Graduation Dress

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 ūüéďūüíÉDrafting 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 ūüėÄ

A photo posted by Julia Eigenbrodt (@stars_sunshine) on

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.

Aggie Dinosaur Dress

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!

Dinosaur Dress

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.

Aggie Graduation Dress

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.

eigengrad 002

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.

dress paper pieced pattern

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!

eigengrad 007

Dress Specs:

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.
Size: 6.
Fabric: Lizzy House Dino Exhibit in Red and Scheherazade in Cloud.

Texas A&M Century Tree

Unicorn Dress

Quilt Market is a bi-annual sewing and quilting trade show, and I’ve been lucky enough to make dresses and other goodies for the Andover Fabrics booths for the past few markets. For spring market this year, I made a dress with the new Lizzy House double gauze.

lizzy house double gauze dress

This andover double gauze is a dream to sew with and to wear. It feels amazing, and the colors are really saturated and bright which can be hard to find on double gauze. I of course made a coordinating necklace with one of my mini embroidery hoops with one of the other critters from this line of Lizzy House fabric.

embroidery hoop necklace

The dress pattern is view C from Butterick 6582. I had two pieces of sample yardage for the dress instead of continuous yardage and with the combination of the print being super directional with a wide repeat and my inability to not fussy cut cute critters, I had a really tough time getting all the pattern pieces to fit. I ended up moving a wedge of the pattern from the front skirt piece to the back skirt piece, making each back skirt piece several inches wider, and cutting the front skirt on the fold rather than two separate pieces. This moved the side seams of the skirt and the pockets (not in the original pattern – I added my modified Emery dress pockets) towards the center front of the dress a few inches. I ended up really liking how the pocket placement turned out! I might have to try this again with some yoke pockets. I’ve made several dresses at this point, and I did not find the instructions for this dress especially easy to follow. I’m pretty sure the pattern is missing a few steps, although I was pretty easily able to figure them out. It’s also not the simplest dress pattern with the front bodice details, so I would definitely recommend the pattern to someone with some experience sewing dresses/garments or a friend to help with the pattern.

double gauze dress

A few comments on working with double gauze: this was my first double gauze project, so I used some double gauze I’d purchased on sale previously to make several muslins of just the bodice. When making big-box store pattern dresses, I always end up making a smaller size than prescribed by the envelope measurements. The double gauze has more give to it than normal quilting cotton, so because I wanted a fitted bodice I ended up making an even smaller size than usual. All that to say – if you’re making a fitted garment with double gauze, I’d really suggest you make a bodice muslin. I’d also highly recommend using an interfaced facing and interfacing for the zipper. I used Pellon ShirTailor 950F interfacing for my first muslin. It worked well, but I wanted something less stiff so ended up switching to Pellon Shape-Flex SF101 for the final dress. This dress is incredibly comfortable and flattering (if I do say so myself), and the double gauze is so worth the extra effort to get used to a new substrate if you haven’t tried it.

lizzy house dress

I used the Lizzy House unicorn tapestry print for this dress, which has lovely unicorns, as well as greyhounds, pheasants, and rabbits. The colors and florals in this print are beautiful, but I really wanted to feature the critters. The unicorn is centered on the front bodice, but the greyhounds are also featured on the back.

The bunny is maybe my favorite (I have a paper piecing pattern of him in my craftsy shop). While he doesn’t get any special appearances on the outside of the dress, I love that I put my dress tag right under this little guy on the inside even if no one usually sees it. I’m wearing a crinoline in the previous photos for some extra poofiness, but below you can see how it sits on its own.

Butterick 6582

Dress Specs:

Pattern: Butterick 6582
Modifications: Moved a wedge of pattern from front skirt pattern to back skirt pattern to fit on the fabric I had and cut front skirt on the fold to eliminate a seam. I also added pockets.
Size: 12.
Fabric: Lizzy House tapestry double gauze in green

Lizzy House Lawn Beatrix Top

Having a full time job with regular hours in an office and moving into and redoing our whole house has put a significant damper on my crafting/sewing time. We still haven’t moved into where my craft room will go, so finding supplies and room to cut out patterns has been especially difficult as well. I was able to get my hands on some of the new Lizzy House lawn fabric from Andover though, and made time to whip up this Beatrix Top from Made By Rae.

Lizzy House Beatrix Top

I got the peach star chart and tapestry prints. The star chart is on a darker fabric than it’s quilting cotton counterpart, and the print is a lovely shimmery pearl/silver color that is the perfect mix of subtle and interesting to wear to my new office job. The lawn was what I would consider to be acceptably sheer on its own, but I went ahead and self-lined this top to be extra modest. I never really like facings anyways, and because the pattern fabric requirement¬†was overestimated enough that after I decided to switch from 3/4 sleeves to short sleeves I had enough to make a second bodice.

beatrix top 001

I’m a big fan of sewing my own clothing, and many of my favorite fabric designs are only available on quilting cotton, so that’s what I make most of my handmade wardrobe with. It’s been really exciting to see more modern quilting fabric manufacturers making their designs available on fabrics geared towards a wider variety of garments, and I am super excited that Andover is coming out with some of Lizzy House’s most popular prints in lawn (and soon, double gauze!) to complement the knit fabrics of some of her other popular prints last fall. Their lawn is lighter weight and noticeably smoother than the quilting cotton, and folds a bit less harshly. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Lizzy House fabric (just scroll my instagram, or this dino dress, my flying geese¬†dress, this second dino dress, this unicorn pillow, my dino quilt samples,… the list goes on), so I’m extra psyched about these Lizzy House garment fabrics.

