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sewing for girls

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

girls swimsuit patterns

Hi, it’s Tami here from SewSophieLynn and I have a confession. I am addicted to sewing swimsuits!

It seems like the options for girls swimwear patterns has exploded in the last few years. When I first started sewing swimsuits for my girls, the Cosi Swimsuit from SewPony was THE swimsuit pattern. It’s loaded with options and is a great place to start.

Peek-a-boo Pattern shop has also been around forever and is constantly adding more swimsuits to their pattern collection. This Marilyn Vintage suit is a unique style with boy short legs and a cute halter neckline. They also have a few long sleeve suit options that I adore.

Made for Mermaids is my go-to for swimsuits. Their Mermaid Shores collection has so many adorable options. The Calypso, Camila, and Lainey are some of my favorites but the new Reagan Rash guard is a great option for more coverage.

If you’re looking for options then the Mairin from Sew A Little Seam is the pattern for you. With multiple leg openings, one or two piece choices, a ton of strap and back options it’s the ultimate in a build-your-own swimsuit pattern.

Violette Fields Threads is another pattern company that is chock full of swimsuit choices for girls. They have a sweet vintage feel to them that makes them unique and irresistible. This is the Catalina pattern and I love the knot front and little leg ruffles!

Ellie and Mac’s newest swimsuit, the Cape Cod, is another pattern full of options. This has moved to the top of our list for next year. The keyhole neckline is so fun!

The Narwhal suit from Sofiona Designs is another pattern I’m dying to sew up. How cute is that front detail?!

The Azur Swimsuit from Titchy Threads is another fun retro suit and bonus- it’s reversible! Simple Life Pattern Co. has a great collection of swimwear including Elise’s One Shoulder suit that looks gorgeous with the ruffle. The Peach Beach Swim Set and Abernathy Swim Set from Little Luxe Collection are sophisticated takes on children’s swimwear and are beyond cute! The Into the Blue Suit from Striped Swallow Designs is so on-trend this season. Rad Patterns has a couple of darling suits and they go all the way down to newborn sizing. The suits from Little Lizard King have been popping up all over my feed and I’m adding the Sanibel to my list STAT!

Boo! Designs is known for their perfect fit and they have so many classic designs to choose from. Jalie is another company known for it’s impecable drafting. A plus when choosing a Jalie pattern is that one pattern includes sizes 2t- women’s 22 (Can you say mommy and me suits?!).

Well, I hope you aren’t overwhelmed with all these options! So.many.choices! Are you looking for something classic? A little more trendy? Love that vintage feel? There really is something out there for everyone and you might just find yourself sewing a new suit for every day of the week.

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Sewing for Boys, summer

where to find fabric for boardshorts and swim trunks

Hello, I’m Roxanne (aka. Rox) and I’m here to talk about fabric. Summer is has arrived in the northern hemisphere! I live in a location with seasons, so swimming always become a big deal around my house this time of the year. Boardshorts and the closely related swim shorts have become a swimwear must have for kids who prefer the looser more comfortable fit.

Plus some designs even include pockets! Yeah!

Fabrics pictured starting at top left: Mabel Madison - King Shark, Club Tissus - Skeleton, The Fabric Fairy - Florescent Palms, Funkifabrics - RUB547 Toucan, The Fabric Fairy - Modern Eye, Funkifabrics - RUB1271 Lion Fest

Fabrics pictured starting at top left: Mabel Madison – King Shark, Club Tissus – Skeleton, The Fabric Fairy – Florescent Palms, Funkifabrics – RUB547 Toucan, The Fabric Fairy – Modern Eye, Funkifabrics – RUB1271 Lion Fest

I’m going to bet that many of you are a lot like me and find the idea of making boardshorts for your kiddos a bit intimidating. Where does this magical heavyweight fabric that does not get all waterlogged and saggy come from? Don’t worry, I’ve done the legwork and present you with resources on where you can buy your own fabric.

The ideal fabric is often polyester based with not much spandex if any, but ripstop nylon would also work. Many modern fabrics also have an extra resistant waterproof coating and UV protection.

Fabric pictured: Mabel Madison - Underwater World

Fabric pictured: Mabel Madison – Underwater World

Sources for boardshort and swim trunk fabrics:

Just to note: I am located in the United States and I buy 90% of my fabric from shops in the US. I selected the US sources based on shops that I have had positive experiences buying from in the past and having a nice selection of suitable fabrics. No affiliation of any sort . The non-US fabric sources I’m listing I have no first hand experience with.

Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop
https://www.peekaboopatternshop.com/swim/

Raspberry Creek Fabrics
https://raspberrycreekfabrics.com/collections/swim-and-boardshort

Mabel Madison
https://www.mabelmadison.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=BOARDSHORT

The Fabric Fairy
https://www.thefabricfairy.com/collections/boardshort-prints

Fabric pictured: Fashion Fabrics Club - Pure White Athletic Mesh

Fabric pictured: Fashion Fabrics Club – Pure White Athletic Mesh

Boardshorts traditionally do not have any sort of lining and that works great if you plan on the shorts going over a more fitted swimsuit or something like a diaper. Swim trunks are often are lined with a white athletic mesh, though regular swimsuit lining also works.

Sources for athletic mesh/lining:

Fashion Fabrics Club (FYI: Shipping can be a bit on the slow side)
https://www.fashionfabricsclub.com/p262462_76635

Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop
https://www.peekaboopatternshop.com/swim-shop-white-swimsuit-lining-1/

Non-US sources for boardshort and swim trunk fabrics/lining:

Canada
Peak Fabrics
https://www.peakfabrics.com/fabric/wicking-fabrics/sun-protection-fabric
Club Tissus
https://www.clubtissus.com/en/swimwear/beach-shorts-polyester/swimsuit_polyester

United Kingdom
Active Fabrics
https://www.activefabrics.co.uk/mila-uv-protective-fabric.html
Funkifabrics
https://funkifabrics.com/printed-fabrics/view-all.html?print_base=159

Fabrics pictured starting left: The Fabric Fairy - Parrots, Peek-a-Boo Fabric Shop - Swim Shop Skulls, Raspberry Creek Fabrics - Teal Light Blue Fuchsia Pink Orange and Yellow Surf Stripe

Fabrics pictured starting left: The Fabric Fairy – Parrots, Peek-a-Boo Fabric Shop – Swim Shop Skulls, Raspberry Creek Fabrics – Teal Light Blue Fuchsia Pink Orange and Yellow Surf Stripe

If you wish to venture into wild and source your own fabric to make the perfect shorts the following keywords might be of help:

  • polyester microfiber
  • sun protectant fabric
  • swimsuit polyester
  • boardshort fabric
  • athletic mesh
  • swimwear lining

Do you plan on sewing any swimwear in the future? Do you have any favorite shops with a wide selection of swim friendly fabrics? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

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