The Geranium Dress – The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Geranium Dress, Made By Rae, Michael Miller, Brambleberry Ridge Flight, Brambleberry Ridge Shimmer Reflection Mint

Made By Rae’s Geranium Dress is what really got me started compulsively sewing for my girls about four years ago.  The first time I poked around the internet looking for patterns, I came across this beautiful version from Gail.  I was completely smitten by the silhouette of the dress and her sophisticated choice of fabric.  It was as if the clouds parted and I saw all the possibilities out there for kid sewing.

Since then, I’ve made at least a dozen Geraniums for my own kids and their friends.  Every time I think I’ve exhausted all the options in this pattern, I think of something else to try.

Here are the ones that have made it into the blog . . .  (There are more out there!!!)

Well, it just happened again . . .

On the occasion of Kiki’s sixth birthday, I decided that she needed a dress that is as grownup as she is.

I took a look around and found this very awesome version of the Matinee Dress from the Crazy Tailor.  In its original form, I think that the Matinee Dress is a bit too low in the back for my taste, but the Crazy Tailor did such a nice job of raising the back up just enough – and that bow!  How awesome!

I thought for a moment about buying the Matinee pattern and hacking it in the same way.  But then it occurred to me that I could do the same thing with, wait for it, the Geranium.

While dreaming this up, I also remembered this Geranium from Girl Like the Sea, which has a similar shaped back.  I didn’t need to be convinced any further.

Geranium Dress, Made By Rae, Michael Miller, Brambleberry Ridge Flight, Brambleberry Ridge Shimmer Reflection Mint

It was easy as pie to scoop out the back of the bodice and tuck in some ribbon before sewing the bodice and lining together.

Kiki’s choice of fabric (chosen from a selection carefully curated by your truly, ahem) was from Michael Miller’s Brambleberry Ridge line – Flight on top and Shimmer Reflection on the bottom.  I was very impressed that she bypassed the pink and chose the mint colorway.  I think she’s growing up, guys.

Geranium Dress, Made By Rae, Michael Miller, Brambleberry Ridge Flight, Brambleberry Ridge Shimmer Reflection Mint

In case you can’t see it clearly in the photos, the gold birds and dots are all metallic and shimmery.  Very fancy!

Geranium Dress, Made By Rae, Michael Miller, Brambleberry Ridge Flight, Brambleberry Ridge Shimmer Reflection Mint

The flower crown is all Kiki’s doing.  This flower crown kit was one of her favorite Christmas gifts this year, and she’s had so much fun making and wearing her own crowns.  She decided that her handiwork would be the perfect accessory here.  Too true!

Geranium Dress, Made By Rae, Michael Miller, Brambleberry Ridge Flight, Brambleberry Ridge Shimmer Reflection Mint

Now that the Geranium is available up to size 12, I’m definitely going to keep it handy.  Who knows what will come out of it next? . . .



Yes.  The holidays are over, and it’s January already.  What better time to show you the jackets I made for Kiki and Lulu for fall?  Ha!

Jackets 1

Both of these little ladies needed something cozy for brisk, windy fall days.  And since Kiki is off in kindergarten all day now and Lulu is hot on her trail, I wanted them both bundled up in something made with love from dear old Mom.

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket

I’m way into corduroy these days, and it seemed to be just the thing for the exterior of these babies.  Both ladies chose their own colors, and both picked this fab orange.  At least I’ve taught them something!

5&10 Designs Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

For the lining, Kiki chose this Allison Cole Happy Camper flannel, which I can’t find any more of by now (since I bought this fabric back in September!).  It’s a cute print with little tents and teepees and campfires and woodsy critters — an interesting choice for a girl who lives in a decidedly non-camping family.  Oh ye gods, I hope she’s not trying to tell us something!!

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket

5&10 Designs Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

For her cozy jacket’s innards, Lulu picked the always fabulous foxes from Made By Rae’s Fanfare Flannel in pink.  I have to say that I was so pleased with this pick!

