Welcome to the next stop on the blog book tour for Lotta Jansdotter’s new book Everyday Style! I’ve known about this book for a very long time and have been anxiously awaiting its release!
A few years ago while at Quilt Market, my BFF Alexia Abegg told me that Lotta had just approached her to talk about doing the patterns for her new book. Alexia, her mom (and design partner at Green Bee Patterns) Michelle, and I were Lotta superfans, so needless to say, this was really exciting news. At that same Quilt Market, I was able to meet Lotta, having a semi-embarrassing superfan moment of my own, but much to my surprise, she became an actual real life friend.
A week before the book was to be released, I bought it on Amazon, during a day of comfort shopping. When the book arrived, I was so glad to see how much it felt like Lotta. Having gotten to know her over the last few years, this book feels totally like her. It’s fun, lighthearted, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is loose around the edges, just like Lotta.
The book is an absolute delight to read and look at, and with Alexia turning Lotta’s ideas into sewing patterns, it’s also a joy to use too! The projects in the book are great because they span from really fun low-sew or no-sew items like yarn pompoms and fabric bracelets, to accessories like scarves (one scarf in the book is sewn by me!) and bags, to a whole range of garments including a pants/shorts pattern, a skirt with length variations, multiple dresses/tunic/kaftan patterns, and a jacket too.
The patterns are all beginner-friendly, but it doesn't feel like a choice made for editorial purposes, since this is actually how Lotta dresses. She's not a fussy person with her own clothes, so why would she offer those kinds of patterns? Everything is designed with an element of ease and comfort.
One of the things I like most about the book is Lotta’s choice of locations and models. The book is organized as Lotta goes through her year, so you follow her throughout her adventures as she travels to India, Mexico, Sweden, New York City, and to Nashville to work with Alexia and her family. In each location she has projects from the book photographed on real friends and family, and though the photos are beautiful, you can tell that they aren’t overly styled with hair and makeup teams. It’s wildly refreshing and feels honest and real.
After I bought and read the whole book, Abrams asked me if I wanted to be part of this blog tour. Though I haven't been on my blog much of late, for obvious reasons, I already was planning to sew multiple items from it, so it seemed like a perfect time to come out of hibernation. They also asked me if I wanted some of Lotta’s fabric for my item, and though I already stockpile her awesome designs, of course I said yes! The day I set aside to take photos it rained, which is VERY welcomed in Los Angeles, so I just rolled with it. Though because of the lighting, the color of the fabric doesn't read quite correctly in the outside shots. The detail images give you a much better view of the print and color.
I went back and forth numerous times on what to make and ended up sewing the Esme Tunic. I love all the projects, but as I knew I was going to be using quilt weight cotton, I picked the Esme because it’s totally my style (you all know how much I love a shift-style dress), but also because I knew it would take to the fabric weight well. I absolutely plan to make the Kiomi tank dress, but I want to use a rayon or silk for that, so I went with Esme to pair with the quilt weight.
I sewed it up following most of Alexia’s directions with only a few exceptions, all of which were simply personal preferences and not a commentary on the directions at all. I staystitched the neckline before sewing the garment, and I understitched the facing before topstitching it in place. I sewed the patch pockets using the method I use in my Sylvie Dress, which is a little different than what the pattern called for, but the end result is mostly the same. Also I opted to cut the pockets on the bias as I thought it suited the print on the fabric.
Fitting-wise, I lowered and extended the darts by about an inch, and lengthened the tunic by 4”. I have a ton of shift type dresses in my closet, and all of them land just above the knee. I wanted this one to land at or slightly below the knee for a change of pace. Again, that's just personal preference.
Those are the only fit changes I made. Though next time I will narrow the shoulder by about an inch, as the sleeve hangs off my shoulders a bit. I have narrow shoulders, so this is a typical alteration for me. I didn’t make a muslin, I simply made the changes on my pattern pieces. I did measure the pattern for the dress front and back and compared it to other dresses I sew that are similar, but otherwise I just went for it!
One note on the patterns: they are full-sized patterns printed on real paper, but they are printed on top of each other in that overlap style and the bigger pieces also require some tiling, so be sure to have some tracing paper on hand when you’re ready to make something up!
In addition to the dress, I also knew I wanted to make up the yoga bag from the book, and since the dress went together so quickly, I just kept sewing and I whipped them both up in the same night, including tracing the patterns!
I happened to have some of this canvas from one of Lotta’s older collections in my stash, and I thought it would be perfect to go with my green Orla Kiely yoga mat. I wanted to show the seam that goes across the middle of the bag, so I decided to add piping where the bottom and top parts of the bag meet, I then decided I should just keep going and put piping around the handles too! I’m getting back into yoga after Mike’s passing and this was a great excuse to jazz up my yoga game.
So, are you excited to make something from Lotta’s book Everyday Style? Well, thanks to the team at Abrams Books, they are giving one lucky winner a whole Lotta Jansdotter giveaway pack!
One randomly drawn winner will win a copy of the book Everyday Style, a fat quarter of Lotta’s fabric from Windham, Lotta Jansdotter temporary tattoos, and Lotta washi tape too! That’s a killer package!
To win, simply make a comment below about something you are doing this holiday season. Have a particular tradition you partake in? Did you make something awesome for a loved one this year? Are you hoping for a certain gift? Are you traveling? Do share!
Remember, you do not have to have a Disqus account to comment! You can also log in with your Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account. Or if you don't want to use any of those, simply click into the "name" field under "sign up with Disqus" and a spot will open for you to either enter your information, or you can click the box at the bottom that says "I'd rather post as guest".
The giveaway is open from now until midnight Sunday, December 20, 2015, Pacific Time. I will pick a winner at random next Monday, December 21 and will announce it here on the blog. Please only one comment per person, and the giveaway is open to anywhere in the world! Thanks Abrams!
Best of luck and please return next Monday to see if you’ve won! If you are the chosen winner and you do not reply to my attempts to contact you by midnight Sunday, December 27, 2015, a new winner will be chosen and announced on Monday, December 28.
Check out all the other stops on the tour at the lovely sites below:
Dec 1 – Lotta
Dec 2 – STC Craft
Dec 3 – Windham
Dec 4 – Noodlehead
Dec 7 – Modern Handcraft
Dec 8 – Sew Scatterbrained
Dec 9 – Crimson Tate
Dec 11 – Groovy Baby & Mama
Dec 14 – City Stitching with Christine Haynes
Dec 15 – Craft Sanity
Dec 16 – Aesthetic Nest
Dec 17 – Sew Mama Sew
Dec 18 – Lish Dorset
Dec 19 – Fancy Tiger Crafts
Dec 21 – Generation Q
Dec 22 – Carolyn Friedlander
Dec 23 – Crafty Planner
To learn more about Lotta or Alexia's work, check out the links below:
If you are interested in workshops in Lotta's Brooklyn Studio and in her Create Nature Retreat back in her native Scandinavia visit : http://jansdotter.com/workshops/
To learn more about Lotta's fabric collections with Windham Fabric: http://www.windhamfabrics.net/cgi-bin/fabricshop/designer.cgi?designer=28
To learn more about Lotta's book:
To learn more about Lotta's temporary Tattoos for Tattly:
I was given the fabric for my dress as part of my participation for this blog tour. The other fabric, trim, notions, and the book itself were bought by me.