Lotus Pond + Green Bee Frog Romper

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When Green Bee Patterns (the design + sewing collaboration of my friends Alexia and Michelle Abegg) first signed up as a Made By Rae sponsor earlier this year, we immediately started dreaming of some uber-cute ensembles out of Lotus Pond fabric with the Green Bee Patterns. Jess did most of the sewing since I was (am) still on a bit of a maternity break and she did a fantastic job!! I adore the little bit of green diamond print that she used for the facings and waistband casing. It’s just as pretty on the inside as outside. My contribution was to add these awesome red buttons for a fun pop of color:

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Here are Jess’ notes on the pattern:

Hey all! Isn’t this just about the cutest thing? I have fond memories of a couple of rompers that I had when I was right around Clementine’s age (probably hand-me-downs from Rae, come to think of it!), and I wish I could get them back. I know at least one of them was made from terry cloth for true five year-old comfort.

This pattern is the Sally Romper and Dress. Based on Clementine’s measurements, we decided to trace the pattern pieces for View A using the size 4 lines for width and the size 5 lines for length. This worked really well, and was not a difficult adjustment. I’m not the *most* experienced sewist, so this was a nice lesson in simple pattern modification.

The pattern is clear and well-written, with a nice big sheet of instructions that I just pinned to the wall in front of my sewing machine for reference. Sewing a romper is basically like sewing a blouse and a pair of shorts, then stitching them together. All those steps seemed a little daunting at first, but each one is manageable and well-illustrated. I’d put this in the intermediate skill level for sewing.

My favorite features of this pattern are the the side-seam pockets on the shorts, and the button-up front. I think this would be adorable with contrasting waist band and shorts cuffs…maybe next time!

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And then it was ready for Clementine to take it for a spin!!!

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(Please don’t pin photos of Clementine. Thanks!)

We’re having lots of fun with Lotus Pond around here! If you’ve made any Lotus Pond stuff of your own, we’d LOVE to see your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #lotuspondfabric or in the Lotus Pond Flickr Pool!

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Lotus Pond is all around!

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Thought I’d share some Lotus Pond projects that have been popping up on the web and in social media!

Top Left: Heidi posted a glasses case tutorial over on her blog, Fabric Mutt.
Top Right: My friend Anna of Noodlehead made a sweet Road Trip Case for Cloud9′s booth at Quilt Market last week.

Bottom Left: Did you know that Michelle at Cloud9 has designed a free pattern for the Ebbing Quilt, featuring Lotus Pond?
Bottom Right: Kirsten via IG made a gorgeous 241 Tote (also a Noodlehead design).

If you’re already sewing with some Lotus Pond of your own, please JOIN US! and share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #lotuspondfabric or in the Lotus Pond Flickr Pool!

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Lotus Drop Tank Dress

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Hey look it’s a new tank dress for ME! sewn with Lotus Pond (the orange print is called “Lotus Drop”) and a stretchy grey heather knit jersey. I made up the tank pattern and then just gathered the skirt (two rectangles with pockets cut into the sides) to the bottom of the tank. Want a handy tip for this? Use elastic thread in the bobbin when attaching the skirt to the top — this helps prevent the knit from getting all stretched out. You could even do this with a store-bought tank and a couple yards of fabric.

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Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I get to sew with my own fabric designs. Wheee! Can’t wait to see what everyone else is making with their Lotus Pond!! (add to Instagram with tag #lotuspondfabric or to the Lotus Pond Flickr Pool!!!)

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Lotus Pond is Here!

(see the Pin here)

Folks! It’s finally here! My new collection for Cloud9 Fabrics started shipping to fabric stores all over just a couple of weeks ago. Lotus Pond is made up of 12 prints in quilting cotton, and hooo boy am I ever in love with it. One of the things that makes me so happy to work with Cloud9 is that all of their fabrics are certified organic. All of them!

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I am super duper thrilled with how Lotus Pond turned out!! The colors are so vibrant, and the cotton is lovely and soft and smooth. As you know, I’m more of a garment sewist than a quilter, and I’m very happy to report that this quilting cotton serves very well for garments, especially children’s wear. It’s light enough for warm weather tops or dresses, but I think it’ll be sturdy enough to whip up a few shoulder bags or purses.

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Stay tuned over the next couple weeks…I have a LOTUS POND EXTRAVAGANZA in the works, so you can see how a bunch of my blogging buddies have been inspired by the frogs and lily pads and snails!!!

If you’ve already snatched up some Lotus Pond of your own, please JOIN US! and share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #lotuspondfabric or in the Lotus Pond Flickr Pool!

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Bianca Tester Roundup

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Now that my newest pattern, Bianca is out in the world, I want to take a minute to say a big THANKS!!! to the patient and prolific ladies who tested the design during production.

