Made By Rae Top 5 for 2013

People have been telling me “you’ve had an exciting year!” and when I look back on 2013 I have to admit that is probably true. It doesn’t feel any more crazy or busy than other years, but I know I’ve had more time to dedicate to this blog and patterns and such (can you say “kids in school”), so I guess that’s made me more productive professionally, at least as professional as a self-trained-amateur-blogger-turned-designer with Rae-DD can be. HAH. A bunch of other bloggers posted their “Top 5 for 2013,” and because I’ve really enjoyed reading their posts I thought I would write one for Made by Rae. You know, the other thing everyone seems to be doing is picking their “one word.” I started thinking making a list of possible words (including “focus”) but then got distracted, so I guess it’s NO ONE WORD for me this year. Here are my Top 5 Hits for 2013, in no particular order:

#1 Celebrate the BOY

Dana and I brought back the popular BOY sewing series last February, and it was really fun. We always get such an enthusiastic response to this, and it’s a great way to audition new patterns (like the Parsley Pants) and write tutorials for simple things that make boy-sewing more fun! You can see all of the posts from 2013 Celebrate the BOY and all of the posts from earlier series here. I was pretty proud of all the awesome stuff I managed to make and post for the 2013 series.


#2 Fanfare

I spent a sizable portion of March 2013 working on Fanfare, my flannel fabric collection for Cloud 9, which arrived in shops this fall and had a lovely reception. From the outside it might look like a simple collection, you know, something that’s a cinch to pull together, but when you’re a complete newbie to fabric design, trust me, there’s a pretty steep learning curve. I’m really proud of the final result, and I’m even more excited for my next line, Lotus Pond, that’s coming out this spring. The Lotus Pond strikeoffs (test prints) were supposed to come Wednesday but UPS seems to be having a hard time delivering them. Maybe the UPS guy is sitting in the back of his truck admiring my strikeoffs as I type this? PROBABLY.


#3 Studio

I finally bit the bullet and rented a studio in downtown Ann Arbor so I could move all my sewing shit out of my house and into a bigger workspace. I suppose a self-storage unit would have been cheaper, but it would have been a whole lot less fun. This also enabled me to hire my part-time studio assistant, Tashina this fall, bringing the number of part-time employees/contractors on the Made By Rae team to four. I guess that seems like a lot when I type it out, but it’s really all about me delegating as much as possible so that I’m not such a slave to my laptop anymore. Despite having what looks like “a crazy year,” I actually feel like it was probably been one of the most relaxing and stress-free years I’ve had since I started Le Biz back in 2009. Another plus of having a studio? Our Sewing Studio Weekend Retreat, which totally rocked.


#4 Women’s Garments

I’m not sure this is true, but it feels like I did a record amount of sewing for myself in 2013, mostly hacks or versions of Washi (you can see those all in this post), but also a couple Ruby Dresses and some knit tops and skirts. And then we released the Ruby and Washi XP patterns, and previewed Josephine (and I started working on another one that we’re calling Bianca — though I’m having a baby pretty soon, so let’s not get too excited about that one, OK?). So that was really fun! I love sewing for my kids, but sewing for myself is my passion, so it makes sense that Made By Rae focused more on women’s sewing this year than any other.


#5 Pretty great press (?)

I guess I’m actually struggling to come up with FIVE top things here (how lame is that? geez Rae *rolls eyes at self*), so I’m just going to go with this one. For some reason (I think probably Washi and Fanfare), my work has been featured in quite a few print publications this year. Love Patchwork and Quilting, Kloth, Sew News, and a handful of other print magazines have all run features on Made By Rae or the Washi Dress, and I just got more emails last week from two others. I’m trying not to get too big of a head about it, but it’s hard not to get excited when you can send your mom a magazine clipping and say, “LOOK, MOM!!! LOOK!!!” (Yes, it’s true. I’m still just that little girl who wants to please her mom. Oldest child syndrome.) On the other hand, while the traditional print world seems to be just discovering me, I’m starting to feel a little like an old horse around the Blogosphere. I have this ongoing angst that I’ve done my best thing and now I’m “over,” but I just need to get over that. I do know I shouldn’t really care what anyone thinks, just do my own thing and be happy.

briar rose catalog

Another press-related thing that was really cool was that Heather Ross asked if she could use my Rainbow Quilt design as a free pattern download for her Briar Rose fabric line (you can find the free quilt pattern here by the way!), and the quilt was featured at Quilt Market in her booth!!! That was so incredibly flattering.

So now I would really love to know: what did you do that YOU are most proud of last year? It doesn’t have to be five things, because clearly I can’t even really come up with five. And it doesn’t have to be sewing-related. But it’s always fun to hear this kind of thing from you guys (and if you did a “Top 5” or “2013 Roundup” type post you should put a link in the comments because I love reading those posts and I want to make sure I don’t miss yours!). So dish, everyone!!!

