Browsing Tag

sewing for tween/teen

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

Raspberry Creek Fabrics

Mabel Madison

The Fabric Fairy

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)

Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop

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

Peak Fabrics
Club Tissus

United Kingdom
Active Fabrics

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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spring, summer

a skateboarder’s tee

My oldest son has recently discovered skateboarding, and even saved up his money to buy his first skateboard. I’m all in for encouraging them to be outdoors whenever possible, and I feel like this came at a perfect time for him. Last week as I was trying to get ideas for things to make him that he would wear, I went out and asked what kind of clothing he’d like to see added to his wardrobe. His response to me was simple, some tees, maybe a hockey one, maybe a skateboard one.

Since we’re going into summer, I figured the skateboard idea was more appropriate! I mean I love that he’s passionate about hockey but sometimes one needs a break right?!?

I was a bit stumped with what I was going to do for a tee when he suggested a skateboard shirt. So I turned to Pinterest to try to get some ideas but I wasn’t coming up with anything that I liked or that was kid appropriate. Then I turned to Etsy. This is my favourite resource for svg files when I’m stumped and can’t come up with my own ideas. I just searched skateboard svg and went from there.

Since the older they get, the more opinions they have, I asked him to sit down with me and tell me what he wanted and liked. He quickly landed on this listing. It’s a good thing he picked because this was honestly NOT what I was going to go with! hahaha. In my mind it’s just not what I thought he was describing when he said he wanted a skateboarding tee… and that is why I get them to help me now 😉

Now came time for the actual shirt. I decided to go with my trusted Rowan Tee pattern by Titchy Threads. According to his measurements he fit into the size 8 for chest and 10 for length, but he prefers his shirts on the looser side, so I went with the size 10 overall. I’m really pleased with the fit. It’s loose fitting on him, without being overly baggy like a store bought shirt would have been.

When it came down to the colours of the shirt, he chose a basic white jersey I had on hand (similar to this laguna jersey) and decided he wanted the transfer to be in gold. Again, not colours I would have picked if he wasn’t there so I’m glad I asked his opinion first! And a quick side note here, this is the beauty about sewing isn’t it?! You can easily and quickly make a basic and plain tee for your kids that fit properly and the material will last so much longer then if I had gone to the store and bought a plain tee to do this transfer on! Not even considering the fact that plain tees are so hard to come by!!! Ok now back to details….

The transfer was a little hard to photograph since it has a bit of a sheen to it, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. I used this teckwrap vinyl and so far it’s lasted me pretty good, although I would like to actually compare it to Cricut’s vinyl. This metallic one came out even better then the regular coloured ones, so that was a really good surprise.

Overall he was really excited about this tee and wore it’s already being worn to school! Which in my books, is a total win! Even better when it gets snatched up the second they see it’s finished!!


sewing for easter: dresses for girls and tweens


One of my favorite things to sew my girls is dresses. Their tall thin frames make finding RTW dresses that are the right length almost impossible to find. Dresses can be a quick sew or a slow thoughtful process. Either way, the result is always so worth it.


With Easter just around the corner, I’m here to share some of my favorite tried-and-true patterns and designers.

The Manhattan Dress from New Horizons Designs is a fast sew with stunning results. It’s a boatneck, fitted bodice with multiple sleeves and skirt lengths. It’s made for knits which makes it as comfy as it is pretty. This one comes in a HUGE range of sizes, 6-12 months all the way to size 16 (with a ladies version as well!).


Another knit favorite is the Aria Dress from Simple Life Pattern Co. The bow back detail really makes this pattern a show stopper! You can add the back panel for warmth and modesty or leave it off for summer. It’s such a great pattern for mixing fabrics too. This pattern goes up to a size 12 making it great for tweens too.


The Groove Dress from MadeIt Patterns is a great staple pattern. The wide swing style is so fun and you just can’t help but twirl in it. The kid’s version goes up to size 10 but you’ll also receive the Tween pattern with purchase so you’ll be set for awhile! This pattern would be perfect for casual Easter parties and works great in all those drapey double brushed poly and rayon spandex prints.


My last go-to knit dress I can’t live without is the Joy Dress and Peplum from Made for Mermaids. This pattern looks fantastic with more structured knits like ponte, liverpool, and scuba. Those big deep pleats are to die for! This is another pattern that comes together in a flash but leaves a big impact. It’s available up to a size 14 (and also in women’s) which means my girls will be getting them for years to come.

Whenever I have a woven fabric I want to really highlight, my brain goes right to the Violette Fields Threads Pixie Dress and Top. I love it for mixing prints and also playing with fabric direction and trims. As far as woven patterns go, this one is one of the simplest to sew up. With no closures to worry about, I can sew it up in an afternoon. The Pixie dress is available in both children and tween sizing so I know we’ll be covered for awhile. Violette Fields has an extensive tween pattern collection that I find myself turning to again and again.

Coffee and Thread Patterns are some of my most used patterns. The Polina Dress has just enough frouf for my girls but is still classic enough for me. Coffee and Thread Patterns go up to a size 12 and I’ll be sad when my girls outgrow them. They are a little more sophisticated and the tutorials and fit can’t be beat.

The Larkspur Dress from Hey June Handmade is my workhorse pattern. I’m a sucker for the whole Hey Juniors line- a collection of wardrobe staples in sizes 6-16 that can be such a great base for classic pieces or pattern hacking. The Larkspur is a classic shift dress silhouette that totally changes depending on the fabric. A beautiful satin version was perfect for my little ladies special day. A simple blue linen variation has me coveting her dress collection and it also makes a great base for those cute quilting cottons you fall in love with.

Are you sewing Easter dresses for your girls? What are your go-to patterns? Do you go extra fancy or keep it comfy? My girls will have a closet full to pick from this Easter!

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