Bespoke Double Gauze Blouse

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Here’s a blouse I made last fall out of the new Bespoke double gauze for Cotton and Steel which is in shops right now. I originally intended to make another Geranium Dress out of this double gauze for the Stylo photoshoot, but after first making the striped Moon Pants I decided I absolutely had to make something for myself with the remainder. It was definitely a spur of the moment decision based on the fact that I love this stripe so much. That bronze color is yum and the print is brilliant. And honestly I already had so many garments for the Stylo shoot that I figured it wouldn’t matter if I made myself a little something.

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The decision to use the selvages for the button placket was not only aesthetic, it was also practical. I didn’t have much fabric left (I had to do a little patching of one of the back bodice pieces to make everything fit, actually) so cutting the backs right along the edge made sense. It’s a little tricky getting a selvage to lay nicely due to the thicker weave along the edge but I think we managed it.

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The pattern is something I’ve been working on for the last half year probably. Will it ever be released? Only time will tell. Le Sigh.

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Just checking in

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I spent last week mostly in bed due to a nasty stomach bug that completely wiped me out for days. I am *just* starting to feel normal again. There’s nothing so humbling as having an ambitious set of New Year’s goals and then getting knocked down before you can even start. Maybe it’s best just to keep it simple again this year; set the ol’ Expectations Bar low and just see what happens.

Hugo got his first haircut last week. I think it’s really cute. Can’t wait to show you!

My friend Anna of Noodlehead has joined the Cloud9 designer roster! Can’t wait to see what awesomeness she has in store for us. Congratulations, Anna!!

I really want to make some pants this year. Seems like everyone is making these Ginger Jeans. Not sure I want to deal with all the grommets and hardware involved in making jeans, but it sure would be cool! Also: none of my pants fit. BAH.

I’ve been doing a little fabric shopping with the shops that sponsor this blog: I bought a pile of knits at Organic Cottons Plus (the online shop that used to be Near Sea Naturals) a few weeks ago and they are really really nice. Also grabbed some Charlie Harper knit and GeoPop Canvas from Fabricworm as well.

Seems like there’s a ton of fantastic new fabrics in shops lately, including the new Cotton and Steel fabrics! And they’ve got rayon on the horizon.

I started listening to the Elise Gets Crafty podcast. Love it. The episode on focus (Episode 023) was exactly what I needed to hear right now.

I’ve been enjoying DIY/Design Queen Emily Henderson’s blog. She is perky and weird and hilarious.

I like this website from Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch, for looking up which kinds of fish are sustainably farmed/caught. They have a free phone app too to make it easy to look them up while you’re shopping too.

And, exciting newsflash: the Geranium Dress Sewing Pattern is finally IN PRINT in the smaller size range and began shipping to shops last week. Check with your favorite local or online modern fabric shop to see if they have it yet! You can see a nice photo of the paper copy over in the Fabric Studio‘s (a Nashville shop) Instagram feed.

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What I made in 2014: Hugo!

I’m just cracking myself up over here with this one. I MADE A BABY THIS YEAR! This week my blog feed (Bloglovin is my favorite way to read blogs now, I love the daily email digest) is loaded with sewing blogs posting their “what I made in 2014″ roundups. So I started to look for projects that I’d sewn this past year to maybe do a similar post, something like my 2013 or 2012 end-of-year roundups (which, by the way, are both quite impressive and started to make me feel a little bad about this year), and then started to realize hmmmm…why was I less productive, what DID I do this year? OH YES THAT’S RIGHT I MADE A BABY. And then I realized it’s been forever since I posted any Hugo pics. So without further ado, my big “project” of 2014…HUGO!

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Truly though, I can’t believe that the last time I posted a monthly Hugo pic he was three months old! He is now 9.5 months old. UM WHERE DID THAT HALF YEAR GO?!? I would also like to know how other fecund bloggers have managed to post month-by-month photos of their babies, seriously, because it is ridiculously hard. I’m starting to suspect they just take ONE photo, put it through a magic Photoshop-baby-aging-filter, and then set it to autopost each month. So let’s start where I left off and see what he looked like at 4 months:

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OK. So definitely not the BEST baby-propping skills here. And then Clementine stepped into the photos so that was the end of that…

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Here’s what he looked like at 5 months:

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and at 6 months:

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Here he is at 7 months:

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And at 8 months:

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and now, my baby boy is NINE. months. old. WOW!

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I want to say more about this guy, how easy and happy he is, how he is at the bottom of the percentiles for weight so we keep having to go back to the Dr for weight checks ARRRG, how he just got over a month of chest colds and croup that made me sick with worry, how his brother and sister just think he’s the bees knees and how much he lights up when they are around…but if I try to be comprehensive I’m never going to get this post finished, and then it will be ten months, so I’m just going to post this thang so you can enjoy the pics. Let me leave you with another favorite, Hugo in his Halloween costume:

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GAAAAH! I know I am hopelessly biased but I just think he is SO. stinking. CUTE!! Sorry that’s probably really annoying. The baby lobster costume just cracks me up.