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

5&10 Designs Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

Kiki got these wonderful green spangly buttons that coordinate with her lining.  They add a nice sparkle on a blustery day without going the way of the princess.

5&10 Designs Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

Lulu’s buttons are velvet covered and look like the eyes of the foxes inside 🙂

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

Yes, after a couple of washes the flannel pills a little.  I have yet to find one that doesn’t.  That’s life.  It’s still the coziest stuff!

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

The pattern for both jackets comes from 5&10 Designs, Volume 2.

If you’re not familiar with 5&10 Designs, it’s a group of five bloggers who put out basic pattern blocks with instructions on how to hack them ten different ways.  They’ve put out three volumes, and this jacket is taken from the second volume — as was the coat I made for Kiki last year.

To put these jackets together, I started with the basic pattern block for Look One.  I made it longer and drew the sides out a little to create a more A-line shape.  I also made the facings for the button placket several inches wider.  The pattern calls for placket facings that end up being only about an inch wide, which may work for snaps but doesn’t cut it for buttons like these.  Here’s what Kiki’s last year coat ended up looking like with the narrow facings.

Five and Ten Designs Volume Two, 5 and 10 Designs Volume 2

Happily, I lived and learned.  Just look at them now!

5&10 Designs Volume 2 Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare

I wanted to be sure that these jackets would be warm enough, so I went ahead and added fusible fleece on the inside (following a tip from Hungie Gungie).  It’s so easy to do — just cut the same pieces from the fleece as you cut for the exterior pieces (not the facings) and fuse ’em on.  You’ll get a jacket that’s much thicker and warmer, but not bulky enough to make sewing difficult.

5&10 Designs, Made By Rae fanfare

If you feel like you’ve seen the fabric on Lulu’s hat before, you’re not crazy.  It’s Heather Ross Briar Rose jersey.  I made these hats from an Ottobre pattern from the 4/2015 issue.  You can also find this pattern along with a handy tutorial for free online.

Ottobre 4/2015 Beanie

This little hat is a breeze to make, especially with that tutorial to explain it all.  It could also be easily enlarged for adults.  But to be honest, I’m not in love with how it looks on.  The seam runs ear to ear, and the bulk of the seam allowances makes the shape look a little weird.  I’ll have to try this again trimming the seam allowances more to see if that helps.  I mean, it takes only about 20 minutes to whip one of these up, so it’s worth a little experimentation on some extra knit fabric.

Ottobre 4/2015 Beanie

Now that the winter chill is here, these jackets have been put away.  I’m hoping that they’ll be just a cozy on early spring mornings.

5&10 Designs Jacket, Made By Rae Fanfare


Beatrix X 2

Despite the absence of grown-up sewing on this blog for a long while, I have been sewing for myself quite a bit over the past few months.  But somehow, asking my (very obliging) husband to take photos of me and then posting them on the internet is not always on the top of my list of favorite things to do, so I’ve been holding out.

Now, it’s time to come clean and show you what I’ve been up to.

Made By Rae, Beatrix TopHere are two versions of the Beatrix Top from Made By Rae, which came out this past summer.

My fabrics are Aloe Vera Voile in lime from Anna Maria Horner and gorgeous Nani Iro double gauze.

Made By Rae, Beatrix TopI think this is a great pattern — very similar to the Scout Tee by Grainline Studios, but less boxy with the addition of darts.

Made By Rae, Beatrix TopDon’t you love the shape of the shirttail hem?

The button placket on the back adds a lot of interest, and can be made in a contrast fabric. It’s also surprisingly simple to put together.

Made By Rae, Beatrix TopFor the double gauze version, I used little hand painted wooden buttons that my (crazily thoughtful) husband gave me for my birthday.  They’re just perfect, don’t you think?

