HUGE SALE! 24 Hours Only

UPDATE: THIS SALE IS NOW OVER. THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!

To celebrate the launch of my newly-designed website and pattern shop, I’ve bundled up my sewing patterns for a mega sale! Just click on the photos below to start shopping.
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Bundle Sale! 24 hours only

This blog is proudly sponsored by

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:

Week 4 Sewalong Winners!

Here are the results of our final week’s Spring Top Sewalong reader vote and judges panel scoring! Our fabulous panel of four judges scored the Week 4 “Top Tops” to determine a high score for Judge’s Choice. This post marks the end of the “official” Spring Top Sewalong competition, with nearly 400 tops entered this year. Can you believe it? Wow!

Our Week 4 Judge’s Choice Award Winner is the Pretty Bow Top by Kelly:

Pretty Bow Top

Congratulations Kelly!!! You will receive a $30 gift certificate to Charmstitch!

And now for the winner of the Reader Vote…

Our Week 4 Reader’s Choice Winner is the Embroidered Tova, by Nina:

Embroidered Tova

Congratulations Nina!!! You will receive a $30 gift certificate to Fashionable Fabrics!

A big congratulations to both of this week’s winners  and of course all of our amazing Week 4 Top Tops!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Spring Top Sewalong for 2012 as much as I have! I don’t have a say in any of the scoring or selection of tops but it’s always so much fun to sit back and see how it all plays out (though you have no idea how hard it is for me to keep my opinion to myself)! As always, you guys have impeccable taste…I’m so pleased with all of our winners! (Winners: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3)

Thanks to all of you who entered tops in our Spring Top Sewalong pool or just quietly sewed along! I hope seeing your fellow sewists’ tops helped motivate and inspire. And a humongous thank you to our moderators, judges, sponsors, and everyone else who helped out behind the scenes this year. The Spring Top Sewalong would be nothing without you!

p.s. If you didn’t have a chance to post your tops to the pool during the Spring Top Sewalong, don’t hesitate to add them now! Judging is now over but we’d still love to see all of your great work.

Silk peplum blouseSilk peplum blouseSilk peplum blousePeplum blousePeplum blousePeplum blouseThe perfect t-shirt for a book loverThe perfect t-shirt for a book loverIMG_5868IMG_5870Cowl neck blouseV-neck, short sleeved Renfrew.striped t-shirt - designstriped t-shirt - detailstriped t-shirt - worntopIvory Alabama Chanin TopSorbetto top with Wispy CardiAutumn Top 002Bias-Cut Floral BlouseSquare Nursing Toptop44Leigh Anne's Cabo HalterEasy Ruffled Maternity (or not) Top

Pinteresting food for thought

At the risk of sounding exactly like everyone else on the internet lately, I la-la-LOVE Pinterest. They’ve managed to make a website that is simple and beautiful and intuitive that really appeals to visual folks like me (which helps explain their 10 million+ visitors a month). Since my business (this blog and my pattern shop) is web-based — and therefore relies completely on web traffic to survive — it really amazed me recently to discover that Pinterest had become my number one source of referring traffic (and if what I’m reading on other blogs is any indication, this is true across the board for others as well). Here’s a sampling of the stuff people usually pin from my site:

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As you might recall, I get touchy about other people using pictures of my kids (even if I’m inconsistent about stating it). For awhile I used to crop out their faces when I took pictures of them wearing the stuff I made for them, but honestly over the last year I’ve gotten pretty lazy about it. Then Pinterest got really big, and it started to bug me that it was now ten bajillion times easier to people take pictures of my kids and pin them. Here and there I would find pins that showed my kids’ faces, but for the most part I just decided to let it go. I figured, well, at least the pins all link back to my website. As a lame precaution, here and there I would post the words “Please do not use or pin pictures of Clementine”  below pins I really didn’t want to see anywhere else. I guess I also sort of felt like “well it’s my own fault for putting this stuff on the internet in the first place,” which I know is not technically true, I do hold the copyright to all of my images and therefore have the final say when it comes to what’s done with them, but maybe you understand what I mean anyway.

Last week Emily emailed me to say that it annoyed her that there were pictures of her kids all over Pinterest and that their terms of use basically state that Pinterest owns everything on Pinterest, including all “member content,” which means the images that are pinned, and asked if that bugged me and what did I do about it, if anything? So I looked up the terms, and sure enough, it does basically say that.

So I wrote Ben Silbermann (the founder of Pinterest) an email:

Hi Ben,

Just a quick question, hopefully of clarification. Background: I have a sewing blog (http://made-by-rae.com) that features pictures of not only stuff I sew for my kids, but also, frequently, pictures of my kids wearing those handmade items. I have stated on my website that others are not to use (and often I state underneath photos that show their faces: please do not pin) pictures of my kids.

