Voile Dress with Mini-Poms and some pattern updates

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{please don’t pin this image of Clementine (above). Thanks!}

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Lately the major sewing theme for me has been DRESSES. For both me and the girl. Does anyone remember the polka dot top I made for Clementine last year for Once Upon A Thread? The Ric Rac Baby Dress from waaay back when (oh my goodness Clementine is SO SMALL in those pictures!)? Or this vintage sheet version?

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All of these were variations on a basic cropped bodice pattern that I drew up that is dangerously addictive and versatile (I’ve now gotten pattern pieces digitized for sizes 0-3mo to 5T, woot!). This newest deep pink voile version is the size 3 and was made with the pastry line voile from Anna Maria Horner which is perfect for summer. It has miniature white pom-poms (found here) around the sleeves and bottom of the bodice and a long, super-full skirt, as well as that little notch I seem to love to add to everything.

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{please don’t pin this image of Clementine (above). Thanks!}

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A few pattern updates…

I also wanted to give you an update on where I’m at with a few patterns currently:

Flashback Tee for Kids sizes 6-14 - Is in its final stages, almost ready to go. I just received feedback from a second round of testers last night and it is currently being “packaged up” so that we can get that out for sale (translation: probably next week). It probably has not escaped the notice of some readers that the size 14 might also fit some women. This is true; the size 14 chest measurement on my size chart is 33.5″ which is roughly equivalent to a women’s size small. Throw in the fact that knits stretch and the tee is not a skin-tight design, and you might be able to make it for yourself. Who knows?

Washi Dress – The response to the Washi Dress was UN-stinkin-BELIEVABLE. Really amazing, and thank you so much everyone!! I suspected it might be a hit after the response it got in person at Quilt Market, but after getting over 100 comments in less than a day on the post, getting the “washi” pattern out (not sure if that’s what I’ll call it yet) has moved to the top of the list as far as my project priorities go. I am so excited to see what happens with this! I read this book last week and so far I’ve graded the pattern for bust sizes 32-40″ which is more or less a typical women’s size XS-XL range (it would be too ambitious for me to attempt a plus-size pattern on my first women’s pattern ever. What can I say? I am a total newbie at this, folks). You can trust that I will give it the usual anal-retentive Rae-treatment and let’s all hope the result is in line with what you’ve come to expect from the rest of my patterns.

To stay in the loop on all pattern progress, you can subscribe to my newsletter on the right sidebar of my blog, I’ve been sending an email out to that list when new patterns are ready.

Backyard camping

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These two stayed busy for hours yesterday in the tent we set up in the backyard. Our tent stands on its own without stakes, so we moved it around as the shady patches in our yard changed with the position of the sun. At one point it became necessary to put all of the stuffed animals in the tent. And when I say ALL of the stuffed animals, I mean ALL. My kids aren’t old enough to sleep outside in the backyard yet by themselves, but I imagine this could be fun when they’re older as long as they don’t get scared. For now we just play. Have any of you tried it with your kids?

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Hope everyone had a great weekend! And if you’re in the states, enjoy the holiday today!

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Washi Dress

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UPDATE: The Washi Dress sewing pattern is now available here.

Last week I made this dress out of a few yards of Washi I had previously designated for a skirt. When this dress design popped into in my head, I got more and more excited about it, and felt strongly that it needed to be made with the washi tape print. After it was finished I was even more excited. I loves it muchly.

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Fabric: Washi Tape by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Timeless Treasures (find it here or here). It was so much fun to be able to show this dress off to Rashida herself this past weekend (and she loved it too)!

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POCKETS!

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And it’s a perfect match for the turquoise flats. Sweet!

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So if you had to pick the Washi dress or the Hello Pilgrim dress to sew for yourself, which style would you pick? Hmmm… ;)

10 Best things at Quilt Market Spring 2012

Here are the best things that existed at Quilt Market*. According to moi, of course.

(You can see ALL of the things I thought were awesome by perusing my entire Quilt Market Kansas City 2012 photo set)

1. Melody Miller

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This booth was knocking everyone’s socks off. Melody managed to embody her entire look so effectively in one booth, and included so many awesome details and retro props that you wanted to steal the whole thing and bring it home with you.

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Especially that couch.