21 thoughts on “Made By Rae Top 5 for 2013

  1. I managed to make myself some tops. Also to release three patterns I was pretty excited about! One thing I did not conquer that is at the top of my list, sewing a WASHI FOR ME. Along with a couple of other patterns I purchased and didn’t get a chance to follow through with. I’ve really enjoyed seeing all your sewing and variations! You make it seem so easy. Congratulations on a great year.

  2. That is a great year. plus you added another “bun” to your family. I totally get the oldest child syndrome; lol. I really loved the celebrate the boy series and am glad you are having another boy so I can see more cool boyish things. That rainbow quilt is so amazing that I wish I could make one for my DD – but alas, no patience. And, I’m sure you have plenty more “tricks” up your sleeve – aka you are far from “over” and “old” around here πŸ˜‰

    Congrats on the last year and here’s to the new year.

  3. The thing I am most proud of is that I went from a very tiny blog to a somewhat decent blog in one year. I just looked back in my analytics and I actually had days last December with no visits! Thanks for your inspiration along the way. I am way behind in my Top 5/10/etc. post and haven’t got mine up yet or I’d link to it – was in the plans for tonight… but I ended up doing other admin stuff. Thanks!

  4. A hard but good decision this past year was that I quit my job to be home with my baby. He’s now a toddler, and the time we’ve spent together (in-between the inevitable difficult moments) has been golden. I feel so happy that we’ve had this time, despite the tight budget we now have!

  5. I’m proud of the Teddy bears I made of old jeans (my kids LOVE them) , my first Ethan shirt for my son, I made from an old shirt from my father and following a course in pattern makeing. Last week my daughter said she wanted to wear ‘that shirt and hoodie you sewed for me, becouse those are so very pretty’. That’s the best compliment I can get! It makes my heart melt and it makes me proud πŸ™‚

  6. “An old horse around the Blogosphere” Ha ha.

    It may all be old hat to you but to us new readers who have just stumbled in it is all shiny sparkly and brand new. And very very interesting.

    So happy new year and pfffft to your self doubt.

  7. Started sewing and knitting! I’m hoping to take it to the next level this year πŸ™‚

    And your creativity is amazing, I’d say your more of an inspiration/model thn an old horse! πŸ™‚

  8. 2013 was pretty great for me, too! started sewing more for myself, branching out from my comfort zone of straight stitches & woven fabrics. i worked on my blog more, got a new fancy camera, met one of my favorite authors, saw a couple great concerts, & finally took part in the spring-top sew along & was so ver honored to have one of my tops here on your blog :)! more sewing, branching out, picture taking, & just generally putting myself out there in this year…can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store!

    oh, and finally, a link to my year in review blog post just cause i have one & love sharing :)!

  9. I still think that the thing that I am most proud of this year is my bike bag panniers – a really great double bike bag that I made for my daughter:
    I did a tutorial for it too. It was the first tutorial that I ever wrote. Since that many have followed for other things, but I guess the bike bag is still the thing that I am most proud of in 2013.

  10. I had a baby and finished my Master’s degree. And I’ve played around enough with knit fabrics that I’m no longer afraid to sew with knits.

  11. Hi
    While I did a lot of crafting things I was proud of, my most proud achievement last year was to qualify as a wheelchair dance tutor despite being physically disabled and hearing impaired. Wheelchair dance isn’t as big here in the uk as it is in the USA and elsewhere, but we are working on it, and as someone who danced since I was 2, I’ve found being in a chair the last 6 years incredibly hard. So being able to dance again is brilliant! Now my aim for this year is to set up my own classes in the local area, so other people can find out how brilliant it can be too!!
    Happy new year everyone!
    Donna x

  12. Hiya Rae, you’ve had quite a year!
    Congrats on your little guy on the way!!
    I still keep up with your successes and adventures, though I don’t comment often (I promise to chime in more often from now on though!)
    It’s so amazing and inspiring to see how much you’ve accomplished since I started reading you years and years ago πŸ™‚ Way to go!!
    You’ve inspired me to revive my old bloggity-blog with one of those roundup posts, ha, let’s hope I keep it up!

  13. What a great year you had! Wow, so productive! I did a lot last year too. I moved house and had another baby. He came along in June and I feel like I’ve done nothing since then…he’s pretty cute though, so I guess that’s ok πŸ˜‰

  14. happy new year Rae! I should let you know that among my top things of last year is that I bought a sewing machine in May and did my first sewing since I was a teenager. After making a couple of elastic waist skirts for my daughters, the first pattern I tackled was the Geranium dress! I have since made 4 Geranium dresses! Sewing is the new adventure.

  15. I started to sew late last year and this was the best and most proud thing I’ve done last year and one of the best things I’ve done ever. Its full of flaws but I’m proud of my creations. I’m only learning to sew so blogs like yours are an inspiration for me. Thank you.

  16. I made the Briar Rose rainbow quilt and Im pretty proud of that actually. It was my first time buying a whole line of fabric and I just love it! It’s on the back of my couch currently.

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