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View B Ruched Tankini Sew Along

Ruched tankini sew along

Today we’re going to sew the ruched tankini front panel on View B of the Grace Tankini.  This is the part that gets the most questions, so we thought a photo tutorial would be helpful.  It’s worth it to make the ruched panel on View B…it’s many people’s favorite part about this view!

Ruched tankini sew along

Step 1:

Cut out the front panel.  As suggested in the Grace Tankini pattern, do not cut it out on the fold, but open up your fabric, cut 1/2 of the piece, flip the pattern piece over and cut the other half.

Ruched tankini sew along

Step 2:

After sewing the gathering stitches on the sides of the ruched front panel, gather it.  It is helpful to lay out your side piece to see how far to gather the front panel.  Start the gathers at the dot, below the notch where the top of the side panel goes.

As stated in the pattern, you can concentrate the ruching wherever you want to!  More ruching=minimization of that area.  Try to keep the gathers even from side to side so they don’t slant diagonally across your body.  End the gathers 1/5” above the bottom of the front panel so it doesn’t sag down across the bottom.  (Apologies for the blurriness of this photo.  It’s the only one I ended up with!)

You can see how I’ve pinned down my side piece to keep it from moving as I gathered the front panel.  When you are finished gathering, the bottom of the front and side will line up.  The top of the side piece will be at the notch of the front panel.

Ruched tankini sew along

Step 3:

Once the front panel is the same length as the side panel (from the notch to the hem,) pin them right sides together.  Gently curve the shape of the front panel and the side piece to match up.

Ruched tankini sew along

Step 4:

Sew the front panel and side piece together.  We’ve found it more helpful to have the ruched front panel down against the feed dogs to help pull the gathers along evenly.

There you have it!  Continue with the instructions to make the rest of the Grace Tankini.

Ruched tankini sew along

Grab your copy of the Grace Tankini here.

Fabric used in this tutorial is from CaliFabrics.

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Sewing the Circle Cut Out in the Grace Tankini

How to sew the circle cut out in the back of your Grace Tankini pattern.

We’ve got a tutorial for you about sewing a circle cut out in the back of the Grace Tankini for View A.  This part is not hard at all and adds such fun to the back!

How to sew the circle cut out in the back of your Grace Tankini pattern.

You could actually use the back pattern piece to add a circle cut out to the back of View B also.  Or use a CD and place it in the center back (between the shoulder blades) of your favorite swimsuit pattern, and use this tutorial to add a circle cut out to the back of your swimsuit!  Once you have cut out the pattern pieces of both your main fabric and your lining or shelf bra, follow this photo tutorial.

How to sew the circle cut out in the back of your Grace Tankini pattern.

Step 1:

Line up the two circles and pin.  The right side of your main fabric will be facing up, and the wrong side of your shelf bra or lining will be facing up.  In other words, right sides together!

How to sew the circle cut out in the back of your Grace Tankini pattern.

Step 2:

Carefully sew around the edges of the circle, using a 1/2” seam allowance.  Stop and adjust the fabric as needed.  It’s easiest if you put your needle down in the fabric and adjust the layers.  Alternately, you can baste, check it, and then sew.  If your fabric is thin and doesn’t have good stability, you might try marking the circle onto the back of the fabric and sewing this step before cutting out the fabric from in the middle.  This will ensure your circle doesn’t end up stretched out of shape.

How to sew the circle cut out in the back of your Grace Tankini pattern.

Step 3:

Snip around the circle, up to but NOT through your line of stitches you just sewed.  This will allow the circle to lay flat.  I’ve found using just the tip of a sharp scissors to be the key here.

How to sew the circle cut out in the back of your Grace Tankini pattern.

Here’s a close up so you can tell how close to go to the stitched circle.

How to sew the circle cut out in the back of your Grace Tankini pattern.

Step 4:

Pull your lining or shelf bra through the hole so it is now on the wrong side of the swimsuit back where it belongs.  Carefully press around the circle to get it to lay flat.

How to sew the circle cut out in the back of your Grace Tankini pattern.

Step 5:

Sew around the circle again with a 1/4” – 3/8” seam allowance.  As you sew, you want to gently roll the lining/shelf bra to the underside so it doesn’t show on the right side when you are finished.

