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Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

Today I’m exploring the difference between rayon and viscose, and between challis and poplin.  In all the pictures, the rayon challis fabric is on the left and the viscose poplin fabric is on the right.

So what exactly is the difference between rayon challis and viscose poplin?  That was a question in my mind, for quite some time.  But since sewing with and wearing both fabrics, and doing some extra research, I think I have some answers.

First of all, we have to split each of these fabrics into two parts.  Rayon and challis, viscose and poplin.  You see, the first word refers to the material the fabric is made from, and the second word basically refers to the weave of each of them.

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

So what is the difference between rayon and viscose?  For the home sewist, practically nothing.  They are basically the same thing, and since we’re not scientists, the tiny differences don’t really matter.  The only difference I could find is that viscose is usually made from bamboo while rayon can be from a wider variety of “plant matter and wood pulp, usually bamboo” and the two are processed the same way.  For cutting, sewing and wearing, rayon and viscose are essentially the same thing.  In fact I’ve even seen some fabric suppliers use the words interchangeably.  So the answer to the first part of the question is…there is not really any difference.

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

Now what is the difference between challis and poplin?  Here the simple home sewist can differentiate a little bit.  Challis and poplin both refer to the weave of the fabric. Interestingly, challis can be made from wool, rayon, cotton, silk or manufactured blends.  Challis usually has a plain weave (each weft yarn passes alternately over and under each warp thread) but can occasionally be found with a twill (diagonal) weave.  Poplin has a very tight plain weave and originally had silk warm and wool weft threads.  Both challis and poplin should be sewn with a new or fine needle.

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

Technical specifics for rayon challis vs viscose poplin:

Rayon Challis:

weight: 0-3.5 oz per yard

opacity: translucent

care: machine wash, tumble dry

width: 44” – 58”

drape: soft liquid

Viscose Poplin:  

weight: 120 gsm (3.5 oz per yard)

opacity: opaque

care: wash warm, dry flat, or dry clean

width: 58”

drape: very fluid

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

Here you can see challis and poplin held up to the light.

Really you have to wear both of them to be able to feel the difference yourself.  It’s very, very subtle, and both are super nice fabrics!  For me, the rayon challis feels a little lighter with a little more drape.  The viscose poplin feels slightly softer, and doesn’t conform to the body quite as much.

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

Here is a comparison of the plain fabric so you can see the drape side by side.

But there are a few differences, so I thought you might appreciate knowing everything I know!  Leave a comment, did I miss anything in this comparison of rayon challis vs. viscose poplin?

Pattern Used: Phoenix Blouse by Hey June Patterns

Fabrics Used:

Rayon Challis from CaliFabrics (review and thoughts on wearing rayon challis in the fall here)

Viscose Poplin fabric from Blackbird Fabrics.  Sold out, but can be found here.  

Rayon Challis vs Viscose Poplin compared by Skirt Fixation

Affiliate links are used in this post.  If you click on one of our links, we may make a few extra pennies at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for supporting our small sewing endeavors in this way.

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A Sweet, Sentimental Collar from Old Linens

Vintage Linen Collar sewn by Skirt Fixation

Today I’ve got a sweet, sentimental collar story!  When a fabric is listed with the title “Robin’s Egg Blue” and that’s the exact color of your baby’s eyes, there’s no question as to whether or not you’re going to get that fabric!  And the icing on the cake is that this is some of the nicest jersey I’ve ever worked with.  You can read my full review of the dress fabric over on the CaliFabrics blog.  But today I want to share with you about that sweet little collar made from vintage linen.

Vintage Linen Collar sewn by Skirt Fixation

Recently, we had the opportunity to help some dear friends of ours move to a new home.  This move was all about downsizing.  That meant having to disposition many belongings.  And if you’ve ever had to get rid of something sentimental, you know what an agonizing process this was for our friends.  

Vintage Linen Collar sewn by Skirt Fixation

Being the sweet, selfless friends they are, they tried to give many of their belongings to the people helping them with the moving process.  We all know that it hurts less to give things to people you know will love and care for them than to throw them away or send them to a faceless donation center.

Vintage Linen Collar sewn by Skirt Fixation

The problem with this plan for us was that with 8 kids and 2 adults in our home, we don’t need and don’t have room for many more belongings than we already have!  In fact, we have a sort of constant purging process in place around here.  But a few small things made it home with us, despite our best intentions to the contrary.

