Welcome to the world little Penelope!

Array

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.

Array

She is such a cute little button.

Array

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.

Array

Elli and Penelope!

Array

Array

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.

Array

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!

This blog is proudly sponsored by
Posted in baby
13 Comments

Little Romper Thingy for the Drool Machine

Array

This was a spur-of-the-moment project (inspired by this little romper on Pinterest).  As with the dress in the last post, sometimes when I wing it it works, sometimes it’s a disaster, and sometimes it just needs some tweaking.

Array

please feel free to pin this romper but don’t pin any photos of Hugo — thanks!

Array

I drew the pattern for this free-hand-style and cut and sewed most of it in less than an hour. The only step that took a bit more time was adding the snap placket to the inside of the legs.

Array

Array

This fit is a wee bit wide in the neck — he’s showin’ a little baby shoulder — and could use a little tweaking. Next time I’ll just make the neck smaller and narrower and add more length to make more room for his cloth diapers. The yellow striped knit was left over from this Flashback Tee I made for Clementine last fall — that’s the great thing about baby sewing projects, they take almost no fabric so it’s not a huge investment if it doesn’t work out. Wouldn’t a little micro-pocket look cute too?

Array

I’m completely helpless when it comes to editing photos of Hugo. I can’t delete any. Even looking at this post I realize there are roughly four shots that all probably look the same to everyone else, but to me are so nuanced in expression they all needed to be included.

Array

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Thoughts on life with a baby at 3 months.

Array

My little angel baby is 3 (and a half…forgive the time lag since I took these photos) months old. Man, I know I’m biased, but is this kid the cutest baby EVAR or WHAT? Don’t answer that. It’s so textbook it’s hilarious: I can’t stop staring at him, smiling at him, and cooing at him. I’m completely smitten. I remember being worried that having a third baby would feel a little “been there, done that,” but the miracle is that it doesn’t feel that way at all. You fall in love all over again, and it even feels new again, if perhaps a bit less surprising as with the first.

Each of my three baby experiences has been so different. Not so much because the babies themselves were so different — they have all been fairly easy babies — but because I am different. With Elliot I was fresh off of a seven-year science teaching stint that was so mentally and emotionally challenging that by comparison the days with a newborn felt lonely and unproductive. It’s hard to remember how happy or content I was, but guess I must have felt disconnected and a bit directionless, because I started the blog. I remember feeling like I just needed to find something to DO (you know, besides take care of an infant full time. HAH).

Array

With Clementine, my blog was a new business and it was getting pretty demanding. It felt like anyone who had any audience was picking up ad networks and sponsors and beginning to see that they could make money just by blogging. The digital patterns I had made while I was pregnant with Clementine while Elliot took his afternoon naps were selling well enough that I felt like I was thinking about business stuff all. the. time. I had to constantly check email to make sure my patterns got emailed out on time. I had to keep sewing. Keep blogging. Put the kid in front of the TV. Keep making new patterns. My brain was so busy with ideas and information, but with a toddler and a newborn every day needed an outing or playdate or I would go crazy. The result was that I had next to no free time to act on any of my ideas. It was like “Attack of the Busy Brain!” all the time, and it was pretty frustrating.

With Hugo (see he is SMILING???), I at least have the benefit of knowing what to expect; knowing that it is kinda boring sometimes, knowing that I’ll feel unproductive, and knowing that it will be a while before I can really dig in and work again, and that all of that is OK. I’m still in the thick of it. As I type this, I’m at my studio, and Hugo is napping underneath my cutting table in the next room (scratch that; he just woke up, so now he’s nursing). I go downtown to my studio for a few hours each week, not because I think I’ll get anything done, but because it’s just good to get out of the house and putter around in this place that feels like something I’ve built from the ground up. Low expectation seems key.

