Stack of fabric from the Shark Tales collection from Michael Miller Fabrics

Happy Retro Sunsuit featuring Michael Miller Fabric!

We’re back with NEW stuff from Michael Miller Fabric and SewingPortfolios.com!


Along with fabric from the Kashmir Gardens collection from Michael Miller Fabric and SewingPortfolios.com I posted a few days ago, I was sent some amazing fabric from the Shark Tales collection too!  I’m going to admit (sheepishly) that I was not super psyched about this collection when I saw the images online.  Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind, maybe I was in a funky mood, I don’t really know.  It didn’t really call to me.  I didn’t find inspiration in this collection.  But I trusted MMF and Candice from SewingPortfolios (who organizes all the  SP Diamond Ambassador collaborations and essentially makes it all happen) and knew it’d be cute, even if it’s not my personal style.

But then…

girl wearing green retro play suit made from the schatje skirt sewing pattern with Michael Miller Fabric in front of pink rocks and cacti in the desertI got my fabric in the mail.  And WOW!  I was impressed!  INSTANTLY I had ideas about what I wanted to do.  The colors are very on trend, the details are much better in person.  This line is GORGEOUS!  For serious!  I immediately knew I wanted to make a retro 1940’s style sun suit for Girly.  Since we don’t live anywhere near water (the drought has practically dried up all our rivers here) I knew this would be a fun, desert-y, Palm Springs type of project.  The fabric I chose to use for this project is called Gators because it’s…alligators!

I love how subtle the print is.  It’s one of those fun fabrics that you can make into a very traditional garment and it looks abstract and tonal until you get up close and then BAM!  ALLIGATORS!  (I feel like I’m yelling a lot in this post-just image me talking loudly and waving my arms around wildly.  Because I gesture a lot when I talk.  I’m always afraid of hitting someone when I’m in the middle of a story…).




girl wearing green retro play suit made from the schatje skirt sewing pattern in front of pink rocks and cacti in the desert


What did I do:

I started the sun/play suit with our The Schatje Skirt PDF Sewing Pattern.  I made the waistband elastic in the back tighter because skirts used to sit high on the natural waist back in “the day.”  I then made a HUGE (like, 6″ deep) hem at the bottom to make it the proper length for the style outfit but then, later on, let the hem out so she can wear the skirt to school with a tee shirt and have it be more modern and current.

The top was an experiment.  I used one of Girly’s tank tops as a basic pattern.  I traced it onto a sheet of paper and then added width between the 2 straps in order to gather it a bit.  Then I made a skinny version of The Schatje Skirt’s waistband and added it to the bottom of the top.  Then it was a quick casing along the top and some skinny elastic in the front and the back.

The straps are some homemade bias tape out of some scraps.  If I were to make this again, I would find a better solution for sewing the straps on so the ends aren’t just hanging out unfinished inside the top.  I’ll get there.

girl wearing green retro play suit made from the schatje skirt sewing pattern in front of pink rocks and cacti in the desert

Where we went:

We went hiking at Canyons of the Ancients a while back and I was enamored with the smooth rock/cacti/rocks jutting out of seemingly nowhere right at the trailhead and knew I would be back many, many times.  Now that I have “George Splashington,” it’s easy for us to get to more of these amazing places.

One of the more important things about living here is to NOT buy a brand new car.  You will hit wildlife or have a boulder bounce off the side of the mountain and roll right on to your car or get caught in a hail storm.  This region is rough on cars.  So we bought an older Jeep that’s cute and reliable but not overly precious so we won’t be upset as much when we take it up some of the 4×4 only roads and it gets a dent or scratch…  The husband guy named it after we forded our first stream (back when they still had some water in them this summer).

The issue with trying to shoot in natural light in SW Colorado is that It’s. Always. Sunny. (but not full of shenanigans like the other It’s Always Sunny).  We timed it so we’d be there at the golden hour and got these amazing looooong shadows and the sun was low enough in the sky to bounce around and fill some of the shadows in a bit so it doesn’t feel as harsh as it usually does.

Jeep Cherokee in the desert of southern colorado
George Splashington in the parking area of our photo shoot.
Looking Ahead:

Girly was so excited about her new outfit she immediately wanted to go swimming in it but we live nowhere near a beach.  I think I heard there was one down in New Mexico somewhere but I haven’t found it yet.  The light makes it look nice and warm but it’s already starting to get chilly here.

I still have some sharktales fabric and some coraline fabric left.  I’m eyeing that coral fabric for this amazing asymmetrical top for Girly that I think will be divine.  I just have to get a few more things off my to-do list before I can tackle that.  My idea has a large ruffle and we’re not ruffle people (as evidenced by the lack of frou-frou anything in our pattern store) but I think this design calls for it.

If you want to check out more projects I did with Michael Miller Fabrics, check out our and our Tea Party Dress!

I hope you enjoyed our second Michael Miller Fabric and SewingPortfolios.com project for the week!

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