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!

Luna Pant photo shoot

Let me introduce my studio assistant, Melissa! I had a fun photo shoot with her the other day.

Luna Pants

Update: Luna Pants Pattern is now available!   buy now

While we put the finishing touches on the Luna Pants pattern, I want to show you some of the samples we’ve sewn in the studio, and give you inspiration for styling. There are so many ways to wear Luna, and I’ll be posting some ideas to dress these pants up, down, and sideways…. but since it’s been so unbelievably warm in the Midwest, we’re gonna keep things light and cool for a sec here.

Luna Pants

Does that Pale Pink Josephine Top look familiar? With big hoop earrings and simple sandals, this is a super-comfy outfit that is effortless and stunning.
Luna Pants

Luna Pants are so versatile: fabric and styling choices make the difference between lounge pants and out-on-the-town pants. This pair is made out of double gauze fabric from Ellen Baker’s Monochrome collection for Kokka.

Luna Pants Luna Pants

Luna Pants

Outfit Details:
Josephine Tunic (View C) blogged here.
Luna Pants (pattern coming soon!) in double gauze. Fabric: Circles from Ellen Baker’s Monochrome collection. My sponsors Jones & Vandermeer and Fancy Tiger Crafts have it in stock.

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Josephine Fall Roundup

I’ve been seeing some great Josephines on blogs and social media lately. When I realized they were all putting me in mind of cooler weather, I figured it was time to round them up here for some fall styling inspiration. Some are more recently made than others (see Venus in the bottom right there? She was one of my testers, and already appeared in the tester roundup! but it’s one of my faves); all are just lovely.

made by rae josephine fall 15 roundup

top left: Patricia of Fox Threads / top right: Beth of Sew DIY as a guest on Indiesew
bottom left: Emily of In the Selvage / bottom right: Venus in the tester roundup ; and on Flickr

I’ve been admiring these Josephines by Kelly-Anne (aka Crafty Teacher Lady) for quiiiite some time now. I definitely need to make a plaid Josephine now. ACK it’s so great:

crafty teacher josephine quad

top: plaid tunic / bottom: yellow blouse

Wearing Josephine with skinny jeans or leggings and boots is so comfy. I love it when an outfit is just as cozy as PJs but looks put-together enough to leave the house and go to work/errands/happy hours.

Find the Josephine Blouse & Tunic pattern in my shop; and for more inspiration, check out the Josephine Sewing Pattern Pool on Flickr and on Instagram under the tags #josephinepattern, #raemademedoitand #madebyrae.

Frock Frock

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I’m so pleased to be a part of the Frock Blog Tour today! Also: a little surprised I’m the first one to use “Frock Frock” as a blog post title. Well, finders keepers. Frock is a new collection of rayon fabrics from Cotton and Steel. I love sewing with rayon — it’s one of my five fabric faves — and I’m a big fan of candy pink so when I saw this print in the mix I knew it was meant to be. Faithful readers may recall a few other candy pink concoctions that have appeared in this space (see exibits A, B, and C; note that B and C are also rayon). I do seem to gravitate towards that color whenever it is available (oh! and my hair extensions are currently pink too).

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Frock is printed on a lovely substrate that is flowy and soft yet still substantial. The fabric has a bit more weight than the Free Spirit rayons (like this one) but has a similar drape and behavior for those who have had experience with those, though I think it has a bit more stand. The true sign of a quality rayon is a geometric print that is actually printed ON GRAIN and Frock is right on target. Cutting rayon can be a bit of a challenge, so not having to make a choice between the print and the grain is really refreshing. The other thing I love about it is that it is incredibly wrinkle-resistant. I threw this thing in my purse and carried it around with me for a day and then hung it up on a hanger for a few hours and it looked as good as new.

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As far as washing it (Cotton and Steel recommends dry cleaning), I decided to be a Cowboy for the Sake of Science and throw it in the wash on hot and tumble dry it on high, just to see what the heck would happen. That was probably risky given that I might have ended up with a pile of melted rayon in my dryer, but you know what happened? Nothing. I honestly can’t detect any issues; it didn’t melt or pucker or shrink unevenly as far as I can tell; it looked phenomenal when I pulled it out of the dryer. I’m not sure I would recommend that sort of devil-may-care attitude to anyone else, and if I wash it again I’ll probably wash delicate on cool and maybe tumble dry low for a few minutes before hanging it up to dry, now that it’s been sewn up and I have more to lose.

