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Chopsticks Dress

22 April 2014

I made another Simplicity 2444 dress!

Simplicity 2444

I found the fabrics for this dress at a garage sale for a family who’s mom had closed down her fabric store. I only spent something like $4 on the fabric for the bodice and the skirt. I used an old sheet for the bodice lining, but bought new lining fabric for the skirt and an invisible zipper (both with coupons), bringing the total cost for this dress to about $13!

Simplicity 2444 back

The pattern is Simplicity 2444 in a size 10, with arm scythes moved up under the arm and in at the shoulders. The neckline on this dress and the rest of my Simplicity 2444 dresses is great when I’m standing, but tends to gape a bit when I sit if I don’t have perfect posture. I’m thinking about taking out some wedges at the neck and moving the space to the waist darts like this.

Simplicity 2444

This was my first time sandwiching an invisible zip between outer and lining fabrics. I’ve done both of those things seperately, but never together. When I first got the zipper in, it kept catching on the lining fabric – the underside of invisible zippers is not made to have fabric quite as close to the teeth, I don’t think. I ended up pulling the lining fabric taught and top stitching through the lining, zipper tape, and front bodice seam allowance , which was enough to let the zipper slide up and down easily.

Simplicity 2444

I’m so pleased with how well the zipper went in – the waist is nice and lined up (which is especially important since the bodice and skirt are different fabrics!), and you can hardly see the white invisible zipper where it goes through the navy skirt.

Chopsticks Dress Zipper

I love the look on the inside of a dress that is fully lined. Even if know one else will see it!

Chopsticks Dress Lining

Still a favorite pattern!

Simplicity 2444

 

Easter Outfits

19 April 2014
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Here’s my Easter dress!

Simplicity 1755 Easter dress

And last night, I made Eddie a bow-tie to go with my dress! I used this free pattern/tutorial, and used this youtube video to figure out how to tie it (still working on tying it right!)

Easter Bowtie

I think this is one of my new favorite photos of the two of us <3 Matching bow ties might start happening for all of my dresses now…

Easter Dress and Matching Bowtie

I fell in love with this bunny fabric at JoAnn’s about a month ago, and knew it had to be my Easter dress. The bunnies are so cute! And their little Easter eggs! Plus I love that shade of purple with my hair right now :) Also, they had this coordinating fabric…

Easter Egg Pockets

There are Easter eggs just like the ones the bunnies are holding inside the pockets! These little eggs hidden in my pockets make me think of ‘easter eggs’ like hidden goodies in video games.

Simplicity 1755

The pattern is Simplicity 1419, which is one of the Lisette patterns. I made a size 10, which as usual is a size down from my suggested size based on measurements because of the ease included in the big-name pattern companies. I really like the cut and fit of this dress, and I think the peter pan collar is adorable. If I make it again, though, I’ll use some thin elastic or other trim for the neck attachment instead of turning out the tiny rectangle of fabric. I had to move both darts down about 1″ to get them to actually point where I think they’re supposed to. I also made my typical adjustments of adding 1.5″ to the length of the bodice and moving the armscythe up under the arm and in at the shoulders.

Exposed Zipper

Another change to the original pattern is my exposed hot pink zipper in the back. It matches the bunny ears perfectly! This is at least definitely not a dress I’d have ever found in a store.

Simplicity 1755 Lisette

 

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?

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