The toddler backpack pattern from Made by Rae has become a bit of a rite of passage item in our home. My daughter has had two of them, and my two year old son was finally ready for his own for going on playdates and such.

The zebra fabric was some that I designed awhile back when By Hand London was still doing custom printed fabric. I love the fabric and the way it turned out, but had no idea what to do with it so it just sat in the stash for a long time. I’m glad that I finally decided to use it for the backpack. It’s a bit heavier than a quilting cotton so it was perfect.

The straps, bottom and sides are made with a blue duck cloth and I added a lining to the whole bag in this really fun batik quilting cotton. Just for functionality I also added an inside zipper pocket and an elastic pocket to fit his water bottle. I used an ivory metal zipper for the top as well as ivory piping for accents.

I have tried multiple things to add stiffness and shape to the backpack. On my last version I used some heavyweight interfacing fused to the outside fabric which ended up being a bit of a disaster. With wear it separated and bubbled and I could never get it to look great again. This time I read up on recommendations and decided to give Pellon Thermolam a try. So far so good. I only added it to the outside fabric. It did make it a bit tricky to sew through all of the layers though, especially when adding the piping. Next time I think I would trim off the seam allowances of the fusible fleece before adhering it.

I see this backpack getting a lot of love and use over the next couple of years before he needs a full sized one. Love this little pattern and all of the times I have made it for my kids.


I recently discovered that a thrifted adult sized sweatshirt is the perfect item to upcycle into Mini Hudson pants and I had to share it with you. In the end, the sweatshirt provided everything that I needed except the elastic, which makes for a pretty successful upcycle in my book. Now I am addicted and am on the hunt for old sweatshirts to use. I have a few tips that I learned along the way, as well as some pictures that I hope help.

When looking for a sweatshirt to use, whether from your own closet, or a thrift store, there are few things that you want to look for. Depending on what size pant you are making, you want to probably find the biggest sweatshirt that you can. I was making a size 2T and a mens large was good for me, but bigger would be better. That being said, this tutorial is best suited for the smaller sized pants such as sizes 2T- 4T, or the cropped version of the larger sizes.

You also want a sweatshirt with at least a little stretch in it. A lot of sweatshirts, especially the cheaper ones, don’t have any stretch which wouldn’t be suitable for this pattern. You definitely want a sweatshirt with both wrist and waist ribbing as you use those for your pants and an added bonus is a hooded sweatshirt with a drawstring as you can use the drawstring on your pants as well. Here is what I ended up with.

The first thing that you need to do is cut and separate your sweatshirt into large swatches of fabric. Since my sweatshirt had writing and a pocket on the front, my usable fabric came from the arms and back. Also carefully cut off the ribbing on the wrists and waist to use, as well as the necktie if your sweatshirt is hooded.

Cut out your waistband, pocket detail, and ankle bands from the ribbing.

Cut out the pocket pieces and the front and back pants with the main sweatshirt fabric. Do your best to pay attention to grainlines and assuring that the greatest amount of stretch pulls widthwise.

Sew up your pants according to the instructions.

If your sweatshirt had a hood with a drawstring, use that for the drawstring on the pants.

I love the way these turned out. He seems to like them too.

Men’s Hudson Pant Inspiration and Fabric

I am so glad that you all seem to be as excited about the Men’s Hudson Pants as I am. The phrase I keep seeing around the web is something to the effect of “I’ve never sewn for my husband/boyfriend, but this seems like an easy place to start.” I am so glad that this pattern has you all excited about sewing things for the men in your life. And, if you are a man who is reading this, (sorry that you are often overlooked in our community) then I am glad that I can add another men’s sewing pattern into the mix as I think we can use more.

Today I am going to show a few ready-to-wear pants that have a similar look to the Men’s Hudson Pants. Whether the intention is to wear these around the house for lounging, or dress them up for around town, I hope that this post will help you decide on the look you want to sew up and how to style them.