Vintage Linen Collar sewn by Skirt Fixation

One precious item we just couldn’t refuse was a box of vintage linens.  I mean fabric, right?  (The photo above shows what it looks like when you tell a toddler to twirl so you can get a shot of the circle skirt on her dress!  Toddler’s can’t twirl!!!)

Vintage Linen Collar sewn by Skirt Fixation

Plus, these are some pretty special linens.  There are hand embroidered items, and probably hand crocheted edges although I’m not an expert in that field.  One oval shaped linen had a note pinned to it with the words, “First embroidery I ever did pre-teen.”  But when we asked our friend, she said it was not her work but her mother’s!

Vintage Linen Collar sewn by Skirt Fixation

There are lace items too.  One problem is that in our day and age, linens like these are not used as they were originally.  Some of the vintage linens are of shapes and sizes we can’t even identify their original use.  But each one is gorgeous and clearly hand made.

A couple of the vintage linens have yellowing, as many old linens do.  One such one we decided to use as the collar for Baby’s new dress.  The delicate embroidery is encased between the two layers of collar, and featured on the tips.  It really adds such a beautiful touch to this darling dress!

So that is the story of a box of vintage linens, some dear friends and a collar on a robin’s egg blue dress.  Leave us a comment, what would YOU do with a box of vintage linens?

Dress: Janie Dress

Fabric: Robin’s Egg Blue jersey from CaliFabrics

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Phoenix Blouse with 3 changes

In my last post I mentioned that one reason I didn’t mind sewing a Phoenix Blouse for Aria was that I was sewing 2 at a time.  And of course the other one was for me!  Ever since I sewed up my wearable muslin Phoenix Blouse, I’ve been wanting more.

Phoenix Blouse sewn and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

Having sewed a muslin, I knew there were just three changes I wanted to make.  Two I’ll definitely make again, and the other I won’t!

The first thing I wanted to do was to try the Phoenix Blouse with the flutter sleeves from the Amalfi Dress, just like on Aria’s blouse.  It is such a feminine touch!  And I absolutely adore wearing these sleeves.  They swoop and swish and flow and twirl with movement all their own!  I’ll definitely be adding these sleeves to a Phoenix Blouse again.

Phoenix Blouse sewn and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

The 2nd change I make was to eliminate the slit in the front yoke.  I think I just wanted to see if it would still slip over my head without the slit.  It does, obviously.  It also raises the neckline a little for modesty reasons (think bending over and chasing little kids all day!)  Also, this fabric is quite busy, so I thought eliminating the slit would help simplify the blouse a little.

While I love this blouse due to the sleeves and the fabric, I probably won’t eliminate the slit again.  It just seems to take away from the style lines somewhat.

Phoenix Blouse sewn and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

The final change was to take in the side seams a little bit.  I did this for Aria on her blouse, and it creates such a nice silhouette while still staying true to the boho feel of the blouse.  It’s still very loose and comfortable to wear, but has a bit of shaping.  This is a change I’ll be making again in the future.

Phoenix Blouse sewn and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

This fabric is a poly crepe I got from Indiesew.  It’s currently sold out, but they carry very, very nice quality fabric, so I always keep an eye on what they have in stock.  If you’re specifically looking for poly crepe, here is a pretty selection.

Phoenix Blouse sewn and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

Poly crepe is worth looking into, it’s inexpensive, lightweight, and oh the drape!  Poly crepe has a slight pebbled texture to it.  The one I got from Indiesew is slightly shiny on one side.  It washes well, and is easy to iron.  As the name suggests, it is polyester, so does not breathe as well as natural fibers.

Phoenix Blouse sewn and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

I have been wearing this Phoenix Blouse with both this black skirt and this brown one.  What color would you wear on bottom with this blouse?  And also, have I convinced you it’s the Summer of the Phoenix Blouse yet?  (If not, stay tuned…)

Affiliate links are used in this post to fabric and patterns we use love.  We highly recommend them, and our lawyer recommends that we tell you that if you click on one of our links, we might make a few pennies at no extra cost to you.  We tried to explain to him that you love fabric and patterns and sewing as much as we do, but in the midst of his long legal mumbo jumbo explanation  we got lost and started sewing in our heads.  So here’s the disclaimer statement!

