Let’s hear it for plaid

I’ve been noticing some fun plaid projects in the Flickr photo pools lately, so I wanted to share some of my faves with you!

I lurrrve this super summery Bianca Dress that Spencer made for herself:

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And check out Emily’s sweet Washi Tunic with sleeves!

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Here’s a great Washi Dress with sleeves by Trina:

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There are a few lucky kiddos playing in plaid these days too. Buzzmills blogged here about these amazing Parsley Pants

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Here’s a festive Fourth of July Geranium Dress:

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What have you been sewing these days? Have you come across any plaids you just couldn’t resist? We’d love to see your Made By Rae inspired projects in the Rae Made Me Do It Flickr Pool!

geranium in double gauzegeranium in double gauzeAutumn Geranium dress in birdsGeranium dress in birdsShe likes it she likes it! #geraniumdress Elsa style done!

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Lotus Pond Lickety Split Prezzie

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I should really be paying my mom and mom-in-law, because they are two of my biggest promoters. They both carry around bags I’ve made for them, show off the fabric I’ve designed, buy the magazines that feature my work, pass out Made By Rae postcards and tell their friends about my blog. So it was really more of a marketing ploy more than anything else that I gave my mom-in-law this Lickety Split Bag for her birthday a couple weeks ago. Actually, come to think of it, it was my mom’s idea when I mentioned it was coming up! Gotta love that. Anyway, my mom-in-law was excited to get it; the last bag I made her was starting to wear out so it was perfect timing. Fabric is from my line for Cloud9, Lotus Pond.

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Hansel. So hot right now. Hansel.

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Today’s post is a very special post!!! If you’ve heard of the “Film Petit” series hosted by Jessica of A Little Gray and Kristin of skirt as top, you know that it’s an ongoing blog series where Kristin and Jess and another guest blogger make (often hilarious) costumes for their children inspired by their favorite films.

Well today, I’m the guest blogger, and just in case you haven’t guessed it yet, the film is one of my favorites…ZOOLANDER! Yes. That hilarious Ben Stiller film from way back in 2001. Famous for great one-liners (“I feel like I’m taking CRAZY PILLS”) and amazing costumes, especially on the men, which made it the perfect challenge for Film Petit.

Of course I thought Elliot would make the perfect Hansel, with his blond shaggy hair. In the movie, Hansel is played by Owen Wilson, and is an up-and-coming scooter-riding male model who wins the  Male Model of the Year award instead of Derek Zoolander, the movie’s main character, who has won three prior years in a row and considers himself a shoo-in. Their ensuing rivalry turns to friendship when they have to team up to prevent Mugatu (played by Will Ferrell) from killing the Malaysian prime minister.

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In the movie, Hansel wears an amazing blue suede fur-lined coat complete with gold trimmings to the Male Model Awards, and though it’s only on screen for a few minutes, as soon as I saw it I knew I had to make one.

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When Hansel rides up on his scooter to the awards and jumps into the air, you can see that the lining is gold lame and he even has a gold vest on under there.

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Elliot’s coat was made with fleece (which actually approximates the look of suede pretty well without the $$$ pricetag) and faux fur, and I did manage the gold lame lining and trim, along with a pair of semi-sparkly (though you can’t quite see this as well as I’d hoped) gold linen pants to match. Along with a necklace and tattoo to match Hansel’s, he really got into character, as you can see.

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Hansel has some pretty hilarious lines…

“I wasn’t like every other kid, you know, who dreams about being an astronaut, I was always more interested in what bark was made out of on a tree. Richard Gere’s a real hero of mine.”

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“Sting. Sting would be another person who’s a hero. The music he’s created over the years, I don’t really listen to it, but the fact that he’s making it, I respect that.”

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“Who are you tryin’ to get crazy with, ese? Don’t you know I’m loco?”

