Red Rover Backpack for Hugo

This was supposed to be for his first day of Kindergarten but when you realize you want to make your kid a new backpack the day before school starts, that is simply not a realistic goal. I finished it this past weekend, though, just in time for week four.

Made by Rae Backpack Sewing Pattern

I love this little backpack sewing pattern (designed for Elliot TEN YEARS AGO and I’m pretty sure it was the very first PDF pattern I ever sold in my shop. can you even believe?!), but it’s not exactly something you can whip up in an afternoon. It’s not necessarily all that difficult at any given point, but there are a lot of pieces and steps to get through (straps, piping, quilting the bottom piece, the zipper, etc), so it’s always been one of our more “advanced” designs. One of the things I love about it, though, is that if you can stay focused and stick with it, you get this amazingly crafted backpack at the end. Never ceases to leave me with a sense of immense satisfaction at the end result.

Made by Rae Backpack Sewing Pattern

Currently the Toddler Backpack Pattern includes pattern pieces for a smaller “toddler” size, with instructions to easily modify the pattern for bigger kids; it also does not currently include any pocket pieces, but over the years we’ve seen lots of you add pockets of various shapes and sorts, and we’ve always thought it would be great to add pocket options to the pattern if we ever updated it again. We’ve worked a bit recently on new pattern pieces for the larger school-aged-kid size as well as some new pocket pattern pieces, so this backpack for Hugo was a bit of a test run to see how everything worked, with the additional experiment of trying out the laminate* as an additional experiment (it was tricky, not gonna lie, see notes below). While I wouldn’t expect the new pattern pieces anytime soon (we’re still in the thick of updating size range for two of our womens’ patterns), it was fun to try them out on this backpack and get some idea of how they might work.

Made by Rae Backpack Sewing Pattern

A few notes:

  • I used fusible fleece to reinforce the outer panels, with limited success. You have to be pretty careful using an iron on the laminate (I put a piece of butcher paper between the iron and the laminate surface to prevent it from melting).
  • I couldn’t find my teflon foot, so I used strips of washi tape on the underside of my presser foot and along my throat plate so that the laminate wouldn’t “stick” while I was sewing it. Painter’s tape also works well for this.
  • Pattern mod: added a front pocket with a magnetic snap (this pattern piece will be added if/when we ever update this pattern)
  • Pattern mod: added an elasticized water bottle pocket on the side. This seems like something most kids need, so we’ll have pattern pieces for that in an eventual update as well. Mine came out a wee bit shorter than I think it should have been, but it’s perfect for the mini-Kleen Kanteen that Hugo uses.
  • I used a separating zipper because it was the only red zipper I had and that ended up being a bad idea because if you accidentally unzip it all the way to the end, it can be a bit hard to get it back together. Don’t recommend. Oops!

Made by Rae Backpack Sewing Pattern

*About the fabric: this “Red Rover” design originated with my Small World corduroy collection for Cloud9 back in 2015. The dog design was so popular that it was the first one in the collection to sell out, so we added it to the Sidewalk knit collection (in a slightly different size and colorway), and later Cloud9 decided to add it to their organic laminate collection, which is a nice waterproof alternative to oilcloth in that you don’t have all of the toxic off-gassing (just google it).

Anyway, I finished it this past weekend so he’s been carrying it to school all week and he seems to like it so far. Especially the attention it gets him. It’s heavier than his previous one — the “school-age” size definitely feels oversized for a kindergartener — but it had to be this big to fit his homework folder (please don’t get me started on homework in kindergarten, I will rage.), so there you go. Happy dog backpack, happy kid.

Made by Rae backpack pattern

PS. This backpack pattern is available in my shop! It currently comes with easy instructions for modifying the smaller sized pattern pieces to a larger, school-aged size backpack like the one shown here.

Hugo’s Nursery

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I made new curtains for Hugo’s nursery recently using the clementine print from my baby wale cord line for Cloud9, Small World. This gives me an excuse to show you Hugo’s room before I go and totally change it up. I’m itching to get him out of that crib, and the plan is to bring Clementine into that room now that he’s no longer waking up during the night. Well, he does, but he usually just fusses a bit and goes right back to sleep. Both Elliot and Clementine were already out of their cribs by his age (22 months).

Plus, dare I say it? I want to start potty training as soon as possible. Clementine had basically potty-trained herself by this age and Elliot was trained when he was 2 1/2. I’m not one of those Pullups parents. I made it through two children without ever purchasing a single Pullup. So we’ll see how this goes. Pulling my hair out in a year, most likely. Some of you are already thinking oh dear she has no idea how much harder it will be with that third child. Or will it be easier? I have no idea. At any rate, the potty is ready and waiting (not pictured).

Here’s a bunch of pics!
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I’m already excited about making this room into a boy/girl shared room, I think it will be cute, even if Clementine insists on taking all of her Frozen posters with her. Stay tuned.