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Llama Queen Outfit

Llama Queen outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation

Today we’re sharing an outfit Annie has been wearing all spring and summer!  Better late than never when it’s a llama queen outfit, right?  

Llama Queen outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation

Back when we sewed up some of the other fabrics from Raspberry Creek Fabric’s spring CLUB line, we fell in love with this llama print too.  They’re so, well, llama-ish and love-able!  

Llama Queen outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation

We paired the llama jersey knit fabric with some pink and white CLUB stripes fabric, and some gray knit from our stash.  (Still attempting to reduce the size of our fabric stash over here!)  

Llama Queen outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation

The llama queen graphic was a fun addition we decided to add.  Annie is NOT a drama queen, so it was a fun and silly item to make.  We used the Cricut Maker machine to cut out the llama, and the words.  For the little blanket on the llama queen’s back we used a scrap of fabric, and just stitched it on over the vinyl llama after we ironed the llama in place.  The selvedge at the bottom creates a nice fringe effect!

Llama Queen outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation

For the llama queen shirt, we used our beloved Camden Raglan pattern.  Annie loves the fit of this shirt, and I love how quick and easy it is to sew.  I haven’t told her, but I can sew one up in less than 20 minutes!

Llama Queen outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation

The skirt pattern is the Skipalong Skort pattern.  It’s also a favorite around here for several reason.  First, pockets.  Need I say more?  Second, there are shorts hidden underneath, which Annie and I both love!  Third, Annie loves how “play friendly” the width of this skirt is.  She loves pencil skirts, but can’t run as fast in them, she tells me!

Llama Queen outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation

As with all the Raspberry Creek CLUB fabric we’ve used, this fabric is soft and durable for everything my kids throw at it.  Or roll in it.  Plus, no pilling after wearing this llama queen outfit steady for a couple of months already!  The llama fabric also comes in french terry fabric too.

Llama Queen outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation

Annie had fun trying out some “llama queen” poses!  Really, she’s too sweet for it to be effective!

Affiliate links are used in this post to really amazing products we use and love!  We can highly recommend them to you for that very reason.  Please be assured that it won’t cost you any money to click on one of our links, but we might make a few pennies for referring you.  Thank you for understanding and supporting our small business!

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Huge List of Things to Make with Denim Fabric

For the final day of Denim Week, we’ve got a huge list of things to make with Denim Fabric.  If you missed any of the days, here they are:

Day 1: Introduction and Cone Mills Denim Giveaway

Day 2: Giant List of Denim Fabric, Supplies and Resources

Day 3: Giant List of Denim Patterns Classes and Tutorials

Day 4: Denim Details to customize your creation

Huge list of things to make with denim fabric by Skirt Fixation

Since all those days are dedicated to sewing garments with denim fabric, today is everything else you can sew with denim!

Denim quilt made by Skirt Fixation from old jeans

We made this incredible denim quilt!  You can read all about it here.

Senna tote sewn by Skirt Fixation

Another place we love to use denim is for bag making.  Denim makes such sturdy handles for a bag.  This one is the Senna Tote made with Art Gallery Fabrics denim.

 

Denim makes any part of a bag more durable, like these two bags (blogged here.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
That’s it for Denim Week!  We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
 

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Giant List of Denim Fabric, Supplies and Resources

Giant list of denim fabric, supplies and resources compiled by Skirt Fixation

Welcome to Day 2 of Denim Week!  Today we cover denim fabric, supplies, and resources.  We’re excited to share a WHOLE bunch of resources for sewing denim.  Fabrics, supplies, resources, kits, and more.  We had so much fun virtually shopping and putting together this resource for you.  Be sure to check out Day 1: Introduction for the giveaway of Cone Mills denim and patterns!

Online Denim Fabric Sources:

Cone Mills Denim

First of all, a few suggestions for buying denim fabric.  If you’re planning to make a garment that uses denim, it is probably a complex pattern and will take you quite a bit of time and effort.  So it’s important that you use good quality denim.  Buying fabric online can be a very difficult experience because you can’t feel the fabric and check it’s quality and amount of stretch (if any) and drape and so on.  So our top 3 tips for buying fabric online are:

  1. Buy from small fabric shops.  They only have space for good quality fabric, can’t afford to earn a bad reputation from selling poor quality fabric, and are probably run by a fabric lover themselves!
  2. Buy fabric you know is good quality already.  We’ve included denim that falls into this category below.
  3. Request swatches of fabric before buying yardage.  If you don’t know much about the fabric you’re buying, a set of swatches can be your education and ultimately save you a lot of money.