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And here’s my little Hansel, riding his scooter to the award show:

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I had so much fun planning and making this costume, and Elliot LOVES it, though I have to admit he probably loves the crayola-marker tattoo even more. He really wanted to wear it to school to show his friends.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing my version of Hansel!! Now you definitely need to head over to skirt as top for some hilarious walk-off photos with Kristin’s little Derek and Hansel, and then over to A Little Gray for the perfect Maury Ballstein and Hansel-inspired sweater dress. You can access links to ALL of the Film Petit posts from this post or visit the Film Petit flickr pool to see what everyone’s been making!

Thanks so much for having me Kristin and Jess!!

On the Rae-dar

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This week I worked on two little Charlie Dresses to send over to the You Are My Sister fundraiser event hosted by Heather Ross at Hart’s Fabric in Santa Cruz this weekend. It’s not too late to buy tickets for the event this Sunday evening, or (if you’re not in the area) purchase raffle tickets for the event, t-shirts, or prints.

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These combinations of Heather’s fabrics just melt my heart. They’re right up my alley, given my continuing love affair with pink and yellow. Are you a Heather Ross fabric hoarder too? I have enough Far Far Away green unicorn double gauze to make a Washi Dress (I just can’t get up the nerve), not to mention enough Mendocino to make pajamas for the kids for years.

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This Little Geranium (free pattern here) is also headed to Hart’s as well:

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I also made some headway this week towards some new studio space in downtown Ann Arbor. This spare bedroom-slash-sewing-room situation is getting a bit crazy at my house, what with all the fabric overflowing the closet and shelves. More real estate is the clear answer, right? I’m also hoping to hire someone to help me sew samples and do other odd jobs here with me in Ann Arbor. And maybe I’m crazy, but I think it would be awesome to have ice-cream-and-sewing socials in downtown Ann Arbor (there’s a Ben and Jerry’s right by my [hopefully!] future space).

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Speaking of pink and yellow, I just made the Tassel Necklace from the class taught by Liesl Gibson over at Creativebug. LOVE. IT. Also, Creativebug is offering kids’ classes for the summer at Camp Creativebug, and they look like fun! Here’s a little peek. Kids can learn to make Clothespin Dolls with Amy Karol, sew an Infinity Scarf with Annabel Wrigley, build a Puppet Theater with Amelia Strader, make Shrinky Dink Jewelry with Nicole Blum, and much more. They will be adding new classes every week, all summer long. To kick things off, they have a free Summer Teepee class. Fun, fun!!!

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You’re in luck! They’re now offering the first month of Creativebug to Made by Rae readers for only $9.95 with the promo code MADEBYRAE (normally it costs $24.99/month) if you’re interested! FYI, I am not a Creativebug affiliate or anything, just friends with the Creativebug folks and love what they do over there. I have personally been a paid subscriber of Creativebug since they launched last year, and I really enjoy it! So many fun things to make and do.

Let’s see, what else? Things seem pretty crazy around here with summer in full swing…we’re hoping to get that Geranium Dress in bigger sizes up and running really soon, and I’m working on a new women’s pattern that I think you will really love.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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We are on a train!

Today is our last day on the train from Chicago to San Francisco! We are on the California Zephyr, which is an Amtrak superliner. You can see what the train is like and what we’ve been up to for the last three days in on my Instagram feed (@madebyrae). We’ll be flying back at the end of the week after we spend a few days in the Bay Area. Fun, fun!!

I’ll be back on the blog soon with some fun sewing projects!

Some sites that make me smile

Happy Monday, everyone!!! It’s Elliot’s birthday today! Want to see the cake I made him?

Birthday Cake for Elliot's big 6 (Guido is his favorite Cars character)

He loves Guido. We had a fun birthday party yesterday with family: lots of presents and food and attention, so it was a bit hard for him to go to school today.

I’m currently knee-deep in pant pattern production, so I don’t have much to show for myself, sewing-wise (except for piles of pant samples. Do you want to see those? Might be kind of boring…), but last night I found five minutes to read some blogs, and I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you. I think these will make you smile!

