Today I’m really excited to take part in the Raspberry Creek Fabric Suit up for Summer Blog tour and share some new swimsuits I sewed up for my daughters with the new RCF Swim fabric. The girls and I are very happy with how they turned out. But first, I want to say a few thoughts. It will tie into swimsuits at least loosely–I promise! But if you don’t care to hear me ramble just scroll until you see another picture of a cute girl in a lemon swimsuit.

I love the phrase, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” My husband gave me an indoor lemon tree for my birthday a few years back. My kids named the tree Lemonita. I’ve watched this little lemon tree lose leaves, grow leaves, blossom, begin to make little lemons, and have them all fall off so. many. times.

Around Christmas time we finally picked one ripe lemon and used it to make lemon glaze for a lemon cake. Then the tree blossomed again and now has around 20 little lemons about the size of my thumb!

I tell you this for two reasons. My lemon tree reminds me to hope and keep trying. I find so much joy in its success because I have watched its struggles.

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been! Coronavirus, school closings, e-learning, social distancing, businesses and people having so much change in such a short time. I’ve been thinking about this virus for a long time because I am also an online ESL teacher for Chinese students. (One reason why my sewing and blogging output has been slow for the past 6 months.) The online ESL community has been closely following the virus since the end of January when most of our student had to cancel their Chinese New Year travel plans because of the virus. And many of them are still out of school!

The impacts of COVID-19 are scary. The unknown is scary. But my lemon tree reminds me to hope. Because even when my lemon tree only had one leaf, it still grew and strengthened and is now thriving.

The second reason I love my lemon tree is it reminds me that good things can come from tough, unpleasant, I-would-never-choose-this kind of situations. So here are a few swigs of lemonade I’m seeing from my current situation

Life has slowed down a little. We get to take walks and bike rides. My kids get to tinker in the garage making rubber band guns and sew scrunchies. We get to make memories that will bind us together for years and years.

I finally have the time to teach my children some life skills and have them put them to use. Each morning one of my children is in charge of making breakfast while I’m teaching my online ESL classes. They have the skills or are learning the skills and are rising to the occasion. My older kids help my younger kids and that is a swig of lemonade too.

We are doing more of the things that matter the most to our family. I hope we can create habits that will continue when the virus ends and we add in all the other things back into our schedule.

Now the swimsuits…

Okay, so clearly I fell in love with this lemon print because I’m sentimental like that-and luckily my oldest daughter fell in love with it too. We looked over all the options in the Mairin swimsuit from Sew A Little Seam and picked the wide strap v-back version.

We decided to pair the tankini top with swim shorts from Jalie. My daughter isn’t into ruffles anymore so the clean lines of the top really appealed to her. And the swim shorts make a great all around active piece. We have a youth triathlon in our community at the beginning of summer. These are perfect for the running and swimming portions of the triathlon. Hopefully it still happens, but who knows with the coronavirus hanging around?

My younger daughter loved the raspberries and I was pretty excited about the vibrant red. I pushed for this ruffle sleeve version of the Mairin swimsuit and I am so glad I did. It’s adorable! She’s growing up way too fast and won’t be into ruffles much longer. It’s adorable and it gives her shoulders a little bit of sun coverage.

Good thing it looks cute because I don’t like sewing ruffles and sewing ruffles on swim fabric was even worse!

I sewed up the mid-rise boy shorts for my daughter’s swimsuit. She was in between sizes so I went for the larger size and it looks a little big too me. Luckily she can wear some black swim bottoms from last year until she grows into these. The black isn’t as cute but it will do.

Or I might make some of the Jalie swim bottoms for my younger daughter! She saw big sister’s and wanted to match.

So now the fun stuff…Go check out all the other stops on the RCF Summer Swim Tour to see all the amazing swimsuits. And if you’re inspired to sew up your own, take advantage of the code SWIMTOUR for a 15% discount. Just note that COVID-19 has not played nice with the supply chain so if you add other fabrics beside swim to your order the shipping turnaround time may slow down depending on when fabric shipments come in.

Raspberry Creek Fabrics