Oh by the way, Happy Halloween!

I don’t have much to show for myself this Halloween because the “rainbow-cloud” costume that Clementine demanded this year (and that I worked for hours on one night, you can find pics here on my Instagram feed, scroll down) was a complete bust as she could not move her arms around and screams bloody murder whenever I put it on her. I re-tooled it a little bit and it’s better…but I still give it a 50% chance of happening tonight when we go around to the nearest five houses to trick-or-treat. Last night she told me she wanted to be Spiderman. Which is totally fine because that would make three years in a row that the $20 polyester Spiderman costume from Meijer gets worn. This is why I do not get excited about Halloween costumes.

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But I nearly died of cute-ness overload when Venus posted this adorbsible photo of her kid in a modified Pierrot dress last week. I just had to show it off so I asked if I could share it here and she said yes. Seriously I think this is the cutest thing I have EVER seen. GAH.

There’s a bunch of other great Halloween creations in the pool — which of course feature kids and I like to ask permission before posting full-sized kid pics on my blog, and since I didn’t get a chance to ask, you’ll just have to go take a look! Be sure to check out this awesome pink elephant, dinosaur train, and these adorable hand-stamped Halloween PJ’s.

I hope you have a safe and fun Halloween…I will be sure to take lots of pictures if the “rainbow-cloud” costume comes to fruition.

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Best of Quilt Market: Kokka faves

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Loved the Nani Iro flannels. Picturing a long-sleeved winter dress out of the tan/beige one with big cabled tights. Doesn’t that sound dreamy? ps. Frances of Miss Matatabi has these in stock. I’ve been drooling over the stuff she’s been making with them on Instagram for months now. Gah!

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This new designer (who I did not get the name of) had some neat prints, this one was a fave:

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And I called this one “the cheerio print,” it also came in red/white and green/white prints with smaller cheerios that were really cute.

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Also from Kokka this fall, my friend Ellen Luckett Baker‘s line, Stamped, in a very colorful display. Check out this great skirt with a triangle border:

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Lovely scallops:

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See more of my Fall 2012 Quilt Market faves:
Melody Miller
Carolyn Friedlander
Ty Pennington hilarity

Best of Quilt Market: Melody Miller

Let’s talk about Melody Miller, who had a showstopper of a booth.

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I love Melody. She is first and foremost one of the sweetest individuals on the planet. On top of that she is a brilliant designer. You probably already know that I sew with her fabrics frequently. I love the funky retro vintage-inspired vibe they have (the Ruby Star Washi dress was the most recent example of this). I’m even more thrilled with her newest line, Ruby Star Sparkle, which features prints that literally…wait for it…GLITTER. I know.

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There was a lovely collection of vintage toys strewn around the booth, many of them Fisher Price (LOVE!).

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Also featured in the booth was Melody’s new book which I really really like, Ruby Star Wrapping which was co-written with creative partner Allison Tannery. Before I read it I thought, how many ways can you really wrap a present? Well it’s alot more than you’d think, let me tell you. The book is full of neat ideas that truly make me want to go and try them all out this Christmas. The fact that the main premise is to create wrappings that are also reusable, gifts in and of themselves, makes me love it even more. You can read the cool things that Melody has to say about the book in this post. Totally recommend!!

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Ruby Star Wrapping; the quilt behind is by Jen of BettyCrockerAss.

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Another highlight for me of this booth….TRIMS! Yeaaaaah!

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Dress by Sara of Sew Sweetness:

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From left to right, Rashida, Melody, Brenda (of Pink Castle), and me:

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Best of Quilt Market: Carolyn Friedlander

I’m working on a few posts to show you some of the fun things that were at Quilt Market in Houston this past weekend. First off though, I really want to show you my favorite NEW designer/line of fabric, Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures for Robert Kaufman, which really blew me out of the water.

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(annie of the village haberdashery and charlotte, her intrepid consultant, two of my favorite Brits)

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What’s interesting to me about this line is that the designs are SO subtle yet so detailed…I usually fall for big bold prints but this line really captured me with the beautiful lines and textures. This was the floor:

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As an ex-science teacher, my favorite prints are definitely the topographical lines (how many times have I wished for a USGS quadrangle on fabric?), but all of the prints are really, really lovely.

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These quilts make me want to quit sewing garments and become a full-time quilter. Seriously. How amazing are these little shirts. Do you see how the inside of the shirts are quilted with the back side of the fabric?? Are you seeing this???

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That Ty Pennington. What will he do next?!

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I wish I could explain what was so hilarious about stumbling across this little set of canvases of Ty Pennington promoting his new line for Westmister at Quilt Market in Houston this past weekend. Perhaps it was just that I had been walking around for so long on Saturday and had talked to so many people and it was nearly 5 o’clock, but when I came across these, I just could not. stop. giggling. Is it the hat? His expression? I don’t know.

