Show Your Stripes turtleneck

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Here’s another variation on the Flashback tee that I love to make for my kids — the turtleneck! Again, this can be easily done with ANY tee, as you’ll see in the how-to (below).

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I love stripes! And though this turtleneck doesn’t really follow my “more color” rule, there’s something about stripes that I just can’t get enough of, even when they are more subtle color-wise. I think navy and off-white is quite possibly my favorite stripe color combo. Maybe black and off-white.

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Elliot loves this turtleneck. He wears it with these green cords whenever he can (or with these radio pants, an outfit that gets a lot of comments, let me tell you, whenever we go out). And as you can see, it looks great with the new rain boots (but who am I kidding? EVERYTHING looks good with rain boots!)

show your stripes turtleneck

Love this kid. I know most of you will never meet him, but I love that you can tell exactly what his personality is like from these pictures: happy, slap-happy, silly, totally goofy. He’s a total joy to be around. Such a happy boy!

Making a turtleneck is almost exactly like making the normal neckband on the Flashback tee, except you make the neckband a little longer and wider (so it can fold over). The neckband is just a rectangle, and for the turtleneck I make it 8.5″ tall and as wide as the length around the neckhole. I think the graphic here is pretty self-explanatory — just don’t forget to pin and sew the turtleneck to the outside of the tee, so that when it flips up you won’t see the stitches or seam.

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I like to sew the neckband to the tee with my serger, but you can also use a narrow zig-zag stitch on a regular machine. It’s important NOT to use a straight stitch or a walking foot here, because in those cases your stitches will break when it gets pulled over the head.

Celebrate the BOY 2013

This post is part of Celebrate the BOY, a series of boy sewing posts hosted by me and Dana of MADE. Here’s what we’ve done so far:

DAY 1: Rae: Saffron Pants and Color Roundup / Dana: 5 Steps to the Basic Tee
DAY 2: Rae: Little Bit of Color Hoodie / Dana: Pants Roundup
DAY 3: Rae: Hoodie Tutorial / Dana: Kids Shorts/Pants with Back Pocket Tutorial

Head over to made to see what Dana’s up to! or check out my Celebrate the BOY archives for even more boy sewing posts! And don’t forget to add your photos to our Celebrate the BOY Flickr group!

Little Bit of Color Hoodie How-To

Today I’m going to show you how to make the “Little Bit of Color” Hoodie I posted yesterday, which uses my Flashback Skinny Tee as its starting point. If you’re not sure you want to commit to buying the pattern (although it’s really really awesome…end shameless promotion), you could use Dana’s Basic Tee pattern, which is a classic-fit-tee style, or even trace a tee that you have lying around. This hoodie is pretty simple, so you can really do this with ANY tee pattern!

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You will need:

  • Rib knit, aka ribbing, for the contrast trim (I like 1×1 rib knit because it can be used for tees AND the neckbands, cuffs, trims, etc.)
  • Your basic tee pieces: front and back + two sleeves
  • Some knit stay tape (see this post for more info) or fusible interfacing
  • Snaps / buttons / velcro for the front closure

Continue reading

Little Bit of Color Hoodie

In yesterday’s color roundup post, I showed you a ton of ideas for using color in boys’ clothing. This hoodie for Elliot is another example of how I love to use color in a more subtle way. Sometimes pairing a bright color (like teal! or red!) with a neutral (like off-white or grey) can create a really fun pop of color.

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[I've enabled pinning for most of the pics in this post; feel free to pin them!]

This hoodie was made with my Flashback Tee Sewing Pattern, a super-basic skinny tee that comes in two sets of sizes, little kid (12 months – 5T) and big kid (6-14). Elliot has *JUST* made it into the big kid sizes…yay!!! Sooo glad I made that pattern bigger, as it has become a huge staple of my kids’ wardrobes! The basic skinny tee on its own is really easy and quick and has huge potential to be varied to make other wardrobe basics. You’ve probably already seen my tutorials on turning the Flashback Tee into a short-sleeved shirt, a puff-sleeved shirt, and a dress, but for this BOY series, I wanted to give it a hoodie twist!

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It looks pretty awesome with the saffron pants, don’t you think?

Little Bit of Color Hoodie

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This pic of him “walking the runway” totally cracks me up. Want to know what the little dude thinks of his new hoodie?

Little Bit of Color Hoodie

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I think that’s two thumbs up! Seriously, though, he has been wearing this thing like crazy. LOVES the hood.

Need a how-to? That’s coming up shortly!!

Celebrate the BOY 2013

This post is part of Celebrate the BOY, a series of boy sewing posts hosted by me and Dana of MADE. Here’s what we’ve done so far:

DAY 1: Rae: Saffron Pants and Color Roundup / Dana: 5 Steps to the Basic Tee
DAY 2: Rae: Little Bit of Color Hoodie / Dana: Pants Roundup

Head over to made to see what Dana’s up to! or check out my Celebrate the BOY archives for even more boy sewing posts!

