Double Gauze boat shorts and Charlie tunic

Hugo Double Gauze Charlie Tunic

As you’ve probably noticed from my posts this week, I’ve got shorts on the brain. That’s mainly because Hugo and Elliot wear nothing but shorts all the time now that it feels like the tropics here. I’ve also had at least three people ask me in the past week if you could turn Luna Pants into shorts (the answer: YES!) so I’ve also been thinking about how best to share a quick how-to on that too.

Hugo Double Gauze Charlie Tunic

This little pair of shorts has really held up remarkably well for being a) white and b) double gauze. They’re size 3 Parsley Pants that I shortened (<- tutorial there) and we’re on our second summer of them fitting Hugo. Also on my list of future things to post about: double gauze. The name is so intimidating but it’s such a comfy fabric to wear and really not that hard to sew!!

Double Gauze boat shorts

The Charlie tunic (which I modified slightly with a curved hem) is now too small, but these two really made a cute combo while they both still fit.

Hugo Double Gauze Charlie Tunic

Hugo Double Gauze Charlie Tunic

Most of Hugo’s clothing this summer is handmade hand-me-downs from when Elliot and Clementine were four and I made a ridiculous amount of their clothing (esp. for Celebrate the BOY, summer edition, which probably no one even remembers anymore, but also these helicopter pajamas, and these red pants of Clem’s got shortened into shorts too). It’s been a real joy to pull those out and reminisce about little four-year-old Elliot or Clementine wearing them. WAAAH they grow up so FAST!

Hugo Double Gauze Charlie Tunic

Interestingly, I do find the handmade stuff is standing up better than the store bought stuff, not only because I think I make it last better, but also because the handmade stuff seems more timeless. The (small amount of) store-bought stuff we bought for Elliot when he was this age already looks somewhat dated.

Are you sewing shorts this summer? For you or for kiddos?

Heather Grey Jade Tee

grey Jade tee / made by rae

This Jade tee probably wins the “most worn” award for me because of its versatility. A heather grey tee goes with everything. Due to my personal weakness with prints, most of my Luna pants and Cleo skirts benefit from the presence of a calm, rational tee to balance everything out, and this tee works nicely like that. Not that there’s anything wrong with print overload. I can be 100% on board with print overload.

But as you can see this is not that.

jade tee sewing pattern / made by rae

I also really like this tee paired with a solid skirt, like this Cleo I made with cream silk noil (via Stone Mountain and Daughter).

grey Jade tee / made by rae

I purchased that beautiful shell and leather necklace from my former assistant, Tashina, who since graduating has started her own jewelry business that incorporates found objects in nature along with her native heritage. She’s headed off to Tish School of the Arts this fall (congratulations, Tashina!!!) where I am sure she will continue to develop her already amazing artistic skills. I get SO MANY compliments on this necklace. Love it.

grey Jade tee / made by rae

The scoop neckline in back is nearly identical to the one in front (both are subtle, not super-scooped, but you could definitely add more scoop if you wanted — just remember to lengthen the facing pieces if you do this).

grey Jade tee / made by rae

I sewed a small folded piece of twill tape under the back of the neckline to help me remember front from back. The sleeves are drafted differently in front than in back, so while you probably wouldn’t notice if you put it on backwards, I like to mark it anyway.

jade tee - back neckband tag

This fabric is a super stretchy bamboo jersey, just like the orange and yellow tees I posted earlier. Unlike those two, the heathered knit is less shiny and does a slightly better (though still not fantastic) job of hiding bumps from undergarments, etc. I found it at fabric.com but since I’m not 100% recommending it, I also put a number of other heather grey fabrics in the Jade Fabric Inspiration post, so you might try one of those out if you’re interested in reproducing this look.

grey Jade tee / made by rae

The Jade Tee sewing pattern is available in my shop!