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I have some sources and ideas for fabrics below. You really do want something on the medium to heavy weight side for these if they are going to be worn out of the house, so I recommend fabrics such as french terry, ponte and sweatshirt knit. Another thing to keep in mind is that fabrics that contain even a small percentage of lycra or spandex are going to have better recovery and help avoid bagging out in the knees and backside. This may not be as big of a deal with lounging pants, but just keep the fabric content in mind when choosing what to use.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 89 | 10 | 11 | 12

I am always on the lookout for great online sources for “grownup” knits, so if you know of a place that I have overlooked please leave a comment.


I am very excited to release a Men’s version of the Hudson pant today. Since releasing the women’s and also the children’s versions, I have had a lot of requests for a similar pattern for men.

Like the other versions, the Men’s Hudson Pant has an elastic / drawstring waist and front pockets. There is a little extra room around the hips and crotch, tapering down to a skinnier leg at the ankle. I kept the construction of this pattern almost exactly like the others, keeping notches, and details in the same place. If you have already made a pair for yourself or a child, then these will be an even easier sew for you.

The sizing for this pant is waist sizes 28 through 42. I highly recommend using actual measurements and not ready-to-wear sizing to choose what size to cut. Just like in women’s clothing, ready-to-wear sizing is often skewed and does not reflect actual waist measurements.

The recommended fabric for this pattern is medium to heavy weight knits such as french terry, ponte, and sweatshirt knit with a suggested stretch of 40% – 75%. The navy sweatshirt knit above was purchased at Metro in NYC and the dark grey french terry was bought on a shopping trip in Montreal with Closet Case Files. I have found that for men you really do want to avoid lighter weight knits such as interlock as they tend to look a little more feminine.

I will not be doing a sewalong for the Men’s Hudson Pants as they are so similar to the other versions, but I will be back with some fabric and ready-to-wear inspiration in a couple of days. I hope that you are as excited about this pattern as I am. Please let me know if you have any questions. If you would like to purchase the pattern you can do so here. Use the code LAUNCHWEEK for 20% off today through this Sunday at Midnight EST.


Hey guys. Thanks so much for everyone who sewed along and read along with the Roscoe Blouse and Dress and Sewalong last week. I know that sewalongs can get long and redundant, but I feel strongly that one of the biggest perks of sewing indie patterns is the extra guidance and help that you get so I am a big fan of providing sewalongs with you. If you would like to access all of the posts for the sewalong you can do so by clicking here or by visiting the sewalong tab at the top of the page.

I finally got around to photgraphing the two Roscoes that I sewed up during the sewalong. I used view B – the mini dress/tunic – for most of the sewalong as the instructions are exactly the same for view B and C. I also sewed up View A – the blouse -to interject into the instructions when needed.

For View A I made a simple white version in some silk crepe de chine from Chic fabrics here in NYC. I love this basic wardrobe staple and plan to dress it up and down constantly this fall and winter.


For View B I made a mini dress in some feather print rayon crepe that I bought off of here on etsy earlier this year. I wish that they still had some because I love this fabric. The only regret that I have is that it more of a spring / summer print so I will have to wait until then to wear it. I still want to make a version in a darker fabric that i can wear with black tights and boots. It’s on the sewing list.


I would love to see your versions of the Roscoe Blouse or Dress as well. You can tag them #roscoeblouse or #roscoedress to point them my way.


It’s the last day of the sewalong and it’s just going to be a quick post about the ruffle and hemming your Roscoe blouse or dress. You are so close to being done.

Step 26 is for View A (blouse) only. If you are doing View B or C then skip to Step 27.

Step 26 – Finish the hem of your blouse by turning up the bottom raw edge by 1/4” with wrong sides together. Press.

Turn it up again another 1/4”. Press and pin.

Edgestitch along the entire folded edge to secure the hem, backstitching at both ends.

Congrats! You are finished with your blouse!

Now to finish up Views B and C.