Matsutake – Katie is a DIY queen who always, ALWAYS makes me laugh. I am always amazed with the projects she comes up with; the woman just made her own faux FIREPLACE, for crying out loud. Her assistant, Ms Norwood, is her cat. I am guaranteed to laugh until I cry whenever I read her blog.

The Selfish Seamstress - Elaine only sews if it’s for herself, and her self-deprecating writing style is toootally funny. Meanwhile she’s sharing free patterns and awesome garments she’s made. The Kate Spade faux fur pullover knockoff is her latest (hilarious) freebie. Another one that gives me sideaches from laughter.

Joy the Baker – I think Joy is one of the happiest bloggers out there. She’s big-time (huge audience, currently writing her second cookbook), but her voice is so authentic and down-to-earth, you feel like you’re talking over coffee. I hardly ever have the time to make anything from cooking or food blogs, but the pictures are amazing, and it’s a really enjoyable read.

Dinner, A Love Story – This blog is dedicated to making family dinner happen, a concept that we fully embrace at our house. I asked for the cookbook for my birthday after trying out a number of the online recipes and realizing they were becoming regulars in the dinner rotation. There are tons of great recipes on the site, and Jenny is an awesome writer to boot.

You and Mie – I absolutely must mention Cherie’s blog because today is the first day of her Japanese Pattern Book series that goes on all this week. If you’ve ever wanted to sew from a Japanese pattern book, or don’t even know what that means, be sure to check it out! Also: Cherie’s little one is quite possibly the most adorable child you will ever lay eyes upon.

OK, so what are your favorite places to visit online right now? Dish, dish!!!

Some other updates…

We’re offering two new pattern bundles in the shop right now: the Charlie Dress and Tunic patterns together ($1 off), and both Flashback Tee patterns, sizes 12 mo -5 y and 6-14 y together, for 20% off! You can find them all in the pattern shop.

I’m also happy to announce that a Geranium Dress Sellers’ License is finally available for small-scale handmade sellers. Check out this page for more information. We also have a new shop registration form for all Made By Rae sellers: we’re starting a new MBR Sellers Flickr group to help showcase your work, so please fill out the form if you’d like an invite!

Spring cleaning: attack of the patterns

A couple of weeks ago I made a guest appearance on the Pink Castle blog for their Spring Cleaning series with a post about how I organize all my patterns, especially the printouts and tracings that can really pile up in my sewing room over time.

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I also talk about tracing patterns with Swedish tracing paper, something that I highly recommend. Head over to the Pink Castle blog to read all about it!

You win some, you lose some

Um, so maybe you didn’t even notice, but I totally flaked on the final KCWC sew-off challenge, which was supposed to be a catalog-inspired garment. Elliot got sick and was home from school Friday afternoon (poor baby, he looked so pathetic on the nurse’s cot when I picked him up with his rosy fever cheeks), and then we were out of town this past weekend. You know how it goes: I thought maybe Friday afternoon I’d be able to squeeze some sewing in, and then maybe Saturday morning before we left…and it just didn’t happen. I was also double-dog wiped out from trying to keep up with the sew-off all week long. Thursday night I emailed Kristin and hinted that I wouldn’t be able to make it happen, and she ruthlessly took advantage of my weakness and posted an adorable mini-Boden-inspired dino sweatshirt anyway. She has a heart made of stone, that one.

Trash-talk aside, I think I can officially declare Kristin the winner of our sew-off (if only by default, since obviously the garments I did manage to complete rocked. Obviously). Even though I didn’t make all of the things I wanted to, I AM really proud of what I did make and blog, and man is it HARD to sew and blog all week like that. I know many of you have voiced your suspicions that I am actually a robot, so this is probably good proof that I am a human being.

