!

I’ll also be putting together our seasonal challenges again! Our first one will be in the spring, and I’ll announce the dates soon. If you’re new here, you can find out more about the challenge here.

Now since I’m back, I figured I could at least share with you all something I’ve made too! To get back into sewing, especially for my kids, I always find a quick and easy project is the way to go. Something that doesn’t take too much mental capacity, that you could almost sew with your eyes closed and maybe just a quick glance at the instructions.

Of course to find something to sew, I first decide to dig through my stash of fabrics for something that would catch my eye. I pulled out three fabrics. Two of which I had a good idea of what I’d like to do with, one I had zero…

Like any normal person, I chose to go with the fabric that I had ZERO ideas for…. I felt like it was a good blank slate and the print of this Art Gallery Knit was just so cute and fun and spring feeling. I kept thinking about the spring/summer aspect and, maybe it’s the polar vortex that we’re currently feeling, but I just had to go with it.

I didn’t want to just do a plain tee, but I had it in my head I wanted to do some sort of top. So I grabbed the Pearlie pattern from Peach Patterns and decided to cut out a straight size 5 in the slim fit option. It’s been so long since I’ve sewn for these kids that I decided to skip my own advice to always check chest measurements and add length when needed. But that’s ok, even though it turned out a bit wider then I’d like, it still hangs nicely and there’s no gaping neckline.

The top has a sweet curved hem at the bottom with a touch of hi/lo. I can see why people LOVE this pattern. It offers just a few slight changes that you can really turn this top in a versatile wardrobe staple. I wouldn’t mind sewing a dress for the summer out of this!

Anyways, that’s it from me today! Happy sewing 🙂

summer

swimsuit week winners

Hey guys! Just wanted to pop in quickly this morning. We’ve just gotten back from another quick cottage getaway, where we spent SO much time in the water, which I feel is totally appropriate as we’re wrapping up our swimsuit weeks.

I still actually need to share the swimsuits I’ve made with you guys, but I didn’t want to keep those of you that entered in our awesome giveaway waiting!

The prizes were in no particular order, so let’s recap and see who won each one!

First prize was a 30$ gift card for The Fabric Fairy and 1 swimsuit pattern from Simple Life Company. The Fabric Fairy has slowly become one of my go to’s for when it comes to purchasing swimwear fabric. They have great quality, huge selection of solids and prints (in both boardshort and nylon/spandex) that I’m always able to find what I’m looking for. And the Simple Life is a newer to me pattern shop, but I’ve really fallen hard for the designs they’ve created, especially in their swimsuit patterns. I want to say a huge congrats to the winner of this package, Melissa!!!

Our second prize was a 30$ gift card for Raspberry Creek Fabrics and 1 swimsuit pattern from Upcraft Club. Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about Raspberry Creek and Upcraft. These are two amazing women that have both created amazing shops. At Raspberry, you’ll be able to find one of a kind prints on swim and board that they print in house, and each summer they bring out great new designs with adorable coordinates. And at Upcraft, you’ll be able to browse through a curated list of pattern designers to find the swim pattern you’ll have been looking for, and maybe even a new to you designer! Huge congrats to the winner of this package, Judith!!

And last but not least, we have a 25$ gift card for Peekaboo Pattern Shop. Here, you’ll be able to find everything you need, since Peekaboo is not only a pattern shop that carries adorable styles of patterns for both boys and girls, but also carries a great selection of swim and boardshort fabric as well! I personally love that they have SPF 50 fabrics specifically too. You’ll be able to choose your pattern AND the fabric you’ll want to match it up with. Big congrats to the winner of this one, Lim Hwee Ke!!

All you lovely ladies will be getting an email from me shortly! So make sure to check your inboxes! And again, I want to say a HUGE thank you to our sponsors for these past two weeks full of swimsuits! I’ll be back to share what I’ve made throughout the weeks in a few days.

Uncategorized

sourcing girl’s swimsuit fabrics

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a huge selection of swim fabrics slowly popping up. As sewing swimwear becomes more and more popular, so does the fabric selection become more readily available and easy to source.

1) SWIM SHOP CATICORN – Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop 2) Pink and Mint Cherries on Navy – Cali Fabrics 3) TEAL AND FUCHSIA FLAMINGO  – Raspberry Creek Fabrics 4) Dance/Swim Knit Solid Fabric – Jo-Ann Fabrics 5) SACRED DAISIES SWIMSUIT – The Purpleseamstress Fabric 6) Tropical Nylon Swim Tricot – Blackbird Fabrics

When I first started sewing swimsuits, I really wasn’t sure what to look for in my fabrics. All I knew at that point was that I needed some sort of knit fabric (see my ignorance there ;)). As I dug into the world of swimsuits, I learned that I would need a spandex/nylon fabric. Swim fabric should consist of mostly nylon or polyester (80% – 90%), with at least 10% to 20% Lycra or spandex. Swimsuit fabric should be lightweight, durable and very stretchy with good recovery.

You also want to pay attention to the direction of stretch. Is the fabric a 2-way stretch or a 4 way stretch? If the fabric only stretches from selvage to selvage , without much stretch going the length of the grainline, then it is considered a 2 way stretch. If it stretches both selvage to selvage and the length of the grain, then it is considered a 4 way stretch.

Paying attention to the direction of stretch is important, especially if you plan to sew a one piece swimsuit. A one piece swimsuit has negative ease in both the width and the height, which means it is important to have a fabric with 4 way stretch for a one piece swimsuit. However, if you are sewing a 2 piece swimsuit than you would be able to work with either a 2 way stretch fabric or a 4 way stretch fabric.

Okay, now that we know what we are looking for, where do we go to find it?

Swimsuit fabric has become more readily available to the home sewist the last few years. If shopping your local fabric store you can often find swimsuit fabric with the “performance” or “athletic” fabric.

In addition to having good, durable swimwear fabric, many people prefer to line their swimsuits. For the most part I line my swimsuits with lightweight swim lining fabric. I personally buy my lining in basic nude, white and black. However, you could also line your swimsuit with neutral-colored swim fabric. This option is especially nice if you have swim fabric that is somewhat shear or if you would like extra support.

Nude Swimsuit Lining Fabric – The Fabric Fairy

Some of my favorite go-to shops for swim are online, because they offer so much variety!

*Please Note I am located in the US. I am including these shops on the list because either I have have bought swim fabric from them or because they have a large selection.

Raspberry Creek Fabrics

Peak-a-Boo Pattern Shop

Blackbird Fabrics (Canada Based)

So Sew English Fabrics

Cali Fabrics

Purple Seamstress Fabric

The Fabric Fairy

These are just a few great shops to get you started, but there are so many more! The great thing is, it really does not take a lot of fabric to make a great suit, making it pretty economical to make suits for your little ones 🙂

My Latest Swimsuit – Abernathy Swim Set (Lil Luxe Collection)
a Rafflecopter giveaway