Hey everyone! Jess here, your official cheerleader/substitute teacher while Rae snuggles her new baby boy!

It’s spring, right? Spring is acting like a bit of a tease this year, but I think it’s time to haul out the light, bright and breezy fabrics and get a jump on our warm-weather wardrobes. So let’s rev our sewing machine engines! Let’s wind our bobbins! Let’s have a Spring Top Sewalong!

WHAT
The Spring Top Sewalong is a personal sewing challenge to sew at least one top for yourself this spring and share it to inspire others to do the same! Rae started the sewalong (then called “Spring Top Week”) back in 2009 as a contest along with posting a top she made each day, and has been doing it every year since. Over the past couple of years we’ve scaled it back a bit (because ahem, contests take a TON of work, and AHEM posting a top a day for a week is a bit cray-cray), but the basic concept has remained the same: a fun opportunity to inspire each other to sew something for ourselves for spring!

WHEN
This year’s Spring Top Sewalong will start next week and run until mid-May (we’ll wrap it up May 11), so you’ll have plenty of time to sew. But don’t wait too long! We want to feature as many of your spring tops here on the blog as possible, so the sooner you post something, the better. We’re pretty flexible, so if you’ve already completed a top for yourself this spring, feel free to include it.

We’ll kick off the sewalong next week Monday with some great sewing pattern giveaways. A few independent designers have offered up copies of some our favorite top patterns to get us jazzed for spring tops, and we’ll give away some of Rae’s patterns too. Come back on Monday for the first giveaway. Woohoo!!

HOW TO JOIN
It’s easy to join the sewalong! There are really just two basic things you need to do:

1 : SEW a top for yourself. And don’t feel like you need to stop at ONE TOP. Repeat with as many tops as you want!! The more tops you make, the bigger your spring wardrobe, right?

2 : SHARE a photo of your top(s), on YOU, in any or all of these ways:

  • on Flickr, join the Spring Top Sewalong Flickr Pool and add your photos. Remember that square photos without text or big watermarks are easiest for us to feature here on the blog.
  • on Instagram or Twitter, use the #springtopsewalong hashtag to post photos of your tops and check out what others have made. We’ll post photos from IG here on the blog in addition to the Flickr photos. Did you know that Instagram also has a feature to send photos to Flickr? Feel free to use it!

Feel free to post in-progress shots of tops in addition to finished garments, and of course, be sure to tell us all about it so we can be inspired!

A few other things:

  • You know Rae has been a *leeetle* bit busy with the wee Hugo Marvin, but I think she’ll pop in and say hello once in awhile over the next few weeks. And I have a top or two coming to life in my sewing lair that I’m excited to show you.
  • Need inspiration? You can find all of the tops from years past on the Spring Tops page.
  • If you blog about your top, be sure to include a link if you blogged about it so we can read all about it, and link to the pattern you followed, if applicable.
  • Help us spread the word by reposting any of the images in this post on IG or your blog if you’re going to play along!

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Spring Top Button 2014 - 600 x 600 px


Let’s start sewing!

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Categories: Spring Top Sewalong 2014
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It’s been awhile since we showed off some Made By Rae stuff sewn by YOU! And with Kids Clothes Week just around the corner, we thought it’d be fun to help everyone get inspired.

We love to peruse the Rae Made Me Do It Flickr Pool to see the whimsical details that make these handmade things so special. There are some amazing fabric and color combos in this particular roundup. Such fun!

The Geranium Dress has become such a staple!

geranium quad

Top: Yellow Polka DotsTia’s Geranium; Bottom: 1st Birthday GeraniumTiered Geranium.

Check out Ren’s Flashback Tee (Left) with a tutorial to sew “burrito” pant cuffs (which would work on Parsley Pants); and Sophie blogged here about her son’s wild Parsley Pants (Right):

Array

Erin from Hungie Gungie has really been going all out over the last few months with some Geranium Dresses and Flashback Tees. Here’s a little glimpse:
hungie gungie mosaic

Above, Top Left: Geranium in Washi + Gold , Right: Say No to Fruitcake (hahahaha!);
Bottom Left: Look what happens when you cross a Flashback with a Geranium ruffle sleeve; Flashback Skinny Tee.

