Fanfare for Baby!

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Fanfare for Baby Hugo!

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Pants: Big Butt Baby Pants in Fanfare flannel + yellow Shot Cotton. Perfect for his cute little cloth diaper bum.

Crib Sheet: made using Dana’s Crib Sheet Tutorial (I had to modify the dimensions a bit because the flannel shrinks down to about 41″ wide)

Changing Pad Cover: this is a FREE printable tutorial that I put together last summer, available from the Cloud9 website!

Nursery Prints: by Ingela Arrhenius; I found them here. Wall color is Sherwin Williams Waterfall.

Fun news: Fanfare is being REPRINTED in MORE COLORS and will be available later this summer! You can sneak a peek here, and I’ll post pics of my new samples soon!!!

More pics of the baby. I can’t resist.

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Fanfare for Baby Hugo!

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Sewing for baby: adorable kitty outfit

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This is definitely a situation where I will admit I went a bit overboard. In retrospect it probably would have been easier to buy an off-white baby outfit and embroider it, but WHY? when I already had this amazingly silky soft organic knit terry I ask you? Why not just make a pair of little tiny drawstring pants, a snap-shoulder tee, and a hat with ears and then add embroidered faces to make it even cuter? WHY NOT?

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I was enamored with a couple of baby boy items that I had pinned onto my Baby Boy Pinterest board that have little animal faces stitched onto them and had to try it out. The animal ears/faces on baby stuff trend has been around for quite some time, but there’s something really adorable about the hand-stitched whiskers and nose that I can’t get enough of. Just a sidenote: if you embroider baby items, you may want to attach some little pieces of soft fusible interfacing or fabric to the inside of the items once you’ve finished adding the decorative stitches, to make sure that any knots or threads from the embroidery don’t irritate their sensitive skin.

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The shirt and pant patterns were drawn on the fly with only other baby items for reference, the hat pattern you can find a bit more information on here (note: HILARIOUS pics of newborn Clementine in that post), but I added ears and left off the ties of course. I’m going to have to cross my fingers that a) these will fit my little bean RIGHT AWAY and b) that they will all fit at the SAME TIME.

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Want to see more of what I’ve been making for baby? Check out these posts or follow me on Instagram (@madebyrae)!

Sewing for baby: Newborn Pants
Sewing for baby: Nursing Pillow Cover Tutorial (+free pattern!)
Bringing Back Big Butt Baby Pants

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Sewing for Baby: Newborn pants

Hi hi! Just in case you were wondering, no baby yet. Still a few weeks to go until the due date. Patience my friends. But rather than regale you with more large belly photos, this week (and maybe next) I’m going to unleash all the stuff I’ve been sewing for the little dude over the past couple months. WATCH. OUT. It’s going to be a baby-sewing-bonanza, I’m warning you. First, these two little pairs of Newborn Pants:

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I just adore those little hedgies.

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Both fabrics were designed by Lizzy House, who is one of my very favorite fabric designers, and I think she creates some of the best designs for little boys out there.

If you would like to make your own, the pattern for the pants is free on my blog and can be found here:

It’s a nice easy sewing project, but I will say two things that I have noticed about this pattern: first, it is a bit big for the average NEWLY HATCHED newborn; but it does tend to fit in the 0-3 month size range, and second, PLEASE make sure that you mark the leg seams and center seams carefully after you cut out your pattern — many people have confused the two, which creates a pair of pants that has a VERY low rise (think baby plummer butt) and long legs. This does not result in a great fit, as you might imagine. Anyway, it’s no fun to go back and fix something that should have taken less than an hour, right? So keep that in mind. Happy Sewing!

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Bringing back big butt baby pants

I’ve been putting together a (rather long) list of things I want to sew for the baby for quite a while; it’s mostly little boy baby clothes, burp clothes, bibs, crib sheets, that sort of thing, things to fill in the gaps and freshen up the baby wardrobe that is currently aging in plastic tubs in my basement. Let’s be realistic, it’s been nearly five years since I had my last baby, and seven since I had a baby boy. So that means not only has half of the stuff already been spit up on twice and covered with stains, the other half is either covered in pink ruffles or out of style. Wah wah.