Details: Rug from Dwell Studio / Wall Prints from the Kid Who (they’re Ingela Arrhenius) / Side table from IKEA / Rocking chair from Sprout / Hugo’s outfit blogged here.

Overalls for Hugo

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Yes, I know, I know; I have a pile of things to finish but sometimes you just gotta make something in your head, you know? I had this idea to sew a pair of overalls with my Small World corduroy and I couldn’t get it out of my head, so during a nap I hacked my Parsley Pants pattern to make a little pair of overalls for Hugo. The Parsley Pants pattern starts at size 2 but is meant for potty-trained kids so the fit doesn’t account for a huge cloth diaper; I figured if I just cut off the legs and added a bib thingy on the top they would work just fine! Hmm. I was *almost* right.

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I am lucky to have quite a bit of Small World sample yardage to work with, so testing out an idea like this isn’t a huge risk for me, but if I were trying this with fabric that I had less of, I definitely would have made a test version first. I will be completely honest: they don’t fit him very well.

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What the photos here don’t show is that I had to put him in a disposable diaper instead of his normal cloth diapers just to get them on, and then they were so tight he looked like he was stuffed into them like a little baby sausage. Mmm…delicious little baby sausage (sorry I couldn’t resist — remember this post?). Anyway, it’s back to the drawing board if I want to make another pair (and I do!). Just need to lower the crotch / shorten the legs / lengthen the waist / widen the entire thing…you know, just a few minor tweaks and it’ll be downright perfect. Hah.

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I wanted to share these anyway; as you can see things don’t always work out when I just jump in and whip it up. Sometimes it pays off…but sometimes it doesn’t!

Doxies for Rossie

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My friend Karen LePage works with me here at the studio at least once a week; she’s been designing a new wrap skirt pattern for women for her brand new clothing label, Gentle Clothing, that we thought would be really fun with the Red Rover print from Small World. And who better to make it for than our local friend Rossie, dog lover and quilter extraordinaire? Rossie expressed an affinity for the red rover print pretty early on, so Karen whipped up this reversible skirt along with an indigo crossweave that I think is a fantastic combination. It was at the studio the other day, so I snapped some pics for our It’s a Small World (blog tour), after all.

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The little hand-stitched dog is just a great touch, don’t you think?

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As far as the pattern is concerned, the “Wander Skirt” from Gentle Clothing will be available soon. You can follow Karen at @gentleclothing on Instagram or sign up for her newsletter at GentleClothing.com if you’d like to know when it’s ready!

I think that about wraps it up for our It’s a Small World (blog tour), After All! Here are all the posts in the series if you’d like to take a look. I hope you’ve found it as fun and inspiring as I have!!!

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Small World is printed on 100% organic baby wale corduroy from Cloud9 Fabrics and is being sold in shops now. My sponsors Fancy Tiger Crafts and Fabricworm have it in stock now.

If you’ve been sewing with some Small World of your own, please share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #smallworldfabric or in the Small World Flickr Pool. I’d love to see what you’ve been making!

Small World baby pants

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Though I have tons of ideas for things I want to sew with my Small World corduroy, the first thing to make it out of the gate was a pile of baby pants. Specifically, Big Butt Baby Pants. For most of Hugo’s life he’s been wearing these flannel ones and these (he’s just growing out of those ones now), so I started with a couple 12-18 month ones (the yellow and blue and pink) and then made a few 18-24 month ones (the balloons and apples) and then moved on to a 2T pair of Parsley Pants in the red. I’ll probably send a few to Penelopeanut but Hugieboogie is still going to be one Sporty Spice.

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He’s been pretty fond of moving himself around via the Retro Rocket and the Beep Beep, even though he still cannot walk or crawl. He also can’t really steer. But that just makes it a little more interesting.

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One more thing: for the first time, I’ve started putting size tags in the backs and good grief WHY DID I NOT DO THIS BEFORE?? Answer: because I hadn’t stumbled across this Etsy shop yet (she’s on vacay as of this writing but should be back soon). You’re welcome.

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We’re winding down our It’s A Small World (blog tour), After All this week. Here’s a list of the other posts in the series:

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Small World is printed on 100% organic baby wale corduroy from Cloud9 Fabrics and is being sold in shops now. My sponsors Fancy Tiger Crafts and Fabricworm have it in stock now.

If you’re already sewing with some Small World of your own, please JOIN US! and share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #smallworldfabric or in the Small World Flickr Pool!

Up So High Moss Skirt

Hello everyone! Jess is stepping in today to show you the Grainline Moss Skirt she made as part of our Small World Blog Tour!! Without further ado, here’s Jess:Small World Moss Skirt
Heyyy there Raeders! (or do you prefer to go by Raesins?) I thought I’d show you that big kids can wear Small World too! I’ve had the Grainline Studio Moss Skirt Pattern for a couple of years now, and I’d even sewn up a muslin and made sizing adjustments before setting it aside. But the second this Up So High yardage entered my sewing lair, I started cutting out this little number.

