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Foxy Skater Dress

18 April 2014
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I’m so pumped about this wardrobe of dresses I’ve been building for this summer, and plan on adding some skirts and tops pretty soon too. They’re going to be so much more comfortable in the Texas heat than the jeans I’ve worn most of the past few summers. Plus, most of the ones I’ve made and have planned are in ridiculous adorable and/or awesome prints, which make me so happy all day. One of my favorite patterns I’ve tried out so far is the Lady Skater dress from Kitschy Coo, and its super extra comfortable because its made for knits. Bonus: no zipper or buttons!

Fox Print Lady Skater Dress

The pattern has measurements for upper bust and upper waist instead of the more typical bust and waist, which I think was good for me because I seem to have narrow shoulders. I think the idea is that the knit fabrics called for by the pattern have enough give to account for different cup sizes (and she has a cool tutorial for FBA and other adjustments on her blog here!)

Fox Print Lady Skater Dress

The sizing is completely independent of typical sizes. I cut a size 2 in the high bust and 3 in the high waist based on my measurements and because I was worried about the stretch in my material, and it fit pretty well. The fabric I was using only has about 20% stretch, so the neck band isn’t perfect. The waist is also a smidge looser than I like, but it makes getting the dress on/off a lot easier by having a bit more room. When I make more (and there will be more!) I’ll probably cut a straight size 2 – especially because the next fabrics I have lined up for this pattern have more stretch. I might also try to add pockets, because I’ve totally been loving those on my other dresses.

Lady Skater Dress

The instructions also call for adding clear elastic to the waist and shoulders, which is kind of fantastic. Why? She talks about it on her blog here. With just 6 main pieces (more if you include neck/arm bands), no closure, and simple lines, I’m pretty sure I sewed this up in less than half an hour once I had it cut out.

Girl Charlee Fox Fabric

I got the awesome fabric at a website that sells tons of awesome knits, Girl Charlee. Side note: If you want to create an account to place an order, do it through this link and help a girl out! You get your first order at 10% off whether you sign up through me or not :) This print is sold out, but they have it in a lighter color way here!

Fox Print Lady Skater Dress

I got this pattern, along with 4 other women’s patterns, through a neat deal called perfect pattern parcel. Basically, they team up with independent designers to put together a group of cool patterns for sale as a bundle for a limited time. They let you choose how much you want to pay for them (there is a minimum, but it was something like $15 for 5 patterns!) and how much of the cost you want to go to the designers of the patterns, the pattern parcel team, and a charity. I’m excited to see what else they come out with next!

Package Pals Goodies – March 2014

16 April 2014
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Last month I helped host a crafty mail swap again called package pals (follow my blog in a reader or via email in the left sidebar to stay updated on when we host it next!). This time, I participated too! I was paired up with Jess. She likes, among other things, cross-stitching, old-school video games like Zelda and Super Mario, Captain America, and Disney. Here’s what I put together for her!

package pals march 2014

My main handmade gift was this cross-stitch-style wall hanging, using Pile o’ Fabric’s quilted cross stitch block tutorial. She has cutting directions for several sizes there, but I played around with the size of the pieces to get the right thickness in the size I wanted (2″ finished).

quilted cross stitch 's'

I made up several samples and cut out 1/4″ frames to picture them without seam allowances, and ended up going with the bottom right in the photo below, which used 1 3/8” strips of colored fabric and 2.5” background squares.

cross stitch quilt block

I also got some solid olive colored fabric and bleached it into Zelda fabric. I cut out a bunch of freezer paper template sheets with my silhouette, then sprayed on a mixture on bleach and water. Its not perfect, but it’s pretty solid looking with only a tiny bit of bleeding on the front, and you can see a cool splatter texture on the back.

bleached diy triforce zelda fabric

I made her a Captain America shirt with freezer paper stencils (again, cut out with my silhouette, but this is an easy shape you could cut out by hand!) and craft acrylic paint with some fabric medium.

diy freezer paper stencil captain america t-shirt

As a little gift for her two girls, I also made some vinyl decals with their names in Super Mario and Disney fonts :)

I had a great time getting to know Jess via email. She sent me a super thoughtful package with an adorable robot cross-stitch embroidery hoop, a travel caddy to use for crafting on-the-go, supplies to make my own robot cross-stitch project, a bit of penguin fabric, and some fantastic star-trek and coordinating fabric (see the dress I made out of the star trek fabrics here!)

Star Trek Dress

14 April 2014

I participated in the crafty swap I helped host here recently, package pals, in March. My partner, Jess, sent me some awesome Star Trek fabric and a couple fat quarters of a cute coordinating print.