How to sew the circle cut out in the back of your Grace Tankini pattern.

And there you have it!  In the above photo you can see the inside and outside of the circle cut out.  Your circle cut out in the back of a swimsuit is completely finished!  Bring on the sun…

How to sew the circle cut out in the back of your Grace Tankini pattern.

 

Grab your copy of the Grace Tankini here.

Fabric used in this tutorial is from CaliFabrics.

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Button Up to Baby Dress {Handmade Baby}

And then we couldn't help ourselves...we had to make a second dress using this pattern!

One thing we want to highlight in the course of our Handmade Baby series is how easy it is to refashion for a baby!  You can use larger garments as (pre-sewn) fabric, and still take advantage of some of their existing elements.  Today’s post is a perfect example of refashioning clothes for a baby.

From button up to baby dress! A cute tutorial from Skirt Fixation.

Mr. Skirt Fixation cleaned out his closet of button up shirts again, and this time our new baby was the beneficiary!  Men’s button up shirts usually good quality.  This shirt was made from seersucker fabric, perfect to refashion into a baby girl dress for summer.

From button up to baby dress! A cute tutorial from Skirt Fixation.

We used the Brooklyn Pattern Co. Franklin Dress pattern.  Last time we sewed this we made it into a top for Annie.  Since this pattern starts at size 6 months, it was a perfect choice.  The elements of the men’s button up shirt that we took advantage of for this refashion were the back hem (notice how it’s scooped?)  Also, we kept the sleeve hems and just added elastic to them.  Of course, we took advantage of the button placket, and extended it all the way down the front of the dress.  And we just had to keep the pocket from the front of the shirt on the skirt of the dress.

From button up to baby dress! A cute tutorial from Skirt Fixation.No hemming was required on the back of the dress and the sleeves, plus we didn’t have to make the button plackets.  This made refashioning clothes for a baby faster and easier than if we had not used Daddy’s button up shirt!

 

From button up to baby dress! A cute tutorial from Skirt Fixation.

And then we couldn’t help ourselves…we had to make a second dress using this pattern!  The pin tucks and addition of piping are so darling in the tiniest sizes!

From button up to baby dress! A cute tutorial from Skirt Fixation.

We made only one change to the (not refashioned) dress.  We shortened the sleeves to just above the elbow length.  I guess adding piping to the yoke bottom isn’t written into the pattern, but it’s hardly a change…just an addition!

And then we couldn't help ourselves...we had to make a second dress using this pattern!

We used Art Gallery Forest Floor Clover Grove Whisper Fabric for this dress and a matching diaper cover.  (The diaper cover goes well with both dresses.)

And then we couldn't help ourselves...we had to make a second dress using this pattern!

The diaper cover pattern is free from Made Everyday.

And then we couldn't help ourselves...we had to make a second dress using this pattern!

Look how darling this dress is with other items made from the Forest Floor Fabrics line.  You might have noticed we had JUST enough material left from the men’s button up shirt to make a contrasting yoke inside this second dress!

And then we couldn't help ourselves...we had to make a second dress using this pattern!

Baby is getting super wiggly for her big sister to hold sometimes!  Nevertheless, we managed to grab a few modeled shots of the dress on Baby.

And then we couldn't help ourselves...we had to make a second dress using this pattern!

Leave us a comment…what is your favorite thing to refashion for a baby?

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Quilt Market 2017

Skirt Fixation at Quilt Market 2017

Skirt Fixation at Quilt Market 2017

In May I had the awesome opportunity to explore Quilt Market for a few hours thanks to the generous ladies at Simple Simon and Co.  I had been wanting to meet liZ and Elizabeth for years, and finally got the opportunity.  Quilt Market is a trade-only show for the quilting/fabric industry.  So you can see how I was like a child in a candy store as I walked around with liZ.

Skirt Fixation at Quilt Market 2017

liZ and Elizabeth had a booth showcasing their new Just Add Sugar fabric line.  They won the top prize at Quilt Market for best single booth award, and you can see why!  Their booth was  LOADED with fruit (which they brought in their suitcases all the way from Utah to St. Louis!!!)  The booth just exploded with color and sweetness.  The table was set for 6 and piled high with fruit, flowers, and of course their new fabric!  I even got to record on video their reaction when they were presented the best single booth award.

