Suit Up For Summer!

Raspberry Vreek Swim Tour 2022

The 2022 Raspberry Creek Fabric’s Suit Up for Summer 2022 Blog Tour

I’m 6’ tall so the normal question after the standard, “ Wow, your tall!” Is “Do you play basketball?” And the answer is no not really! I do like a pickup game now and then but I never played in high school or college. I was on the swim team and loved it!!! No I was not the best but it was fun and a great experience. I would not change it for the world.

From then I went on to love swimming. I also live in Texas and you found me at the local lake all summer long in high school. At any time I have about 20-25 swimsuits. Some for actually swimming laps and some for pool and lake parties and some for just hanging out in the sun. Yes I have a swimsuit wardrobe and sewing has me growing that wardrobe even more. I actually did get rid of about 8 last year and still have a lot. So did I need to make another swimsuit? Lol Absolutely not, but I am glad I did! So before I share about the suit I made for the 2022 Raspberry Creek Fabric’s Suit Up for Summer 2022 Blog TourCreek let me show you a few suits I previously have made. This is not all of them.

The oldest I have is the one that is now about 25 years old and YES I put beaded fringe on it. And yes I hand headed it! I think I may need to make an update version of this.

20 year old Swimsuit with beading

There were a couple other swimsuits in between but if we jump forward about 20 years I made this vintage look Kelani High Waisted Bikini from My Golden Thimble suit a few years ago. This suit is from ….. and I love it!

And then two years ago for our trip to Myrtle I of course needed more suits! So I made this plane black one just a very utilitarian suit and it is so comfortable and it is actually pretty sleek looking. I also made this rash guard top and this one piece low cut one green one. Both of these I drafted the patterns for myself. The green one has a skirt that goes with the same fabric so it lets you go from beach to dinner.

So now for my favorite!!!! This is the one I made for this 2022 Raspberry Creek Fabric’s Suit Up for Summer 2022 Blog Tour and I love it!!! I got a chance to really search for a suit I liked to make which I had not done a good swimsuit pattern search in a while. And I fell in love with Edgewater Avenue!! She is a small pattern brand and I can relate as I am a new handbag pattern brand. And I love her youthful looking suits! They are so fun and yes a bit sexy!! Check her website out here and her instagram is great!!

I picked out the Natalie top and the Savannah Bottoms. I wear a lot of triangle bikini tops and this one is very similar but has a thicker neck strap and it makes it very comfortable. The bottoms have a high leg opening which I like and are high waisted to suck in the stomach.

Edgewater Avenue Pattern
Raspberry Creek Fabric
2022 Raspberry Creek Fabric’s Suit Up for Summer 2022 Blog Tour

Now I will say it is very hard to pick a swim fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics because wow they are so good!!! I got Abstract Line Drawn Floral Red and wow! Not disappointed at all. I kept wondering it I would like it but as soon as I saw it I was glad I picked it. It is not an in your face red but is slightly muted which I like. It is such a good weight and great quality. I also used Raspberry Creek Swim lining so if you make a suit pick up some of that too.

Edgewater Avenue Pattern
Raspberry Creek Fabric
2022 Raspberry Creek Fabric’s Suit Up for Summer 2022 Blog Tour

So as I was going through all the suits I have made through the years and what advice I can offer you if you have never tried it. And here are my top tips. I am also including a graphic you can post to your Instagram to share with your friends and to refer back to when you are sewing your suits. To find that freebie you can navigate to the top menu bar to download it out of the Lovely’s Freebie’s Library!

Now to the tips!

