Seaside Sundress for Baby Evy

It’s a little crazy how many friends I know with babies who have just arrived or are arriving soon. I’ve had baby sewing on the brain.  I know the shift from boy-sewing to selfish-sewing to baby-sewing can be a bit abrupt around here (I haven’t forgotten the plea of one reader who wrote something like “don’t forget the boys!”) and I have a few baby-related posts coming up here before I switch back to the men.  Just a warning.

Here’s a little sundress that I made for a dear friend’s baby, Evy, who just arrived a few weeks ago:

It shouldn’t shock anyone that these prints are from Mendocino by Heather Ross.  I say that so often around here I feel like a broken record. What can I say? I’m a sucker for sea creatures. The fish fabric is actually a very very pale pink but I don’t think you can see that in the picture. The pattern for the top is something I sketched out on a piece of paper, measured across to make sure it would fit a 3-6 month old, and then just went for it.  The nice thing around ties on the shoulders is that then the only part of the dress that really needs to fit is the underarm circumference.  So the hope here is that it will fit Baby Evy sometime around mid-summer. 

And I’d just like to repeat since I got comments saying “congratulations” the last time I posted new baby stuff: Baby Evy is NOT my baby.  *shudders at hypothetical thought of getting preggers again only a month after having C last summer…shudders again at hypothetical thought of being preggers again EVER*

The bloomers are the same pair from Little Stitches by Amy Butler that I made last summer, only reworked (this time I read the directions….sometimes you just have to do it) so they should actually fit a real baby.  C never actually wore them because they didn’t clear the cloth diaper enough to be practical.  As Evy is also a cloth diaper babe, I’m hoping these will finally get some wear.  This outfit was so fun and easy, will definitely have to make another one soon.  If you want to make something similar, you could try the Popover Sundress pattern by Liesl of Oliver+S. 

Congrats to Josh and Michelle and big brother Sam!!!

Ric Rac Baby Dress

I was too worn out from Top Week to participate in Meg’s Kid’s Clothes Week Challenge a couple weeks ago, although I had the best of intentions (and check out the fun stuff everyone made, by the way).  But I did succeed in making a couple of things for the baby.  The pattern was the result of messing around with the Itty Bitty Baby Dress Pattern, sizing it up to a 9-month size, adding a back closure, raising the waist.  I can’t say it’s all that interesting, just a basic shape, but I do always appreciate a good back closure when dressing my squirmy child.

UPDATED (2/13): This pattern is now available as the Geranium Dress Sewing pattern in sizes 0-5T; if you’d just like a newborn size you can check out my free Little Geranium pattern, and do check out the tutorial on adding trim if you like the ric rac on the bodice!

um should maybe fix that wonky ric-rac?

Some of you who have been around here awhile might recognize that floral fabric from the Itty Bitty Dress Pattern sample.  You’d think I could cut into some of the NEW designer fabric I have yards and yards of just sitting on the shelf.  But no, for new things I am such a wimp.  I don’t want to risk biffing and wasting the fabric.  You know, all half a yard of it (rolls eyes at self).  Anyway, I gotta use up my little scraps for tiny dresses before my baby girl gets too big.  Or something like that.

Since C is crawling now (at almost 10 months old) her dresses have to be short enough not to get caught under her knees.  Not something you think about much, but 6-12 month size clothes for babies should always take crawling into consideration.  She therefore needed something to go underneath, so I took an old pink knit pajama shirt and turned it into capri leggings.

I used my Baby Tights Tutorial to do this, just chopped off the bottom 2 inches of the pattern (I think? You’d think it’d kill me to write this stuff down occasionally).

I *heart* anything with ric-rac on babies and the pattern’s great.  I’ll certainly use it again, enlarging it as the baby grows.  Though this dress seems a little too boring for me to exert much energy producing it for public consumption, it seems like the sort of thing you could find somewhere else.  But overall: Success!

Ack is it THURSDAY already!?!

I guess I ended up being gone from here a little longer than planned, oops!!  E has been sick with a fever for the last couple of days so there’s been lots of cuddling and less sewing than usual.  I’ve been catching up on laundry.  Cleaning the garage.  Doesn’t make for very interesting blogging though.  Rae’s Garage: Before and After?  I doubt anyone wants to see the pile of debris that I swept outta there. 

On the other hand, maybe you don’t mind seeing what normal life is like around here… 

Breakfast at our house.  Yes, that clock says 10 AM.  Shutup. 

Raise your hand if your kid asks to sit and watch the laundry go round and round too.

Someone started crawling last week.

He’s already such a little nerd.  I love it.  

E likes to sing and dance. ALL. The. Time. 

This is like a Where’s Waldo except with E.  Can you see him?  What do you think he’s doing?

Why, bowling with his miniature Japanese eraser bowling set.  Of course. 

Did you see that two of my patterns will be featured at Quilt Market this year?  I’m so glad Andrea was able to sew up those fantastic samples. Yaaaaaay!  As I have always wanted to go to Quilt Market, I am proud that at least a little part of me is being represented there.  Robert Kaufman will soon be featuring my patterns in their online gallery of free quilts and patterns

I’ll be back soon with….SEWING. 

