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.

UPDATE: found one!

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

Linen and Liberty Josephine Blouse

I had already started making a version of the Josephine Blouse by Made By Rae in this Loominous fabric when I saw a version of the Roscoe blouse on instagram with contrasting neck and sleeve binding and that was it. I had a vision of a boho blouse in linen with a Liberty floral trim. I had already purchased this lightweight Telio linen checked fabric and I realized that this Liberty lawn would be perfect. Both fabrics from fabric.com. (I plan to also make the Roscoe at a later date but will be making it in rayon.)The Josephine is usually made with pleats but Rae posted a version with gathers that is the perfect Boho Blouse. It is loose and cute but shaped with bust darts. Many of the other styles such as the Roscoe have raglan sleeves and need a really flow-ey fabric such as rayon but the Josephine’s slimmer profile works well in cotton and in linen. It is less full cut and the gathers are more controlled. Rae suggests using elastic thread but I find that I have more control with my two rows of gather stitches. The linen is so crinkly that the gathers don’t have to be perfect and it still looks good.The actually cutting and sewing of the pattern is very straightforward. The front is sewn together and the back is one piece cut on the fold. You gather the fabric in the center back and the center of the two front pieces. You cut the two mirror halves of the front, one back piece and two sleeves. I then made the bias binding and two rectangles to make cuffs. I usually stitch just on the edge of the cuff, not in the ditch. I like the look of the visible stitching.I have to say I was thrilled with how this turned out. I used bias strips of Liberty as hem facings, as one does.Finished blouse below. It is finally warm enough for front door pictures.My sewing room has one window that faces west. Such beautiful light.I had enough of these two fabrics to also make a version of the Gemma tank cropped with a gathered linen skirt. This dress is going to be perfect for spring. More late afternoon light. I can’t get enough of it after a long, dark winter.

And many pictures of the blouse as worn. This is going to be in frequent rotation. I love the neckline. Rae is a genius with necklines.img_9738I used the curved hem from the Gemma tank as my guide for this hem. I love how you can mix and match Rae’s patterns. Back view.The other side view.I look as though I am summoning the backyard spirits but I think my husband caught me on the way to fix my hair and put it behind my ears.As you can see in the next picture. He takes a zillion pictures and then I whittle them down to a few. What can I say? Perfect combination of pattern and fabrics. The Loominous version is going to be great too. Almost finished! Spring sewing is officially underway.

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Cleo Skirt, Made By Rae Patterns, Sewing

Made By Rae Cleo Summer Showcase: So Many Skirts

cleo summer showcase (ig)

I am thrilled to be part of the Made By Rae Cleo Summer Showcase and to be able to share the many skirts I have made with the Made By Rae Cleo pattern. The Cleo is like all of the MBR patterns: beautifully drafted to be flattering and comfortable with clear directions that are really well illustrated. Rae’s patterns really are wonderful and are the foundation of my handmade wardrobe.

This is my most recent Cleo skirt. It is made with a beautiful voile by Sharon Holland. I also made an Isla Knit Dress in the blue colorway of the same fabric. The design really spoke to me.Here it is worn with a black double gauze MBR Gemma Tank left untucked and blowing in the breeze:
and with the same Gemma Tank tucked in with clogs: and with a yellow lawn Gemma Tank:and with a black lawn Gemma Tank a different pair of sandals:and with my newly sewn Piper Top:It would also be great with my new black Rumi Tank top which you will see further down the post. 😊