More color!

When I started planning what I wanted to sew for Elliot this year for Celebrate the BOY, I realized that my taste when it comes to boy clothing — or, really, any clothing — tends to follow a few very clear themes. My first rule? You can never go wrong with MORE COLOR.

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Boys get the short end of the stick already when it comes to a colorful wardrobe, so one of the joys of being able to sew for a boy is that you can make his clothing more interesting and fun. Color is one of my favorite ways to do that! The Saffron Pants I posted today are an obvious illustration of this (and you’ll see that my project for tomorrow is, too).

I thought it would be fun to show you some of my favorite photos from the Celebrate the BOY Flickr group to help inspire you to add more color to your boy’s wardrobe! Some of these pics are old and some are new, but the thing they have in common is that I love their use of COLOR.

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Top Left: fancy pants (blogged here), Top Right: Auto hoodie (blogged here),

Bottom Left: lange benen (blogged here), Bottom Right: vingertje (blogged here)

(Those red pants are AWESOME!!!)

Color doesn’t have to be big and bold — sometimes little bits of bright color can have a big effect:

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Top Left: Maxwell 1, Top Right: T-shirt for Thor,

Bottom Left: I’mFeelin’Crafty (blogged here), Bottom Right: easy being green

These little bits of yellow are great:

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Left: Long sleeved Charlie, Right: Charlie

Love the little bits of green and red here:

Ghetto Blaster Pairs 1 and 2

These photos are amazing with their complementary color schemes. Don’t you love the beautiful photo compositions and great outfit combos here?

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Top Left: intnieuw, Top Right: Pants for Thor, Bottom Left: J-pants for Nils, Bottom Right: Sydney

And here’s some lovely contrast:

Cardigan for Nils

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Left: beach robe (blogged here), Right: Greenpoint Cardigan and Paperback Writer Pants

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Left: little man pajamas, Middle: te wijd, Right: nieuwe broek

The photos in this post came from the Celebrate the BOY Flickr group.  Feel free to join the group and share your photos, too!

IBN JEANS boys leather shirtIBN JEANS boys leather shirtOff to elementary school with his new schoolbagOff to elementary school with his new schoolbagOff to elementary school with his new schoolbagOff to elementary school with his new schoolbag

This post is part of Celebrate the BOY, a series of boy sewing posts hosted by me and Dana of MADE. Check out my Celebrate the BOY archives for more boy sewing posts; I’ll update that page as we go along so you can stay in the loop!

Dana’s got a Basic Tee post (with a free pattern!) over on her blog today, so head over and check it out!

Celebrate the BOY 2013

Saffron Pants

Let’s kick off this round of Celebrate the BOY with a little bit of color, shall we?

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I’m just mad about saffron….saffron’s a-mad about me. (I know I can’t be the only one who gets “Mellow Yellow” stuck in their head whenever they hear the word “saffron,” right?!).

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THEY CALL ME MELLOW YELLOW (quite rightly).

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These pants make me so happy. You might already know how much I love green pants. But I think I might love yellow pants just as much! And these look amazing with the rain boots he got for Christmas from Auntie Elli and Uncle Joe.

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These pants were upcycled from an old pair of JCrew capris that were actually — and I say this so rarely I need to make sure I relish it — too BIG on me. I loved the color, and the fabric was still in great shape, so I thought they would make a perfect pair of pants for Elliot. One plus of upcycling pants? They come pre-hemmed, so it’s a super-quick sew. The side seams are also from the original pant, so they were quite literally made from one pattern piece (plus the pockets, of course). Can you say QUICK and EASY? My favorite way to make pants. And though a full-elastic waistband might not look as profesh as a flat front or zip fly, it’s definitely faster.

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The pintucks add something really cool and are also really quick; basically you just press a crease into the front and back of the pant where you want your pintucks to be (1), then pin each crease together so it won’t twist while you sew (2) and sew along the fold 1/8″ away from the edge (3). EASY!

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The box-pleat pockets are also super-easy (just a rectangle with two pintucks in the middle), and I recycled the old waistband of the pant for the pocket flaps. The little green ribbon from Wunderpop adds a nice little bit of contrast color. The pant pattern itself is one I’ve been working on for a while now (after getting sick of always hacking other pant patterns to get what I want); I think it’s almost where I want it, so you’ll be seeing more of it soon!

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Thank goodness Elliot loves bright colors, too. Let’s see what Mr Goofball thinks:

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What do you think? Could YOUR boy pull off bright yellow pants?

