Liberty Fabric, Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing

Emerald Dress by Made by Rae

Back in May I was inspired to make the Emerald Dress from Making Magazine, designed by Made by Rae. I didn’t actually think that it would flatter my body type but I was intrigued to try sewing a garment on the bias for the first time and Rae’s pattern have such clear instructions and such lovely, flattering lines and generally fit me without alterations so I decided to go for it.

This pattern is a free download once you buy the magazine. Because the pattern pieces are cut on the bias, it requires  more fabric and very precise cutting when you are cutting out the main pieces.

I was up for the challenge. I had a 4 yard piece of a striped lightweight cotton from the Loominous line by Anna Maria Horner. I had bought it on sale a couple of years ago thinking it would be good for backing a quilt. I thought the stripes would be interesting with this design. I deliberately did not match them at the seams because I thought it would create more of a sense of movement. Taking my time to cut things out carefully was actually nice for a change. I am usually a batch sewing queen, cutting out several things at a time to be more efficient but I find that I really enjoy the process of sewing a new pattern one step at a time and taking my time. It becomes a really meditative process for me. I moved my two largest cutting boards down to the dining room table and used a large clear quilting ruler to line up the fabric on the bias using the stripes to guide me.

I cut on the S/M lines based on my bust measurement of 37″ and took my time. I added two inches to the length by drawing a new cutting line for the hem about two inches below the pattern line so first version has a skirt that flares just a bit wider than as designed. To compensate, I cut the hem facings a bit wider on each end. I am 5’9″ tall and I always add 2 inches to Rae’s tops and dresses since my height is all in my torso. I did not interface the hem or hem facings but I did interface the neck and arm facings.

I found this lightweight woven nice to work with but I found that lining up the V sharply proved a bit challenging. I got there in the end but I had to do some creative wrestling including cutting the facing edge at the bottom to allow it to spread a bit. I ironed everything into submission and added a row of stitching just around the neckline. I sewed the facing edge to the dress from the outside not the inside as the pattern calls for because my stitching looks nicer as topstitching.

I was actually surprised at how much I liked the final version. You can see a bit of stripe matching serendipity here. I didn’t try to match and didn’t really want it matching because I think it is more interesting that way but I like how some of the stripes come together at the side seam. It really accentuates the sewing lines. After making it, I thought about sizing up a bit in the neck and shoulders so it would be a bit more drapey. I used my bust measurement for the sizing but on closer reading, the high bust should have been my guide and I should have cut between the S/M and L/XL lines. I thought about changing the size when I made version 2 but as I wore this one, I decided I liked it as is. The stripes don’t match on the opposite side seam and the front seam has the stripes in slightly different alignment on the two sides which I like. I have always preferred things to not be too matchy matchy so this made me happy.

I had thought this would be a beach coverup caftan type thing and eventually that is what it will become but I have actually worn it out to my book group and to the office. I love the way it feels when worn, very comfortable, swishy, flowy and light for summer but with a polished, flattering neckline. Rae does it again!

After May was over, I took a couple of weeks off from sewing for a family visit for a graduation and when I got back, I kept thinking about making a second version. I really like making things at least twice because it gives me a chance to fix things I missed on round one.

I had a 2 yard piece of a dusty rose linen-rayon blend from fabric.com. I don’t even remember why I bought it, possibly to make another York pinafore and it would have been great for that, but I knew it would work well for this pattern because of the drape. Since I just had two yards and no stripes to deal with, I altered the angle of the pattern pieces when cutting it out so that they are on the bias but on a slightly less sharp angle. You can see it in the picture above. I cut the pieces out on the doubled fabric rather than flat so the angles would all be the same. I didn’t have enough for hem facings but I used a scrap of liberty, always a great solution!

I hadn’t intended to interface it because I wanted the hem to not be stiff but the floral pattern showed through the pink so I ended up using interfacing. I sewed this second version slowly but still completed it in a day. I had the same issue with my neckline and cut the V apart on the interfaced facing at the bottom and then sewed everything down. It is fine though not as neat as I would like on the inside. But honestly, that is no big deal. I drafted simple bias facings for the sleeves and didn’t interface them again because I wanted a drapey feel for the sleeves. I really love how they turned out.

