Bianca Top with poms

I went on a pom-pom purchasing binge at Purl about a month ago and this is the first garment I have managed to emblazon with my newly-acquired trims since then. There will be more OH YES THERE WILL BE MORE. I love it, despite the obvious impracticalities (will the baby eat my shirt? how will I wash this?).

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I have always harbored a love of pom-poms. I would even argue I loved them BEFORE they made their recent resurgence in popularity *looks smug.* As evidence, see my pom-pom scarf, this bonsai bag, and this pom-pom cowl for Clementine. This is the first time I have experimented with pom-poms this large on a piece of clothing rather than an accessory, however.

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During this top’s construction, I solicited opinions via Instagram as to whether or not I should also add pom-poms to the armhole. Some felt it was very chic ala Frida Kahlo. Others mentioned a slight resemblance to a mariachi outfit. In the end, it seemed there was a pretty solid 50/50 division on opinions, so I decided against it.

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I made the top using my Bianca pattern (Bianca is available as a PDF sewing pattern here) and a lovely off-white swiss dot, which is fairly easy to find, so it’s a nice garment fabric if you usually have trouble finding solid fabrics for garments. It has a drape similar to the Free Spirit voiles, but is lighter and less silky, making it an incredibly comfortable top. I chose to use the elastic shirring rather than an elastic casing (the Bianca pattern has options for both), and attached the facings to the outside of the garment after basting the pom-poms to the edges.

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So. Would you wear pom-poms?

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Fanfare Flannels 2014 are here!

Fanfare 2014

I’m so happy to report that my line for Cloud9 Fabrics, Fanfare Flannels, has been reprinted this year! It’s already in stores, and folks are already making tons of adorable stuff out of it. This year’s edition features a few new colors in the same beloved foxes and elephants, plus some coordinating solids. All in scrumptiously soft organic flannel.

Now would you like to see some projects?

Deborah at Whipstitch made these adorable shirts for two of her kiddos.Love this photo and these precious Sketchbook Shirts by @whipstitchier!! #fanfareflannels @cloud9fabrics @oliverands Part of this week's Fanfare Extravaganza!!!

Here’s Jessica from A Little Gray with her daughter in their cozy City Gym Shorts (that’s a free pattern, people!):
How fun are these City Gym Shorts by @alittlegressica!? Made with #fanfareflannels @cloud9fabrics @purlsoho Part of this week's Fanfare Extravaganza!!!

Kristin over at Skirt As Top made her little boy a sleep sack:
Check out this adorable sleep sack by @skirtastop! Too cute! #fanfareflannels @cloud9fabrics Part of this week's Fanfare Extravaganza!!!

And Terri at Fa Sew La made her boys some super fun Parsley Pants to romp around in!
Check out Fa Sew La's adorable parlsey pants in Fanfare Flannels!

If you’ve made anything out of Fanfare, we’d love to see your projects in the Fanfare Photo Pool on Flickr. Meanwhile, we’ll keep posting some more links over the next few days for a little Fanfare 2014 Extravaganza!!

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Welcome to the world little Penelope!

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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.

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She is such a cute little button.

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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.

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Elli and Penelope!

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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.

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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!

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Ruby Dress in chambray and voile

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I needed some new photos for the print cover of the Ruby Dress Sewing Pattern so I had Karen whip up this chambray and voile version last week at the studio. I have been hoarding this fabric forever and ever so it’s fun to have finally turned it into something wearable.

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Ruby will be the next women’s pattern of mine to go into print. It’s true that I already have some great photos of Ruby — this Leah Duncan Tule/grey chambray version was a big hit — but it seems a bit misleading to use that one for the paper pattern cover because it shows the yoke with a lining rather than the default bias-bound neck and armholes. The lining technique IS covered in my video series for adding a yoke lining, but the instructions were a bit too complicated to put into a pattern meant for beginners; it’s really better seen than read. So I guess the question is: is it OK to put a lined version on the cover, if we have to send people to the website to see the videos? I don’t know. The second question is: will this version (made with gorgeous Anna Maria Horner voile and indigo union chambray) SELL the dress as well as the original dress? I hope so. What do you think?

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Anyway, now I have a beautiful summer dress and some new photos to boot — my sister Elli just had a baby a month earlier than expected (more on that hopefully soon!!!) so things are moving a little slower than usual in the pattern production department, but that’s fine. It’s a Baby Year over here, and I think that is pretty fantastic.

You can purchase the Ruby Dress Sewing Pattern (in a PDF version!) right here.

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