But of course the long and the short of it is that there are pictures of my kids all over Pinterest (example); it really can’t be avoided, and I understand that’s just how these things go: if I put my pictures online, they will get pinned. When Pinterest was really getting big last year, it bothered me at first, but then I felt a little better knowing that at the very least the pins all linked back to my website, so if anyone wanted to click on it they could see where they come from. It would take me such a long time to hunt them all down and request they be taken down…it just seemed like too much trouble, frankly.

I wanted to see what your policy on all this was, so I clicked around your copyright and terms pages. This particular statement bothered me:

Ownership

The Site, Application, Services and Site Content are protected by copyright, trademark, and other laws of the United States and foreign countries. Except as expressly provided in these Terms, Cold Brew Labs and its licensors exclusively own all right, title and interest in and to the Site, Application, Services and Site Content, including all associated intellectual property rights. You will not remove, alter or obscure any copyright, trademark, service mark or other proprietary rights notices incorporated in or accompanying the Site, Application, Services or Site Content.

“Member Content” means all Content that a Member posts, uploads, publishes, submits or transmits to be made available through the Site, Application or Services.

“Site Content” means Member Content and Pinterest Content.”

(source: http://pinterest.com/about/terms/)

This is the part that bugs me. I feel like this is saying that as soon as someone puts one of my copyrighted photos up on Pinterest, it now belongs to Cold Brew Labs. Is that what that is saying? Even when “pinners” are never asked to insure that the images they are pinning are really theirs to pin?

So my thought is, maybe it would be nice to have some way to block pinning on photos that are really off-limits. A wordpress widget or something that would allow someone to stop pinning on particular images. I noticed you have the link to report copyright infringement, but for me, that would mean spending hours every week going through pins from my site and weeding out the ones I didn’t want up.

Obviously I really love love love Pinterest and as a person who has a handmade business, your site has been really wonderful for me! Just wanted to figure out what’s going on with this ownership stuff, especially with my kids’ pics.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I’m really interested in your thoughts on this.

Thanks!!!

Rae Hoekstra
made-by-rae.com

And, I kid you not, the man wrote me back in LESS THAN TEN MINUTES. I was/am still totally floored/impressed. And if you’ve ever had any contact with Ben from Pinterest, ever, you know that he is quite possibly the nicest man on the planet. I will not directly quote his words here because I have not asked his permission to do so (although if I did I’d probably have a response back before I could finish writing this post, sheeeeesh), but basically he said:

- thanks for writing
- he totally understood and appreciated the concerns
- they are reviewing the Terms of Service
- they have already introduced a little snippet of code that you can put on your website to block all pinning if you want to (found on this page, scroll ALL the way to the bottom)
- they do not currently have something that will prevent people from pinning specific photos, but are working on it

Pretty neat, right? I thought that was very nice of him to get back to me, and be so cool about it. I honestly thought I would never hear back.

So as far as I can tell, if you don’t want your photos on Pinterest, you can either a) not put them up in the first place, or b) add the code to block pinning to your website, c) report specific photos for copyright violation, or d) wait for them to introduce something that will prevent folks from pinning specific photos.

I find all of this very very fascinating. Anyway, I thought you guys might find it interesting or even useful too! While I’d love to see them change their terms (honestly I’d just be glad to know that my photos don’t automatically become Pinterest’s as soon as they are pinned) and add a function to be able to block specific photos from being pinned, sometimes it’s just nice to be heard, you know? I’m a pretty simple creature I guess.

What do you think about all this?

Shop handmade for the holidays with Made By Rae sellers!

It’s not too late to shop online for the holidays (or heck, for yourself)! I’ve been working on updating my Made By Rae sellers lists (they’re listed below) so I thought I’d showcase a few of the great items available from the talented group of indie crafters who are licensed to sell things with my patterns! From time to time I get requests for ready-made items from one of my patterns, and since I don’t have time to sew them up myself, I always send people over to the sellers lists. Supporting these shops is a great way to give handmade, especially if you don’t have time to sew it yourself!

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1. Toddler Airplane Backpack by Zaaberry 2. Tutti Frutti Big Butt Baby Pants by Wee See Three 3. Winter Buttercup Bag by Handmade Therapy  4. Baby Boy Charlie Tunic by Honey Baby 5. Tropic of Aqua Buttercup Bag by CitricSugar Handmade 6. The Showoff Bag by hollyberrydesigns 7. Linen Big Butt Baby Pants by beatmckinley 8. OOAK Itty Bitty Baby Dress by The House of Random

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1. Handmade Buttercup Bag by Anna in Chautauqua 2. Train Toddler Backpack by Josh & Teo 3. Woodland Tunic Dress by Mira & Westie 4. Adorable Baby Pants by Mister Prickle Pants 5. Urban Whales Big Butt Set by Lavender Bird Creations 6. Isabel Buttercup Bag by A Stone’s Throw  7. Juicy Jungle Backpack by teacher mom 8. The Compliment Lickety Split Mini by Handbag Chronicles

Want to see more? Here are all the Made By Rae Sellers Lists:
Big Butt Baby Pants Sellers List
Bonsai Bag Sellers List
Buttercup Bag Sellers List
Charlie Tunic Sellers List
Itty Bitty Baby Dress Sellers List
Lickety Split Bag Sellers List
Peekaboo Bonnet Sellers List
Showoff Bag Sellers List
Toddler Backpack Sellers List

Happy shopping!

