Monarch Top by Lil Luxe Collection

When I blog, I post multiple entries in an evening.ūüėÄ

I was so lucky to get the chance to test the Monarch Top by LLC.  This is a stunning top is classic in its beauty.  It features a lovely ruffle collar, and stunning button placket.


If you just extend the skirt, you can easily turn this top into a dress. (Edited to add that the pattern includes the skirt dimensions for a dress) ¬†After I make one of these tops for B, I’ll be making dresses for both girls too. ¬†Check out the stunning button placket!


Here’s a view of the back of the top as well.


The baby blue fabric is from Joann’s. ¬†It’s similar to a swiss dot. ¬†Even better, I found it as a remnant. ¬†The collar is a floral by Lucien.


C is a huge fan of the top as well.  She twirls around it in and claims to be a princess.



The neck line is finished with bias tape and the skirt is installed by sandwiching it between the bodice and the bodice lining. ¬†The skirt is a french seam. ¬†If you hand stitch the neck line and the button placket like I did, there are no raw edges! ¬†Making the top a comfy pattern to hop in…


To explore in..


To collect rocks in . . .


AND to look fabulous in!


I think this photo is probably my favorite of the set!

The pattern is on sale now for a limited time.  Head over to to pick up your copy before the sale is over.

Maker’s Tote for Travel

It’s been far too long since I’ve blogged or posted. ¬†Don’t worry I’ve been busy sewing like crazy behind the scenes. ¬†What’s that old saying about a duck, calm on the surface and paddling hard under water? ¬†At any rate, I have felt underwater!

With a trip coming up on the horizon, I wanted to make sure the girls would be well entertained and busy while traveling.  My first priority was to have a bag that could store all the activities and toys that I planned to make/buy.  After the list grew to over 7 items per kid, I realized that I need a bag with LOTs of pockets.

While thumbing through IG, the Maker’s Tote by Noodlehead popped up. ¬†I fell in love with the bag immediately and decided that it would be the perfect bag for the girls. ¬†Picking the fabric was the fun part. ¬†I already had this gorgeous Alice in Wonderland print that I had planned to turn into a bag for B. ¬†I also had a cute panda print that would be ideal for C.


Then I just had to find coordinating prints for the pockets. ¬†I thought of using a deep purple for B’s tote. ¬†But B loves colors and pink so I went with a vibrant pink for the bias binding and pink hearts for the lining and the pocket. ¬†I found this adorable bunny key chain at Daiso (Japanese Dollar Store) to use as a zipper pull. ¬†I wish it was a white rabbit to go with the bag theme but this pink one coordinates well.


Now for a look at all the goodies packed inside!


I should have taken more photos of the inside of the bag without all the toys, but I’m a bum and I’m not going to. ¬†I will say though, I love love love the pockets on the inside! ¬†There are four pockets, 2 pleated pockets and 2 slip pockets. ¬†The main fabric I used for the pockets are from a scrap pack that I purchased from @Llamafabrics on IG. ¬†Maybe later when I’m not being such a bum I’ll take some photos of the lovely cotton and steel fabric.

My guess is that the doll probably catches your eye first.  :)


This adorable little doll is from a cheater doll kit that is already printed onto the fabric. ¬†The fabric is by Stacy Hsu for Moda. ¬†The fabric panel also has directions for sewing up the doll. ¬†I only changed how I sewed the skirt. ¬†The instructions has you created a casing around the waist band and using a tie to fasten the skirt. ¬†I chose to put elastic into the waist band and use french seams for the sides. ¬†The doll as a blanket, wolf friend, cape, skirt, and a pillow. ¬†I’m hoping that B’ll have fun tucking the doll in and playing with her accessories.


In addition to the doll, there are a ton of other goodies; a container of bitty plastic animals, a magic ink Dory coloring book, 1 blank notebook, 1 lined notebook, 3 ink cartridge pen, cracker snacks, lollipops for takeoff and landing, and colored pencils.  Where are the colored pencils?


Ta-Dah!! ¬†I made a bag for them. ¬†These are thick short pencils from Ikea and the plastic container that it comes with was too bulky to use in the bag. ¬†This was my first crack at the idea. ¬†The bag is fully lined, which makes me happy. ¬†My husband drilled a hole into the pencil sharpener so I could tie it to the bag to keep it from getting lost. ¬†It’s so nice to have such a handy husband. ¬†Thanks honey!