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BUT! That means I get to go bonkers and sew all kinds of new baby stuff, right? RIGHT. Starting with Big Butt Baby Pants. So far, three pairs made for my baby and one for a friend’s baby (had to include those here too since they were made with Fanfare!!!):

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I remember writing a slightly nostalgic post a few years ago called “Goodbye Big Butt” about the fact that Clementine was potty trained and no longer had a need for the B3P’s since they have extra room built in for diapers and they look the cutest with a nice big squishy diaper underneath. Now I get to bring ‘em back. Hurrah!!!

By the way, my “Baby-To-Sew-List” Pinterest board has a few of things I am planning to sew for this baby, if you’re interested in taking a look.

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Baby Boy Quilt + Pants

I’ve had no less than nine friends and family members give birth to boys in the past year. NINE. Can’t think of a single baby girl though…why is that?? What is up with the baby boys?? I would be lying if I said I was able to make handmade gifts for all of them, but I did manage to finish and gift this little boy quilt last week:

Happy Drawing

Happy Drawing

Happy Drawing

Happy Drawing


This ladder quilt was inspired by this quilt on the Cloud 9 blog, which in turn was inspired by this post by Lu Summers. There’s a tutorial for Michelle’s version on the Cloud 9 post, mine is a bit simpler but if there’s enough interest I could probably post some instructions for this version as well. I used my “cheater bindof method” for this quilt, super easy and — extra added bonus! — because I quilted all the way to the edge of the blue backing with white thread, it created a cool stitching pattern along the side bindings.

Happy Drawing

Baby quilts are so fun and quick to make. I like that it’s rectangular so that it could be potentially used as real bedding once little Baby M is old enough in addition to the usual nursery decor or play-blanket functions.

Oh and of course I had to make a cute little pair of Big Butt Baby Pants too!!! Love the little frogs on this print. That Ed Emberley is a genius.

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{Fabric in this post: Happy Drawing by Ed Emberley for Cloud 9, stripes are Hello Pilgrim by Lizzy House, blue and white Moda Bella solids for quilt backing and sashing}

Goodbye Big Butt


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Clementine decided to potty train herself right as we were moving last month, I kid you not she started asking to use the potty a week before we moved. Now she’s going through a (normal) reversion stage that is making me crazy. It’s like having a new puppy except there’s no new puppy, you get me? Just the puppy shoes, har har:

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In addition to that, she’s going through a (normal) whiny/clingy phase that always seems to accompany birthdays and other big transitions. Let’s see: moving to a new house, turning two, potty training, starting preschool (she’s in a “twos” class so I guess it’s probably closer to daycare than school but we call it preschool)? Yup, I think that qualifies as Major Transition. So it’s hard, but it’s good, you know? Growing up and change, the inevitable story of life.

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Still, I was a wee bit sad when I realized that this is probably the last pair of Big Butt Baby Pants I’ll ever make for her. Her tiny little underpants-clad butt just doesn’t fill these out like it used to. The rulers are still one of my favorite prints (Cosmo Cricket, you might recognize it from this Charlie Tunic) and cute for going back to school. Anyway, she’ll still wear them, but it’s time to pull out a new pants pattern for this big big girl!

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Pimp those baby pants!

Sorry if that is just too inappropriate. I just get so tired of the word “embellish” sometimes. Plus it’s totally cracking me up this morning to see the word “pimp” and “baby in the same post title. MORE COFFEE RAE!!!

So today I promised to show you how to add pockets and binding to the newborn baby pants (free pattern found here). I’ve been getting lots of requests for a post on how I make my pockets ever since they debuted on the Big Butt Baby Pants (see this picture).  I really like this method because you a) start with one piece of fabric per pocket, b) don’t have to press and fold teeny little edges and c) it’s completely lined.  Oh and did I mention that it’s also the EASIEST. POCKET. EVAR. ???

For the newborn pants shown above you’ll need to cut two rectangles of fabric 4″x7″ each.  For the Big Butt Baby Pants I use that size for the newborn size only. I usually cut 4.5″x8″ for the medium sizes (3-12 months) and 5″x9″ for the larger sizes (18-24 months/2T).  And good grief you can use these pockets for just about anything just by cutting an appropriately-sized rectangle: the length should be roughly twice as long as the width for pockets that are square or nearly square, just remember that you will lose 1/2″ on the width and length for seams.

