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 – Star Chart Lawn in Peach Metallic and Unicorn Hunt in Orange

Thanksgiving Weekend Sale!

I hope all my American friends had a lovely Thanksgiving today! My family usually has our Thanksgiving meal on Saturday to accommodate some of our family members’ schedules, so on Thursday we eat at an Indian food restaurant because they’re open … and Thanksgiving is all about pilgrims and *indians*, right? It cracks me up every year 😀

Mini Scalloped Embroidery Hoop

Anyways, now that I’m selling my 3D printed embroidery hoops, I wanted to have a Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday sale! The mini hoops in my shop will be 25% off starting Friday morning, through Monday evening or when they’re all gone! They’re regularly $10, so this weekend they’ll be $7.50. Necklace and brooch kits will also be $2.50 off. The prices will be updated in my Etsy shop – no coupon needed! If you’re interested in buying a completed necklace or ornament rather than the DIY version, I’ll also honor the 25% off if you contact me by this Monday. Again, I’ll only have so many off those available. Email me (jmeigenbrodt@gmail.com) or send me an etsy convo of you’re interested in those!

Embroidery Hoop Christmas Ornaments

They’re perfect as Christmas ornaments or necklaces as gifts for friends and family or to keep for yourself. Fill them with embroidery, cross-stitch, or just your favorite fabric! Check out the etsy listing here or pictures of my hoops on instagram at #starsandsunshinehoops.

Plastic Embroidery Hoops

You can read more about the mini hoops and see a video of how to assembly them here. Have a fantastic weekend!

Bunny Paper Pieced Pattern

There’s another new pattern in my Craftsy FPP pattern store!

Paper Pieced Bunny Pattern

This bunny pattern is available here. The pattern includes templates for 12″x12″ and 18″x18″ blocks. I made it for the Andover booth at Quilt Market to go along with my unicorn pillow.

Paper Pieced Rabbit
Block by @nwquiltedcat

This is a pretty beginner-friendly paper piecing pattern, with only 11 sections, all of which are fairly simple. I’m working on a sheet of paper piecing tips to include with my patterns, but two that would be really helpful here would be to cut out background fabric for the big one-piece sections first and to tape large pieces that aren’t well attached to their sections to the paper.

Rabbit FPP Pattern

Block by @alchemytea

I had the pattern tested by several people, and I love how the different fabric value placements turned out. They’re each linked under the photos of their blocks. A big thanks for all their feedback and being willing to test the pattern out!

Foundation Paper Pieced Rabbit Pattern

Block by @sliceofpilife

I’m working on a few more new patterns, and on a paper piecing tips list to include with my patterns, so stay tuned! If you want to know when those are available, follow me here or on instagram as @stars_sunshine.

Foundation Paper Pieced Bunny
Block by @lisasquiltshop

3D Printed Rigid Heddle Loom

I made a loom, and wove a scarf!

3D printed rigid heddle loom

I’ve always love the prettiness and feel of fancy dyed yarns, but have never been too tempted to dive down that rabbit hole since I really don’t enjoy knitting or crocheting. Recently I’ve been seeing weaving pop up around instagram (check out @jaceynotjc), and then talked to someone about it at Maker Faire in New York City last month, and I think I might be jumping on the yarn bandwagon.

Rigid Heddle Loom Scarf

I found a few 3D printed loom designs around the internet, and decided to go with this one from thingiverse. It’s not exactly what I think I’m looking for, but it seems to work well and now I actually have an idea of how rigid heddle looms work. It includes an 8 dent reed, which can be put together in 4″ sections (the design images include 4, which is what I chose to use, for a 16″ heddle). It took about $40 in supplies (about $20 of filament for the 3D printed parts and $20 in the wooden dowels and screws to hold everything together). The thingiverse info for this print doesn’t have much information for construction, but it’s relatively straight forward from the photos shown. If you want to build one from this file, the most useful info I have would be my dowel rod cutting dimensions. The design is somewhat modular so there is a degree of flexibility, but this is what I used: long dowels were cut to 26″ (7/8″ rods), the dowels for winding the front and end edges of the warp were 16 7/8″ (also 7/8″ rods), the two dowels through the heddle were 16″ and 16 1/2″ (7/16″ rods), and the tension dowels were 18 1/8″ (1/2″ rods). You also need short bits of 7/8″ rods to connect the winding rods to the braces. If I’d known how long they would be in advance and planned more efficiently, I could have gotten away with (3) 8′ lengths of 7/8″ dowel rods, (1) 8′ length of 1/2″ dowel rod, and (1) 8′ length of 7/16″ dowels. You also need about 60 of the #6 x 1/2″ wood screws.

3D printed loom

I printed everything with 3 perimeters, 2 solid layers on top and bottom, and 30% triangular infull. I had no problems with these settings in terms of tension or strength during warping or weaving. My printer is set up such that I get quite good dimensional accuracy. but I had a really tough time getting the dowels through my printed parts, and the pins for the brakes were never going to fit in their holes so I slimmed down the posts in blender. My opinion after having a chance to play with it are that many of the support structures would be just as easy, and much quicker, to create by drilling holes through wood than by printing them. I’m hoping to find time to work out a design somewhere between this one and some others I’ve seen online that comes together a little more easily and for less money – but need to find a chunk of time to work on it.

Woven Scarf

As far as the scarf, I used some basic yarn from a big box craft store and sort of just warped up what seemed like a reasonable amount – the finished scarf is 12″ x 48″. I used this video for instructions on how to warp, and ended up 3D printing a little hook shape that I drew up (something like a flat crochet hook) for pulling the yarn through the reeds. I used one of the extra dowel pieces and some scrap wood with a hole drilled in it as a warping post. I made shuttles out of cut up cereal boxes, but will probably get around to printing some sturdier ones before my next scarf. The scarf itself came together remarkably quickly – I made it in a day, during which I had plenty of other errands – so probably only about 4-6 hours of weaving (which is faster than I think I could ever knit anything!)

Wool Spinning

At Maker Faire, I also was taught how to spin yarn and sent home with my own spindle and chunk of roving, so now I’ve got that to play with as well. Maybe at some point I’ll get enough spun and plyed that I can make weave with my own yarn!