And now, many pictures of the finished dress. On the front door:

and as worn.

This dress is great dressed up but would also be good as a more casual look with a chunky pullover sweater (I am looking for the right one) and clogs or with a jeans jacket and more casual jewelry.  It could totally go from a dinner out or church dress to a walking along the beach dress.  And I think it is really flattering despite my initial misgivings.

Jessica (@kunklebaby on Instagram) made a beautiful version in a blue and white ikat. I may totally copy it!

Happy summer sewing friends!

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Beatrix Blouse Pattern, Gemma Tank, Made By Rae Patterns, Ruby Dress Pattern, Sewing, Zadie Jumpsuit Pattern

June 2019 Sewing: Made By Rae Tops and the Zadie Jumpsuit

After the sewing whirlwind that is Me Made May, June is usually a pretty low key month for me but this year the frenzy continued. During June I sewed two versions of the massively popular Zadie Jumpsuit and decided to tackle the pile of partially sewn projects dating as far back as 2015 (Oh my word). There were 8. They are now finished!

What  happens to me is that I get started on something or a couple of somethings because I like to cut out more than one version of a pattern at a time and then a new pattern launches and I get distracted or life gets busy and I have no time to sew and then the weather changes. I am so glad I rescued these.

First: three versions of the Made by Rae Beatrix Blouse. The first is made with the leftover fabric from a blue linen York pinafore that I sewed in May.

I had just enough leftover fabric. I cut one of the sleeves on the cross grain and used other scraps for facings.

I had started this last year to go with the brown corduroy York pinafores that I sewed last fall and then life got busy and the button placket felt overwhelming which is actually silly because it was very quick.

After I finished this in short order, I sewed the two sleeveless versions I cut out four years and two years ago respectively. I love this beautiful Melody Miller cotton lawn. I am so glad I finally sewed it up! Look at those button holes! Such a confidence boost when they come out well. The buttons are antique from a button jar I found at a tag sale 25 years ago.

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And another version in this beautiful woven lightweight cotton fabric. I had planned on the sleeved version but I wasn’t happy with how the stripes lined up and I cut off the sleeves and used bias binding to make a sleeveless version. I used elastic thread to gather the sleeves. It works really well but after you sew the sleeve in, it is important to take out, or at least cut the elastic stitches in several places or it will cause your garment to have puckers as you can see in the sleeved version. I realized this again when I made one of my ruffle Gemmas.  More button holes below. I use a disappearing marker to mark them first. It works really well for me. The navy buttons are recycled buttons that I got at Fab Scrap.

With sleeves (notice the puckers-I could have gotten rid of them but I decided I wasn’t happy with the way the stripes lined up)

Sleeveless version:

I love that the same pattern can give you such different looks.

Second: I had a summer dress idea for a Gemma tank with a skirt. I was really successful with this approach when I sewed this double gauze version

but when I started a green Loominous version last summer I cut the bodice too long and the whole effect was frumpy. I had already gathered the skirt and didn’t feel like unpicking the whole thing so I took a chance and sewed a second seam joining the bodice to the skirt to effectively shorten the bodice and then I shortened the skirt. Amazingly, it worked. Now I love it.

As worn:

I had also started a rayon version of the Gemma peplum tank last year with a tiny remnant of striped rayon. I loved this fabric and knew it would be perfect for this pattern but the rayon was slippery and bias binding the neck temporarily overwhelmed me and there it sat. I tackled it this past weekend, hand basting the neck binding before machine sewing it and used scraps of cotton lawn in solid colors for the arm bindings and the hem binding. I love it! The rayon has a beautiful drape and the stripes look just the way I had hoped they would.

I wore it to work with pink jeans! 10 years and 25 lbs. lighter ago, I would never have worn pink jeans because they didn’t seem slimming. Silly me! Getting to the ripe age of almost 60 has made me appreciate having a healthy, strong body. All those wasted years of worrying about a couple of pounds. (sigh) I am hoping to tackle sewing myself a bathing suit this summer. Stay tuned.

