Lace Easter Dress

Lace Easter Dress

It’s not unusual for me to get really excited about sewing something, do most of the work, hit a hurdle of some sort, and then quit the project altogether. That almost happened with this dress which I started at the end of last summer. I started with my Gemma pattern, which I lengthened and cut in two layers (lace and white jersey knit) and managed to sew together at the neckline, armholes, and side seams. Then I decided it needed a waistband and that’s where the project stalled.

Lace Easter Dress

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, when I picked it up again, added the waistband — when you have two layers this is as simple as sewing two lines of stitches and threading elastic between them — and hemmed it. I make that sound quicker than it actually was; it took me a few tries to get the waistband location right, but now I have a lovely dress for spring! Whyeeeeee did I wait so long to finish it?!? Sometimes I scratch my head at my own self. But at least it’s finished, and damn if it felt good to cross this project off the WIP list.

Lace Easter Dress

I find most of my lace here in Michigan at Field’s fabrics, which is a West Michigan chain that carries both quilting and apparel fabric. I think I bought at least three other laces, so look for more handmade lace clothing in my future.

Lace Easter Dress

Loominous boho dress

Loominous Dress with Ties

Check out my new spring dress!! It’s so cheery and fun. This boho-inspired dress is the second pattern hack I’ve made with Loominous fabric (the first being my Josephine with tassel ties). I love this “Treasure” print. So much that I also made a Cleo skirt in the black colorway. I also seem to have a thing for ties, which look cute open:

Loominous Dress with Ties
Or tied in a bow…

Loominous Dress with Ties

Or knotted! All cute. Still thinking I might add tassels to the ties (again), though. What do you think? Can a wardrobe have too many tasseled garments? A question I wrestle with at night.

Loominous Dress with Ties

To make this dress, I started with my Ruby dress pattern, modified the yokes and added shortened Josephine sleeves and neckline binding with ties.

I added 3/4″ to the center front of the front Ruby yoke and cut two instead of one on the fold. I also flattened the bottom of both of the yokes as shown below. Before attaching the yokes to the body of the dress, I folded and stitched down the front edges of the front yokes, tacked them together at the bottom, and then sewed as directed in the pattern.

Adjusting Ruby yoke pieces

Adding the Josephine sleeves was fairly simple since they have a gathered area at the top, so I just gathered them until they fit the armholes, attached them, and then sewed the side seams. I shortened the sleeves by about 4″ and then hemmed them up with a 2″ hem allowance. I also centered the gathers on the back yoke more than usual; you can see this in the photo below.

Loominous Dress with Ties

Flashback Tee for Hugo

Flashback Tee for Hugo

Hey! This little monster turned three last week. THREE! Can you believe it?

He’s such a hoot. This really is the cutest age, I swear. I feel like I’m constantly writing down the hilarious things he says. And he’s still small enough that he’ll wear all the clothes I make for him (unlike his older siblings, who naturally have their own opinions, sometimes strong, about the things I sew for them. Ahem, CLEMENTINE. *coughs*). He definitely has his favorites though, and this Flashback Tee is one of his current favorites.

Flashback Tee for Hugo

I’m sure it helps that this rib knit is crazy soft. I made this tee from the leftovers from this tank dress, so yes, that means we can be (and are often) outfit twins. I never manage to snap a pic on the days we’re both wearing them at the same time, though. You’d think I was busy or something…hahah.

Flashback Tee for Hugo

Flashback Tee for Hugo

Flashback Tee for Hugo

Josephine with Tassel Ties

Josephine Top with Tassel Ties

Josephine Top with Tassel Ties

How long have you been reading this blog? Long enough to remember how much I love a good bit of pattern improv? Maybe you love it too! The desire to mix it up (constantly) is really what drives me to create patterns that are not only distinct, but work well as blank templates. I just love a pattern I can make over and over again yet never end up with the same thing twice. At first glance the Josephine Sewing Pattern might not seem like a great blank template, being limited in some ways by the pleating detail on the front which lends it a very distinct look and feel, but as soon as you lose the tucks on the front it turns into an entirely different animal.

Josephine Top with Tassel Ties

Josephine Top with Tassel Ties

For this blouse, I dropped the hemline in the center to create a shirt-tail hem, like Beatrix or Gemma, extended the bias binding to create ties and added tassels, and gathered the neckline instead of pleating the bodice. The result is a silhouette with more ease (3″ more, in fact) than the original pattern and an overall look that’s quite on-trend, especially in this dreamy Loominous fabric designed by Anna Maria Horner.

