diy pixel dress

I think this is the best garment I have ever made.

I still consider myself on the beginner side of intermediate when it comes to sewing, since I have followed commercial patterns and not much else.  But I felt as though my skills got a little more refined with this one, since I adapted a pattern, and had to deal with print matching (a new concept for me!).

It all started when I found this incredible pixel fabric, and knew it would be perfect for a dress to wear to PAX East (on our non-cosplay day).  For some reason, I see it as a floral print – but maybe I’m just imagining things? 🙂


I used my favorite Simplicity 1419 pattern, but didn’t think the peter pan neckline would really go well with the pixels.  My first thought was to make a pixelated peter pan collar, but when I sewed one I couldn’t get it to lay flat or match up with the squares on the print.

My next idea was to do a pixelated v-neck, and was so happy when it actually worked out!




Ahhhh…the way the pixels match up along the zipper seam makes me SOOOO happy! (This project made me and my perfectionism a bit crazy, but it was worth it!)

I’ll add some process photos to the end of the post, so keep scrolling if you want to see how it came together.



Although I debuted this dress at PAX, I have worn it SO many times since.  It’s so comfy, cute, and just my style!



I didn’t hesitate when selecting a purse. My amazing Jump From Paper bag was clearly the right choice:




We took these pics in Harvard Square.  It was pretty crowded, so we had to really get our timing right to avoid having people in the background.  Dave would be like “Wait for it…wait for it…NOW!!” and then snap as many photos as possible before another group walked by.





My pixel bow from ThinkGeek was another obvious selection.  I just adore how this whole outfit came together!




Pixel Dress: made by me 🙂 (Simplicity 1419 pattern and Michael Miller geometric fabric via Cotton Candy Fabrics)
Purse Jump From Paper Cheese
Jacket:  Candie’s via Kohl’s
Belt: made by me 🙂
Hair: ThinkGeek Mini 8-Bit Hair Bows
Shoes:  B.A.I.T. Black Roni Heel via Modern Millie Shop
Sunglasses: Charming Charlie

Ok, and now a bit of info on sewing the dress…

Unfortunately, Simplicity 1419 is no longer available.  It’s such a bummer, since it is such a versatile pattern, and easy to sew with a great fit.  I have sewed it 4 times now, and know I will do more in the future.

When sewing it with the pixel fabric, I wanted to be conscious of the print, making sure to  match it up on all seams.  In order to do this, I had to make a few adjustments, starting with the darts.   To keep them symmetrical, I folded the fabric along one of the vertical lines in the print and marked the dart with a piece of masking tape (which I actually do on ALL darts when I sew, it makes it easier to keep a straight line!).  They didn’t end up in exactly the same place as indicated in the pattern, but it worked out beautifully.



The neckline was a bit scary, since I had to veer farther away from the original pattern.  I started by sketching out the neckline I wanted on the back of the fabric with a pencil.  I originally intended to sew just outside of the pixels themselves (hope that makes sense…you can see below that my pencil marks don’t align perfectly with the pixels).


Then, I interfaced a piece of black fabric to use as my facing and pinned it to the bodice.


When it was time to sew, I changed my mind and did not follow my pencil marks. Instead, I followed the lines of the pixels.

(I actually totally regret doing this, and wish I stayed with the original plan – you’ll see why later in this post)

Here’s how it looked before turning:


I clipped my seams and turned it right-side out.


Now, it’s impossible to avoid having a bit of bulk at the corners. This is why I wish I sewed juuust outside the lines.  The fabric on the inside prevented me from having the sharp look I was going for – you can kind of see it below:


I’m sure not many people will notice that they are not perfect right angles, nor will they care…but it bothers me! lol.

I knew I wanted a full skirt, and that the pleated one in the pattern wouldn’t work well with the pixel print.  Since I needed the bottom hem to be cut straight across, I had to go with a gathered skirt.  Good thing they are easy to sew!

Below are the two back pieces, and the front piece.


Since every good dress has pockets, I cut nice deep ones out of the same pixel fabric.  And you better believe I matched the pixels…because I’m crazy like that.


Thanks for stopping by!


4th of july



Warning – photo overload ahead!

Last week, I got back from my annual vacation to the Jersey Shore with my in-laws.  It’s a trip that Dave and I look forward to all year!  (Here are some posts from last year’s vacation: 1 2 3)





These photos were taken on July 4th – coincidentally my mother-in-law’s and my cousin-in-law’s birthdays (is “cousin-in-law” a thing? lol).  Of course I wanted to go patriotic with my outfit, but unfortunately I forgot to pack something red.

Oh no! What’s a girl to do?!




Then I remembered my new red bike pin.  As I was grabbing it from my bag, a red hair tie fell out. Crisis averted!



As I mess with camera settings, I always use Dave for test-shots.  He usually just stands there, putting up with me (haha), but every once in a while I get a GREAT face:


Love it! 🙂


There were fireworks on the beach that night, so I brought my camera and tripod to try to get some good photographs.  Boy, was this difficult!  The wind was coming towards us, so each firework that went off caused smoke to obstruct our view.  By the end of the show, we could only see a huge smoke cloud and about 1/5th of each firework.

Though not the look I was going for, I have to admit that some of the shots came out kind of cool:




Annual family photo on the steps of the house:


The view of the bay from the houses down the road:


My parents and grandma decided to drive down from Long Island for a day, and we loved walking down the boardwalk!  I just love this sweet pic of mom and grandma:

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Boardwalk carnival rides:


(Not sure why, but he appears to be in pain…)

I also wanted to try some long-exposure shots – these two are my favorites:




Haha, love the little skeleton crawling on the roof!