Step 27 – Take your two ruffle pieces and line them up with right sides together. Pin the short ends together on both sides. Stitch at normal 1/2” seam allowance, and finish seam allowances in desired manner (I used a french seam). Press seam allowances open or towards the back panel depending on your finishing method. You should now have a tube of sorts like the one below.


Step 28 – Gather the top, notched edge of the ruffle by sewing two rows of basting stitches, one at a scant 1/2” and the other at 3/8”, from the raw edge. Sew two rows on the front panel and two rows on the back panel separately, starting and stopping just outside of each side seam. Do not backstitch on any of the basting stitches.

This is what it looks like at the side seams.

Step 29 – Gather up the basting stitches and evenly distribute the ruching. Pin the gathered edge of the ruffle to the bottom raw edge of the blouse portion of your dress, right sides together (or wrong sides together first if you are doing french seams), matching notches and side seams. Pin. I find it easiest to control the ruching if I give it a good press before stitching.


Step 30 – Finish the seam allowance in your desired manner (I used a french seam). Press the ruffle down and away from the rest of the dress, and the seam allowance up and away from the ruffle.

On the right side of your dress, topstitch 1/8” above the seam where the ruffle and blouse portions connect, catching the seam allowance underneath.

Step 31 – Finish the hem of your dress by pressing the raw edge up towards the wrong side of your garment by 1/4”.

Turn it up again by 1/4” . Pin and press.

Edgestich along this folded line to secure.

All finished!

Congrats and I hope you love your blouse or dress. I havn’t had a chance to take photos of my makes for the sewalong yet, but will post them on Monday. Can’t wait to see yours. Be sure to tag them with #roscoeblouse or #roscoedress so that I can have a look.


Today should be a pretty short and easy day. We are going to gather and attach the sleeve binding, almost exactly like we did for the neckline, except this time in the round.


Step 19 – Take your sleeve bands and fold them in half widthwise so that the two short ends are touching, right sides together. Stitch at 1/2” seam allowance. Trim to 1/4”. Press seams open.


Step 20 – Take the unnotched edge of one sleeve band and press it at 1/2”, with wrong sides together. Repeat for the other sleeve band.


Step 21 – Starting and stopping on either side of the underarm seam, stitch a basting stitch at a scant 1/2” from the raw edge of each sleeve. (Do not backstitch on either end). Stitch another basting stitch parallel to the first, at 3/8” from the raw edge.


Step 22 – On one sleeve, gather your basting stitches so that the ruching is uniform around the sleeve opening. Pin the notched edge of the sleeve band to the bottom of the sleeve, with right sides together. Match the notches to one another and the underarm seam to the the sleeve band seam. Pin and stitch at 1/2” seam allowance.

Trim the gathered sleeve seam allowance to 1/4“ and the band seam allowance to 3/8” to reduce bulk in the binding.


Step 23 – Press the sleeve band away from the sleeve and over the seam allowance.


Step 24 – Take the folded edge of the sleeve band and pull it to the inside of the sleeve until it covers the seam by about 1/16”. Pin and press. Do this slowly and patiently adjusting as needed to make sure that the binding is visually uniform all the way around.


Step 25 – Just like you did on the neckline, stitch in the ditch on the right side of your sleeve, where the sleeve meets the sleeve band, catching the folded edge of your sleeve band underneath. Press. Repeat these steps for the other sleeve. Go slowly and do your best to get the stitches right in between where they are nearly invisible. (You can also do this by hand on the inside of the sleeve if you prefer.)

It should look something like this once you are done.

That’s all for today. Tomorrow we finish our blouses and dresses!


Today we are going to finish up the neckline of your blouse and dress. It’s super satisfying, but also probably the most difficult part of the process technically. Today it’s all about being precise and going slow. Unpick if necessary and stitch again. You will be so happy if you do. The neckline is really the focus of this blouse / dress and getting it right is so worth the extra effort. This is a very photo heavy post so hopefully it’s very clear and goes smoothly for you.