Josephine Top with Tassel Ties

Josephine Top with Tassel Ties

Here’s how to modify the Josephine Pattern to get this version!

How-to: Josephine with Tassel Ties

  • Cut out the A/B bodice using the View C cutting lines (unless you are extremely busty you won’t need the C/D bodice. Skipping the tucks creates additional ease, so even if you’re pretty large-busted, there will be enough ease in the pattern that you won’t need the larger cup size. Check the finished measurement chart and then add 3″ to the FM for bust if you’re not sure!).
  • Drop the center of the hem a few inches when cutting out the pattern to create a shirt-tail shape. Draw an S shape with chalk before cutting, remembering that the hem line needs to intersect center front and sides at a right angle.
  • Gather the neckline edge along the pleated areas with elastic thread (see my shirring tutorial) or with basting stitches. I also gathered a couple inches in the back as well. See photo below:

Josephine Top with Tassel Ties

  • Follow the instructions for View C, but add the sleeves as if you were making View B. I also used elastic thread to gather the sleeve caps and ends of the sleeves…it’s just SO. QUICK. !!!

Josephine Top with Tassel Ties

Josephine Top with Tassel Ties

  • After sewing the center seam, press and fold under, then stitch down the edges of the center front extension, since the edges won’t get enclosed by the tucks like they usually are.
  • When binding the neckline, extend the bias binding past the center front edges to create ties, then stitch it shut and add a couple tassels to the ends (I like Liesl’s tassel tutorial over at Creativebug. I used DMC embroidery floss for these)

And that’s it! Wear and enjoy!

Josephine Top with Tassel Ties

Please let me know if you try this version of Josephine. I’d love to see how yours turns out!

For even more Josephine variations, check out the Josephine page. You might also like this version with with release tucks, or this one with release tucks and sleeves!

Sidewalk Showcase Finale!

Today I’m wrapping up the Sidewalk Showcase, an online showcase featuring my Sidewalk knits collection for Cloud9 Fabrics, with a few more fantastic makes from some of my favorite makers online!

Vanessa of LBG Studio made a Waterfall Raglan for her daughter. She looks so cute in her new top, doesn’t she?

LBG Studio sidewalk showcase

Meredith over at Olivia Jane Handcrafted made such sweet coordinating Bus Stop outfits for her two older kids. This is just one of the three adorable garments she made — check out her blog for the others. This guy is slaying me with his cheeks. Adorbs.

sidewalkteefromOliviaJane

And finally, Sara of Made By Sara self-drafted this gorgeous dress for her daughter out of the Prize Garden print. Check out her post with even more photos on Instagram.

Made by Sara sidewalk dress

And just in case you missed my recent Sidewalk posts, I made undies for Hugo...

Sidewalk Undies

and posted my Prize Garden Isla Dress:

Isla Dress in Sidewalk Knit

Looking for more Sidewalk knits inspiration?

Thanks for following along with our Sidewalk tour! Are you excited to make something fun with these knits?

Undies!

Undies for Hugo

Sidewalk Undies

Undies for Hugo

I went on an undie-sewing binge for Hugo a couple weeks ago and whipped these babies out assembly-line style. It was so very satisfying. Plus omg the cuteness. I used three prints from my Sidewalk knit line for Cloud9, some black and lime baby rib knit obtained some time in the past from who knows where, and a yellow interlock knit (on the bug ones) from Cloud9’s debut knit collection, which is quite possibly the best yellow hue I’ve ever found in a knit fabric. It’s just a really lovely shade of yellow with a hint of green and a slightly unsaturated quality that makes it look great with nearly every other shade of yellow even if it’s not a perfect match. Plus their solid interlocks are super duper soft.

Sidewalk undies

If sewing your kids’ underwear falls solidly into the “Why would I ever sew that?” category for you, let me give you a few reasons why it’s worth trying:

  1. They take very little fabric. Like next to none.
  2. They come together remarkably fast, especially if you use a serger and sew more than one pair at the same time
  3. So much cute for for such a tiny little sewing project
  4. These make potty-training more fun!

Speaking of potty training, Hugo is now done with diapers, woooohoooo hallelujah for that. I decided to bite the bullet after Christmas, and as should be expected it hasn’t been all clear sailing (we still have accidents, pullups at night which I swore I would never do), but overall he’s on board with the concept and has been excited about both his new green potty chair and his new underwear. His parents are thrilled to be done with diapers forever. Yeehaw.

