Jess’ silk noil Rose + Gemma set

silk noil Rose and Gemma set

Hi all! Jess here, sharing a Rose Pants + Gemma Tank combo that I’m loving. The fabric I used is silk noil in teal blue that we got from Ewe Fibers here. This silk is easy to care for (machine wash and dry!), easy to sew, and incredibly soft and comfy.

I’ve made three versions of Rose now: one in each length, and each in a different fabric. Throughout this process, I’ve learned a ton of lessons, and this particular Gemma/Rose combo presented the biggest challenges, but possibly the most rewarding results!

silk noil Rose and Gemma set
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When I cut out these pants, I had just finished making a super-drapy viscose/linen pair that required a lot of width reduction and rise adjustment. I mistakenly assumed that the same adjustments would be necessary for this silk noil, so I preemptively took 1/2″ off the width at the hip and took in the back inseam by about a 1/2″ to narrow the leg and reduce the rise. This was *not a good idea*! When I basted the seams and tried the pants on before adding the waistband, the rise was too low in the back, and there was not enough ease at the hip. 

Thankfully, I was sewing at the studio with Rae, and she helped me carve out the back rise seam to make a little more room in the seat. Then I reduced the side seam allowances, which bought me a bit of ease in the hip. My next mistake was to attach the waistband without basting first. I could barely pull them on over my hips! So again, I had to undo some seams and reduce the waistband seam allowances. I was surprised that adding the waistband made such a difference, but I believe that the interfaced front waistband stabilized the fabric and removed the little bit of ease I had actually retained.

Lessons Learned:

1. Don’t make adjustments until you’ve tried on the garment! I have a good set of working pattern pieces because I made a muslin out of a stable, non-stretchy cotton. I should have trusted those pattern pieces and used them without any changes when I tried a new fabric.

2. Only make one change at a time, and try on between adjustments. I didn’t make one change at a time, which resulted in not knowing which alterations made a difference.

3. Baste baste baste! Even though it feels like more sewing, if you use a basting stitch to sew all your initial seams, it’s super easy to try something on, make quick changes, and pull out the basting threads. Once you have a good fit, you can use a regular stitch and finish your seams with full confidence that you won’t have to take all those tedious stitches out later.

silk noil Rose and Gemma set

Now for the Gemma top! I’m probably Gemma’s biggest fan. I have a closet full of them, and I wear them all year around. Now that I’ve finally discovered high-waisted pants and shorts, one of my favorite modifications is to crop Gemma (here’s a tutorial), which I did here. Since I’ve made a thousand of these tanks, I didn’t try it on before I hemmed it. And guess what? *It was a bad idea*! It looked great with jeans, but the whole idea was to wear this tank with the matching Rose Pants, and the hem was just too low to look good.

So, another lesson learned: 

If you’re going to make coordinating garments, try them on with each other before finishing them. In this case, moving the hem up an inch made this combination actually wearable. And now I have a sweet new outfit! 

silk noil Rose and Gemma set

Ready to make your own combo like mine? Grab the patterns in the shop:
Rose Pants
Gemma Tank

And you can always get some inspiration on Instagram with these handy tags: #mbrrose / #gemmatank / #madebyrae

Rose inspiration

I really love the wide leg, high-waisted pant trend. Today I’m sharing some of the images that inspired me when designing the Rose sewing pattern. Not all of these are exact-matches for Rose’s design; in fact you’ll probably notice that very few of them are, because I often find the colors, silhouettes, lengths, fabrics, prints, and outfit styling more inspiring than the actual garment details. I’ll try to share some of my thoughts about these (I’ve numbered them to make them easier to reference), but in the end, the way an image hits one person is always a bit different than the way it it hits someone else. Here’s hoping you’ll find some sewing inspiration here as well!

