Issie Top in Sidewalk Knits

Issie Top in Sidewalk knits

We’ve had a bit of extra yardage from my Sidewalk Knits kicking around for a while, so when Suz of Sew Pony emailed to see if I’d like to try out her new Issie Top pattern for kids, I was excited to try it out with the little shoe print. If you’re not familiar with the Sew Pony brand, it’s got a great lineup of children’s sewing patterns that each have unique details. I especially love that they often have a bit of a retro vibe to them. In this case, however, I thought Clementine would fall for the shoulder ruffles on this cute tee (she did).

Issie Top in Sidewalk knits

Issie Top in Sidewalk knits

I’ll take a minute so you can recover from the shock of how old Clementine looks in these photos. It feels like she’s aged a million years in the last year. She’s definitely grown like a weed — she’s almost as tall as Elliot, who is 2.5 years older than her!!

Issie Top in Sidewalk knits

Issie Top in Sidewalk knits

After a brief warming up period with this top, where she refused to wear it for a couple months and I decided I’d never get a photo of her in it, ever, she tried it on (finally!) and now wears it every week. Welcome to the on again off again relationship that is sewing for my 8.5 year old daughter. I am happy that the size 9 that she measured in the pattern last fall still fits her with plenty of room, so I think she’ll be able to wear it for at least another year. Yay!! for kids’ clothes that fit for a long time, especially handmade ones, amiright?Issie Top in Sidewalk knits

Suz just launched the Jeune Twin Set, a lovely skirt and top pattern, so check that one out! She also kindly offered readers of this blog a 10% discount on the Issie pattern with the code ISSIEBYRAE10.

You can find the Issie Top pattern in the Sew Pony shop!

Isla with sleeves + woven skirt

Isla Dress with woven skirt

Sometimes I wish I had more time to show you all of the concepts and variations a pattern goes through before it’s finally released. Originally I thought the Isla pattern would have sleeves, and even went so far as to make this mint striped version with sleeves (I later removed them). As the pattern developed, I decided that Isla needed to be a Presto pattern (basic design, streamlined instructions), and so I tossed the sleeves, which were going to require a fair amount of tweaking and developing on their own yet before I could sign off on them. But in the back of my head I thought, my next knit pattern will have sleeves, and if it does, I want them to work with Isla, too.

So after Isla launched, I started playing around with the sleeve pattern pieces again. By last November, we had it graded and in multiple lengths, and I made this version of Isla with sleeves and a woven skirt.

Isla Dress with woven skirt

Isla Dress with woven skirt

The woven skirt itself deserves a little explanation. The Isla pattern is intended to be made entirely out of knit fabric, but since there’s plenty of ease in the skirt, you can really substitute a woven fabric for the skirt if you want. I even increased the width (this skirt was made with a 1 yard piece of 54″ cotton-linen blend, which I cut down the middle and turned sideways, so the skirt pieces ended up roughly 10″ wider than the pattern piece, each) and it still worked.

Isla Dress with woven skirt

This fabric is a print designed by Melody Miller from Ruby Star Sparkle, a now out-of-print collection from her years as a Kokka designer. Some of you might remember that this is not the first time I have cut a Melody Miller panel on the cross-grain so I could use the raw selvages for the hem of a skirt — the first time was when I made this pre-pattern Ruby prototype out of the arrow print.

Isla Dress with woven skirt

You might wonder how and when someone might wear such an interesting dress. Here’s one way I like to style it in a kind of fun bohemian way:

Isla styled to slay

Hopefully you can see that using a woven fabric instead of knit for the Isla skirt can open a whole new world for this pattern, so if you’re thinking of trying this, do it!! It’s fun! And if you’re wondering where you can get the sleeves, stay tuned! Jade, my next pattern, will have sleeves that you’ll be able to add to Isla for some awesome mix and match possibilities.

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My Cleo Skirt Class on Creativebug!

Cleo Skirt on Creativebug / made by rae

Many of you already know that I used to be a science teacher, and that teaching is a real area of passion for me. I have three kids, and in the past few years especially it’s become harder to find time to teach classes locally or travel to teach (though I still definitely do!). Every time I have the opportunity to teach a garment class in person, I have so much fun. So it’s really wonderful to be able to offer classes online through Creativebug; to be able to show you tips and tricks and walk you through the process of making something beautiful for yourself from start to finish, even if I can’t be there with you in person. I really try to imagine what it’s like to make something for the first time, and I hope that comes across in the video lessons. (Also, they have an amazing staff at Creativebug and it was ridiculously fun to fly to San Francisco and work with them).

I’m launching three new women’s sewing classes with Creativebug this spring, and the first one, the Cleo Skirt, is now up and running. Cleo has proven to be a real favorite, and the class includes instruction for both of the views, which have two different pocket options, lengths, and hem options. You can follow this link or click on any of the photos in this post to see the class outline, watch the class preview, and sign up. Creativebug is a subscription-based website, so you get access to all of the classes with your subscription, and you can start with a free trial if you’re not already signed up. Compared with taking a class in person, it’s a real deal!

I even painted my nails gold for this one, guys. You’re welcome.