I also finished a solid navy lawn Gemma that I will wear all the time. It is perfect with all of my York Pinafores and all of the Cleo skirts that I have made and plan to make. A great basic.

I also refashioned this dress that didn’t really flatter me into another Gemma ruffle tank.

These are so great for the really hot days. I actually cheated and used the already hemmed part of the dress for the ruffle to save time. Winning!

Then I finally finished a Ruby blouse that I started in 2015. I batch sewed some bodices the first year I started sewing my own clothes with some quarter yards of quilting cotton. You can see them in this post.

I have since used white double gauze to make several blouses for my daughter and a friend. I used this one to make one for me. I have sewn two other double gauze Ruby’s that I have worn to death. They are the best! You can see them here and here.

This is a very neutral top that I know will just get more comfortable with washing and wearing. The cotton double gauze is great for hot weather-very breezy.

I bookended the month with a pair of Zadies. I sewed the lightweight denim jumpsuit in a day on June 1st to be able to have it to wear to the New Haven Documentary Film Festival.

We went to see Pizza, A Love Story. So fun. The Zadie was so quick to sew-I was really surprised. Great directions. I bought the fabric at Joanne’s and thought it would be my wearable muslin but I am so happy with how it turned out that I don’t feel the need to make another version right away. I will definitely make a linen version at some point, probably next summer, just for fun, but for now, this one is perfect! It is so comfortable. I love it! I added two inches to the bodice length and a couple of inches to the pant length (I am 5’9″) and otherwise it is a straight 12. My measurements are 37 bust, 32 waist, 42 hip.

I had been seeing several dress versions of the Zadie popping up on Instagram so I made a version in double gauze from my stash using a gathered skirt. I lined the bodice with white cotton batiste.

I ended up hand sewing the lining in. Then I sewed a line of machine stitching to the edge of the bias binding to secure everything.

It was a pain but it worked well in the end. It isn’t my usual style but I like it.

Other things I have enjoyed this month. These books:

 

And some lovely summer days and greenery after SO MUCH RAIN! I took advantage of the rain in the northeast to plant seeds in my planters. It is my cheap and easy way to have blooming things in the summer. One packet of seeds per planter at a cost of $1.50 a packet. Nasturtiums are my favorite.

Now that I am mostly caught up with my backlog of sewing projects, I have a short list of clothing projects that I want to sew but will also be turning my focus to quilts. I have a goal to sew a quilt for each child by the end of the year. There are 5 of them so must get going!

This picture sums up how I feel about summer sewing. Taking your own picture while jumping. My new superpower!

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Helen's Closet Patterns, Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing, Sewing Pants

Me Made May 2019 Round-Up: Sewing Pants!

One of my sewing goals for 2019 and specifically for Me Made May 2019 has been to sew pants and this past week I sewed three pairs!

First up the Rose high-waisted pants by Made by Rae. These were fun to sew because Rae’s instructions are easy to follow and the construction was very similar to the Cleo Skirt and the Luna Pants, both Made by Rae patterns that I have sewn many time. I sewed these out of a beautiful medium-weight woven cotton Ikat fabric that I bought last summer from Blackbird Fabrics. I had originally planned to use it for a dress but it was a bit heavier than I expected it to be. It is the perfect weight for these wide-legged pants and is actually very flowy and swishy to wear. They are dressy enough for work and comfortable enough for weekend wear. I have plans to make a couple of lightweight versions this summer. These were a quick sew. A great project that I was able to complete in a day. Highly recommended! Worn here with my white double gauze Gemma Tank (I need to sew another of these!)

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Back view:

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Side View:

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And worn with my grey knit Jade top:

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And here is a little video that conveys the swish factor of these pants. Really fun to wear!

Next up, I sewed the new Helen’s Closet Yanta Overalls pattern. I wasn’t sure how these would look on me because I am all torso but I added about 2.5 inches in total to the length of the pattern pieces across each of the lengthen lines and I am really happy with the fit. I made them loose enough to not need the optional zipper and I can put them on and off leaving the buttons buttoned. When I make them again, I will probably take bigger darts in the back and size down a bit and use the zipper because the back is baggy. I will also add another inch to the back strap below the X of the straps so that the X hits me higher up on the back.

