Roscoe Blouse

Yet another item from the “things I made this summer and am just now putting on the blog” list, this Roscoe blouse is definitely a favorite new top for me. I frequently wear it with jeans now that the weather is cooler, but I also wore it quite a bit this summer with the off-white silk noil Cleo skirt shown in this post.


The pattern is the Roscoe Blouse by True Bias, and I used a semi-sheer rayon that I purchased from IndieSew. I often nail-bite about buying rayon fabric because of the questionable environmental impact of rayon production, but I never hesitate to buy it from IndieSew because the fabrics are overstock (learn more about the sustainability of overstocks in this super informative post by IndieSew). And also, can we get a “hell YEAH!” for Cloud9 who is now producing environmentally-friendly rayons? The new Business Class line from Jessica Jones is great — it has “Boden Work-wear” written all over it.

Roscoe blouse / made by rae

I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion online about sizing for this pattern. Kelli designed this blouse to be super roomy, and recommends you select super flowy fabrics to make it. I think whether you decide to size down to something a bit less roomy is up to you, but I really like it like this and if I could do it again, I’d choose the same size (which, by the way, I chose based on measurements as instructed). I can’t remember now off the top of my head which size this was but I think it was either the 10 or 12, but as you can see from these photos, it’s very roomy (and I like it that way!).

Roscoe Blouse / made by Rae

I really love this boho style — it reminds me of a more-flowy, less-fitted version of my gathered Josephine with tassel ties. Unlike that top, this pattern has a raglan style sleeve and no center front seam, but I can see making many more of this style. I really love the solid copper version Meg just made and posted on her Instagram last week, so maybe I’ll try something solid next time!

You can purchase the Roscoe blouse in print or PDF version from the True Bias shop. 

Double Gauze Shirts for Hugo that he won’t wear

I recently made Hugo two double gauze shirts. He looks adorable in them, but refuses to wear them. He only agreed to be photographed for this post (in two separate locations) because marshmallows were made available (in both locations). 

Double Gauze shirt for Hugo

The blue and green shirt is a double gauze from Cotton and Steel that he picked out himself (I’d just like to point out that in both cases he pre-approved both the fabric AND the design). It’s from the line of C+S double gauzes called Bespoke and I’ve made a bunch of things from the other prints in the collection (this Charlie, these Luna pants, these moon pants) as well as two other colorways of this painted stripe (this dress, this top). 

Double gauze is the most comfortable of all woven fabrics to wear, which in my opinion makes it perfectly suited to children’s shirts or pajamas, behind knit fabrics. I also went to the trouble of sewing all french seams; he had expressed so much initial excitement over the style (it has BUTTONS!) and print (“it has NINJA STARS on the SLEEVE!”) that I wanted to make sure it was as comfortable as possible. 

Once it was finished and he tried it on, he declared it “too big” at the bottom of the sleeves and waist, and it was set aside.


I made this short-sleeved white one back in August for him to wear because we were having family photos taken. I made a couple of shirts for the boys at that time (including the peach one for Elliot), and this one was the one I made for Hugo.

The fun part is that it’s made from pieces of an old shirt of Mr Rae’s that he used to wear years ago before we were married. The original shirt had yellowed quite a bit around the collar, and was so worn it was getting a bit threadbare in spots, so I cut it apart and used just the beautiful embroidered sections on the new shirt.

After folding under the edges of the panels, I sewed them directly to the front pieces of the shirt, which are a plain white double gauze. For both shirts, I used my Charlie tunic pattern as a starting point, but there’s too many modifications to name here. Eventually I hope to do another boys’ shirt pattern, and perhaps this will be one of the views. As I mentioned with Elliot’s shirt, I really love the bias bound neckline rather than a collar — it makes the sewing ridiculously quick.

Again, rejected. He agreed to wear the shirt for the photos but took it off immediately afterward and hasn’t touched it since. I suppose I could be disappointed that neither of these shirts have been worn, or feel that it was all a waste of time, but I don’t. I actually find it amusing that he won’t wear them (hence the title of this post, which cracks me up), so this is not meant to be a “poor me” post. Guys, I’m three kids into this sewing-for-kids game and I have been here before and will definitely be here again. It happens, and it’s OK! Shrug it off, move on, I say!!

Admittedly this would be more difficult to do if I had put a great deal of  investment or time into these projects, but as far as time, both shirts are made of just five pieces (two sleeves, two fronts, one back — and some bias tape for the neckline), so they were quick to sew. And they took a relatively small amount of fabric, especially when compared to adult clothing, so they don’t represent a large investment in that regard.

Lest someone think “well, why even bother sewing for kids!?!” let me say one more thing, the important thing: I try to keep my expectation of what my kids will do with a handmade thing as low as possible, and put my enjoyment of the thing into the process of making it, not how it’s received. My satisfaction is more about the fun I had making it (something I have control over) than how they feel about it (something I have very little control over). If my kids WILL wear something I make, even better! At the very least, they have to try it on (kind of like trying a taste of something new at dinnertime). 