Let’s start with some small shops I highly recommend.

Threadbare Fabrics has a section of their shop called The Denim Store.  You can get really good quality Cone Mills denim and also Japanese denim.  They also sell hardware kits.  Threadbare Fabrics is sponsoring Denim Week by giving away 2 yards of Cone Mills denim.  Enter the giveaway here.

Giant list of denim fabric, supplies and resources compiled by Skirt Fixation

Raspberry Creek Fabrics stocks a few good quality denim fabrics like this gingham denim and stripe denim.

Topstitch has a very nice collection of high quality Cone Mills, Robert Kaufman, and Art Gallery Fabric denim.

Giant list of denim fabric, supplies and resources compiled by Skirt Fixation

CaliFabrics supply of denim is always changing, but we’ve found it to be good quality.  Above is a tribal denim fabric and a selvedge denim.

Moving on to some bigger fabric purveyors, we recommend you buy fabric you know is good quality already, or that you buy swatches first if possible.

Giant list of denim fabric, supplies and resources compiled by Skirt Fixation

Fabric.com has a large selection of denim, but unless you buy a swatch first, it’s safer to stick with denim you know is good quality like the ones pictured above.  Clockwise from top left: Robert Kaufman railroad denim in black, Art Gallery Fabric Canyon Sunset denim, Telio stretch floral denim, Cloud 9 tinted sea glass denim.

Giant list of denim fabric, supplies and resources compiled by Skirt Fixation

Did you know you can buy fabric on Amazon?  It’s true!  However, you can’t buy swatches first, so we recommend you stick to good quality denims like the ones above.  Clockwise from top left: Floral denim (we used this for our 1st Sandbridge Skirt,) Ralph Lauren black denim, Art Gallery Fabric brick denim, Cone Mills denim.

Fabric and supplies all in one shop

Next there are quite a few places that sell both denim fabric and supplies needed for making jeans and jean skirts and other denim patterns.  Several of these bundle the supplies you need together into kits where you get exactly what you need!  A few shops we can confidently recommend are:

Indiesew has both denim fabric and jeans hardware kits.

La Mercerie has Cone Mills denim fabric and jeans hardware kits.

Giant list of denim fabric, supplies and resources compiled by Skirt Fixation

Blackbird Fabrics has denim fabric, kits, thread, rivets, zippers, needles, and the cutest anvil you can imagine!  See everything here.

Imagine Gnats has denim and jean making notions.

Fancy Tiger Crafts has a brick and mortar store, and lots of denim and supplies online too.

Giant list of denim fabric, supplies and resources compiled by Skirt Fixation

Stylemaker Fabrics has a very unique, high-quality selection of denim like the ones shown above.  Clockwise from top left: olive stretch denim, iridescent stretch denim, tropical denim, tomato stretch denim.  They also sell jeans hardware kits.

In-Store Denim Resources

If you’re not ready to buy denim online, most likely if you live in the USA, you can find a JoAnn Fabrics store not too far away.  This is a great option because you can feel the fabric and get an idea about the quality before purchasing.  Here’s a very small collection of denim you can get at JoAnns, both in-store and online.

Giant list of denim fabric, supplies and resources compiled by Skirt Fixation

Clockwise from top left: Pink 10 oz bull denim, 7 oz stretch floral denim, patchwork denim, camo denim.

If you don’t have a JoAnn’s near you, see if your local quilt shop, or other fabric shop has denim in stock.

Denim Hardware kits:

We found several shops that sell only hardware kits, and not fabric.  These are convenient as they have everything you’ll need for your project.  Most of these shops are companies with expert level knowledge about denim and hardware kits, so you can be assured you’re getting good quality.  Here are some we recommend:

Giant list of denim fabric, supplies and resources compiled by Skirt Fixation

Closet Case Patterns sells fly front and button front hardware kits.  They’re sponsoring the denim week giveaway with 1 jean pattern.  (Enter the giveaway here!)

DIBY Club has kits, classes, tutorials, and more resources here.

Stonemountain and Daughter has a patterns, notions, tools and hardware kits here.

Thread Theory has lots of notions, tools and supplies here.

Taylor Tailor has zippers, thread, buttons and rivets here.

Denim Notions:

If you don’t need a full kit, or you only need a few items, you can always buy all the pieces individually.  Here are some necessary supplies:

Denim zippers from Fabric.com

Giant list of denim fabric, supplies and resources compiled by Skirt Fixation

Thread for topstitching and sewing denim seams.

Jeans buttons from JoAnn’s.  Of course you can buy these in store too.

Denim needles are stronger than regular needles, and you can get them here.

Here is a jeans rivet tool kit you will need to install rivets.

International Denim Resources

We realize that most of these resources are in the USA and Canada, so if you’re located outside these 2 countries, we highly recommend checking out this International list by Megan Nielsen here.

That’s it for Day 2 of Denim Week!  If you made it this far, reward yourself by entering the giveaway!

See you tomorow for patterns, classes and tutorials that use denim fabric!

Giant list of denim fabric, supplies and resources compiled by Skirt Fixation

Affiliate links are used in this post for really amazing fabric and pattern we can wholeheartedly recommend.  If you click on one of our affiliate links, we may make a few pennies at no extra cost to you.  Thank you for supporting our small business!

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Knit Summer Dresses for my Girls

Knit summer dressed for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

It’s begun.  Summer temperatures have arrived, and with it, the requests for summer clothes.  For my younger girls, this means knit fabric, light colors, and breezy silhouettes.  Two knit summer dresses coming right up!  

Knit summer dressed for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

One of Annie’s favorite dresses from last summer is the Ila Dress I sewed for her from french terry fabric.  She still wears it, although it’s about 6 inches shorter than when I sewed it.  Not my laundry skills, her growing skills!

Knit summer dressed for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

For these two dresses I got to use the new summer fabrics from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  These fabrics shout “sum, sum, summertime!”  There’s lemonade, fruit, dots, waves and sea creatures.

For the main fabric I used textured sand stripe jersey knit fabric for these knit summer dresses.

Knit summer dressed for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

As with all CLUB fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics, this fabric is super soft, does not pill, and has great stretch and recovery.  This sand stripe looks textured, and just begs for a lemonade stand operation, don’t you think?

Knit summer dressed for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

The Ila Dress by Coffee and Thread does not call for knit fabric, so I made the same modifications as last time.  It really makes it quite a fast sewing project.

Knit summer dressed for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

For Annie, I added a ruffle to the bottom of the sleeves and hem.  This gives her added length (due to that growing-like-a-weed condition!) and makes it fun.  I used mustard jersey knit fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics for the ruffles and center panel.  

Knit summer dressed for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

Baby also got a knit Ila dress.  I have to admit, I sewed her a size too big, but thankfully, she’ll grow into it.  Perhaps it’ll last longer than a month that way!  She seemed to notice that her and Annie were matching and got a great kick out of posing with Annie for these photos!

Knit summer dressed for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

Her contrast center panel and neck yoke are from bright fuchsia jersey knit fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  This color really brings out the pink tones in her cheeks and lips, and is so precious, if I do say so myself!

Knit summer dressed for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

One of Annie’s favorite things about this dress are the hidden pockets.  Baby ignored hers until shown how she could put treasures into them, and then wouldn’t stop putting things in!  

Knit summer dressed for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

Now I can check a few knit summer dresses off that summer sewing list.  Except that Annie caught sight of the other summer fabric I got from Raspberry Creek Fabrics and put in her order for a summer maxi skirt.  Stay tuned on that…

Knit summer dressed for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

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Indigo and Aster fabric tour for my girls

Skirt Fixation for Indigo and Aster by Bari J.

Hello and welcome!  I’m delighted to share some Indigo and Aster fabric goodness with you today.

Skirt Fixation for Indigo and Aster by Bari J.

This photo shoot was inspired by the floral crowns on the border print fabric of the Indigo and Aster fabrics.  Each animal is wearing a floral crown in that border print fabric!

Skirt Fixation for Indigo and Aster by Bari J.

I’ll start with my older daughter, Annie, and then go on to Baby’s two outfits.