When we have drafts of pattern pieces and instructions ready for testing, you wouldn’t believe the flurry of email, photos, and spreadsheets that ensues! It’s pretty fun, but it takes a lot of work! Thank you, ladies, for all your time and helpful feedback! Now for a sampling from our testers’ photos:

Ashley’s top looks rad with or without a cardigan:

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Brooke blogged about her Nani Iro double gauze Bianca right here.

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Kelly sewed up two Biancas in no time flat. Isn’t the contrast lacy facing pretty on the top one?

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And here’s Jenn of A Jennuine Life in her Bianca!

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If you still need the Bianca pattern, you can find it HERE!

This looks great on so many figures, and we already have a few photos in the Bianca Sewing Pattern Flickr photo pool and on Instagram, under the hashtag #biancapattern. Please add your own photos so we can all admire!

Bianca Top with Pom-pomsBianca Top with Pom-pomsBianca Top with Pom-pomsBianca Top with Pom-pomsBianca Maxi dress 1Bianca Maxi dress 2Nani Iro dressSummer Plaid Bianca DressSummer Plaid Bianca DressNani Iro Bianca dressBianca Top #3 this one's in knit with the partial interfacingBianca Top #3 in knit with partial interfacing

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June is Made For Kids month!!!

Have you been following the Me Made May stuff online? It’s a whole month of challenging yourself to wear handmade items and post them online. Many people wear something handmade every day, all month long and it’s been pretty awesome to see! I’ve been meaning to participate, but I a) don’t fit into most of my handmade clothing yet, thanks to my lovely but rather larger body size post-Hugo and b) I have a hard time getting dressed in anything other than sweats most days, so I haven’t managed to post even one Me Made May outfit yet this month, ack! Yeah, LAME. Anyway, I realize those are just excuses, but my KIDS? Now that’s a different story. They wear the handmade stuff I’ve made for them nearly every day — often in the oddest combinations — and Liesl and I got to chatting on Instagram last week about how it would be fun to involve our kids in wearing and appreciating handmade for a month. Thus, “Made for Kids Month” was born, and we want you to play along with us!!!

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Here’s the idea: For the whole month of June, let’s encourage our kids to wear and enjoy their handmade items. Whether their clothes have been made by a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, friend, or themselves, let’s encourage them to wear it proudly!

A few thoughts about the project:

  1. Participate as much or as little as you and your kids like. This isn’t a contest, just a fun project for you to do together!
  2. Let your kids express their own style: Mismatched? Crazy color schemes? Eighteen different prints? Who cares? Kids love to choose their own clothing, and this project will encourage them to play and experiment. My kids have never hesitated to “match” their clothing by wearing ALL BLUE for instance (or E’s favorite: “Everything on me has a *little bit* of red, so IT MATCHES!!”), and well, you’ve seen Clementine’s all-floral ensembles (see below).
  3. You don’t need to participate every day. Kids can be crazy stubborn, maybe your school has a dress code? Just do it if and when they want to!
  4. Let your kids be the guide here. If they don’t want to participate, that’s OK. Don’t force them! We want this to be fun for everyone. No meltdowns! (Parents, that includes you haha.)
  5. Post your photos to Instagram, the new Made for Kids Month Flickr group,Twitter, and/or your blog. Use hashtag #madeforkidsmonth so we can all find you. And feel free to post photos in more than one place, too!
  6. This project might give you some opportunities to talk to your children about where our clothes come from. Like with Fashion Revolution Day, let’s teach kids about who makes our clothing. Maybe they don’t think about it very much — I know this is true of my kids, honestly I don’t think they *get* that most people buy their clothing in stores. This is a great excuse for me to talk to them about why I make so much of what they wear. Whether you’ve sewn just a few items (so far) or you make everything for your kids, it’s good to talk to them about their clothing. We want you and your kids to be proud of the clothing you’ve made and to enjoy spending time making things!
  7. If you’re able to do so, set aside a little time this month to make something together just for the fun of it. It doesn’t have to be clothing. Make a painting together, or take turns making silly faces for the camera. Let’s celebrate kids and creativity!
  8. And who knows, maybe our kids will be inspired to get involved in making clothing themselves, if they haven’t yet. Maybe June will be a great opportunity for your first parent-kid sewing lesson! Clementine just started sewing a skirt for the first time a few months ago; this will be a great opportunity for us to pull it out and finish it.

OK, I think that’s all you need to know. Whadya think? Are you IN???

PS.  You can read Liesl’s Made for Kids Month right here!

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Spring Top Wrapup

Well, folks, Spring Top Sewalong 2014 has come to an end. Didn’t we have fun, though? Let’s take one more little dip into the Flickr Spring Top Sewalong 2014 Pool:

Sarah blogged about her self-drafted top here.

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Ashleigh’s adorable hoodie has probably been a go-to during this cool spring.

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Bubalo Jo’s modified Tova.

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Meg’s Lisette Attache looks like the ideal white blouse to me!

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I love Nicole’s Summer Concert Tee.

