Unexpectedly awesome fabric combination


I just finished the painstaking task of taking all of my fabric and moving it off of the guest bed that shares my sewing room, refolding it and shelving it. I like having it all out where I can see it though because I notice combinations of fabric that I would never have thought to put together before, like these two lovelies (Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner on the bottom there, and Plum/Berry Moons from Far Far Away II by Heather Ross, the latter available still at Charmstitch and Whipstitch by the way). I think they would make an awesome Charlie Dress.

Posted in charlie

Happy Monday! Oh wait it’s Tuesday already…?


We had a lovely camping trip with my extended family this past weekend in the Michigan jungle. Humid, hot, steamy. I was really stressed on Friday as we were packing up because The Weather predicted a high heat index and thunderstorms all weekend long. And do you think we got so much as a sprinkle? Well we did get a teeny tiny sprinkle, but I can totally handle that. Thank you, Weather, for being at the very least tolerable. I would have preferred it a little cooler, but you can’t get everything you ask for I guess.

The weekend would have been even more lovely if Mr Rae hadn’t been crazy sick. He slept in the tent the entire time we were camping, so I finally extracted him from the tent and deposited him (and Clementine) at his parents’ house so he could receive medical treatment, antibiotics, and air conditioning (he’s doing much better now by the way). Elliot and I finished up the weekend of camping together without guilt or worry, and Clementine had the grandparents to herself which was a very special treat.

Other random things…

…I will be at Blue House for the “Thursday Finish Ups” with Karen this Thursday night in Ann Arbor if you want to come hang out and finish up a project. Join us!

MakerFaire Detroit is this weekend — Mr Rae is busy busy working on a booth. Planning to take the kids to go see the festivities sometime this weekend too!

…It’s the girl‘s birthday this weekend too! TWO YEARS can you believe it? And you know she’s my second child because I completely forgot what her birthday was when I called the Dr’s office to schedule her two year checkup. The receptionist was like, “I’m sorry but we can’t find a Clementine with that birthdate…?” I felt like such a dum-dum, and then realized I’ve been telling EVERYONE the wrong date for the last few months. In my defense, the date I was giving was her DUE DATE. Don’t they have that on file???

…Speaking of local meetups, I’ve been scouting out a new location for the Southeast Michigan Crafter’s Meetups now that I’m back in SE Michigan and will be announcing our next get-together very soon!

I feel really really busy, but it’s a happy summer-bustle-busy. What do you have going on?

Posted in at home

A peek at our new house

Would you like to have a tour of our new house??? Well, maybe not a full tour just yet; there’s still alot of boxes everywhere. How about just one room? I finally got the bedroom free of boxes and cleaned for the first time since we moved in so I took a few pictures (although the hall outside the bedroom is a little insane…ahem).


It’s amazing how just having one clean room in the house makes me feel so much more sane. I’m hoping that if I say that this a “Home Tour” that I’ll be motivated to get the rest of the house photo-worthy. Although I’ve found that truly the BEST way to get your whole house clean in a short period of time is to throw a party. Which is exactly what I am doing next weekend for Clementine’s birthday, haha. I’m not stressed at ALL about this, no I am not, la la la la la…ACK!!! Anyway.



At first I wasn’t sure about this pale minty green wall color, normally I’m more of a warm bright hues kinda girl. Then last weekend I found that amazing patchwork quilt at Nate’s grandma’s house and took it home with me (no worries, they’ve moved to assisted care and I found it in the stuff they didn’t want. Didn’t want you to think I just randomly steal stuff from people’s houses!!). It’s not hand-sewn or anything so I doubt it has any family significance, but I love the greens and the little bit of pink thrown in there. Now that it’s on the bed, the wall color is growing on me and I think it gives the room a cool calm feel.


Love this quilt!


Extra bonus: My jewelry is matching the room too! Wowzas, couldn’t have planned that better if I tried.

Posted in at home

I have been sewing Charlie Dresses for the girl

I have a leetle problem. Ever since Karen sent us this adorable dress and included a pre-cut size 2 pattern for the dress in the package, the only thing I want to sew is Charlie Dresses for Clementine. Every time I see two matching fabrics I think “that would be so cute as a Charlie Dress”!! Which begs the question, how many size 2 Charlie Dresses is too many for one child? Will people start to wonder if she only ever wears Charlie Dresses? Maybe I will just keep making them and sell the ones she never wears? I don’t know. Eventually I will want to sew something else…right?