Which doesn’t mean I won’t hold out hope. I’m not going to give these away, yet. He might wear them next year. See? I’m still an optimist. I know many of you have had similar experiences with kiddos and the things you’ve made them. I love to hear your stories, too, so feel free to leave them in comments if you have a minute to spare!! 

Rae’s Quick Guide to Knit Fabric

One question I get quite frequently is where to buy knit fabrics (actually: any apparel fabric — but let’s stick to knits for now). Lacking a local fabric shop that carries apparel fabrics is a common issue for many of you, but I think another issue is figuring out what the difference is between all of the types of knit fabrics.

In this post I want to go over some of the knit fabrics that I recommend (ones I have tried and liked) for Flashback, Isla, or Jade, my knit sewing patterns.

I’ve tried to include as many types of commonly-found knits as possible, to help you to become more familiar with the verbiage of knit fabric. Most of the time, the name includes information about the weave (jersey, interlock, rib knit – this describes how it’s woven) and/or the content (cotton, modal, rayon, bamboo, lycra — this describes what it’s made of) of the knit fabric.

I’ve also included some links to where to buy them online and locally.  Here are the swatches, so you can have a visual. Some additional closeups are shown below the descriptions.

how to find knit fabric

TOP LEFT: Dana cotton modal jersey (“Dana” by Robert Kaufman)
description: light weight jersey, 55% cotton, 45% modal rayon, a bit of stretch (not super stretchy), soft and light. Modal is a semi-synthetic cellulose fiber made from cellulose that is often derived from beech trees.
notes: this one doesn’t have lycra so it doesn’t have much stretch,, but it’s nice and soft and light and has a nice drape. I’d recommend for Jade but probably not for Isla (due to stretch)
see it in action: the main shop image for Jade (the green tee)
source: Imagine Gnats

TOP CENTER: Striped tencel jersey
description: silky, light weight, super stretchy (4-way stretch), tons of drape
notes: Tencel is an eco-friendly form of rayon, so it has the silky and super-stretchy properties that bamboo rayon and other rayon jersey would have, without the possible horrific processing chemical by-products
source: La Mercerie

TOP RIGHT: Cotton-lycra jersey (“Laguna” by Robert Kaufman)
description: light weight, usually has a 95/5 cotton to lycra ratio (also called cotton-spandex, same thing), good stretch and strong recovery, curls at edges
notes: Allie of Indie-Sew once described C/L as the quilting cotton of knits; it’s easy to work with and easy to find because manufacturers like Robert Kaufman (“Laguna knit“), Art Gallery, and Cotton and Steel all print their knits on C/L blends.
see it in action: the top half of this Isla dress is Laguna
source: Pink Castle Fabrics

MIDDLE LEFT & RIGHT: Double brushed poly spandex Jersey
description: suuuuper stretchy (4-way stretch), medium weight, thicker than tencel jersey but with similar drape and stretch, very soft (“brushed”)
notes: this stuff really feels like secret pajamas, and it’s very forgiving to work with; I will add the caveat that it’s unlikely to be the most eco-friendly material out there.
see it in action: my Grid Jade+Isla dress
source: Raspberry Creek &  Imagine Gnats

MIDDLE CENTER: Indigo cotton-lycra jersey
description: medium weight, lycra gives it nice stretch  curl at edges
notes: when I found this indigo slub knit at Fancy Tiger (see below) it was like spotting a unicorn in the wild; I am always on the look out for slub knits but haven’t been able to find very many out there despite slub being pretty popular in ready-to-wear garments (my favorite JCrew tees are slub knit). Let me know in comments if you have a favorite slub source!!!
sourceFancy Tiger Crafts

BOTTOM LEFT: Stretch bamboo rayon jersey (Telio)
description: light weight but somewhat heavy (I know that sounds like a weird combo but it’s true), super stretchy (4-way stretch), somewhat shiny, silky
notes: While I did not love the solid Telio bamboo jerseys (I made a ton of Jade samples out of various solid colors) because they showed every wrinkle and line from my body and undergarments and were impossible to photograph, I did like the heather gray one shown above (I’m wearing it here). I really love the softness and stretchiness of bamboo knits, but I try to source them from places that sell overstock or deadstock, due to the horrific environmental impacts of the manufacturing process for bamboo rayons.
see it in action: Heather Grey Jade tee

BOTTOM CENTER: Striped organic interlock (by Cloud9)
description: 100% organic cotton, medium weight, stretchy, soft
notes: so lovely and soft, due to the lack of lycra, this knit has less recovery and is less suited for leggings, for example, as it tends to grow a bit as you wear it until you throw it back in the wash, however, I couldn’t miss a chance to toot the Cloud9 horn a bit as I LOVE this new striped knit they have out, and it’s the same interlock that my Sidewalk knits are printed on (note: NO ATTEMPT TO BE UNBIASED HERE!). See yesterday’s Flamingo tee post as well.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Organic striped baby rib knit
description: 100% organic cotton rib knit, medium weight, stretchy, soft
notes: similar to organic interlock, above, but even more stretchy due to the 1×1 rib weave (2×2 ribs are also nice!). Again, not suited for leggings, but have a nice comfortable ease
see it in action: the navy striped Jade in this postsource: Organic Cotton Plus

Ready for a closeup?