I am loving wearing these. I made them from some medium weight cotton twill that I bought on sale at Joanne’s fabric a while back and it is a perfect fabric for this pattern. I think they will just get better the more they are washed and worn. I used some scraps of a favorite Cotton and Steel quilting cotton to line the pockets and for the facings. Another project that I mostly completed in a day. Amazing! Great instructions and fun to sew. Worn here with another Jade knit top. These patterns were made for each other. The shape of the overalls is similar to the York-a very flattering curved shape. I also love the pockets. Another home run pattern from Helen!

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Detail below showing the facing fabric:

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I had enough of the green twill left over to make the Lander Shorts by True Bias. This pattern has been on my to-be-sewn list since it came out. It seemed as though it would work well for my pear shape and I love the many versions I have seen on Instagram. I made these in a day (a recurring, happy, theme!) and I can’t recommend this pattern more highly. The instructions were ace and it was so much fun to make. Each step was very clear and the order of construction made total sense and the details are really professional looking: pockets, belt loops, the button fly.

I used snaps for these because they are so fast and I have become expert in using them after making two versions of the Tamarack Jacket but I will make some button versions and will be buying the zipper extension pack and will try a zipper version. It was so empowering to sew these! Now I want to sew all the pants! I plan to size down a bit for my next version but I like that these are a bit loose because they will be perfect for summer hiking. Sewing these was definitely a game-changer for me.

A time-saving tip: I sewed my belt loops by sewing one side and then folding the second sides inward and top-stitching them in place. There was no way that I was going to be able to turn that stiff twill narrow loop inside out with a safety pin. I like the look of the using the pocket lining fabric on the belt loops as well. I will probably always use this technique. Much quicker.

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Front door pictures (before trimming threads and sewing on a button):

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And back to see the back pockets:

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I sewed a 14 (my measurements are waist 32, hips 42) but will size down to a 12 or cut between the two lines for the next pair. I actually have a good amount of heavyweight cotton twill that was once a couch slip cover. I plan to cut out the usable fabric and dye it and make pants if I have enough or another pair of shorts. I also have burgundy twill that I bought last year specifically for a pair of Landers because I love the version on the pattern cover. I think they will be great with a cropped Gemma tank or a Hadley shirt, another pattern I have been wanting to sew.

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And here are many other views. I had added a bit of room in the seat but I don’t think I will do that for future pairs.

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And backside view:

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Other than sewing pants, I have been wearing me-made clothes every day, as I do, and have been documenting them with a daily photo during the month of May. This is a bit time-consuming but I do like the process because it helps me celebrate all the things I have made and love. I also really love seeing all the beautiful things fellow sewists are sewing and sharing. May is a really inspiring time for me. I sew a ton and get great ideas that inspire me for summer sewing.

Up on the top of my to-be-sewn list for the summer: a green khaki twill Brumby skirt-I seem to be all about khaki right now. It is the perfect neutral. Also a bathing suit. I am excited to sew Megan Nielson’s new tank suit pattern because with a long torso, it can be hard to find suits that fit. I am also planning to sew the Zadie Jumpsuit along with every other sewist in the world-it is the current “it” pattern and for good reason. It is flattering on all body types and looks really fun to wear. I also have the Made by Rae Emerald dress cut out in a lightweight cotton. I think it will be the perfect summer on the porch, wear over a bathing suit at the beach dress- and the Burnside Bibs which have been on my list since last summer-also in a khaki/moss green linen.

Here are some of my favorite posts from Me Made May 2019. Thanks for following along! Details on all the clothing and fabrics on my Instagram which you can link to here.  I also posted about the first half of the month here.

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Helen's Closet Patterns, Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing

Me Made May 2019: Front Porch Fashion

It’s May! One of my favorite times of the year.