Rose Jade + Isla Maxi Dress

DIY Jade + Isla maxi dress / made by rae

It’s difficult for me to resist immediately creating spin-offs and mods for a new pattern even while I’m still working on it, and I totally did that with Jade; if you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed that I’ve been posting two Jade+Isla dresses for quite some time already (the Rose one here and the Grid Dress I posted earlier this week). I just can’t help myself. It’s tough, because even before I’ve launched a pattern I want to start posting all my mods, but then it starts to feel like I’m getting ahead of myself. Anyway, I posted the (incredibly easy) tutorial for combining the two patterns this week, including some details on how to make this maxi version, so now I feel like I can finally unleash this dress on you.

DIY Jade + Isla maxi dress / made by rae

I designed the pattern with the intent that it would combine easily with Isla, and all along I had this idea that maybe it would be easy to make a maxi dress version as well (Isla comes with a knee-length skirt as well as a peplum skirt, but not a maxi skirt). I’d been pinning floor-length floral knit dresses for the past year (like this one), so when I saw this fabric I knew it was destined to become a Jade+Isla maxi dress. OH! also this striped maxi dress…so dreamy. Tell me if you ever stumble across a super-wide width stripe knit, please.

DIY Jade + Isla maxi dress / made by rae

The fabric is brushed poly jersey purchased from Raspberry Creek; I don’t see it there anymore but they have a few other fabulous florals that are very similar. One thing about it of note is that it has a ton of vertical stretch, so I ended up having to shorten both the bodice (by 1″) and the skirt (by 2″). I think in a normal cotton lycra jersey I wouldn’t have needed to shorten it at all, but because the fabric is so stretchy and a bit heavy, it was too long and was catching under my feet when I first tried it on. Just another friendly reminder that all knits behave differently, and trying it on while you sew is always the way to go!

DIY Jade + Isla maxi dress / made by rae

I decided to leave the neckline facing visible (in the ballet view, the instructions have you flip it to the inside and stitch it down, but there’s a note that you can do it this way if you prefer), mostly because the fabric was so stretchy that the neckline was quite big and I didn’t mind a little extra fabric there. I topstitched around the neckline using a double needle, and it looks really nice.

DIY Jade + Isla maxi dress / made by rae

I’ve been wearing this dress all over the place and I get tons of compliments on it, even though I would say it’s not my usual style (it feels a little more country boho chic to me, maybe? I do love florals though). The maxi length skirt is really fun, and to top it off it’s super comfortable. Definitely a new favorite!

Want to make one of your own? Find the tutorial for Jade + Isla on my blog, and the patterns are both available now in my shop!

Your Jade Tees!

It’s been really fun to see how excited everyone has been about the Jade pattern; thank you everyone for such an enthusiastic response! What really gives me the most joy is seeing the tees you’ve all been making with the pattern pop up online every day. It’s fantastic to see all of the creative ways you make this pattern your own.

Before the pattern launched, I sent a handful of advance copies to some people whose blog and IG feeds I love. Here are a few of the great Jade tops they made, along with others that have been popping up on Instagram under the hashtag #mbrjade.

At top of post, Anna at Noodlehead made a lovely storm blue version using Dana knit (check out my knit fabric recommendations, which include the Dana knit), which you can read all about over on her blog!

Next up, Meg of Cookin’ & Craftin’ shared her navy Jade on her blog as well, and rocks it with her Jenny overalls here!

More beautiful Jades in both solids and florals — it’s really a toss up for me whether I like it more in a standout floral, or as a wardrobe blender in a solid color.

above, top left: heatherandthepugs right: buzzmills

bottom left: lucyslifejourney  right: lindsayinstitches

Jessamy managed to make herself a sweet Jade even though she’s in the middle of a move! Check out her feed at @jessamyb!

Nancy of milkpillowblog has been totally on fire and has made multiple Jades; check out her IG feed for more pics (including a dress mod she made). Here she is in her mermaid Jade, and in another Jade under Burnside Bibshere!

And finally, with summer finally here, this short-sleeved tee from amy.makes.things is just perfect, don’t you think? I love that she combined the ballet front with the boat back necklines too.

Are you sewing a Jade tee this weekend? Jade makes a fantastic summer tee and sews up in no time at all, and don’t forget to share your photos if you do!

