Today in the Lottie Sewalong we will talk supplies. Obviously, supply number one is the pattern! So if you haven't picked up the Lottie Pattern in print or PDF form yet, now's the time!
One of the great things about this pattern is the lack of notions. All you need to complete your Lottie is fabric, thread, and some basic tools. First, let's talk fabric.
Listed on the back of the pattern envelope are the following fabrics: cotton shirting, quilt weight cotton, lawn, voile, swiss dot, cotton gauze, double gauze, linen, chambray, seersucker, rayon, silk. Now that's a lot of options, and they range from easy (quilt weight) to more difficult (silk). Let's talk about each of these options.
Silk & Rayon
Silk and rayon are the fabrics on this list with the most drape, which is also why they are the hardest to work with. It's also why they are a lovely choice to make the Lottie in! If you are a more experienced sewer, these are excellent choices. Always be sure to pre-treat your fabrics, especially rayon, which can shrink an enormous amount in the first two to three washings. Dry cleaning is also an option for both of these.
Lawn & Voile
If you are a newer sewer and want something that is more stable than silk or rayon, but a bit more challenging than quilt weight, cotton lawn and voile are great options. They can be a bit see through, so do keep that in mind when choosing your fabric. These are some of my favorites to work with, because I like the ease of cotton, but I like some soft drape.
Linen is another amazing choice, but do note that linen comes in a lot of weights, so you will want to pick a linen that's not too thick or stiff. A lot of the indie designers have a cotton & linen blend, that's kind of like canvas, and this is a bit too thick for the Lottie. But softer linens are a perfect choice for this garment. Linen can really shrink, so be sure to pre-wash it.
Cotton Shirting, Seersucker, Swiss Dot, & Chambray
The first section I always go to in a fabric store is the shirting area, with woven prints, seersucker, swiss dot, and chambrays. These are my favorite fabrics to work with and wear, and most of my personal closet is made up of fabrics like these. If you are new to this range of fibers, a great place to start is most anything made by Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
The Lottie is not a fitted pattern and is meant to be worn loose and slightly oversized. There are no closures, so it can't be overly fitted or you wouldn't be able to get it on and off without inserting a zipper or creating a button closure. So given the drape of the garment itself, it's really ideal to use a fabric with some drape. Now many would argue that quilt weight is 100% void of drape. I say yes and no. First off, not all quilt weights are created equal. Just like not all bed linens are the same. Some will wash up soft and lovely, some remain stiff forever. The unbleached quilt weight from Cotton + Steel is one of my favorite quilt weights to wear, as it's significantly softer than the others.
Also, there is another reason I included it: beginners. The Lottie is a great pattern for beginners and for classroom workshops. And knowing that beginners need stable fabrics to learn the techniques, I wanted to make sure everyone knew that it was okay to choose this fabric. It does come with some inherent stiffness, but if you are a new garment sewer, pick this fabric to make your first version. Then move on to the harder substrates. Always be sure to pre-wash your quilt weight, as it will absolutely shrink!
Cotton Gauze & Double Gauze
Gauze fabric is thin, shifty, and dreamy to wear. This is an amazing choice for the maxi version, as it will flow and drape around your legs. Double gauze is even shiftier than single gauze, as there are two layers moving about, and it's really best for an advanced beginner. It's not the hardest by any means, but the loose weave can prove difficult for newer garment sewers.
Tools & Notions
Like I said at the start, the Lottie Pattern requires almost no notions, and only basic tools. Let's go over each of these and talk about why they are all important. If you've been sewing for a while, you likely have all of these already. If you need to pick something up, you have a few days until we actually put these tools into action!
Working from left to right across the photo:
- Iron - I found it amazing how many beginners in my classes admitted to me that they didn't own an iron. Please for the love of god, if you're going to be sewing at home, buy yourself an iron! Doesn't have to be fancy, but you just will not get the results you are looking for without one.
- Pressing Ham - Many of my students thought of a ham as a bonus luxury item, instead of a necessity. It's not. It's as important as your scissors. You will want it to take the place of your bust, shoulders, neck, and arm in the sewing of the Lottie. Buy one. They're cheap!
- Pins - I use glass head pins with fine metal shafts as to leave the smallest holes in my fabric. If you're using silk, you might want silk pins. Just be careful pressing on anything with a plastic head on it.
- Paper Scissors - For cutting out your pattern (if you are cutting instead of tracing).
- Fabric Scissors - For cutting your fabric and only your fabric!
- Rotary Cutter - If you are into cutting your fabric with a rotary cutter, that's cool by me! Just note that some corners and areas like the bust darts are best cut with scissors. Also the underarm curve is very tight and hard to cut with a 45mm rotary cutter.
- Thread - This is the only notion you need for making the Lottie. I prefer 100% cotton or 100% polyester thread.
- 5" Scissors - There are moments in the sewing of every pattern that require small trimming. For this pattern, cutting down the seam allowance around the neckline is really hard to do with big 8" scissors, so investing in these 5" ones can be very helpful.
- Seam Gauge - Not 100% necessary, but I find that it is really helpful for beginners to use this tool when folding hems and measuring small areas.
- Water Soluble Marking Tools - I love the Clover pencils and the erasable pen. The key is to make sure that it comes out of your fabric, so be sure to test it on a scrap first. You will need to mark on both the right and wrong side of the Lottie, so it's key that it comes out!
- Mechanical Pencil - If you're choosing to trace off your pattern, you will need this fine pointed pencil.
- Tape Measure - Clearly you need to take your measurements!
- Clear Ruler - Key for putting pieces on grain or on the bias.
- Not Pictured - An ironing board and sleeve board are both key for proper pressing. If you are tracing off your pattern, you might want pattern weights and Swedish tracing paper. And if you plan to do any bust adjustments, you will need tape and blank white paper (copy paper will do just fine).
Monday we will discuss fitting issues, making a muslin, and taking your measurements. See you then and have a lovely weekend!