The fit is very forgiving for those of us who have a thicker post baby mid-section, which is always a relief 🙂

Made By Rae, Beatrix TopAnother nice thing about this pattern is that you don’t need to unbutton it to pull it on and off over your head.  I’m thinking of making one with the back in one piece, much like the Scout Tee, but with a better fit.

Made By Rae, Beatrix TopI was a good citizen and made a muslin.  I ended up with a medium, without any adjustments.  The voile version behaved just as the muslin did, and I left the sizing as is.

But the double gauze Beatrix turned out to be wildly larger than the voile in the width. It’s crazy how different fabrics behave!  I took that one in quite a bit on the sides, and could probably stand to take in a bit more.

Another thing I noticed with the double gauze is that, despite diligent use of interfacing, the placket very quickly looks a bit pulled at the buttons — even though it’s not tight at all. A possible solution might be to sew the placket pieces together down the center back together so the buttons are actually not functional.  What do you think?

Made By Rae, Beatrix TopOk, that wasn’t too painful.  I’ll be back soon with more of me!!!

A Long Sleeved Geranium for Fall

Geranium Dress, Long Sleeve, Made By RaeI dare you to show me a kid who doesn’t need a garment with giant acorn pockets. Seriously.

That’s what I thought when I came across this pin, featuring a dress with these amazing pockets, created by Jess from Craftiness Is Not Optional.

Geranium Dress, Long Sleeve, Made By RaeOf course, I immediately started looking for just the right dress pattern to use as a vehicle for these pockets.  My first idea was to use the Geranium Dress with 3/4 sleeves from 5&10 Designs Volume One.  I cut the Geranium bodice in a 4T, adjusting the arm scythe to accommodate the 5&10 sleeve, as I did when I made this Geranium for Lulu with the sleeve from the Hattie Dress pattern.

After sewing up the bodice and sleeves, I thankfully thought to try it on Kiki before sewing up the skirt.  Turns out the whole thing was really too small and too tight.  Drat.  But honestly, I wasn’t loving the way the 5&10 sleeve is constructed — the sleeve is lined right along with the bodice and is sewn together in a pretty clever way, but you can’t really press the seams open (or at least I couldn’t), and it just didn’t feel right.

So, I wasted no time on tears or regret and formulated a Plan B.  After remembering Rae’s post about adding a sleeve to the Geranium a while back, I decided to unearth my Charlie Tunic pattern and use that sleeve.  As Rae suggests, I just gathered the cap of the sleeve to fit the Geranium arm scythe, and it worked really well!

Geranium Dress, Long Sleeve, Made By RaeIf I were a good person, I’d cut a couple inches off the sleeve length.  But I’ll be honest with you, once something is done, I’m pretty loathe to go back in there and change things up.  Let’s just say that I’ve left some growing room in here, and that next fall these sleeves will be a perfect 3/4 length.

Geranium Dress, Made By Rae, Long SleevesI’m so used to sizing down in the bodice for the slim Kiki (who is now almost 5 and a half), that I was surprised to learn that she needs a 5T now.  That’s the thing about kids — they just keep growing and changing up their proportions on you.  Do you think they do it on purpose, just to keep us on our toes?

Geranium Dress, Long Sleeve, Made By RaeAfter some discussion with my husband, who happened to be in the basement near my “sewing studio” (ie, corner of the basement in between piles of junk) when it was time to choose buttons, we decided on little red, round buttons that resemble berries.  But when I finished the button holes, I realized that I had made them too small to accommodate the spherical shape of the berry buttons, and they were just too tight.  I hate it when I screw up button hole sizes!!!  Luckily, I came up with a smaller, flatter alternative from my stash that still fits in with the autumnal theme of the dress.

Geranium Dress, Long Sleeve, Made By RaeThese pockets are very easy to put together, and there is a free pattern and tutorial from Jess right here.  There’s interfacing in the top section of the acorn to prevent any flopping, and the size is just right for little hands.  Hooray!  I’ll just have to remember to check these pockets for real acorns before tossing this dress in the wash 🙂

Geranium Dress, Long Sleeve, Made By Rae

Two Small World Pinafores

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy Oh My Darlin Clementine City StreetsFall sewing for Kiki is still happening around here, and she now has two more new dresses for kindergarten.  These are both the “Pinafore r” pattern from the Japanese sewing book Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids, and they’re both made in Small World Corduroy from Made by Rae.