Now for all the fun in C’s bag. ¬†Check out the panda zipper pull and the leather strip zipper pull. ¬†It was slightly difficult to pull through, but if you trim the leather strip at a diagonal you can wiggle it in.


Now for all the toys!


C has a bit more toys because the iPad doesn’t hold her attention as well. ¬†So she has; a mermaid doll and accessories, a container of bitty aquatic animals, matching shape cards, lacing cards, 2 notebooks (blank and lined), fish stickers, snacks, pompom stuffer/sorter, ribbon felt caterpillar, and colored pencils.

The doll has a skirt and a mermaid tail.  Again, I used the elastic in the waistbands, and french seams for both the skirt and tail.  She has an adorable little sea horse buddy as well.


The ribbon caterpillar and the pompom stuffer were ideas that I saw on pinterest.  You thread the felt squares through the buttons attached to the ribbon.  The pompom stuffing toy was also an assist from my husband.  He helped drill holes into the butter container.  The plan was to paint the lid white and the edges of the holes the color of the pompoms so she can sort.  I might still do it but I might be travel kitted out now.


The colored pencil bag was my second go at it so I also interfaced the fabric and slightly curved the edges of the flap. ¬†It’s still fully lined.


If I have time, I’ll make boxy bags for the dolls and their accessories. ¬†I have a feeling I’ll be chasing all the doll accessories if I don’t have a special bag for them.

And that’s it! ¬†If you made it this far, hope you found these bags and their toys interesting!


Starlight City… For Me!

It’s been quiet over here, but I assure you, I’ve been busy sewing up a storm getting ready for the spring and summer. ¬†As usual Lil Luxe Collection has come to the rescue. ¬†Remember the Starlight City girl’s dress? ¬†Jess and Angie worked together to size up the gorgeous Starlight City dress for teens and ladies sizes.


This amazing pattern is designed for knit fabrics so it’s so comfortable. ¬†It feels like you are out and about in a cloud. ¬†One thing you should know when you choose your fabric is that it is really really important to use a 4 way stretch for the bodice. ¬†The reason for this is the unique twist in the back. ¬†I used a jersey knit and in my opinion is perfect for this dress.


The twist is strategically designed to sit right at the bra strap. ¬†Awesome, right?! ¬†You can wear a stunning open back dress and you don’t even need to find a special bra. ¬†Depending on the print you chose, this dress can go from a flowy beach dress to a night out on the town.


The waist band has a soft elastic encased for extra structure and support.  It also helps keep the pretty shape of the dress, and accentuate the waist.  There are several options with this dress too.

  • The top and skirt can be made as separates
  • The sleeves can be short or 3/4 like mine
  • The skirt can be body con, short and gathered, or maxi

My plan is to make the separates next. ¬†I’m thinking to make a black/navy top, and a floral maxi skirt. ¬†For now though, I’m wearing this dress every chance I get.


Just a warning, be prepared to get lots and lots of compliments. ¬†The Starlight City was released on Monday and will be on sale just for a week. ¬†Lil Luxe Collection doesn’t have sales very often so be sure to snap this up for you or your teen!

Thanks Jess and Angie for this beautiful pattern!  Credit for the photos goes to my talented friend Todd Allaria.

January Peplum – Cali Faye Collection

I know I say this a lot but I’m super excited to share a new pattern with you.  This is my first tester with Sarah of Cali Faye Collection.  I own two other patterns of hers, but have not gotten to sew them yet.  That’s one the things that I love about testing, it forces me to stick to a schedule and finish up a project.

So back to the pattern.  The January Peplum is a gorgeous top for girls.  There is so much to love about this pattern.  It seems like peplums are all the rage right now, and this pattern fits right in.  Except with it’s own special features that make it stand out.

The first thing that will catch your eye is the most adorable shoulder contrast piece.  It’s the perfect opportunity to play with the fabric in your stash because it becomes showcased and yet you don’t need a lot of fabric.

The next feature is one of my favorites, the high low sweep of the peplum.  The peplum starts at the belly button and curves to cover the little tush.

Here you can really see that amazing touch.  I have to say, it is what really caught my eye in the first place.


