Exhibit 2: Foxy Skirt

This week, as part of my personal countdown to KCWC, I’m throwing pictures at the blog of things I’ve made for the kids this year that never got blogged. It’s my own little challenge, to try and “clean out the virtual closet” before I go and make more clothes for them next week. I’ll even show you some of the new kids patterns I’ve been working on. Fun Fun!

Foxy Skirt

This skirt was made with a fat quarter of cotton sateen fabric from Spoonflower that I designed (previously blogged about here) and some white linen for the band at the bottom and the elastic casing. The top is a flashback tee, upcycled from one of Mr Rae’s old shirts.

Foxy Skirt

She’s already so much bigger than when I took this photo earlier this year…waaah!

Foxy Skirt

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To see all of my KCWC-countdown posts:

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To read more about KCWC and sign yourself up (just leave a comment, easy peasy!), click here:

Foxes, Moonrise Kingdom, and Washi


First. Am so excited about my fabric samples that came from Spoonflower yesterday. This little foxy print is one I designed in Inkscape last fall in just the blue and orange. It took a $1 swatch sale at Spoonflower last month for me to try out a few other colors. Still like the blue best, but the pink/orange combo is a close second. More on these later, but if, perchance, you need some foxy fabric of your own, these are now available in my Spoonflower shop. What do you think??


Second. I finally saw Moonrise Kingdom this past weekend with Mr Rae (it finally made it to our indie theater here in Ann Arbor) and I lalaloved it. Not as much from a what-a-great-story standpoint but more of a “wow that is really cool/hilarious/amazing!” standpoint. Let’s be honest, Wes Anderson’s story lines are more of a delivery vehicle for the more central cinematography, music, and styling aspects than anything else.

Skip to the point Rae. How much do I love Suzy’s pink dress? Lots.

image via Moonrise Kingdom

So, question: Is there a way to combine the uber-adorbsible collar, awesome color, and (dare I dream of finding something similar) textured fabric without needing to go the mini-dress route, which, let’s face it is going to look hilarious on my 30-something self? I am dying for the color, fabric, collar, and cuffs. Did I mention that already?

Third. Brenda of Pink Castle informed me last week that the Washi fabric line has been discontinued. Waaah. Let’s hear it for a good, long run for the Washi line, woot!! And before you weep into your coffee cup, know that the word in the blogosphere is that Rashida Coleman-Hale is currently working on another line for Cloud 9 that is sure to be just as fantastic!

image via Cloud 9 blog

So what does this mean hey? It means all bets are off if you plan to recreate this dress unless you can find it and snap it up now:


The Washi Dress pattern is coming-oh-so-soon (tester copies are out as of this week, yay!), and just so you know, Brenda has the Washi tape prints left yet (at least 39 yards of the beige, 16 yards of the grey as of this writing) and you will need 2.5 yards for the smaller sizes (up to about a size M/women’s 8 ) and 3 yards for the larger sizes (up to about a women’s size 16).

New whales!

I recently made a few more color variations of the whale fabric design and ordered them up over at Spoonflower on the organic knit (by far my favorite of their substrates). Spoonflower is a company that prints digital fabric on demand, so you can upload any image and get it printed onto fabric.


Cute-cute, right? OK so I’m biased. ANYWAY.


This aqua and green whale print will become a knit dress for Clementine, but I think it could also turn into a great little gift set for a baby boy.


The navy background is just a color swap-aroo from the original whale print (featured in this post). Both are now available for purchase in my Spoonflower shop if you want some.

I really enjoy printing up my own fabric for fun and once you order a print, it’s easy to make them available for purchase. Know that if you do order some, a bit of that sale goes back to me. With the Spoondollars I received from everyone who ordered the first whale print, I was able to buy this yard of knit. I believe I had wagered that the most I would get out of the deal was a cup of coffee, so I’m happy to be proven wrong. That was really nice, so thanks!!!

