Charley Harper leggings for Hugo

Charley Harper leggings for Hugo
I really love the Charley Harper prints that Birch has put out in the past year. This vireo print is one of my favorites, and I was really excited when it ended up on knits as well as quilting cotton! This is the second thing I’ve sewn with the Birch knits, and I really like the quality of these knits a LOT; they hold up well, have a nice (medium) weight, and the perfect amount of stretch for clothing. One thing I learned the hard way is that they do shrink quite a bit in the wash, so my usual 1 wash / 1 dry prep for fabric didn’t work as well; the Flashback dress I made for Clementine shrunk even more in the wash after it was sewn and now is more of a 3/4 length on her sleeves and tunic rather than dress length…oops! Totally my fault, but I would recommend washing and drying these at least twice if possible before making something.

Charley Harper leggings for Hugo
Charley Harper leggings for Hugo

The pattern…hmm. I’m almost 100% sure that a pattern exists for this exact style, but honestly I just traced a pair of knit leggings he already had in a smaller size and added a little width and length to make them bigger. The final fit was trial and error (read: me wrestling them on him during a diaper change, then trimming off the seams with the serger after he went to bed, then repeat again the next day) and it took a bit more tinkering than I would have liked, but they look really cute now so I’m happy with them. But all that to say: life is usually easier when you just use a pattern. I could learn to take my own advice a little more in this department rather than going rogue all the time; it just saves so much time when someone else has done the work for me, and I’m realizing more and more how much my time is really worth.

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I guess that brings up a good issue in general that I still struggle with when it comes to sewing: how to decide what to sew when time is so limited? I remember when I first realized that I could sew ANYTHING in that classic world-is-my-oyster kind of way; there was something so freeing and awesome about being able to sew anything I set my mind to. But inevitably the project list became overwhelming and unrealistic, and I’ve had to pare it down and really choose more carefully what I want to sew, especially because kids outgrow things so quickly. So while I’m still pretty spontaneous slash irresponsible about what I choose to make, I definitely try to weigh how much something will get worn or used against the amount of time it would take to make it, and then considering whether it might just be better to buy it and weighing that against the question of whether a child in Malaysia might have sewn it up for me…OK, I digress, but you get the point. In this case, the leggings will probably get a few months of wear, but considering how cute they look, it was totally worth it.

Charley Harper leggings for Hugo

 

Small World baby pants

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Though I have tons of ideas for things I want to sew with my Small World corduroy, the first thing to make it out of the gate was a pile of baby pants. Specifically, Big Butt Baby Pants. For most of Hugo’s life he’s been wearing these flannel ones and these (he’s just growing out of those ones now), so I started with a couple 12-18 month ones (the yellow and blue and pink) and then made a few 18-24 month ones (the balloons and apples) and then moved on to a 2T pair of Parsley Pants in the red. I’ll probably send a few to Penelopeanut but Hugieboogie is still going to be one Sporty Spice.

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He’s been pretty fond of moving himself around via the Retro Rocket and the Beep Beep, even though he still cannot walk or crawl. He also can’t really steer. But that just makes it a little more interesting.

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One more thing: for the first time, I’ve started putting size tags in the backs and good grief WHY DID I NOT DO THIS BEFORE?? Answer: because I hadn’t stumbled across this Etsy shop yet (she’s on vacay as of this writing but should be back soon). You’re welcome.

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We’re winding down our It’s A Small World (blog tour), After All this week. Here’s a list of the other posts in the series:

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Small World is printed on 100% organic baby wale corduroy from Cloud9 Fabrics and is being sold in shops now. My sponsors Fancy Tiger Crafts and Fabricworm have it in stock now.

If you’re already sewing with some Small World of your own, please JOIN US! and share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #smallworldfabric or in the Small World Flickr Pool!

You are one

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I can’t believe that you are ONE. Your birthday was on Sunday so I made you this little dress shirt for the party out of my snail fabric, and I can’t believe how grown up you look!!

