Made in 2015

1 made by rae 2015

At the beginning of last year I had a ridiculously long list of things I wanted to sew. I also had a baby who was less than a year old who was still nursing, but he had just started daycare part-time so I could smell freedom on the horizon. There’s something about having next to no time for yourself that makes the brain go nearly crazy with ideas, am I right? He was sick a lot from day care, I was driving back and forth to nurse him during the day so I didn’t get much done, and I still couldn’t figure out how I was going to make this 3-kids thing work, so I was frustrated. Instead of throwing myself into despair (OK…so that’s not exactly true, I wrote a long rambling blog post entitled “The Struggle is Real” which I never had the guts to post because I was afraid it might come off as too self-pitying), I put all the ideas for sewing projects onto a piece of paper and hung it up on a door in my studio.

2 made by rae 2015

As the year progressed, I found moments to sew, so I started a second list, entitled “2015 Makes,” and hung it up next to the “Ideas for Sewing in 2015” list (see the pic at the bottom of this post?) so I could chart my progress. In previous years my blog has been the primary way that I log my projects, but after years of blogging I think I’ve finally realized that it will always be impossible to get *everything* on the blog and it isn’t going to get any easier with a toddler (and honestly, last year I still was grappling with whether or not it was still really worth it to blog, with Instagram and Facebook and all — but my thoughts on that will have to wait for a different time).

3 made by rae 2015

I also started photographing some of the finished projects against a plain wall since getting pictures of worn clothing on my kids and myself is also something I have to be more realistic about; it’s just tough to do. I didn’t get pictures of everything on my “Made in 2015” list, but it still gives me a sense of accomplishment. You might recognize some of the things in these photos, I only found time to blog some of them so some of them you’ve never seen before. And while it would have been nice if I could have written “I made this!” posts about all of these things, I’m OK with how it all went down; this has been a year about letting go for me. I also want to make sure you know that other hands helped make some of this stuff as well (Karen and Tashina), so that’s something else to consider when looking at these projects.

4 made by rae 2015

In addition to sewing and blogging some things I made, I managed to launch three patterns this year; Moon Pants for kids; and Beatrix and Luna Pants for women. We even had a sewalong for Beatrix. All of this would not have been possible without the stellar team that backs me up: Elli, Jess, Karen, and Tashina (who has just launched her own jewelry business!!) and Tashina’s replacement, Melissa. Their hard work behind the scenes has allowed me the privilege of staying home with Hugo three days a week while still keeping the MBR machine running. Nobody can do it all, least of all me, and I’m so grateful to have these awesome people to have my back.

sewing list : made by rae 2015

I’m also grateful for all of you who have read, commented, and supported my shop and business this past year. Thank you so much for reading! Feel free to leave a comment if you want details on anything pictured here; I’m happy to answer or point you toward the right post if applicable.

Here’s to another year (and a new list) of sewing! Oh, and here are a few previous year-in-review posts if you’re interested: 2012 / 2013 / 2014

27 thoughts on “Made in 2015

  1. Wow. I agree with so much of that. I too have a new baby this year and have found blogging just that much harder. And I totally agree on the incredible flow of ideas when there isn’t time to enact but a fraction of them. I’m definitely a reader so glad you aren’t giving up blogging. Also glad to see someone else still doing their 2015 wrap up… Mine isn’t done yet, and this week has been a total loss on that account since the whole family is home sick!

    • Oof I hear that. Hugo is just getting over a sinus/ear infection too. Hope everyone feels better soon.

      and yes, it’s a little late but better late than never, right? or something. I also think it’s ok to just can it and move on if you need to!!

  2. Wow! Not only did you make lots of lovely clothes you also just managed to express so many of the things I struggled with last year. I’m still finding it challenging to make and blog and mother and work all at once but I really like your idea of sticking up a piece of paper and writing down what I’ve made somewhere I can see. I always have those lists of things I want to do but I don’t think I’ve ever had a list that was exclusively what I’ve accomplished. I think it’s time.