Rose inspiration collage

I’m going to start with my most colorful set of images, since I’m a bold-colors kind of gal. Mara Hoffman’s high-waisted pant designs (1,3,7) have certainly been a huge inspiration to me. Imagining striped and solid colored fabrics for Rose (and how about a solid, matching top as well?) was a huge source of inspiration. I also someday hope to exactly copy those pink striped pants and complete the look with a white button-down and sweet hat (2). I love the combination of a striped knit top paired with floral pants (5), and that gauzy fabric in the yellow pleated pants looks perfectly dreamy (4). Who else wants to figure out how to add a center front zipper like that electric yellow pair with me (8)?

Now for some more neutral looks…

Several of the high-waisted pant and shorts images in this post have waist-ties (10, 13, 16), which is something I plan to explore soon — I currently have another Rose cut out and sitting next to me on the table along with a waist-tie…stay tuned. The dressy looks here are also great (12, 15); that all-black (navy?) outfit (15) is fantastic with the sleeveless turtleneck and some neutral accessories. I’m really drawn to rust (11, 14) and golden brown (9) fabrics; perhaps a linen would create those looks. And the lighter fabrics (10, 13, 16) are perfect for warm weather. The long white pants in (16) with that ruffled yellow top (Ogden cami? or Gemma with ruffle?) is such a summery look.

In this collage, more solid-color outfits that really shine (18, 19, 22), and a couple that incorporate denim or chambray fabrics into the look (23, 24) for a more casual vibe. The patterned Ace and Jig fabric (17) and vertical stripes (20) are fairly neutral yet fun. That cinnamon pair (21) really reminds me of the long brown Rose pants I wear all the time!

Finally, I want to draw your attention to the various lengths. Floor-skimming (20, 21) can be beautiful for a dressier or more dramatic style. If you’re sewing a cropped version of Rose, consider how different the cropped lengths are in the bottom right two images (22 and 25). 22 is mid-shin, while 25 lands right at the ankle; both are fantastic. I want to encourage you to play around with length — everyone’s proportions are unique, so the “perfect length” is really up to you!

The Rose pants and shorts sewing pattern is available now in my shop!

Rose Pants Tester Roundup, vol. 2

Today we have the second installment of our tester photos to provide you with even more inspiration for sewing my newest pattern, Rose! (See vol. 1 here.)

Jessica (@kunklebaby, above) has come up with tons of ways to wear her Rose pants, and she’s one of the first to have made shorts! Note that we asked testers to first make either the long or cropped pants rather than shorts so we could evaluate the length, which is why you don’t see as many shorts pics in the roundups.

Jenny (@thewardrobearchitect, below), made this beautiful cropped pair first in an off-white tencel twill, then dyed them navy:

Nancy (@milkpillowblog) has made multiple versions in both prints and solids. Love how she’s paired hers with so many great handmade tops, too!

Mei made contrast pockets for all of the pairs she made — check out her pocket closeups in her feed: @mei.sews. Her versions look great with her Sointu tee and Ogden cami (also both made by Mei)!!

Kten (@jinxandgunner) made her cropped test pair out of chambray; she has plans to sew up more out of some drapey linens and rayons to prepare for summer.

These printed Essex linen [Forage Essex by Anna Graham] cropped pants from Niku are just making me so happy! Love how she’s styled these in so many fun ways (and that pair with red polka dots, upper right!!!).

Meredith (@brooklyncrafty) is a garment sewing instructor and had a lot of fun playing around with her Rose muslins. I’m always super excited when testers play around with fit — Meredith adjusted rise and played around with the seams and waistband width — because it gives us great info that we can share with those of you who have adjustment questions.

Kristine @kristinesews made these gorgeous flowy rayon Rose pants for her test version — love how she first made these in the long length, then decided to crop them!

Jessamy (@jessamyb) made these pretty blue Rose pants out of a viscose twill. Jessamy also made shorts and took photos with Jacqui — check them out on the Ewe Fibers blog! The Rose pants video they made together is completely awesome — check it out if you’re interested in a great review of the pattern features and to see their versions in action!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our tester roundups! We are so grateful to these awesome testers for the feedback and photos — they’re essential to the pattern making process!