The Jade tee sewing pattern is available now in my shop!

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Grid Jade + Isla Dress

DIY Grid Dress / Jade + Isla Sewing patterns

I’m in la la love with this Jade/Isla hybrid (tutorial here!) dress. It’s made of a brushed poly jersey which is really soft and incredibly stretchy. Wearing it becomes a classic #secretpajamas situation. I also am quite fond of this grid. The grid trend seems like it’s been around for a few years now but show no signs of abating; I’d love to find something similar in a linen as well. I bought the jersey here a few months ago, but it looks like it may be out of stock at the time of this writing.

DIY Grid Dress / Jade + Isla Sewing patterns

The amount of things this print coordinates with is ridiculous, like this geo scarf:

DIY Grid Dress / Jade + Isla Sewing patterns

or all of my cardigans.

DIY Grid Dress / Jade + Isla Sewing patterns

and every single necklace I own.

DIY Grid Dress / Jade + Isla Sewing patterns

and my yellow chair.

DIY Grid Dress / Jade + Isla Sewing patterns

I used the boat neckline from Jade with the 3/4-length sleeve, and I made a slight adjustment to the Isla skirt length (lengthened it, plus shhh don’t tell anyone I haven’t hemmed it yet!), but otherwise I made it as shown in the Jade + Isla tutorial. You can’t see how long the skirt is in most of these photos because the day I took these pics it was so cold I had jeans on underneath hee. But you can see the hem if you look carefully in a few of the pics.

DIY Grid Dress / Jade + Isla Sewing patterns

Next up: my Jade + Isla maxi dress!

How to sew a Jade + Isla dress

The dresses that I’ve made combining Jade and Isla have gotten a great response on IG (I just posted the Grid Dress here on the blog if you want to see that one), and I know it’s one of the things that drew many of you to the Jade pattern. So as promised, here’s a quick how-to if you want to make a dress using both my Jade and Isla sewing patterns, specifically how to add the Isla skirt to the Jade bodice.

Note: for a limited time, you can buy both patterns together in the discounted Jade + Isla bundle in my shop!

DIY jade+isla dress / made by rae

Increased yardage
Combining the two patterns will use more yardage, so you’ll need to add at least 1/2 – 3/4 yards to the original Isla yardage requirement to create this dress, depending on how long you want the sleeves. If you want a maxi version of the dress (like mine) you’ll need to add another 1/2 yard. Disclaimer: I haven’t calculated the exact yardage for this in every size, and depending on how wide your knit fabric is, you may be able to get a little creative with pattern pieces, so please use this as a general guideline rather than exact yardage. And of course, let me know how it works out if you try this mod!!

STEP 1. Cut out your pieces

To create a Jade + Isla Dress, you’ll need to cut out the following pieces from your fabric:

how to combine jade and isla

From Jade:

  • Cut 2 Jade bodices, using the Isla cutting lines (see note below)
  • Cut 2 Jade sleeves along desired length lines
  • Cut 2 Jade facings (optional — depends on View A or B, see pattern)

From Isla:

  • Cut 2 Isla Skirts

Cutting notes:
A cutting line is provided on both Jade bodices to shorten the bodice to Isla-length (that is, slightly above natural waist). These lines are 1/2″ lower on Jade than Isla, simply because I noticed that for fabrics that didn’t have 4-way stretch, the Isla waistline was landing pretty high on everyone, including me, and it’s always easier to shorten rather than lengthen a bodice. If you like the original Isla length, shorten this by 1/2.”

jade + isla tutorial / made by rae

Remember to include the center notches on both the skirts and the bodices. This makes it sooo much easier to attach the skirts!

Note for maxi version:
If you want a maxi version of this dress, extend the skirt pieces to roughly 40″-44″ tall (they’re rectangles, so this is easy to do). I am tall (5’9″) and I usually cut my maxi skirt pieces 44,” though I did end up shortening by a couple inches when I made the rose maxi version due to the vertical stretch in the poly jersey. Be aware that this may take some experimentation.