  1. Go for quality fabric! Yes you can use some cheaper quality for a test suit but for the real thing you want quality. Yes I preach quality fabric but for swim it gets more critical. Have you ever had a swimsuit disengage? I have!!! Yes my high schools swim team suit dissolved! And yes it was cheap fabric. Suits will be exposed to salt water and or harsh chemicals and sun! The combination is very harsh on fabric.
  2. Elastic foot! Most all swimsuits you will add elastic to the legs and some other areas. I suggest investing in a elastic foot for your machine weather you are using your serger or regular machine to sew suits.
  3. Ball point/stretch needles please!! Be sure to use a ball point or stretch needle with your swim materials. You want to be sure that the needle moves through the knit and does not pierce the fibers like a universal needle would. This is again a away to keep your suit last.
  4. Don’t shy away from sexy! Yes of course if you preference is to be more modest go for it but don’t shy away from sexy styles if you are ok with it. We tend to put a lot of stipulations on ourselves like when I lose wight, gain muscle, get a tan, blah, blah, blah! Rock you now!!! And another hint is that more fabric does not always make you like slimmer anyway.
Edgewater Avenue Pattern
Raspberry Creek Fabric
2022 Raspberry Creek Fabric’s Suit Up for Summer 2022 Blog Tour

The 2022 Raspberry Creek Fabric’s Suit Up for Summer 2022 Blog Tour is a wonderful opportunity for sewing blogger so please follow all of them! Make sure you’re following along in RCF’s Facebook group and on Instagram because there’s a big giveaway this week. If you haven’t already, go check out the 2022 swim designs.

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Thank you to all of our amazing sewists who are joining us this week!

Hosted by SewSophieLynn and Paisley Roots

Sew Hard of HearingI Em Sew HappyZaji-Kali MakesSewing with CWay

Sew Mary MacLorelei CarolineSew With SummerAll My Spare Time

Made By KatesThe Imperfect SewistIntensely DistractedLovely for Life

Sew Whit DesignsSew What with AftonIt’s LieselClothed in Vermillion

Kainara StitchesStacey DurantDesert BloomsThat’s Sew Kari

Make A “Statement” Tote

The Statement Tote Pattern

The Statement Tote Pattern

I have just launched my latest bag pattern! The Statement Tote!!! While I always knew that I would need to add a tote to my pattern collection I was determined it would not be your ordinary tote. I wanted something fun and bold. Something that made a statement. And it does just that in size, shape and in its innovative peekaboo panel where you can interchange inserts that are customized. Yes you can add a funny saying with vinyl, embroidery, stencils and fabric paint, or a quilt square. The possibilities are endless. Imagine adding your logo or a sign for an important cause. I think since I got my sassy sayings out my next one will be a Bible quote. 

Yes the size of the bag is large, on purpose. The size is actually modeled after the large Dior tote bag that is very popular right now. The bag is great for everyday carry but is perfect for shopping, a weekend trip bag, a beach bag.
I am hosting a Sew Along for the Statement Tote in my Lovely For Life Facebook Group. You can join the group here. It will be through live videos in that group. The first Session is January 25th at 7:30 PM CST. So grab your pattern, materials and sign up to join us. 

More info on the Statement Bag:
Sometimes a big grab and go bag is all you need. Perfect for running errands, shopping, and a roomy carry-on bag. The twist built into this one comes from the idea that sometimes you want to personalize your bag temporarily. The peek a boo window can be used for interchangeable insert customized by embroidery, a favorite quote from a T-shirt that you rather not wear, kids artwork, or any number of things. When you get tired of it you can easily switch it out.
Finished Bag Approximately: 17 inches wide, 14 inches deep and 17 inches tall

You can purchase the pattern for 20% until January 24th with the code: LOVELY.

Purchase The Statement Tote

Here is a quick funny video of me explaining more about the Statement Tote.

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Hello 2022!!! Happy New Year

Happy New Year!! 

Wow 2021 was a strange year. I feel like everyone was happy about small things because there was a lot of negatively in the public realm… politics, social issues and the list goes on. We can all spend a ton of time on those topics but this little slice of the world is just for fun things. Where we come to get away from the stress of the world. Where we talk about sewing and other crafts.

So while we all heal from 2020 and 2021 lets ramp up the fun. This year you will see a few new patterns coming shortly. A couple in the next couple weeks!! So get ready!