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy City StreetsI’d been waiting for fall to get my hands on this awesome fabric since it came out last spring, and I just couldn’t do without both the City Streets and Oh My Darlin Clementine prints.

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy Oh My Darlin ClementineI can’t decide which fabric I love more.  I mean, who doesn’t love these clementines in two shade of orange — which is perfect for the redheads among us.

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy City StreetsAnd the buildings on City Streets with their bold primary colors look like a box of crayons, which couldn’t be more perfect for kindergarten.

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy Oh My Darlin ClementineAnyway, this is my first time making this pattern (although I have made tons of other things from this amazing book), and it’s pretty great.  I was inspired to give it a try after seeing this gorgeous version in corduroy from Behind the Hedgerow.  Laura has such an amazing sense of style, and I couldn’t help but follow her lead on this one.

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy City StreetsThe sewing is pretty straightforward, especially if you’ve sewn projects from this book before, and both pinafores came together pretty quickly.

For Kiki, I sewed up a size 4 with 2 inches of added length.

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy Oh My Darlin ClementineI did learn a couple of things after finishing the first one, which happened to be the clementine version.  (You may notice that we went from summer to fall between these two photo shoots!!)  I was so excited to see this clementine pinafore on Kiki as soon as it came off the machine — but when she put it on, it just didn’t look right.  The front yoke and straps seemed very floppy and gapey, and the fit looked totally off.  Crap!

I took a long look at the problem, and it occurred to me that a little interfacing just might do the trick.  I had enough fabric leftover to cut a new front yoke, and I ironed the interfacing onto the front piece.  The difference was so huge, that I decided to go ahead and redo the back yoke and straps, adding interfacing to those as well.  Magically, the fit was just right 🙂

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy Oh My Darlin ClementineIf you’re thinking of sewing up one of these pinafores, I highly recommend adding in that interfacing to the front yoke and the back yoke & straps.

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy City StreetsThe other thing that I did the second time around was to add side seam pockets.  I grabbed the pocket pattern pieces from the Oliver+S Playtime Dress that was on my cutting table and stuck them in, no problem.  I stitched the entire edge of the pocket bag onto the front of the dress, as I’ve done before — and Kiki approves.

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy City StreetsAs you can see, this pinafore is great for layering and transitioning from summer to fall (or winter to spring, I presume).

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy Oh My Darlin ClementineHappy sewing!

Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids Pinafore r Small World Corduroy City Streets

The Washi Revisited

Made by Rae Washi Dress Sewing for yourself is hard.  Don’t you think?  Measuring yourself, trying to get the right fit, trial and error — it’s a whole different kettle of fish from making things for your kids.  And then there’s taking the photos for your blog.  Ouch.

My very first try at sewing for myself was a couple of years ago, soon after I started sewing for my kids on a regular basis.  I took a look around the internet for ideas, and came across Made by Rae’s Washi Dress (of course).  Probably just about everybody involved in the sewing world has made at least one of these babies.  And since everyone raves about the flattering fit, I figured this would be a good place to start.

I sort of measured myself and settled on a medium.  I chose quilting cotton with a rather bold print from Joann.  (This was way before I knew that quilting cotton isn’t a very good choice for garments for a wide variety of reasons.)  I dove into sewing with the confidence of someone who doesn’t know any better.  When I finished the dress and tried it on in front of the mirror expecting to be dazzled by my own talent and awesomeness, I was pretty much horrified by what I saw.  It looked just awful.  How could this be?  This dress looks great on everyone in the world except for me!  Without skipping a beat, I took it off and stuck it as far back into the the depths of my closet as I could and tried my best to forget about the whole thing.  I was mostly pissed that I had spent so much time on something the turned out to be such a complete and total failure.  Sound familiar?