Hope you are having a great week 🙂



Top: Energie Star Print Top via Macy’s
Shorts:  Celebrity Pink High-Waist Shorts via Macy’s
Pin:  Greenwich Letterpress Bicycle Enamel Pin
Sunglasses:  Hot Topic White and Wood Round Sunglasses
Headband: Forever 21
Flip Flops:  American Eagle Seaside via Payless

in need of posing 101



Wow, my posting has become less and less frequent.   I think I’m going to stop apologizing for it, and admit that life can get in the way, and that’s okay!

I have had an incredibly busy yet awesome few weeks, wrapping up the end of the school year, and preparing for a dance performance (yes, I am still taking hip hop classes!).



Friday was the last day of school and it was a bit emotional (as it usually is for me), but now I’m looking forward to the summer ahead.  Dave and I have some awesome plans, starting with a week on the Jersey Shore and then time in Florida later this month with my family – including a few days at Disney!


These photos were taken sometime last month…Dave and I met up with Sara (from In a Nutshell) and Cody for some good food and a visit to the Museum of Science in Boston.  We had a great time, and of course made sure to take some photos.



It was fun because we got to photograph each other!  Sara is a natural in front of the camera, so she was quite easy to shoot.  The pic above is probably my favorite one that I took (you can see more over on her blog post)

I, on the other hand, was more difficult – I stink at posing!  It’s hard enough when it’s just me and Dave, but then add 2 more people into the mix and I become even more self-aware.  Sara tried to coach me, but I still clearly have a lot more practicing to do.

Luckily she managed to get some good photos of me, despite my horrific posing abilities:




I’m often so awkward in my own body, and can never quite figure out what to do with my legs or hands in photographs.  We joked that she could teach a posing class…please do, Sara – I’ll be your first student! 🙂




Top:  Energie Junior’s Printed Back-Cutout Top via Macy’s
Skirt:  Lindy Bop Daniella Carnaby Street Skirt via Modern Millie Shop
Sunglasses:  Charming Charlie Riviera Matte Ombre Sunglasses
Shoes:  Montego Bay Club Pina High Wedge Sling via Payless
Pin:  The Good Twin Yes Pin

mill no. 5


In April, a colleague of mine told me about Thread and Groove – a record vendor event at Mill No. 5 in Lowell.  She knows that Dave and I have a (smallish) record collection and are always on the lookout for more, so we definitely needed to check it out!



It was our first time at Mill No. 5, and we thought it was such a cool place.  I’m sorry we didn’t take any photos near the vendor area, so you can’t really get an idea of the scene.  But I promise you, it was very hip! (haha, I sound like an old lady when I say “hip”)

We did sneak off into some remote areas and corners of this place to take photos, since I was far too shy to pose in front of passers-by.




They even have a small little independent movie theater.  I checked out their site, and it looks like they do free cult movie nights every Wednesday.  The catch is that you don’t know what movie it will be until you get there!  I’m thinking I’m going to have to drag Dave out for that soon 🙂

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There were also cool twisty staircases which were fun to explore:



My outfit consisted of a darling Lindy Bop skirt that I got from Modern Millie Shop in Salem.  At first I thought the little heart pockets were too cutesy for my taste, but now I think they are my favorite detail on the skirt!


I paired it with a new soft pink faux leather jacket, and the PERFECT purse.

But guess what?!  It isn’t really a purse!


Back in December one of my students gave me a gift of Hammond’s peanut brittle, and it came in this adorable radio tin!  I squealed quite loudly when he gave it to me (he must think I REALLY like peanut brittle!) and instantly knew I would be using it as a purse.  The candy was packaged in a plastic bag inside, so I didn’t even need to clean it out.

It comfortably fits my phone, keys, and card holder.  The only issue is that since it is metal, I can hear the contents rattling around inside…so I might end up giving it a lightly padded fabric lining.


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Skirt:  Lindy Bop ‘Bernadette’ Orange Study Print Swing Skirt via Modern Millie Shop
Top: Express Outlet
Sunglasses:  H&M
Jacket:  Candie’s via Kohl’s
Headband: Forever 21
“Purse”:  Hammond’s Peanut Brittle Gift Set
Shoes:  ModCloth Poised for Perfection Heel in Pebble

a great day


When these photos were taken, I couldn’t have been happier!

(Sorry if this is TMI…) A few weeks prior I had discovered a suspicious lump in my breast, and was anxious to see my doctor to find out what it was.  Breast cancer runs in my family, so of course I was concerned.  When I went in for the appointment, I was expecting that I would be told that it was nothing.

Instead, the doctor ordered me an ultrasound and a mammogram, which were scheduled for a week later.


After what felt like the longest week ever I had the tests done, and was thrilled to find out that it was a benign cyst.  Yay!

FYI – the mammogram was quite painful, and I’m glad that I don’t have to go through that again until I’m 40! (that is, unless any other little bumps pop up)



Dave worked a half-day that day so he could accompany me to my appointment (and coincidentally also works at the same hospital where I got the tests done), so afterwards we decided to grab lunch then take a little walk around Faneuil Hall.



I have to be honest that I don’t love how this high-waisted skirt looks on my body.  I think it’s due to the fact that my torso is a little short as is, so wide waistband makes it look even shorter…but this skirt is SO comfy and was quite cheap so I’m not complaining 🙂


Hope you have a great weekend!




Top:  Forever 21
Skirt:  Forever 21 Stripe Pleated Skirt
Sunglasses:  Isaac Mizrahi via Burlington Coat Factory
Fleece-Lined Tights: Marshall’s
Shoes:  Madden Girl