One other thing you should know if you’re thinking of ordering some is that the background color shown in the top photo is more of  a cream than a white because of the base color of the organic knit. The linen/cotton blend also has a slightly off-white color. The poplin, quilting cotton, voile, and silks all have more of a pure white background color, which also looks great with these prints. I happen to prefer the off-white shade though, especially with the aqua and green.

Speaking of knits, I’m so excited for next month — I’ve got big plans for a “Sewing with Knits” series of posts starting in January that should be loads of fun! I guess I should get sewing on these whales then, ack!!

And, there are only FOUR MORE DAYS to sign up for our Handmade Kid’s Wardrobe Sewing Class in Ann Arbor. I’m totally in love with this cute postcard Karen made to advertise the class:

I’ve been kindof a slacker about marketing it (well to be fair I was in Seattle and Florida and then Christmas hit) and now time is running out — we need at least 6 students in order to run the class, so if you’re thinking of it, now’s the time to sign up. Stop over at our course website for more information and to register!

Whale Fabric a go-go

Just popping in real quick to say that I figured out how to put the whale fabric up for sale if you’d like to buy some from Spoonflower. If you missed the post with the whale fabric it is right here.

Just so you know, the designer earns 10% of the sale which is nice but my guess is that my total earnings here will probably amount to a couple of coffees at best and Mr Rae already makes awfully good coffee. Besides I will probably just spend it all at Spoonflower and then you would only have yourselves to blame for my deepening, frightening Fabric Habit. Anyway, please don’t feel me asking you to buy this, merely wanted to make it available if you wanted some nifty mod whale fabric (if buying this is more about supporting me then you should just get one of my sewing patterns).

Did you see that you can play around with the layout? (Not sure, can you? Or is that just me who can do that?) When I click on the layout options at the bottom, it moves the positions of the images. AW LOOK NOW THEY ARE KISSING WHALES!!!

Here’s a “half-brick” for whales that are staggered not stacked (hmm must think of better way to say that):

And here’s the “mirror repeat” AW LOOK THEY ARE KISSING AGAIN!!! In fours. Um. Awkward. *looks away* Not judging.

I swear I have not had anything except a bowl of Moosetracks. That perhaps IS problem? Need to go to bed before I write something I will regret. Perhaps have already?

And thanks by the way for the encouragement on the design. I know asking for opinions on my blog pretty much amounts to fishing for compliments, but it’s still nice to hear. Like most everyone else here in Craftblogland I lack a coworker or boss to shove things at and wait for feedback. So you guys are really nice to take the time to say encouraging things.

PS Am still baking this bread almost daily, and it is still fantastic. I think I am ready to start branching out to the other recipes/book. So also need to say a big thank you for all of the comments, encouragement, and suggestions on that as well!

The Best Burp Cloths

Warning: Lots of blahdeeblahdeeblah in this post. Anti-readers should go elsewhere. BUT! There’s a tutorial at the end of it all if you can make it that far!

When my sewing career started up again post-college with the purchase of a cheap Singer online (which is now completely worthless, a discussion for another time, another post), I began making baby gifts for friends. That seemed to be the time when everyone around me was beginning to procreate. I myself had just begun to date my high school boyfriend for the second-time-around (who later became Mr Rae) and was nowhere near thinking about procreation or marriage at that point. Nevertheless I found baby gifts to be the perfect sewing project as I started to relearn the sewing skills that had been abandoned in my youth. One of the first things I made was a burp cloth for a friend’s baby which later received rave reviews both for its attractiveness and functionality. Later when I had my own children I made loads of these and found them to be one of the most useful items those first few months. I reached for them before the birdseye diapers because they were cuter, and before the commercial multipack ones because well those are just plain worthless. I’ve seen many types of handmade burp cloths, but I like the way these really show off the fabric you choose.

Last weekend my sister-in-law had a shower for her soon-to-be-expected baby boy, so I put together a stack on the suggestion of my other sister-in-law who had also found them invaluable. Just a couple of hours of sewing and I had a handmade, adorable gift. This is a great beginner project especially if you need to make a baby boy gift which can be harder to come up with at the drop of a hat (and by the way bibs are almost as easy and just as useful too!)