It was so much fun to have a little extra motivation to sew, and plus I love talking smack about Kristin. So thanks for taking me up on the challenge, Kristin! If you missed my KCWC sewoff posts, they are here: Nursery Versery PJ pants, Flashback with Peter Pan Collar, mini-Washi, mini-Washi in action, mini-washi + mama washi pics, shirred pierrot. And don’t worry, I hear your requests for a mini-Washi pattern. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

In other news:

  • The Rae Made Me Do It pool is on fi-yah with your KCWC creations, so I’ve been having a ton of fun looking through those.
  • I’ve noticed that some of you are addicted to making Washi Dresses. These buttons are for you. Too lazy to do the whole write the code thingy, so just right click and save. I’ve linked them up to the Washi Page so if you right click on them and copy the link address, you’ll have the link too. And I just learned the other day that you’re not supposed to use the “copy image URL” to show images from other sites on your site because it basically amounts to stealing their bandwidth. Who knew? So don’t do that!

  • I am working on getting a washi dress sleeve pattern piece put together. sneaky-peeky-pic here. I’m @madebyrae on Instagram and Twitter; that’s where most of the sneaky previews happen these days. By the way, that Melody Miller fabric is 25% off at Pink Castle right now if you use the code “MOVING” in addition to everything else in the shop (Brenda’s having a moving sale – cannot tell you how excited I am to have her open a real storefront here in Ann Arbor! GAH!!!).
  • I sent the print Washi Dress files to the printer…now waiting on proofs of a real physical printed Washi Pattern. Meanwhile we are starting to take wholesale orders from shops. Fun, fun, fun!
  • And I finally got my rental car for Quilt Market yesterday, now just have a few more details to iron out and I’ll be all set for Fall Quilt Market 2012, baby! Give a holler if you’re going to be in Houston and I’ll keep an eye out for you!

It’s a KCWC Sew-Off! (a challenge within a challenge)

The other day on Instagram, Kristin posted a picture of her stacks of fabric and asked for help. She had a ton of ideas for Kid’s Clothes Week Challenge but wasn’t feeling really excited about anything. I was in the same boat. So I told her I’d email her a list of all of the KCWC ideas I had, she could pick her favorite ones, and then we’d both make them and compare once they were finished. She whittled down the list for me, and now we have a plan. YAY!!! Extra motivation for us both to help us get it done. Super fun.

Want to know what she picked? Maybe you want to play along too? Here’s our Sew-Off List for KCWC Fall 2012:

Upcycle a Flashback Skinny Tee
pretty self-explanatory. find an adult tee to convert to a miniature skinny tee. Fun!

Mini-Washi.
Need I say more?
(please note that there is no mini-Washi pattern out there, so if you want to sew along on this one, you’ll have to make your own)

Make Heather Ross pajama pants
It’s so easy to squirrel away your precious HR fabric and never use it. Why not use some for a cute pair of PJs? (For your kid. Not for Heather)

Shirred Pierrot
Pierrot is one of the fastest patterns in the universe (second perhaps to the Flashback), and when you leave off the ruffles and just shir the neckline and sleeves with elastic thread, it goes even faster. Don’t have the Pierrot pattern? Use any peasant blouse-type pattern (or buy Pierrot?). One thing I suggest if you use Pierrot: I like to add about 1″ to the folded width of the tops of each of the sleeves to add more room around the neckline for the shirring (4″ total). I posted a shirred Pierrot last week if you need an idea of what it looks like.

Make a catalog-inspired item
I’ve had a little outfit clipped from the crewcuts catalog from earlier this summer featuring a little skirt I’ve been dying to make for Clementine. And Mini-Boden, BabyGap, and Hanna Andersson are always pumping out cute stuff I want to copy.

Want to sew along? Join us! This was just a low-key* challenge designed to motivate us, so if you like any or all of these ideas, go ahead and make them along with us this week and then let us know!! Remember, the point of KCWC is to spend 1 hour each day sewing for your kids, so these are not meant to be ridiculously intricate or time-consuming. Just easy, cute items to add to your kid’s wardrobe.

And if nothing here floats your boat? No bigs. Can’t wait to see what you make! Fun things are always popping up in the KCWC pool!.

*Though Kristin may or may not have used the words “It’s no contest…I WILL CRUSH HER.”

You know what I say to that?

BRING. IT. ON.

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KCWC starts tomorrow, click here for more info: