Thursday, August 2, 2018

Isla dress and August sewing

Hello everyone!

I have missed you!!!! I hope that you have been filling your summer with loads of sewing, and making memories along the way.  My July turned out to be so jam-packed that I am just now getting around to updating you on how things have been going.

Let me first let you know that we are a family that likes to travel, but doesn't do so very often.  I mean, we usually plan one really good vacation a year, and do smaller trips the rest of the time.  So, when I say we traveled to three different places in one month, you can imagine that this was not our usual routine. 

Our first trip was my dad's 60th birthday celebration!  It was in Savannah, and we had such a great time!  It was extra special because all of my parents' grandkids were there--all EIGHT of them, lol! 

Left to right: My hubby, me, my brother, my sister, my sister-in-love, my mom, and my dad

I was truly grateful to be there to celebrate my father's life, and the one who has offered me wisdom over the years.  We ate at a restaurant called The Crab Shack.  It was so good!  This is the part I tell you that I have a history of allergic reactions from unknown sources, so...it was grilled chicken for me.  But...it was the best chicken I have ever had!!  Also, the smashed taters were my favorite.  From what I gather from everyone else's choices (low country boil, crab, and shrimp), the seafood was good too.

Our second trip came shortly after returning from Savannah.  This time we headed to Shreveport, Louisiana for a celebration of my father-in-love.  He has been the mayor of a small town called Mansfield for 16 years, and he retired this year.  There were about 100 people in attendance--some flew in from other places in the country, and others drove, or had worked alongside the mayor for years.  

The theme of the event was a masquerade, and it was held in a banquet room alongside a restaurant.  All of the walls were adorned with gorgeous costume dresses, and masks decorated the tables for guests to wear.  It definitely had a New Orleans Mardi Gras feel, and the air was electric as my father-in-love walked in to everyone wearing masks, and excited to honor his contribution to the history of the town of Mansfield.

There were lots of beautiful speeches, and the food was AMAZING!  Etoufee, Catfish, Shrimp, and Potatoes all seasoned to perfection.  I forgot how wonderful authentic Cajun food tastes! I managed well with the Catfish and potatoes.  Also, in the middle of all of this celebrating, we had a special celebration of our own.  Our youngest son turned TWO!  So we did take the time to find an entertainment center where all three kids could run and play to their heart's abandon, lol!  Overall, it was a blessed time had by all.

The third and final trip for the month was to Charleston!  For this one I went by myself!  One of my best friends turned 40, and she decided she wanted to celebrate in one of the most beautiful cities in the South.  It was my second time visiting there, but this time I got to experience more of the history and culture of the place.  We attended some historical tours and churches, and visited the market (for handmade items, of course).  I ended up buying the most divine soap in a Gardenia fragrance, as well as Kombucha (gotta have good gut health).

After all the traveling was over, I bet you can guess where my sewing month of July went.  Yeah, it fell a little flat, but I do have TWO things to show you today.

The first thing I made was a "sort-of" request by the birthday girl herself.  We were hanging out and chatting a few months ago, and she casually mentioned how she LOVED the two kimonos I made for myself.  I told her to try them on, and once she did, we saw that they fit her perfectly.  I then asked her if she would even wear it if I made one.  Of course she would, she loves handmades!  Right then and there is when I decided what her birthday gift from me would be.

So, here she is in her lovely floral kimono:


This is New Look 6378, which I made twice before.  I used a gorgeous Rayon Challis from Fabric.com that you can find here.  The fabric is so soft, drapey, and smooth to the touch.  I chose it by online pic, but was even more impressed when I saw it in person. I may have had a fleeting thought to keep this fabric for myself, but I quickly put that to the side.  I made her version to the same specifications as the two I have already made so I won't go into further details in this post.  If you would like to read that review, see here.


The gift was well received, and I even got a request to make another one with a fabric of her choice!  

So, that brings me to my final make for July, my beloved Isla dress:


This is a Made by Rae pattern with a dress and top option that debuted on Creativebug  As soon as I saw the style of the dress, I just KNEW I was going to squeeze in time somewhere to make it.  I watched the instructional video one night, and realized I could assemble it without further assistance.

So, I downloaded the PDF, printed it out, cut a size S, and sewed it up with a 3/8" Forward shoulder adjustment only.  I have to say, the bodice looked SO SMALL.  I almost thought I should have graded out a little like I usually do, but the negative ease worked in my favor, and the fit is better than I imagined.

