Creativebug Outfit for Hugo

Sewing for little ones set / Creativebug + Made By Rae

I have always felt that the two most essential garments in a child’s wardrobe are a basic pair of pants and a tee shirt. It was on this premise that I designed my two children’s patterns, the Flashback Tee for knits and the Parsley Pants for woven fabrics, and it’s also the reason that my Sewing for Little Ones series on Creativebug begins with how to make basic pants and ends with how to make a Trace-and-Make tee.  I love being able to whip up a tee and pants for my own kiddos; it’s such a fun and gratifying thing to sew an easy outfit in an afternoon (also: Elliot, at 9, still prefers my “soft pants” to store-bought).

Sewing for little ones set / Creativebug + Made By Rae

I made this little outfit for Hugo when I was writing my outlines for the Creativebug classes, and as you can see, the result is completely wearable and cute. I used the dog print from my Small World corduroy fabric line for the pants, and that soft yellow knit (I swear this is the PERFECT shade of yellow) is from Cloud9’s knit solids collection. Cloud9 provided ALL of the fabrics I used to teach the classes, by the way; I’m partial to their fabrics, as you probably already know.

Sewing for little ones set / Creativebug + Made By Rae

The first class, Sew Beginner Pants, takes you from start to finish on a basic pair of pants. I love the utility of pants, how simple they are (one pattern piece!), that it is a gender-neutral clothing item, and how quickly they can be sewn. It walks you through setting up your sewing machine for the first time, cutting out the pieces, and sewing them together. The video allows you to sew along and learn all those little tips and tricks you’d learn if you could take one of my classes in person. I also figured out a way to sneak seam finishing into this class because though pants can be sewn lickety-quick, if you want them to last through multiple wears and washings, seam finishing is essential. The class also includes a printable download with two sizes of the Parsley Pant pattern, a newborn size and a toddler size. The larger size is labeled size 3, and I also included a size 2 hemming line (and I’ve got them hemmed up even further for these pics of Hugo, since he’s not quite in a size 2 length-wise). And of course, if you needed more sizes you could use the same instructions for any size of my Parsley Pants pattern. Here’s the class description:

Begin your foray into sewing for little ones with Raes Parsley Pants pattern. Rae shows you how to work with multi-sized patterns and covers tricky techniques like sewing curves and adding an elastic waistband. This pattern is practical and simple, and you will get the satisfaction of seeing an entire garment come together in just a couple of hours. Start building your basic garment construction skills with this class.

Learn How To:

  • Set up your sewing machine
  • Select size and cut out your pattern
  • Sew curved seams
  • Add an elastic waistband and ribbon tag
  • Finish hems

Sewing for little ones set / Creativebug + Made By Rae

The tee was made as a sample for the Trace and Make Knits class, the third and final class in the series. “Trace and Make” means you start with a piece of clothing that fits your child, and you trace it to make a pattern from the garment so you can make even more (sidenote: I do this to make clothes for my kids to wear, but never for a pattern I intend design and sell). In this particular class, I demonstrate how to trace and construct not only a tee but a pair of leggings as well, another essential item for children. The class also includes an introduction to knit fabric and sewing with knits, and shows you how to sew the tee and leggings from start to finish…I mean, for the price of the subscription, I can’t even… Let’s put it this way: all of this content would be a $100 workshop if I offered it locally, you know? Not to mention, the principles of tracing, making, and constructing tees and leggings are exactly the same for kids as they are for men, or women, so I personally think this class has a HUGE value and I’m so glad that I can point folks who are interested in sewing with knits to it! Here’s the class description:

Tracing and making is a great way to learn about clothing construction. In this final part, Rae shows you how to trace a favorite t-shirt and pair of leggings to create your own patterns, which you can use to construct custom garments. You will also learn all about working with knit fabrics—a staple fabric for kids. This class rounds out the wardrobe nicely, teaching you more skills like working with shoulders and sleeves and how to add a double-fold neckline.