Posted in at home

Spring Top Week Champions!

I’m so happy to be able to finally announce our two winners for Spring Top Week!  Just to recap, a panel of 10 judges scored each one of the 358 tops submitted to our official entry pool and I posted the Top 60 here on the blog for a daily poll last week.  Of the five winners of those daily polls, we had another vote over the weekend to determine the winner.  Our judges also nominated their favorites and then scored those to determine the other winner.  Here they are:

Congratulations to Adrianna, whose ruched cross-over top was a favorite from the beginning both with our judges and our readers:

One of the things I really like about this top is that she made it by draping the fabric on her dressform.  Who actually DOES that (besides Rami on Project Runway)?  I’ve had a dressform for more than a year and still have never figured out how to do this:

The other thing I like is that the shirring effect was almost accidental. Adrianna wrote that she just “broke all the shirring rules and went crazy.”  Wow.  Remind me sometime to post some of the stuff that happens when I just wing it.  I promise it never looks this good.  You can read more about her process: Adrianna blogged about it here on crafterhours.

Nicely done Adrianna!

Congratulations to Lindsay, whose doilied top was our judges’ favorite and came rather close on the reader vote as well!

Lindsay designed this top after another one that was “just a little to flimsy for motherhood.”  I love the simple shape and subtle color. The brilliant thing about it though is the doily — I’ve all been seeing the crochet/lace embellishments all over the place, but what a genius touch:

It really makes the top and the whole thing costed her less than $5 to make…wow!

You can read more: Lindsay blogged about it here on liliash.  Congratulations Lindsay!

Now I know that the cheezy crown graphic I’ve made is more than enough of a prize for these two (and you’re welcome ladies), but I’m happy to say that they’ll also get some nice things from the Spring Top Week Sponsors (also there on the right sidebar).  Here’s a brief description of the prize packages if you’d like to see what these ladies have won (you can also click on this post to see a more detailed list of the prizes and the sponsors).  You’ll both be hearing from me shortly so we can get all your stuff sent your way.  Congratulations again ladies!

I’d like to thank our judges and everyone else behind the scenes for all the hard work they’ve put in over the last month.  Thanks to our sponsors for providing the excellent prizes so that I wouldn’t have to make all the winners prizes myself.  And thank you you to EVERYONE who entered tops and participated by commenting and voting.  You’ve helped make this year a success and inspired many others to switch on their sewing machines!

Well this is odd…

I have to admit I’m in a bit of a tough spot with the Reader’s Vote, which I had set to close at 8 PM tonight, but due to a glitch in my poll widget, kept running unbeknownst to me even after I checked it at 8 and started writing my post (announcing the winner, I thought…).  Just now I glanced at the blog again, realized the poll was still open, and then to my surprise discovered another person had galloped clear past the winner and won by 15 votes.  Well, that seemed like some shenanigans to me since there’d been a pretty clear lead when I checked it to write the post, so I closed the poll and went to investigate what was going on.  As best I can tell there’d been a bit of a twitter frenzy to rally the vote in the 11th hour.  Sooooo…I guess I’m just going to have to call this.  Since I want to go to bed and don’t want to rewrite my post, my apologies to those twitter pals who joined us late in the game, but I’m going with the person who got the most votes when I wrote my winner post.  I suppose that may seem unfair.  But I’ve got a busy day tomorrow and I want to go to bed.

* * * * *

UPDATE: Thank you for your comments.  I really appreciate that while it’s likely some of you may be seething in anger you are saving your hatred towards me for another day.  I did email Jenny (whose lovely gray ruffle top was the top that surged ahead in votes after I checked it last night, to apologize and while she was sad she was very, very gracious.  However, after reading some of the comments left here her patience is most likely wearing thin. So I want to be crystal clear here about a couple of things:

There were absolutely no “shenanigans.” It is perfectly fair for participants to rally votes through avenues such as twitter, facebook, desperate emails, etc.  Anyone who heard about this contest had a right to come and place their vote, for whichever top they liked the best. That’s part of the deal with internet polls, that participants can ask others to vote for their tops. This means that the only misstep here was my inability to close the poll properly.  I take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for this blunder.  I should have checked to make sure the poll was closed when I thought it was.  It also would have helped if I had found a better poll widget than Blogger’s (which not only has an incorrect time-stamp but leaves one unable to hide poll results as they come in, something some of you have suggested and I would have personally preferred.  Incidentally, there’s also no easy way to save poll data besides leaving the dead polls up, so you all had to take my word for the winners, something that left me a little uncomfortable as well).

The biggest apology here is owed to Jenny, who has been a complete trooper through all of this.  I’m just hoping someday she’ll forgive me for the grief I’ve caused her.  Can we all try to be nice about this, maybe say: “Rae you dork, next time get your act together, ya idiot!” and move on?  Thanks, friends.


The votes are all in from this weeks reader votes, and now we have just one more vote to determine the 2010 Spring Top Week Champion.  It’s been so fun to see the ones that have been chosen, they’re really great!  Here are your five favorites from this week:

Congratulations ladies!

