Lil Luxe Collection Zephyr Top



The past 3 garments I’ve sewn up for my daughter have been Lil Luxe Collection patterns. I’m completely obsessed. Not all patterns are created equally and these are by far some of the best for girls. When I found out Lil Luxe needed a few more testers for their newest pattern, I jumped at the opportunity. The Zephyr crop top is an older pattern of Lil Luxe Collection that has been updated to match their current sizing with a dress version as well. The dress version combines woven fabric with leather. I’m seriously considering using it for my daughter’s Easter dress, but I’m still undecided.

One of my favorite things about this pattern is that you are able to make use of all those scraps lying around your home. The top is reversible, so as many as 4 different fabrics could be used. I chose to use a striped shirting fabric from Robert Kaufman for the bottom of both sides. The main side, as seen in these photos, is a quilting cotton from Michael Miller Fabrics I got about 2 years ago. I had just enough left for this top! On the inside, or other side, I used some Art Gallery yarn-dyed denim in Endless Paradise I had leftover from the Billie Outdoor Vest I had made my daughter this past fall.

This top sews up super quickly. It probably took me 2 hours to sew up, but that includes about 40 minutes of handstitching. I’m a pretty slow sewer, so I know many of you could probably whip this up in under an hour. There is no seam at the shoulders. The front and back are all one solid piece, so even less steps!

One thing I really love about Lil Luxe Collection patterns is the attention to detail with the insides of the garment as well as the outside. This top is reversible, so the inside looks just the same as the outside. The final seam could be topstitched down or hand stitched. I chose to handstitch mine and now I have a finished garment with absolutley no stitching showing. How great is that! I suppose you can see threads on the button hole, but that is it!

I sewed up a size 5T and then extended the front and back 2″ on the main pieces. According to the size chart, my daughter measures at a 5T for her chest and a size 8 for her height. The directions are clear and simple to lengthen or shorten. The finished fit is perfect and I like that the top is cropped, but not bare mid-drif short. The size chart on the pattern has a row for the finished length of the garment. I love it when patterns include finished measurements, because we don’t all have the same tastes and it’s nice to know ahead of time if you need to make any adjustments to get the desired look without having to measure pattern pieces and subtract seam allowances.

My daughter loves this top and I’m sure it will be in heavy rotation on hot summer days. I think it would look super cute with the Papillon Shorties, also by Lil Luxe Collection. But, my daughter is more of a skirt wearing girl, so she will probably be pairing it with a circle skirt most days.

Make sure to take a look at the new pattern, so you can see the dress version. The little leather bow and leather waistband look so amazing  and I look forward to sewing it up some day soon.

These photos were taken at my daughter’s favorite photo shoot location, Chatham Manor in Fredericksburg. She absolutely loves this place and when your child is excited and happy that always makes for better photos. It was a warm 70 degree day, so she was comfortable wearing short sleeves with a bit of her back exposed. The last few photoshoots I’ve done with her, it’s been a bit chilly and difficult to get photos without her hunched over with her arms wrapped around her body. Normally, after a photoshoot I have 10-15 photos I like that I feel I could use. This time I had 50. It was such a beautiful day and there was a huge fallen branch filled with cherry blossoms that my daughter had a lot of fun with. If you look closely, you’ll see the book my daughter insisted on bringing. She’s currently reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling. She’s a complete bookworm and I often have to remind her to go to sleep at 10pm when I catch her up reading by her nightlight in her room. I just hope the fascination continues! 