You are the sweetest, snuggliest little baby with a silly sense of humor and great conversational skills. I hear you upstairs when you wake up from your nap, heatedly debating foreign policy (or is it your preference for bananas over apples perhaps?) with Curious George in your crib. We can’t understand any of the words, but the way you use inflection and tone is quite dramatic. When Daddy reminded Clementine on Sunday morning that it was your birthday, she said, “Can he talk now?” As if it could happen, just like that, overnight. You’re making progress though, with your noises and your baby signs.

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We discovered a first tooth early last week. Check that one off the milestone list. But crawling…welll. That Butt Scoot is probably going to have to do it, because the two times you tried to get into a crawl position, you landed flat on your face on the hardwood floor and you haven’t tried it since.

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I love you my little Hugo! Happy Birthday!!!

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please don’t post or reuse photos of Hugo. Thanks!

Fabric: Snail Trail from Lotus Pond (still available — and on sale — here at HoneyBeGood, one of my sponsors. Be quick though, not much left!!)

Pattern: I drew this pattern myself, though after I put it all together I realized it’s almost exactly the same pattern as the Sketchbook Shirt by Oliver+S, so buy that one if you want something similar!

11 months old gaaaah!!

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He’s actually already 11 1/2 months because his birthday is March 22 which is now less than two weeks away *freaks out a little bit.* I know all parents say this, but where did that year go? It’s so weird to be staring down that milestone. Meanwhile, this past month has been better than the last; we’ve all been healthier overall and Hugo seems to be getting the hang of eating finger foods (video clip here) and even taking a bottle now, which is nice.

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Hugo goes to daycare a couple days a week now, and he seems to really like it. It’s great for me to have some baby-free time to get some work done, and at the same time still feel like I have plenty of time at home with him. I’m still just trying to keep my mindset in Baby Mode and work priorities as low-commitment as I possibly can. I’m trying to protect these baby days as much as possible, so it doesn’t bother me too much that work stuff keeps piling up like crazy. I just don’t have much time for it right now. Oh darn. Peeps are gonna have to chill if they need something. The only thing that makes me a little sad is that I have no new fabric collections in the works right now; I would love to do another one and I’ve been sketching a little but not enough to really put a collection together. Art is really fun.

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Oh was this post supposed to be about Hugo?? Right. OK, so the word of the month for this little guy: SCOOT. He can’t crawl yet but he’s figured out how to do a funny little seated butt-scoot that is getting him around the floor quite nicely. I discovered rug burn on his ankles and the sides of his lower legs the other day and realized it’s because he’s scooting so much. It’s time to put up the baby gates and go around the house and put stuff away. Yesterday he ate a bunch of bright pink Play-Doh when I wasn’t looking. I have no idea how much he actually managed to get down before I got to him, though I’m guessing I’ll be able to tell just how much once it comes out the other end in beautiful glowing pink terds. I am going to need to keep a better eye on him. and thank goodness it was just Play-Doh.

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I printed out the first eleven months of “month-by-month” photos the other day — just one more and we’ll have a set of twelve! Crazytown.

please don’t pin or reuse photos of Hugo! Thanks!

PS. The squirrel pull toy is by Kid O / Orange diaper by BumGenius

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10 months!

Our little Hugo-bugo is 10 months old!

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It’s been a bit of a rough month, to be honest. It seems like he’s been out of sorts more than the usual amount, but it’s hard to separate whether that’s teething issues, or feeding issues (the child seems ambivalent towards solid food), or the fact that he’s been sick a few times in the past month. I always find it a bit annoying when parents say “he’s TEETHING” as if that explains everything, because aren’t they pretty much teething for two years straight? But…he’s teething.

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I’m also trying not to get angsty over the fact that he isn’t crawling yet, or even really trying to crawl yet. He’s just happy sitting and watching his brother and sister run around like Crazy People, like he really couldn’t care less if he ever moves or not. I tried the thing the doctor suggested at his last checkup where you put them on their belly and put a toy just out of reach to motivate them to crawl, but he just gets really pissed off. And…I don’t want to come off as overly critical here, but his pincer grasp could use some work, so we are just now to the point where he can pick up a Cheerio. I keep comparing him to my other kids (“wasn’t Clementine doing that at eight months?”). For some reason it seemed easier with them. Not exactly sure why.