Cleo Skirt for Creativebug

The pic above shows both views of the skirt, both of which have a combination flat front + elastic back waistband (the one on the left shows the back view). Just in case you’re interested in where I sourced the fabric, the skirt (View B) on the left is Loominous by Anna Maria Horner, and the skirt on the right (View A) is cotton ikat, both of which I purchased online at Stone Mountain and Daughter. Their brick and mortar shop is in Berkeley, right across the bay from San Francisco, and I also went and visited them one day after a video shoot!

By the way, the model in these shots is Ayrika, one of the Creativebug staff. Aren’t these photos gorgeous?? I love how amazing she looks in both of these skirts! As you can see, it’s going to be the perfect garment to take you into spring and summer!!! Get started with your own version of Cleo this weekend!

I hope you enjoy these classes as much as I enjoyed making them for you!

PS. The class includes a PDF version of the Cleo Skirt pattern (slightly modified from the one in my shop), but if you’d prefer to use a printed pattern to use for the class, check if  your favorite sewing shop carries Cleo, or purchase one from one of my online stockists!

Get ready for Cleo on Creativebug!

Cleo Skirt for Creativebug

I’m so excited to let you know that my Cleo Skirt class will be the first one of my garment classes to launch this spring over on Creativebug. I love to teach, and since I can’t actually come to your sewing room in person, this is a fun way for me to show you how to make Cleo virtually! The class will show you how to make both views (shown above) of the skirt.

Cleo goes live on Creativebug this coming Wednesday, March 21. If you you want to sew along when it launches next week, here’s a few things you can do to get ready:

  • Sign up for Creativebug!
  • Get your materials together: the Cleo Page has fabric recommendations, yardage charts, size charts and materials list.
  • If you’d like to have a printed pattern to use for the class, check if  your favorite sewing shop carries Cleo, or purchase one from one of my online stockists!

PS. I’ve got two more garment sewing classes for women coming from Creativebug this spring! The next one is due drop in early May.

How to sew Ruby with a divided yoke

how to sew Ruby with a divided yoke / made by rae

I promised this tutorial last May when I first posted the rose colored Ruby with divided yoke shown below, and since then I’ve had more than one email asking when it would be posted. I guess that makes this a long-awaited tutorial. Sounds pretty special, doesn’t it? I think it is special! It’s a great way to mix up an already super-versatile pattern (Ruby) with a new look.

Rose Ruby with divided yoke

To make Ruby with a divided yoke, you need to line the yoke and assemble the main part of the top in a slightly different order, something I demonstrate in my Ruby with a lined yoke videos, and I’ll refer to the video series for the assembly of the main part of the top rather than walk you through the entire process here. Because of this, it helps if you’ve made a Ruby with a lined yoke, but is not required. Note to beginners: I’d really recommend trying the basic pattern first before attempting either lined mod!

Step 1. Cut Yokes
You’ll need FOUR front yokes, because instead of cutting on the fold, you’ll be adding 1/4” at center front (CF) to accommodate the slit in the front. So take your front yoke pattern piece, add 1/4” at CF, and cut four (so: two sets, one for the lining, one for the outer).

Cut TWO back yokes on the fold, one for the lining and one for the outer

Step 2. Sew yokes together at shoulders
With right sides together, sew each yoke together at the shoulders. Each back yoke will be sewn to two front yokes. Now you have two yokes, one for the lining, and one for the outer.

Step 3. Sew yokes together
Starting and ending 1/2” from the bottom edge of each yoke (it helps to mark this with chalk or fabric marker), sew the yokes together along the neckline and armholes.

Step 4. Turn yoke right side out
Press the armhole and neckline seams, clip them, and then turn the yoke right side out and press again.

Next, fold back the lining along each of the three bottom edges and pin it away from the edge so that it won’t get in the way when you attach the yoke to the main part of the dress/top.

How to sew Ruby with a divided yoke / made by rae

Step 5. Assemble the main dress/top
Sew the front and back of the MAIN dress/top together along the side seams, press and finish the seams. Next, finish the armholes with bias binding attached to the outside and then flipped and stitched to the inside. NOTE: I demonstrate how to do this in this video (skip ahead to 3 min 30 sec to see this).

Finally, gather the top edges of the main dress/top as instructed in steps 3 and 4 of the pattern to prepare to attach it to the yoke.

Step 6. Attach yoke to main dress/top
Pin the back outer yoke to the back main dress/top, matching edges and notches, and pull on the gathering threads until the two are the same size. Distribute gathers evenly and then sew together with a 1/2” seam. Repeat for the front, makin sure that the two front edges are lined up right next to each other. I usually backtack a few times where the two edges meet when sewing this seam.

Clip the seam allowance of the main dress/top at center front right up to — but not through — the seam line (very important!). Press front and back yoke seams towards the yoke.

Step 7. Fold down lining and hand stitch
Fold the lower edge of the lining so that it just covers the yoke seams you just sewed. The trickiest part of this will be at the center front, where the seam allowances need to separate at the notch you clipped. Pin and then stitch by hand in place to finish.

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You can see more pics of this Ruby in action over at this post. All of the Ruby tutorials and mods can be found on the Ruby page, and you can buy the Ruby sewing pattern in my shop!