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Jessie’s Riding Peplum is perfect and springy with skinny jeans. And those boots!

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Emily’s modified Sorbetto tank.

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You can still learn about Spring Top Sewalong here; and check out the last month’s worth of your photos in the Flickr Pool and on Instagram with the tag #springtopsewalong.

Union St. TeeUnion St. Tee Rash GuardTiny Pocket TankTiny Pocket TankOliver + S ice cream top Sarah Jane wee wander fabricNew Look pattern 6104ShirtSwedish Summer Top. Yellow bias tape. Blue and Yellow.100_8970Spring Top SewalongSpring Top SewalongSpring Top Sewalongimage_MG_6743IMG_6753IMG_6750IMG_6749Belcarra blouse and Pencil-skirtSorbettoOh, how I love the #wikstentank pattern! Made another yesterday for #springtopsewalong & #memademay14! #mmmay14, #cuttinganotheronetoday, #iliveintheseduringthesummerSorbetto TankSorbetto Tank- Colette PatternsSorbetto Tankspring top sewalong 2014 ~ vogue 2852spring top sewalong 2014 ~ vogue 2852spring top sewalong 2014 ~ vogue 2852Tiny pocket tank cocoon voile 2Tiny pocket tank cocoon voileSorbetto TopHemlock TeeScoop topModified Wiksten TovastellatopDay 4 Me made mayGrainline Archer sleeveless shirt and Burda 9-2009-121 skirtPeach Parisian Top

Thanks for participating! I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have!

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Spring Top Sewalong Giveaway Winners

It’s time to announce all the pattern winners from the Spring Top Sewalong giveaways. Thanks to all of you for entering! Here are the lucky winners:

Lane Raglan: Yzo, who said “Lovely Giveaway. Thanks!”
Coco: Isabel, who said, “I love this pattern. Hope to win it!”
Briar Sweater and Tshirt: Sara, who said “The briar has been on my wishlist for AGES! Would love to win any of these”
Crescent Blouse: Fran, who said “Oh, those patterns are divine!”
Eucalypt Woven Tank and Dress: Nicola, who said “Yes please! I would love to make one of these.”
Lela Tunic and Blouse: Ericka, who said “I like it so much more color-blocked than in a print. Excited to see your top.”
Riding Peplum & Party Dress: Marie, who said “Not usually a fan of hi-lo hems but that dress is gorgeous! Great fabric too. I’d definitely make the dress version for summer.”
Scout Woven Tee: Karen, who said “Great looking patterns!”
Tiny Pocket Tank: Danielle, who said “I’ve seen the scout tee blogged and looking lovely! I’d love to give that pattern a shot, myself.”
Trifecta Top: Heather, who said “Cute top!”
Weekend Getaway Blouse + Dress: Kara, who said “That cappuccino tunic is too cute!”
Women’s Metro T-shirt: Anne, who said “I’ve learned so much from liesel’s patterns over the years and I’d love to try her adult patterns! So fun!”
Cappuccino Dress + Tunic: Ali, who said “The tunic pattern is super cute!”

Washi Dress: Annie, who said “I will try to find the prettiest print from my stash!”
Ruby Dress & Top: Sarah, who will make hers with “Nani Iro herringbone double gauze!”
Washi Dress Expansion Pack: Chris, who said “You had me at long sleeves.”
Josephine Tunic & Blouse: Kitter, who said she would make her Josephine “… sleeveless, of course! It’s the perfect summer blouse. I’m so in love with pintucks!”

Thanks again to all the pattern designers who offered up giveaways!

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Little Color Book for Hugo

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One of the joys of living in Ann Arbor is the sewing and blogging friends I get to see on a regular basis at monthly Sew Ann Arbor sewing meetups. Many of those friends have turned into people I hang out with In Real Life, and Emily of Emmmylizzzy (and @emmmylizzzy on Instagram) is one of those pals. Her daughter Phoebe and my Clementine are the same age and love playing together. You might also remember that daughter Phoebe helped Clementine model a legion of Tsuru Geranium Dresses last spring…they were so cute together!

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Emily made this adorable color book as a baby gift for Hugo, and I just love it. Had to show it to you, because it’s such a great way to use scraps, and such a fantastic baby gift idea!! Many of these scraps are from my own past sewing projects; I often bring my scraps to sewing meetups for the quilters to take and Emily was clever enough to collect a bunch and incorporate them into this book.

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One hilariously tragic thing you might have seen if you follow Emily on IG is that after she had completed it, her youngest daughter Penny found it and drew with a marker on the ENTIRE THING….ACK!! Luckily it all came out in the wash and you can’t even tell it happened; I would have never noticed it. Can you imagine though?? I would have cried.

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Elliot and Clementine have already identified a number of scraps that look familiar to them…do you see anything YOU recognize?

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Such a fun idea, right??? Thanks for the awesome gift, Emily!

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