Handmade for Kids Month: Interview with Rae of Made by Rae

I'm pleased to share a little interview from Rae of Made by Rae with you today! Rae is one of my handmade clothing heroes as she's always stitching up something wonderful for herself, her kids, or some lucky friends. She's got a host of wonderful free tutorials geared toward children and a lovely bag tutorial for mamas. You can find them all on her blog as well as regular round ups, giveaways, and fun anecdotes along the way.

Rae inspires me to tackle a pattern and make something wearable for Ruby. I'm most excited about her jersey shirts and baby pants! Read her interview below and then spend a little time getting comfy on her blog if you're not already a follower. Thanks so much, Rae, for sharing!

* Why do you make things?

1) I like to see my work present in my surroundings; hanging on the mantle, worn on my kids, in the mirror.
2) I feel like the more I create, the better it gets. Like practicing a piano. That's also very rewarding.
3) Sewing allows me to make more beautiful things than I can find at stores.

* Have you always been a crafter/maker/manipulator of surroundings?

I have always enjoyed creating things, drawing, painting, sewing. When I was a very small kid I remember making a doll for my little sister out of kleenex and tape, drawing on the face with a marker. It perplexed me that it fell apart almost immediately, but I didn't know any other way to put a doll together. Later my mom taught me how to sew and that helped me to make more permanent objects (although it took awhile before they became more attractive).

* Where do you find your inspiration?

Mostly clothing catalogs and design or sewing blogs. Like most people I'm very visual so if I see bold colors or patterns in a picture of something in a magazine or on a blog, I rip out the page or bookmark it so I can come back to it later. Also I find traveling very inspiring. We just got back from San Francisco and the entire time I was analyzing peoples' clothing and kids and purses thinking about elements that could translate into the things I make.

* What does your crafting space look like and how do you keep it organized?

It's a guest bedroom, so there's a big bed on one side of the room. I use the bed for a fabric depository most of the time so when guests come over I'm often scrambling to find a spare nook or cranny to stuff all the extra fabric in. I don't really keep it very well organized so I'm not sure I'm the best person to ask about organization, but I do use those little plastic boxes with the white lids for my notions and trims and a few plastic drawer units and a dresser for some of the fabric. But most of the time there are stacks of fabric on the guest bed, which is good, when I see pieces of fabric I like I get inspired to sew with it. I just have to make sure there aren't too many pieces out at one time otherwise I get overwhelmed.

* Do you finish your projects in one sitting or over time?

Most of my projects happen over time; I even have a shoe divider thingy in my sewing room with some half-finished projects in it that were cut out more than a year ago, still waiting to find time at the machine. But when I get really inspired to do something, I often just whip it up in a couple hours. Those are the most rewarding projects to complete: when it just flies together and the finished product is something I really like.

* What happens to projects that don't make the cut?

I try to harvest the fabric so I can use it for something else. I have a dresser drawer full of projects that I don't like but still want the fabric.

* What are some of your favorite online resources for tutorials, fabric, inspiration?

Tutorials: I have to say I'm a little biased here (I was a board member this fall) but I think one of the best places to go for tutorials is still Sew Mama Sew. When I first started reading sewing blogs they were one of the first places I found, and just looking through their archives can be overwhelming, but they continue to find and feature phenomenal crafters and tutorials.

Fabric: There are so many fantastic fabric shops online now that it's hard to pick favorites. I have handpicked a few great online fabric shops as sponsors for my blog simply because I get asked so often where to find good fabric and thought it would be nice to have them linked more permanently on my blog.

Inspiration: I love reading the blogs of my favorite fabric designers: Anna Maria Horner, Heather Ross and Lizzy House; I find these to be really inspirational. Pinterest is very visually inspiring. And I still really like to look on Flickr and see what everyone else is sewing!


Thank you, Rae, for sharing some insight into your creative habits, reasons for making, and general loveliness with Smile and Wave readers! Be sure to stop by her blog and let her know how fabulous she is.


p.s. All images courtesy of Rae.


Jenni Austria Germany said...

oh my gosh! the clementine wall! so adorable.

mei said...

I have always liked Rae's blog!
her talent is amazing :)

Loni Harris said...

I have been reading Rae's blog for a long time and not only love her projects, but I also greatly enjoy reading her content (unlike many other blogs in my reader where I just scroll thru the pictures). :)

Great interview!

amy conard said...

absolutely gorgeous and inspiring! i would wear those creations:) thanks for the fabulous interview.

letter A studio said...

Thanks for sharing Rachel. Her blog is lovely.

Anonymous said...

"manipulator of surroundings"
that is the best way to put it!!! love it when someone is crafty with their words too :) i'm totally using that all the time now.

barlow said...

ha ha, i was lookin for tutorials and found rae's sight...i looked at the photo of rae and laughed so hard that i went to high school with her, look where you are Rae!! Pretty amazing!! you are super creative and inspiring