reiny days and mondays

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Photo dump

I’ve been working on tons of little gifts for friends and family so I haven’t had too much to share lately. In fact I’ve made too much in the past three months to sit down and actually photograph them so all I’ve got are a handful of phone photos. Honestly though, I don’t really think of the presents I make as “blog material” so I don’t worry too much about getting them on the blog. I am still proud of them though so I want to mark them down somewhere!

First up is a monster I made for a friend’s son’s 1st birthday. They had a monster theme for the party which was ADORABLE. I made a dozen small (about 8-inch) monsters for the favors, basing their designs on the invitations. I made this big guy (he was about 18 inches) for the birthday boy himself.


Next I made a quick quilt for my nephew’s first birthday. This was originally on my 2013 resewlutions post (oops) but… uh, better late than never, yeah? This baby was super quick to make because I just made 6-inch strips. The only thing that took a while was hand-binding the quilt. I’d never done it before but for some reason I just couldn’t get the binding sewn on by machine without a bunch of twisting and puckers so I eventually ripped it all out and bound it by hand.


It really feels like birthday season right now – we went to two birthday parties for kids in Liam’s daycare class on two consecutive weekends. They were both girls so I made two Geranium dresses. All the fabrics and notions are from Jo-Ann’s. I love both of these!





While writing this post I just remembered I also made a set of cloth napkins for Kev’s cousin’s wedding! I really wish I had taken photos because the colours I picked were so lovely. I sincerely want to keep every set of cloth napkins I make as gifts. Ugh.

I also made some tiny baby pants for a certain friend who is expecting. The baby shower hasn’t happened yet so no pictures yet, sorry! I used Rae’s newborn pants pattern (free!) for the first time. It’s ridic easy but I do highly recommend finishing all the seams since the pants will likely be washed a bunch. I just used my serger.

I have a bunch of projects on deck for myself and for my boys so I should be back soon with some real posts!



I Heart Laurel!

It’s been a long time coming, but I love Colette Patterns now.

I bought the Laurel pattern half a year ago and had grand plans to make it in a gray shot cotton. Unfortunately I didn’t realize how SHIMMERY the fabric was when I ordered online, and the more I sewed, the more the dress started to look like something Donna Summer would have worn at one of her concerts. I tried to tone down the nightclub feel by cuffing the sleeves and adding pockets but I just was not feeling it. It was my most embarrassing UFO (and trust me, I kind of looked like I came from a UFO when I tried it on) and I just shoved it to the bottom of my scrap pile.

The silver Laurel has since been Frankensteined into several beloved pieces – soon to be blogged! – but I have revisited the pattern and did it RIGHT this time. And I love it!


I found this pretty hunter green fabric at Jo-Ann’s – I think it’s elegant and sweet at the same time, which I don’t find too often there. Even Kevin commented that he thought the fabric was nice! Win!


I think the sleeves are just perfect. I love the slight puff, and the length is exactly what I want on all my blouses/dresses. I don’t like sleeves that are too loose, nor do I like super tight sleeves (ok who does?)


Once again I think this is a dress that looks better belted on me. I would probably take in a bit more on the back darts if I wanted a more close-fitting dress that I would always wear unbelted. One other note for my next Laurel – I want to shift the bust darts down about an inch as I think they hit me a bit high.


I bought enough fabric to self-line the dress and I think that was a good choice! Not that anyone will ever see it, but it looks so beautiful on the inside too! The doubled fabric also gives the dress a lovely weight that makes it feel more substantial and a lot less “homemade”. I took care and did ALL the handstitching that was recommended in the instructions – the bias binding on the sleeves, neckline, and the lace hem tape – and it looks amazing. Good call, me.

I DO need to get an invisible zipper foot! I did my best with a regular zipper foot and it’s not terrible but certainly not invisible either. Of course I didn’t get pictures of the back but rest assured, you don’t need to see my backside after Thanksgiving.

Anyway the reason why I finally pushed myself to get the Laurel done is because I’m planning on making the Albion coat for myself! Now that I’ve made a wool duffle coat for Liam and sewn another Colette pattern, I think I’m as prepared as can be for the Albion. I’m sure I’ll be too busy with other projects in the meantime so I’m waiting for the sew-a-long that I hear will be happening after the holidays. Can’t wait!

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Washi Dress in Cynthia Rowley Pointillism

Or as I affectionately refer to it – my Confetti dress! A woman at Starbucks told me that her daughter whispered to her that my dress “looks like sprinkles” and I pretty much beamed.

I finally tried out the U-cutout neckline and… I cut it too wide. Oops.


I still think it’s cute! I haven’t gotten around to understitching the interfacing to keep it lying flat so right now I just blast the hell out of it with steam from my iron. I’ve probably spent more time doing that than it would have taken to just understitch the thing. Oh well.


Anyway I think it’s probably my favorite Washi! Do I say that every time? I think I do, but I mean it. I can wear it to work with a cardi, or out to a party/event, AND it has pockets. The best part is I can wear it with pink, yellow, blue, green, or black… really any color!

Another Washi success!

Pattern: Washi dress (duh, what else?) by Made by Rae
Fabric: Cynthia Rowley Pointillism in Primary from Hawthorne Threads


Ruby Dress in Bouquet Sprout

Can I just say that I love the entire Juliana Horner line at Jo-Ann’s? Because I totally do.

I bought a couple yards of the Bouquet Sprout knowing I wanted to make a dress. I also bought a yard of Garden Main Floral, not knowing what I’ll be doing with it – I’m thinking maybe lining for a bag? I also really want to get a couple of yards of Rosebed Pomegranate but I’m slowly drowning in fabric so I resisted the temptation.

I snapped up the Ruby Dress by Rae because I’m a sucker for dresses with no closures. Rae is definitely a girl after my own heart. The Ruby pattern is even easier than the Washi. At this point I could make the Washi dress with my eyes closed, having made about eight or so (I don’t know, I need to take inventory) by now.


I took in quite a bit from both sides from just below the bustline to the hem. I do tend to need to do a full-bust adjustment, but luckily on this pattern it was just a matter to cutting a Medium and grading down the waist and skirt portion to a Small.


I bound the edges with some premade yellow bias binding. Super easy! I do prefer the look of binding inside so I folded it under and topstitched down.


I used the Bouquet Sprout and some Robert Kaufman Interweave Chambray in Slate. Tell me why I only bought three yards of the chambray? I want a whole bolt.


I think these two fabrics go reaaaally well together. I wear it a lot with the mustard yellow belt but I’ve also worn it with a silver belt and a brown woven leather belt. I don’t think I have the guts to wear it sans belt though – too topheavy.



I am clearly still learning how to use my remote. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the hang of hiding the stupid thing.


That’s all for now! I have some Parsley pants (I know, this blog should just be renamed Everything Rae Hoekstra Does is Unicorns and Rainbows) and some other dresses that I need to photograph/blog! I’ll need to practice with my remote!


Sister Washis: Star Wars for Rosie

Rosie finally sent me pictures of her Star Wars Washi in action!

She appears to be quite pleased with the pockets.
Star Wars 1

It fits perfectly, YES.
Star Wars 2

Star Wars 3

Yikes, this reminds me that I need to get cracking of the last Sister Washi, Romina’s!