Step 8 – First, let’s make the neckties. Take your necktie pieces and fold them in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Press.

Open them back up and take the two long raw edges and fold them back into the crease you just made. Press.

Fold along the middle crease again.

Edgestitch along the long open edge.


Step 9 – Finish one end of each necktie by folding it 1/4”, pressing, folding it another 1/4”, pressing, and stitching to secure. I know that this can be a bit fiddly and hard to sew on your machine. I find that if I put a piece of masking tape down once it’s folded and sew through that, that it’s a lot easier.

Once you are finished, give them and good press and set your neckties aside.


Step 10 – Change the stitch length on your sewing machine to the longest stitch for basting stitches.

Starting and ending 1/4” from the edge of the neckline facing stitching at center front, baste around the entire neckline at a scant 1/2”. (Do not backstitch at either end.) Sew another line of basting stitches parallel to the first at 3/8” seam allowance.

This is what it should look like when you are done.


Step 11 – Prepare your neckline binding by folding the long, unnotched edge at 1/2”, with wrong sides together. Press.


Step 12 – Gather the neckline along the basting stitches. Pin the neckline, right sides together, to the neckline binding along the unfolded edge, with 1/2” extending at each center front. Match the notches on the binding to each of the seams on the neckline of the blouse.

I find it a lot easier to control the gathering while I stitch if I give it a press first.

Stitch at 1/2” seam allowance. Trim the gathered blouse seam allowance to 1/4“ and the binding seam allowance to 3/8” to reduce bulk within the neckline.


Step 13 – Press the neckline binding up and away from the blouse around the entire neckline.

On the right center front of the neckline, pin the unfinished end of one necktie piece flush with the neckline binding edge.

Step 14 – Now take the folded edge of the neckline binding and fold it down, right sides together, so that the folded edge overlaps the seam where the binding meets the blouse by about 1/16” (this is important so that you still have some extra binding on the inside of the blouse to stitch down). The necktie will be sandwiched in-between. Pin.


Step 15 – Stitch down at a scant 1/2” seam allowance at center front so that your stitches are just past the edge of your center front slit. This somewhere that you want to be very precise so that you have a nice, clean angle at center front.

Trim the seam allowance to reduce bulk.


Step 16 – Turn the corner right side out so that the necktie is now on the outside of the blouse at center front. Adjust the corner so it has a nice point and press. Repeat for the other side of the neckline.


Step 17 – Take the folded edge of the neckline binding and pull it to the inside of the neckline until it covers the seam by about 1/16”. Pin generously. Press on a curved surface such as a tailor’s ham to support the curve of the neckline and prevent wrinkles. The goal is that on the right side of your blouse, that the neckline binding is the same width as the necktie. On the inside it should be that same width, plus about 1/16 – 1/8″. If it is off in places then you will want to adjust as necessary at this point.


Step 18 – On the right side of your blouse, stitch in the ditch where the blouse meets the neckline binding, catching the underside of the neck binding underneath. Go slowly and be as accurate as possible. If you stitch right in the “ditch” then the stitching should be almost invisible. You can also choose to hand sew this on the inside instead for a more high end finish.

Backstitch securely on both ends and press on a curved surface.

Well done. We are finished for today. See you tomorrow.



Welcome back for day 2 of the Roscoe Blouse and Dress Sewalong. By the end of today it will start to resemble a real item of clothing which is always fun.

Before we start sewing you need to decide on a method for finishing your seams. I highly recommend using french seams as they work really well for lightweight woven fabrics like the ones used for this pattern. Other options are serging or using pinking shears. I will be using french seams and will be showing the process in the sewalong steps, but feel free to use whatever method you prefer.

Step 5 – Now it’s time to attach the front to the sleeves. If you are serging or pinking then match the armhole portion of the front to one sleeve with right sides touching, matching notches. Pin. Stitch at 1/2″ seam allowance. Finish the seam allowance and press the seam allowance open or away from the sleeves and towards the bodice. Repeat for the other sleeve and skip the next 5 pictures, picking back up at the beginning of step 6.

