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LLK Style: Special Occasion 2019

Niina Kivelä

Amsterdam 17.jpg

Spring and Summer Special Occasion 2019

Spring and Summer are the seasons when many of us truly get creative planning and sewing special occasion dresses for weddings, family, and celebratory events.  Our sewing rooms are filled with tulle, fancy fabrics, beads, sequins and other embellishments. We search for the perfect trims and buttons to adorn dresses that will stay in our memories and photos for years to come.

Whether you love the latest trends in children’s fashion or prefer the classic and timeless style, we hope to inspire you to create unique dresses for your special moments in life using Little Lizard King patterns. 

Here is what we have created this year!

Amsterdam

Isn’t this dress simply alluring? Larisa O´Brien created this glam gown using the Amsterdam pattern. For the bodice and the top layer of the skirt she used special occasion fabric from her fabric stash, cutting the bodice according to the pattern and adding width to the skirt. To give the dress an extra “WOW” factor she used 40 yards of tulle for the under skirt, and made the underskirt 3” longer than the main skirt. We dared her to make a statement, so for the final touch, Larisa added 4” horsehair braid to the main and tulle layers. The end result is breathtakingly beautiful!

Augusta Dress & Oxford Skirt

A Summer Bohemian Wedding was the inspiration for this standout; Richelle Hernandez fully embraced the boho vibe making a vibrant, beaded Augusta for the dress and a modified Oxford circle skirt overlay. To achieve this beautiful ombre effect, she cut the skirt pieces using different colors of tulle. She chose the skirt width based on the size chart and the model’s measurements, and Richelle created a tiered effect using multiple skirt lengths from the pattern— sizes 12 months, 3, 7 and 14 years in varying color tones going from lighter to darker. Stunning isn’t it?

This artful masterpiece easily transitions to everyday attire! When the party is over and the last dance steps are taken, the Augusta Dress transforms into a colorful piece that promises effortless chic without sacrificing style.

Lexington

It never hurts to try something new!  When dreaming of a fancy dress, Carla Meyer immediately picked up the Lexington pattern! She kicked it up a notch by hand dying the fabrics to achieve the exact color she envisioned. Carla constructed the dress bodice following the pattern tutorial and created a half circle skirt using the length of the maxi dress mentioned in the pattern. She matched the skirt width to the circumference of the bodice. For a melodramatic effect, Carla elongated the back of the skirt by 4.5” and covered the entire skirt with double-layer strips of 3” long gathered tulle placed in rows evenly spaced 2” apart.

The dress could not be more perfect for spring celebrations, summer weddings, or a high style photo session in the city!

Kensington

Classic and timeless! Shanna Perkins created an heirloom style dress that is made to impress! She used the Kensington pattern with a full lace overlay for a couture look that intersects elegance and vintage style - perfect for weddings or sweet soirees.  The skirt has two layers of tulle for extra fullness and an alluring Albany sash. Picture perfect and a family keepsake! The only thing sweeter than this new dress is the little miss!

Augusta

A little bit of sparkle and shine with lots of elegance! Amira Miles chose the Augusta pattern for this statement piece. She put a spin on a monochromatic look by adding a sequin overlay for the dress bodice and a burst of star studded sparkle. Amira cut 2 layers of tulle for each layer - one tulle layer and one star layer. The result is red carpet worthy in a glitzy party dress that is high style and fashion forward!

Albany & Arendelle

Terrah Connell makes her mark with this spring floral dress creating an Albany bodice and a modified Arendelle skirt. This dress is so much fun that your girl just might beg to wear it again and again. Terrah really turns up the style game by using two lightweight layered skirts; a double skirt featuring 3 tiered layers (instead of two) and the last layer is a high-low skirt, a separate piece, Every skirt layer is made with horsehair braid. This dress combines fashion, fit, and flare! Terrah added a pettiskirt beneath and ties the look together with a sweet surprise sash on the back.

Misthaven, Stirling & Arendelle

Don’t be afraid to think outside the fashion box! Mai Anh Tran opted for the romantic look using a combination of patterns. Misthaven encases the framework of the bodice with a Stirling pattern accent. To achieve the tiered Arendelle skirt style, Mai Anh combined a variety of skirt lengths, one for each tier - sizes 12 months, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 14 years. Every tier is made with 3 layers of tulle, and the skirt lining was created with a solid satin fabric, size 6. This magnificent dress is highlighted with a Pettiskirt beneath and an Avonlea sash (using the full width of the fabric) for an extra long, dramatic effect.