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Oh Ty. You are SUCH a DREAMBOAT. Hubba hubba.

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More Quilt Market highlights later, I promise.

Flickr Friday: Washi Tunics

Just popping in from Texas today to show off a few lovelies from the photo pools! The Washi Dress Photo Pool is overflowing with awesome renditions of the Washi Dress sewing pattern. Here’s a selection from a few of you who have opted to make the tunic version of the dress. By shortening the skirt, it becomes a versatile top that’s flattering to a great range of figures.

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1. Washi Tunic, Madrona Road, 2. detail, 3. Washi Tunic, 4. another washi!

I was most impressed by how well these tunics fit all these ladies. Each clearly took the time and attention to tailor their Washis to fit their own proportions just perfectly. Nicely done!

You can peruse the Rae Made Me Do It Flickr pool to see what other folks are making with my patterns, and get inspired to make your own Washi Dress (…or tunic or maxi dress) in its dedicated Washi Dress Photo Pool on Flickr.

Have a great weekend!

Posted in roundup
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Tutorial + Pattern: Long Sleeve for Washi Dress

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I’m so excited to show you how to add a longer sleeve to the Washi Dress as shown in the Ruby Star Washi Dress post! I’ve made a pattern piece that you may download for free (yay!!). For your convenience, the instructions for sewing the sleeve are printed on the pattern piece in addition to this tutorial. Please note that the various sizes of this pattern are UNTESTED, so you use at your own risk. Feel free to email me if you have feedback. Thanks!

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This pattern piece is provided with the understanding that it will be used in conjunction with the Washi Dress Sewing Pattern. All files and images are protected by copyright law. You may not distribute or reproduce this file. Please link to this post and not directly to the file itself when referencing this file. Thanks!

Download, print, and tape together the sleeve pattern piece
You will first need to download the sleeve pattern piece and print it out (at 100%, remember to check your scale, people!!) and tape the three pages together.

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Adjust size of the pattern if needed
The sleeve piece is for a size Medium, but as you will see, the pattern piece is marked with a line that will allow you to size up/down the pattern piece quite easily just by sliding the two pieces apart/together.

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For the larger sizes, where you slide the pieces apart, I would redraw the curve to smooth it out:

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And for the smaller sizes, you can just slide the pieces so that the curve overlaps at top:

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(but don’t forget to add length at the bottom then!)

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It should be noted that the length of this sleeve pattern piece is long enough to come to about elbow length on me when my arms are bent. I have long monkey arms, but even so you may want to add a couple inches to the length of the sleeve if you want it to be a 3/4-length sleeve, just to be on the safe side!

Cut out sleeve pieces

Place sleeve pattern piece along the fold and cut out two sleeves. Transfer dots to fabric with a marking pen.

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Gather sleeves

Using a long stitch length and high tension on your sewing machine, stitch between the two dots along the top of the sleeve

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Pull threads to gather

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Repeat for the other sleeve

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Attach sleeve to dress

You’ll need to sew your shoulder seam (front bodice to back) before you attach your sleeve, so do that first:

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Then, with the right side of the sleeve facing the right side of the dress, pin the sleeve to the armhole curve, starting at the armpits and moving toward the center. When you get to the gathered part, adjust the gathers as needed and pin excessively to keep your gathers evenly spaced at the shoulder seam. Once you have it pinned, sew the sleeve to the armhole with a 1/2″ seam.

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HINT: I like to first machine baste (don’t forget to reset your tension) the sleeve to the armhole, check my gathering, then re-sew with a normal stitch length just to make sure my gathers look the way I want them to.

Now your sleeve should look like this:

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Now continue the dress construction by adding the neckline facings (or a lining — check out the video series I made).

THIS PART IS TOTALLY OPTIONAL:
I chose to do a lining, so the next step for me was attaching the lining to the neckline. I used an off-white voile lining and cut out an extra bodice front and bodice back. I also made this neckhole slightly larger by stitching with about a 1″ seam allowance at the base of the neck to lower and widen the neckline slightly and about 1/2″ at the shoulders instead of the normal 1/4″ neckline seam allowance called for in the pattern.

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In this version I also added an elastic casing to substitute for the shirring in the back. I cut the back lining piece 1/2″ below the lowest shirring line, then folded that extra 1/2″ under and stitched it down to make an elastic casing that ended where the lowest shirring line would have been):

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Then I did the armholes using the lining trick shown in the videos, first rolling up the sleeves and sewing very carefully to keep them out of the way.