It is kind of little, eh? It’s advertised as a mini skirt, though, so I can’t complain. I usually wear skirts like this with tights or leggings, and they’re more of a cold-weather staple for me, but this does make for a wonderful summer skirt if I do say so myself. Lest the mini-ness of this skirt deter you from trying it, let it be known that (a) my legs are disproportionately long for my 5′ 6″ body; and (b) the Moss Skirt pattern does have an option to add hem bands for extra length. Also: since I purchased my copy, Jen has updated the pattern with a little added length, and it’s now available in print format too!

Small World Moss Skirt
The pockets on this skirt are fully functional. Look! I can actually fit my big man hands into them! This is the single most exciting thing about this pattern; all my store-bought jeans and skirts have tiny, pretend, why-bother pockets, and this is such a great example of why making my own clothes is so gratifying.

Small World Moss Skirt
The Moss Skirt pattern is definitely more advanced than the average women’s pattern in my stash, but the details aren’t too tricky with a little practice. Know that it is completely worth your time to do a couple of practice zipper flys before diving in on the real thing. You might even have a small temper tantrum when you attach the pockets to the pocket linings, but that’s totally normal if you cut out the wrong-sized linings (ahem).

Small World Moss Skirt
This corduroy is so soft and easy to work with. I didn’t have any trouble with the fabric stretching and shifting while I sewed, which is something I’ve previously experienced with other corduroys. I can’t wait to make more garments with Small World. Don’t you think a pair of Maritime Shorts would be amazing in, say, the Apples print?

Small World Moss Skirt

Small World Moss Skirt
Big thanks to my friend Kanitta in DC for the photo shoot!

Here are the all the stops on the It’s A Small World (blog tour), After All so far:

Stay tuned for more Small World…I’ve hopefully got a couple more posts coming yet!

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Small World is printed on 100% organic baby wale corduroy from Cloud9 Fabrics and is being sold in shops now. My sponsors Fancy Tiger Crafts and Fabricworm have it in stock now.

If you’re already sewing with some Small World of your own, please JOIN US! and share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #smallworldfabric or in the Small World Flickr Pool!

Small World Backpack

I was going to post a new Small World project of my own today, but yesterday got away from me and Hugo is on nap-strike today so that’s just not happening. But then Cherie went for the big win with her SECOND Small World post of the week and it was so amazing I just had to make sure I posted about it:

Small World Backpack by Youandmie

KILLING IT, I tell you. The Cuteness.

CLICK HERE TO SEE CHERIE’S SMALL WORLD POST

Here are the all the stops on the It’s A Small World (blog tour), After All so far:

Stay tuned for more Small World…I’ve hopefully got a couple more posts coming yet!

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Small World is printed on 100% organic baby wale corduroy from Cloud9 Fabrics and is being sold in shops now. My sponsors Fancy Tiger Crafts and Fabricworm have it in stock now.

If you’re already sewing with some Small World of your own, please JOIN US! and share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #smallworldfabric or in the Small World Flickr Pool!

Lemons and umbrellas

Today is Day 4 of It’s a Small World (blog tour), After All! Deborah over at Whipstitch made this pinafore for her daughter with the lemon print. Deborah is going to release the patterns for both the pinafore and the under-dress in her post, so soon we can all make this amazing outfit!

whipstitch pinafore

CLICK HERE TO SEE DEBORAH’S SMALL WORLD POST

 Meanwhile, Cherie of You and Mie has made this adorable umbrella dress for her youngest. That polka-dot pocket? Such a sweet contrast!

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CLICK HERE TO SEE CHERIE’S SMALL WORLD POST

Here are the all the stops on the blog tour so far:

Check in tomorrow for more Small World!

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Small World is printed on 100% organic baby wale corduroy from Cloud9 Fabrics and is being sold in shops now. My sponsors Fancy Tiger Crafts and Fabricworm have it in stock now.

If you’re already sewing with some Small World of your own, please JOIN US! and share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #smallworldfabric or in the Small World Flickr Pool!

City streets

Welcome to Day 3 of It’s a Small World (blog tour), After All! Gail of Probably Actually made a Lotta Skirt for her daughter. I love the contrast pockets!

gail skirt

CLICK HERE TO SEE GAIL’S SMALL WORLD POST

Here are the all the stops on the blog tour so far:

See you tomorrow with a couple more sweet Small World projects!

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Small World is printed on 100% organic baby wale corduroy from Cloud9 Fabrics and is being sold in shops now. My sponsors Fancy Tiger Crafts and Fabricworm have it in stock now.

If you’re already sewing with some Small World of your own, please JOIN US! and share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #smallworldfabric or in the Small World Flickr Pool!