Note for stripes:
If you’re using a horizontally striped fabric, cut the bottom of the bodices along one of the stripes rather than using the Isla cutting lines (which are slightly curved to allow for more room in the front for the bust). I find it easiest to start from the cutting line at the side seams, then use a ruler to draw a line straight across to the fold.

STEP 2. Sew Jade bodices together

Using the sewing instructions from the Jade pattern, assemble your Jade bodices: sew the shoulders, add the sleeves, finish necklines and hem the sleeves, and sew the side seams.

STEP 3. Try it on and take in side seams

IMPORTANT: This step is key if you want your Jade + Isla dresses to fit like Isla does. Jade has more room added to the waist than Isla, so you’ll probably have to take the side seams in a bit. This step is part of the Isla instructions too, so if you’re finding that Isla bodices seem too big, you might be skipping this step for Isla.

Try on the bodices, then pinch out any excess at the waist along the side seams (I find this easiest to do if I try it on inside out). Pin, draw a smooth line from armpit to waist using chalk, and then re-sew the side seams if needed. Then try it on again and check fit. You want the bodice to be close-fitting at the sides, not loose (unless that’s the look you’re going for!).

STEP 4. Attach Isla Skirts to bodices

Using the sewing instructions from the Isla pattern, gather and attach the skirts to the bodice. If you use the elastic thread gathering and attaching technique that is used in the Isla pattern, you’ll get a nice smooth waist seam! Then hem your skirt, and your dress is finished!

DIY Grid Dress / Jade + Isla Sewing patterns

Voila new dress! Now go forth and wear your fabulous new frock all over the place.

The Jade and Isla patterns are both available in my shop!

Sewing Jade: Combining the boat + ballet necklines

jade tee sewing pattern

Jade has two lovely neckline options, a higher “boat” neckline, and a lower “ballet” neckline, which has a subtle scooped shape in both front and back. So is it possible to combine them? Of course! For this tee, I combined the front boat neckline with the back ballet neckline, so it would have the scoop in back. Here’s how it looks on the hanger from the back:

jade tee sewing pattern

In the pattern, I’ve provided an optional facing for View A (boatneck), for exactly this purpose: so that you can combine the front from one view with the back from another, something that I think creates a lovely hybrid of the two necklines.

If you decide to combine them, you’ll need to cut one View A facing, and one View B facing, and follow the instructions for the View B neckline finish.

jade tee sewing pattern

jade tee sewing pattern

I like how soft this brushed poly fabric is. I’ve noticed that they (double brushed poly jerseys) seem to have more vertical stretch than horizontal stretch, but they’re still super stretchy, known as “4-way.” For this reason, although the stripes ran vertically, parallel to selvage, I ended up cutting it out on the cross grain because I wanted the stripes to run horizontally. Normally this is not something I would recommend, but in this case the 4-way stretch makes this possible.

One more pic, this time to show you how it looks when I wear it backwards (with the scoop in front)! Although the sleeve and armholes are drafted differently for front and back, with a super stretchy knit like this, you really can’t tell that it’s on backwards, can you?

jade tee sewing pattern

Finally, if you’re wondering how this fabric compares to the other Jades I’ve sewn, it is most similar in weight and stretch to the orange and yellow bamboo spandex tees, but with less sheen. The “brushed” property of this fabric gives it much more of a matte appearance. So despite also being stretchy and lightweight, this print does hide bumps and wrinkles much better than the yellow and orange Jades in the Sewing Jade: Let’s talk about fit post, probably also just due to having a busier print rather than a solid, I would think?

The Jade sewing pattern is available now in my shop!

Sewing Jade: knit fabric inspiration

Thank you for the lovely response to Jade, my newest women’s pattern!!! It’s so fun to launch a new pattern and see the excitement and watch as your versions start popping up online. Keep sharing your Jade tees with the tag #mbrjade!

