Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Isla Dress And 7 Years Old

  All the way back in March, Booper turned 7!

  We didn't plan a party for her this year, but I did make her a dress and a cake! I'd been seeing all kinds of cute versions of the Simple Life Pattern Company (SLPCO) Isla's Infinity Tunic and Dress around, and just loved the heart in the back- but I knew Booper wouldn't be comfortable with an open back.

  However, I won a giveaway that Sweet Red Poppy hosted on Instagram for a pattern of my choice from SLPCO, and decided that a closed back wouldn't be so hard after all, and chose that pattern!

  I sewed this one size up from Booper's chest measurements, in hopes that the shoulder width would work for her, and added an inch to the straight bodice length (and wish I'd added another!) and a lot of length to the circle skirt hem. I added a third layer in the back so I could keep the clean finish around the heart while closing up the back. I used the elbow-length sleeves with a bit of extra length, and added the flutter sleeves.

  I used this beautiful cotton spandex knit, a print from Sincerely Rylee last year called Eden, to sew it- I was hoping to use a piece of Art Gallery knit that I'd bought earlier this year, but I didn't have nearly enough. The coral is from Girl Charlee, and I used it for the lining, pockets, and flutter sleeves.

  The pattern wasn't fantastic... things aren't trued, the shoulder is consistently too narrow (not just for Booper, but in quite a few of the pattern listing photos), the armscye is very long and narrow, and the shoulder seam is pushed toward the back quite a bit to make the sleeve, which is identical front-to-back, work.

  That being said, the instructions were pretty good... the method for sewing the heart cutout results in a very clean, pretty finish. I did that part differently though, to add the third layer... I sewed the heart as instructed, then turned it right side out and treated those two layers as one for the rest of the bodice construction, with a third layer acting as the actual lining. I was a little concerned that Booper's sisters would decide the bodice back was a pocket and stretch it out of shape, but that hasn't turned out to be a problem at all, although I did have to hand-stitch a portion of the heart back together after some of the stitches popped in the wash.

  Booper loves the pockets- I used the coral in an effort to save as much of the expensive print as possible, but I kind of wish I hadn't, as they are very visible!

  I hemmed the main sleeves with a twin needle, but used a lettuce-edge for the flutter sleeves and hem.

  Needless to say, Booper was delighted with her new dress, and it has become a staple in her wardrobe since I made it!

  It's kind of hard to believe she's already seven... most of the time she's very mature and people often guess her age as a couple of years more than it is, but it hardly feels possible that she's been a part of our family for so long already!

  She's a quick learner, and in addition to beginning her first real year of school last fall, has started taking piano lessons and is really enjoying them.

  She's a great reader, and goes through chapter books in just a few days. She loves to play pranks and surprise people, and comes up with as many jokes as her humorous little self can!

  Booper is very responsible, and is diligent in getting her chores and homework done each day, without complaining. She loves games of any kind, and spending time playing them with just about anyone is one of her chief joys.

  We are so happy that she is a part of our family!

  Her favorite colors right now are mint and pink- I was very happy I had some fabric that included both! I also made the cake in mint and coral!

  I bought some Russian Piping Tips from Craftsy in their Black Friday sale last year, and finally got a chance to use one of them on this cake. They definitely take some practice, and some very stiff frosting! Mine was a little too soft even after adding several extra cups of powdered sugar, so the flowers are a little droopier than I'd hoped, but I think the cake turned out lovely anyway.

  I also used a drop flower tip, a leaf tip, and a small round tip. I just did a basic white cake with basic buttercream icing, and didn't worry too much about getting the base layer of frosting perfectly smooth. I had a lot of fun making it!

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. I am always in awe of the cakes you make! I've tried decorating a few times and it was a disaster.

    Love the heart cutout! I think I've seen the pattern before but I've become very hesitant about trying new designers. Paying for a pattern that hasn't been trued and has design issues is very annoying, even if you know how to work around it.

    1. Thank you! I still feel like I'm a total amateur at cake decorating, but when I actually think about it, I started decorating my own and my siblings' birthday cakes at least 10 years ago, so I do have a pretty decent amount of practice!
      Thank you! I feel the same way- there a quite a few cute patterns that I'm just not willing to take the risk for. I'm glad I didn't have to pay for this one! ;-)

  2. 1. I love gap-toothed grins.
    2. That dress! The heart! The twirl!!! I want it!
    3. Ummm---that cake is absolutely adorable and looks delicious! And kind of matches the dress.
    4. Seven--really?????

    1. 1. Me too! I'm glad I got some photos of it, because her adult teeth are more than halfway in already.
      2. I love that heart too! Thank you!
      3. Thank you! I was definitely aiming for matching the dress... I'm really happy it worked. =)
      4. It seems impossible, doesn't it?! But the calendar assures me that it is so.

  3. Simple Life is one of my fav pattern companies!! And this is a great idea for the heart to make it a bit different!

    1. They do have some really cute designs! I like that I can add some contrast with the heart filled in like this- I considered just appliqueing a heart on a finished bodice instead but I didn't think it would have the same effect.

  4. What a special dress for a special girl! I love what you did with the cutout. And the fabric is gorgeous too!

    1. Thank you!! I really love that fabric- I wish I'd bought more when it was available!