Back in may, we went back to Texas for graduation. Of course I made a new dress (and a matching now tie for Eddie!). I’ve said for a while that my favorite sewing projects are making dresses and foundation paper piecing (FPP), so I finally got around to making an FPP project part of a dress!
I love paper piecing and dresses…so I finally put them together for my graduation dress 🎓💃Drafting the pattern around darts and zippers was a new challenge! Eddie got a matching bow tie which peeked out over his robe before we got hooded 😀
Let me back up a minute. If you haven’t been following along with me long, you may not know that my husband and I have been in engineering graduate school at Texas A&M for the past several years. We defended our research in the fall, but didn’t have our graduation ceremony until May. We both started new jobs in Ohio in January so had been up here for a while, but went back to Texas for graduation, to see family, and to eat all of the tex-mex.
The main bones of this dress are yet another Emery dress, but with a rounded collar, pleated skirt, and some tweaks I’ve made to the bodice over my last several versions including lengthening the bodice and adjusting the arm scythes to fit me a bit better. And, you know, a giant paper pieced Texas A&M logo on the back. More info on making that pattern at the end, if you’re interested!
The fabrics are both Lizzy House quilting cotton fabrics – Dinosaurs from Natural History in a maroon color and the Scheherazade print from her new whisper palette line of low volume fabrics. The timing of this dress worked out really conveniently to be an entry in the Lizzy House dress contest – check out the #lizzyhousedresscontest hashtag on instagram to see some other amazing clothing with her fabrics.
This is the third dress I’ve made with this dinosaur print in different colors – check out my purple dino dress and my knit aqua dino dress! I’ve also made a series of dinosaur paper piecing patterns some of which were inspired by dinos in this print – feel free to also check out my recent jurassic park pillow and the quilt pattern featuring all 9 dinosaurs.
While undergraduates are sorted alphabetically by last name but separated by departments, the doctoral graduates in the college of engineering are all together by last name – so Eddie and I were able to sit next to each other during the ceremony even though we’re in different departments. My dress was hidden under our gowns during the ceremony, but Eddie’s bow tie peeked out over his perfectly until we put on our hoods.
Making the FPP pattern: I make lots of FPP patterns, but this one was a new challenge since it needed to include space for darts and a zipper. I printed out an image of the block ATM logo, then traced it onto a copy of my back bodice Emery dress pattern on freezer paper. The logo was fairly convenient in that I was able to pick a good size such that the ‘T’ fit under the back neck darts, and the back waist darts only needed to be moved a slight bit to fit in the middle of the ‘A’ & ‘M’. I traced the ‘T’ and inner sides of the ‘A’ & ‘M’, then angled the logo I was tracing across the center of the waist darts for the outer sides of the ‘A’ & ‘M’. I then drew out my paper piecing pattern, and copied the templates to additional pieces of freezer paper for the actual piecing. I paper pieced the center sections, then traditionally pieced the outer sections with rough templates for angles and lots of extra room for trimming. Finally, I lined up the bodice patterns with the original FPP patterns on top of the fabric making sure the design lined up and cut out the back bodice pieces. Sewing the darts was a little tricky with all those seam allowances, but it turned out really well!
Pattern: Emery Dress by Christine Haynes
Modifications: rounded collar, pleated skirt, paper pieced logo on back bodice, and minor adjustments included lengthening bodice and adjusting armscythe.
Fabric: Lizzy House Dino Exhibit in Red and Scheherazade in Cloud.