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Check out that adorable Booth Babe at far right with her awesome pink hair and fishnets. A.DOR.A.BLE. Shown with Karen LePage, me, and Rashida Coleman-Hale, who we had so much fun hanging out with. Rashida’s Washi fabric line was also on display at the Timeless Treasures booth and was oh-so-adorbs.

2. Liberty Lifestyle Fabrics

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Everyone is going gaga for the new Liberty quilting weights, which will be more affordable (I heard $14/yd?) than the Tana Lawns. Not great for garment-sewing, exactly, but fantastic for anyone who wants to OWN MORE LIBERTY. Read more about these from True Up or on Katy’s blog.

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As you can see their prints are amazing. The chick who was handing out sample packs gets an A+ in marketing for making me feel like I got the only Liberty sample pack that existed in the universe. I think she actually said “don’t tell anyone” (to which I’m thinking, “we were both there when I told you I was a blogger…right?) and later it was funny how everyone had them. She needs a raise.

3. Sarah Jane

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I love this little outfit so much, it just slays me.

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And there were bunkbeds. BUNKBEDS! in her booth. Are you seeing this?

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4. Amy Butler

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This floral print with the grey background in the pillow above is great. Can’t wait to own it. I want to make it into a picnic blanket with pale pink crochet trim. Wouldn’t that be great?

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The whole booth had a cool Rococo thing going on.

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The Miz Mozelle dress by Jamie Christina looked great in Amy’s fabric too.

5. Oliver + S

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This bird print? Love. From Liesl’s Ladies Stitching Club line for Moda.

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The chalkboard walls were fantastic too.

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OK, and if I had had a pair of these adorable little red wooden shoes to go with my Dutch costume when I was a kid, I would have died and gone to heaven.

6. This rose printed rayon maxi dress at Free Spirit.

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If i was a better woman I would have gotten a full shot of the thing so you could see how amazing this looked head-to-toe. Instead you have this poor shot of it sliding off of the mannequin’s boob. Oh well. Closeup:

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7. Cloud 9

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Am I biased because my Charlie Tunic made it up onto the Cloud9 booth wall? Of course I am!

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And we’ve already talked about Ed Emberley’s Happy Drawing line, right? Right.

The Cloud 9 simpatico line is one of my favorites (far left).

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8. Tula Pink

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These quilts were showstoppers.

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9. Green Bee Patterns

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New pattern designer Alexia Abegg debuted an impressive collection of quilt, bag, women, and children’s patterns.

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The diamond quilt was hands down my favorite. Cute kid’s clothing too:

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10. Ever Kelly

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Great cuckoo clock prints and cheerful colors from this new designer for Andover. How cute is that moss mountain? Cute enough to walk up and start playing with those softies (part of her new line, Storybook Lane), is what.

OK, so that’s my quick little round-up. There were so many more awesome things that I wanted to include in this post but couldn’t, so I tried to include the things here that really stuck out in my mind, but you can also see the rest of the things I thought photo-worthy or amazing by clicking through to the entire set:

*Quilt Market is a pretty amazing event. In a nutshell, it’s a trade show where all of the fabric manufacturers debut/display their new and current lines, and where thousands of fabric shop owners come to place orders for fabric, notions, and sewing patterns. This means that someone like me doesn’t exactly “belong” at quilt market, but it’s a great place to go if you have people you want to meet with to grow your sewing-related business. In addition, over the past few years more and more bloggers go to quilt market because it’s a visual feast for any fabric lover. I think it started with the fabric designers who blogged about their trips to Quilt Market, which in turn made other sewing bloggers want to go. It’s also a good excuse to meet all kinds of designers and craft book authors, who we’ve “celebritized” as we’ve come to admire their work. They’re like sitting ducks in their booths, poor things.

I also want to say one other thing, what I feel like almost no one is saying outloud because they don’t want to be rude. Quilt Market is a trade show, not a fashion show, so picture miles and miles of booths that all look alike, and then throw in the fluorescent lights and you have yourself a pretty good picture. The vast majority of Quilt Market is not “fresh” or “modern.” Most of the quilts at Quilt Market were not my taste at all (though I do want to go on record as saying that they are extraordinarily beautiful when considered in terms of craftsmanship and number the hours it took to make them — these are skills that MUST be passed on to the next generation of quilters!!!). This is mainly because the biggest market for quilting fabrics and quilting patterns is still in the 60+ quilting crowd. This will change, certainly, but for now you can still see at Quilt Market a clear representation of the economics of the quilt industry, do you get me? Quilt Market It is NOT a blogger meetup, which is something I knew before I went, but I’m not sure everyone understands; for that you really need to go to Alt Summit or Sewing Summit.