Ready to make your own Rose Pants? Find the pattern in my shop!

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Rose Pants Tester Roundup, vol. 1

We launched our newest pattern, Rose, last week, so I wanted to share some great tester versions of Rose with you. One of the things I think is so valuable about sharing tester photos is that it’s helpful to see the pattern sewn up in a variety of different fabrics, on a variety of different people.

Testing a new pattern usually takes us about a month, and is absolutely essential to fine-tuning the fit and making a pattern better. We look for trends from our testers and use their feedback both to adjust the pattern pieces, and improve the instructions. For Rose, we had about 20 testers, so we’ll share pics in two posts since there are so many!

Jacqui stands in the center of the photos, wearing her navy Rose pants and Ursa sweater. She looks down at the floor.

Jacqui @jacquelinecieslak made her Rose Pants out of Brussels Washer Linen, and paired them her very own just-launched sweater design, Ursa. We *love* this combo!! You can find Ursa, which features bust darts and a gorgeous brioche detail, in Jaqui’s Ravelry shop, along with Ursa Minor, which is designed without brioche for beginner knitters.

Leilani (below) made three pairs in quick succession. Check out all of her posts here, here, and here. I really like how the reddish-pink pair goes so well with her handmade pink Adrienne blouse (those sleeves!), but all of her handmade outfits are stunning.

Mary takes her cotton gauze Rose Pants on a beach vacation and to the market. The gauze fabric makes them extra comfy!

My friend Meg made this amazing pair with a navy blue linen-viscose slub.

Meg just left on a trip to Scandinavia and packed 10 pieces of clothing for 10 days and guess what? Her Rose pants made the cut! Pretty high praise!

Kim’s grey cotton pair looks like it’s going to be super versatile!

Stephanie went all dancing queen in her tester pair. She had a little fun with a pocket contrast too!

Sierra’s two pairs show off how versatile this pattern is. She took the soft and cozy viscose twill pair to the beach, and wears the cotton twill pair to work!

And I love how Sierra styled the navy ones with a boxy cropped top — what a great outfit combo.

Andrea tested Rose in a gorgeous navy linen. Those pleats look extra sharp in linen, I think!

Allison posted about her process and listed all the ways she made these pants fit her so beautifully in this post: @alleedew_sews.

Katte’s (@kattegeneta) cropped purple pants are absolutely beautiful. These will be great for spring and summer weather!

A huge thank you to this group of testers for their awesome feedback and for allowing us to repost their photos! Check out Tester Roundup, Vol. 2 HERE!

Inspired to sew your own Rose pants? The pattern is available in my shop!

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Rose pattern feature: gathers vs. pleats

The Rose sewing pattern is now available!

BUY ROSE NOW

One of my goals when designing a pattern is to keep it simple so that it’s easy to adapt. For Rose, I wanted to make sure it was easy to play around with the pleats, use gathering instead of pleating, or even go up or down a size in the waistband if necessary, which you can do precisely because of the extra width at the top of the front pant pieces. I personally think the pleats add a lovely detail to the pattern, but I made this pair of Rose cropped pants with gathers at the waist instead of pleats, and I really love how they look too!

While I was sewing this pair, I tested out a number of the other front options we’ve included in the pattern so you could see how they look on the same pair of pants.

In addition to gathers, the four main pleats can be adjusted to face inward:


The pleats can be combined into one pleat:

And finally, the pleats can be inverted (either all four, or the combined two, as shown here):

For this pair, I ended up preferring the gathers, so that’s what I finally landed on. I like how the gathered option has a bit of a “Cleo” feel to it, with the gathers, flat waistband, and high waist.

I hope you’ll enjoy playing around with these options on your Rose pants and shorts — I think they’re all really fun! If you’re ready to give it a try, pick up your Rose pattern HERE!