SEWING JADE / knit fabric inspiration

OK guys. I did some knit fabric window shopping for you. And when I say I did it for you I really mean for me because online fabric shopping is one of my favorite ways to waste time. Errr, I mean, do productive “research” for my blog AHEM AHEM AHEM.

Anyway, here are a bunch of knit fabrics, any of which I think would make a lovely Jade tee. I tried to find a nice balance of solids and stripes (I find these are the wardrobe heavy hitters), and fun prints, especially summery ones. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Jade fabrics

From top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 45 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

I found the fun summery fabrics above (mostly jerseys and a few rib knits) at two awesome shops that focus on apparel overstocks, IndieSew and Stylemaker. Purchasing overstock or deadstock is a great way to decrease the environmental impact of your knit sewing, as the fabric comes from bolts that are left over from the garment manufacturing process.

Browse IndieSew knits / Browse Stylemaker knits

Jade fabric recommendations

From top left: 1 (similar)/ 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

The beautiful jerseys shown above are from Maker Mountain (a smaller, more curated shop; she carries mostly Art Gallery and Riley Blake knits) and Raspberry Creek (I do love their double brushed poly jerseys; they’re super soft).

Browse Maker Mountain knits / Browse Raspberry Creek knits

Fabric shopping for the Jade tee

From top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Next up, knits from La Mercerie and Cali Fabrics. Of the two, La Mercerie is the smallest and highly curated, but it’s one of my favorite new shops to buy knits from — I purchased the striped tencel jersey in navy and white (sadly no longer available, shown in red and white here) and really love it . Cali Fabrics, on the other hand, has an extensive knit selection, to the point that it can be overwhelming. Full disclosure: I’ve never actually purchased fabric from Cali Fabrics, but I’ve seen other people posting about them with good results, so take that as a disclaimer of sorts.

Browse La Mercerie knits / Browse Cali Fabrics knits

jade tee - knit fabric recommendations

From top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 45 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Finally, some fun knits in summery hues from Fancy Tiger Crafts and Stone Mountain and Daughter, both great shops to visit in person if you ever have the chance. I’m headed to Colorado this summer for a knitting retreat, and I can’t WAIT to visit FTC in Denver. It’s been on my list for a long time. Their knits are always high quality and well curated. And if you’re lucky enough to be in the Bay Area, don’t miss visiting Stone Mountain and Daughter for their extensive selection of apparel fabrics of all kinds!

Browse Stone Mountain and Daughter knits / Browse Fancy Tiger Crafts knits

Did you enjoy this knit fabric roundup? I hope you are feeling inspired to sew your own Jade tees!!

Here are a few more links you might want to check out from my blog:

and of course, you can buy the Jade pattern in the shop!

Sewing Jade: let’s talk about fit

Knit garments can be pretty forgiving when it comes to fit, because the fabric stretches when worn, but it’s always helpful to have some idea of how a garment will fit before you start cutting out your fabric. Jade is a fitted tee; I designed it to pair well with Cleo and Luna, both of which have a more voluminous designs, and since those two patterns tend to add volume to my lower half, I’ve found that I like to wear them both with more fitted tops, as it creates a nice balance that I find appealing. But how “fitted” will Jade be on you? That reeeally depends on the size and fabric you choose. In this post, I’ll show you four different tees in two different sizes and three different fabrics so you can see how much these factors affect fit!

SEWING JADE / how size and fabric affect fit

How size affects fit: an experiment

I thought it would be interesting to sew Jade in two different sizes in the same fabric so that you can see how it fits me differently. First, I made a size medium in yellow bamboo spandex jersey, with the boat neckline (View A) and 3/4 length sleeve. My bust is 37″ and my upper bust is 35,” so according to the size charts (see the shop listing or the Jade page) and the instructions in the “choose your size” section of the pattern, I would choose a size medium (note that my waist is 34″ and my hip is 42″ which would put me in a size large based on those measurements).

jade tee pattern PDF

The fit through the shoulders and bust is pretty good, but you can definitely see that the tee is much more fitted on me through the waist and hip. It tends to ride up and wrinkle at the waist if I don’t tuck it in.

jade tee pattern PDF

Remember, a quick check of at the finished measurement chart can help you figure out roughly how much ease you’re likely to have at the bust, waist and hip (subtract the your body measurements from the garment’s finished measurements). For Jade, the bust is designed with negative ease, the waist with positive ease, the hip with negative ease. Also bear in mind that depending on the length of your torso (ie if you’re tall, petite, etc), or whether you lengthen or shorten the pattern, that that the hem of the garment may land in a slightly different place on you than it does on me, affecting the amount of ease at the hip somewhat.