Double brushed poly jersey:

double brushed poly jersey

These Art Gallery jerseys weren’t shown in the swatch section, but this Isla Dress was made with the bottom one, and the photo gives you a good idea of the curl you get with Cotton/lycra jersey:

Art Gallery cotton-lycra jersey

Organic baby rib knit:

organic cotton baby rib knit

Indigo Cotton/lycra jersey:

Striped Tencel Jersey:

More knit sources
In addition to the sources listed above, a few more places I like to hunt for knits:*
Hawthorne Threads (big selection, cotton lycra and cotton modal jersey, interlock)
Indie Sew (great curated source for overstocks! rayon spandex jerseys, rib knits)
Simplifi (all organic!! interlock, cotton lycra jersey, hemp lycra jerseys)
Stone Mountain and Daughter (huge selection of every kind of knit you could imagine)

*Please note that this list is nowhere near comprehensive NOR is it unbiased as some of these shops were previous sponsors of this blog and/or carry my patterns and/or Cloud9 knits which is the company that licenses my designs. However, I think the best way to do posts like this is probably to keep them simple and do them frequently, rather than try to maintain a current comprehensive resource list.

Learn more
If you’re not that familiar with knit fabric or shopping online, consider taking my Creativebug Trace and Make Tee and Leggings class where I dive into knit fabrics, stretch, and how to sew knits, or check out this “Rae talks about shopping for knits online” post, which covers some basic online shopping tips and information about types, weights, and swatches you might find helpful.

I also like these two posts from Oliver+S: types of knits and where to find knits, and this article all about jersey from IndieSew.

Posted in knits

Esme Kaftan

Esme kaftan / made by rae

Today’s post is dedicated to those of you who, like me, still wish it were summer. I can’t be the only person who saw the amazing Nani Iro kaftan on the front of Lotta Jansdotter’s book, Everyday Style, and immediately hit the “BUY NOW” button a few years ago when it was published. This cotton lawn version of the kaftan pattern was meant to be my muslin. I started it shortly after I bought the book, but somehow the project got hung up in the hemming phase (as many of my projects sadly do) and got tossed in the “to hem” pile for over a year at least.

Esme kaftan / made by rae

This summer, in anticipation of our yearly cottage trip, I pulled it out of the pile again, hoping to hem it before we left. I ended up hand-hemming and tacking down the facings last week while were at the cottage, which made for a great project to relax with on the mornings where the kids were getting in a little screen time so we could have a bit of quiet first thing in the morning. Hand-hemming is an underrated activity, amiright?

Esme kaftan / made by rae

On our last full day at the cottage, we headed to Good Harbor Bay on Lake Michigan and I had Elliot and Mr Rae snap some pics of it on the beach. It was cloudy but the air was warm and the water was cool but calm. It’s decided: cloudy days are the best beach days.

Esme kaftan / made by rae

The fabric is a lightweight woven I picked up at IndieSew a couple years ago, and it really is the perfect fabric for a coverup if you can accept some wrinkles (and I can) as part of the happy evidence of a well-loved and worn garment. While it certainly doesn’t have the visual WHAM of the Nani Iro kaftan on the front cover of the book, I don’t happen to have four yards of Nani Iro just sitting around, so I think I’ll just use this one for a summer at least.

Esme kaftan / made by rae

One thing to note is that the front slit did go down to the bust dart for my size, meaning that if you planned on wearing this to sashay your way through the grocery store or farmer’s market, you might wear something underneath or want to add a button to the middle of the slit (or not? You be you). I contemplated this for a time, but ended up leaving it; I rather like the low slit over a bathing suit, and if I decide to wear this around town, I’ll put a tank top underneath.

This book has other great patterns besides the kaftan. I haven’t made any others, but the pants and the coat, among others, are still on my to -sew list. As they were drafted by Alexia Abegg, they are sure to be quality sewing patterns and not the (?) that you sometimes get with book sewing patterns. Lotta’s laid the book out in the most ingenious way — the way she adds swatches and sketches, styles the patterns in multiple fabrics, and adds her lovely narrative writing on top makes for a book worth having in your sewing library. 

Esme kaftan / made by rae

PS. If you want you can check out the #everydaystylebook tag on Instagram for more great things other people have made from this book.

Fanciful dress for Clementine

made by rae fanciful dress for clementine
made by rae fanciful dress for clementine

When my Fanciful yardage arrived I asked Clementine if there were any prints that she wanted to wear, and this pale pink print was her favorite. I designed this overlapping back bodice using Geranium as a base pattern, thinking it would be cute to have a black bow in the back. I originally thought this might work as a tutorial or new pattern, but while I was sewing it, it I discovered that the overlap presents an issue with the lining at the spot where the two layers overlap, so if this design is to become anything I’ll have to try it without the lining instead. All that to say: this isn’t a pattern or tutorial; more experimentation is needed.

I still think it’s a fun piece to show off this understated print, which might go unnoticed amongst the more exciting prints in this collection. You can see the entire collection here, and Fanciful is in shops now!

PS. Read my thoughts about sewing garments with quilting cotton.

made by rae fanciful dress for clementine