Sewing Project: Tilly and The Buttons Lotta Dress Pattern Review

Hey everyone! Apologies for the prolonged absence I’ve just finished a massive project which I was vlogging so I’ve neglected the blog a little(more on that soon!) but today I wanted to check in with you all to tell you about my new favourite beginner pattern! That’s right, you guessed it, it’s the Tilly and The Buttons Lotta Dress. An over the head dress with an elastic area waist, optional grown-on sleeves and patch pockets. One of the wonderful things about this pattern is that it can be made in either woven or knots fabrics which is amazing!!

It’s a good, easy sew and great fun for beginners or more experienced sewists alike. I finished mine today and I’m already in love! I used a viscose marrocain from Rainbow Fabric Kilburn and followed the woven instructions. In this blog post I’m going to talk about the good points of the pattern and give you a few of my notes to consider when making the pattern for the first time.

Good Points:

Easy Construction

The beauty of the Lotta is the simplicity of construction, all the pieces are cut on the fold so you literally have a skirt and top each with two pieces and a neck facing/band – that’s it! It goes together as you would expect and as the sleeves are grown on even they are very low maintenance. For an experienced sewist it make the garment a very speedy make and it’s also not too intimidating for complete beginners.

Minimum Technical Sewing Required

This is the joy of the Lotta, it’s almost like a palette cleanser project, quick, simple, minimal brain work required! The simplicity of the garment construction is enhanced by the sheer lack of technical sewing. There are no zips, no fastenings, no darts, the only shaping is the elasticated waist which is the simplest of casings as it just uses the seam allowance from the top. It was a refreshingly relaxing sew coming after finishing my very technical Eden Coat.

Points To Be Aware Of:

Very Fabric Hungry

It surprised me how much fabric was required. I only just got my Size 10 Lotta out of 2 metres of fabric and that was with some extremely creative pattern laying. The pattern says you need 2/2.5 but as the fabric amounts aren’t listed for each size I assumed that I would need less. I pretty much always under-buy anyway because apart from my Eden Coat I’ve literally never used the whole amount fabric “required” for a project. The reason it needs so much fabric is because every single pattern piece needs to be cut on the fold, the larger sizes will also not fit on 45” wide fabric which is worth being aware of before you buy your fabric!

Hem Sleeves Before Closing Sides

Because these sleeves are grown on, you assemble them by first attaching the front and back bodice at the shoulders and then opening them flat, attaching the sleeve heads and finally sewing them up with one long side seam from the wrist to the waist. However what this means is that it is surprisingly hard to hem the sleeves once they are closed. This is not mentioned in the instructions and so by the time you realise it’s too late! So my advice is to ignore the instructions and hem your sleeve arms first and then sew up the side seam. You’re welcome!

Be Aware Of Hem Lengths

This is just a note for your own planning, I made the mini-skirt version which is supposed to sit above the knee however I am 5’2” and I had to remove 4 inches to get the skirt to just above my knee so please be aware that the skirt is fairly long.

The Lotta is a wonderful entry level pattern and I hope it brings lots of new people into the dressmaking community. It’s also a nice quick sew and a perfect dress for all occasions, its so nice to find a pattern that I can wear to work and socially. I am actually planning to make another one almost immediately out of a structured Navy Ponte Di Roma for a cosy winter work dress. To conclude, if you could only buy one pattern to make your first garment I would definitely recommend the Lotta! Got any tips, tricks or comments on the Lotta? Let me know in the comments below!

Sewing Plans For Lockdown 2.0

Hello everyone, I’m writing to you having just woken up from a nap after a fantastic Sunday roast courtesy of Adam and we are back in lockdown. Now I don’t mind lockdown especially, it’s a strange time but not much will change for me personally however mentally and emotionally its still very tiring. So! To combat this emotional time I have started thinking about the projects I want to accomplish in lockdown alongside the very significant amount of Christmas present sewing I’ve got to do. I’m sewing something for my mum, dad and eldest sister this year along with some other potential sewing presents so lots to do and therefore even more important that I continue some selfish projects to challenge myself as a sewist and make sure I’m still getting time to relax.

My current work in progress is my Tilly And The Buttons Eden Coat. I’ve been working on it for ten days so far and its incredibly tiring but I’m proud of my work and I’m super excited that I will have actually made myself a coat. It feels like such an incredible step forward and advancement in my sewing. I’m hoping to finish it by next weekend as I’ve got to make a whole second version for my sisters Christmas/Birthday present so I will write a blog post reflecting on the making process and any lessons I learnt along the way.

However there are a few other garments I’m looking to make in the next month or so which I have listed below:

Lotta Dress, Tilly And The Buttons

I’ve got these two stunning fabrics from The Sewist Fabric Shop and from Felicity Fabrics, both of which are destined to become Lotta’s however I’m not sure if I’ve got enough of the green one but I’m super excited to work with these fabrics and this pattern! I’m saving the first one up for this week, I think it will be a palette cleanser when my Eden Coat gets too much.

Nora Top, Tilly And The Buttons

As the weather gets colder the Nora top is really starting to call to me and luckily I’ve quite a few snuggly fabrics in my stash. I’ve got a grey rib knit, a coral rib knit as well as a cosy navy textured jersey/scuba and some other jerseys and I’ve got a feeling that the Nora will be making making appearances in my wardrobe. I’ll be writing a blog about my first Nora so stay tuned!

Wrap Dress, GBSB

Above is a picture of the first GBSB wrap dress I made in October. I want to make another of these now I understand the sizing better and make the adjustments I discussed last time. I have some gorgeous slightly heavier viscose jersey that is a black base with an abstract print from Rainbow Fabric Kilburn that would look stunning as a wrap so I just want to have another go at this pattern knowing what I know now.

Something with my waffle

I’ve not got a pattern in mind for this one but I have the most gorgeous ochre waffling from Felicity Fabrics and I really want to make something cosy and comfy for the winter. I was considering a cute yellow dressing gown but then maybe a Freya or similar would work for it? I’m not sure. Please let me know below if you’ve worked with a non-stretch waffle and if there any patterns you could recommend!

Florence Blouse, SizeMe Sewing

This is a new pattern purchase from SizeMe Sewing, a raglan blouse with shirred sleeves(never done shirring before so very exciting!) and I’m going to make it in my purple viscose marrocain from Rainbow Fabric Kilburn. I’ve been holding on to this fabric for ages now because I just couldn’t quite find the right pattern for it but as soon as I saw the blouse online and I knew this would be the one! Can’t wait to make this but definitely need to get some shirring elastic in.

Christmas Sweatshirt

Finally project on my wishlist. As we are stuck at home for the foreseeable I wanted to get into the christmas spirit buy some plain sweatshirting/loop back jersey and some christmas patterned sweatshirting to make two tone Christmas sweatshirt! It will be my first christmas video so I’m just looking at fabrics at the moment and then I will buy the fabrics themselves once I’m paid at the end of November!

So these are some of my sewing plans. Not a definitive list by any means but the projects that I have in my mind at the moment to complete before Christmas. Above all I don’t want to lose my sewing motivation because I’m sewing complex things for other people, I want a list I can turn to when my inspiration is low to just make something fun for me. I will learn loads from the presents I’m making but sewing for others can get a little dull so I’m excited to work through my personal sewing list. Now I’m going to finish uploading my first Eden Coat Vlog and tidy the house before another very busy week!