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Rose pattern feature: waistband elastic options

Let’s zoom in on one of my favorite features of the Rose pattern: the waistband. Rose features a flat waistband in front, and elastic in back.

The waistband is constructed similarly to my Cleo skirt pattern, except that I designed it with two elastic channels rather than one — each taking a piece of 3/4″ (19 mm) wide elastic — to help create a wider waistband than Cleo. During testing, some of our pattern testers mentioned that they would love the option to just use a single piece of 1.5″ (38 mm) wide elastic, which is more commonly used for wide elastic waistbands, so we added some info to the pattern so that you can use wider elastic if you’d like as well.

Is two pieces of elastic better, or one?

The answer is: they’re both great options. I’ve written the pattern default as 3/4″ (19 mm) wide elastic, but included notes to help you adapt it for 1.5″(38 mm) wide. To give you a comparison, here’s a look at each elastic option (you’ll notice that it’s actually pretty difficult to tell by appearance which is which), along with some pros and cons!

Let’s start with my favorite, the double channel:

PROS (double channel)

  • Conforms to waist shape more easily — this is nice if you have more of an hourglass figure, which I personally think is a bit more comfortable
  • Doesn’t need to be stretched-and-stitched down the center – this can be a bit more difficult for beginners
  • narrower elastic costs less per yard

CONS (double channel)

  • 3/4″ (19 mm) wide elastic may be harder to find
  • Requires threading two pieces of elastic rather than one
  • you’ll need to buy more elastic (2 lengths rather than one)

rose pants / fanciful fabric

Rose pants / back view / made by Rae sewing patterns

Now for the single channel:

Rose shorts / made by Rae

These gold Rose shorts feature a single piece of 1.5″ (38 mm) wide elastic rather than the double channel, but it’s stitched down the middle so it looks like a double channel (it’s not!).

PROS (single channel)

  • 1.5″ (38 mm) wide elastic may be easier to find (?)
  • only have to thread one piece of elastic
  • you only need to buy half as much elastic as the double channel

CONS (single channel)

  • may not be as comfortable or conform to waist curves as easily
  • may require stretch-and-stitching down the center to prevent it from rolling
  • wider elastic costs more

Again, I’m not sure all of the “cons” are really “cons”…this may just really depend on your personal preference and how easily you can find each kind of elastic. Many of our testers said they loved how comfortable the double channel is despite initial misgivings over having to thread elastic through two channels rather than one. I’m happy to say the pattern now has the flexibility (get it?? eh? eh?) to include both!

Elastic source recommendations

For all garment elastic, I highly recommend Fashion Sewing Supply elastic. It’s super soft and stretchy — the most comfortable waistband elastic you will ever find. They carry both 3/4″ (19 mm) and 1.5″ (38 cm) wide elastic, as well as a number of other widths. This is my go-to shop for waistband elastic and garment interfacings. Not an ad, I just love this elastic.

For 1.5″ (38 mm) wide elastic, my friend Meg of Sew Liberated also recommends Dritz Soft Waistband elastic. Full disclosure: I haven’t used it. I used this elastic for the gold shorts, but it’s fairly stiff, so I can’t say I’m a huge fan.

How much elastic will I need?

For double channel / 3/4″ (19 mm) wide: we recommend a length of your waist measurement for 3/4″ wide elastic (Example: If your waist is 40,” you’ll need 2 pieces of elastic 20″ long, or 40″ total)

For single channel / 1.5″ (38 mm) wide: we recommend a length of half your waist measurement (Example: If your waist is 40″, you’ll need one piece of 20″ elastic)

Get your Rose pattern in my shop HERE!

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Get Ready for Rose!

UPDATE: The Rose sewing pattern is now available!

BUY ROSE NOW

The Rose pants and shorts pattern is coming so very soon, friends. Though it’s not quite ready to launch, I wanted to post some details about the pattern, since I know many of you would like to see the views, new size range, and get the yardage amounts and materials list so you can begin to get ready to sew this pattern.