Pattern: Zephyr Top and Dress by Lil Luxe Collection

Fabric: Michael Miller Brambleberry Ridge Rosemilk in Metallic Mint, Oxford Yarn Dyed Large Stripe in Blue from Robert Kaufman and Art Gallery Outland Yarn Dye Chambray in Endless Paradise



Monarch Top in Primavera Print


St. Patricks Day isn’t something we celebrate in a huge way here. But, I always cook up some Corned Beef and Cabbage in the slow cooker and enjoy picking out green clothes for the kids and I. I was contacted by someone for Patty Young’s new line of prints for Riley Blake Fabrics. When I saw this Damask print for her new Primavera line, I knew I found the perfect print for my daughter’s St. Patrick’s Day outfit. Since, I just sewed up my first Lil Luxe Collection pattern recently and fell completely in love with the company, I decided to choose another of their patterns. This time the Monarch Top and the Papillon Shorties. The Monarch Top was in my Make 9 List for 2017 for my daughter, so hooray for checking off lists!

Making this top took me a lot longer than it should have. The kids and I were all hit with the flu right after I cut the pattern pieces and I seemed to take it the worst. 4 days with a fever, body aches and light headedness. I was exhausted. Every now and then I would start to feel a little better and in those moments I would venture to my sewing space and slowly put in a little work on this shirt. But, it was really slow moving. But, progress is progress and eventually it got done.

This pattern was absolute perfection. I really love how Lil Luxe Collection thinks of the insides as much as the outside of their construction. The bodice is lined and the skirt/peplum uses french seams. I use french seams quite a bit, even when patterns don’t call for them. I really prefer the look of a french seam to a serged seam. Usually, when I do french seams I use a pattern with a 1/2″ or 5/8″ seam allowance, but these french seams were made with just a 3/8″ seam allowance. Which means, the first stitch had to be made with a 1/8″ seam allowance. Since I was using quilting cotton this was easily done. If I had been using something that slides around or frays more, I would have added to the seam allowance a little.

My favorite part of the construction of this garment, was attaching the gathered skirt to the bodice. Since the garment has a button down front, Lil Luxe Collection was wise enough to have us sew the skirt, bodice main and bodice lining all in one swoop with the skirt rolled up on the inside. I personally don’t like the look of a topstitch by a gathered skirt and stitching in the ditch just never works for me. I usually end up hand stitching my linings, but this time I got a super clean look with so much ease. It was amazing!

I sewed up a size 5 and extended it to the length of a size 8. This was a super easy pattern to extend, since the gathered skirt pieces are simple rectangles and the bodice is straight (the side seam goes straight down parallel to the center). I just had to add the length to the bottom of the pattern pieces, instead of cutting and spreading. Easy peasy!

The fit of this garment is spot on. Sometimes, children’s patterns can run a bit big I find, but Lil Luxe Collection patterns seem to have a more fitted finished look in my opinion. There’s still a little room for growth in length and a 1″ hem that could always be taken out if we choose.

For this outfit, I also sewed up the Papillion Shorties, also by Lil Luxe Collection. These shorts are so easy to sew up and barely take any fabric. I was able to use the leftovers I had from the Harper Pants I sewed up this past fall. The olive green twill worked perfect for this pattern. My daughter is about 2 sizes smaller at her waist than her hips. I considered grading the pattern at the waist, but decided to make her size according to her hips and then just tighten the elastic in the back a bit more. Since I used a heavier twill, I didn’t want to gather the back waistband too much, so these run slightly large at her waist. I don’t think it would be an issue if I had used a lighter weight fabric though. Fortunately, they’re not falling off her waist. They just don’t hug the waist as much as I would have liked.

I did add a simple backstitch in some pink embroidery thread slightly above the scalloped edge of the front waistband. I did this after sewing on the facing and before attaching the waistband to the short. It’s a nice touch and it matches the pink fabric I used for the lining of the pocket bag. Being the perfectionist that I am, I almost picked it out since it’s a bit wavy, but my daughter really liked the added stitching and convinced me to keep it on there. I’m happy she did because it makes the scalloped edge stand out so much more. And, I really think that’s one of my favorite design details of these shorts.

We’ve had some really crazy weather here lately. It got up to 70 degrees the day these pictures were taken and it’s suppose to snow on Tuesday. Looks like my daughter will be wearing this outfit with tights and a sweater for St. Patricks Day! Does your family have any St. Patricks Day traditions? Have you decided what everyone will be wearing?