Ellen wrote a great QM wrap-up post on her blog the long thread that is really spot on, which included all of the other great things at Market that I missed in this post, but also giving her (awesome) thoughts on what she would like to see from the quilting fabric industry. Be sure to take a look!

Rae shows you all of the cute fabric she just bought. Ack!

Warning: This post is pretty stream-of-consciousness. Brace yourselves.

I just had the most amazing weekend! I feel like I always say that every time I come back from somewheres, but man, Quilt Market was intense. Now to process all of it. I need to make a list of all the people I met so I can remember everyone and everything. SO COOL.

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I have about a bajillion pictures to upload and I’ll put those up on Flickr today, but for now I need to regroup and pull myself back together. For now I want to show you the fantastic stack of fabric that arrived while I was in Kansas City, from Fabricworm and show you what’s in my head for sewing projects in the next few months.

[Fabricworm is one of my sponsors. You can find all of these fabrics at Fabricworm and most if not all of the other fantastic fabric shops that sponsor this blog (move your eyes over to the sidebar). And see note (*) below]

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First up, these sweet and cute little elephants from Kokka. Maybe a new Toddler Backpack in the larger school-aged size for Elliot next fall? Did I tell you guys he’s going to Kindergarten this fall? Waaaaaah! Or maybe some O+S Sailboat Pants. Who knows.

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This may not look like much but these are solid cotton lawns from Robert Kaufman; I have summer tops or dresses in mind. Can you imagine a cream colored top with red blanket stitching all around the edges? Or black with some bright flowers embroidered around the neck? That’s what I’m talkin about.

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Next up. Gypsy Caravan by Amy Butler. This collection of fabric is single-handedly responsible for bringing me back to sewing 6 or 7 years ago, which is exactly what I told Amy Butler when I met her this past weekend. When I start thinking of the implications of that statement I get a little emotional. And by the way she is so sweet. So anyway, Gypsy Caravan has just been re-released so of course I had to get more (and yes, I still have some of the original collection).

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Summersville by Lulu Summers. So hot right now.

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The entire collection of Happy Drawing by Ed Emberley from Cloud 9. Dying of cute. Need I say more?

There are so many new fabrics I am crazy for right now. For now I’m trying to just start with the ones I have immediate plans or ideas about. Are you ga-ga for something in particular lately? I love to talk fabric. And fabric trends. It’s craziness.

*Some of you know this already but the biggest reason I have sponsors is to pay for the fabric and supplies I use to make my projects and patterns; as you might imagine, fabric has become a pretty big “business expense” for this blog. I pay the normal price for my fabric (ie. not wholesale) and shop online for most of it, going through the shops that are on the sidebar of this blog first. For ALL of my sponsors, even those who are not fabric/supply shops, I make absolutely certain that they are someone who I want to support and can stand behind in terms of quality and awesomeness. The same is NOT true, incidentally, of the three long google ads over thar.

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Bubblegum Dress

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I’m sharing this pink dress I made for Clementine over at skirt as top today as part of the Vintage May series Kristin is hosting along with Jess of CINO. Click over to skirt as top to see more pictures and a peek at the vintage pattern I used to make it!

Bubblegum Dress

Those of you who are fans of the pink rainboots will be happy to see they’ve made an appearance again. I am going to cry big fat turtle tears on the day I discover she is too big to squeeze her feet in these anymore.

Bubblegum Dress

Click here to see the post!

Liberty Tie Top

Another spring top today! Made with Liberty cotton lawn purchased at Purl and the same pattern as the Hello Pilgrim dress.

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This one was completed just before leaving for New York a few weeks ago so I wore it over to Purl to buy some more Liberty as a reward. Not sure why I felt that making one top meant that I should buy enough fabric for *two* more tops, but I did. I get irrational around Liberty*, what can I say?