Rose is a high-waisted pant and short sewing pattern featuring slash pockets and a pleated or gathered front. The front waist is flat while the back waist is elasticized for comfort and style. Choose from three lengths: long, cropped, or shorts.

NEW SIZE RANGE!

Rose will be the first of our patterns to be offered in 11 sizes, XXS-5X (which is roughly equivalent to US ready-to-wear size 28), designed to fit hip measurements from 34.5-59″ (88-150cm). See our new size chart here:

To choose your size for Rose, measure the widest part of your hip using a flexible tape measure and use this measurement and the chart below to select your size. (If your waist measures larger than your hip, use your waist measurement to select your size.) Waist, bust, and upper bust measurements are provided for reference, and finished measurements are provided in the pattern instructions.

Fabric Recommendations
For Rose, you’ll need woven (not knit) fabric. I recommend choosing light to medium weight woven fabric such as tencel twill, rayon challis, linen-rayon blends, silk noil, loose-weave cotton or linen blends, stretch twill, cotton sateen, or chambray. In general: shoot for fabrics that have good drape and/or a looser weave; thicker “bottom weight” fabrics are not always recommended due to the elastic back waistband. While wovens with a small degree of stretch may work for this pattern, please note that Rose is not designed for knit fabric.

Coming soon: I’ll post my personal fabric faves for Rose!

Yardage Chart:

First choose find which view (long, cropped, short) you’d like to make. Then choose the width of your fabric and find the fabric requirement for your size.

Please note that while we make every effort to provide generous yardage recommendations to account for fabric shrinkage and pattern piece placement, if you have a one-way or directional fabric print, a fabric with nap, or need to add length to the pattern, you may need more fabric than listed.

You’ll Also Need:

  • 3/4″ (19 mm)* wide elastic for the back waistband – depending on your size, you’ll need between 24-50″ [0.6-1.2m] in length, total.
  • 1/4 yd / 0.2 m lightweight fusible interfacing (for interfacing narrower than 20” wide, sizes 1 and up will require ½ yd / 0.4 m)
  • coordinating thread

* OR substitute 1.5″ / 38 mm wide elastic if you prefer a single channel of elastic; you’ll need half the total length as needed for 3/4″ / 19 mm wide elastic. See this post: Rose back waistband elastic options for more details on elastic widths.

(FYI: I buy all of my garment elastic and interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. I like their Pro-sheer elegance interfacing for the waistband. Not sponsored, just a great source. See this post.)

Previously posted:
Sneak peeks of Rose from me and other Rose testers can be found under the #mbrrose hashtag on Instagram. Here are a few other pairs of Rose Pants I’ve shared previously on the blog:

rose pants / made by rae

Loominous cropped pants, posted here

Ready to sew your own Rose Pants? Get the pattern HERE!

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Gold linen Rose shorts

UPDATE: The Rose sewing pattern is now available!

BUY ROSE NOW

My Rose pattern comes with three length options, long, cropped, and shorts, and I thought you might like to take a peek at the shorts view of the pattern.

One of the things I am excited to add to my spring wardrobe is some pairs of high-waisted shorts, and Rose is basically my dream high-waisted shorts pattern. This is my latest version of Rose shorts made out of gold linen. Here’s a look at how I’m wearing this pair with some of my handmade tops…spring, here we come!


am v. pleased with how well it matches my Nani Iro Matcha top!

looking good with my Gemma tank with ruffle, too!


a perfect match with my new striped Jade tee!

A note about the length: this gold pair is a bit shorter than we decided to make the final pattern pieces; it has a 3″ inseam, while the actual Rose shorts pattern inseam length is 4″ / 10 cm. Inseam is the measured finished length along the inside leg seam from hem to crotch. Since your height is not a great indicator for how long you need pants or shorts to be (I will skip the lecture on height versus rise to leg length ratios for now) measuring inseam is really the best way to figure how where the hem of a pair of pants or shorts will land on your body.