Array

The blog, the patterns, my overflowing inbox, the new website (!!!) we’re working on…the work is all still ever-present, and if I think about it too much it stresses me out, but I have to keep reminding myself that it’s just not that important. And I think I’m happier for it, at least I feel more at peace with my life. Some days I can hardly contain my joy at how wonderful this life I’ve been given is — I am so thankful to God for my healthy children, Mr Rae, who is just the best mate I could ever ask for, and the fun thing that “Made By Rae” has become. Other days I want to pull my hair out and I feel like a monster when I yell at my kids because they’re dorking around instead of putting their shoes on or getting ready for bed.

I want to write, but phantom blog posts just end up circling in my head instead of getting onto the page. I want to sew ALL THE THINGS, but the block of sewing time never materializes. But I know like everything about having a baby, things change so quickly, but work will always be there if I want it. And if it’s not — for isn’t that what all bloggers fear? that if we step away from what we have built with our blogs that it will all disappear into thin air? — that everything will still be just fine.

hugo1monthhugo2months

This blog is proudly sponsored by
Posted in baby
23 Comments

Fanfare for Baby!

Array

Array

Array

Array

Fanfare for Baby Hugo!

Array

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.

Array

Array

Fanfare for Baby Hugo!

Array

This blog is proudly sponsored by

The baby is 2 months old already. Whaaaaaat?!

Array

I figure it’s about time for a HUGO UPDATE! He’s now…um…about 2 and a half months old, so here are the photos I took of him when he turned 1 month and 2 months old. I especially like that first one where he is cross-eyed. In my head, I was going to post awesome weekly photos of him in his handmade clothes on my blog with updates on his developmental milestones, you know, in between all of the other amazing things I was sewing for my other kids. BWUAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!!! That’s a good one.

Array

In reality, he grew out of most of the newborn stuff I made him before I could take any pictures (WHEN did THAT happen?), I haven’t sewn much at all, for anyone, and I’ve forgotten to write down most of the cool things he’s been doing like chewing on his hand and smiling at us and that one week when he started crying real tears instead of just making a lot of noise and it just about broke my heart.

Array

I only slept about 4 hours last night (which is actually pretty strange because overall he’s been doing quite well at night) so I really can’t think of anything else interesting to say because my brain is just going MORE COFFEE MORE COFFEE MORE COFFEE right now, so I think that may have to be it for this post. XOXO, Rae

Array

*Please don’t repost/pin pictures of Hugo. Thanks!*

This blog is proudly sponsored by
Posted in baby
16 Comments

Snail Trail Sleepsack for Hugo

We are big fans of the sleepsack around here. All three of my children needed a good snug swaddle to sleep for any decent amount of time. Plus our doctor mentioned multiple times at Hugo’s early checkups that we should NOT use a basic blanket to swaddle, that instead we should always use the velcro swaddler, so there you go. They’ve gotten plenty of use by our clan. So this free snuggler pattern from Lotta Jansdotter‘s Simple Sewing for Baby book on Make magazine’s site (that first link goes to something called a Craft podcast, but the free pattern is there…yeah, I’m confused by that too) seemed like the perfect way to pair some of the plain white Fanfare flannel I had in my stash with some new Lotus Pond snails!

image

The snuggler is easy to use, it’s just a matter of folding the two outer flaps over each other; your baby’s legs go in the pouch portion at the bottom.

Snail Trail Sleepsack

Snail Trail Sleepsack

Snail Trail Sleepsack

I should note that I didn’t find the free pattern to be completely intuitive; I had some issues piecing the pattern pages together (an issue that would, admittedly, have been a non-issue if I had actually purchased the book rather than downloading the free version…you get what you pay for am I right??) and the instructions took us a few thinks to get right, but once it was together it made total sense and I think the design is totally adorable. So there’s that for my 2-cent review. Most importantly, Hugo will sleep in it, so clearly he likes it too!

This snail fabric is one of the prints from my new line of fabrics for Cloud9, Lotus Pond! To see all the posts from our Lotus Pond Extravaganza, click HERE.