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I shortened the dress pattern and left off the pockets and sleeve caps, using some bias tape to finish the armholes instead. The tie is longer and I like it this way. This shot is an attempt to show the shirring in the back, not sure how successful I was since this fabric seems to refuse to be photographed.

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*There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to Liberty fabric. The first group is comprised of persons who cannot comprehend what on earth could be so special about a fabric that you would want to pay $35-45/yd for it. I must admit that was pretty much my line of thinking a year ago (read this post for evidence). The second type of person is the one who has drunk the koolaid and fallen hook line and sinker for Liberty. This person does not see any reason NOT to buy as much Liberty as possible. The only reason this person does not buy more Liberty is because they have already taken out the second mortage on the house to finance the current stash, you get me?

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I’m not quite to that point yet, but I have to admit, there is something about this fabric that is really amazing. First of all, it feels so silky soft. The patterns are so subtle and classic, but as you look at each one it’s like you see more and more. I guess I can’t really explain it. It’s craziness, I know.

It looks like May is just going to be a big party

I have a bunch of fun stuff on the radar this month that I’m excited about:

First up, I’m participating in the Vintage May series over on Skirt As Top at the end of this week (as in, better go write the post after this Rae!). There’s a fun Flickr pool for you to add your “vintage” creations and play along.

I’m also excited to be a judge (and a sponsor, too) for the Skirt Week competition over at Crafterhours this year, so if you’ve been wanting to make a skirt, either for yourself or your kid, go enter it in their awesome competition. More info here.

And I’ve decided it’s high time I see what all this Quilt Market hubbub is about. SO. I’m headed to Kansas City later this week for Spring 2012 International Quilt Market. I’m super excited. Every year in the past I’ve been a little bit (OK, so maybe ALOT) jealous of all of the Cool Kids who are going, talking about going, or posting about it after they come back. So this time I’m pumped that I get to go…and I really hope to meet some of you there, because that is WHY I leave my sewing room month after month, and get on a plane and travel all the heck over the place, for reals. Are you going to be there? Let me know!!!

If you’re near Ann Arbor and have a crafty business (or are thinking about starting one), I’ll be participating in a panel presentation as part of the Makerwork’s Crafting the Small Business series this summer, and registration runs through the end of May. It’s going to be really amazing, with the first part of the series focusing on vision for your business, going all the way through setting up shop and marketing. GOOD STUFF! Click for: Registration info and event information

Finally, I’ve alluded to teaching a few women’s clothing summer classes here in Ann Arbor, and we are still in the process of working out the details…but we’re CLOSE! If you would like to be informed about those classes as soon as it becomes available, sign up for the SE Michigan Crafter Meetup newsletter, which we’ll be sure to shamelessly spam (OK not really. But a little.) once we have a schedule and are ready to go.

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Motherhood

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! For those of you who celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday, I hope it was lovely. I received this adorable little hand-painted birdhouse from Elliot along with a homemade card that slays me every time I look at it. To you maybe it is just a couple of stick figures. But it’s GOLD to me, y’know, PURE GOLD. You might also notice that he (or more likely, Mr Rae) had to tape it back together prior to delivery due to the fact that his stinker of a sister took a scissors to it while no one was looking. There were tears. It’s all better now though.

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Speaking of tears. I can’t talk about Mother’s Day without mentioning two very dear friends of mine for whom motherhood has been especially difficult this year. One of them is a friend whose baby, little Max, passed away in utero just days before he was due to make his arrival last July. And another friend with two young children who doesn’t know if her breast cancer (that has now spread all over her body, brain, lungs…) will allow her to see her next mother’s day. It seems unlikely. My heart breaks every day for these two amazing, brave women and I try not to underestimate the power of my prayers.

I am so blessed with my two babes. I don’t think it’s wrong to feel so joyful while celebrating Mom’s day with my family and at the same time feel a sadness for my friends. Life is hard, man. I feel like I’ve learned that more this year than ever before. I am more and more aware, as I post here, of the fact that life is tough for many of you as well, maybe because of loss, or sickness or worry or whatever. I hope that this doesn’t sound cheesy, but I just want you to know that if yesterday was a Booger for you, that I was thinking about you as well. As much as a virtual-online-person can, which I personally think is alot.

OK! And now…back to my regularly scheduled (and usually happy if not a wee bit sarcastic and snarky) programming…

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