A year or so later, I saw that Rae was hosting a workshop with April Rhodes in her studio in Ann Arbor all about sewing garments for yourself.  A light bulb went on, and I decided see if I might be able to get a spot.  Wouldn’t you know that I got in!  I bought a pile of fabric, tossed my machine into the back of my car, kissed the kids goodbye and set off on a road trip to Michigan.

Before I knew it, I was talking with the one and only Rae about her patterns and how to make them look good on me!  That weekend, I sewed my first Josephine top (I’ve since made two more and have another in mind for fall) and it actually looked good.  It really changed my attitude about sewing for myself and gave me the confidence to look at my own body not as the enemy, but something that can look great when treated the right way.  Thanks, Rae!

Anyway . . . now it’s almost time for our annual family photo, and I’d been looking around for something to make for myself that would look good alongside the dresses I’ve made for the girls and the Negroni Shirt that’s in the works for my husband.  I tried making muslins from a couple of different patterns and was striking out.  Then I had a brainwave.  I donned my spelunking gear, tunneled to the back of the closet and excavated that old Washi Dress failure — just to see.  I sheepishly put it on  . . . blinked a time or two . . . wait a minute . . . this dress looks pretty good on me!!  What???

Made by Rae Washi DressI took a dose of courage and showed my husband.  He actually said “Wow, that looks great on you!  Much better than the other things you’ve been trying — don’t you think?”  Yes, I agreed!

Made by Rae Washi Dress

How could this be?  Has my body morphed into something much more acceptable over the past two years (um, no), or have I changed my outlook?

Mostly for the sake of my two daughters, I’ve been making a real effort to nip my own body shame in the bud and to start seeing myself to the beautiful fox that I am — rather than the loser who really should shed that last ten pounds of baby weight in order to be deserving of happiness.  I need to set a way better example for my girls.  And, do you know what?  It actually worked!

Washi a1

So I grabbed the double gauze I bought on sale from Imagine Gnats and got to work.  I skipped making a muslin since I’d already made a Washi that fit pretty darn well.

I looked around on Rae’s blog for tips (always a good idea), and settled on using a partial lining, rather than the facings included in the pattern.  She made a series of videos that walk you though the lining process that make this process a total breeze.

Made by Rae Washi DressIn the end, it turned out to be a little bit tight in the bodice.  Maybe it’s the difference in the fabric from my original . . . who knows?  Next time, I’ll add a little bit to the bodice width.  But it’s not fatal, and I’m wearing it anyway!  In fact, this dress is a bit wrinkly in these photos because I’d worn it to a dinner party the night before.

Made by Rae Washi DressIsn’t shirring fun?  This is my new favorite thing to do.  It makes anything fit like a glove with very little effort (and no math!).

I debated about whether to include the notch on the neckline, but I decided to go for it in the end.  For me, it makes this dress a bit PG-13, but I’m cool with that 🙂

Made by Rae Washi DressLet us be courageous!  Let us sew for ourselves with abandon!  Because sometimes, it turns out pretty well!

Made By Rae Washi Dress

A Charlie Dress for a Pal

Guess what . . . I was commissioned to make a dress for another young lady in my daughter’s preschool class!

Made By Rae Charlie Tunic Dress

I donated several Charlie Tunics I made a while back to the preschool fundraising auction, and the mom of my new “client” bought one for her son.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have one in her daughter’s size, and it really is just this little girl’s style.  So I suggested that I make one especially for her.  After a few emails about fabric choice and design, we settled on a dress version with short sleeves for the summer.

This family is fond of Japanese design, so I sent the mom lots of Japanese prints to choose from for the facings.  Fabricworm has no shortage of Japanese prints, so I’m afraid she was a bit overwhelmed at the selection.  After some consideration, she chose Deer From my Heart in navy from Kokka.  The recipient of this dress loves to wear blue, so this Robert Kaufman Chambray Union in indigo was an easy choice for the main fabric.