Learn How To:
· Work with knit fabrics
· Select a tee and leggings to trace
· Trace tee and leggings for pattern
· Create a pattern on Swedish tracing paper
· Construct a tee-shirt shoulder seam, sleeve seam and double-fold neckline
· Add tags to tee and leggings
· Insert elastic waistband in leggings

Sewing for little ones set / Creativebug + Made By Rae

I have even more to say about the second class (“Sew a Beginner Dress”) yet, but I’ll save that for a later post. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how these classes turned out and I really hope that you will subscribe and watch them if you haven’t already. I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to offer video somehow, to make an extra instructional resource available for people who wanted to try my sewing patterns but maybe needed a little more support (and I’ve done a handful of campy how-to videos for a few of my sewing patterns), but but holy sh*t is it ever hard to film, edit, and publish video on your own. I’m still a little gobsmacked at how adeptly the editors whittled down an entire week’s worth of shooting into these three thorough yet concise classes that can each be watched from start to finish in one sitting (and, Bonus Miracle: manage not to make me look like a total idiot!). I can’t say this without sounding like a total fan-girl, but it was such an honor to have had the opportunity to partner with Creativebug on this thing and I’m proud to be able to put my name on such a high-quality project.

You can sign up for free and take my classes by clicking on this image:

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Note: all Creativebug links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small amount if you subscribe via one of my links.

Plaid Parsley Pants with Piping

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

I finished these amazing Parsley Pants for Elliot this weekend. He kept commenting that they felt like pajamas. This is due partly to the elastic waistband, partly to the genius pattern design (like how I snuck that in? hee), and partly to the lovely fabric, which is a reversible double-cloth from Robert Kaufman that have a brown side and a plaid side. I honestly thought he would choose the brown side for the outside of the pants but no, it was all plaid, all the way. You can see both sides of this fabric, which is currently on sale, in the Imagine Gnats shop, by the way!

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

As you can see, there is no half-assing these pants; when you wear these it is a full-on commitment to the outfit. Luckily for my almost-9-year-old, he has a history of wearing Amazing Pants (here / here) so he’s used to the comments and attention. I’m quite interested (also, half worried) to see how his classmates respond if/when he wears them to school. He’s a confident and happy kid, but he’s also getting to that age where he cares what other people think, you know?

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

The Parsley Pants sewing pattern is a super-simple pant pattern with two pieces (right leg, left leg) with an elastic waistband, and then a whole bunch of “extras” to make the pants more interesting and fun (pintucks, tuxedo stripe, pockets, flat-front waistband). I designed this pattern because it seemed like there were only two types of pant sewing patterns for kids out there: super-simple (basically PJ’s), or super-detailed (multiple pieces, pockets, zippered flies, waistbands; basically, time-consuming or tricky), and I wanted something that would be easy and quick to make but still have some interesting variations. I love that you can customize them to your heart’s content.

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

For this pair, I added the pouch pockets with some brown piping. I’ve got a quick Piping Tutorial here on the blog if you’d like to make your own piping, but I used a store-bought package and prewashed it with my fabric to prevent it from shrinking when these are washed.

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

I basted the piping around the two curved edges of the pocket before sewing the pocket linings and pockets together. I love piping so much; it classes everything up; you might even remember this Piping Improves Everything post from Celebrate the BOY a few years back where I rounded up some great boy projects that feature piping.

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

There’s more great Parsley Pants in the photo pool, or you can check out the #parsleypants tag on Instagram to see what everyone else is making with this pattern!

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Fall clothes for Hugo

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I made a few more things for Hugo to wear this fall (and soon winter). You’d think he would have enough hand-me-downs from his brother and sister to deter me from sewing more but…nooope. I just can’t help myself. His clothes are so small and cute. I realized after I took the photos that they coordinate in a way. Accidental color scheme. I’m not sure I’d mix and match them together into outfits though Mr Rae would probably beg to differ, but they all looked nice together so I thought I’d put them all in one post.

top left: a Charlie Tunic, size 18-24 mo in double gauze from Cotton and Steel (yes, that’s fabric left over from my Luna Pants whee!). Facings on the inside, curved hem like the gingham one.

bottom left: a Flashback Tee, size 18-24 mo in a striped knit purchased years ago from Organic Cotton Plus back when it was Near Sea Naturals

top right: a pair of drawstring sweatpants (made up the pattern) in mod fleece by Birch Fabrics from Fabricworm

bottom right: Parsley Pants, size 3, shortened so that the inseams measure 11 inches. This was an experiment to see if I could get the Parsley Pants to fit Hugo, since his hip measurement with diaper on is about 23 inches (previous experiments had found the size 2 was a bit too tight). Turns out the size 3 fits a cloth-diapered 20 month old pretty well. I still think Big Butt Baby Pants fit better, but you can see in the photos below that it’s not bad.