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Little Color Book for Hugo

Array

One of the joys of living in Ann Arbor is the sewing and blogging friends I get to see on a regular basis at monthly Sew Ann Arbor sewing meetups. Many of those friends have turned into people I hang out with In Real Life, and Emily of Emmmylizzzy (and @emmmylizzzy on Instagram) is one of those pals. Her daughter Phoebe and my Clementine are the same age and love playing together. You might also remember that daughter Phoebe helped Clementine model a legion of Tsuru Geranium Dresses last spring…they were so cute together!

Array

Array

Emily made this adorable color book as a baby gift for Hugo, and I just love it. Had to show it to you, because it’s such a great way to use scraps, and such a fantastic baby gift idea!! Many of these scraps are from my own past sewing projects; I often bring my scraps to sewing meetups for the quilters to take and Emily was clever enough to collect a bunch and incorporate them into this book.

Array

Array

One hilariously tragic thing you might have seen if you follow Emily on IG is that after she had completed it, her youngest daughter Penny found it and drew with a marker on the ENTIRE THING….ACK!! Luckily it all came out in the wash and you can’t even tell it happened; I would have never noticed it. Can you imagine though?? I would have cried.

Array

Elliot and Clementine have already identified a number of scraps that look familiar to them…do you see anything YOU recognize?

Array

Such a fun idea, right??? Thanks for the awesome gift, Emily!

This blog is proudly sponsored by
Posted in baby
12 Comments

My little cloth diaper model

Array

Hi everyone, it’s Rae! I figured it was about time I shared some more pictures of the new little dude in our fambly, especially since he is so cute and wee and is already 2 weeks older than he was when I took these pics (Hugo was 2.5 weeks when I took these photos, but he’s 1 month old now).

Array

The goal was to get a photo of him in each of the cloth diapers I made him, but getting that many pictures turned out to be harder than I thought. Either the baby was sleeping or the diaper I wanted the photo of was dirty (most likely) or it was dark and I couldn’t get a good photo. Anyway, I managed to get four of them on him. Enjoy!

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

You can read about the cloth diapers I made Hugo in this post (by the way, I do NOT make diapers to sell, so please don’t email with requests, thanks!)

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Around here

Array

Some photos from the past couple of weeks. Hugo is now 2 1/2 weeks old, and getting back into Baby Mode has been a bit of a transition. You think it will be Old Hat, and in some ways it is and in some ways it’s not. I’d forgotten how much babies sleep. I keep thinking, is this normal, to sleep this much?? And still, how can he sleep so much and still manage to take ALL of my attention? It’s hard, and different, and wonderful, all at the same time. Like the first week when I cried every day. It was super stressful when he didn’t gain any weight the first week and we had to keep going back to the doctor’s office for weight checks when all I wanted to do was stay in bed and sleep. I seriously do not know what I would do without Mr Rae. He gets the Super Awesome Husband award for coming along to the doctor’s visits, taking care of all the meals, the house, and the other two kids, and bringing me chocolate milkshakes. And each week is easier than the last.

Array

Array

Array

Array

He manages to get himself held nearly all the time.

Array

Array

Array

I wanted to do something special for Hugo since as the third child he’s already gotten the short end of the stick (no baby book, for instance — oops! who has the time? — and even though I try to take pictures of him every day, I definitely have fewer photos already of the little dude than I did with either of my other two), so I decided to have newborn photos taken of Hugo and I’m so glad that I did. Here’s our photographer, Kari, working her baby-whispering-magic when he was just a week old:

Array

Array

Array

I was completely blown away by how many great photos she got of the little guy. Here’s a favorite. Kari just happened to have a little stocking cap that matched a green cloth diaper I made!!

And you can see even more on Kari’s blog at this post if you like (including some of our whole family). I’m so glad I have these photos, they are absolutely precious.

Finally, a couple of photos of Hugo from when we left the hospital. It’s crazy how much he looks like Clementine.

Array

Array

This blog is proudly sponsored by