Posts Tagged ‘made by rae’

Summer Showcase :: The Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae

I am over-the-moon excited to be a part of the Cleo Skirt Summer Showcase today. This simple skirt pattern from Made by Rae is certainly worthy of its own horn-tooting parade.  So much so, I had to make two skirts.Summer Showcase :: the Cleo Skirt from Made by Rae || Sewn by A Happy Stitch

The first is a swishy, fire-engine red floral rayon from the Rifle Paper and Cotton + Steel collaboration in view b. The second version is in a Loominious woven print from Anna Maria Horner in view a.   Both are pretty fabulous but with such different personalities.  It’s a bit of a study in fabric behavior.


Quilt Market Samples for Cloud 9 Fabrics

Cloud 9 Knits

I am not at Quilt Market but it’s roaring along right now in Salt Lake City and shots from this massive quilting fabric market are clogging my IG feed.  I have such mixed feelings about Quilt Market, part of me would love to attend but the smart part of me realizes that I would hate it.  Big crowds, tons of things to see.  It’s the worst kind of sensory overload for an introvert of my stripe. Either way, I get really jealous of everyone attending every time it comes around.   I am consoled by the fact that I usually have some of my stitches in attendance.  The lovely people at Cloud 9 Fabric have their office about a half an hour from my house and I’m so honored that they frequently hire me to sew samples for them. (more…)

Red Umbrella Washi Dress

Red Umbrella Washi Dress

I mentioned that I had made a dress with umbrella fabric from this post and here it is.  You may have noticed this dress already, it was peeking out in this post.  It’s my red umbrella Washi Dress and what better place to photograph an umbrella dress than on castle grounds in Ireland.  Right.  You have to forgive the many wrinkles, these photos were taken after being caught in a rain storm (ironic, I know.) and sitting in a car for hours.

Red Umbrella Washi Dress | made by a happy stitchMy husband was kind enough to be my castle grounds photographer.  How much fun is this fabric? As soon as I saw it here I was in love.  It’s from an etsy designer, New Mom Designs, and all of her fabric prints are so playful and swoon-worthy as well as completely organic.  The fabric itself is cotton and a bit stiff, poplin-like, which gave this washi dress the perfect a-line shape.  It was a splurge but so worth it for such a unique design, I used gift money my lovely mother-in-law sent me.  I love, love, love this dress.

Red Umbrella Wahi Dress | made by a happy stitch

It’s definitely my most fun and comfortable dress. The pattern is, of course, the Washi dress from Made by Rae.  I love how relaxed the Washi is and it produces a dress so casual and prepared for everyday wear but at the same time dressy enough to feel just slightly dressed up.

I think when most people think of dresses with novelty prints, they opt for a retro look and I love the retro-style dresses out there.  Retro just doesn’t fit my lay-in-the-grass, now play soccer, then make lunches and now crawl-around-and-look-for-a-missing-Lego life. The Washi, on the other hand, can handle all of this in stride with the exception of a few character building wrinkles, perhaps.

Red Umbrella Washi Dress


I am willing to branch out, however, so if you have any recommendations for other everyday dresses let me know, would you? I can handle change. I have been eyeing the Go Anywhere dress from Sewn and they even have it at my favorite shop.  Anyone tried that, it looks so cute.

Oh, I almost forgot! I brought this dress along on our family trip so I could stick to my Summer of No Pants goal of three dresses or skirts a week.  Wahoo for sticking to goals! Even little ones.

visiting Cloud 9 and finding devotion & inspiration

every few months I skip out of dinner and drive about an hour and half to Montclair, NJ to attend the North Jersey Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  I’m not much of a quilter, really, and I hate driving, especially on the congested roads that take me north.  but I am a member of this guild and a passionate one at that.  you gotta understand, the people in this group of quilters are really extraordinary.  by that I mean open and accepting, warm and encouraging, non-competitive, bright and downright giddy about quilts.  it’s like being back home in Minnesota, for goodness sake.

so when the guild arranged a field trip I jumped at the chance. I love these people, of course I’ll go on a field trip!   we went as a big group to what looked like a regular old industrial zone in Cranford, NJ but inside was this:

Gina at Cloud 9

beautiful Cloud 9 fabrics!  Cloud 9 is an all-organic fabric manufacturer with an incredible ability to keep organic fabric both affordable and stunningly beautiful.  this is Gina (she made her dress, of course) discussing the business side of their operations.  at the bottom of the picture, on the table, are the latest gorgeous flannels from Rae and above that are the latest from Lisa Congdon.  don’t worry, I touched all of it, lovingly.

