Ever since it first came out, I have adored the Lil Luxe Dress. Eventually it went on sale and I decided to snap it up. That was, um, quite some time ago.
Last year my eldest daughter was complaining that she didn’t have enough twirly, sparkly dresses 🙄. Fabric Mart, of course, was having one of their ridiculous sales so I snapped up some gorgeous pink satin ($4 p/yard) and David’s Bridal lining ($2 p/yard!) with the plan to make two Lil Luxe dresses for my girls. I found some horse hair braid on eBay so I was pretty much ready to tackle these dresses.
Well all that happened last June, so all I can say to that is:
THANK GOODNESS FOR TI AND HER BLOG TOURS!!!!
When this tour was announced, of course I knew exactly what I was making!
About the Pattern
When I first bought this pattern, it only went from size 18M to 8y. Since purchasing it, the designer increased the size range to 10y and I believe she made some changes to the pattern and tutorial. I didn’t want to pay for the revised version, so my review is based on the original one.
The dress has an option for cap sleeve or sleeveless. It has a full circle skirt and can also be made with a maxi skirt. The bodice seams are enclosed (requires some hand stitching around the armscye lining if doing cap sleeves). The back closure is buttons with an option for a zipper on the maxi version. The bodice lends itself to embellishment with rhinestones, vinyl, etc.
My eldest daughter measured into 5T chest and 7 for height, so I used the 5T bodice pieces and lengthened the skirt. Now as I write this review, I realize I probably should have done a 4T bodice, as the instructions say to go off finished measurements for the bodice (this seems a bit unusual to me!) – my daughter does have a very significant sway back so I think the 4 would have been a better fit for her, as the shoulders keep slipping off her. I think what I might end up doing is getting a piece of stretch lace and making a strap to go across the back. Of course I *could* have made a muslin….
I used an 18m chest and 2T height for my youngest and hers fits fine – though it is a little tricky to get on and off. Thankfully she adores it so she is very patient with getting dressed!
Also, I didn’t quite have enough fabric for the toddler version of this dress – owing to buying the fabric when my original plan was to make two dresses in smaller sizes. Because of that, I pieced together the skirt in the toddler version a little differently and it’s also missing one half of a circle piece in the skirt (hence why the front is not as full as the back).
The directions were mostly very straight forward. There was an option for doing a facing on the hem but I couldn’t work that one out, so I used the regular method instead. I also decided to try a narrow 1/4″ seam around the hemline before doing a blind stitch on the horsehair braid. I’m not overly happy with how it looks though, as there is some bubbling in areas where the skirt is on the bias. (I think I have had enough of circle skirts for a while haha).
My plan was to attach Swarovski crystals to the bodice. I initially planned to get a pre-designed iron on one but then I read that it could only be adhered to cotton. My next option was sew on rhinestones, but they all looked tacky, so I opted for the real Swarovski glue on ones. Well, this part of the project hasn’t actually happened yet, but I will update you if and when I decide to brave putting them on!! For the photoshoot, I found some strings of beads (that I bought years ago with the intent to make a necklace from a tutorial in an old Burda magazine) and quickly made that into a necklace for each of the girls. I don’t have any clasps yet, so they’re a little haphazardly connected with ribbon.
One thing I don’t like about this pattern is that it’s really hard to hide the hemline of the horse hair braid. I had wondered about installing the braid just to the tulle or the lining, but in the end I did it according to the instructions. I think if the HHB line showing really bothers you, you could either use a thicker fabric such as brocade/jacquard, or put a tulle/chiffon/power net overlay over the top of your skirt.
The back of the dress is closed using hidden buttons (the outside ones are decorative only). Ugh, I just much prefer zippers, I have to say! I found it really hard to get the buttons to hold the back of the dress in exactly the right spot. One of those corset/bra extender things might even be a better option too.
I also haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to trim the tulle so it’s shorter. I kinda like how it pokes out a bit, but it’s also not particularly even, so that aspect might bother me!
So now I guess the question some of you might be asking is, when will these dresses actually be worn? Well, here’s the thing: My girls wear party dresses and costumes ALL THE TIME. Even the toddler! (My eldest daughter loves to get her dressed while I’m getting the kitchen cleaned up in the morning!). They just love them, even if we are home all day!
(This was my Week 9 “sew something with buttons” entry for the 52 Week Sewing Challenge!)
Let’s get inspired! Drop by these blogs to see more ideas for sewing with pink, white and red this month!
Sunday, February 4th: Tenille’s Thread | 5th: My Heart will Sew On | 6th: Kathy Kwilts and More | 7th: Stitched By Jennie | 8th: EYMM | 9th: With Love In Every Stitch | 10th: The Bear and the Pea Atelier