Navy striped Flashback tee

Hugo Navy Striped Flashback tee

Time for a Hugo Wardrobe Update! No big surprises here: I made him a new striped Flashback tee in size 3. Though, he is already starting to creep into size 4 territory, esp in pants. Can you believe it?? Waaaaah.

Hugo Navy Striped Flashback tee

I omitted the cuffs and folded the ends of the sleeves under instead (the pattern has a few different sleeve options). Um and I don’t mean to brag but hello check out that underarm stripe matching. Totally unappreciated by the toddler crowd, I’d wager.

Hugo Navy Striped Flashback tee

Also: I made sweatpants with cuffs and waistband from the same striped organic rib knit (I love these striped baby rib knits). He still fits into the green fleece pants I made him last year so now he has two very similar pairs, which is just fine because he has an unusually strong relationship with the color green.

Hugo Navy Striped Flashback tee

Sometimes I think if he and Elliot could have been the same age at the same time I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart except for their haircuts. He’s eerily similar in personality to Elliot at this age, though overall I think Hugo is a bit less high-intensity. Though…yesterday — despite skipping his nap — he ran 50 laps around the kitchen after dinner, giggling. So there’s that. I thought I was due a “quiet” kid with Kid #3 but oh no. It is rarely quiet at our house. All three of my kids are loud. I have no idea where they got that from? *looks around*

Hugo Navy Striped Flashback tee

This tee gave me a chance to try out the Eloflex stretch thread Meg has been raving about and I do have to say I like it a lot more than stretch thread. It’s smooth and very strong and a bit stretchy, but I did have a little problem with my machine tension and a tiny part of the shirt hem stitching has popped already, but I’m pretty sure I know why. So I’m hopeful but not 100% certain that this is the end of my quest for the perfect Coverstitch Machine Alternative (sidenote: Tori just posted about her new coverstitch machine this morning and I’m intrigued).

Hugo flashback tee

This is where I  say something corny like “look how much Hugo loves his new tee!” Too easy?

Hugo Navy Striped Flashback tee

The Flashback Tee sewing pattern is available in my shop in sizes 1-14 years!

Nani Iro Matcha Top

Nani Iro Matcha Top - made by rae

I made another one! This time I made the Matcha Top (pattern by my dear friend Meg of Sew Liberated) with this beautiful Nani Iro double gauze that I impulse-bought last summer from Jones and Vandermeer (great shop for both double gauze and Liberty, by the way, also a former sponsor, full disclosure) in what might have seemed at the time like a moment of weakness but as you can clearly see now and time has revealed to me was really just a moment of serendipity, as it’s now a frequent flyer in wardrobe miles. I can’t decide if the base color of this cloth is a pale grey or a pale lavender, but I don’t think it matters, it’s a lovely print. Some of the flowers even sparkle.

Nani Iro Matcha Top - made by rae

What makes this Matcha especially special is that I made it at Squam, in Meg’s class, which was really fun. You might ask (as a fellow a Squam-mite, who already knew I was a fairly experienced sewist did, upon learning I had signed up for the sewing class) why i would take a sewing class, as someone who has already taught her fair share of sewing classes herself. And I would tell you that I have made the delightful discovery of finding that I still love to learn, so I try to seize every opportunity to take other peoples’ classes, because I always learn something new. I’d even go so far as to say that I’m better now at learning — as a teacher — than I ever was as a student.

Nani Iro Matcha Top - made by rae

Nani Iro Matcha Top - made by rae

And guess what?? I learned something new! Never fails. It was great. In addition to enjoying Meg’s instruction, having an entire day to sew for myself, and having the lovely experience of sitting next to Charlotte who had the best English accent and made the best table mate ever, I learned how to sew a Hong Kong seam finish:

Nani Iro Matcha Top - made by rae

In retrospect I can’t believe I’d never done this before; I’m positive I’d seen tutorials online for the Hong Kong finish, but I’d probably skimmed them and thought, “now THERE is something I do NOT have time for!” I suppose I thought it was too fussy or fancy or something but now I can’t believe how easy it was. It turned out to be different than I had imagined so now I’ll be adding it to All the Things. Perhaps there’s just something about having someone show it to you in person, you know? Meg is of course an excellent and patient teacher, so of course there was nothing intimidating at all about it.

Nani Iro Matcha Top - made by rae

Pretty rad, right?

Nani Iro Matcha Top - made by rae

I find — and tell me if it’s the same for you — that if I have high expectations for exactly what I want to accomplish or learn in a class, I often end up kinda stressed out or even disappointed by myself.  
It always seems to be when I approach a situation with a more open attitude (like “maybe I’ll learn something cool today!”) that I come away with the most. An open mind is really key. A curious spirit is also helpful. And of course it doesn’t hurt when you’ve got a fantastic teacher, either.

Nani Iro Matcha Top - made by rae

The Matcha Top Pattern can be found in the Sew Liberated pattern shop. You can also Instastalk other great versions online by going to #matchatoppattern.

Super fun facings trick

super fun facings trick

Facings are a great way to finish a neckline or armhole (bias binding is another way — see my 3 bias binding tutorials here!). I like to have beautiful facings without having to fold up and finish the lower edge, which can produce a visible line from the outside of your garment, and I learned this clever trick a few years ago (probably from Karen) and thought I’d share. It uses your interfacing to finish the facing edge, and it’s just as quick and easy as folding and stitching or overlocking your facings like most patterns instruct. It also looks 100% better, as you’ll see in this tutorial.