I did want to share with you a fun drafting project I did. When in Greece in the fall of 2019 I bought a elegant yet comfortable shirt. Wow 2019 seams like a world away. The shirt was drape and fluid and just felt nice to wear. Well I have worn it like crazy but unfortunately I have some stains on the shirt. No clue where they came from and its not like I am able to pop back over to Greece to find another.🙂 I wish! So I decided to draft it from the one I had. 

I have to say this was a total success!!! And I plan on making more. It is a tunic with fitted dolman sleeves and a slightly shorter front hem. I think it would look good on any body shape and a lot of sizes. The original shirt states one size fits all. Now I know that is not true but I would say it would fit a large range. 

Here is is under a shawl in 2019

To draft the pattern I folded it long ways and traced around the neck, shoulders, arms, and body. I neatened up my lines and then drafted a sleeve. And done!! I made one test out of some lovely sweater knit from Sincerely Riley. She has the best Sweater Knit! I have a lot more I need to get making.

I am thinking about making this into a pdf pattern and adding it to my Etsy shop. What do you think? Would you want it? If so comment at the bottom of this blog post. 

I think for some added New Year Celebration we also need a sale!!! How abou 10% off. Just use the code LOVELY HERE

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Big Comfort! Big Impact Using A Cricut Maker 3 In Your Sewing

I will admit I am not a big paper or vinyl crafter. I have lofty ideas I will be one when I see great ideas and then they stay an idea! Lol 

Oh well I still get good use out of my Cricut machine by using it in various ways in my sewing. I first used it for this costume I made for a clients Halloween costume. You will find it on the leg wrap and the medallion on the skirt.

I also have also used the Cricut Maker for bag making. You can check out two of my free bag patterns in my Freebie Library that can be cut with an Cricut or electronic cutting machine. I just release the SImon Bucket Bag Pattern and you can find that for free in my library as well. Here is the blog post about it.

If you want to get this free bag pattern check out the Library at the top of the page, “Lovely’s Sewing Freebies”

If you have seen my embroidered skirt you know that I love a bold look! It makes a bold statement and it is just fun. So here is another one using my Cricut Maker 3. If you have not heard the Cricut Maker 3 can cut without a mat using their Smart Matierial and one is a Smart Iron on Vinyl. You can cut in long lengths, up to 12 Feet!!! Yup 12 feet!!!! If you want to learn more click on the picture of the Maker 3 below.

So of course large wall vinyl is probably what most people think of but I went straight to what clothing item I could make. I wanted something elegant with very little detail that gave me large blank canvas. I noticed this cute Caftan pattern from Simplicity. Did I just say a cute Caftan? Lol yup…. I am sure at some point my generation said we would never wear these and here we are. I think it is perfect for lounging around the house and they can still be very cute and presentable. Throw on some oversized earrings and a large bag and you can go run some errands while looking chic.

SImplicity 8911

So let’s talk about some things to keep in mind. One would be the limitations on the width, so you should think of something narrow or you could also do something that would cut separately that you can place all over the item but would still cut quickly. I wanted something to make an impact and this snake on a vine was it but here is where you can let your imagination run wild. I have a few more ideas in mind. So let’s think outside centering a design on a shirt. What are you going to make an incorporate large iron on vinyl onto?

I have a full review of Simplicity 8911 here on my profile but the short answer is that I love it and it is super easy to make.

If you have not done so already be sure to join my Facebook group for my bag patterns! I have some pattern launches coming soon and you don’t want to miss out.

Lovely For Life Patterns Facebook Group

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In Time For Christmas Gifts! Free PDF Purse Pattern-With SVG and Cricut DS File

Have you started sewing for Christmas yet? It’s right around the corner!

This sweet little bag will be a great gift for the stylish ladies and the fun teens on your list! This bag has so many options for customizing. The top and bottom and even the pleathers of handbag ring options.

I found some cute ones on Amazon I will post some links to a few and one of my testers used an adorable cat shaped ring. Your imagination is your limit as long as it is sized appropriate for the bag!!

This bag pattern also can be cut three ways!! I have included the tradition pdf pattern that you can print and cut on your home computer and tape together, an SVG file you can upload to any electronic cutting machine and a Cricut Design Space Project link that will open it directly in Design Space!!!