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Let’s talk about the pattern: This is Josephine with the large bow from the Washi Expansion Pack. I combined the large sleeve and longer length from Josephine’s View A with the center seam from View C (see this post for all three views). I added an extra inch (so 5″ total) to the center of the sleeve because I wanted as much drama as possible in the sleeves. I also sewed the tucks down to just below the bust; I’ve done that before and I like the added shaping that release tucks give to this pattern.

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I love how this turned out! The slightly scandalous length of this tunic makes it read “mini-dress” when paired with tights (at least on me, I’m tall), and the bow on top keeps the whole thing looking prim and cute. I think this might be my Valentine’s Day aka Anniversary Date Dress (we got married on Valentine’s Day…awwww!). Or do I need to wear something more skanky? I don’t know, I feel like I’m getting to old to hooch out on Valentine’s Day.

Frock Rayons by Cotton and Steel

Sewing with Frock was an absolute delight. Frock is available for pre-order at Pink Castle Fabrics and Fancy Tiger (sponsors of this blog). The line is just hitting shops this week; another sponsor, Fabricworm, will have it in stock soon! Here are the rest of the prints in the Frock Rayons Collection:

Frock 8

And you really must check out the other stops on the Frock Blog Tour! You’ll may get a kick out of how many of these feature a bow (hey, what can we say, this rayon is PERFECT for a bow!!):

January 29: Deborah of Whipstitch blog
January 30: Amber of Fancy Tiger Crafts
January 31: Rochelle – Lucky Lucille
February 2: Christine Haynes
February 3: Devon Iott of Miss Make
February 4: Jemellia Hilfiger of JemJam
February 5: Anna Graham of Noodlehead
February 6: Oliver + S
February 7: Me!

Posted in Josephine
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Josephine with sleeves, BABY.

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I would love to think that people read my blog simply for the merits of my (always perfectly and never excessively punctuated or parenthesie’d, and of course I never make up words or unusual spellings, that would just be silly) exquisite writing skills, not to mention my glorious and always well-executed (and never slap-dash or messed up) sewing skills, but who am I kidding there’s probably a rough 50% of my blog readership that are just here for pictures of my kids. Having a baby this year has more than quadrupled my readership. OK I’M TOTALLY KIDDING that’s actually NOT TRUE AT ALL —  but wouldn’t that be funny if it were? Like: Rae, we think your sewing and ramblings are OK, but what this blog really needs is more BABY. SHOW US MORE BABY. !!! Still, I can never be too sure that my own set of merits and winning personality (and not my ability to procreate) produces the faithful readership I enjoy, dear readers, but you won’t hear me complaining.

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At any rate, when Hugo decided he was done entertaining himself with his toy bar during the roughly 30 seconds I thought I had to snap a few pictures of this new Josephine top with my phone the other day, I figured it wasn’t such a bad thing if he made an appearance. Maybe that was his plan all along. Sneaky thing. Always has to hog the spotlight. As you can plainly see he is a shameless DIVA for the camera:

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This is the second Josephine top I’ve made with the tucks partially sewn (the first was this sleeveless rayon one), and I still maintain this is probably one of the most brilliant modifications I’ve made to the pattern so far. One simply sews the pleats as far as one wants them — it helps to mark them first of course — and leaves the bottom portion unsewn. The result is roomy and comfortable and looks quite fetching if I do say so myself.

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I also decided to curve the hem on this one so I carved it out like a shirt-tail hem, which worked insofar as it produced the more casual look I was going for, but ended up a wee bit too short on the sides. When I raise my arms over my head, anyone in the vicinity receives a full view of my post-baby muffin top (and I think the only thing worse than a muffin top is the actual *term* “muffin top”)….THE. WORST. ACK!!! Oh well, I will just keep my spontaneous baby dance party moves on the more conservative side then, which means NO KERMIT ARMS today. Sorry Hugo.

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OH! The fabric is a lovely lightweight cotton with a loose weave that has colored threads running throughout; I procured it online from Guthrie and Ghani, a UK-based sewing shop owned by Lauren from the Great British Sewing Bee; she carries a lovely assortment of apparel fabrics (including this fabric, which is still available in the voiles and lawns section as of this writing).  The pattern can be purchased as a PDF in my shop, right here.