My voile Cleo Skirt might just be my favorite but it is hard to choose because I have made so many others. The Cleo is also great in cotton lawn. Here are two versions I made with beautiful fabric from the Juniper collection by Kelly Ventura. Version 1:img_2644-1Version 2: img_2671-1I couldn’t decide which fabric to buy so I bought them both and I love both skirts. This fabric is lightweight and swishy. It was easy to sew with. It drapes beautifully. I am a total fan. img_0252-1They are both perfect with my blue cotton-linen Gemma and my newly sewn white double gauze Gemma and with any  number of colors of cardigans but I especially like this floral version with my orange cardigan. img_4925My yellow lawn Gemma Tank also works well with these skirts. img_6337I used scraps of the yellow for a facing for the hems for all three of my voile and lawn Cleos. The hem facing gives me a visual guide for where to fold the fabric and gives me more accurate results. I also just love the look of the contrasting hem.img_0214The Cleo is also great in lightweight woven fabrics. I made this version with a woven cotton-linen blend from Joanne Fabric. I also made a matching Gemma Tank which I love although I like them better worn separately.I used a white lightweight cotton batiste for the hem facing and bias binding.This skirt is perfect with my double gauze Gemma or with the yellow lawn Gemma. I ended up making this skirt about one inch shorter than the others because I ended up trimming some fabric from the skirt to line up the stripes.The Gemma top is perfect with just about anything but here it is with white jeans. Here they are together. Maybe a little too many stripes although I wore them with the top untucked once and liked them that way.I was inspired by Rae’s beautiful version to sew a Cleo in this great fabric from Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous II fabric line. It is so nice to wear. Really soft and lightweight. img_5226 I have really enjoyed wearing it this summer. It is perfect for hot summer days. This is a bit rumpled right out of the dryer and I don’t even care.img_5453-2I also sewed several versions of the Cleo in quilting cotton. I saw a beautiful Ruby dress on Instagram made with lime green fabric  by Heather Bailey and it inspired me to sew this Cleo. This fabric was a pleasure to sew with.  It is a bit poofier than the voile but I love the 50’s feel of this skirt.It is great with my new black knit Piper top.  One of the first Cleos I sewed was this one in April Rhodes’ Fringe fabric inspired by child and adult versions she made and posted on her Instagram. It is a nice lightweight quilting cotton that makes a great skirt. I love it with my blue, white and black Gemmas and it is perfect with boots and tights in winter.
I really love this fabric. It also makes a great pair of Luna Pants.I recently made the Rumi knit tank top by Christine Haynes and I love it with this skirt and flip flops for  summer. Front view: Back view: I enjoy experimenting with designs and patterns and I had this fabric in my stash. It is from the Arizona collection also from April Rhodes. I had fun sewing this skirt and seeing how this pattern looks with the gathers. This fabric is now available in a new colorway which would also be great.Again with the white double gauze Gemma. Such a perfect piece for mixing and matching.And here is my original tester Cleo. It fit really well without any real adjustments. I was so honored to be included as a tester for this pattern. It is absolutely amazing to me to have started sewing for myself two years ago and to now have an entirely Me Made wardrobe and to have had the opportunity to test a pattern for Made By Rae. Amazing!

I am 5’9 1/2″ tall and average build but most of my height is in my torso so I generally don’t need to add length to skirts. My measurements put me right between a Medium and a Large and I cut between those lines to make my tester version but as the skirt is pretty full, I have made the rest of them in a straight Medium and I am very happy with the fit.

When I made the test version, I loved the length as it was unhemmed and thought it was perfect for me. Rae ended up lengthening View B in the final version of the pattern but I keep sewing mine using my unhemmed tester pattern length. I started sewing hem facings because I didn’t want to have to figure out how much to add to end up with the same perfect length. So my skirts are all based on the skirt pattern piece unhemmed length of 23 inches less about 3/8 inch for the seam allowance for my hem facing.

I ended up giving my tester version to my beautiful daughter who had the perfect shoes to match. Here she is during a recent visit to Connecticut.And here she is in a Cleo action shot back in the Midwest. I have a navy cotton lawn version in the works for her in this great Ninepin lawn from Cotton and Steel. I may make version A which is a bit shorter and has great pockets,The Cleo would also be amazing in this double gauze and this rayon.  I think a longer rayon Cleo with boots would be perfect for fall. And the double gauze version Rae made is so beautiful it is tempting to make one just like it. You can see how one can easily be inspired to make So Many Skirts!

I have really loved sewing this pattern and highly recommend it.

Links to my other Cleo posts below and to all of the wonderful participants in the Cleo Showcase. Be sure to check them out and be inspired.

Nursebean Cleo Posts:

I have sewn many versions of most of the MBR patterns. You can link to some of them here:

Cleo Showcase Instagram and Blog Links:

july 31

vicky / @sewvee / sewvee.blogspot.co.uk

erin / @hungiegungie / hungiegungie.com

natalie / @sewhungryhippie / hungryhippie sews

teri / @teridodds1 / fa sew la

august 1

tori / @thedoingthingsblog / thedoingthingsblog.com

lindsay / @lindsayinstitches

meredith / @thefooshe / oliviajanehandcrafted.com/blog

kate / @kate.english

august 2

melissa / @ahappystitch / ahappystitch.com

julie / @nursebean82 / nursebeansews.wordpress.com

lauren / @laurenddesign / laurendurrdesign.com

august 3

fleurine / @mariefleurine / sewmariefleur.com

bettina / @stahlarbeit / stahlarbeit.ch

allie / @indie_sew / indiesew.com/blog

darci / @darcialexis / darcisews.com

emily / @mycraftylittleself / mycraftylittleself.blogspot.com

august 4

whitney / @whitneydeal / whitney-deal.com/blog

sienna  /@notaprimarycolor

amy nicole / @amynicolestudio / amynicolestudio.com

kim / @pitykitty

kten / @jinxandgunner / jinxandgunner.blogspot.com

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