4.22.2016

An Eleena Dress in Shot Cotton

After I sewed Iris' Eleena dress, I knew I wanted to make another one, this time for Tia.


I had planned for this to be her Easter dress.  Then life got busy and kids got sick and my laundry was accumulating and... you know how it goes.  The Easter dress was not to be.


So I decided I would instead sew it for Tia as a birthday dress.  Her birthday is April 7th.  And I wasn't able to finish it in time for that, either.  In part because I seem to frequently forget that these girls of mine are growing, growing, growing and I have several times recently run out of fabric and needed to order more.  This was one of those times.


For this dress, I used a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in Shell.  Shot cottons are generally a sight to behold.  Weaved within a single solid color is another color which gives the fabric a subtle texture and dimension that is otherwise not found in a traditional solid.   However, this particular shade didn't seem to have same dimension that is normally found in shot cottons.   It is also incredibly thin and translucent.


This said, I was happy with the color.  It was exactly what I was looking for, being a very pale pink and having a bit of an iridescent quality to it.   The fabric is lightweight and floaty and that works well with this pattern, I think.  I did line the dress fully, so that you couldn't see straight through it.

For the contrasting panel I used another shot cotton, this time in Squash.  This shade has the muted dimension that I love.  If you haven't yet worked with shot cottons, I recommend them.  They are gorgeous... but be forewarned, they do wrinkle.    To me, they're worth the extra ironing.


I cut the sleeves so they are a bit narrower/shorter and altered the collar so it was a uniform 1.75 inches all around, excluding the seam allowance.  I also decided to opt out of the zipper and have the dress close with a button, which is my current favorite method when it comes to closures.


Tia is such an amazing and wonderful child.  She's just a peach.  She is so thoughtful, kind and loving and she is so attached to us.  She is every bit as attached to us now as my children who grew in my belly and who I breastfed for forever.


I don't really share much about our adoption anymore because I don't at all see Tia as our "adopted daughter" just our daughter.  And yet I also can't help but acknowledge that she faced so much in her first year of life, losing her first parents and living in an orphanage where she suffered extreme neglect.  She experienced things that no child should have to experience and it still breaks my heart when I think about it.  It took years for her to fully heal from those experiences, both physically and emotionally.  Years.  But I feel like she has come to a place of wholeness and full healing.  It's so beautiful to witness and I am so grateful.  It hurts to see your children hurting and it brings so much joy when you know your children feel loved, secure, and at peace.



The other day, Tia came zooming past me with a skip in her step, smiling, and being generally adorable.  I told her, "Tia, I like you so much.  Of course I love you so much, but I really, really like you, too."

Tia casually responded, "Yeah, I know."


"Because you're so much fun to be around and you're an awesome person,"  I continued.

 "Yeah, I know," she said.

"And you're so good at playing piano and you're so loving toward your siblings and me."

"Yeah, I know," she agreed.


"And you're super humble, too," I said, winking at Jude and Indigo.

"Yeah, I know, " she said as she bounced off.



Oh, Tarikua Evangeline, we all love you so much!



{If you'd like to make an Eleena dress, you can find the pattern here.}

Have a happy weekend!

23 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous dress!! And what a beautifully written post!

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  2. What a pretty dress and an absolutely beautiful girl! That smile!

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    1. Thanks so much, Heidi! We do love her smile so much, too! She shines!

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  3. Aw man I love this. Man, what a beautiful child she is!! I'm so glad she has gotten the chance to shine in your loving family. The dress is gorgeous too, Rachel. Makes me want to pick up a bunch of shot cotton and sew with it.

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  4. She has grown so much lately! I can already see she will become a beautiful lady in a year or ten :-)

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    1. She really has! She is 7 now and I can glimpse what she will look like as a young woman!

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  5. I bought some Kaffe Fasset shot cotton online and it was exactly as you described. kind of dull and thin compared to my expectations. The dress you've made here is gorgeous. I can only imagine how beautiful it must be in real life, all lined and pretty.
    You can tell Tia, from me, that as well as all that being awesome stuff, she has really awesome hair! :). She's welcome to say "I know" :)

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  6. Love your Eleena dress (again) and I really like working with shot cottons too. But most of all I LOVE it when you post about this cutie!

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    1. That's so sweet of you to say! Thank you!

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  7. It is great she knows she is humble hahahaha Oh this girl :D Until I just read it I realised I never thought about Tia as your adopted daughter. She has always been 'Rachel's daughter' to me :) It must be wonderful to see her happy and restored :) Oh, and dress is wonderful, but you know it, right ;)

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  8. Every time you post photos of her I am blown away by her beauty (I bet she knows she's beautiful, too, ha ha). Even in the photos, you can see the joy that just radiates from her. I don't know what sort of neglect she suffered, but just thinking about any of the possibilities, having visited several orphanages in different countries over the years, makes me so sad for her.

    And the dress is lovely. It is my favorite Eleena dress ever. I think your mods, small though they may be, are great improvements. And I love the colors. They are wonderful on Tia.

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  9. I don't even know her and I like her too :-))
    Love the dress, the color is to die for!

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    1. I know you would, too! :) And thank you!

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  10. This child gets all the heart eyes : )

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  11. She is the CUTEST. She's like, yeah, I'm super awesome. I know! Peace! Love. It. The dress is so pretty and simple, just very Rachel with the "squash" aka mustard peeking out. That "shell" color would do my pale skinned children zero favors but it is absolutely radiant against Tia's beautiful skin. Gorgeous gorgeous.

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  12. Reading this great tribute to Tia and seeing her middle name made me think of this fun book that we read: Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle. It is about a very spunky girl that you might want to check out! Love how your posts radiate such light, whether through your children or your creations!

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    1. I have not heard of that series, but I will definitely check it out! Thank you!

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  13. I already told you this on IG but maaaan, this dress is gorgeous and so is Tia. She just shines from within. Her luck in life has definitely turned around when she ended up as your girl. I love it!

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  14. Beautiful dress. Beautiful words. Beautiful family. God clearly put Tia with a family who loves well!

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    1. Thank you, Lucinda! We are so glad to have her!

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  15. She's a hoot! And that smile!!!! I love the confidence and security she has as a member of your family.

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  16. Tia is such an adorable girl. Her smile is most definitely a reflection of her heart. Thanks for being a good mother to her and making her feel secure and at home. I rarely comment on blogs but her story has compelled me to do so.

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