Skirt Fixation at Quilt Market 2017

Because there were hundreds of booths at Quilt Market and I only had a few hours, I had to be selective in what I saw.  With careful planning and the ever generous Simple Simon and Co. ladies, I made it to my top 5 destinations!

Skirt Fixation at Quilt Market 2017

Since I had chosen to wear my Runway Skirt made from Art Gallery Fabrics designed by April Rhodes, I had to see the Art Gallery Fabrics booths and meet April.  She was there displaying her new Arizona After and Heritage fabric lines, and they are both amazing.  Her booth was fantastic, and had a quiet peaceful atmosphere in the middle of the very bustling Quilt Market.

You might notice I also dressed Baby in an Art Gallery Fabrics dress (blogged here!)  As I walked up to their booth, Walter Bravo (who assists his wife Pat in running Art Gallery Fabrics) held out his arms to me and Baby with delight in his eyes!  We felt like we’d come home!

Skirt Fixation at Quilt Market 2017There were two displays that stopped me in my hasty exploration of Quilt Market and I had to photograph them.  This flower wall made entirely of starched fabric by RJR Fabrics was fantastic.

Skirt Fixation at Quilt Market 2017

Another was this butterfly quilt display.  I don’t even know what to call it.  Let’s call it art!  It was made from the In Bloom fabric collection by Sandra Clemons.

Skirt Fixation at Quilt Market 2017

There are 500 butterflies.  Five. Zero. Zero.  Incidentally, you can buy the pattern to make your own butterflies here.

Skirt Fixation at Quilt Market 2017

Also, I HAD to meet Tula Pink.  Tula is basically a celebrity in the sewing world.  And her fabrics are amazing.  She even has a line of scissors and sewing notions that everyone is gaga over.  But the real reason I wanted to meet Tula was to see which one of us was taller!  I’d only seen photos before, and noticed her height, and was curious.  I’m not spilling the beans, but let’s just say we saw eye to eye about some things!

I also got to meet Alison Glass (who designed the fabric on this skirt) and her assistant Chen.  In a totally unexpected turn of events, I got a signed copy of Blair Stocker’s book Wise Craft Quilts.  And Rebecca Bryan gave me a precut mini charm pack from her new fabric line Panache.   There were so many other people I got to meet and fabrics I got to see and feel, it was incredible!

Skirt Fixation at Quilt Market 2017

Spring Quilt Market 2017 was and amazing experience for me.  I’m so thankful to have experienced it and for liZ and Elizabeth.  Since everyone was so generous to me, I’m holding a giveaway for some of the amazing items I picked up at Quilt Market.  To enter, all you have to do is follow us on Instagram and comment on our giveaway post there.

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Shibori Dye Skirt

Easy cheater method of making a shibori dye skirt by Skirt Fixation

Today I’m going to show you a shibori dye skirt I made a few months ago.  Every year for my birthday, I make myself a new skirt, and this year was no exception!  It’s a way to treat myself with exactly the present I want.

Easy cheater method of making a shibori dye skirt by Skirt Fixation

This year I pulled out one of my favorite skirt patterns, the Syrah Skirt.  You can see our review here, and if you search “Syrah” on this blog you can see all the other versions we’ve made.

Easy cheater method of making a shibori dye skirt by Skirt Fixation

Shibori dying is the method of taking white fabric and indigo dye plus some objects and special folding to make patterns.  Now shibori dyeing is really awesome, and yields amazing results, but if you’re busy, or don’t want to be in danger of a kid reaching into the dye bucket and ending up with blue smeared everywhere, or you just don’t have time, you can use the easy cheater method like we did.  Click this link to buy Indigo Tie Dye fabric from JoAnns.  That’s right.  Pre-dyed fabric.  And done!  Shibori dyeing is really in right now, and I intend to try it myself sometime.  But until then, this fabric will hold me over!