The fabric is a cotton/rayon knit in a striped navy/coral that I found at Walmart, of all places.  I have been able to pick up gems there every now and then, and slide it into my grocery shopping, lol.  When I was getting the fabric cut by the attendant, he looked at it and said "I can't look at this too long or it makes my eyes hurt."  Ha!  Well, I wonder if the final result is any better.


Anyhow, I am such a fan of the construction method used here.  It reminds me of Ottobre in that one shoulder seam is sewn, the neckline binding is attached, and then the other shoulder seam is sewn.  For the bodice, elastic thread is used, but since I didn't have any, I used clear elastic.  It creates the same shirring effect with little effort.

For this dress, as soon as I saw this Isla inspiration photo, I knew I wanted to achieve the same effect with the fabric I had:



Even though I don't play around with stripes often, I had so much fun making this dress!  I even decided to enter it into PatternReview's Polka Dots and Stripes contest.  There are so many amazing entries, and it was a goal of mine to enter a contest this year.  I finally did it!

So July turned out to have two sewn garments. In turning my attention to August, I plan on tying up all the lose ends that I can.  That means finishing up some of the garments on my Spring/Summer list, and re-visiting fit adjustments on things I have made, like my denim shorts.  I welcome the change of pace that will occur with my kids returning to school!  It has happened all too soon, yet I would like to have more blog posts for you all in the coming months.

I have some different projects I am thinking of doing, and I want to incoporate some fun elements into my sewing as well.  Here's to embracing the rest of this year and all it has to offer!



Stay sew-filled!
















20 comments:

  1. OH MY GOSH! Go and make like, 13 of those Isla dresses, right now!!!! :) It looks amazing on you!

    I love the kimono and have added one to my fall sewing. Your family is beautiful and it is just fantastic you were all able to celebrate together.

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    1. Lol! 13 Isla dresses sounds about right to me! I could make it to almost halfway through the month happily! :) I can't wait to see the kimono you choose!

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  2. Oh, you look so cute in that dress! Sounds like your summer has been awesome with great friends and family!

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    1. Thanks Ann! My summer has been awesome for sure! I hope yours has been good too!

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  3. That's a great dress, and your stripe placement was fantastic!

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    1. Thank you! I got a little help, but it all worked out! ;)

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  4. Your trips sound lovely! That kimono looks amazing, I bet she was delighted. And you dress is so gorgeous! I love the fabric and style.

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  5. I love the kimono and the dress. I also have such a fabric in another colour. I'll try to make a dress of the fabric. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. Your welcome! I would love to see what you end up making! Best wishes with sewing it!

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  6. Omg, I can’t believe your son is 2 already!! Time flies! Your dress looks so amazing on you; you definitely need to make more versions. The kimono was such a beautiful birthday gift. Glad to see you’re having a great summer with friends and family.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, he is 2 already! Time flies, and we have been drinking in each moment. :)

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  7. Love the kimono......did i say love. Need to break out the sewing machine. Your blog is one of many I read and miss it when you don't post. Imagine my surprise to learn you were in my city (Shreveport)Little one turning two seems like yesterday. Can't wait to see another mom-daughter sewing session. I think all girls need to learn to sew as well as boys, if they show an interest. Sorry for the rambling that what ole ppl do. lol

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    1. Ramble away, I love it! So glad you liked the kimono! And how amazing is it that you live in Shreveport??? It was such a beautiful city, and we had such a great time. I hope to sew with my daughter soon ;)

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  8. Wow! Really love that dress, it looks great on you! I, too, find gems at Wally World once in awhile and feel like I'm getting a real bargain! Enjoyed reading about your family and travels; looks like you're having a wonderful summer!

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    1. Thank you! Wally World finds make my day! ;) I'm glad you enjoy a good bargain too.

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  9. Lovely family Vanessa! (You look just like your mom!). I love the pieces you did get done for July...your dress was totally awesome and you nailed the inspiration!

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  10. Thanks Myra! As a little girl! I always wanted to look like my Mom! :)

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  11. Why I missed your post? I really love the dress, especially the placement of the fabric is very nice. The dress looks stunning on you. I can't wait to see your next project.

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Let me know what you think!