Buggy Neenah Turtleneck

Bug Neenah Turtleneck

New knit turtleneck! New glasses! I thought it would be fun to try one of my new Sidewalk knits in a grown up turtleneck. I used another Seamwork pattern, Neenah, which is a dress pattern, and shortened it at the waist to make it a top instead of a dress (inspired by Katie’s post). This “Bug’s Life” print definitely reads “kid” but I love it. I am not beneath wearing kid prints. See also: my pencil Astoria top.

Bug Neenah Turtleneck

I made the neckband wider (2″) to accommodate both my very large head and the fact that this fabric is interlock and therefore less thin/stretchy than other knits you might normally use for this pattern. I actually think it would have looked better with the narrower turtleneck, but I’m not sure I could have handled all of that fabric close around my neck. Am somewhat claustrophobic and never liked turtlenecks as a child for that reason.

Sidewalk knits / neenah turtleneck / made by rae

Given that we are fully into snowy weather here in Michigan, I have been wearing the heck out of this thing. I do love the medium thickness of interlock for warmth and of course Cloud9’s knits are super soft and lovely. And, I’m very excited to finally be able to say that Sidewalk is now shipping to shops. I just this morning saw it pop up in Annie’s Instagram feed, for those of you who are in the UK, and I’m sure more shops will follow soon. I’ll post a list of the shops carrying Sidewalk soon so you know where to find it!

neenah turtleneck / sidewalk knits / made by rae

Sewing Superstar: Jess of CINO

A few weeks ago, I brought back my Sewing Superstars series with a feature of Hungie Gungie. (Learn more about this fun series HERE!)

Today our Superstar is Jess Christian of Craftiness is not Optional, who does simply amazing work. Jess is a fellow blogger and pattern designer and I’ve featured her before on this blog as part of the KNITerview series and the Lotus Pond extravaganza, but I really wanted to feature her again as part of the Superstar series because the woman is a mad genius with the Geranium Dress pattern:

CINO geraniums
above: top left / top right / bottom left / bottom right

Jess’ three daughters are impossibly adorable, and she’s been taking gorgeous photographs of them for years (they have a little brother now…GAH he is too cute!!!). I always swoon when she makes a new Geranium for one of them. Check out her blog to see all of the amazing Geranium Dresses she’s made over the years, as well as all of her other adorable creations. She’s one impressive lady!

You can follow Jess online:
Craftiness is not Optional blogFacebookInstagram, Pinterest and #cinosews

See even more MBR patterns and projects at these links:
Flickr: Geranium Sewing Pattern Pool / Rae Made Me Do It Pool
Instagram: #geraniumdress#raemademedoit / #madebyrae.

It inspires me so much to see what you are making with my patterns! Please feel free add your own photos to the photo pool(s) or tag your pics with #raemademedoit or #madebyrae so I can see what you’re making. I’m excited to feature more Sewing Superstars here soon!

Gingham Gemma

It’s almost December and therefore sweater weather, so it may seem strange to post about a Gemma Tank, but this top is something I find myself wearing quite a bit these days, under cardigans of course. I find I prefer sleeveless tops to sleeved tops when I’m wearing a sweater, because I don’t like that bunchy feeling you get when you try to stuff a shirt sleeve into a sweater sleeve; it makes me really twitchy and uncomfortable. Much like Clementine when she’s putting on her socks in the morning and doesn’t like how the sock seams feel in her shoes and then throws a fit and is late for school. What was I talking about?

Gemma tank

Here is is, sans cardi:

Gemma Tank

If this fabric looks familiar, it might be because this is the third (and final, I’m now out of yardage) garment I managed to squeeze out of this navy gingham  I picked up at Purl Soho. The other two things I made were this cute little Charlie top for Hugo and a Pearl shift for me. I like how the bias around the neckline pops out because of the gingham.

Gingham Gemma Tank

To be completely truthful this tank isn’t exactly the same as the Gemma pattern, because the pattern changed a bit as I worked on it and this was one of the earlier versions I made. The shoulders are a bit wider on this one than they are on the final pattern — I felt like the broader shoulders were a bit frumpy, so I narrowed them — and I eventually settled on two necklines for the final pattern, one a bit higher than this one, and one a bit lower.

Gemma is available in my pattern shop, comes in both A/B and C/D cup sizes, and looks great under winter cardigans!!!

Posted in gemma

While She Naps podcast

Hey friends! Just a little note to let you know that I’m sponsoring this week’s While She Naps podcast. I listened to the episode yesterday while I was running/walking (I’m getting back into shape using a Couch to 5K workout schedule, so I’m taking it sloooow), and I really enjoyed Abby’s interview with guest Jennifer Judd-McGee. Have you ever heard of her? She’s an amazing artist and I loved hearing her story. It’s a good one!!


I’ve also got a special discount set up for While She Naps listeners, so head over to While She naps, listen to the podcast, and get the discount code for my shop. Many of you know that I rarely do sales or discounts, so take advantage of this one while it lasts!!

You can subscribe to Abby’s podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. I listen to all my podcasts with my Podcast app (for iPhone). I also recommend subscribing to Abby’s newsletter if you are a creative entrepreneur; she always has the scoop on the latest stories and tools for handmade business owners.


Marble Dyed Isla Top

Isla Peplum

This marble-dyed fabric is fun, isn’t it? This is another Isla top that I wear all the time, even though it was meant to just be a studio sample. We wanted to test if the Isla pattern could be sewn entirely on a sewing machine instead of a serger, and it turned out great! The stitch I prefer to use when sewing knits on with my machine is a zig zag stitch, and I usually set the length a little longer (3-4 mm) and the width pretty narrow (1-1.5 mm). I don’t have an exact number for these because it helps to try it on a sample and play around with the width and length a bit. Every fabric can be a little different.

Isla Peplum

This particular fabric is a rayon jersey that I bought online at a shop that I found on Instagram (unfortunately I haven’t had great luck with the fabrics from that shop so I can’t recommend it), and since I didn’t realize when I purchased it that I should hang dry rayon jersey, it’s since gotten a bit pilly (read more about rayon jersey care via this post). But it’s not too bad for a sample.

made by rae | tie dye Isla top

You can see from these photos if you look carefully, especially at the second one, that this top has some bunching under the arm. I really didn’t notice the issue in my first few Isla samples — they were rayon jersey and therefore super-stretchy — but when we sent the pattern to testers, everyone’s photos came back with big wrinkles at the armpit and the comments were that it felt too tight. So we widened the armholes as a result. I love how testing really helps eliminate problems from a pattern. Anyway, I think it’s kind of fun to hear about the process, hopefully you do too!

Isla can be made as a dress or as a top and is available in my pattern shop.

Posted in isla, knits