Pattern: This dress is based on the Charlie Tunic Pattern and no, the dress pattern is not available yet, but I think that would be a good addition to my pattern line-up for fall, don’t you think? So you can either adapt your own Charlie or wait for a dress version come fall.

Fabric: Heather Ross’ Far Far Away III which I procured at Charmstitch (who is as of today a new sponsor on this blog, yay!!). Pink Castle is also carrying the line as well as a whole bunch of other shops online, Nido, Alewives, Fabricworm, etc.

Let me just say that I think this is my favorite substrate of the Far Far Away lines so far. This is the perfect weight for summer, a soft lightweight linen/cotton blend. Not all of the fabrics in this line are lightweight, but you can read more about the different weights here, here, or here.

I really want to make something for me out of this so I can wear it (which begs the next question: is it OK for a grown woman to wear Snow White? You may want to bear in mind that I wear the unicorns when answering that question). And let’s just say what many of you are thinking, which is that it is pretty expensive (the most expensive FFA line so far, I think?). This is why the Charlie pattern is perfect, actually, and I will shamelessly toot it’s horn for this reason: because you only need about a 1/2 of a yard for the neck plackets and a strip across the bottom, you can “show off” a little bit of something more pricey. But you don’t have to take it from me.

Oh I mentioned more than one Charlie Dress? Here’s the other one:




Upcycled Pink Knit Thingy: An Update

A while ago I posted about an upcycle project of questionable outcome, a t-shirt of mine that I had hacked the arms off of and turned into a dress for Clementine. Here’s an update so you can see how it looks on her. It’s definitely been demoted to the “nighty” category of her clothing, but on her it’s not bad. Neckline a little wonky, but it is what it is.

Cute actually, but I have to be honest here, it’s hard to find something she isn’t cute in, you know?

Worth a revisit with better elastic thread and another t-shirt perhaps. You can see the basic method I used on the original post. And from the Let’s-Defeat-Shirring-Problems-Once-And-For-All Department: commenter Ramona recently left a link to her blog where she ran a little experiment on elastic thread and hypothesizes that the elastic thread they’ve been selling at Joann recently is to blame for problems with shirring, so I ordered some of this stuff that comes on the giant cone. Will report back once I’ve tried it. Has anyone else noticed that their elastic thread isn’t working as well as it used to?

Posted in knits

New WEBSITE, y’all!

There is a reason that we bloggers tend to blather on about new websites. They either took a great deal of time or a great deal of money to put together, so we want to make sure that EVERYONE. KNOWS. ABOUT. IT. There is a desperate hope that at the very least, loyal readers will leave the safety and comfort of their Blog Readers just once to come over and take a look and give us a big chubby pat on the back for all that effort.

I’ve seen people who hit the ground running with zero readers and a fancy website, all ready to go. This blog started out in such a humble way it never even crossed my mind to use anything other than Blogger. It seemed the thing to do, to join in on the sewing groundswell. Blogger is fantastic for basic blogging, but then I wanted three columns. And then I wanted side pages. And then I wanted a nav bar across the top. I found myself hacking the code *snorts rootbeer out nose at how tech-snobbish that sounds* more times than I wanted to. Which wasn’t so much “hacking” as it was whining at Mr Rae for help with basic HTML (me: “Babe, how do I do the HTML for a link again?” Mr Rae: *pounding head against wall*). The point is, this site needed a major upgrade. And if our marriage was going to survive, that would require outside help. I won’t go through the gory details of the process, because the embarrassing fact is that I began this new-website-project nearly a year ago and it didn’t go exactly as I’d planned and really wasn’t very fun. The important thing is, it’s finished now. More or less.

So now I’ll stop blathering on and show you a few of the things I like best, so maybe you’ll come on over and say you like it. One of my favorite things about the new layout is that the patterns and tutorials have their own pages now (def: “pattern” – something you print out a template for, def: “tutorial”-  a set of instructions and/or pictures to help you make something) on their own pages. Here’s the pattern page:

And here’s a peek at the tutorial page:

All of the photo pools for my site or patterns are finally (!) all in one place. You can find them by clicking on the “your photos” link at the top of the page.