Here are some pictures of my Hugo-boogo wearing them. It’s getting harder to get him to stand still for the camera, but I figured out how to stand him up on our entryway bench so he can’t run away mwuah hah hah. I also may have resorted to mini-marshmallow bribery the likes of which this blog has seen before (many times, as you may well already know).

fall outfits for hugo

fall outfits for hugo

fall outfits for hugo

flashback tee

fall outfits for hugo

fall outfits for hugo

fall outfits for hugo

fall outfits for hugo

I always enjoy seeing my children wearing things I’ve sewn for them. Over the years this blog has given me an additional treasure: a collection of really nice photos of them that I love to look through and enjoy. It really doesn’t matter to me now what they were wearing in the photos, I just love looking at their little faces. It amazes me how much they’ve grown. I’m just so glad that I had a reason not only to take pictures of them on a regular basis, but an excuse to buy a good camera and learn how to use it. Crappy phone pics can capture the memories too, but there’s something special about these.

And I’m so glad that you, dear readers, can enjoy them too. Have a happy weekend!!!

fall outfits for hugo

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Parsley & Moon Pants Roundup

Now that it’s fall and I’m working on sewing my own pants, I thought it would be fun to take a look at what people have been making with my kids’ pants patterns!

parsley & moon fall 15 roundup

top left: Jane’s kids are comfy in chambray Geranium Dress and Parsley Pants
top right: Tuxedo Stripes!
bottom left: Anna used some Rain Walk (her line for Cloud9 Fabrics) to make Geranium and Parsley
bottom right: Angela made these Moon Pants with a Flashback Sweatshirt (here’s the whole outfit)

The Parsley Pants pattern is so simple and infinitely adaptable. Once you get the basic steps down, you can customize the style (by adding pockets! a flat front waistband! tuxedo stripes!) and combine fabrics to make Parsleys into PJs, dress pants, costumes, you name it.

The Moon Pants are newer to my pattern collection, and they’re wonderfully comfy and whimsical, in keeping with the current supercomfy-yet-kindadressy trend that seems to have taken hold. While this pattern does lend itself to girls’ pants, I made it into a pair of sweatpants that look great on Elliot, and I can see it in a linen blend as warm-weather pants for boys.

You can take a look at the Parsley Pants and Moon Pants pattern info pages for size charts and ideas, and don’t forget to peruse my tutorials for all my free tips and tricks! Here are just a few:

Tuxedo Stripe Tutorial
Kneepads – 3 ways
Sweatpants with a drawstring

(Did you know that each of my patterns has an info page dedicated to it here on the blog? All you have to do is type “made-by-rae.com/____” into your browser and fill in the blank with the pattern name. There you’ll find photos, size and yardage charts, a link to the shop to purchase the PDF, and thumbnails and links to all the blog posts related to that pattern. For example: Washi,Beatrix… etc. Everything relating to that pattern in one place.)

Yay for all the pants! Get inspiration and share photos on the following platforms:
Moon Pants Flickr Pool#moonpantspattern on Instagram
Parsley Pants Flickr Pool / #parsleypants on Instagram

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Ninja Boy!

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He’s my little Ninja. Er…I guess not so little anymore? Medium-sized Ninja?

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The kid is always throwing punches and kicks and generally bouncing off the wall. I’m not sure where all the energy comes from but it seems to be infinite. So a NINJA Flashback Tee (with short sleeves and a shoulder mod) seemed perfect. Paired here with some blue twill Parsley Pants that were oh-so-simple to sew: just the basic pants with an elastic waistband and a “tuxedo” stripe with a scrap of fabric my friend Chris gave me at the Weekend Sewing Retreat last fall stitched down the side. There’s also a quick tuxedo stripe tutorial at this post, but it’s also one of the many options included in the Parsley Pants Pattern.

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After talking about how awesome Lillestof knits are in my favorite knits post, I figured I should put my money where my mouth was and actually sew with them to see what all the fuss was about. Um, yeah. They’re awesome. Lovely amount of stretch, very soft, wash well, don’t fade. LOVE. Definitely worth the extra dollars in my opinion, and trust me, I’m a sucker for cheap knits too so I think I know what I’m talking about. I got this ninja print at Simplifi but you can find more sources for Lillestof in that favorite knits post.