Well then, I think that about sums it up. Clearly I am a bit too slaphappy to be trusted with a keyboard and the Internets today, so I’ll be hitting publish then before I start having second thoughts about editing for the sake of coherency or the appearance of sanity. Who needs THAT? Have a great weekend everyone!

 

 

Josephine Blouse with release tucks

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Sooooooo it turns out that not much of my extensive handmade wardrobe from BEFORE I had Hugo is fitting so great right now. Much of that clothing is either not nursing-friendly, or it’s just a wee bit tight around the armpits from the fact that I am ahem just a little more well-endowed than normal. This means I’ve had to make some new tops and dresses just to have more to choose from when I look into the closet in the morning. Fun fun!! (and um please pardon the phone pics…this sewing mama is finding the full shoot to be a bit challenging with a wee one right now)

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This Josephine blouse is super comfortable because it’s made with some nice flowy Field Study rayon (the same rayon as I used for the sleeved Ruby top I made in this post), AND because instead of sewing the pleats (ok technically “tucks”) all the way down the front, I only sewed them part-way to make the blouse more roomy around the waist and hem. I really recommend trying it this way if you have the pattern, because it’s such a fun way to mix it up a bit. Do you like it this way or do you prefer it with the pleats sewn all the way down?

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The other change I made was to use the bias binding at the neck to close the center front slit so that it’s a bit like a keyhole (just not rounded). I decided to do this after I noticed that when you use rayon, that front slit flops around a bit. Which can be a great look, I just thought this was kindof cute too.

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Josephine with sleeves is of course a great blouse for fall, but I like pairing the sleeveless versions I’ve made with sweaters to make it last even longer into the cool season. I bought this sweater for myself for my birthday a few weeks ago:

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You can see other fun versions of Josephine in our Josephine photo pool:

Josephine release tuck tunic_2Josephine release tuck side20151031_164811#josephinepattern noch ein paar und man kann den Unterschied zwischen gekauft und genäht nicht mehr sehen.  Auch wenn Eigenlob stinkt, die ist echt gut geworden ;)  Der Stoff liegt hier schon länger und war mal von #buttinette  #baumwolle #Bluse #josephinIMG_8955IMG_5803

Or search for the #josephineblouse or #josephinepattern on Instagram!

Summer is for Josephines and Rubies

Some hot and steamy days are ahead of us, so I wanted to share some of my favorite summery renditions of my Josephine and Ruby patterns.

Even though we released the Josephine Tunic & Blouse when hot weather was the furthest thing from my mind, View C has instructions to make a sleeveless top with side vents. Jaime from Fancy Tiger Crafts made a gorgeous version out of Cloud9 Fabrics’ Palos Verdes Voile.

JaimesJosephine1

Terri at Fa Sew La has made a bunch of Josephines already! Here’s her sleeveless one:

Josephine 1

As the mercury rises, I’ve rekindled my love for the Ruby Dress & Top pattern. It sews up so quickly, and it’s versatile: wear it with shorts or a skirt, or enjoy it on its own as a light, breezy dress.

Sarah made this bright and cheery dress and blogged about it here.

sarah ruby

I love the bold prints paired with solid yokes on all of these:

ruby mosaic

Above, Top Left: I Sew You Sew’s Ruby top with a Washi Expansion Pack [shortened] sleeve!
Top Right: Meagan blogged about her top here, and put a nice curved Wiksten Tank hem on it. Nice mashup!

Bottom Left: Spencer’s dress
Bottom Right: Katie’s dress

Have you made any summery Rubies or Josephines? Share them with us on Instagram with hashtags #rubydress and #josephinepattern, or in their Flickr photo pools!

Josephine

Josephine release tuck tunic_2Josephine release tuck side20151031_164811#josephinepattern noch ein paar und man kann den Unterschied zwischen gekauft und genäht nicht mehr sehen.  Auch wenn Eigenlob stinkt, die ist echt gut geworden ;)  Der Stoff liegt hier schon länger und war mal von #buttinette  #baumwolle #Bluse #josephinIMG_8955IMG_5803


Ruby

Ruby Top (Made by Rae)Prism Ruby - FinishingPrism Ruby  - TopPrism Ruby - YokePrism Ruby  - Top with Sunshine


Josephine Tester Roundup

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One of the most important part of pattern production is the testing phase. Here’s a roundup so you can see all the sweet versions of the Josephine Sewing Pattern blouses and tunics that were made to make sure Josephine came out just right.

