Aqua Swim Coverup

Aqua Swim Coverup

We bought a city pool pass for the summer and have been to the pool twice already since school got out hurrah!! Unfortunately we had to leave mid-way through the first trip due to a “contamination” at the pool, but…let’s move on. Clementine decided she needed a swim coverup, and had clear ideas about making it, so we got to work.

Aqua Swim Coverup

She’s discovered the joy of having an idea and then sewing it to life, which gives me a great deal of joy, as you can imagine. For me (and I’m sure for many of you), sewing is more than just choosing fabric and a pattern and making something; it’s about realizing a vision, and I’m excited that Clementine is starting to get that. She doesn’t feel restrained by pattern pieces (though it probably would be easier if she did), she just decides what she wants and says “let’s make it!” It’s still my job to figure out how to get from idea to finished thing, but I’m sure over time she’ll begin to understand the fundamentals of clothing-building. She can operate the sewing machine pretty well with minimal supervision (she has her own Hello Kitty Janome), so that’s fun.

Aqua Swim Coverup

This project took all of an hour, since it’s basically just a rectangle of rib knit fabric (purchased here) sewn together at the side to make a tube, with some shirring on the top and straps added (similar to the Beach Goddess Maxi, but shorter and with straps). I didn’t even hem the top and bottom; I just used my serger to finish the edges with the standard serger overlock stitch. I did most of the sewing this time, while Clementine stood by and barked orders. She did find the shirring part to be pretty fascinating.

Aqua Swim Coverup

The coverup shrunk by about 3 inches in length when I threw it in the wash, even though I prewashed the fabric, which reminds me to mention that when you are sewing with knits, you really should prewash and dry your fabric two or even three times if you’re worried about shrinkage. It wasn’t a big deal her since it started out a little long (and now, perfect!), but if this had happened after I had made her a tee, I would have been frustrated. Takeaway lesson: PREWASH KNITS MULTIPLE TIMES!

Aqua Swim Coverup

Aqua Swim Coverup

As you can see, she’s still a character. But she’s grown so much bigger this year…waaaah!!! Aqua Swim Coverup

shirring infographic

Here are some more shirring posts from the blog:

Tutorial: Shirring with Elastic Thread (how to shirr!)

1. Aqua Swim Coverup
2. Beach Goddess Maxi tutorial
3. Baby Sunsuit Tutorial (free!)
4. Pomegranate Pierrot with Shirring
5. Princess and the Pea sundress
6. Yellow Birthday Dress with Bows
7. hello pilgrim!
8. Rainbow Dress Tutorial (free!)
9. Summersville Washi Tunic

New fabric preview: Sidewalk!

Maybe no one else noticed, but I took a break from designing fabric last year. A baby/toddler in your life can do that. But by fall, I was starting to feel a strong desire to sketch and design again, and it was really wonderful. I forget sometimes with everything else going on how much I love that. Anyway, those designs resulted in my next line of fabric for Cloud9 Fabrics, Sidewalk, which previewed at spring Quilt Market a couple weeks ago. I’m excited to introduce it to you!

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Most exciting for me is the fact that Sidewalk will be printed on organic interlock knit! I’ve long been fan of sewing with knits; you may remember that I ran a couple of series of posts on this blog (the KNITerviews and KNITS: Stretch Yourself!) dedicated entirely to knit sewing. It just makes sense to me to learn how to sew with knits, considering much of the clothing we wear is made with knit fabric (t-shirts, leggings, dresses, skirts) and it’s one of the most comfortable types of fabrics to wear. Here’s a few of the cute samples Jess sewed for the Sidewalk display at Quilt Market!

Made by Rae Sidewalk knits for Cloud9 Fabrics (Fall 2016)

Knits have been traditionally been difficult to find and purchase online, where you can’t predict true color or weight, most knits are solid or striped, and the types and behaviors (amount of stretch, recovery) vary widely. So I’m thrilled that Cloud9 decided to introduce interlock knits into their fabric lineup. I’m also happy that other manufacturers have been following a similar trend; the more a company prints on a predictable knit substrate, the more familiar and comfortable we as customers will feel purchasing and sewing with knits (I’m looking at you, Windham; I’d like to see more knits on the Briar Rose jersey please)!

Sidewalk knits

[Just Hatched Leggings, a free pattern + tutorial from my blog!]

I first got a chance to try out the new Cloud9 knit substrate last fall (I used it for all of the samples in my Creativebug class, Sewing for Little Ones: Trace and Make Tee and Leggings) with their first house-designed line of knit solids and simple prints, and am happy to say that the weight and stretch are fantastic and they are super soft and high-quality (read: no pilling!!) to boot. I couldn’t be happier to have these designs printed with Cloud9.

Made by Rae Sidewalk knits for Cloud9 Fabrics (Fall 2016)

Sidewalk is an ode to school days, riding the bus, and walking to school. I have fond and vivid memories from my childhood of traveling home from school, past well-manicured lawns and through woods on warm afternoons when I could take my time and day dream a bit. I think my own kids could use a little more free-range time in their day, you know? Cut grass, warm sunshine, and chasing grasshoppers. First, two prints featuring little pairs of shoes, “Fancy Steps:”

fancy steps

fancy steps

Another favorite, “Lawn Ornament.” I love the recent flamingo trend. Clementine is on board with this one because it’s got pink. No surprise there, right?

lawn ornament

lawn ornament

Here’s another print that comes in two colors, “Art Class.” I love the colored pencils.

art class

art class

A fun floral (lots of people are telling me this reminds me of the floral print from Lotus Pond!) with a dark teal background:
prize garden

Some snakes and bugs! I’m always designing for my boys. I think these would make the best pajamas!!

off the trail

bug's life

bug's life

I’m quite fond of these buses, too. Hugo is going through a strong pro-bus phase right now at age 2, so this one was drawn with him in mind.

bus stop

And finally, I really wanted to bring back the most popular print from Small World, “Red Rover.” This print is a bit smaller in scale than the original corduroy print from Small World, and the red is more orangey-red, and the blue has been changed to black. I think it will be great for knits! (PS Red Rover is also being printed on cotton laminate — perfect for raincoats and beach bags — as well!)

red rover

That’s the line, all 12 prints! Which print is your favorite? Are you excited to sew with these?