Bellevue

Rebecca Dolan gave the Bellevue a dress refresh with a soft and sweet variation! She stitched this dress with dainty flutters and a subdued shade of pink that created a romantic, girly aesthetic. She only made minor modifications to the pattern, simply lengthening the skirt to maxi length and using an intricate patterned overlay, adding more depth to the look and taking her sweet ensemble from everyday to stand-out.

Malibu & Cape

Fairy tale princess! Few things excite seamstresses more than beautiful fabrics and trims! Rachael Alcon selected white crape satin for the bodice, flutters, ties and hip plumes, and incorporated pink satin on the straps, elastic casing and skirt lining of her Malibu dress. The main skirt was lengthened by 4” and includes 8 layers of pink tulle.

We’ve always loved the hip plumes on fairy tale princess dresses, and these were such a simple addition. To make the hip plumes, Rachel cut half circles using this simple formula: 1\4 of the skirt width by 1\2 the skirt length. From there, she hemmed the straight edge, gathered the curved edge, and placed and basted the hip plumes to the bodice before adding the skirt.

Rachel added length to the ties for a larger bow in the back and hand-sewed white flowers and pink pearls to the front of the bodice for a sweet finishing detail. The Cape pattern completes this fairy tale look, made in a beautiful white chiffon with pink flowers and white pearls. It is unlined and finished with a rolled hem for a soft, airy feel.


Stirling & Mod

Mai Anh Tran put the spotlight on two of our favorite designs. She combined the Stirling maxi with Mod sleeves without any pattern modifications. The airy sleeves paired with delicate fabric details on the maxi overlay create an elegant result. This design strikes the right balance of relaxed and ethereal to complete the look and pack a huge aesthetic punch .

Sorrento

Feminine and flirty! Special occasion style meet tween girl. Nothing says summer fashion like sundresses and bare shoulders! Debbie Clifton fabricated this beautiful dress length Sorrento with a maxi length chiffon skirt overlay, creating an ombre effect and breezy hemline. She really upped her style game by adding a floral trim to the straps and waist of the dress. The end result is demure and tween approved!

Albany

Elegant and dreamy! Every little girl dreams about being a flower girl one day! Rachel Iafigliola designed a look that lives up to the special occasion! She used the Albany pattern and added a lace overlay to the bodice and a tulle overlay to the skirt to create a universally flattering silhouette. Rachel extended the skirt length by 3” to make this beautiful creation wedding-worthy! Now this sweet girl is ready to celebrate the newlyweds in style and swirl and twirl the night away!

Albany and Birmingham

Classic style and clean lines complement these ensembles . To create “no frills” stylish wedding guest dresses, Niina chose the Albany and Birmingham patterns for simple elegance. She started with a neutral palette and added five layers of tulle on both skirts plus a ruched band over the Albany´s front bodice to make the look more compelling. The ruched band was fashioned just like the Lexington dress design.

Tips for Sewing with Chiffon

Niina Kivelä

Venice Dress in Chiffon 3.jpg

Blogger: Rachael Alcon

Tips for Sewing with Chiffon

chif·fon

/SHiˈfän/

Noun 

  • a light, sheer fabric typically made of silk or nylon.

  • "a chiffon blouse

Chiffon Blog 1.jpg

As beautiful as Chiffon is it can be tricky to work with, but with a few tips and tricks its actually pretty easy to use!

    1. Use sharp scissors or rotary cutter, sharp pins, (or just use lots of wonder clips) and sharp sewing machine needles.

    2. Use tissue paper when cutting your chiffon.

    3. Use a tighter stitch when sewing. 

    4. Use the French seam method, or serger to finish visible seams.

    5. Hem with a narrow hem or rolled hem.

    6. Iron with lower heat or steam with steamer to remove wrinkles

Sharp is key with slippery fabrics! Use nice and sharp fabric scissors or a rotary blade to cut the fabric. When sewing slippery fabrics, use a Microtex Sharp Needle. It will be easier to sew, and the fabric is less likely to pull or slide away when using Microtex Sharp Needles.

Cutting Chiffon

Cutting out pattern pieces can be tricky. A good tip is to lay down a piece of tissue paper - i.e. the tissue saved from birthday party gifts! Then place the chiffon on top of the paper; the fabric will static cling to the tissue paper making it easier to cut.