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On the plus side, Hugo has such a sweet little personality. He plays peekaboo with his blanket, and “so big” and he can clap, and he’s got this mischievous little grin that just kills me. I probably just need to chill the heck out a little bit over his motor skills, because if he ever does start to move it’s going to be Trouble.

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Also new this month: his first haircut!! It was seriously starting to resemble a bad combover on the top of his head. I’m not sure why I waited this long, but now it’s so cute!! He was a total champ for the haircut too; he was so mesmerized by the little kiddy salon we took him to that he sat quietly the whole five minutes it took to cut his hair. It was pretty amazing.

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Please don’t pin or repost photos of Hugo. Thanks!

See Hugo’s previous month-by-months posts: 1-2 months / 3 months / 4-9 months

What I made in 2014: Hugo!

I’m just cracking myself up over here with this one. I MADE A BABY THIS YEAR! This week my blog feed (Bloglovin is my favorite way to read blogs now, I love the daily email digest) is loaded with sewing blogs posting their “what I made in 2014″ roundups. So I started to look for projects that I’d sewn this past year to maybe do a similar post, something like my 2013 or 2012 end-of-year roundups (which, by the way, are both quite impressive and started to make me feel a little bad about this year), and then started to realize hmmmm…why was I less productive, what DID I do this year? OH YES THAT’S RIGHT I MADE A BABY. And then I realized it’s been forever since I posted any Hugo pics. So without further ado, my big “project” of 2014…HUGO!

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Truly though, I can’t believe that the last time I posted a monthly Hugo pic he was three months old! He is now 9.5 months old. UM WHERE DID THAT HALF YEAR GO?!? I would also like to know how other fecund bloggers have managed to post month-by-month photos of their babies, seriously, because it is ridiculously hard. I’m starting to suspect they just take ONE photo, put it through a magic Photoshop-baby-aging-filter, and then set it to autopost each month. So let’s start where I left off and see what he looked like at 4 months:

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OK. So definitely not the BEST baby-propping skills here. And then Clementine stepped into the photos so that was the end of that…

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Here’s what he looked like at 5 months:

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and at 6 months:

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Here he is at 7 months:

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And at 8 months:

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and now, my baby boy is NINE. months. old. WOW!

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I want to say more about this guy, how easy and happy he is, how he is at the bottom of the percentiles for weight so we keep having to go back to the Dr for weight checks ARRRG, how he just got over a month of chest colds and croup that made me sick with worry, how his brother and sister just think he’s the bees knees and how much he lights up when they are around…but if I try to be comprehensive I’m never going to get this post finished, and then it will be ten months, so I’m just going to post this thang so you can enjoy the pics. Let me leave you with another favorite, Hugo in his Halloween costume:

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GAAAAH! I know I am hopelessly biased but I just think he is SO. stinking. CUTE!! Sorry that’s probably really annoying. The baby lobster costume just cracks me up.

Please do not pin or repost pictures of Hugo — the one exception is that I don’t mind if you pin the mosaic (1st image). Thanks!

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Flannel Baby Pants

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Hugo has been wearing his many pairs of cotton Big Butt Baby pants and they always get tons of compliments (how could they not with such a cute model?). I wanted to make him a couple warmer pairs out of the new Fanfare 2014 flannels for winter, so I picked these two elephant prints with a grey solid rear panel.

Elephant Big Butt Baby PantsElephant Big Butt Baby Pants

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The sewing pattern is my Big Butt Baby Pants Sewing Pattern, which is designed with enough room for cloth-diapered booties. It’s so fun to give the pattern another go with another kiddo; when I designed it back in 2010, Clementine was my little pattern tester!