and, this is Michelle, (she made her shirt, of course) who also designs the fabric in addition to working with all the artists they work with.  she gave us sneak peeks into upcoming collections and shared the complete ins-and-outs of how they work with artists and what they are looking for.

meb at cloud 9

both Gina and Michelle were 100% transparent about where their textiles come from and what mills they use to print their fabric, what kinds of working conditions they look for when they choose a mill to work with.  their fabric is 100% organic cotton from India, uses low-impact dyes and workers, mostly in China, are treated to fair wages and good working conditions for their labor.  they kept saying “What is the point of calling it organic if it doesn’t meet all three of those criteria?”   for example, did you know that clothing, in a store, can be called organic if only 5% of the cotton in it is organic? Cloud 9 is not like that.

I will confess I walked in to Cloud 9 knowing that I “liked” their fabric but I walked out completed devoted to them.  I’m a full-blown groupie!  I was even lucky enough to get a chance to show them my new reversible hobo bag made with their geocentric canvas.  I’m not anxiously waiting for them to release koi by rashida colmean-hale so I can make a dress and I’m dreaming up projects (maybe even a quilt!) for a creative mint by leslie shredding.  needless to say, I came home ridiculously inspired.  and before I knew it my studio desk looked like this:

handprinting adventures

others from the guild have told me they came home and got started quilting like made or designing a quilt like a crazy woman…for me, the inspiration translated into a need to hand-carve some stamps and get printing.  so it was all bees and hot air balloons for me.  who knew?  and, wouldn’t you know it’s a rainy, wet day here and I have more supplies waiting for me…I think it’s a good time to get back to carving.

april happy happenings

no matter what, it always seems like a good time to sew.  in january it is the perfect time to stitch together a warm cozy quilt and sit hand-stitching the binding while watching a movie.  (speaking of movies, I finally saw “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and it is unreal. I thought about it for days. don’t miss it.)

and, now in april, it feels like the perfect time to clean up, organize the sewing studio and crank out some breezy warm-weather clothes.  judging from everything that is going on in blogworld, I am not the only one with the spring sewing bug.  sew-a-longs abound!



I have to start with the huge news that Meg from elsie marley, who already led the semi-annual and unbelievably popular kids clothes week challenge has partnered with Dorie of tumbling blocks to build a whole new blog dedicated to hand-sewn kids clothing.  it also has a new name Kids Clothes Week (I know, so different, right?) and they have announced that the sewing challenge will now be seasonal!  wahoo!  if you have never joined in on kids clothes week, now is the time to jump in.  the spring challenge starts april 22 and involves dedicating one hour a day to sewing clothes for kids.  simple idea but it’s amazing what you can get done and doing it along with hundreds of other people is incredibly inspiring.  I am already plotting out what I want to make.

kcw plans

the best part is sewing for kids is so much easier than sewing for grown-ups.  kids are basically shaped like planks of wood so there are no complicated darts and things.


if, however, you are inclined toward a grown-up sewing challenge and want to perfect those darts and side zippers then you can take the time from now to April 19 to take part in Made By Rae’s spring top sew-a-long!



I have got plans to make this shirt from collette patterns. I think it is about time for some complicated, challenging sewing on my part. plus, I am falling hard for peter pan collars. join me?


if you would rather take a back seat, skip the sewing and cheer on fellow sewists (maybe you have gardening to do, for pete’s sake!) then you will be happy to know that Nap Time Crafters is holding a sew off! the contest is already into week 3 and the competition is steep.  be sure to check it out.

sew off


and, I’m positively thrilled that the uber-talented abby glassenberg has a new book out on how to make stuffed animals.  not only does it look chock-full of inspiring stuffed animal projects (including a stuffed animal with a zipper mouth!) but it is also carefully designed to teach specific techniques that make it easy to learn the basics behind making stuffed animals so you can develop your own designs.

stuffed animal book

you can see her fun, generous personality and get a sample of the book projects in her video here.


go make shit. that is the idea behind this blog started by jill from made with moxie and rachael from imagine gnats and lots of other awesome contributors including the ever-inspiring thomas knauer.

and, they have a good point and a great conversation has started here.  the idea is simple.  just go make shit. don’t let fear of fitting into or arbitrary divisions about modern or traditional making get in the way.  feel like making it? have a good idea about something that needs to be made? good.  go make it.  make it well or make it poorly.  make it pretty or make it ugly.  just make shit.

it doesn’t matter one iota if what you make reflects someone else’s idea of beautiful and wonderful, there are worlds upon worlds of shit to be made, so make it your own!  wahoo!




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