Archive | Sewing for Kids

Lil Luxe Collection Zephyr Top

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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

 

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Monarch Top in Primavera Print

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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)

 

 

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Lil Luxe Saumur Dress

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There’s a beautiful sweater knit currently folded on my cutting table for a Toaster Sweater by Sew House 7. I really wanted to sew it up next, but sometimes special circumstances happen altering my plans. We receieved a note last week notifying us that our daughter will be receiving an award at her schools award ceremony the following Friday. My daughter has been doing especially well at school this year and I’m super proud of her. She was also recently recommended for her schools gifted program. Seriously, who is this kid?! We’re really proud of her and I wanted to reward her for all her hard work. I figured she was deserving of a new dress for the award ceremony. 

Usually, I buy fabrics for a particular project, but in this case I had to use leftovers in my stash. I only had a few days to sew up the dress and I wasn’t sure I would get new fabric in time. When I was in California, I could always count on Harts Fabric to get my fabric within 2-3 days. I haven’t found an East Coast online fabric company yet that gets fabric out within a day or 2. Please let me what I’m missing, because I know they exist! After about an hour of digging through my stash, I decided on this beautiful Michael Miller Veranda floral in graphite and a Kaufman Oxford Yarn Dyed Large Stripe in Blue. Since I had to use something in my stash, I chose my fabric prior to deciding on the pattern. Once I decided on the fabric, I knew I wanted to work with the stripes on the bodice.  I began searching for a girls dress pattern with some fun seams I could play with.

The Lil Luxe Collection Saumur Dress was just what I was looking for. I love the princess seams on the front and back of the bodice and the pleated skirt is a welcome change from the usual gathered skirt in girls dress patterns. I had some leftover white pom pom trim from the City Gym Shorts I had made my daughter a couple summers ago. The trim would accent those seam lines on the bodice perfectly. I had never sewn up a Lil Luxe Collection pattern before, but I’ve been really anxious to try one for quite some time. My daughter is already a size 8 in height, so I don’t have much time left! This pattern only goes up to a size 10.

As soon as I pulled up the download for the tutorial, I knew I was going to love this pattern company. The graphics for the tutorial are the best I have ever seen for a pattern. I’m a really visual person and I appreciate good graphics. I loved that they use a floral print to identify the right side of the fabric and a grey to identify the wrong side. Am I the only one who constantly forgets which side the grey is and which side the white is when following a sewing tutorial? 

As far as putting the pattern together, everything came together beautifully. This pattern doesn’t create shortcuts that skimp on the quality of the garment. There’s a lot of handstitching to close off the lining and personally, I really appreciate that. I often handstitch parts of my garments because I care about the guts of my make just as much as the outside. I think this would be a great pattern for a beginner sewist whose ready to take their skills up a notch. The little details are all there and the directions are very clear to take you step by step.

In order to get this dress finished in time for my daughter’s award ceremony, I stayed up super late. Like, 4:30 in the morning late. I often have nights till midnight when sewing, with an occasional 2am night, but I haven’t pulled an all nighter since my college days. Exhaustion set in and I struggled a bit with putting in the invisible zipper. I prefer to order my zippers online through Zipit on Etsy, but I wasn’t sure if I would get my zipper in time for this project, so I purchased one at JoAnn’s. For some reason I really struggle getting my zipper to be really invisible with their brand of zipper. I’m no where near an expert when it comes to inserting an invisible zipper. However, I don’t seem to have difficulties with the brand of zipper I purchase through ZipIt. Yet, I always struggle with my stitch catching in the zip teeth when sewing up the brand sold at JoAnn’s. Perhaps, it’s just a coincidence. I’m really not sure. Does anyone else notice a difference with brands? Anyways, my seams along the back zip match perfectly, but my zipper is not invisible. Sigh… I can always go back and fix it if I’m super ambitious. Who am I kidding? That’s not going to happen!

We took these photos at Government Island, just a 15 minute drive from our home. Government Island is a 17-acre piece of land that was a quary in the 18th and 19th centuries. The site was a source for Aquia sandstone for many buildings in our nations capital, including the White House. My daughter is super interested in learning about our nations history at this time and we couldn’t possibly live in a better place for her to learn. She was fascinated by these huge rocks and enjoyed putting her fingers along the markings on the stone left by the tools used to excavate the rock.

We have lived here in Northern Virginia now for 7 months. In that time we have barely touched on all the places we want to visit. I’m from the Northwest, so all this history out here on the east coast is new to me. I find it incredibly fascinating and really want to take it all in. My daughter is old enough to enjoy it. However, my boys are more interested in climbing the rocks than learning about them. I know I’ll regret it if we don’t visit more places though. Hopefully, I take the time to see more in the next couple years we are here!

 

Pattern: Lil Luxe Collection Saumur Dress

Fabrics:  Michael Miller Veranda floral in graphite and Kaufman Oxford Yarn Dyed Large Stripe in Blue with white pom pom trim

 

Happy Sewing!

 

 

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