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I made one small mod to the pattern here which is so easy to do and yields such a cute result: instead of sewing the entire hem, leave a small gap along the top of the folded hem allowance for an elastic casing. Then thread 6-8″ of half inch wide elastic through the casing, overlap the ends of the elastic and stitch them together (try on baby first) to get a snug fit around the ankle, and stitch the casing shut. I’m a big fan of the elasticized cuff lately (moon pants anyone?).

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Hugo is NOT actually walking yet, despite how these pics may appear — Karen was holding his hands just above the shot, though he does LOVE to stand up. I’m hoping he will refrain from walking until he is a bit older like his siblings (they both walked at 15 months). What do you think the chances of that are? A mama can hope, right?

Scaffold Quilt

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My first line of fabrics, Fanfare, reprinted this fall and included a line of coordinating flannel solids. As soon as they arrived on my doorstep I felt they deserved their own quilt, the combination of these solid pastels seemed just right. I love plus patterns in quilts, and I wanted the pluses to run into each other a bit (inspired by this design, though I’m not sure…is that a quilt? Or a piece of art? not sure). The result is that the narrow bands remind me of scaffolding.

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When it comes to making quilts, I enjoy the piecing but I am not a huge fan of the actual quilting bit (by which I mean the stitching through the layers to hold everything together), so the quilting was pretty spare: just a simple stitch-in-the-ditch type situation along the narrow bands to form an allover tic-tac-toe stitching pattern. I also like how the back turned out — four simple squares to complement the front — not too boring, but not too fussy.

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As far as creating the quilt top, I think anyone with basic piecing skills could replicate this — it’s 16 blocks, and the smaller squares are 6.5″ and the narrower strips are 2.5″ wide. The final quilt is maybe about 60″ square? Dunno — didn’t measure and didn’t do the math.

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Anyway, I love how modern and uncomplicated this turned out. Baby quilts are my favorite kind of quilt — pretty quick to piece together, easy to quilt (no long-arm needed, though I do use a walking foot), and they make great gifts (this one in fact is headed to a cousin’s new baby). Aren’t flannels the perfect cosy fabric?

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Welcome to the world little Penelope!

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We (as in, Hugo and myself, we come as a package deal now that he has decided not to take a bottle…waaaah!!! But that is another topic for another time) are back after a few weeks of vacation. Or sort of vacation. First, we went to Texas. I flew out last-minute last week to go help my sister Elli and her husband Joe with her newly hatched and unexpectedly early Penelope Wren!!! See my cute new little niece??? Sidenote for those who are just joining: Elli works as Chief Officer of Pattern Production (COPP, yes I just made that title up) here at Made By Rae. You can see more posts about her here and here.

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She is such a cute little button.

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Penelope was born four weeks early and weighed 5 pounds 5 oz so there were some concerns with jaundice for the first week and now she has some reflux issues, but otherwise she has been healthy and fine. She eats like a champ and is gaining weight swimmingly. The birth was smooth (and drug-free, go Elli!!!) — it helped that Elli was in labor denial and wrote off her contractions as intense Braxton-Hicks for the better part of a day. One just doesn’t expect to be a month early, so that was understandable, but then it was kind of intense when she finally realized she was having a baby roughly an hour before she had the baby. Penelope is Elli and Joe’s first baby so they’ve had the usual crash-course in sleepless nights and paranoia, but they are settling in and are already fantastic parents.

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Elli and Penelope!

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I thought Hugo was small, but then I picked up Penelope and nearly threw her at the ceiling because she was so light by comparison. I’m now of the opinion that he’s a bit of a chunk. A cute little chunk.

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So then, after Texas, we came back and our family went and stayed at a beach house on Lake Michigan for a week. That was last week. It was so ridiculously cold for a week at the beach in August; usually in Michigan it is so oppressively hot and humid that the Lake is just the ticket. I found our rental on Craigslist and it had some issues but overall it was beautiful and gorgeous and brand new and the perfect thing to get our family together for a nice stay-in-one-place vacation. You can see some pics from the lake in my Instagram feed, @madebyrae. It’s really nice to be back home now though.

PS. Please don’t pin or use photos of Penelope, thanks!

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