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Package Pals Goodies – March 2014

16 April 2014

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!


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


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

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

Star Trek Blanket

12 March 2014

My husband love, love, loves Star Trek of almost any variety, but The Original Series (TOS) is his favorite. When I was Black Friday shopping at JoAnn’s last year, I found an awesome Star Trek TOS fleece remnant, and decided to make my husband a blanket out of it for Christmas. Since part of their Black Friday sale was 50% off remnants (which are generally already 50% regular price), I got this for 75% off. An entire blanket sized piece (50 by 57) for about $4 – awesome!

star trek blanket front

I was just going to use this red and white flannel for the back, but on December 23rd, I decided I could do something way more awesome. I managed to barely finish it in time to get it under the tree for Christmas!

star trek blanket back

The Star Trek logo is appliqued flannel, but the rest of the letters are all pieced. That means they are all fabric sewn together with seams to make the letters.

star trek blanket letters

I finished it off by ‘quilting’ with a black top thread and red bobbin around some of the black frames on the top. The quilting is pretty hard to see from either side, but that’s what I was going for. I also made some simple binding out of my left over black flannel. We watch a lot of star trek at home (its all on netflix!), and its been great to snuggle under :) If you like star trek too – you should check out the poster we designed for our bathroom here!


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