Made By Rae Charlie Tunic Dress

When I ordered the chambray, I didn’t realize that there are little tiny flecks of bright red, yellow and blue running through.  It’s very subtle, but makes a great up close detail.  If you look very closely, you can see that there are also tiny bright red dots on the necks of all those little deer on the facing, kind of like bow ties.  So, there also had to be bright red buttons, don’t you think?

Made By Rae Charlie Tunic Dress

The original Charlie pattern from Made by Rae comes in tunic form.  But if you’d like to make it into a dress, you can buy a Charlie Dress PDF Add-On that gives you an additional pattern piece to tape onto the original tunic pattern piece, adding length and also making it wider at the bottom, giving the dress an A-line shape.  The add-on also includes the pattern piece for the bottom facing, as well as instructions for a 3/4 length sleeve if you decide to go in that direction.  The facings for the cuffs are a little different in the dress version, too.

Made By Rae Charlie Tunic Dress

I have made quite a few Charlie Tunics and a couple of Charlie Dresses in the past.  I love this style — it’s really unique and so very chic.  I also like that it works for both girls and boys.

Alas, neither of my girls are into it right now.  Don’t ask me why.  When I ask Kiki if she would like one, she says “Naaaaaa.”  As for Lulu, if it doesn’t have a skirt that “spreads around,” forget it.  Ah well.

Needless to say, I was so glad to have the chance to make one for someone else who is sure to wear and enjoy it.  This little girl has worn her new Charlie Dress to school several times and looks as cute as can be in it.

Made By Rae Charlie Tunic Dress

Don’t you think this pattern would be awesome in adult sizes??  I would wear it, for sure. I wonder if Rae would ever consider sizing it up for us . . . in all her spare time 🙂

KCW: A Peppa Pig Dress!

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

If there are two things my girls love, they are (a) Dressing up and (b) Peppa Pig.  Lulu needs to change costumes every hour or so, and is always asking for new dress up clothes.  One request she has made repeatedly for a long time is to have a “sparkly dress just like Mummy Pig.”

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

Do you remember this episode?  It’s Mummy Pig’s birthday, and she does have a truly fabulous dress.  It sparkles in such a hilarious cartoony way.  It’s no mystery why Lulu needs one of these.

I picked up some random sparkly pink fabric some time ago to make my daughter’s dream come true, but never got around to it for some reason.  Bad mom.  I know.

But then, Kids Clothes Week comes around again, and the theme is Wild Things.  Animal inspired clothes?  Oh yes . . . this is the moment.  It’s as if the sewing gods heard Lulu’s cries for this dress and delivered an unmistakable sign to me to get off my duff and make it happen.

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

So, where’s a mom to start?  This is clearly a job for Made by Rae’s Flashback Skinny Tee. I’ve made a couple dress versions of this pattern and it hasn’t failed me yet, so it seemed like a no brainer.

I dug the sparkly pink out of my fabric stash and was surprised to find that it’s quite sheer.  Hmm.  Needs a lining.  And, it’s not all that stretchy.  How shall I handle the neck band??

I grabbed some thick and spandex-y tan knit I got from Girl Charlee a while back.  I cut front and back pieces from both fabrics and started thinking about how to put this thing together.

I decided to forgo the neckband all together and just sew the neckline with the main fabric and lining right sides together with a zigzag.  I also used stretch thread in both the needle and the bobbin.  As I was stitching around the neck, I started worrying that it wouldn’t be stretchy enough and that Lulu would have a hard time getting it over her head.  So, I took a detour and sewed a little slit in the center back.

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

This seemed the perfect opportunity to use that daisy button that’s been waiting in the button drawer for just the right dress.

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

(Is it me, or does Lulu look like teenager in this photo??  How does that happen?)