If you are doing a french seam then the method will be a little different. Match the armhole portion of the front to one sleeve with wrong sides touching. Pin. Stitch it at 1/4″ seam allowance.

After stitching at 1/4″ seam allowance, trim the seam allowance down to 1/8″.

Press the seam flat with the trimmed seam allowance going to one side.

Now press the seam flat with right sides touching.

Stitch at 1/4″ seam allowance, encasing the trimmed seam allowance so it’s no longer visible.

Repeat for the other sleeve. Press seam allowances towards the bodice and away from the sleeve.


Step 6 – Attach the back to the sleeves in the same manner as the front. Finish the seam allowances on both the front and back of the armholes in your desired manner. Seam allowances should either be pressed open or away from the sleeves depending on your finishing method. This is what the neckline should look like when you are at the step. At this point is resembles a poncho of sorts.


Step 7 – Now we are going to sew up the sleeves and sideseams in one step. Starting at the sleeve opening and ending at the bottom of the blouse / dress, pin the sideseams together, matching notches and seams. Stitch and finish the seam allowances in your desired method as you did in the step above. Press the seam allowances open or towards the back of your garment depending on your finishing method.

This is what the top of your blouse or dress should look like at this point. Tomorrow we will finish up the neckline so it really starts looking put together.



I am so excited for the first day of our Roscoe Blouse and Dress sewalong. Hopefully by now you have printed and assembled your pattern. If you need any help with the printing and taping process check out my post here from a prior sewalong. The same link will also walk you through lengthening and shortening your pattern. The Roscoe, like all of my patterns are drafted for someone who is 5’5″. You will want to adjust your pattern if you are taller or shorter than this. I am 5’3″ so I shorten the sleeves and blouse of Views A or B by 1″ (since I figure that only half of my body would only be half of the difference). If I am sewing view C, the long dress, then I shorten the sleeves by 1″ and the dress by 2″.

Before you start, make sure that you mark all notches as well as the cutting line on the neckline facing. Now we are ready to start. The steps will be numbered and will correspond to the numbers in the pattern instructions.

Step 1 – Align the right side of your neckline facing with the right side of your front piece, matching center front notches. You really want to make sure that the neckline facing is on straight so that you don’t end up with a crooked neck slit. If you don’t have a visible grain or print to follow you can always fold your center front piece in half and lightly press the fold so that you can line up the facing properly. Pin in multiple places like you see below.


Step 2 – Reduce your stitch length to 1.5mm (or about 17 stitches per inch).

Starting at 1/4” seam allowance, stitch down one side of the cutting line marked on the facing piece, reducing the seam allowance as you go, until you are at 1/16” at the bottom. Pivot and stitch just below the bottom of the line for 2 stitches. Pivot and stitch back up the other side in the same manner as the first. It’s hard to see, but if you look closely you should be able to see my stitching.

Cut down along the cutting line marking until you are close to, but not through the bottom stitches. Snip carefully into the corners (if necessary). Return your stitch length back to normal before you forget.


Step 3 – Pull the facing through the opening you just created so that it’s on the wrong side of your front piece.

Press. Make sure that the seam is cheated slightly to the inside of your garment so that you don’t see it on the right side of your garment. You also want to make sure that you don’t have any puckering at the bottom of the slit. You want everything lying flat.

Trim down both sides and the bottom of the facing so that it is 5/8” on each side.


Step 4 – Turn under the side edges first, until they reach the stitching. Turn under the bottom in the same way. Press and pin in place.

Starting at the top, edgestitch around the outside folded edge of the facing. When you reach the corners, leave your needle in the fabric, pivot, and stitch in the other direction. Press. This is what it should look like on the right side of your fabric once you are done.


That’s it for today. Not too bad right? Tomorrow we will start sewing pieces together.