Sewing Up Swim With Raspberry Creek Fabrics

…The New 2023 Swim Collection

DISCLAIMER: If you’re expecting to see cute swimsuits sewn up in beautiful Raspberry Creek Fabric swim fabrics- you won’t find them here.  BUT– you will see some other ways you can use this awesome swim fabric from RCF! Hopefully my blog post today will inspire you to grab some of these awesome swim fabrics and make something other than a swimsuit! Because we all know swim fabric isn’t just for bathing suits anymore!!! The fact that Raspberry Creek Swim fabric is UPF 50+ makes it great for any day/activity out in the sun.

Project #1~ Pullover

So what did I make this year?  I knew exactly what the first thing I would make would be! I LOVE the UPF50+ pullovers sold by Lilly Pulitzer. I love the bright colors and prints, but I don’t love the price tag on them. I made one last year, and I wore it more than I ever imagined!

I knew I needed to make another one this year. I didn’t want this year’s to be too similar to last year’s, so I went with this awesome Oranges print from the Retro Summer Collection. To add a little more fun(and a touch of preppyness), I used some orange and white gingham check for accent. How cute is this fabric combo?!?! All the prints in the Retro Summer Collection are awesome, I might need to grab some of the lemons too!

The Constellation Pullover from Love Notions Patterns was the perfect pattern to help me create the look I wanted. I also have made this quite a few times and I love the way it fits me.

I was even able to find a source for a zipper exactly like the ones LP uses! Downside ~ I had to purchase 10 yards of zipper~ but I’m sure I’ll eventually use it all! Upside~ the zipper for one Constellation wound up costing $1.18!

A Few Tips About This Project

  • Before attaching the zipper to the upper front, place a strip of tricot interfacing along the front edges to stabilize the edge. This will help prevent the fabric from stretching out while basting on the zipper.
  • When using swim fabric, it would be best to interface both the main collar and the collar lining with tricot interfacing. This will help the collar lay a bit nicer, yet it won’t be too stiff.
  • Tighten the cuff just a tad, so if worn for any water activities, it will prevent water from running down your arm. I wear this over a kayak dress sometimes (keep reading) and if the cuffs are too loose, the water will run down the paddle and down my arm.

Inspiration Pics…

Project #2~ Swing Dress

My second make was the popular Laundry Day Tee Dress from Love Notions. (If you join their Facebook Group you can get a code to get this pattern for free!). It’s cool, it’s comfy and who cares if it gets wet! It’s perfect for beachcombing or splash pads for you moms of young kids. I chose this Tropical Floral Print from the Far Out Collection. I just love how bright and cheery this print is! I didn’t use a coordinate for this one, but it does look really cute with the fuschia gingham.

For this dress I made a sleeveless version (not the tank version) by adjusting the shoulder width. I wanted a bit more sun protection for my shoulders and this also assured me my bra straps would be covered.

This dress is perfect anytime I need to be cool or those times I might get wet! Every morning I do water all of my flowers and plants wearing one of these dresses, somehow I always manage to get wet doing this. However, my favorite time to wear this dress is for morning walks on the beach. I don’t have to worry about the waves and I can leave the beach and run errands or do lunch with my friends without worrying about what I have on! I love throwing on a denim jacket on top of these dresses! I have also used these dresses as coverups, especially when I am going someplace after the beach. Last year, I also wore them when taking my little great nephew to the splash pad.

Did you know that there are many dress boutiques in the coastal towns of New England that sell simple swing and shift dresses made from swim fabric? And did you know they cost $160.00 and up?? WHAT!?!? Check out the Sailor Sailor clothing line- all swim knit! I’ve tried these dresses on and I’ve fallen in love with them- but even if I was willing to spend the $$$- many are shift dresses and aren’t made to fit us curvy girls! This is where I got the idea of using RCF swim fabric for making my own. dresses. Not only do my dresses fit me better than RTW ones but they cost me less than $30. (2 yards of fabric @ $13.70 per yard =$27.40! )

Click HERE to read my blog post about my LDT dress collection. I’ve sewn the LDT dress in many different fabric types and discuss them in this blog post.