Simplicity 2444

Isn’t the fabric fantastic?

star trek dress fabrics

When I realized that two fat quarters was just enough to cut out a sleeveless bodice for Simplicity 2444, I knew these fabrics would make a fantastic dress!

Star Trek Dress

I made a few more adjustments to the pattern from my last dresses – I started one size down because I’d been taking in a bit of extra fabric at the zipper. I also adjusted the arm scythe to bring it up a bit and in at the shoulders.

star trek dress windy

The skirt is just a big gathered rectangle so I could make the most out of the star trek print. It turns out I didn’t have quite enough of the Star Trek fabric to make the whole skirt, so I put in some black cotton at the top of the skirt. I actually really love the black waist band and how it breaks up the busy prints, so that was a fun accident.

piping facing

The skirt is lined, but not the bodice. Instead of using facings, I lined the armholes and neckhole with some red piping. This technique is described here.

simplicity 2444 back

I ended up deciding to use the same piping around the waist too, which I adore. And thankfully, it lined up perfectly at the back zipper on my first try!

star trek dress and blanket

It goes nicely with the star trek blanket I made Eddie for Christmas, don’t you think?

Galaxy Dress

12 April 2014

I’m still plugging away on making dresses! If you follow me on instagram (I’m stars_sunshine over there!), you actually might have seen this one a couple of weeks ago.

lizzy house constellations dress

This is made with Simplicity 2444, just like the last one! I love this pattern :) Fitted bodice? check. Full skirt? check. Sleeves that actually fit my arms? check. Bonus: pockets! I think I need to fix some fit issues with the arm scythes though – I’m currently working on adjusting a bodice muslin to see if I can figure it out.

galaxy dress pockets

The fabric is from Lizzy House’s constellations line and is called Supernova.

simplicity 2444 exposed zipper

I put in an exposed zip just like last time, but this time the waist seams line up – yay!

simplicity 2444

It also goes well with the petticoat I made for my Mrs. Frizzle dress, so I wore them together and really enjoyed my full, poofy, twirly skirt!

shoes

I found these fun shoes in my closet to go with the dress – those little dots are really heart shaped!

nails

I love when my nails match my pretty dresses :)

simplicity 2444 dress

 

I need to catch up on my blogging – I actually finished this dress a few weeks ago, and since then have finished two dresses and started two more!

Simplicity 2444

17 March 2014
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I love the idea of making my own dresses, for so many reasons. I love being able to choose crazy prints if I want to. I love being able to choose modest patterns for my fun fabrics. I love that I can make things I love to wear, even if they’re not cool or popular enough to be sold in stores. I love that theoretically, I can make them fit just perfectly. I even really enjoy the process of making them. I just haven’t made any (other than my Mrs. Frizzle Halloween costume) since I made dresses for my bridesmaids for my wedding over three years ago.

bridesmaid dresses

A couple weeks ago, I finally picked a pattern out of my closet and went to work on making myself a new dress!

simplicity 2444

I used Simplicity 2444. This is actually my muslin in preparation for some dresses with really fun prints, but since I got the fabric (a lovely kind of shiny 100% cotton) at a garage sale for under $2/yard, it was cheaper than muslin, plus I get to actually wear it!

simplicity 2444 skirt

I love the twirly skirt! I made it up a size smaller than the fit guide on the back of the envelope, and it ended up fitting quite well. I only made a few minor changes. Rather than facing, I ended up fully lining the dress and lining the skirt in a silky lining-type fabric so I can wear it with tights when its colder outside. I also cut the front skirt on the fold instead of as two separate pieces since my fabric was wide enough, so I don’t have a seam down the middle.

simplicity 2444 zipper

I hate that the waist seam doesn’t line up in the back, but not enough to rip it out and fix it. I put it in wrong about 3 times before I finally got it right anyways. I’ll just try harder next time. There’s also an exposed lilac zipper in the back. I love the exposed zipper, but I think I’ll make some adjustments to how I sew up the seam it fits into next time.

simplicity 2444

My favorite things about these photos though? I still love my mermaid hair (you can read more about how I did that here), and those constellation socks.

ombre nails

It even matched my nails when I wore it yesterday!

simplicity 2444

Eddie thinks the sleeves make it look too matronly. I may shorten the sleeves a bit, but I feel like when I make it up in some crazy prints and wear it with that green/blue/purple hair, it’ll be hard too look all that matronly. I’m already most of the way through sewing a second one in this fabric from Lizzy House! I have several other fabrics set aside for dresses as well :)

future dress fabrics

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