This post is part of Celebrate the BOY, a series of boy sewing posts hosted by me and Dana of MADE. Check out my Celebrate the BOY archives for more boy sewing posts; I’ll update that page as we go along so you can stay in the loop!

See Dana’s Basic Tee post (with a free pattern!) over on her blog today!

Celebrate the BOY 2013

Pom Pom Scarf

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I have been wearing this scarf around for nearly a year but never blogged it because it seemed…well…rather simple. But the fact is, it’s my favorite scarf to wear, hands down. I do love my velveteen-voile scarf and the liberty one as well, but this one has pompoms. Need I say more?

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Actually I will; the other thing that makes this one a favorite is that it’s super soft and lightweight, because it’s made completely of shot cotton, one of my favorite fabrics of all time. Shot cotton has a very soft feel and loose weave, but it’s not as sheer as a gauze and it has a nice drape. And of course for some reason no one seems to be carrying shot cotton right now, which is Classic Rae in terms of timing and all that. But you could definitely make something similar with two layers of voile or double gauze, or even knit, and it would still be just as fun. The key here is the pompoms, right??

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Clementine managed to take one or two pictures of it on me before climbing into the photos herself. She’s a diva for the camera, that one…but only when I’m not asking her to pose, of course.

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You can’t really see the scarf in any of these, I feel like I look like I just woke up, and they’re already outdated since I got bangs last week (ack!). BUT. I am trying to take more pictures of me with the kiddos lately…have you read this article from the Huffington Post how moms should get in the picture more? Obviously for the blog I take a ton of pictures of my kids, and quite a few of me. But I want to be better about taking pictures of us together (and that includes Mr Rae, who doesn’t make it into many photos either since I usually take a break from the photography when we’re all together).

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I kept this scarf a simple rectangle instead of attaching the ends to make an infinity scarf (so that it’s a circle; the fabric equivalent of a “cowl”) because I actually like not having to pull it over my head. So it’s really just two rectangles of fabric sewn together with pompoms. A quick how-to:

how to make a pompom scarf

Oh! By the way, this particularly lovely pompom trim came from Purl Soho; I particularly liked their selection of colors (including the “Old Gold” shade I used on this scarf, and another awesome mint shade that I snapped up as well).

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Celebrate the BOY 2013!

If you’ve been paying attention lately you’ll know that Dana and I have been hinting big time at something fun in the works…

That’s right, it’s time for another Celebrate the BOY series! Woooooot!!! *does kermit arms*

Celebrate the BOY 2013

Dana and I will be joining forces again, starting next week Monday, for TWO WEEKS of BOY-only posts! Sewing for boys can be frustrating sometimes; there are simply more options when it comes to sewing for girls. Dana and I first launched a month-long Celebrate the BOY series back in February 2010 in an effort to address this and BOY (har har!) did we ever get a huge response! It was so much fun we decided to do it again the next year, twice. It’s been almost two years since our last BOY week, so we are both very excited to be bringing it back!

My focus this year is definitely going to be on beefing up Elliot’s wardrobe; it’s been a LONG time since I did any significant sewing for him. So this year from me you’ll see lots of garments: adding elements that make boy’s clothing exciting and fun, a few tutorials for easy pattern adjustments to help you mix it up, and maybe even a new pattern? Who knows. All I know is that I’ve been having so much fun sewing for Elliot; he definitely likes it when I make him new clothes!

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You can check out my Celebrate the BOY archives and Dana’s BOY archives from prior years to see what we’ve done in the past. Honestly, this year might feel a little different; we plan to run the series for two weeks instead of a month (that was tooo long! we almost died of exhaustion), and this year we’ll just be offering our own ideas and tutorials instead of inviting guests to post. Which definitely means the focus will be projects for 5-6 year old boys (Owen and Elliot!!), but we think our Celebrate the BOY projects will both translate to other ages and provide inspiration for sewing for ALL boys.

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Want to get involved? We’d love for you to join us! Here are some ways:

Instagram or Twitter: Add #celebratetheBOY hashtag to your Instagram photos or tweets so we can find them easily (by the way: you can find me at instagram.com/madebyrae or twitter.com/madebyrae)

Flickr: Be sure to add your latest boy sewing projects to our Celebrate the BOY pool! We pull from this pool to do roundup posts, and if something catches our eye we’ll try to feature it. (PSA: Please avoid over-posting to this pool — ONE or TWO pictures per project is usually enough!)