See also: how to take body measurements (don’t measure the hip in the wrong spot!)

jade tee pattern PDF

Now let’s see how this fit compares to the next size up! I sewed this orange version in a size large, with the same fabric as the yellow tee — a stretchy bamboo spandex jersey — but of course a different color.

Jade tee by made by rae

This one has the ballet neckline (so View B, which is scooped in both front and back) with a short sleeve, but the bodice is exactly the same for both views, so that’s what we’re looking at here. I’m not sure if you can see this, but there is definitely more width through the shoulders, and the waist and hip don’t hug my body as closely.

Jade tee sewing pattern PDF

Jade tee sewing pattern PDF

When you use super stretchy knits (these two tees are both stretch bamboo spandex jerseys with 4-way stretch, see) they tend to hug the body more closely than when you use knits that are spandex free. This can be great if you want more of a “bodysuit” look, but due to the silky sheen of the bamboo, you can literally see every single wrinkle, bump or undergarment underneath them. Which is not so fantastic if you don’t want it to “hug your fluffy bits quite so lovingly” (as Nancy of @milkpillowblog so eloquently put it, LOL). So let’s try another fabric, shall we?

How fabric affects fit

I also thought it would be helpful to make Jade in the same size, but different fabrics, so you can see the change in fit you get just by choosing a different type of fabric. Here’s a size medium tee again (so: same size as the yellow tee above), with a boatneck and long sleeve.

Navy striped Jade Tee

To me, this striped Jade really helps underscore how much of a difference fabric can make. This is a 100% cotton baby rib knit, so, no spandex (see: where to find knit fabrics for sources). In addition, it’s a medium weight knit, so quite a bit thicker than the other fabrics in this post.

Navy striped Jade Tee Navy striped Jade Tee Navy striped Jade Tee

Remember how tight the yellow one was on me? Can you see the difference in fit? Even though it’s a size medium and my waist and hips are a size large, this striped rib knit has plenty of stretch and weight to hold its own against my midsection.

I find that medium weight fabrics like baby rib and interlock are really great for an untucked Jade that works on its own over shorts or pants (bonus: you see the beautifully subtle curved hem!), but I prefer the stretchier lighter fabrics for Jades that I will tuck into my Cleo skirts or high waisted jeans.

Navy striped Jade Tee

And just to add another data point, here’s one last Jade, this time in a size large (so: same size as the orange tee). I made this one out of Dana cotton jersey by Robert Kaufman (see: where to find knit fabrics for sources), which is a cotton modal blend that is lighter but doesn’t have nearly as much stretch as spandex jersey used in the first two tees shown in this post. You can see I get a small bit of pulling across the bust; the finished bust measurement for a size large is 35,” and my bust is 37,” so the negative ease through the bust combined with a solid fabric that doesn’t have any spandex means that I might want to add a little width at the bust if I make this tee in the same fabric again.

jade tee pattern PDF

Just like the orange tee, there’s plenty of room through the waist and hip.

jade tee pattern PDF

This is also the boat neckline (View A), this time with the elbow length sleeve. I really love how it looks tucked into high waisted jeans with a belt! Bonus: it perfectly matches my green watch!!! I just love this emerald color. This is the tee we ended up using for the “cover shot” of this pattern.

jade tee pattern PDF

So there you go! Was this helpful to see the differences in tees from size to size, fabric to fabric? Let me know if you have any questions in comments, and please share this post with others if you think they will find it helpful!

The Jade sewing pattern is available now in my shop!
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