Beatrix Top Back

I’ll be making more of these Beatrix tops, although I may be tweaking a few things for fit. I lined this version since the fabric was a tiny bit sheer, and I took about an inch off in the waist and hips on this one. I love the curved hem and the opportunity for color blocking/fussy cutting on the back button placket. It’s roomy enough to be a pull over top, so there’s no trying to get those cute buttons together on your back. It is super comfortable to wear, especially in lawn!

beatrix hop 004

Buttons were something I’ve been hesitant about sewing for a while, but my Janome Horizon made easy work of both the button holes and even sewing on the actual buttons. I’m hoping to find time for an Archer top soon!

Lawn Beatrix Top

Dress Specs:
Pattern: Beatrix Top from Made By Rae
Modifications: Slightly narrowed waist
Size: M
Fabric:¬†Lizzy House Hit Parade Lawns¬†‚Äď Star Chart Lawn in Peach Metallic and Unicorn Hunt in Orange

Flying Geese Dress

Earlier this week, I pieced 20 4″x8″ flying geese quilt blocks. This would have been plenty for a good sized baby quilt, but instead, I turned them into a dress!

Flying Geese Dress

The fabric is all from Lizzy House’s newest line for Andover, The Lovely Hunt. Its full of magical woodland fauna and flora, and the colors are bright and fantastic!

Fussy Cut Dress

I’ve seen a couple pieced skirts before by @elisabew and @prettybobbins,¬†and making one has been on my to-do list for a while. But, of course, I had to add fussy cutting.

Fussy Cut Flying Geese

Here’s a better view of the back:

Emery Dress

The dress pattern is the Emery Dress by Christine Haynes, with a handful of personal fit alterations to the bodice. This dress has become a go-to favorite for me since it is simple, flattering, and I think I’ve got the bodice tweaked just right to fit my shoulders/arms.

Quilt Block Dress

To plan for the skirt, I cut out some flying geese out of paper in different sizes, and held them up on the skirt of a previous Emery dress to see what size/placement I liked. I cut the top and bottom of the skirt straight across instead of curved,¬†and only about 10″ long. I then added a row of 18 4″x8″ flying geese and another 3″ border to the bottom of the skirt.

Embroidery Hoop Necklace

I made a coordinating necklace with one of my 3D printed mini embroidery hoop necklaces using some little mushrooms. I think I need matching necklaces for all my dresses!

Quilt Block Emery Dress

Here’s a little video of me doing a spin so you can see all the adorable featured prints:

I love to add coordinating prints as pockets – because dresses with pockets are infinitely more practical, and I love to add cute details where I can! This dress was no exception.

Coordinating Print Pockets

This dress will be on display in the Andover booth at Quilt Market this fall – you can stop by and see it in person if you’ll be there!

Quilt Dress

Dress Specs:

Pattern: Emery Dress by Christine Haynes
Modifications: FBA 3/4″ spread, armscythe adjustment, 3/4″ length added to bodice, quilt blocks in skirt.
Size: 6, but with largest size skirt.
Fabric: Lizzy House The Lovely Hunt Рmainly Strawberry Field in Blue

 

Knit Dino Dress

For last quilt market, Andover Fabrics was kind enough to send me some of Lizzy House’s new fabric to make a dino dress with. You can see more about that dress here (including my awesome pattern matching across the zipper!), but today I’m sharing a new dress I made with the same print, but in a knit!

Knit Dinosaur Dress

Andover is just now coming out with some of Lizzy House’s most popular prints on knit fabric. I am crazy about the fabric they’re printing these on. Its super comfy to wear and great to sew with. Its got about 90% stretch and reasonable¬†recovery, so it’s great for fitted garments like this dress, but would make great looser garments like T-shirts as well. For the neckline and skirt hem, I simply folded over the fabric and stitched it down with a twin needle. I left the sleeves un-hemmed though, which I quite like.

Colette Patterns Moneta Dress

The dress pattern is the Moneta Dress from Colette patterns. I cut a straight size M, and made no changes to the pattern. This is my first knit dress with pockets! The gathered waist goes on a bit differently than I’m used to – you gather it by sewing it directly on to stretched clear elastic. It ended up working well, but took a bit of practice and unpicking to get the hang of it.

Meta Dinosaurs

I wore it to New York City, where I got to hang out with some real dinosaurs [ok, fossils] at the American Museum of Natural History (which was fantastic!). The knit fabric is so much more comfortable for long travel days than my other woven dresses.

Moneta Dress

Dress Specs:
Pattern: Moneta Dress by Colette Patterns
Modifications: none!
Size: M
Fabric: Lizzy House Hit Parade Dino Exhibit Knit in Aqua