Easy cheater method of making a shibori dye skirt by Skirt Fixation

As you can probably see, this shibori dye skirt ended up a little too long!  I made the same length as the other Syrah Skirts I’ve sewn, but the rayon spandex fabric is quite heavy and pulls this one to a longer length.  In the end I’ll either hem this one shorter, or continue wearing heels with it!

Easy cheater method of making a shibori dye skirt by Skirt Fixation

Speaking of hemming this skirt, I managed to get a beautiful hem by using a stretch twin needle, and this fusible tape.

Easy cheater method of making a shibori dye skirt by Skirt Fixation

To wear with my new skirt, I needed a plain shirt.  I tend to love colors and patterns, and end up with quite a few garments I can’t wear together.  So I made a plain old navy blue Seafarer Top that I wear All. The. Time.  Lesson learned; I need to sew myself more basics.  This lovely navy blue knit fabric is Riley Blake Cotton Jersey Knit Solid Navy Fabric.

Easy cheater method of making a shibori dye skirt by Skirt Fixation

As I say every year about my birthday skirt, I’ve got a new favorite skirt!  Leave me a comment…what do you do to treat yourself on your birthday?

Affiliate links are used in this post because I hope to be able to earn enough money to sew myself a skirt for my birthday next year too!  Help a gal out by clicking on her links…it won’t cost you anything extra, and I might earn a few pennies!

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Santa Fe Dress

Santa Fe top turned dress by Skirt Fixation

Allegra’s summer job requires her to be on her feet in an uncomfortable uniform all day long.  So when she gets home she just wants to be comfortable in non-constricting clothes.  She described to me exactly what she wanted; a loose, flowy dress with dolman sleeves and no shaping.  Immediately my thoughts turned to the Santa Fe pattern.

Santa Fe top turned dress by Skirt Fixation

TO make the Santa Fe top into a dress, I simply measured from her shoulder to her knee, and made the pattern that long.  I kept the same angle of the A shape at the side seams, and dipped the hem down in front.  I think I ended up adding about 15 inches to the length.

For the fabric I used some super lightweight rayon jersey from the stash.  I don’t remember exactly where we sourced it, but you can find similar here: Rayon Jersey Yarn Dye Knit Grey Fabric.

Santa Fe top turned dress by Skirt Fixation

Right now the Santa Fe top is the featured pattern over at Hey June Handmade, so you can grab it for 15% off.  It’s already a steal, at full price with 6 different views.  You can see the other Santa Fe tops we’ve sewn here and our review of the pattern here.  Be prepared for a new favorite pattern!

Allegra is delighted with this Santa Fe dress.  She says it’s like wearing a cloud!  Whenever she get home, she slips into this dress for some R&R time!

Santa Fe top turned dress by Skirt Fixation

Leave us a comment below…what do you wear when you just need to relax?

Some affiliate links are used in this post to really great products!  We’ve chosen to be affiliates for them because of their awesomeness.  Be aware that if you click on one of our affiliate links, we might make a few pennies at no extra cost to you!

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Modifying the Grace Tankini for Removable Bra Cups

Removable bra cups tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Today we’ve got a special tutorial for you on how to modify the Grace Tankini pattern to allow for removable bra cups.  This is useful for breast cancer survivors who may have mastectomy prosthesis to insert into different bras or swimwear, or to allow for any other inserts.

Grab your copy of the Grace Tankini here.

Let’s get started:

Removable Bra Cups Tutorial

Removable bra cups tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Cut out 2 shelf bra fronts from lining fabric.  They are pictured above at the top right.

Removable bra cups tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Cut the straps off of one of them.  You will do this below the center of the armhole, and across to the neckline, leaving a portion of the neckline intact so you can catch it in the elastic later.

Removable bra cups tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Serge/finish top slanted edges you just cut so they hold up better when inserting and removing bra cups.

Removable bra cups tutorial from Skirt Fixation

 

Sew together the two shelf bra front pieces with a straight stitch down the center, from the neckline center to the bottom center.  See the dotted line in the photo above.  This is to help keep the bra cups in place so they don’t migrate around during wear.

Removable bra cups tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Treat the 2 front layers as 1 as you are sewing the suit following the instructions.