Skirt Fixation for Indigo and Aster by Bari J.

For the skirt, we used the border print panel. Each of the animals has a darling floral crown!  Since we have dairy goats, we just had to include one of the yearlings in our photoshoot.    The pattern we used is the Lottie Skirt by Violette Field Threads.  We just left off the suspenders this time around.  

Skirt Fixation for Indigo and Aster by Bari J.

We added a piece of lace trim at the bottom of the waistband panel.  Annie liked this touch.  Girly, but not too babyish she said.  Next came an Aster Cardigan to pair with the skirt.  This fabric is the bright, cheerful, colorful, floral knit print from the Indigo and Aster line.  Underneath the cardigan, Annie is wearing a brand new Camden Raglan I sewed just for the occasion.  It’s a great layering piece.

Skirt Fixation for Indigo and Aster by Bari J.

Somehow, Baby ended up with 4 pieces of clothing out of the deal!  I already shared a little about the green Rosemary pinafore (pattern by Violette Field Threads) in this post.  I used the lush bouquet green fabric for the main part of the pinafore.  It is lined with this tiny, floral print called Bonheur Fresh, and also the ties are the same print.

Velveteen Rabbit Inspired baby outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation

The dress underneath is the Eeny Meeny Miny Moe dress pattern.  I used my tutorial to make it gathered and also added lace to the ends of the sleeves.

Velveteen Rabbit Inspired baby outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation

And you can see Baby is wearing a bonnet.  As with all the bonnets I make (and sell!) this one is reversible.  On the floral side is one of my favorite prints from the Indigo and Aster line.  It’s called Foliage Escape Lapis. 

Skirt Fixation for Indigo and Aster by Bari J.

The other side of the bonnet is blue velvet.  I also used some blue velvet ribbon for the ties.  

Skirt Fixation for Indigo and Aster by Bari J.

As you can see, I loved this foliage escape lapis print so much, I used the knit version of it to make Baby another Eeny Meny Miny Moe dress.  Once again, I modified it using my tutorial.  I also added lace to the front bodice and above the ruffle I added to the end of the sleeves using this tutorial.

Skirt Fixation for Indigo and Aster by Bari J.

That’s all for today!  Thanks for visiting and head over to Bari J.’s Curated Maximalist blog to see what others are making with Indigo and Aster fabric this week!

The beautiful photography in this post is the work of Delaney Aby.

Affiliate links are used in this post to really amazing patterns and fabric.  Because we love and use them, we use affiliate links to try to make a little money.  If you click on one of our affiliate links, we might earn a few extra pennies at no additional cost to you, so THANKS!

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Nautical Swimsuit for Girls

Fun nautical swimsuit for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

This nautical swimsuit it just perfect for girls.  It was very fun to play around with some more swim fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics, and this time, Annie was the lucky recipient.  She requested some very specific elements, and I tried to get it just the way she liked it.  I think in the end, she ended up with a nautical swimsuit that she’s very delighted with.  

Fun nautical swimsuit for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

The main fabric is the seahorse and seashell print.  It’s about as perfect as you can get for swim fabric, and yes, I know I say that about every one of the swim fabrics from Raspberry Creek Fabrics!  But seriously, seahorses, seashells and sea stars all in one fun swimsuit?  And these fabrics have 50+ SPF protection too!

Fun nautical swimsuit for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

The accent fabric is coral and white stripe.  I used it for both the center panel and the shorts underneath the swim skirt.  As it so happened, I forgot to cut out the back of the top until I started constructing the suit, and so I didn’t have enough fabric left to make the back from either of these two fabrics!  Luckily, I had just the right shade of solid coral fabric in my stash.

Fun nautical swimsuit for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

Now for the patterns.  For the swim skirt, I started with the Sporty Girl Skort by Peekaboo Pattern Shop.  It’s not intended to be a swim skirt, so I sized down, and modified the waistband to include elastic all the way around instead of just the back. 

Fun nautical swimsuit for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation1

And I also added elastic to the legs openings of the shorts underneath.  It ended up just like the nautical swimsuit Annie had envisioned!