Step 1. Cut out your facings and interfacings

The front / back neckline facing pattern pieces I used in this example are from my Beatrix pattern. You can see these facings in use in my How to make Beatrix without buttons tutorial. This tutorial would also work with most armhole, hem, or combined armhole-neckline facings as well.

I’m using fusible lightweight interfacing (this is the kind I like), but this tutorial also works with non-fusible interfacing.

Beatrix facings

Step 2. Sew the seams

Most patterns call for you to baste or fuse the interfacing to the facings before sewing anything. Instead, sew the front and back facings together, and then do the same with the interfacings (so, separately). In this example, I sewed the facings together at the shoulders, and then the interfacings together at the shoulders using the 1/2″ seam allowance called for in the pattern.


Press the facing seams apart, but DO NOT PRESS THE INTERFACING SEAM IF YOU ARE USING FUSIBLE INTERFACING. Let’s avoid that sticky glue nightmare on your iron, shall we?

Step 3. Sew the facings to the interfacings along lower edge

Place the facings and interfacings right sides together and pin:


Then sew them together along the lower edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance. This should be the edge where you would normally fold up and stitch, or otherwise finish the edge of the facing before attaching it to the garment. It should not be the edge that will attach to the garment.

Beatrix facings - sew together

Step 4. Turn right side out and press

Now go ahead and turn them right side out, using a point turner to push out the bottom edges.

beatrix facings

And then press them together!!! At this point the fusible interfacing will fuse to the facing, and it creates a beautiful finish…see? Here’s the interfacing side:


And the facing side:


Step 5. Attach to garment

Now the facings are ready to attach to your garment! You can see how I attached these in this post.

Finished facings - Beatrix

Aren’t they beautiful?

This tutorial works great with my Beatrix, Washi, or even Charlie sewing patterns. Have you ever tried this trick?

Geranium XP Fall Tour Round, part 2

We’re wrapping up the GXP Fall Tour today! Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been totally blown away by the amazing dresses that these talented sewists have made using my Geranium Expansion Pack sewing pattern. Take a look at last week’s roundup, or read on for a gathering of this week’s photos and links!

Made By Sara‘s version has an extended bodice, gathered long sleeves, and the collar. Isn’t this rayon print pretty? I love how classic this dress is!

GXP Fall Tour 2017

GXP Fall Tour 2017

Laurence posted her little Liberty twill GXP on her blog, Blanche. She doubled the width of the skirt, which makes for some delightful twirling!

GXP Fall Tour 2017

GXP Fall Tour 2017

Sylvia of Lily & Woody made hers out of a French Terry. Because of the stretchiness of the knit, she could skip the back closure — no buttons or zipper necessary!

GXP Fall Tour 2017

GXP Fall Tour 2017

Delia Creates made hers out of this large-scale green gingham with a contrasting white collar. I love the collar peeking out of the sweatshirt here. And that socks/boots combo!!

GXP Fall Tour 2017

GXP Fall Tour 2017

Meg at Sew Liberated used some leftovers from her stash to put together this gorgeous raw silk and wool flannel Geranium with a neck bow, long sleeves, and hem band. Rustic and fancy! Meg shared some earlier Geraniums on her blog too; check it out!

GXP Fall Tour

GXP Fall Tour

Summer of SevenPretty made such a sweet GXP with long gathered sleeves, a collar, and an invisible zipper. She has a bunch more photos on her Instagram feed.

GXP Fall Tour

Again with the socks!!

GXP Fall Tour

Ready to get sewing? Buy the pattern: Geranium Expansion Pack (if you don’t have the original Geranium dress pattern, use the drop down menu to pick that up too!).

For more great photos, peruse these tags on Instagram: #geraniumxp#gxpfalltour#geraniumdress

Hope you have a great weekend!

Geranium XP Fall Tour Roundup, part 1

Happy Friday! I’m running a Fall tour for my Geranium Expansion Pack sewing pattern, and we’ve seen some stunning dresses so far. Here’s a quick roundup to inspire your weekend sewing!

Jane at Buzzmills made her daughter Violet this “denim” chambray dress:

jane gxp tour

Find Jane’s Instagram feed here.

jane gxp 2

Brienne’s GXP features the ruffle sleeves from the original Geranium, and the extended bodice and sash from the expansion pack. Brienne’s Instagram feed is so beautiful.

Geranium in Motion


Whitney Deal made matching Gingham dresses for her daughters. I love the pop of color she used for the contrasting collars! Find her on Instagram here.

Whitney Deal - XP

Geranium XP - Whitney Deal

Jill of @kneesocksandgoldilocks made her daughter such a sweet Geranium with long sleeves. I love that Jill and Brienne both paired their GXPs with accessory collars!

jill 2

jill gxp tour

Ready to get sewing? Buy the pattern: Geranium Expansion Pack (if you don’t have the original Geranium dress pattern, use the drop down menu to pick that up too!).

For more great photos, peruse these tags on Instagram: #geraniumxp#gxpfalltour, #geraniumdress

Hope you have a great weekend!