Now that we’ve talked about what I’ve made, let’s talk a lil more about this awesome RCF FABRIC!

Raspberry Creek Fabrics Swim is high quality and UPF 50+. It’s the perfect weight for tops and dresses and isn’t too clingy. And of course- it’s perfect for swimsuits! The best thing about RCF Swim is that it is available in the cutest prints with coordinating checks, stripes, polka dots and solids!  I also find RCF swim easy to sew with. It’s thick enough that the edges don’t roll and isn’t too slippery.

I often get asked if clothing made from swim fabrics is hot to wear. First, off, I live on the coast and I spend a lot of time in and on the water. Early mornings and evenings almost always require a jacket or sweatshirt~ hence my new pullover will be perfect!

When out on the water it’s important to wear UPF50+ clothing, and for me 3/4 length or long sleeves are a must. Would I wear longer sleeves during the day? Probably not.

However, during the day I LIVE in my sleeveless LDT dresses. I actually find them cool to the touch. I wear them for walks on the beach, out to lunch and taking care of my flowers and gardens. I kinda even wear them as loungewear/house dresses. After a day on the beach or on the water, I love coming home and putting one on.

Another Option for Swim Fabric

My all time favorite thing to make with RCF swim fabric are my kayak dresses. You can read about them HERE and HERE if interested in all the details. I use these dresses for kayaking, but they are also perfect for play dates at the water park! Here are ones that I made the past 3 years. Will I have a new kayak dress for 2023? Of course, I love waiting to see what the other Promo team members sew up before I place my order. Sometimes it’s so helpful to see fabrics made into garments~ which is why us Promo team members do what we do!

If you’d like to see what I’ve made in the past with RCF swim fabric, you can visit these blog posts from past RCF Swim Tours. The exact prints shown here are not available retail, but many of them are available as custom order.

RCF Swim Tour 2020

RCF Swim Tour 2021

RCF Swim Tour 2022

Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope I’ve inspired you to sew up some swim fabrics for yourself!

Mary Anne 🙂

Be sure to follow me over on Instagram @sewmarymac to keep up with my retirement wardrobe.

As a member of the Raspberry Creek Fabrics Promo Team, these fabrics were given to me in return for posting pictures of my makes on Social Media. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post on my personal blog. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fabric Links

Oranges Retro Summer Print

Royal Tropical Floral Print

Pattern Links

Love Notions Constellation

Love Notions Laundry Day Tee Dress– free pattern when joining their Facebook group

Made For Mermaids Jordan Dress– used for my Kayak Dresses

If purchasing any Love Notions Patterns, make sure to use my coupon code SEWMARY10 for 10% off. This coupon code can even be used during sales and for the $5 Feature Friday pattern. This code changes quarterly, so if you find this code not working make sure to check one of my newest blog posts for the new code.

Zipper Resource

Amazon~Gold Metallic Nylon Zipper


  1. sewwannabe says:

    I love everything about your post. UPF fabric is a must where I live and it never occurred to me that a) I could make something that protects me and b) I could make it out of swim fabric. More projects on my ever lengthening make list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kysa cole says:

    I love all your makes! I have never sewn swim but you have inspired me to try. And I want to get in on the sale. Nothing like waiting until the last day! I am wanting to make swim capris, a swim skirt to go over or attached and a short sleeved swim tshirt. I am a plus sized grandma who wants to cover up! Do you have any pattern suggestions for these? Thanks so much!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sewmarymac says:

      Thank you so much for reading!! For your top I would suggest the Love Notions Classic tee or Rockford Raglan. Swim capris and skirt- I would check over at Made For Mermaids or Pirates for Patterns. I am sure they would both have something that would work!


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