While I was preparing to put the Sturgeon Swimsuit into testing a couple months ago Sherri shared some cool inspiration pictures with me that she'd found online and really liked. I immediately asked (begged?) her to run with the ideas and turn them into a swim cover-up. At the same time she was neck-deep in the Aspen Add-On and Tide Romper Bundle preparations (along with a few other patterns in her mental "queue") and she graciously offered the ideas up for me to turn into a pattern instead. And so the Raspberry Cover-Up was born!
In order to keep it nice and light for those summer beach/pool visits, and in keeping with Sofiona Designs desire to create clean/beautiful insides, I used facings rather than choosing full linings or no linings for the bodice. Careful under stitching and pressing when attaching the facings help keep the outside of the Raspberry looking clean (no topstitching lines around the neck) and give a nice crisp finish to the front opening/neckline.
The raw edge of Raspberry's facings can either be finished by serging/zig-zagging over them, or a bias binding can be applied. One thing we noticed in testing was that when that edge is bound the 'bump' of this binding may be visible from the outside of the garment if very lightweight main fabrics are used. In those cases we'd advise either being sure to use an equally light weight fabric for the binding, or rather choosing to serge the facing edge.
During the design process we decided this pattern could actually be so much more than simply a cover-up for pool and beach days. This little number would also work as an everyday piece to pair with other items in the kids wardrobes. The one thing to keep in mind, though, is that the Raspberry was created to have a clean shape & fit across the upper body and therefore fits and sits best over slimmer clothing items.
There are 3 length options: slightly cropped shirt, knee length and full length.
Raspberry can be made sleeveless for a cool vest look.
Or it can be made with the elbow length bell sleeves (with or without a delicate ruffle on the sleeve hem). It's not specifically mentioned in the tutorial, but if you have pre-made ruffles or trim you'd like to add to that sleeve hem instead it's a great place to show them off!
The front of the Raspberry closes with either one or two ties. The double tie will give a slightly more structured look to the waist, while the single tie will be a quicker option and function just as well as a closure.
The ties also provide another great place to "decorate". A couple testers threaded beads onto the end of theirs to make their Raspberry's even more unique. Others used ribbon or lace instead of the fabric ties.
The hemline of Raspberry has a slight high-low. It can be left plain, in which case the front corners feature a clean mitered corner. Or an optional deep ruffle can be added to the hem (knee or full length cover-ups only).
This cover-up works well with a number of different light weight fabrics. Even within that category there is a lot of variety, each with its benefits and disadvantages. I love this one that I made my llama loving daughter out of this double gauze from Sitka Fabrics. This particular gauze was fairly densely woven and actually quite nice to work with (I know not all of them are!); BUT I could also tell it wasn't going to hold structure along angles, edges and curves so I chose to face it with another lightweight fabric that would hold that structure for me. I also applied the optional interfacing to the front angled edge of the shirt.
I love rayon for it's drape and structure while sewing but it can tend to shift off grain while cutting, potentially affecting the final shape of the pattern piece. Careful attention to grainline while laying the fabric out on the cutting mat and generous use of pins/pattern weights will help.
For the same reasons as rayon, chiffon also requires time/attention during the prepping/cutting stage. With it being such a delicate and shifty fabric to handle, the use of lots of pins is highly recommended during construction. The trade-off for this extra time and precision, however, is a beautifully flowing final garment perfect for even warmer days.
We hope you'll share your own Raspberry Cover-Ups either in the Sofiona Designs Fan Group on Facebook, or on Instagram. #sofiraspberry #sofionadesigns #raspberryinthewild
You can also follow along on our Pinterest page for more inspiration! https://www.pinterest.ca/SofionaDesigns/