Removable bra cups tutorial from Skirt Fixation

When you assemble the shelf bra into the Grace Tankini, you want the side with the cut off shoulder straps touching your body.  There will be an opening where you cut off the shoulder straps to insert bra cups or mastectomy prosthesis.

Removable bra cups tutorial from Skirt Fixation

From the outside, the suit looks exactly the same!  Above you might notice the other modification made to the Grace Tankini by making it into a cropped two-piece suit!

Two Piece Grace TankiniNow she can transfer her removable bra cups from suit to suit!

This tutorial can be used with any swimsuit pattern that has a shelf bra.  Of course we recommend the Grace Tankini!

Special thanks to tester Tee Bee for photographing this tutorial.

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Bloom & Grow Skirt – Free Girl’s Skirt Pattern!

Free girl's Bloom & Grow skirt pattern from Skirt Fixation

Today we’re excited to release a free girl’s skirt pattern, the Bloom & Grow Skirt.  As in the past few years in July, we’re excited to join in with Simple Simon and Co. for the Skirting The Issue charity sewing event!  We’re releasing another free girl’s skirt pattern, the Bloom & Grow skirt.Free girl's Bloom & Grow skirt pattern from Skirt Fixation

If you want to go straight to download the skirt, click here!

We designed the Bloom & Grow skirt with the growing girl in mind.  This skirt is designed for use with double border print fabrics.  Often, these fabrics feature a floral print.  The extra fullness of this skirt makes it super twirly and the elastic waist is perfect for any growing girl.

Annie is wearing a petticoat underneath this Bloom & Grow skirt to show the fullness!  Because this skirt is not cut across the fabric from selvedge to selvedge like traditional skirts, but down the length of the yardage, it is a very full skirt!

The fabric used for this skirt is Sage Prickly Pear Indigo by Art Gallery Fabrics.  It is a double border print fabric which means the pattern is printed along both sides or selvedges, down the length of the fabric.

Another beautiful double border print fabric you could also use is Garden Walk fabric by Art Gallery Fabrics.

We also designed some floral radiograph double print border fabric, and think it’d be smashing on the Bloom & Grow Skirt!

We’d love it if you use this free girl’s skirt pattern to sew up some skirts for Skirting The Issue.  Read all about Skirting The Issue here.  And then link up your skirts for girls in foster care.

You can also check out our other very popular free girl’s skirt patterns:FREE Dollhouse Skirt pattern from Skirt Fixation.

The Dollhouse Skirt

The Pegasus Skirt, a free pattern from Skirt Fixation

The Pegasus Skirt

So now you can go grab our newest free girl’s skirt pattern: The Bloom & Grow Skirt!

A few affiliate links are used in this post to really beautiful fabric.  If you click on our links, we might make a few pennies…thanks!

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Grace Tankini Tester Hacks!

Grace Tankini hack with ruffle on bottom

Grab your copy of the Grace Tankini during the sale at Savvy Patterns.

Some of the fabulous testers of the Grace Tankini went on to sew additional suits and make some really genius hacks to the pattern.  Today I’m sharing some of them with you for inspiration.

Grace Tankini with skirted top hack

Rebecca changed the top of her Grace Tankini to have a skirted top!  It looks so comfortable.  To make this change, you could cut the pattern off below the bust and add a gathered rectangle of fabric to the bottom of it.


Grace Tankini hack with ruffle on bottom

Melissa omitted the side splits on the sport skirt and added a ruffle.  And just like that, everyone else needed a ruffle on their skirt too!

Grace Tankini Bikini

Tee Bee made so many versions of the Grace Tankini!  She was definitely the tireless tester!  But now she has an amazing selection of mix and match swimwear!  Her hack was making the Grace Tankini into a bikini by using the shelf bra only and some high waisted panties.  She also helped test a tutorial for removable bra cups which is coming next week.


Reversible Grace Tankini
Synthia made the top of her Grace Tankini reversible by making the shelf bra removable and using fold over elastic on the arm and neck holes.  It’s so pretty, and she’s got two looks in one suit!

Grace Tankini with removable skirtRemember Tiffany’s beautiful Grace Tankini from the original testers post?  Well, the secret is that the circle skirt is removable!  This makes it into a kind of cover up, and gives her a sort of 2 in 1 suit!  Several of the testers did this also.