The front sides of the four burp cloths shown above are made with super-soft single layer gauze that I ordered from Spoonflower (a digital fabric print-on-demand website). One of the things I love about Spoonflower is that you can have your fabric printed on many different kinds of fabric. This particular set of designs is from a limited edition collection designed by Heather Ross exclusively for Spoonflower called Macaroni Love Story which is no longer available, but you can order her current Spoonflower collection here which is equally cute. Otherwise, just look around for a few minutes and you’ll be sure to find a design by someone that suits you!

Now a note about this “gauze.” It’s actually not called “gauze” by the Spoonflower folks, it’s called “voile,” and I must freely admit to you that I was downright miffed last winter when it arrived on my doorstep bearing almost no resemblance whatsoever to the material called “voile” that has become popular of late (first by Anna Maria Horner and now by many other fabric designers), meaning I wasn’t going to be able to use it for its original intended purpose. In fact I still feel it is a wee bit deceptive to call it “voile” considering the other voiles on the market, although I’m sure it technically qualifies as a voile by weight. If I were running things over at Spoonflower (which, obviously, I am not) I would call this a “single layer gauze” so that is what I am calling it in this post*.

Regardless of what you want to call it (and whether or not you think it’s worth getting grumpy about, ummmm), it absolutely makes the BEST material for burp clothes. One fat quarter would make two burp clothes, but a full yard would make four (EIGHT! Thanks Susan for that correction. I used to teach math…wow, how did that happen?) at a better price. If you ordered a full yard and hemmed it you’d have a perfect summer baby blanket very similar to the other gauzy muslin ones that seem to be popping up all over the place lately. And if the price tag seems high to you, think about this: you are paying for the ability to print a specific design (including your own) on demand. That’s been unheard of until very recently.

*Please don’t get me wrong: I think Spoonflower is great. Stephen and the gang have been nothing but wonderful since the start and my attempts with other fabric-on-demand websites have proven that they really have a good thing going on here. I would love to talk more about designing fabric prints and ordering digital fabric on demand, but again that’s another post, for another time.

Another material that is more readily available that is great for this project is regular quilting cotton. You might think it wouldn’t be absorbant enough, but you’d be wrong. It’s a little heavier but works just as well, and how many great boy prints are out there right now that would be fantastic here? You can go as crazy as you want, because it’s just a burp cloth, right? The back side of this burp cloth is knit jersey, which I usually cut from an old t-shirt. I also use chenille or minky for the back, but if you’re not quite ready to sew with knits, flannel or terry cloth would work just fine. I think you’ll find though that sewing with knit fabric is really easy for this project.

cutting knit from t-shirts for this is so easy!
just place the top rectangle right over the t-shirt and cut!

While I know that many of you could probably figure out how to put two rectangles of fabric together to make a burp cloth, just in case it helps you to have a picture step-by-step I’ve put together quick tutorial!

Voila! Burp cloths! So easy.

If you’re just joining us, this post is part of the Celebrate the SUMMER Boy series. You can go here to see all of the posts in on place.

And just in case you’ve missed what Dana has been up to this week:

First up on Monday was this fantastic tutorial on upcycling thrifted men’s trunks into kids trunks. Wow, don’t these look great?

And yesterday she talked about fabric selection in a FANTASTIC post about choosing fabric for boys!

And today? Racer Shorts!!!

Toy Bag from Spoonflower Swatch

Lately I’ve been spending a good amount of my free (i.e. nap) time making fabric designs to print out on Spoonflower. It’s so much fun! Since the colors don’t always come out exactly the way I want them to, I’ve been ordering 8×8″ swatches before I commit to a whole yard, resulting in a ton of leftover swatches that I don’t know what to do with.

So the other day I put one to use as part of a toy bag for E’s train set (the fabric in the center is the swatch I designed):

Here’s a quick how-to:

Note: I used a 1/4″ seam allowance and serged all of the seams, but this would work fine with a normal sewing machine, just pink your edges so they don’t fray inside the bag.