Lots of Parsley Pants are cropping up in the Parsley Flickr Pool these days. All the contrast pockets, pintucks, and kneepads are just too cute.

lotsa parsleys
Above, Top Left to Right: Red Plaid, Orange PlaidGreen with Stars,  Echino Pants, Green Parsleys;
Bottom Left to Right: Blue Corduroy Parsleys,Three Parsleys on the Line, Orange Parsley Pants.

Brooke used Rae’s Fanfare Flannels (more colors of that coming this fall, woo hoo!!) to make some some adorableness for her boys:

Array

Nic over at Createnic made these amazing matching Baby/Dad PJ pants (Big Butt Baby Pants on the baby here):
matching pjs mosaic

For those of you sewing up a storm for kiddoes next week, have fun! Can’t wait to see what you make!
Remember you can always add photos of your Made By Rae projects to the Flickr Pool.

Easter DressesP1140401Hope's Geranium Easter dress (front)Hope's Geranium Easter dress (back)Betty's Easter dressBirthday Geranium dress, Made By Rae; matching Oliver and S bucket hat (free pattern!)Detail, Geranium DressGeranium DressGeranium Dressfrog geranium3

posted by jess

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Categories: roundup
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Hi everyone! It’s Rae, popping in for a moment to introduce you to Jessica, who works here at Made By Rae Enterprises. She calls herself an assistant but if you saw how many hats she wears on a daily basis (answering emails, coordinating testing for patterns, putting together blog posts, sending print pattern orders, sewing samples, communicating with sponsors, running giveaways, and it goes on…), you’d see she’s more like a Director of Operations. In addition to being an all-around indispensable individual, she also happens to be my cousin and loves to sew and knit as well; the crafty gene runs strong in our family. Can you see the resemblance? As you can imagine, when Elli, Jess and I get together, it’s pretty obvious we’re family (incidentally, Karen and Tashina, who work at the studio here in Ann Arbor, are NOT related to me; we’re not a family-only operation…hee).

Anyway, Jess has spent the last few weeks coordinating testing for the new spring pattern, Bianca (you can see the original Bianca top that I posted last summer here), and when she made this lovely dress version (the pattern will come in two lengths, a dress and a top), I asked if she’d share it on the blog and she said yes. So, here’s Jess and her awesome Bianca:

IMG_9269

Hello, dear Raeders! So happy to be here to share my Bianca dress. Let’s start with the awesome fabric. This is Nani Iro double gauze Colorful Pocho in the colorway Berry Field.  I ordered it online from Purl Soho last fall, and it’s a hard to come by anywhere online now. It was a print from last summer, so let’s cross our fingers for more! The contrast fabric is Kaffe Fassett’s Shot Cotton in apricot. I love the shot cottons so much. Every time I order fabric, I choose a couple of the colors and grab a few yards. They’re super duper soft, and the contrasting thread colors in the warp/weave of the fabric give the fabric a shimmery depth. Hawthorne Threads has the biggest  selection of colors, but I’ve gotten it from Pink Chalk too.

IMG_9306

The default view for Bianca is to sew it with the facings on the inside (like in Rae’s Tomato Rayon top), but tips are included for outside facings, as I’ve chosen to do on this version. I love that you can see how the garment is constructed with the facing on the outside like this.

IMG_9291

The waist shaping comes from the elastic that runs from one edge of the front facing, around the back, to the other edge of the facing. The pattern will have options either to sew two lines of shirring or an elastic casing (I chose the elastic casing for this one).

IMG_9274

The contrast facing at the bottom hem is my own modification…hmmm, maybe we’ll give you a tutorial on that sometime? It helped me straighten out the hem, and added a little bit of length because I used every last inch of my double gauze for this dress.

IMG_9280

So lovely to meet you all. Can’t wait to share more Bianca with you soon!

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Categories: Bianca
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