Blog: Post your boy sewing projects on your blog and put a picture in the Celebrate the BOY pool:

IBN JEANS boys leather shirtIBN JEANS boys leather shirtOff to elementary school with his new schoolbagOff to elementary school with his new schoolbagOff to elementary school with his new schoolbagOff to elementary school with his new schoolbagDeadline gehaaldLetterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)Bundle Up Boy Blog TourBundle Up Boy Blog TourHero Hoodie; In Tomato & Ivory Yarn-Dyed StripeMonster Hoodie For MeganFinished projectBlue plaid.Lullaby shirt.Smiles.Details.kudzu cargo pants (pattern willow&co) and ziggy top (madeit patterns)I had to.Moshi Monster Hand painted shoesMoshi Monster Hand painted shoesBike shoe-01baby bee quilt, backbaby bee quilt, detail

Take a button: Feel free to use the buttons in this post (or Dana’s) and link back to either of our blogs (me / Dana)  or Celebrate the BOY archives (me / Dana). (and you can scroll down to the bottom of the page for code if that’s easier)

Can’t wait!

Rainbow Quilt

If it seems quiet around here on the blog, there’s a good reason: I’m in the midst of flitting back and forth between what feels like a million projects at once: a new pattern, sewing projects for a blog series coming soon with this good friend of mine, another project that I can’t talk about (!!!), and making various decisions of one kind or another. Meanwhile I’ve been puttering away on this lovely project (first previewed here last fall) while watching back-to-back episodes of Gossip Girl on Netflix {dies a little bit from embarrassment}:

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When I say this quilt is lovely, I mean SO lovely and soft I literally can’t stop staring at it. I swear, this thing GLOWS.

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It took all of my willpower to remove it from my lap where it had been snuggled up with me for hours and hours while Blair and Serena went to Paris, when Chuck went missing, when Charlie showed up, when…(WHAT? You can’t seriously tell me you’re going to watch it. That would be embarrassing. For you.)…anyway, I was saying, it took all my willpower to finally walk it into the kids’ room and spread it out on Clementine’s bed. I really wanted to keep it. But I’m an adult now, and I’m letting it go. She’ll probably leave it behind when she goes to college and then it will be MINE, ALL MINE. Right?

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So, here’s the rundown on this quilt: the fabric on the quilt top is all from either Far Far Away (double gauze) or Far Far Away III (linen sheeting) by one of my favorite designers, Heather Ross, making it one of the softest quilts I have ever felt. Seriously, Quilting Cotton, I am about to break up with you forever. Frankly, you suck compared to double gauze. OK, I really, really shouldn’t say that since Heather is about to debut her new quilting cotton line with Windham next week at Quilt Con. Let me rephrase: I will need to be re-wooed. And you’d better be soft this time, I am so totally serious. Can we talk about this issue some other time, though? I really want to focus on this quilt right now.

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I used Red Pepper Quilt’s “A Quilt Without Binding” tutorial (basically you sew the front and back together right sides facing, and turn the whole thing right-side-out through a hole, but please do yourself a favor and go read the tutorial before you attempt this on your own; Rita gives some really useful tips) and did the actual quilting with purl cottons (from Purl!) in straight lines. I love that they came out just uneven enough to really make it look hand-made. Also: the stitches create a rainbow on the back. LOVE.

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The back of the quilt is shot cotton, another one of my current favorite substrates of all time. Also: VERY SOFT. Love it. Can’t really find it for sale anywhere right now, but I bought it at Sew Mama Sew; lots of local shops carry it, though.

OK, just a few more shots for you of the quilt on Clementine’s bed, and yes, I did make a matching scrap quilt for Bee-Bee.

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Clementine loves to tuck Bee-Bee into bed before she climbs in right next to her, and both she and Bee-Bee are uber-cute in their matching quilts, to be sure. OK. Do you love it?? Because I do.

flickr roundup: geraniums are blooming!

The Geranium Dress sewing pattern has only been around since just before Christmas, so I’m really amazed at the number of beautiful little dresses that you’ve already posted in the flickr pools. Check out these cuties!

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(left) Little Geranium Dress, (right) Geranium in Echino Lion

I love the contrast in on these two. See how the polkadot lining is such a playful compliment to the elephants on the bodice? And the green flutter sleeves in the middle make a great trim for the whimsical little girls in the print.

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(left) DSC_8515.jpg, (right) Baby Geranium

And what little girl doesn’t need a polkadot dress? I ask you.

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Green Polkadots

These two are just so pretty. The blue one in a tunic length is so versatile, and those red pockets really pop!

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Top left: blue (front), Top right: red (back), Bottom left: red (back), Bottom right: blue (back)

The soft greens and bright flowers in the dresses below really made me feel like spring is around the corner. Love the embroidery on the top right!

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Top left: geranium, Top right: with embroidery, Bottom left: fuscia/gold flowers, Bottom right: flowers & birds

If you haven’t completely swooned from the cuteness yet, take a look at the Geranium Dress Flickr Pool for even more lovely renditions of the pattern. And you can find the pattern here:

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or just the Little Geranium here:

little geranium from made by rae