  1. Sew a strip of fabric 3.5″ wide along the bottom of your swatch. Trim the edges so it’s edges line up with the swatch. Repeat with a 5″ strip along the top of the swatch (this one’s bigger to accommodate the drawstring).
  2. Sew two 3.5″ x 16″ strips along the sides (as you can see, one of mine is made up of two fabrics because my scraps weren’t big enough. I liked the patchy look though). Trim these so they are even with the middle section.
  3. Sew multiple strips (cut them between 3 to 5″ wide and about 15″ long) together to form the back of the bag until you have a rectangle about 16″ tall. (Again, my top two strips weren’t long enough so I placed one sideways to extend them to the edge).
  4. Trim the back so that it’s the same size as the front. My finished pieces were about 14″ wide and 15.5″ tall.
  5. Sew the front and back together around sides and bottom, leaving the top 1.25″ inches of one side unsewn for drawstring hole.
  6. Press seam apart at this hole and sew down edges with zigzag stitch.
  7. Fold and press over 1/4″ at top of bag. Fold another 1″ over and press to form drawstring casing. Sew along edge of casing to close. Thread 1.5 yards of ribbon through casing and tie for drawstring.

:: back view::

Here are some alternate colorways of the little houses design that I’ve tried (the lighting here in the Snowy North is a bit dim, so these look brighter in real life):

This one needs a little adjustment yet; I’d like the pastels to be a litle lighter:

Some more info on Spoonflower:

  • It’s a website where you can upload your images and they print them onto fabric for you
  • The fabric runs about $18/yd, but you can order 8×8 swatches to test out your designs before you commit to an entire yard; you can also order fat quarters and 1/2 yards
  • You no longer need to have an invite to join!
  • I use Inkscape to make my designs (which is free software you can download from the Inkscape website), but I think that you get better results with colors if you use Photoshop or Illustrator.
  • If you want to learn how to do some basic design and color testing, go to Rachel’s site — she has some really great Spoonflower tutorials that I learned a TON from. Thanks Rachel!

Spoonflowering Along

I’m having so much fun designing prints in Inkscape (open source design software for those of you who don’t want to fork over the big bucks for Photoshop) to print up on Spoonflower. I can’t wait to make some baby pants with this octopus print (below).

One of the issues I’m having though can be seen in the picture…color problems. The colors not only fade substantially when printed, but they shift as well (top is computer printout, bottom is actual fabric swatch). And for someone like me who really has absolutely no computer design experience, this can be a wee bit frustrating.

But aren’t those little octopi cute? I swear I made up this design before Heather Ross came out with Mendocino. Truly.

Here’s a bird swatch based on my old header. The turquoise/aqua looks hideous. The shade reminds me of really faded medical scrubs. Not a good thing.

I love seeing how other people’s designs have turned out…check out Made By Petchy! She has one free for download for those of you who have Spoonflower accounts. That tree design is pure genius. So simple and yet so well-designed.

: : Dog Stencils : : Heather Ross Love : : Spoonflower : :

Made up a new stencil the other day:

**Update: these stencils are of the freezer-paper variety; for a good tutorial go here**

I bought this tea outfit a few months ago but the shirt looked so…blah. Had to spruce it up.
Can you tell it’s a dog? Mr. Rae says it kinda looks like a rat. Not that it really matters, but Elliot is a huge dog fan (from a distance, of course), so I was going more in the canine direction. The idea actually came from this picture from Print and Pattern back in May.

I had some extra paint so I decided to make another one — this time on a newborn onesie. Not sure what will happen with this one yet.

: : Miscellany : :

1. Got my Spoonflower invite! Yay! I’ve already started designing my fabrics…my head is just full of ideas, so more to come on that.

2. I’m dying to buy Heather Ross’ Mendicino line. It’s gradually popping up in stores…very. very. slowly. Tantalizing.

3. Also from the Madly-In-Love-With-Heather-Ross Dept, these awesome slippers that are next on my To-Make List.