The back closure is an invisible zipper.  Sarah has a fantastic way of installing the zipper that makes it a breeze.  I have to admit that I ran out of invisible zippers.  I thought there was more in my stash, but my recent creations used them up.  It was too late to head to the fabric store so I ripped the zipper off a skirt that I don’t wear anymore.  This is how you know you have become a crazy sewing person.

This top was so worth the skirt sacrifice! Check out the amazing movement of the peplum!  C loves spinning in her top.

Last but not least, this is by far my favorite photo from the shoot!  Here you can really see the contrast of the shoulders, and the adorable face of my toddler.

This is a fast sew with stunning results!  It is fun to be able to sew up something quickly that is truly unique.  I used Moda cotton for the top and a navy linen blend for the shoulders.  The next one I make I think I’ll use the linen for the main and an eye catching print for the shoulders.  Testing for Sarah was a pleasure and was one of the smoothest tests I have participated in.  I made one muslin and it fit perfectly and has joined C’s wardrobe circulation.

For a limited time, there will be release sale for 30% off!  The code to use is PEPLUM30.  You can head over to here (affiliate link) to purchase your copy of the pattern.  I don’t usually use affiliate links, but I honestly love love love this pattern.  The construction is strong and the results are fantastic!

Be sure to check out the Cali Faye Collection blog to see the other tester versions.  This peplum in florals is so sweet and beautiful.

Thanks for stopping by!


Eleena Dress Blog Tour: Versatility

Welcome to the kick off day of the Eleena Dress Blog Tour! ¬†This dress pattern was created by the wonderfully talented and all around sweet person Olga Becker of Coffee and Thread. ¬†I really love Olga’s style, it’s clean, classic, and uniquely structured. ¬†Checking out all the gorgeous versions of the Eleena is going to be sewing-eye-candy overload, and I can’t wait.

As you can see from the title of this post, I’m here to talk about the amazing versatility of this beautiful pattern. ¬†If you follow Olga or I on Instagram you may have already seen my two versions. ¬†If so, here’s a quick reminder. . .



The one unifying feature of this pattern that really sets it apart is the adorable pleat in the front of the bodice. ¬†That and the zipper closure, after that the similarities end. ¬†Let’s talk about the pink dress first.



This pink fabric, it’s actually more of a rose, was a garage/rummage sale find. ¬†I think the story here was that the family was moving their grandma into an assisted living arrangement and were looking to sew some of her fabric. ¬† ¬†I’m not actually sure what kind of fabric it is but I love it and wish I could get more. ¬†I’m fairly certain it has to be a gauze of some sort. ¬†It has a soft vintage feel so I went with a sweet classic look. ¬†For this front bodice, I chose to omitted a contrasting middle pleat and went with a single piece for the front.


This dress version has a long sleeve and the cutest little cuff.  The cuff is wide enough to go over the wrist without having to construct a closure.  Yet it is not so wide that it dominates the sleeve.  It seems like such a small thing, but details like cuff size can end up impacting the look of a dress.


Normally I love a collar, but this dress just felt right to keep it simple and sweet. ¬†The next dress is more edgy. ¬†Although it is technically still winter, we have been experience warmer than usual weather here in CA. ¬†I wanted a dress with a winter feel to it even if it was going to be sleeveless. ¬†I used a unique polar animal print to achieve the winter look. ¬†I think it’s a quilting cotton. ¬†It’s hard to see it in photos but there is a shiny silver in the grey of the animals’ fur. ¬†This was also a garage sale find!


As you can see, I used a contrasting panel for this dress.  I think the blue panel really brings out the colors in the polar animal fabric.


I also used flutter sleeves for this dress using the blue from the contrast panel as the flutter sleeve lining.


For this dress I also used the adorable collar piece. ¬†It’s such a unique collar and fits with the style of the dress so well!

So, that was the 2 very different versions of the Eleena that I made.  Both with different options and fabric.  This pattern is a wonderful template to play around with your fabric stash and create a stunning and classic dress.

The Eleena dress will be on sale for $7.00(regular price $9.00) through March 7th, 11:59 EST.  There will also be a very exciting give away of two patterns of choice from Coffee and Thread and one yard of Sara Jane fabric!  For a chance to win you just need to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the links for the amazing versions that these fabulous women have whipped up!