Kelly made her Josephine tunic out of Andover chambray, which you can find in such great colors at Pink Chalk Fabrics. Kelly blogged about the tunic here.

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Jenna made a Josephine too! She didn’t blog about it, but you should read her blog anyway, because she’s so funny and makes wonderful things.

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Venus always comes up with such great fabric/pattern combos. Doesn’t this blouse look stellar on her?! Take a look at her Flickr photo stream to see some of the other stuff she’s sewing these days.

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Anna of Noodlehead made hers out of gorgeous black rayon challis, and used shirring on the cuffs. She blogged about it here. I love how this can really dress up or down.

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Erin from House on Hill Road made a blouse and a tunic version and blogged about them here.

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Thank you so much to our amazing testers!!! They help make every pattern better and are essential to the process.

You can get your Josephine Sewing Pattern here. It’s always fun to see how you’re all using the patterns, so please add your photos to the Josephine Pattern Flickr Pool. There are already so many great versions of Josephine that I’ve seen popping up around the web!

Josephine release tuck tunic_2Josephine release tuck side20151031_164811#josephinepattern noch ein paar und man kann den Unterschied zwischen gekauft und genäht nicht mehr sehen.  Auch wenn Eigenlob stinkt, die ist echt gut geworden ;)  Der Stoff liegt hier schon länger und war mal von #buttinette  #baumwolle #Bluse #josephinIMG_8955IMG_5803


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Josephine Sewing Pattern is here!

buy now2

 

I’m so excited to announce the release of my Josephine Sewing Pattern! We’ve been working hard to get this pattern ready and I hope you’ll enjoy sewing it up! One of my favorite things about Josephine is the pleats on the front; I think it creates a really sophisticated look even though they are really very easy to sew! The three views included in the pattern are:

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View A –  a tunic version with a wider sleeve, narrow belt, and elasticized cuff (blogged here)

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View B – a blouse version with a cuffed bracelet-length sleeve and an elastic casing in the back for a very flattering fit (blogged here)

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View C – a sleeveless blouse with a center front slit and side vents (blogged here)

Of course the options that come with each view are interchangeable so you can customize your Josephine to make many different variations!

This pattern is a great project for the confident beginner sewist who is ready to add some skills and variety to their garment-sewing repertoire. The instructions and diagrams are thorough, easy to follow, and full of hints and tips. We’ve also included a special “Seam Finishes Appendix” in this pattern with instructions for my favorite seam finishes as well!

Sizes Included

This pattern comes in a range of six women’s sizes, from XS through XXL, with two bodice pieces included for each size: one has an A/B cup bust dart, and the other has a C/D cup bust dart. I’m hoping this will allow for a great fit for many shapes and sizes!! Refer to the charts below to find your size, and choose to make the A/B or C/D depending on your bra cup size.

Materials List

  • Woven fabric (see yardage chart below for amounts)
  • 1/2 yard 1/4″ elastic (View A, elastic cuff option only)
  • 1/2 yard 3/8″ elastic (View B only)
  • Coordinating thread

Recommended fabrics: woven cotton and linen blend fabrics such as voile, rayon challis, shot cotton, shirting, double gauze, lawn, and broadcloth. You may want to check out my post on garment fabrics here.

See more!
Josephine has been featured previously on on my blog in the following posts:

Fall Pattern Preview: Josephine!
Josephine in Yellow Double Gauze
Pale Pink Josephine Top
My (handmade) maternity style
Am giant festive candy cane (made with the Josephine pattern + the pointed cap sleeve from my Washi Expansion Pack)

(Please note: Josephine isn’t intended to be a maternity sewing pattern, but the last two posts linked here show that I found it quite comfortable as a maternity top during the 1st and 2nd trimester)

I’d love to see what people are making with the Josephine Pattern! Please post pictures of your finished Josephine Blouses and Tunics to the Josephine Sewing Pattern Pool on Flickr!

Josephine release tuck tunic_2Josephine release tuck side20151031_164811#josephinepattern noch ein paar und man kann den Unterschied zwischen gekauft und genäht nicht mehr sehen.  Auch wenn Eigenlob stinkt, die ist echt gut geworden ;)  Der Stoff liegt hier schon länger und war mal von #buttinette  #baumwolle #Bluse #josephinIMG_8955IMG_5803

buy now2