Sidewalk Undies

Just a few notes about the pattern: I used the Little Fishies Undies pattern, which I bought a print copy of years ago from Bonnie of Fishstick Designs. She’s since discontinued direct sales, but it is available as a PDF from Girl Charlee. I like the gender-neutral, simple design and I’ve made a handful of these for all three kids over the years and they fit well. Probably one of the best features is the waistband has elastic encased inside it so they stay up really well. Plus the way that they are cleverly constructed hides the waistband seam between the lining and outer layer so it’s smooth on the inside of the waist and comfortable for the wearer.

Sidewalk Undies

I clearly took way too many photos of these undies. I’m gonna just decide to be OK with that.

Sidewalk Undies

Isla Dress in Sidewalk Knit

Isla Peplum in Sidewalk Knit

Aww yeah is it Spring yet? This dress is definitely screaming “SPRING” to me! It’s an Isla Dress made with the “Prize Garden” floral print from Sidewalk, my line of knits for Cloud9. This print has been really popular and it’s definitely one of my favorites. Also: cute with my cropped cardigan, no?

Isla Dress in Sidewalk Knit

Isla makes a great template for this showy print.

Isla Dress in Sidewalk Knit

The Isla sewing pattern is the first women’s pattern I designed for knit fabrics. I’m thinking about doing a sewalong for Isla this spring. But I don’t know…Cleo would also make a really fun spring sewalong too. What do you think?

Isla Peplum in Sidewalk Knit

Weekend Trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

Quick trip to NYC

Quick trip to NYC

Quick trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

Quick trip to NYC

Quick Trip to NYC

The weekend before last Mr Rae and I took a quick weekend trip to New York City for our anniversary. It’s always tough finding a good place to go in February for just a couple of days, but we knew even if the weather was awful (it wasn’t), New York would be fun. We’ve both been there a number of times before but it’s usually been for a conference or workshop, so neither of us had ever done much of anything “touristy” on previous visits. We spent one day at MoMA and saw the Lion King for the first time (I know. How late am I to that party?), and the next day at the Met. We went to the top of the Empire State Building, walked through Grand Central, and make a quick stop at Purl (of course!!). We ate some really good meals (we had dinner at the National, Blue Ribbon, and Hudson Clearwater), and of course savoring a long breakfast with coffee and a copy of the Atlantic is nothing short of luxury when you have three kids at home. The first day it was so warm and lovely that we even walked around Central Park. I think my favorite place we visited was the Met. I just couldn’t believe the scope of the collections there. Just ridiculously impressive; we only spent a half day there and I really hope to go back again. You’d need weeks to see everything. Of course we were happy to get back to our three favorite monsters, but it sure was fun to get away!!

kiddos

What’s your favorite spot in NYC? Favorite weekend getaway spot? Send me a note or leave a comment; I’d love to hear what you think!

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Sidewalk Showcase

As we head into the weekend, I wanted to show you some of the fantastic projects that have been posted as part of our Sidewalk Showcase! Brooke at Oliver’s Fancy managed to make a little something for each of her boys in the green Art Class print. Plus, her newest little guy Charlie made his debut on her blog. Oooooh so cute!

olivers fancy

Teri at Fa Sew La made this sweet dress for herself out of the Fancy Steps print.

Heather Dress 1

Meg at Mama Liberated incorporated the Art Class print into this amazing hoodie for her son Finn:

sew liberated sidewalk

Anna over at Noodlehead made a cozy baby gift set:

noodlehead sews 2

And just in case you missed these from last week…

Natalie at hungryhippie sews made these buggy pajamas for her daughter Ruby:

Bugs Life 011

 

Caitlin at Fancy Tiger Crafts made these adorable rompers with matching hats for her sister’s twins:

Made-By-Rae-Sidewalk-Romper-Shoes

There are even more projects in the works for next week, so stay tuned here on the blog, on Instagram, and on Facebook. And remember to share your projects too! Use the #sidewalkfabric tag if you share on Instagram; I’d love to feature a bunch of those projects, too!

Sidewalk knits are designed by me for Cloud9 fabrics and are 100% organic cotton interlock. The entire collection is now available in shops both online and locally (visit this post for a shop list). For more Sidewalk, check out the Sidewalk projects I’ve posted here on the blog or the #sidewalkfabric tag on Instagram.