All month long sewing and knitting Instagram friends post pictures of themselves wearing garments they have made for the annual event that is Me Made May. I have participated for 5 years. The first year I had only a couple of things that I had sewn but I tried to follow along and I was inspired to sew more to keep up and have new things to share. A couple of years later, I had sewn enough garments to be able to wear a different me-made garment every day for 31 days and now I have even more handsewn clothes, an embarrassment of riches, so May is a fun time to try new ways of mixing and matching my clothes. This year I am heavily into wearing dresses and jeans together. I haven’t sewn my own pants yet but it is a big goal for 2019!

As May approaches, I often feel as though I should sew new things for Me Made May but then I realize that I have so many pretty things that I have already sewn. So although I do sew in May (it would be hard not to with all the online inspiration and new pattern releases) I find that it is a fun challenge to wear older garments in new ways. The harder thing to do is the daily photo. Sometimes, on a weekend, my husband is available to take them. He just shoots photos willy nilly and then I see if there is something I can use. I was lucky with this one.

I think I was moving toward him to take my phone back after a couple of shots but I really like the composition of this one (wearing a Helen’s Closet York pinafore, a Jade knit top and a Blackwood cardigan, all handsewn!)

The photo above was my post on May 1st.  You can tell that I took the picture because it is headless. Sometimes the outfit looks great but I don’t look happy. Keep in mind that I am doing this at 7AM. This is one of the first Isla knit dresses I made in beautiful yellow moon fabric worn with a Blackwood cardigan in striped sweater knit. I hadn’t realized until last year that one could sew sweaters and purchase fabric that was sweater knit. This was a game changer. Both of the sweater knits for these cardigans were purchased at Imagine Gnats, a great resource for all kinds of fabric. The owner is lovely and shopping there feels as though you are shopping in your friend’s highly curated store. You can’t go wrong. Another headless photo below-Isla knit dress by Made by Rae with a store bought mustard cardigan. I wore my first mustard cardigan out andnow wear this one all the time. I may have to buy another if I can still find it. Both outfits are worn with a necklace that I recently purchased and really love.

I wear this simple wooden necklace several times a week and I just bought a beautiful copper and brass necklace this week after seeing it on a fellow sewist’s Instagram which I am so happy with! It goes perfectly with my paisley dress (below).

I have also found that I basically wear the same sandals every day. They are super comfortable. Not high heels because I don’t need the height and I can’t do heels at my work. I ended up getting several different colors last year when I realized how great they were. No regrets. They make the outfit. (Maxi version of Isla knit dress with 20 year old Gap jacket and the same necklace and sandals below.)

I didn’t realize until my daughter pointed it out that the yellow watering can worked well with the yellow moon dress. This was totally unintentional. But now I am trying to find a way to have a bit of yellow in my daily photos. After 31 days this may end up being a photo essay entitled Daily Still Life with Watering Can (and some clothes). Another York pinafore and Jade top combination below with the ubiquitous mustard cardigan.

I plan to keep up my daily photos until May 31st at which point I expect that I will have another social media break for June. This month on, month off is working well for me. You can read more about my Analogue April here. My previous Me Made May posts are here:

2016

2017

2017 part 2

2018

2018 part 2

2018 part 3

Happy May!

Note: I am not an amazon affiliate and do not derive any financial benefit from links on my blog. I just post things I like in the hopes of helping independent pattern designers and makers.

 

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Bias Binding, Gemma Tank, Liberty Fabric, Made By Rae Patterns, Pearl Shift, Sewing

Gemma Tank with Gathered Skirt X 3

Last year about this time, I had the idea to use the Gemma Tank pattern and make some summer dresses. Rae posted a tutorial on her blog for adding a peplum to the tank which I tried and loved so I thought I would try just lengthening the ruffle to skirt length using two wider and longer rectangles for the skirt. Then I got distracted by other patterns and other sewing. It must be said that when I sewed my first version of this Gemma Dress, I used too long a bodice and it wasn’t balanced and I was too discouraged at that time to take apart the already gathered and attached skirt and shorten the bodice. It felt overwhelming. I did finish a version with a very long linen skirt and a Liberty of London cotton lawn floral top. I lined that version and it came out ok (pictures below) but I forgot to add a seam allowance to allow for the sausaging of the bodice and so the straps were narrower than I would have liked. All of this to say that this year, I had two versions of this dress cut out and partially but not completely sewn. One was made from a previously me-made chambray Bianca Dress