  3. Beyond impressive! I’ve had three kids for three years and JUST started tracking “ideas” and “completed”. Love your makes. Congrats on a great year!

  4. Rae, you should be ridiculously proud of all that you have accomplished! I know that I am my own worst critic and I keep having to remind myself that I cannot do it ALL even though I would really like to. I was a little dismayed at what I didn’t get done last year, but, like you, once I looked at what I did, I realized that it wasn’t half bad. Your lists are awesome – I think I may take that approach to my making this year. It’s always good to see it on paper. Here’s to a lot of making in 2016!

    • Wow! So many beautiful and beautifully made garments! And you have three kids! You are amazing! Isn’t it funny how we have so little time and yet if you keep at it and use the time you have, you can accomplish so much. Thanks for your wonderful patterns, blog and tutorials. Love them!

  5. Thanks for sharing these great pictures of your creations and for keeping it real about finding balance in life and making time to create. I love it!

  6. Rae your blog is so inspiring I’m so glad you aren’t giving up anytime soon. It is so easy to project a perfect image on social media these days that it is super reassuring to know I’m not the only one struggling to find balance between what I want to achieve and what is realistic with a young family. My favourite blogs are those that give a glimpse of real life as well as showing us what we can achieve and aspire to. Thank you!

    • aww YAY! Thanks for commenting, Helen. One of the things I love about blogs/online is being able to connect with other people in the same boat, for sure!

  7. Hi Rae,
    Do you know what that lion fabric is called/who it’s by that you used for the two pairs of kids’ pants? I bought a fat quarter in Canada last summer and love the fabric so much that I’d like to get more of it – I just don’t know where to sensibly start looking… Thank you!

  8. I love seeing all these projects in the one spot… I’ve never done a round-up of a year’s sewing but it looks like a satisfying thing to do! Great idea to do a plain background to keep it simple and consistent. What I love the most is that you have a really clear aesthetic, using such great colours and prints. LOVE.

    • Why thank you, Jane!! I’m glad you see a clear aesthetic because I definitely have a hard time pinpointing it in my own work. Always easier to see other people’s, don’t you think? 🙂

  9. When our littlest was tiny, I used to make a “Did Do” list instead of a “To Do” list, because I was constantly feeling like a total failure at the end of the day. When you add in the 8 diaper changes (incl. 2 blowouts), 3 soothed temper tantrums (1 mine), 2 loads of laundry (1 folded), and 2 carpool runs…suddenly I would feel much better about my abilities. I am TOTALLY doing that with my sewing list for 2016. Thanks for the inspiration, homie, as always!!

    • Yes that is so true. I did that a few times at home with Hugo when he was a baby and it definitely made me feel better!!

  10. oy, third kid threw a curveball into my productivity too for sure. i have so many quick snapshots of things i’ve made without proper blog posts. i really like your way of posting them quickly here and getting to the posts if they warrant it / you get to it. 2016, let’s go!

  11. I find it quite alarming that you are considering to not blog anymore. I can’t even imagine how you would share all your informative and amazing content via FB and instagram — you’d run out of room for text, the formatting would be off — I assume you’d still need to be able to link back to your blog.

    I find FB and instagram way overrated. I don’t use either one and do hope that you’ll keep up with the blog. I rarely ever comment but I have been a long-time reader.

    • Aww thanks! Don’t be alarmed! I’m not planning on quitting. But I do think it’s important to always continually evaluate why we do things, you know? When the internet changes as fast as it does, I’ve gotta stay on my toes!!

  12. Oh man, it’s like you are literally talking about my year. I had our son in 2014 and my brain just exploded with ideas. I had hardly any time to sew, and when he went to nursery it was literally months of us all getting ill. Bah! I don’t think your post would have sounded self-pitying. The struggle IS real.

    I’m going to have to copy your idea for listing project ideas and finished makes. Sometimes when I was feeling really unfulfilled as a maker I had to remind myself of what I’d made (like you I don’t ashtrays blog about everything I make). Like a mantra.

    Hope you find your flow in 2016. Your story (and awesome coloured makes) have been really inspiring.

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