Anyway, when it was time to finish the armholes, I decided to use Rachael‘s trick from the Bess Top pattern.  She has you use strips of jersey knit instead of bias tape.  This is such a great way to do it — the knit is way easier to maneuver around the curves.  You don’t even need to press the strips before you sew.  Just line up the raw edges on the outside of the sleeve, sew around the arm hole, overlapping the ends of the strip about half an inch.  Then flip it to the inside and sew.  You can even leave the raw edge of the knit hanging out since it won’t fray!  Hurrah!

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

In the end, I decided not to hem this dress at all.  I was afraid that the sparkly pink would melt if I got it near the iron.  So, I cut the lining to be about 1 inch shorter than the main fabric, and left it at that.

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

Can you guess what Lulu said as soon as she put this dress on for the first time?  “But Mom, what about the sparkly shoes???  Will you make some for me?  Now???”

Peppa Pig Dress, Flashback Skinny Tee Dress, Made By Rae

A Geranium Hattie Mashup


I’ve wanted to make a Geranium Dress with sleeves for the longest time.  The pattern doesn’t include sleeves, and I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it.  What kind of sleeve would work?  How would I attach it?  How could it be done???

Then, I saw Rachel’s version of the Hattie Dress by Brownie Goose, and I feel in love with that sleeve!  This was THE ONE!


It was time to give it a try.

The first thing I did was take a look at the arm hole (or “armscye” if you’re fancy) on the bodice of both the Geranium and Hattie patterns.  As you might have guessed, they weren’t exactly the same.  If I wanted the Hattie sleeve to fit the Gernaium bodice, I knew I needed to adjust the Geranium armscye to match Hattie’s.

No biggie.  I just traced out the Geranium front and back bodice pieces onto transparent Swedish tracing paper, laid them on top of the Hattie bodice pattern pieces, and traced the Hattie armscye right onto those Geranium pieces.  I did end up lengthening the Geranium bodice a little bit, as the arm opening is lower on the Hattie.

And, of course, I just cut the Hattie sleeves straight from the pattern pieces, as is.

I sewed the bodice shoulders and back/neckline together as usual — but I didn’t sew the arm holes or side pieces together as directed.  I sewed main and lining pieces together at the sides separately, and then turned the whole thing right side out and pressed.


Then I basted the arm holes, wrong sides together.


I sewed each sleeve together at the sides and set them in.  A quick serge to the seam allowances, and they were done!


I couldn’t believe I did it!  (Although if I had it to do again, I’d have used blue thread in my bobbin here.  Ah well.)  Now, I’m sure there are other ways to get these sleeves in, and I have no idea if I did it the best, or even the “right” way.  But, I was pretty amazed that they fit so nicely and look like they belong to the dress.

One thing to keep in mind if you decide to try this is that the seam allowances for the Geranium are 1/2″, and the Hattie’s are 3/8″.  When you sew the sleeve sides together, be sure to use 1/2″ seam allowance so that they fit into the arm holes properly.  I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around it, so I tried it both ways — 1/2″ worked!

The only other thing that was sorely needed was flat piping.  You know.


You may recognize this fab butterfly/firefly fabric from the Fort Firefly line by the amazing Teagan White.  It’s Fireflies in coral, to be exact.  Soft as anything and cute as hell!  The bodice is brown corduroy from my local fabric shop.  This fall, I made a mess of Geraniums with corduroy skirts, and I thought it might be fun to try corduroy up top.  It’s very cozy and works pretty nicely, I think.

Lulu still fits into a 2T, but I think I may have cut the skirt to the 3T length.  I can’t really remember, because when I cut this dress, I was planning for her to wear it for Thanksgiving — so yes, that was three months ago.  Since I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast, I definitely don’t have those sizing details at the front of my brain.


The ladies love their pockets, right?


I think I’m just about caught up with all those projects I started before going back to work. I wonder what will come up next . . .