and a skirt I purchased about 15 years ago in a little boutique but rarely wore because I didn’t like the waist. I loved the fabric though so held onto it. The other version was in a beautiful cotton double gauze that I purchased on sale from Alewives Fabrics after years of wanting the fabric but not feeling that I could spend the money.  This May one of my goals is to finish some of these projects that have languished.

First up, the chambray and upcycled rtw skirt.

The skirt was lined with a gauzy green fabric which I used for the bias binding and hem facing. I added bra holders made of ribbon as I sewed the binding.

I used elastic thread to gather the skirt which worked great. I made the front skirt piece wider than the back. I am not sure of the exact measurement, I just used as much as I could of the ready to wear skirt. Since I had the issue with the bodice length, I sewed the bodice together and tried it on and then figured out where I wanted it to hit on the dress which was just at the bottom of the rib cage. I think I must have originally cut these pieces out thinking I would sew french seams because the bodice is a bit loose on this in the finished dress but I really don’t care. I wanted a loose, floaty, summer dress and it doesn’t need to be perfect. This is something I will wear on vacation with sandals or over a bathing suit. The price was right too since it was all recycled from clothes in my closet.

Before:

After:

And as worn:

The Liberty and Linen version was basically finished over the winter but I still hadn’t handsewn the lining to the waist, partially because I must have cut the two bodices slightly differently and things didn’t line up for me the way they usually do which threw me off. But I finally sewed everything in late April and it is ready to wear. It is a little sack like but I think will be nice for hotter days or with a jeans jacket or cardigan for cooler days. A good summer date night dress. Maybe a little bare for work although wearing a lab coat makes many less wearable options wearable. I bought the linen last spring and also made  a Josephine blouse with the same fabrics.

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I used the floral as a hem facing as well.

My gathering was a little rushed and the linen was not as easy to gather as softer fabric but I don’t think it really matters. It is linen and it will always look a little wrinkled-that is part of the charm. The skirt is also pieced so there is an extra seam. I was squeaking by making both of these projects with the fabric I had.

Front:

Back:

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And as worn before I hemmed it.

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I saved the best for last. I have loved this Cotton and Steel double gauze fabric since I first saw Rae’s Beatrix Blouse. At the time, the price per yard just seemed too much for me but I kept thinking about it and not buying it and then it was basically sold out everywhere and then one day, lo and behold, I found it on sale. I bought 2 yards thinking that I would make a Beatrix Blouse but I didn’t get around to it and then last year when I saw the Gemma with Ruffles, I had the idea to make this dress. I love everything about it. I sort of pattern-matched the sides of the skirt. I didn’t have enough fabric to really pattern-match the bodice but I don’t think it matters. I used two different techniques when I bound the neck and armholes. The binding is visible around the neck and turned under for the armholes.  Ribbon bra straps are sewn in because I remembered just in time! One of these days I am going to thread a bunch of snaps on ribbon and have them precut in a dish on my sewing table because you can sew them in right when you add the bias binding. Really easy and it makes wearing tank tops so much easier. 

I ended up hand sewing the neck binding down because the double gauze was so fiddly.

I used the elastic thread gathering technique for the skirts for all three of these dresses that Rae uses for the Isla. It doesn’t always work perfectly for me (it didn’t work as well  for the linen) but for the lighter fabrics, it worked a charm. I used a lightweight cotton batiste for my hem binding. Here is the finished dress on the front door of honor! I love it! It was worth the wait.

I wore it today and I will wear it forever until it is worn to shreds and I know it will only get better with age and wear.

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View 2:

 

So good! So I am off to a good start this May! More to come.