Fold your pocket in half lengthwise:

Stitch with a 1/4″ seam around the sides that don’t have folds, leaving a 2″ gap for turning.

Clip the corners of the pocket:

Turn right side out and use a pencil or turning tool to poke out the corners.

Press the pocket flat.

Place the pocket roughly in the center of the pant leg and pin in place.  It’s easiest to do this before you sew any of the pant pieces together.  When I’m making Big Butt Baby pants, I usually slide the pocket slightly toward the front side of the pant (see this picture).

It’s important to make sure that the hole is not at the top of the pocket (see red pen sticking out?).  Since you’ll be sewing three sides of the pocket to the pants, you want to make sure the hole is on one of those three sides.  I prefer to have it on the bottom so that the folded edge of the pocket is on top.  Personally I think that looks neater.

Sew around the pocket on the sides and bottom, backstitching a few times at the beginning and end to make sure it stays put.

Repeat for the other pocket. Ta-da! Pockets finished.

Now let’s look at how to add a contrast binding to the cuff.

I cut two rectangles of fabric 3″ wide and twice as long as the finished cuff is wide plus one inch (only one is shown above).  When you fold it in half, the folded piece should be 1/2″ wider than the finished cuff.

Next press the strip in half lengthwise, fold the raw edges into the center crease, and fold/press in half once more.

Starting just before the inner leg seam, pin the binding strip so that one half is inside the pant leg and one half is outside, keeping front and back of the binding as even with each other as possible. The edge of the pant should be all the way down in the binding crease.

When you get back to where you started, fold under the raw edge and pin as shown:

Using a zigzag stitch, sew around the edge of the binding.  The wider your zigzag, the more likely you are to catch both front and back in your stitching.  Repeat for the other leg.

Wocka-wocka, those are some fine lookin’ pants!

I really need to start a miscellaneous photo pool for random Made By Rae stuff, since I’m already getting emails from you guys with newborn pants you’ve made that are so fantastic they need to be shared. Plus there’s felt letters, spring ruffle tops, etc.  Will work on that and get back to you!

Anyone feel like making a pair of baby pants tonight?

This is so typical Rae.  I am poised to make this Big Butt Baby Pants pattern available and despite the oodles of samples and measuring I have done to get to this point, I am currently having my classic anxiety that this is all not going to work.  Specifically, I think my sizing may be off for the 18-24 month and 2T sizes.

SO…I’ll put this out there in hopes that someone can help me out with this: if you think you could pattern test for me one of those two sizes, leave a comment letting me know what size you’d like to try and then shoot me an email so I can send it to you this evening.  Ideally you would have a child you could try these on and be able to give me a little feedback in the next day or so.  The ability to take a picture of your finished product would also be helpful. 

Please check the comments section to see what others have written before emailing; I’ll just need one or two people to try each size, and you would of course get a nice final copy of the pattern for your very own for your trouble.

Thanks guys!

UPDATE (7 PM): Wow, thank you so much to those who have offered to help. I’m all set here so you’ll get an email from me if I need ya.  Thanks!

Back to work *sigh*

 our little beach baby (wearing thrifted-sheet-turned-Big-Butt-Baby-Pants)

We had a wonderful holiday weekend.  It was a little busy; we hung out with my seesters and their husbeasts and went to see Cinematic Titanic in Ann Arbor (any MST3K fans out there?) then drove over to West Michigan to spend time with Mr Rae’s parents.  Hard to decide if the best part there was their pool, fabric shopping at Field’s, or swimming in the most beautiful lake in the world?  Of course I’m biased but if you’ve never been to the amazing beaches of West Michigan, you are truly missing out.  Having lived in the Bay Area for a couple of years and vacationed on both the East and Gulf coasts, I understand the appeal of the ocean.  But fresh water and white sand with no kelp, jelllyfish, or sharks?  Now that’s what I call a good beach.

 What did you guys do? I love hearing what everyone’s up to!