You can watch this quick video to help on putting it together but it is so easy and quick that you can make one for everyone on their list!

I have partnered with The Fabric Snob and used quilting cottons from their shop! They have a wide array!!! This was the Bosage Collection- Lush Rainforest and Shifting Fonds. You can grab a Snob Surprise Bag for some quilting cotton! Show your makes using hashtag #snobsurprise to be entered to win 💲500 in snob cash!… Use code: Leah10 for 10% off your quilting cottons!

Also check back on my blog post about making clothing with Quilting Cotton and my tip sheet in my Freebie Library. You can find that post here.

See below on how to get my Lovely’s Freebies Library password so you can get this pattern and previous freebies and freebies to come! If you are on your cell phone the way to see it is to click on the title of this post and then it will be at the bottom of the blog post.

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As a quick thank you for reading this post and supporting me please enjoy 20% off on my sewing patterns in my shop with the code Simon20. SHOP

SEWN Magazine Feature

SEWN Magazine April 2021 Issue COver

I work hard at most everything I do but sometimes great things just happen and I don’t know how I am so blessed. Earlier this year I was reached out to by SEWN Magazine! If you haven’t seen them then check them out. They have a modern take on a sewing magazine and every issue is packed with great sewing information and features talented makers showing of their skills. So when I was asked to make something for them I jumped at it. The prompt was a shirt dress! I love dresses so this was great. I often use shirt dresses as dusters as you can see here in my Southwestern girl post about my southwestern style duster. However shirt dresses can also be glammed up so I decided to show both sides. The first version was this large floral print quilting cotton sure to wow as a casual day piece and the second was this sext black stretch chiffon that I didn’t even put bottoms on and cinched in with a belt I made and added sexy gladiator sandals. This is the version that is perfect for date night.

I have made plenty of dusters so I wanted to use pattern I had not used before. I decided quickly on Designer Stitch’s Sedona. Funny thing is the last time I was in a magazine it was in a Designer Stitch pattern. You can check that out here! I used to test her patterns and they are great so I had high hopes and they did not disappoint. Excellent drafting and instructions. She does the placket different than I have ever seen it done but when you take your time it comes out so nice and is easier than the other ways I have done it. You can find her patterns here and her Facebook group is here.

The print floral fabric is from one of my favorite fabric stores The Fabric Snob but it was a pre order a while ago so it is no longer available. Sorry but do check out their fabric because they have a lot of great stuff. I used their fabric for my floral suit I made earlier this year. You can see that here.

Vogue 1716
Vogue 1716

Next I want to highlight my wonderful photographer that I work with on a lot of my photo shoots including the SEWN Magazine shoot. You can find her on Instagram here and here. I will add a gallery of some other shoots she has helped me with. Check her out if you are looking for a photographer in the Fort Worth Texas area.

  • Simplicity 8526 Sewing Pattern
  • Vogue 1716 Sewing Pattern
  • Greenstyle Creations Patterns Sewing Patterns

If you want more info and a full review on the Designer Stitch Sedona Pattern you can find my Sewing Pattern Review here.

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Clear Stadium Bag with Free Pattern and SVG

Three Clear Stadium Bags

So COVID is coming to an end! Well, at least that is what I am hoping for. I think we all are hoping the world gets back to normal soon. That means concerts and sporting events. Some of the sports venues now require only clear bags so I thought in preparation I would make a cute clear stadium bag pattern for you. No, you don’t have to just use it for stadium events. The free clear stadium bag pattern will be perfect for so many events this summer. It is so fun!

Don’t let how cute this bag is fool you. It is so easy to make and I have made a video to walk you through the process. You can check out the video on how to make the bag here.

You can readily find the PVC plastic and other materials I used and I will link some that I used.

Another reason I love working with PVC vinyl is to use vinyl cut on my cutting machine to add monograms or other personalization.I have also provided you some details on what materials I used. Enter your email below to get access to this and all my other free files.

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