PS. For more information on the Seller’s Program, click here for more information than you could ever need!

Brace yourself for the cute: Plaid Pierrot

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Now I know I am biased (har, get it? BIASED?), but I think she is beyond cute in this getup.

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This “fall” version of the Pierrot Tunic (you can see all of the other versions I’ve made here, here, here, and here) is made from flannel shirting that’s got a nice loose weave and drapes well. I found it at JoAnn (*gasp* can you believe it?) in the section I like to call the “Lumberjack Section”. Not the cutesy flannels for kids, the plaids for Lumberjacks. You know what I’m talking about.

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If you look closely at some of the photos, you can see that this version was made entirely without a serger; you can use a machine to zig-zag the ruffle instead of serging it (as I have in the past) for a similarly-charming effect that’s just as quick.

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Pattern coming soon!

It’s a Photo Pool Party!

It’s been a while since we dove into the Flickr pools and had a look around, hasn’t it? Here are a handful of projects that caught my eye!

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1. bonnet1, 2. Airplane Backpack

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1. IMG_3797, 2. DSC_0028.JPG, 3. Blue and lace buttercup bag, 4. DSC_0671, 5. Bea’s linen capris, 6. Bonsai Bag, 7. Buttercup bag for MMJ, 8. bonnet, side 2, 9. Paisley in Paris Bloomers

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1. Itty Bitty Flower Girl Dress, 2. Itty Bitty Baby Dress, 3. Big Butt Easter Pants, 4. ELM_3171

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1. Charlie Tunic, 2. Baby quilt, 3. backpack

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1. elephant backpack, 2. peekaboo bonnet

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1. 20110120-IMG_1895, 2. P7143520, 3. Octopi Sunsuit, 4. Toddler Backpack, 5. fish, 6. Bitty Buttercup Bag #22 {fat quarter February day 21}, 7. bigbutt1, 8. Toddler Backpack, 9. Charli(z)e Tunic

We’ll be showcasing your projects even more in the future, so keep adding your photos to the Flickr pools (link goes to gallery page, all pools)!

The (sad) tale of a sweater

I had this idea for a felted coat for Clementine made from one of my old wool sweaters. I called my sister Elli who knits and asked her for some help. She explained that (and this is the gist of felting) you can basically wash the sweater in hot water repeatedly until it is the desired size, and that the wool fibers will tighten up so that you can cut  up the sweater and not worry about it raveling.

So I got right to it. I stuck the sweater in the wash and then dried it on high and lo and behold it was just about Clementine’s size. Sweet.

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{these two sweaters used to be the same size}

Next up was the hardest part. But I took a deep breath, and cut it right down the middle with the scissors.

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Phew. Then I chopped the arms off:

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Not too hard. Maybe even easy! Next I cut the neck ribbing out:

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Easy peasy! I trimmed the bottom ribbing off.

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Looking pretty good! I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I’m on a ROLL. On FI-YAH.

How about some pockets?

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NO PROBLEM! See, I’m good at this, I’m making it happen, I’m a WHIZ. Watch me make a coat from a sweater in a snap, yeah???

OK, time to add a button tab and a zipper. Little strip of sweater = Button Tab. Trip to Joann = 12″ Sport Zipper.

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So I hit my first bump with the zipper when the sweater started stretched way more than the zipper and looked weird. OK. But I can roll with that. A little unsewing, a little basting, a little try-it-again. The next attempt was better, but still a bit bubbly:

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But not too bad. I could probably just put this under the iron really quick, just steam it up a little, just flatten it out a bit. Right?

So…I put it under the iron AND THAT’S WHEN IT ALL WENT HORRIBLY WRONG. As I lifted up the iron I saw long red strings like hot glue. Seriously? No, joke, I had melted the zipper SHUT. Unbelievable.

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So that’s how that went. Learn from my mistakes.

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On the plus side, I can still get the zipper partially open. She can just wear it as a pullover, right? Kidding, sortof. Time to start unsewing again. *sigh*

Friday photos

Don’t really have time to talky-talky today. Seems like my blog can’t keep up with everything I’m doing lately (which I think is good…right?). So instead, a few pictures from my week…

A trip to the Children’s Garden with friends:

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A sudden after-dinner rainstorm:

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Playing Red Fish on the tablet-thingy while Clementine naps:

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And some more work on this pattern, again:

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Elliot and Mama:

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