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karly nelson


girl swimsuit trends 2019

Hey! I’m Karly and today I’m here to talk about girls swimsuit trends! Girls really have so many fun options, only your imagination is the limit! Now that I live in the desert and it’s quite a bit hotter than where we were before, my girls have been pretty much living in their swimsuits, so I’ve made quite a few more this year than I ever have.


There are so many fun options to choose from when making a girls swimsuit. Keyholes, flounces, colorblocking, ruffles, cutouts, etc. One trend I’ve seen growing in popularity is multiple back straps and it gives swimsuits a really fun detail.


Custom fabric companies are becoming more and more popular which gives so many more options for fabric prints too! One really popular combo has been florals with solids. Mermaid scales have been another really popular trend and I’m starting to see a lot of animal prints popping up too! Stripes I think are a classic that will never go out of style, which makes me happy too!


Another trend I’ve seen a lot this year is girls high-waisted two pieced suits. This is a great option when you want more coverage but with all the benefits of a two piece. Long sleeved cropped tops paired with high waists is another option I’ve seen but haven’t yet made up. I can definitely see why it’s popping up more though!


Lastly, long sleeved options and rash guards have been growing in popularity. These work great when you have a kid that sunburns easily and are in the sun a good chunk of time, like my Zoe. This is actually the first year I’ve made her a couple suits that aren’t long sleeved and well….we learned really quickly that that’s not really an option that works well for her, at least my Paisley will still be able to grow into them!
Make sure to stop by tomorrow to see pattern inspiration and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!

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Tween Summer Capsule

tween summer capsule

I don’t know about you, but spring (along with fall) is a time my kids always get a pretty big growth spurt (like 2-3″ on average), so I try to hold off as much as I can before starting to make the next seasons outfits. Since I have 5 kids, I start out with just the basics and we add onto it through the season.

My girls summer wardrobes basically consist of:
5 T-shirts
2 Jean shorts
5 Dresses
4 cartwheel shorts
2 skirts
1 Bajillion swimsuits

Since my girls hit the “tween” stage, they’ve definitely become more opinionated on what style and fabric designs they want to wear. Aevarie has declared she’s absolutely over dresses and skirts, so her wardrobe will have those omitted and have more t’s and shorts in it.

I know this is the age that a lot of kids stop liking hand-made clothing and I think most of that is style. Not long ago there was a dark hole between kids and adult clothing sizes, and thankfully that hole has shrunk! I’ve been able to find many pattern designers whose patterns go up to 14/16 and the patterns are more in style with what tween’s are wanting to wear now.
My kids love having items that no one else in their school is wearing, so it’s been a big life saver to me!

Here’s some of the patterns and fabrics on my girls lists for this summer:

Patterns and Fabric Prints for Summer Capsule

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14

As you can tell, they still love some fun kid prints, but they also want some solid graphic tee’s (made on the Cricut so they’re exactly what they want). My oldest daughter has started growing boobs (I know! I’m totally embarrassing her talking about it!), and since she’s so tall (5′ 6.5″ – we just measured her) store bought bra’s are not working at all, so hand-made ones are in order! This is something new to my sewing arsenal, but thankfully there are some amazing (and free!) patterns out there to fill this new need.

Things can get pretty hectic and crazy for me, so I have to have some sort of system in place when sewing up my kids wardrobes. This checklist has, so far, been the best system for me. I have all the check points from choosing which patterns I’m going to be making, to printing them, cutting out fabric, and finally sewing the item up all in one place where I can just quickly look at it to help keep me on track. I’m a very visual person, so this helps so much!

You can download it and print it off. It has 12 spots for each sudoku spot that has a pattern. I personally like to put a piece of fabric I’m using for each pattern in the sudoku, but obviously you can put a picture of your pattern there, or write the pattern name in each square instead.

Summer Capsule Sudoku Checklist Printable

Do you sew for your tween? What must have patterns are they wanting this summer?

spring, summer

tween swimsuits

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited that summer is coming back around! I love our days of the sprinklers being on and our trips to the lakes. Since water is such a big part of our summer days, I like to make sure my kids have a good variety of swimsuits. It may also be because laundry is at the bottom of my list in the summer…

So that brings us to today’s topic! Tween Swimsuits!

My oldest daughter is 12 and 5’6″ tall. I’ve always had to blend sizes for her, but she’s now entering that little space between kid sizing and adult sizing with her measurements. Luckily, I found that there are quite a few pattern companies that cater to this small 14/16 size that have a good variety of patterns available:


Boo Designs

Ellie and Mac

Mountain Ash Designs

Striped Swallow Designs

CKC Patterns

I started off going on Pinterest with my daughter to get some inspiration. She is all about the flounces this year so I knew the Boo Designs Flounce Dress would be absolutely perfect for her first swimsuit! She chose this popcorn swim and the red and white striped swim, because it’s amazing.

It was crazy easy to hack and I only had to use the bodice and flounce piece to make the top. I made the 12 width with 14 length for the bodice, and a size 8 inner circle with a size 12 outer for the flounce, since my daughters shoulders are more slender. I also added a 1/2″ elastic band around the bottom of the top, just to make sure it stayed nice and snug on her. I paired the top with the Tweenie Bikini Bottoms  that are a straight size 12.

I always line our swimsuits, but just as a tip, at this age, make sure to line your whole suit!

The second suit she really liked was the Ellie & Mac Cape Cod Swimsuit. I made a straight size 12 and added 3″ in the middle of the front and back. When making a one piece, the trunk length is sooooo important and when adding length, make sure you cut the pattern at the waist, then re-draw that line to blend the top with the bottoms. This girl had free reign to most of my swim (some prints are for me!) and for this suit she chose the popsicles. I’m glad that even though this girl is growing up, she still has fun with the fabric prints!

For the last suit I made, we ended on the Sofiliantjes Solis Dress & Tunic, which has been a summer staple. This girl is much more of a Tomboy, so I was a bit surprised that the flounce top was her number one choice, but I knew she’d want a fun sporty suit as well.

To do this I measured my daughters shoulder to underbust then cut the bodice right under the bust and then added a 2″ band just slightly smaller width so it would be more snug. It worked out really well! We paired this top with the Tweenie Bikini Bottoms too. I love the coverage it gives!

She had demanded the scales and decided to go with a nod to the Little Mermaid with the purple top. She’s still wanting a Jalie Valeria zip rashguard in the scales too!

What are your biggest issues when it comes to tween sewing? Style? Finding fabrics? Finding patterns in the sizing? Learning how to blend and adjust for a tween? Let me know in the comments!

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