Licensed to Sell, Baby! — Part Two

Whew, it’s been a while since I’ve said hello over here!  The thing is that I went back to work for the first time since kids, and in a completely new job.  So, I’ve been spending all my “free time”  getting ready for my new venture.  I started last week and am still here, so that’s good.  I decided that it’s time to come up for air and think about sewing for a minute.  Yay!

This brings me back to the cliffhanger I left you with over a month ago (haha).  When we last were together, I told you about the holiday craft fair I participated in back in late November, and showed you the mess of Geraniums Dresses I made to sell.  Well, I couldn’t leave the boys out completely, so I also made several gender neutral options.  First up are three Charlie Tunics from Made by Rae.

Here is Kiki wearing a 4T Charlie in Robert Kaufman Chambray Union Stretch in Indigo with a fun print I got on sale at Hawthorne Threads last year after the holidays for the facings.  (Sadly, I can’t remember exactly what it is and wasn’t able to spot it in a quick search of the site today.)

Made By Rae, Charlie Tunic

I also used this print in a Louisa Dress from Compagnie-M last year that still that gets lots of wear.  It’s so nice to find more than one use for a great fabric.

I love those gold buttons!

Here’s Charlie No. 2, a 3T, in chambray and a random leftover from another project — from Joann’s I think.

Made By Rae, Charlie Tunic

I love this pattern.  It’s such a chic look for both girls and boys, and it’s a great way to use up the cherished leftovers of your favorite contrast fabric.  You only need a fat quarter’s worth of fabric for the facings!

Rae also shows you how to convert this fab tunic into a very fun dress with a few adjustments.  You can buy the add-on pattern on her site.   I made a couple of foxy flannel Charlie Dresses last winter for both my girls, which were cozy enough even for the dreaded polar vortex.  I’m thinking about maybe some springtime Charlie Dresses in a few months.

The last Charlie of the day is this 2T, modeled by the lovely Lulu, once again in chambray.

Made By Rae, Charlie Tunic, Indelible

I got fancy with the contrasting facings here and used Threaded Shreds in Mamey from the Indelible line.  I bought a full yard of it for this top, so I have plenty leftover for another smallish project.  Hooray!

I also made a trio of long sleeved Flashback Skinny Tees.  I’ve made millions of these and can whip them up in to time by now.  What a great excuse to try out more of these wonderful Acorn Trail knits by Teagan White, and to use more Birch Organics elk in this gorgeous saffron color.  At the sale, I actually got a “commission” for an elk tee in another size.

Made By Rae, Flashback Skinny Tee, Teagan White, Acorn Trail, Birch Organics

My last offering at the sale was this Skater Dress from Kitschy Koo in Gold Bugs Acorn Trail knit.

Kitschy Koo Skater Dress, Teagan White, Acorn Trail, Birch Organics

I actually made this dress for Lulu — and to my utter and complete shock, she refused to even try it on.  I tried quite a few times to sell her on the awesomeness of these bugs and the comfy-ness of this dress — but to no avail.  The child must be crazy to not have fallen completely in love, as far as I’m concerned.  So, I threw it on the pile of stuff for the sale, and someone bought it right away.  That’ll show her 😉

As I did in Lulu’s other, much beloved birdy Skater Dress — I cut the skirt 1 1/2 times wider than the pattern piece and gathered it, as suggested by Rachel of Stitched Together. I cut the bodice in 18m/2T, but shortened it a bit, and I cut the skirt at the 3T/4T length. I like to think that it would have fit Lulu quite well — but the world will never know.  Ha.

So, in the end, I sold about half the stuff I made.  The rest will end up in Kiki & Lulu’s closet, or in the fund raiser auction for our preschool.  I never thought I wanted to make a habit of selling what I’ve sewn, and this experience didn’t change my mind.  I’m glad I did it, but I think I’ll stick to sewing for my own little tribe for now.

But, now that I’m working (part time, but still . . . ), the real trick will be finding the time to sew at all.  It’ll happen. Everything in good time.