There’s more cool stuff, but I’ll save the rest of the “tour” for later I guess because yikes it’s late and I need to go to bed. In addition to looking downright foxy, I am really hoping the new website gizmos will be useful to those of you who have spent time looking for things like tutorials or photo pools and found the old site lacking. I’m still hoping to condense the post labels a little bit, but does anyone even use those anymore? And there’s a cool scrolly thing at the bottom of the page that needs a few more pictures in it, so I’ll fill that up with fun things to click on. Maybe if you think of other things you would use or appreciate, you could drop me a line and let me know. There’s a “contact” link at the top of the page now so you can do that with ease. Yaaaay! Major excitement over here, my friends. Major excitement.

PS. I know it’s redonkulous and crazy to do a new website launch right after we just moved to a new house. What can I say? My website got jealous and wanted to move too.

Posted in updates

Oh wait I’m not here anymore!

Hi friends! I’ve got a brand new fancy website at http://made-by-rae.com that you should come over and see! If you’re seeing this post, it means that you need to update your feed subscription for Made By Rae in order to keep seeing my new posts.

And look! There’s already two new posts for you to catch up with!!!

Click here to update your subscription: or http://www.made-by-rae.com/feed/ http://feeds.feedburner.com/MadeByRae (subscribes in Google Reader, Bloglines, and a number of other readers). Can’t wait to see you on the other side!

Posted in updates

Who bought all this fabric and what am I supposed to do with it?

Someone (I’m going to be the bigger person and not name any names here) bought WAY too much fabric and then put it all in boxes and wrote “FABRIC” on them in MY handwriting and then snuck them onto our moving truck. Now I have to figure out where to put all of it. Sheesh. Did they not know that my new closet is roughly a quarter of the size of my old closet? Something’s gotta give, and it’s not going to be the fabric, I can tell you that much.

Was this just an excuse to show you my pretty fabric? You’ll never know.

Incidentally, that same person packed the serger and the serger power cord in two different boxes. I can’t find the cord box. So now I can look at my serger, but I can’t turn it on. Why, why, oh why???

I’m trying really hard here not to write the “moving sucks” post, but I guess that’s kinda what this is. And the last post. Sorry. Am seriously tempted to not even open the rest of the boxes and stick them in the basement so that I won’t have to pack them up again when we have to move again. Like books, where did all these books come from. I think I’ll just leave those packed up. I don’t need to READ this year, right?

Our kitchen is now thankfully box-free. Here’s a shot of my kids enjoying their new kid-table location. It’s such a relief to have children who are now old enough to sit and draw or paint for more than two minutes. They still need help and near-constant monitoring (especially when the acryllic paints are out), but man when you have crawly-put-everything-in-my-mouth babies you never think this day will come.

By the way, that neat set of doors opens right into our new backyard. Summer backyard barbeque, anyone?

Posted in at home

I’m here, I’m here, SORRY!!!

Just popping in to say HI! and we’ve been packing, moving, and unpacking since Friday (in a couple different loads/shifts), hence I have not been posting. I put a teeny tiny note on the end of the last post, but I’ve noticed it takes about a week and then people start emailing/commenting with the “are you OK Rae?” and the “Where tha HECK are you Rae?” so I figured I should at least give a heya.

I’m currently “borrowing” internet from our new neighbors by careful placement of my laptop near the corner of our new house — well new to us, we’re renting now — because Comcast (our internet provider) doesn’t actually send their “internet kit” until a few days after your service is supposed to start. How does that make sense? Actually, scratch that. It’s perfectly consistent with everything I have come to expect from them.

I love our new kitchen. It has a separate little room for a  pantry with western doors. Elliot will pretend he is Woody. Clementine will pinch her fingers in them and scream.

My piano just got delivered a few minutes ago.

I can’t reach my bedroom closet for all the boxes yet.

We have way too many chairs.

The kids’ bedroom is almost all set up.

Did I mention I love our new kitchen?

I am also accidentally a little high on Goo Gone.

Posted in updates