Lay the patterns piece down and secure with either pattern weights or sharp pins. If possible, cut the pattern pieces on a single layer of fabric. The fabric will shift less with a single layer — just don’t forget to mirror pattern pieces that are cut on a fold line.

When cutting out the pattern piece, cut through both the fabric and tissue paper layers. This step will help with handling the fabric later. If necessary to cut a pattern piece out on the fold (i.e. through double layer of fabric), take extra care to make sure fabric is smooth and lined up properly. Use lots of pins or pattern weights to keep the fabric in place. 

For rectangular pattern pieces - like a skirt or sash pieces, the “RIP IT” method is helpful. Simply mark the measurements at the top of the fabric, cut a 1” slit into the fabric with scissors, and quickly tear the fabric apart. The fabric will rip in a straight line with minimal fraying. It's very satisfying!

Sewing Chiffon

When sewing with chiffon use a tighter stitch; this well help keep the fabric smooth and straight. Now that it’s time to sew the pieces together, don’t forget to switch out the needles for the “sharp” ones. If you didn’t buy any of those bad boys, a new needle will work as well.

Now for a fun trick! To avoid having the fabric sucked into the machine, position the fabric in place and ready to sew, pull the needle and bobbin thread making sure both threads are under the presser foot, and pull on the threads while starting to sew. This step will keep Chiffon from getting sucked into the machine. In fact, this works really well for any stubborn fabric!

Chiffon Blog 4.jpg

French seams work very well with chiffon, it helps protect against fraying, plus Little Lizard King has a great video tutorial showing how to create French seams! A serger is a great way to sew chiffon, but a zig zag stitch will work as well. 

Hemming Chiffon


Hemming! This might be the most intimidating part of sewing with chiffon, but its actually very easy. A narrow hem works great for chiffon. Set the iron to a low heat, and press the bottom, raw edge up 1\4”; then sew 1\8” from the edge. Trim the raw edge as close to the seam as possible. Then fold and press another 1\4” and sew 1\8”from the edge. There will be one line of stitches on the main side of the fabric and 2 on the wrong side. If extra stability is needed when hemming, use a washable starch on the fabric. My favorite hem for chiffon is a rolled hem using the serger. I like to play with a contrasting thread for this since you can see the thread!

Chiffon Blog 5.jpg

Ironing Chiffon

Don’t get the iron too hot! Since chiffon is a synthetic fabric (made from plastic) it will melt if the iron is too hot. Most irons have a polyester/silk setting, but it's always a good idea to test the iron setting on a piece of scrap chiffon. Use lots of steam!  You can also use a streamer; I love using a steamer on fabrics and dresses!

Well I hope these tips and tricks help make sewing with Chiffon a little less intimidating. Chiffon is a great fabric, and one of my personal favorites to use with LLK patterns.

Featured here the Venice Dress and the Cape patterns.

LLK Fabric - Little Sewists

Niina Kivelä

Little Lizard King Selvedge.jpg

Little Sewists

We cannot wait to share more details about the LLK new fabric line in collaboration with Michael Miller Fabrics in the coming weeks but first this is the story behind how we chose the theme and name of the forthcoming fabric line.

When bouncing fabric design ideas back and forth we though about what inspires us most, what is the reason behind our sewing projects, how did we start sewing and why sewing inspires us.

The answer was simply, our children, our little sewists. The little sewists who love to help us, who are eager to learn how to thread a sewing machine and help us sew. The little sewists who excitedly choose fabric combinations, and stand still for fit checks and updated measurements, at times begrudgingly. Sometimes when "helping" our little sewists create a mess of our ruffles and trims!

With our little sewists in mind, we imagined colors and prints suitable for sewing clothing, quilts, and accessories. This line of fabric inspires us to sew for and with our children, the little sewists. We hope that you will feel similarly inspired by out Little Sewists fabric line.  

In the coming weeks we will be posting more details and pictures about the first line of LLK fabric!

Until then,

Little Lizard King Team


Elise Ribeira.jpg

Meet Designer:

Elise Ribeira

Elise has loved drawing since she was little girl and since her first attempts of drawing stick people and colorful lines, she has developed her talent in different forms of art. 

After years of wishing she could sew all the dresses she often used in her illustrations, just few years ago she conquered her lifelong dream to learn to sew, now allowing her to combine her talent in both sewing and illustration.