Pattern: Monarch Top by Lil Luxe Collection and Papillon Shorties also by Lil Luxe Collection

Fabric: Primavera Damask in Green by Patty Young for Riley Blake Fabrics and a Marc Jacobs Military Olive Cotton Twill purchased from Mood Fabrics (no longer available)




Metallic Knit Toaster Sweater


Sewing is not something I am quick at. I seem to take forever to sew a garment others whip out in a night. Many of my garments take me 2 weeks to sew. When I first started, I figured I would get faster with time, but that hasn’t really been the case for me. Sure, I’m often sewing while carrying on conversations with my kids, sometimes carrying them on my lap while I sit behind the sewing machine. But, having kids isn’t the only reason for my slow sewing. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I prefer to take my time making sure everything turns out to the best of my abilities. Plus, I have to make a ton of adjustments to patterns (I’m tall with wide shoulders, small chested and pear shaped). So, when people talk about a pattern being quick, I usually think, “Oh, maybe I can get that sewn up in a few nights.” I’ve heard the Toaster Sweater Version 1 was a quick sew, but I had no idea just how quick it would really be.

I cut out my fabric and sewed up this Toaster Sweater in under 2 hours! And, it would have been even faster if I hadn’t run over a pin on my last seam and ruined my serger knife. Arghhhh!!! Some quick sewers could probably sew this one up in 30 minutes. Now, having a quick sew is wonderful, but having a quick sew and creating a garment that you absolutely love is on a whole other level. And, that’s just what this pattern is for me. It was so easy and it fits so incredibly well. It’s the type of garment I know I will reach for again and again.

I used this great sweater knit purchased through Style Maker Fabrics a few months ago. Last I checked there were 2 yards left, so you better be fast if you want it! There are tiny metallic silver threads throughout the knit that make it sparkle beautifully. I did my best to try to photograph the metallic threads, so look closely at the close-up photos. I’ve never sewn with a sweater knit before and I always imagined it would be challenging, but this fabric was so incredibly easy to work with. Is sweater knit always easy to work with? If so, I need to sew with it more frequently. This particular sweater knit is a little bit transparant, but I feel completely comfortable wearing a nude color bra and nothing else underneath. That’s what I’m doing in these pictures, and I really don’t think a camisole is necessary. 

Some adjustments were made to the pattern for my body. I added 4″ to the length and 1″ to the length of the sleeve. I sewed up a size small and graded out to a medium at the hip. Basically, I just graded out with the 4″ I added and then used the medium band for the hem. I usually add between 1-2″ in length, so 4″ is more than usual. The sweater is definitely drafted to be a cropped sweater. Sometimes, I have to add 2″ in length to sleeves, so I would say these sleeves are a bit longer than average. Usually, I sew up an x-small and grade to a small at the hip in most independent pattern designers. This pattern runs a bit smaller than usual, which is great news for the more petite sewist!

I’m so happy I finally took the time to sew up this sweater. We’ve been having unusually warm weather here. The day I took these pictures it was actually in the 70’s. I arrived at the location to take photos and the parking lot was jammed packed full of cars. The times I’ve gone there in the past there has been maybe 5 cars. If you are a sewing blogger, you know taking photos of yourself with a tripod and a remote is awkward enough. Having all those people there made it even more uncomfortable. Fortunately, I had moments with no one around and I took my shots during those moments. Now that the sun is staying out longer and my husband is getting home from work before sunset, I may have to switch to taking photos on weekdays. Less crowds works better for me.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be sewing up more of these in the future. I purchased the bundle with both versions of the pattern, so I would love to try Version 2 as well. Have you sewn up the Toaster Sweater yet? If you want a quick sew that is a great everyday wear, I highly recommend you try it.

Pattern: Toaster Sweater Version 1 by Sew House 7

Fabric: Sparkle Sweater Knit Navy/White/Silver from Style Maker Fabrics