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Maybe I’m feeling nostalgic today, but it gets me a little choked up when I think about how many of you “know” this kid. Like, you’ve read for years and watched him grow up, and make his silly faces and poses and be a goofball (you need to go look at at that Hansel post if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s kinda my Opus) in more than one post, and even though it’s through the screen, you feel like you have a sense of his personality, you know? I suppose some people could get creeped out by that but the glass-is-half-full me thinks it’s pretty fun that so many of you can enjoy his great personality. On the other hand, I am acutely conscious of the fact that he’s never had a say about (or even really comprehend the concept of) having his face be so familiar to literally millions of people. I’ve started talking to him about that, because I think he’s old enough to start understanding what that means. Someday he may ask me not to put his pictures on my blog and I will say OK, but at least for now he’s having fun.

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Please don’t pin or repost pictures of Elliot. Thanks!

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Upcycled Parsley Pants

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One of the reasons I designed the Parsley Pants the way I did (as a 2-pc pant) was so that I could whip out pairs for my kids in no time flat. Seems the other patterns I had for pants often involved zip flies, recessed pockets, multi-pieced waistbands, or some sort of extra finishing at the cuffs or hems, and while I love those pant patterns too, they just aren’t FAST. You know? I wanted something like the Flashback Tee (another new striped Flashback for Clementine is shown below) something that could come together in an hour without too much hassle. And thus the Parsley Pant pattern was born.

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But…there’s something that makes them even faster: upcycling old adult pants for the fabric. Because then…NO HEMMING!!! So last week I cut apart two pairs of JCrew chinos in pastel colors that I used to wear back in the 00’s and turned them into pants for Clementine. The addition of the pouch pockets was the only thing that kept these from being a half hour project, seriously. And they are not only adorable, but she wears them. DOUBLE YAY!

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Here are a few tips for upcycling old pairs of pants into Parsleys:

  • use old pants that aren’t too worn out; the fabric needs to be in good shape. You can cut around (or cover up) stains, but make sure the fabric isn’t threadbare at the knees or anything. You want these pants to stand up in their second life as kid’s pants!
  • I usually only use old pants that still have their cuffs or hems in good shape, so that the old hems can become new hems.
  • To harvest the old pant fabric, cut up the inner leg seams (inseams) with a scissors, then up the crotch seams in front and back, then across the sides of the pants below the waistband as shown in the diagram below. Usually there’s not much salvageable fabric in the waistband, zipper area and pockets, so I just cut those away. DO NOT CUT THE SIDE SEAMS OPEN! LEAVE THE HEMS INTACT!

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  • Then lay your pant fabric flat (as flat as you can; some women’s pants have shaping at the hip on the side seam) and place your Parsley pattern over top of the fabric with the original pant hems even with the line on the pattern that says “finished hem line,” and the side seam of the original pant as close to the “tuxedo stripe line” as possible (see diagram below; the lower layer in the diagram is the old pant leg opened up and laid flat). Cut out two mirror image pant pieces, then assemble them according to the instructions.

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  • You can still add pockets, tuxedo stripes, pintucks, a flat front, or any of the other “extras” that come with the pattern. The main difference here is that you don’t have to hem them, because your hems are already finished!
  • Additionally, the old side seam makes it look like you’ve put in extra work when you haven’t. NICE.

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The big win here for me was the addition of two new quick and cheap pairs of pants to Clementine’s wardrobe (and the tee was quick too!). Love it!

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Favorite Pants

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Ever since I started sewing pants for E, he’s had a favorite pair. A pair that if it’s clean and in the drawer will most certainly be worn. Over and over and over. The first pair that I can remember was this pair of Dapper Dillingers, which now are so threadbare at the knees that Clementine never wore them (serves me right for making pants out of quilting cotton without kneepads). These Saffron Pants are definitely his current favorite. They are an early version of the Parsley Pants that I made as part of my Celebrate the BOY collection last winter. I’m particularly fond of the pintucks on these pants (quick tutorial on that can be found here and is included in the Parsley Pants pattern)

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I couldn’t resist showing you the outfit he picked here, partly because his hair is SO GLORIOUS but also because the outfit actually coordinates. He wears clothing I’ve made him pretty much every day, but usually picks odd combinations of stripes and prints (actually, now that I think about it, it would be great to blog some of the more hilarious combinations as well). This is the shirt that he wore for the first day of school this year (also made by me with one of my own patterns). I love the Kokka fabric on the shirt not only because of the cute elephant print but because it’s really soft.