Mesh back of Grace Tankini

Katrina used power mesh only for the back of her view A top, and ended up with a sassy, see-through suit!  You can also see a little strip of mesh on the side of her panty.  She got all sorts of creative!  Plus she’s my grammar and spelling police, so I kind of love her!

Other amazing things testers did with the Grace Tankini pattern:

Shortened the sport skirt by 3 inches to just cover the panty.

Added flat seam piping to the side seams.

Used the panty pattern pieces to make themselves underwear, or knickers if you’re in the UK.

Added side accent strips to the sides of the View A top.

It’s pretty amazing all the things you can do with the Grace Tankini pattern!  What are you waiting for?

Grab your pattern today during the release week sale at Savvy Patterns.

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Grace Tankini Testers

view B ruched top and plain sport skirt

Every PDF pattern needs to be tested before it can be released for sale.  The ladies who agreed to test the Grace Tankini were the best of the best!  The reason the pattern is not good, but great is thanks to these ladies!  Just check out some of the tester’s Grace Tankinis:

View B top, sport skirt with pockets

Emily from Replicate then Deviate sewed up view B top with a sport skirt.  With pockets!  The color combination is my favorite!

Lynette of Sew Dreamy Designs on Instagram, sewed a view B top and a ruched skirt with pockets.  Isn’t her suit darling?

View A top

This was Rebecca’s first time sewing a swimsuit and she did amazing!  Here you can see her view A top.

view B ruched top and plain sport skirt

My good friend Michelle of F&B Creations is a master at sewing gymnastic wear for her younger daughter.  But this stunning Grace Tankini with the view B top and plain sport skirt takes the cake for master swimwear sewing too!

High waisted and regular

Linda sewed a view A top and both high waisted (on the left) and regular panties to go with it!  It’s so helpful to see the difference.

View B top

Kellie sewed a view B top and a ruched sport skirt and looks like she has a fabulous one piece!  With all the comfort and benefits of a tankini!

View A top, sport skirt

Teronia nearly broke the internet in her jaw-dropping view A top and sport skirt with pockets.  She’s such a sweet tester and promotes my patterns tirelessly!

View A top circle skirt

Crystal sewed a beautiful view A top and a circle skirt.  She had us all in stitches with her twirl videos and the antics of her bird Merlin!

View B top and circle skirt

Maegan sewed a stunning view B top and a circle skirt.  I absolutely adore this version!

Tone made a view A top with a circle skirt.  Her lovely suit is business in the front, party in the back all the way!

Kerrie sewed a view B top and the panty bottoms for her 11 year old daughter, proving the smallest sizes of the Grace Tankini can be made to work for girls!

View A top, sport skirt

Jordan made the most lovely sea blue view A top and plain sport skirt.  It fits her perfectly!

View B top and ruched sport skirt

Everything about Jodi’s Grace Tankini is perfection!  The fabric, the ruching, the photographs by the pool, the fit, and the smile!

View B top and ruched sport skirt

Amy made herself the prefect little black dress, er, make that suit!  This simple but complex version makes me want a black suit too!

plain sport skirt

I just had to share this close up version of Ana’s gorgeous sport skirt with pockets.  It’s the waistband and pockets that had everyone in the tester group drooling!

Ruched skirt and view B top

Feyza sewed herself a jaw dropping navy blue view B top and a ruched sport skirt.  If you need me, I’ll be copying her version!


View A top, plain sport skirt

Diane was one of the first testers to finish her final suit, and encouraged everyone else to finish when she shared her view A top and plain sport skirt.  Also, total pool envy!  Diane wore her suit all day while doing yard work and taking breaks to cool of from the 119 degree weather!


View A top and circle skirt

Elaine sewed up this cheery view A top with a circle skirt.  She had such helpful tips for everyone along the way, and her circle cut out in the back turned out absolutely perfect!

I’m so indebted to these amazing ladies for testing the Grace Tankini!  Next I’ll show you more tester photos…but this time you’ll see totally fantastic variations they made to the pattern!

Grab your copy of the Grace Tankini this week while it’s on sale!