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{Riley Blake Designs} Tea with Bea by Katherine Lenius


Spring has finally sprung here in NC and there's no better way to celebrate than with a new Spring dress!  Tea with Bea by Katherine Lenius for Riley Blake Designs is just right for the occasion.  It's a gorgeous new collection of Spring florals, cute tea cups, bumblebees and fun coordinates.  The color palette is full of coordinating shades that I really don't think you can go wrong with pairing them up!

I honestly had a really hard time narrowing down my choices this time.  I really wanted them ALL... hehe.  (Now I need to find the tea cups because I'm kicking myself for not choosing those!).  Knowing I'd be sewing it up with Spring in mind, I chose one of the main floral printss: Tea with Bea Main Off White and then a coordinate Tea with Bea Diamond Sky which is one of my favorite colors.

I had an entirely different plan in mind until I got hit with pneumonia and then it was too late to start my original plan (that's what I get for not starting right away!).  Lucky for me, Mackinac Island by Little Lizard King came out just as I was about to enter panic mode.    Of course, I had to get the go ahead from my daughter. HA!!  Thankfully, she absolutely loved the pattern!  This pattern has lots of options.  We chose the sleeveless, scoop back, ruffled skirt options.

While I decided how to use the coordinate, I decided to use it just as an accent.  I really love dresses that are primarily one print with just a pop of the other.  I used the Diamonds for the back bow here, pocket lining and for the bow in her hair.

We are so excited about the temperatures warming up around here.  Add in the lush greenery and fresh air and there's no way you can't smile.  I always add the ruffles to the skirts because all that gathering is worth watching her twirl to her heart's content!

 I couldn't help but add the extra large pockets! Every dress needs pockets, right?

She looks like a walking garden!  This collection releases this month so definitely make sure you are connecting with your favorite fabric shop to purchase Tea with Bea!  

{Raspberry Creek Fabrics} Forever Collection


The temps are finally warming up here and they seem to be here to stay!  YAY!  This also means my tween needs an update to her "warm weather" wardrobe.  Just after she graduated 5th grade last year, she hit her growth spurt and we're still playing catch-up with her clothing.  She likes casual, comfy clothes but also likes to stay on trend too.   The key is to find the perfect pairing of fabric and patterns.

We're back at Raspberry Creek Fabrics blog with our next installment of tween fashion.  For this piece, I conducted a little experiment.  I've always wondered (and agonized over) if picking the perfect pattern really changed how the fabric looks.  Maybe I've been wasting my time agonizing over choosing the perfect pattern?!  Curious?  Read on to find the results!

My daughter and I started with the fabric selection.   I'd been eying the Mustard Yellow Sage and Brown Sunflower Floral in the Forever Collection section in the shop.  My tween has declared a love for light yellow so when she saw it, she loved it too.  This comes on 3 bases -- DBP, CL, and FT.  We chose DBP as it feels like wearing a cloud!

The Forever Collection contains 15 of the most popular CLUB prints from the past!  Some are exclusively double brushed poly, and some are cotton jersey or French Terry.  And a few lucky ones are available on all 3 bases!

Once it came in, I started with my first pattern -- Benicia by Little Lizard King.  I had used this pattern for her RCF pink leopard dress last month so I knew it was tween approved.  She selected short sleeves and regular neckline this time.  When I finished, the result was a sweet summer silhouette and a comfortable fit without the fuss of a waist seam.  (An unintended result of this experiment was how different this pattern looks just by changing the fabric and pattern options!)

We love how lightweight double brushed poly is -- she was checking the twirl here and while it's not really a twirly dress, the fabric had some great movement!

She thought this dress was super comfy and loved the sweet sunflowers on it.  Her little sister loved it more though so she already stole it!  HA!!  

For our second half of the experiment, we searched for a boxy crop tee that is perfectly on trend.  We got lucky when Little Lizard King just released exactly what we were looking for last week!  This is Marin and comes with a variety of options, but we kept it super simple with no colorblocking, short sleeves, and crop length.

The short sleeves in the pattern are meant to be a little oversized, but I knew the intended longer length would bother my tween so I used the sleeve portion of the colorblocked sleeves and left off the colorblocked bottom piece.  Sewing makes it so easy to customize each piece!

She practically lived in this shirt for days until I took it to wash -- lol.  She loves everything about it!  

Experiment results:  I really wasn't sure if pattern choice would affect the "look" of fabric, but I have to say in this case, it really did!  With the solid base of the a-line knit dress, the sunflowers really stand out and you see lots of them!  However, when placed on the crop tee, the sunflowers were more subtle, but appear larger to me.  She also felt trendier and more confident in the tee, but felt really sweet and girly in the dress.  So, I guess I will continue to agonize over perfect pattern choices for the time being!  I think I'll try this experiment again too!  You know, for science...

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