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Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing

Spring Isla Dress With Jade Sleeves

I have made the Made by Rae Isla Dress so many times I have lost count but they have all been in prints. I decided to use this grey heather cotton Lycra knit from my stash to make a slightly longer grey version with long sleeves borrowed from the Jade Top pattern for cooler spring days. I cut this out ages ago and finally sewed it up in a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon.

I didn’t even hem it.

I know it will be worn a zillion times dressed up and dressed down.

Now to buy some new necklaces to go with it. It is the perfect backdrop. For the many other Islas and some tips on sewing knits with a regular sewing machine, check out Sewing with Knits 101, Sewing with Knits102 and my Me Made May wrap-up posts here, here and here.

Yay spring! The bees are back-seen in my flowers today!

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Helen's Closet Patterns, Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing

Fall Sewing: York Pinafore and Jade Tops

I have been trying to fill in my cold weather wardrobe with handmade basics and the York Pinafore and the Jade top are the perfect combination. This past holiday weekend, I finished a second fall version of the York and two more Jade tops, all of which will mix and match with my other fall York. With tights it is the perfect cold weather outfit. img_4778-1I sewed my second fall York using a light brown wide-wale corduroy that I bought for a song at FabScrap – a wonderful non-profit based in Brooklyn that is working to keep fabric out of landfills by recycling and reusing fabric that would otherwise be discarded. img_4679I lined the pockets with blue linen left over from a summer version of the York. You can see how nice the fabric is in this close-up. It is really soft and drapes so well-really surprising in a corduroy as they are often stiff.
img_4718I had heard about FabScrap but had never visited their operation and then the Love to Sew ladies came to NYC and hosted a meet-up of local sewists there and I was lucky enough to be able to go.  I am a big fan of the Love to Sew podcast and Helen and Caroline were so warm and friendly in person and it was really fun to spend time with other sewing friends. It was such a fun evening!
img_4151At FabScrap, volunteers sort donated fabric and what can’t be sold as yardage is recycled and made into industrial felt. They even have recycled buttons and zippers and sometimes sell fabric online. They recently had a flash sale of corduroy for $5 a yard that I jumped on. I bought four colors thinking that it would be a great basic to have for clothing for myself but also for little jumpers and pants for future grandchildren and I am so glad I took the plunge. It will make great garments (I have plans for Lander pants and this amazing Charlie Caftan hack ) and the scraps will end up in some patchwork quilts I am making out of leftover heavyweight plaid flannel scraps. Altogether a great purchase. This summer I wore my Yorks with Gemma Tanks and now that the weather is colder, the Jade knit top is the perfect shirt to go under the pinafore. I made two this weekend including the navy and white striped version img_4677-1as worn here:
img_4785and have several more cut out. I discovered Cloud 9 organic cotton knits this spring when I was a tester for the Jade and made this version:img_0088This fabric is a dream to sew with and is incredibly soft and comfortable to wear. I stocked up on several different colors and stripes this summer and I am sewing a wardrobe of shirts. It spoils you for any other knit. I highly recommend it. It would make great children’s tops as well.img_4723I also sewed a dark grey version of the Jade from lovely soft cotton knit fabric bought long ago from Peekaboo pattern company. I know this will get a lot of wear. It goes with everything.
And there you have it. Two great patterns that are quick to sew, don’t use a lot of fabric and mix and match with many possibilities. More versions to come!  Perfect for walking all over the city, something I have been lucky to do this fall. I really enjoyed walking through Central Park img_4522 and going to the Guggenheim img_4552where I saw this amazing exhibit which is totally worth a visit. img_4544I will definitely be going back.  img_4540This past Sunday it was so warm (50 degrees in November!) and my husband and I spent the day exploring Clinton Hill in Brooklynimg_4850 where we got to see the inside of the beautiful library at the Pratt Institute (yes I am wearing my Tamarack Jacket here-this was a selfie in the distance-the mirror was on the opposite wall and I couldn’t resist.)
img_4836We also went to a favorite bookstore where I bought this book (so good so far) and
img_4878 ended the day with ice cream eaten on the waterfront. It felt like spring-a perfect fall day.  (this is not us-just another lucky couple enjoying a beautiful NYC night.) Happy Fall!img_4865-1

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