You know how when you were a kid you counted down the days until summer vacation? Well, I’m a few years out of high school (haha! Let’s not start guessing how old I am m’kay?) and I still love to count down the days until summer. It’s my favorite season- a smorgasbord of flip flops, barbecues and lounging by the pool. Rinse and repeat.
But this summer is going to be even better, because we have several trips to the beach planned!
For those of you that live right by the ocean, this may not seem like a big deal, but I’m a solid 4 hours away (6, if traveling with children and stopping every 30 minutes to take them to the bathroom) from the nearest ocean, and at least 6 hours away (again, make that 8) from the nearest ocean warm enough to swim in.
So I’m really, really excited about all our beach trips coming up! San Diego, Santa Cruz, Hawaii….I’m going to have sand permanently wedged between my toes (and probably a few other places we won’t mention) and I can’t wait!
All that quality time at the beach means I need a new wardrobe, right? I’ve been hard at work sewing swimsuits (see examples here) but I also need beachy separates, clothes that can take me from a casual afternoon to a night on the town. When Made for Mermaids and Patterns for Pirates teamed up on this blog tour, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to stretch out of my comfort zone a bit, and sew up some new styles!
The only downside of so many vacations at the beach is the cost…so I also challenged myself to use only fabrics from my stash for this capsule- and I’m delighted with the results! Its amazing how old fabrics become exciting again when paired with the right patterns!
The first two tops in my mini-capsule are from the Daphne from Made for Mermaids. I actually bought this pattern last year, but got intimidated by working with woven fabric, making bias tape, etc and chickened out on it. I also wasn’t sure how practical it would be for nursing. This year, I’m more confident in my skills, and decided to just go for it!
My first Daphne is from a swallow-print chiffon I picked up ages ago- I’m a sucker for a good bird print, and this was so light and floaty. Unfortunately, it’s chiffon. If you haven’t worked with chiffon before, count yourself lucky. Although its beautiful to wear, its a royal PITA to cut and sew.
The simple lines of this top made it doable, though, and I’m going to love wearing this. I wasn’t sure I would like the off the shoulder look, but I can’t wait to bask in the feeling of sun on my shoulders at the beach (wearing sunscreen of course!), and I can easily push one shoulder up and one down to nurse. Tip: Use Spray Starch or Best Press to keep that sucker from shifting all around on your cutting table!
My second Daphne was cut from a lightweight chambray I purchased a couple years ago, and then didn’t know what to do with.
I shortened this version a few inches for an almost-cropped length, and added the ruffle (no sleeves). I was hoping to avoid the mexican-restaurant waitress look, and I think with the right pants and jewelry, it works!
This fabric was much easier to tame than the chiffon, and went together very quickly. I never see people wearing this one up on top of the shoulders- but you totally can! If you plan to wear it like this all the time, I would make the elastic a little bit longer.
My third piece is a Mama Megan Romper– another style I wasn’t sure if I could wear. They looked awesome on taller people, but I wasn’t sure if it was me, you know?
The Liverpool is from Pretty Posh Prints– you may recognize it from the Bomber Jacket I made here. This fabric is a bit thicker than I would prefer for this pattern, but I am pleasantly surprised with the comfort and wearability of this style.
The cross front makes it easy to nurse in, and since I shortened it slightly to avoid any gaping on my smaller than average bust, I feel very secure that the only person getting a show is the baby!
The sleeves were tighter than I anticipated- usually I have to take my sleeves in, but these are quite fitted, which is something I might modify on a future version. And there will be more versions- because I’ve decided I like this style alot!
I couldn’t resist this floral print in one of the recent fast fingers sales, and I was just barely able to squeak this out of a single yard. I chose the double V, and again, find this a great nursing friendly top!
I added a couple finishing touches on this one, such as stitching in the ditch at the side seam to help the facing stay put. This is probably my favorite piece in the whole collection, and I can’t wait to make a maxi version out of this pattern.
Well, that’s it for now- though I’m sure I’ll be sewing up more before we leave for our trips! (Have you seen the new Take the Plunge Swimsuit– that’s definitely on my list! An its on sale for release!) I also have a few more swimwear patterns coming soon to a blog near you from Made for Mermaids –follow them on Instagram for a few sneaks!)
Here are the five of us (hubby behind the camera!) out for a night on the town! Can you spot all the me-mades?
What do you like to wear on vacation? Do you like going outside your usual style bubble on a trip?
Note: this post contains affiliate links- if you choose to purchase a pattern or item using the links, a small portion gets recycled into my vacation/sewing fund! Thank you!