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Have a fantastic weekend everyone!!

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Easy Parsley Shorts for Elliot

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Somehow I ended up making all of my kids’ shorts this summer (too lazy to buy them…haha), and it seems like we are always running out of pairs to wear because they’re in the laundry. Kids get dirty, especially in the summer. Go figure. So I finished up another pair for Elliot earlier this week with a bit of fabric I had left over from the Washi Dress I made with the same print. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but this print is probably my favorite from the Tsuru line. Quilting cotton is perfect for summer shorts, and it means I can make much more colorful and interesting items, especially for Elliot, who is now entering the size category of boys’ clothing that is entirely boring. I mean, total snoozefest. What is UP with that?!

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I trimmed off the Parsley Pants pattern as shown in my “Make Shorts from Pants” tutorial to make them into shorts (I believe I measured 6 or 7″ down the inseam) and used the most basic waistband option, which is just elastic all the way around. I also double-stitched the hems; this is something I learned from Dana, and I love how it makes them look a bit more “BOY” and profesh.

Speaking of Dana and shorts, if having a ready-to-go shorts pattern in your arsenal is more your speed than cutting off pants (I hear that!), you should definitely check out her recently released KID Shorts pattern, which is really great! It’s formatted a bit differently from the typical eBook instructions; I love that she’s doing a series of blog posts to show you how to make all kinds of different shorts with the one pattern (which is totally the way I love to sew)!

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It was difficult to get a good photo of these shorts ON the child. By the time I got my camera and brought it outside, he had already turned on the hose and sprayed himself with it. I just had to laugh…it’s so ELLIOT. I did manage to snap the shot below with my phone later in the evening when we went to the park. I think it captures something wonderful about summer evenings, when the sun is going down but it’s still warm and light outside. I love summer so much.

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See what everyone is making for summer with the Parsley Pants Sewing Pattern!

Parsley PJ's out of Rae's Cloud9 flannelGreen KCW fall 15KCW fall 15KCW fall 152015 parsley pants en t-shirtTwo More Pairs of Comfy Pantsgreen pintuck_hanging pants07-10-15-3607-10-15-3907-10-15-32parsley pals

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Parsley Shorts Roundup

I thought it was about time we did a roundup to show all of the great SHORTS you guys have been making with the Parsley Pants Pattern (here’s the Pants-Into-Shorts How-to).

Kids can really wear any color and print combo and look cool, but I think shorts in particular lend themselves to more wild and playful motifs than pants.  I also love the patchwork effect of colorblocking in a bunch of these photos.

Laura of Craftstorming made those green shorts (top right) as part of a ‘Mouk’ outfit for her son and blogged about it here.
parsley shorts roundup NEW.svg
Top: Left, Right. Bottom: Left, Right.

Look at these kids workin’ it! Clearly Parsley shorts are made for serious fun.  I love Jane’s idea to make swimming shorts for her kids (middle).  Check out the ensuing water fight here (and a great photo tutorial on how to sew those stripes).

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Above: Left, Middle, Right.

Have you ever seen anyone so elated to be wearing shorts?  For a closer look at that adorable Red Riding Hood linen print (middle top), read Katy’s blog post here.

parsley shorts roundup 2
Above: Left, Middle Top, Middle Bottom, Right.

This only scratches the surface of the Parsley Photo Pool on Flickr. Go take a look at all the cuteness, and add your own renditions of Parsley, too!

Parsley PJ's out of Rae's Cloud9 flannelGreen KCW fall 15KCW fall 15KCW fall 152015 parsley pants en t-shirtTwo More Pairs of Comfy Pantsgreen pintuck_hanging pants07-10-15-3607-10-15-3907-10-15-32parsley pals

And, hey! FYI Kids Clothes Week Summer 2013 edition is happening next week. Check out the blog here; and they have a new website where you can create a user account here.


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