When it’s time to sew your side seams, you’ll want to sew up the side seam of the sleeve (in the picture below you can see my finished back lining with the elastic casing; if you go with facings you would see shirring there instead):

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Once your side seams are finished, you’ll want to make a casing: fold and press under 1/4″ and then again 1/2″ at the ends of each sleeve. Stitch along the second fold, leaving 1″ open to thread the elastic through. Then cut a piece of elastic long enough to circle your forearm + 1″ and thread that through your casing. Overlap the ends of the elastic and stitch together, then stitch your casing shut.

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OK, I really hope that makes sense! ENJOY!!!

Ruby Star Washi Dress

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I thought it was about time to take the Washi Dress into fall with this lovely print by Melody Miller. Perfect for layering under a sweater. And guess what?

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SLEEVES!

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Works great with tights and boots.

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Sometimes it makes me a little sad that my kids won’t grow up with records or tapes. I remember listening to a kid-sized (maybe fisher price?) record player when I was a kid. My dad had a really nice turntable and scads of vinyl that slowly got replaced with CDs in the 80s. CD’s are disappearing. Elliot thinks it’s a novelty when we get a book on CD from the library and he gets to put it in the tray and press “play.” I think that’s part of the reason I love this print so much. Melody has this way of taking vintage items with nostalgic appeal and making them modern and fresh and exciting. This print is part of her Ruby Star Vinyl (sometimes called Ruby Star Spring 2012) collection which is in shops now. I bought it at Nido and I know it’s in stock at Pink Castle, Fabricworm, and Pink Chalk. At least two of those shops have it on sale right now (click on the sidebar for links).

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More on that sleeve….soon!

UPDATED: You can find the free sleeve pattern piece and tutorial right here.

You win some, you lose some

Um, so maybe you didn’t even notice, but I totally flaked on the final KCWC sew-off challenge, which was supposed to be a catalog-inspired garment. Elliot got sick and was home from school Friday afternoon (poor baby, he looked so pathetic on the nurse’s cot when I picked him up with his rosy fever cheeks), and then we were out of town this past weekend. You know how it goes: I thought maybe Friday afternoon I’d be able to squeeze some sewing in, and then maybe Saturday morning before we left…and it just didn’t happen. I was also double-dog wiped out from trying to keep up with the sew-off all week long. Thursday night I emailed Kristin and hinted that I wouldn’t be able to make it happen, and she ruthlessly took advantage of my weakness and posted an adorable mini-Boden-inspired dino sweatshirt anyway. She has a heart made of stone, that one.

Trash-talk aside, I think I can officially declare Kristin the winner of our sew-off (if only by default, since obviously the garments I did manage to complete rocked. Obviously). Even though I didn’t make all of the things I wanted to, I AM really proud of what I did make and blog, and man is it HARD to sew and blog all week like that. I know many of you have voiced your suspicions that I am actually a robot, so this is probably good proof that I am a human being.

It was so much fun to have a little extra motivation to sew, and plus I love talking smack about Kristin. So thanks for taking me up on the challenge, Kristin! If you missed my KCWC sewoff posts, they are here: Nursery Versery PJ pants, Flashback with Peter Pan Collar, mini-Washi, mini-Washi in action, mini-washi + mama washi pics, shirred pierrot. And don’t worry, I hear your requests for a mini-Washi pattern. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

In other news:

  • The Rae Made Me Do It pool is on fi-yah with your KCWC creations, so I’ve been having a ton of fun looking through those.
  • I’ve noticed that some of you are addicted to making Washi Dresses. These buttons are for you. Too lazy to do the whole write the code thingy, so just right click and save. I’ve linked them up to the Washi Page so if you right click on them and copy the link address, you’ll have the link too. And I just learned the other day that you’re not supposed to use the “copy image URL” to show images from other sites on your site because it basically amounts to stealing their bandwidth. Who knew? So don’t do that!

  • I am working on getting a washi dress sleeve pattern piece put together. sneaky-peeky-pic here. I’m @madebyrae on Instagram and Twitter; that’s where most of the sneaky previews happen these days. By the way, that Melody Miller fabric is 25% off at Pink Castle right now if you use the code “MOVING” in addition to everything else in the shop (Brenda’s having a moving sale – cannot tell you how excited I am to have her open a real storefront here in Ann Arbor! GAH!!!).
  • I sent the print Washi Dress files to the printer…now waiting on proofs of a real physical printed Washi Pattern. Meanwhile we are starting to take wholesale orders from shops. Fun, fun, fun!
  • And I finally got my rental car for Quilt Market yesterday, now just have a few more details to iron out and I’ll be all set for Fall Quilt Market 2012, baby! Give a holler if you’re going to be in Houston and I’ll keep an eye out for you!
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