Sidewalk ships this fall, so look for it in shops in October 2016. Please help me spread the word about this line by pinning any of the images in this post! I hope you enjoyed this preview!

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Ruby with poms

I realize my need to add pom poms to things I make is becoming borderline obsessive. I haven’t found a support group yet, so it is going to be ADD POMS TO ALL THE THINGS YEEHAW until someone stages an intervention. Just so you know.

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Latest Pom Victim: this white double gauze Ruby top (pattern: Ruby Dress and Top).

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The fabric is a solid white double gauze that I picked up at Pink Castle here in Ann Arbor. Every time I make a piece of clothing with solid fabric I wonder why I don’t do it more. Solid pieces are the connector blocks in my handmade wardrobe. I’ve just made a chambray tank that is serving a similar purpose that I’ll post soon. Solid fabrics may be less exciting to look at than crazy prints, but they sure are practical.

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As for adding poms to this Ruby, since the weave was pretty loose, I opted to stitch the trim on by hand after I lined the yoke.

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By the way, this top is another piece of my Spring/Summer Handmade Wardrobe that I posted about here. Stay tuned for more!

PS. Want to see everything I’ve ever made that has pom poms on it? You got it.

Bonsai Bag / Bianca with poms / Geranium with poms / Clementine Geranium with poms / Pom Pom scarf (that’s even a tutorial!) / Pom pom scarf for Clementine / shorts with pom poms / Orange Washi with poms

 

 

 

Your Me-Made-May Makes

May has drawn to a close, and with it ends “Me Made May,” the fantastic month-long celebration of wearing handmade clothing, where makers wear and post their handmade makes online. If you’re not already familiar with this online event, you can see all kinds of posts under the #mmmay16 tag on Instagram (even if you don’t have an IG account, you can click on that link to see all of the photos!). There’s also a great interview with Zoe Edwards, who started Me Made May, over on the Colette blog.

I love seeing all of your Me Made May makes, so here’s a roundup of a few of my favorites!

Don’t you love these Rubies? These ladies used the Ruby Dress & Top pattern to create some great dresses and tops:

Your Me-Made-May Makes!

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Ruby, Washi, Bianca, Beatrix, and Luna (clockwise from top left):

Your Me-Made-May Makes!

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These photos are from Julie’s Instagram feed:

Your Me-Made-May Makes!
Check out Julie’s blog too! She just posted an amazing roundup!

Two Beatrix TopsBianca Tunic, and a Josephine Blouse (love how Marie used the selvage for the button band on her Beatrix!!):

Your Me-Made-May Makes!
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These Ruby tops are all from Hayley’s Instagram feed:Your Me-Made-May Makes!
I love how Hayley added the Washi cap sleeve to so many of her Ruby tops … am contemplating a tutorial.

A handful of the many fantastic Washi Dresses that were posted:

Your Me-Made-May Makes!
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Some spectacular pairs of Luna Pants:

Your Me-Made-May Makes!
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More great Washi Dresses. Those florals are really fun, aren’t they?

Your Me-Made-May Makes!
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I just love how so many people share their love for sewing and wearing handmade during the month of May. I’m so happy that so many of you are using my patterns to make clothing for yourselves and so glad you are enjoying the patterns. Thanks to all of you who shared your lovely MBR makes for us to enjoy!

PS. Special thanks to Jess for linking up all of these photos to their owners; that was no small feat!

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Loominous Ruby and the sad tale of a jumpsuit gone awry

Loominous Ruby Top

You may remember that earlier this year I made a pair of Luna Pants from this very same fabric. One day by chance I folded those pants on top of a pair of dark skinny jeans and fell in love with the combination of the green with the denim and realized “I think I need a top from that fabric too.”

Loominous Ruby Top

Considering how ridiculously comfortable the pants were, it was a no-brainer to buy more fabric (Loominous by Anna Maria Horner) to make a simple summer top. And considering Ruby is possibly the quickest and easiest of all of my women’s patterns to make, that was a no-brainer too.

Loominous Ruby Top

This top was part of my Spring/Summer Handmade Wardrobe planning sketch (I blogged about that here), so now I can cross that one off the to-sew list.

Loominous Ruby Top

At some point in the process — I don’t exactly remember when — it occurred to me that these two things (top, pants) could be combined to make a faux jumpsuit without the obvious disadvantages of a real jumpsuit (I am referring, of course, to the difficulties one might encounter trying to use the restroom, among other things). Once the thought was there, it was impossible not to act on it. Photographic evidence:

Loominous Faux Jumpsuit

I’m not sure why it never occurred to me that I would look like a giant green leprechaun. And the glasses and the shoes really did not help at ALL…geez. Perhaps with a different color (black?) things would have been different, but I think it is safe to say that I Will Not Be Caught Dead wearing this ensemble out of the house.

I thought you would get a kick out of the photo, though.

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