I am so thrilled to be finally releasing a new paper pattern! Welcome Lottie! This pattern has many variations, with three sleeve options, and three length choices, it’s like getting three patterns in one! You can mix and match the elements for 18 different combinations.
Lottie is 20% off now through end of day, Monday May 16, so go get it now! You have the choice of pre-ordering for the paper pattern, or you can download the PDF version immediately if you prefer not to wait! Paper patterns will ship the week of May 22, so you won't have to wait long.
The Lottie Dress & Shirt are loose fitting wardrobe staples that pull over the head without the need for closures, making it a great project for a new sewer, or a fast sew for someone more experienced.
View A has short dolman sleeves, patch pockets, a split side seam vent, and hits just above the hip.
View B has short dolman sleeves with an add-on to lengthen the sleeves to 3/4-length, patch pockets, and lands just above the knee.
View C is sleeveless, cinches in at the waist with a skinny belt, ends at the ankle, and has side seam vents that open to the knee.
These are the combinations I chose to use as my base starting point to give you three different and unique looks. However, you can mix and match a total of 18 different combinations! As you see in the diagram, there are a lot of choices! Use the maxi length and the 3/4-length sleeves, and add pockets – Or make a really simple shell using the sleeveless option paired with the shirt length – Or my favorite right now is just the dress length with short sleeves and pockets! With a change in fabric, you could easily have a whole closet full of these variations for a whole collection of unique pieces.
The design of Lottie came from two main sources. The first inspiration was from my Shift Dress pattern from my book Skirts & Dresses for First Time Sewers. I’ve had so many people request this dress as a printed pattern, as not everyone wants to buy a book for one pattern, and a PDF pattern at that. So I knew I wanted to use that shape as my starting point.
The second inspiration came from my process of doing the Wardrobe Architect. If you’ve been following along with my posts and watching my Pinterest board, this pattern shape is not going to be a total surprise to you. I realized that I had pinned so many shirts with this kind of shape, that I knew I needed to do something about it.
So putting those two ideas together, resulted in the knee length and shirt length versions of Lottie. The Shift Dress from my book is a lovely dress, and one I wear a lot in real life, but the full gathered sleeve sometimes is problematic when putting a cardigan or coat on over it. So that was the first thing to change into a simple short sleeve. But being a lover a 3/4-length sleeves, I wanted to provide the option for the sleeve add-on. Once I started working with the shirt length version, I added the side seam vents and patch pockets, as those are details I love in woven shirts.
After I settled on the dress and shirt versions, with short sleeves and 3/4-length sleeves, I could have just stopped there, but I really wanted to toss in a maxi length, and offer a sleeveless option for those that prefer it. I rarely wear sleeveless garments, but paired with the maxi length, it’s the perfect vacation dress, or summertime loungewear. I am currently making a sleeveless maxi version in black rayon crepe for one of my models, and it is so insanely chic. This doesn’t just have to be for poolside wearing! Though I will for sure be wearing it on my next trip to Palm Springs!
To make this pattern easy to use, both at home and in a teaching situation, I settled on splitting up all the different views based on the sleeve and the length for the printed pattern version. For example, there is a pattern piece for the sleeveless maxi front, and sleeveless maxi back, and a different piece for the sleeveless dress front and back, and the top version too.
I did this because when I’m teaching garments in a class, rarely do you have the option to trace off the pattern before class or during class due to time restrictions. And when a pattern has multiple length options, my students were always so bummed to have to cut at the shorter length in class, only to try to tape it back together after the fact. Also, not everyone is into tracing, at home or in class! So this gives you the option to have each length and sleeve view on their own. Also, it makes the markings that are specific to that view’s length much easier to read so you don’t get confused by which marks go with which views.
For the PDF print-at-home and copy shop versions however, I nested them all together. Clearly separating them all out made for an insane number of pages to have to print and tape together. I did actually lay it out that way first, then saw that it took nearly 200 pages to form the full pattern. Um no. That’s crazy! So I grouped them all together, which still resulted in a hefty 70 page PDF.
Also, because of the size of the pattern pieces, an A0 version is not available for the Lottie. It lists this in the pattern description, but since we’re on the topic, I thought it was worth mentioning in case this is your preferred method of printing. Unlike US copy shop printing, which is a continuous roll of paper, A0 paper is a specific size and not all pattern pieces will fit on those sheets. So there is the PDF print-at-home version or a copy shop version for a 36” wide printer.
The Lottie is best suited for a lightweight woven fabric. The samples in the photos are made from silk, a thin cotton gauze, cotton lawn, and linen. These plus fabrics like rayon, seersucker, shirting, and similar fabrics are best. I did list quilt weight cotton as an option, because it will work just fine, but I would say that it’s better suited for the dress and shirt versions more so than the maxi dress.
All the fabrics in my sample photos were purchased by me from The Fabric Store in Los Angeles.
Yes! I will be hosting a sewalong for Lottie right here on the blog during the month of June. This gives everyone plenty of time to receive their printed version or tape together your PDF version, and gather your supplies. It’s such a quick sew, that lots of you will probably have multiple versions done by the time we start, but for those of you that want more guidance along the way, I’m happy to oblige!
Huge thanks to those that have already bought Lottie, and I hope you all love it as much as I do! Oh, and don't forget to use the #lottiepattern hashtag so we can all see your creations!