RCF Swim Blog Tour 2022

The 2022 Raspberry Creek Fabric’s Suit Up for Summer 2022 Blog Tour is live! Are y’all as excited to see the gorgeous suits as I am? I hope so because there are so many amazing sewists contributing this year. Make sure you’re following along in RCF’s Facebook group and on Instagram because there’s a big giveaway this week. First things first, though. If you haven’t already, go check out the 2022 swim designs. There are so many beautiful designs that I had a hard time deciding which to pick!

If you follow along on my Instagram account, you may remember that my sewing goal for this year is to not back down from a challenge. I have a feeling that some of you may agree that sewing some swimwear is an excellent way to test that goal. What is it about this category that’s so intimidating? I’m sure it’s different aspects for different people. If you’re one of those intimated by the thought of sewing swim, I’m here to offer some words of encouragement: you might fail. Wait. What?? That’s NOT encouraging!

“If you do nothing, it feels safe, but everything stays the same. If you do nothing, there is less to experience, less to love, and less to learn. The fear of failing is the scariest part, and it stops most people from starting. The only way to get to where you want to go is to take a step in that direction. And the best way to do that is to begin.”

Kobi Yamada, Trying

A while back I bought my small child the book Trying by Kobi Yamada. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. It’s a great book to add to a child’s library. Who am I kidding, it’s also a good addition to an adult’s library. We all have those moments when nothing seems to be going right. Excerpts kept popping into my head while I sewed this capsule and I’ll be sharing them with you.

For this delightful mini swim capsule, I used the Tonal Gray Abstract Animal Spot print with coordinating solids in deep lilac and medium gray. I tend to be very firmly in #teamsolidcolors but this print is subtle enough to not overwhelm my senses. It also mixes and matches exceptionally well. I chose a grey, white, and lilac color palette but it could also mix well with any number of colors and prints. I enjoyed working with the fabrics as they weren’t super slippery like some other swims I’ve tried.

I chose a few different patterns so I could have a suit for different situations. The zoo in my area is opening a splash pad this summer and I can’t wait to take my little kid. I’m not comfortable walking around that many people (or around the zoo) in a bikini, though. For those occasions, I made a pair of swim shorts and a rashguard using Greenstyle Creations’ Rally Shorts and Waimea Rash guard. I fully lined the shorts so I can wear them without anything underneath. The rashguard is partially lined with a built-in shelf bra. Both of those are mods that I made to the pattern.

To add lining to the rash guard I simply cut out a front and back out of the lining material. I treated them as one piece with the bodice mains and followed the directions per usual. For the shelf bra, I cut a piece of lining out at the short cropped length and serged the elastic on, level with the bottom of the hem. I then flipped the elastic up towards the neck and secured it with a zigzag stitch on the sewing machine. I added this to the front bodice piece and constructed it as usual. In hindsight, a lining and a shelf bra might be overkill. I wasn’t sure how opaque the white swim base would be so I overengineered it.

The second set that I made is a bit more fun and flirty. I used the Boca Bay bikini from Greenstyle to make a reversible set. The instructions explain how to make the bottoms reversible and I applied the same method to the top. If you’re more of a visual person, there’s a 2-part sew-along on their YouTube channel.

“I can’t imagine you ever failing.”
He laughed. “More times than I can count. But each time you fail, you get a little smarter, a little braver, a little stronger. The truth is, we are all failures. The dreamers, the doers, the creators… Being a failure means you loved something. You cared. It means you stepped forward, you didn’t hold back, you tried.”

Kobi Yamada, Trying

I have to admit that I struggled with the reversible top. A lot. I made a muslin first to practice and it turned out terribly. I could turn out only half of the top, leaving the other half securely inside the burrito. I was incredibly discouraged. I looked up and attempted 5 different tutorials, all with the same end result. I considered backing down from the reversible top plan. In the end, I reminded myself of this year’s sewing goal: don’t back down from a challenge. I decided to move forward, hoping it would become obvious what to do after I made the bottoms. And, you know what? It worked out. I made the bottoms, realized where I went wrong and sewed the top up without any issues.

Just kidding. I still struggled because I wanted an enclosed bottom band on the top. Let me tell you, you think the back of the Boca isn’t all that narrow until you’re sitting at the serger trying to wrap it around 6+ layers of fabric, straps, bra cups, and elastic. I may have thought a few curse words.

All jokes aside, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with the Boca Bay. The method used for sewing the reversible bottoms is my absolute favorite. It’s a very clean finish and is more comfortable to wear than the traditional method of construction, in my opinion. Speaking of elastic, I didn’t struggle with the application on this set. They recommend serging the edges together and then applying the elastic in a separate step. This prevents all the layers of fabric from shifting around which is one of the major headaches when sewing swim. For the first time in my life, I didn’t struggle with attaching the elastic.

I was also pleasantly surprised with how much I love the rashguard. My arms always get about 5 shades darker than the rest of me during the summer so I wanted an option that would 1. help even out my tan and, 2. protect my overly exposed skin. I love all the combinations but I think the rashguard with the cheeky bikini bottoms might be my favorite.

‘You’re making progress,” he explained. “I see talents emerging. I see risks being taken. I see courage. I see caring. I see perseverance. Yes, I see much progress, indeed. And I hope you will keep trying.”

Kobi Yamada, Trying

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed the suits and are inspired to try your own. If it’s your first, it may turn out a total flop. And that’s okay! I bet you’ll learn a lot of valuable lessons to apply to the next one. There’s also the chance that you might just succeed.

Fabrics Used: Tonal Gray Abstract Animal Spot Swim, deep lilac swim and medium gray swim
Patterns Used: Rally Shorts, Waimea Rash Guard, Boca Bay bikini from Greenstyle Creations

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

Hosted by SewSophieLynn and Paisley Roots

Sew Hard of Hearing, I Em Sew Happy, Zaji-Kali Makes, Sewing with CWay

Sew Mary Mac, Lorelei Caroline, Sew With Summer, All My Spare Time

Made By Kates, The Imperfect Sewist, Intensely Distracted, Lovely for Life

Sew Whit Designs, Sew What with Afton, It’s Liesel, Clothed in Vermillion

Kainara Stitches, Stacey Durant, Desert Blooms, That’s Sew Kari

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I will receive a small commission if any items are purchased through the links. This does not increase the price for you and helps me earn a little bit of money to help sustain my sewing hobby and bring you new content. Thank you for your support!


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