I decided to go with the 4″ / 10 cm inseam for Rose shorts after first experimenting a bit with the shorter inseams; at first I felt that a shorter leg worked better proportion-wise with the higher waist, but after examining the shorter versions in photos — including this one — and getting some great feedback on Instagram, I think the longer inseam is definitely better!

Now for a quick peek at the back! For all versions of Rose, the front waistband is flat, while the back waistband is elasticized.

Here I used a single piece of 1.5″ (38 cm) wide elastic, rather than two pieces, and stitched it down the center to give it the same look as the double channel elastic. I don’t think it’s *quite* as comfortable, but it works!

It’s always a win when your newly-sewn garment coordinates with a bunch of stuff in your wardrobe; here’s just a few more pics of how I’m wearing it with a ready-to wear tee, cardigan, and jean jacket.

Ready to try your hand at Rose pants or shorts? Get the pattern here!

PS. I bought these grey suede oxfords at Zuzii. I will definitely be wearing these with ALL THE THINGS this spring.

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Emerald Dress for Making Magazine

It’s always fun to reveal a project that’s been in the works behind the scenes for a long time. This week, Making Magazine released its 7th issue, DESERT, a print magazine full of beautiful handmade projects, articles, stunning photography and artwork. The projects include sewing and knitting, among other things, and I’m happy to announce that a brand-new Made by Rae pattern is included in this gorgeous issue!

Emerald Dress / made by rae for MAKING magazine

Introducing…the Emerald Dress!

Emerald Dress / made by rae for MAKING magazine

Designed for woven fabrics and cut on the bias, this dress has a simple silhouette that drapes beautifully. I love how Emerald fits into the DESERT theme. When I designed this dress, I envisioned it with sandals for hot weather or layered with sweaters for cooler nights.

The breezy design, V-shaped neckline, curved hem, and pockets (!!) make it the perfect piece to add to a handmade wardrobe for spring and summer.

Emerald Dress / made by rae for MAKING magazine

This dress is simple and versatile: make it in linen or ikat for a casual summer shift; or try a silk or viscose for summer evenings out on the town. 

Sizes run from XXS to 2X, with plenty of ease to accommodate different body shapes and sizes. Try more or less positive ease for different looks.

Visit made-by-rae.com/Emerald for links to the size charts, yardage, and materials. Note: I’ve included a generous amount of ease in this design (8″ of hip ease and 5″ of bust ease relative to the body measurements), so the pattern pieces can comfortably fit up to about a 54″ hip / 51″ bust if you don’t mind a little less ease.

Emerald Dress / made by rae for MAKING magazine

At this time, Emerald is only available through purchase of the print DESERT issue or subscription to Making magazine; the print-at-home PDF pattern pieces are available with the issue via a download link.

While I do plan to make Emerald available eventually as a PDF pattern — Making generously allows their artists to sell standalone patterns from the issues after their contract period is up — please know that while this might be as early as this fall, we do not have a concrete launch date for this pattern at this time. I completely understand that many of you might not be able to obtain Making in your country or want to purchase a print publication that includes knitting patterns, and I truly appreciate your patience and understanding that we cannot make this available immediately as a PDF (and a big thank you to all of you who have sent me emails asking about this!! I’m so glad you love this pattern!!). We’ll be sure to keep you posted once the digital pattern is available on its own.

Here at Made by Rae we believe strongly in the importance of print publication and supporting the work of artists like the ones who create Making and we know you do too. Creating beautiful objects of value that people can hold in their hands is something I want to be a part of, so I am thrilled to be a contributor to this project. I hope you will love this new issue of Making, and Emerald, as much as I do!

You can purchase the DESERT issue of Making or find a local shop that carries it through the Making website.

VISIT THE MAKING WEBSITE

PS. I love to see your makes online; be sure to tag me so I won’t miss them!
#madebyrae | @madebyrae | #mbrEmerald

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