Please do not pin or repost pictures of Hugo — the one exception is that I don’t mind if you pin the mosaic (1st image). Thanks!

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Dress Camp!

Happy New Year, friends!! Over the past couple of days, I’ve been working on my goals and ideas for 2015, which is making me both really excited to get started and curious to see whether I’ll be able to execute on any of them. This is the first year I’ve taken down my Christmas tree on New Year’s Day — usually it’s up until at least the end of January — and I think it’s because I’m ready to get on with the New Year. As far as my goals, some of them are really really Big Exciting Goals, over-the-moon-type-stuff, but others are More Realistic Goals that are definitely possible. In that department: I’d like to do is teach more classes and workshops; I always enjoy teaching so much.

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So I’m very excited to announce my first actually-scheduled event of 2015: I’m going to be teaching again at Camp Stitchalot this spring! Made even more exciting by the fact that I will be co-teaching with Karen LePage, Christine Haynes, and Alexia Abegg. Not only is the teaching lineup awesome, it’s going to be a DRESS CAMP, so the focus of the weekend will be dressmaking techniques (or garment-making, if you’re not into dresses)!

I yanked that photo off of Instagram, where people were pointing out themes of similarity amongst the Stitchalot teachers (pasty skin, buns, bangs). I found that amusing.

Anyway, here’s a few deets, click over to Pink Castle for more info:

WHEN // Friday-Sunday, May 28 – 31, 2015, with an optional extra day, Thursday, May 28 for open sew (teachers will be present at all days, just not teaching on Thursday)

WHERE // Hankerd Inn, Pleasant Lake, Michigan (about an hour from Ann Arbor)

WHAT // The weekend will include full group instruction as well as lots of opportunities for small, one-on-one instruction catering to camper’s needs or questions in garment sewing. Teachers will work with you over the course of the weekend to teach the ins and outs of proper garment construction. The weekend will include four classes discussing different elements of garment making. The first will discuss measuring, pattern sizing, and muslin-making, the second will cover bust dart adjustment, the third class will go over bodice construction, and finally we’ll discuss finishing techniques.

MORE INFO // Check out Pink Castle Fabric’s 2015 Camp Stitchalot page to read more about the weekend and PURCHASE A TICKET!

Camp Stitchalot is SUPER FUN!! We are going a great time sewing up a storm. I hope you can join us for this one!

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Elsa Dress for Christmas

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A couple of months ago it seemed like every single one of my sewing blogger friends who had a daughter was dedicating themselves to recreating an Elsa dress because Halloween was on the horizon. There were some pretty impressive versions, I have to say, but I was totally smug. I had no intention of sewing a single stitch for Halloween. MY daughter was going to be TINKERBELL and I was going to order that costume online and be done with it, BAM! No slaving away over some stupid princess dress for me, NO SIR! BWAH HAH HAHAHAHAHAHA! Shoulda known.

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The thing is, when your kid asks for an Elsa dress for Christmas, and then you go to the store and look at what the $40 Elsa costume looks like, somehow it seems completely sane to immediately make a beeline for the nearest JoAnn so you can buy $50 worth of fabric to make your own (I KNOW. I didn’t have the 50% off coupon. GAAAAH!!! *smacks head against wall*).

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But I will tell you, the look on her face when she opened it up on Christmas Eve and then proceeded to put it on and prance around the house and then wear it every waking hour since that time has made it totally worth it. Completely and totally worth it. She has been spinning and twirling and singing “Let it Go” like it’s her job. The best is when I catch her staring at herself in the mirror with sophisticated Bad-Girl-Snow-Queen expressions.

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Her favorite part is the giant train. She races around the house with it flying behind her and her neck twisted as far back as possible so she can see it. Two yards (and $30 worth) of (probably plastic) snowflake fabric, gathered and carefully inserted between the two pieces of knit that comprise the sheath dress. I would also like to mention that sandwiching a gathered layer of poofy plastic between two layers of knit is not as easy as it sounds. Neither was sewing that heart-shaped seam on the front (shown below; let’s all pretend that she is singing Let It Go rather than expressing her frustration with the photographer). But otherwise the design is pretty simple and the dress itself is super comfy.

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There was also an enlightening conversation at dinner this evening which began with Elliot asking why it was called a “train” and was that related to a choo-choo train, and then ended with me discovering that Mr Rae has no recollection whatsoever of my wedding dress:

Me: I had a short train on my wedding dress.
Mr Rae (suddenly paying attention): Ah yes, I remember it well!
Me (looking skeptical): Oh, REALLY. What did it look like?
***long pause***
Mr Rae: Well…it had sleeves…?
Me (laughing): No it did NOT. UNBELIEVABLE.
*intermittent hysterical laughter continues throughout dinner*

Anyway, for a really good time, ask your husband to describe your wedding dress. I’m completely serious. Please do, because I really want to know what happens.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

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