Send in the clowns aka Ruffles ‘R Us

I’m not sure anyone noticed with all the voting hubbub around here lately but I didn’t post a top yesterday.  Here’s what was holding me up:

Oh woe is me.  When I decided to try to do a top in a different fabric every day, I should have thought twice about what I actually had in the closet to work with.  This stuff is downright nightmarish, puckery, wrinkly, fraysalot.  And I don’t even know what to call it, but I’m certain it’s some kind of polyester. The words of Heidi Klum on Project Runway keep running through my head: “That’s $300 of POLYESTER!?!” (But didn’t you feel SO bad for Anthony? He was the best.) At least I didn’t commit that faux pas of paying much for it, as I believe this silky solid stuff came from my local craft superstore.  So at least I can call this one a muslin. Phew. 

 it actually looks OK when I edit a little…is there a way to do that in real life?

It’s been so fun to see the trends in clothing show up in this year’s Spring Top Week pool; did you notice how many of the tops in had ruffles?  And yes, I like many others have succumbed to the trend.  I *heart* ruffles.  Lots and lots.  There are so many great ruffled tops in the pool that I would love to own.  But I think this one really goes too far.  It’s too much. It’s almost circus-like. Last night when I walked past my sewing room and caught a glimpse of it on my dress-form, it actually made me laugh. Mr Rae’s comment: “Nice collar.” *grinning*  I bet he can’t wait to take me out on Date Night tonight in this getup, walking a safe eight or nine feet behind me. 

My camera must have felt the same way I do because it seems to be refusing to look directly at it, choosing instead to focus on the shrubs behind.  

So something must go.  Is it the collar? The sleeve ruffles? Or am I wrong about this, is it a win (shakes head no)?  I think the answer to the puckering along the neck and sleeves is probably some kind of elaborate facing. I LOVE the color, and LOVE the neckline (which came, by the way, from my pattern for this top and this top).  The question is if it’s worth all the trouble to make it work?

Today is the last day to vote before the final round.  Scroll down to the next post for today’s tops and weigh in!


Congratulations to Meg!  Her green ruffle top won the most votes yesterday and will go on to the final round vote this weekend.  The final vote will go up on Saturday and be up until Monday night.  We will announce the final two (Reader’s Choice and Judges Choice…judges are currently scoring their final round) winners next Tuesday.   

We have arrived at our last batch of tops from the Top 60 chosen by the judges.  It’s been a great week and I hope you’ve been inspired!  I for one have more than one new pattern written down on the must-sew list and a bunch of new ideas floating around in my head.  THANK YOU to everyone who submitted tops for Spring Top Week. It was a huge success and I can’t believe how many tops we had this year!  I hope that everyone had fun even if your top didn’t make it to the Top 60.  I thoroughly enjoyed looking through the top pool and seeing what everyone came up with; feel free to keep adding them as you make them this spring. And keep up that selfish sewing.

Let’s welcome the last set of tops from our Top 60 chosen by the judges’ scores:

Row 1: left 1. Florence (Flossie Teacakes) – Ruffle Top, center Eyelet detail blouse by Kiss me Kate, right springy yellow ruffle top – by michaelannn,  
Row 2: left Liverpool Tunic  for Julia, center Green Flower Cotton Top by Sindy, right Hokidoki’s JJ Blouse
Row 3: left Ruffled circle tie-neck top by Sandra, center White spring top by lulu, right Spring Ruffle Top by Pilliebee,  
Row 4: left Daisy Top by BumblebeeGrace,  center “Boutique Style” Tiered Tank by Penny Sews, right Vintage Mod Swing Top

Here’s a closer look at this fantastic batch.


Now VOTE for your favorite!  One vote per person only, thanks!  Voting is over on the right sidebar.

Special thanks to Katie for putting together today’s mosaic!


Congratulations Wan!  Her ruffle tee won yesterday’s vote and is going on to the next round (the final round of voting will begin Saturday and go through Monday night).

I’m sure you are all very excited to see the fourth group of tops from the Top 60.  Isn’t this so much fun?  I just love seeing all of these every day.  So without further ado, I present Group 4 for you to peruse and vote!

Row 1: left “Day to Date Night” by Sarah @ 2 Giggle, center Ruffle me up! by Meg/BrassyApple, right Yellow floral by QuiltyGirl
Row 2: left Peter Pan & Polka Dots by Caitlin, center Seersucker Smock by Caitlin, right Spring Top #4 by Molly,
Row 3: left Tunic by Hanni, center Melanie’s ruffle shirt, right Wedding Cake Tank by Kate,
Row 4: left  Forget Me Knot by Jessica, center Blooming Peasant Top by Su, right Bird Watcher by Sascha

Here’s a closer look at each of the tops:

Seersucker Smock by Caitlin
Spring Top #4 by Molly
Tunic by Hanni

Now VOTE for your favorite!  One vote per person only, thanks!  Vote over on the right sidebar.

The final vote will go up on Saturday and leave it up over the weekend until Monday night.  The final two (Reader’s Choice and Judges Choice) winners will be announced next Tuesday, a week from today.

Special thanks to Amanda for putting together today’s mosaic!