Fun nautical swimsuit for girls sewn by Skirt Fixation

For the top, Annie wanted a ruched center panel just like on the Grace Tankini.  I started with the Just Keep Swimming Rashguard pattern by The Wolf and the Tree.  I took the center of the color blocked version, and extended it by about 8 inches spread across the panel.  Then I gathered it and sewed it together.  Annie couldn’t decide if she wanted sleeves or not, so I suggested the half shoulder ruffle.  It has the coverage of sleeves (no more sunburned shoulders!) and the breathability of sleeveless.  To add them to the armhole openings, I just simplified things by only putting elastic below the ruffles.  Because when I tried it all the way around, it ended up so very wonky and I had to rip it out!  

Girls swimsuit inspiration

Just like when I shared my Grace Tankini, I had to play around with some other fabric combinations and swimsuit patterns!  There are simply so many options, you could created endless possibilities…not like I’m trying or anything!  This is the Marilyn Vintage Swimsuit by Peekaboo Pattern Shop.  Wouldn’t it be fun to use that darling mermaid fabric for the sides and back, some deep lilac purple for the ruched center, and some teal gingham for the straps and leg bands?!?

 

Girls swimsuit inspirationOr how about this fun combination?  It’s the Waikiki One Piece from Peekaboo Pattern Shop in pink and yellow tossed lemons for the main body, and yellow and white polka dots for the ruffles and straps?

Girls swimsuit inspiration

Would it be wrong if I sewed myself this exact combination for myself?  It’s the High Tide Surfsuit from Peekaboo Pattern Shop in Watercolor Popsicle fabric with Light Lime solid fabric and pink and white stripes for the contrast and accents.  You just know everyone would be jealous!

Alright, that’s it for me!  Go grab some swimsuit fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics and have fun!

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Board Shorts Fabric in Action

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

Even though I developed a swimsuit pattern for women, I had never sewn with board shorts fabric before.  Board shorts fabric is what men and boy’s swim trunks are made from.  It’s a woven material with no stretch, and slightly sueded on one side.  

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

Since my boys needed new trunks, I decided to give it a try with the new board short fabrics from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  There are 20 different ones to choose from!  I started with the whales board short fabric and used the solid teal seafoam color board short fabric for contrast.

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

When sewing a boy’s swim trunks, you can use any shorts pattern.  I used the Everyday Shorts pattern from Made Everyday to make the bigger boy (David’s) swim trunks.  Board short (also called microfiber) fabric is very easy to work with, and these swim trunks were a quick sew! 

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

I used the Perfect Diaper Cover pattern to add an underwear insert underneath.  For the underwear, I used power mesh fabric.  (You can get it at Raspberry Creek Fabrics too.)

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

For the other boy, I used the Made Everyday tutorial for racer shorts.  I sewed both these boys a size 5, and they’re a little long for Lowell.  But the way these boys are growing, I’m not concerned!

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

The hardest part was making the bias tape to trim the pockets and edges of the racer shorts.  The only reason it was difficult was because this fabric doesn’t hold a crease very well after ironing.

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

I used the whale fabric to make the bias trim along the edge of Lowell’s racer shorts, but it’s really to small to do it justice.  Happily, he didn’t care, and once again, the boys are coordinating without being too match-y!

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

Because these boys are so fair skinned, tend to burn easily, and spend 95% of their time outside in the summer running through the sprinkler, having squirt gun fights, dunking each other in the water trough, and taking adventures in the nearby stream, I decided to make them each a rash guard.  

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

You probably could have guessed, but I used the Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan tee pattern.  It worked perfectly.  For the fabric, I used the swim basics stripe fabric in navy for one and solid navy swim fabric (from my stash) for the other.  The swim fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics have 50+ UPF Protection, so no sunburns happening here!

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

The only thing left to do was try out the new swim trunks and rash guards.  As you can see in these photos, a great time was had by all!

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

Last year, Lowell was too cautious to enjoy the joys of a summer sprinkler with the other kids.  This year, he’s right in there jumping over the streams of water with his older siblings.  

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

Of course, when the lawn is freshly mowed, the kids get grass clippings all over their feet while running through the sprinkler.  But it’s no biggie because you can rinse your feet off in the sprinkler!

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

I got some spectacular shots of David jumping through the sprinkler, and my iPhone didn’t even get too soaked.  When they started grabbing the sprinkler and aiming it at each other however, I left!

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action

Leave us a comment, did you run through the sprinkler when you were a kid?

Board shorts sewn by Skirt Fixation in action