I recently went last minute shopping for an outfit for a party and was instantly reminded of why I started sewing in the first place - I visited ten shops, only found one thing I liked and it didn't fit me. I had a half finished Sew Over It Lottie dress at home so I rushed back to add buttonholes and hem it so I could wear it that night.
The pattern came with issue 3 of Lisa Comfort magazine and is exactly the style of dress I love to wear in this hot weather - loose fitting, thin straps, gathers at the bust and a tie waist belt to give the dress some shape.
The simple design makes it a great dress for showing off bold prints. I had planned to use a fabric from my stash but I noticed on the last page of the magazine there was a preview of the new cotton lawn fabric being released by Lisa - Busy Blossom in Boho Black.
This is exactly my style - black with bright florals - as seen in this Instagram post I made during Sew Photo Hop last year on the subject of my signature look:
Being surrounded by lots of beautiful fabrics on Instagram, it's easy to be tempted into buying everything. If you know what colours suit you, which prints you feel good in and what your style is, it's much easier to say no to fabrics and keep your stash under control. My fabrics need to be cool-toned and highly saturated and any prints I choose need to be large and simple (small, busy prints such as ditsy florals make the overall colour of the garment look more muted when viewed from a distance). If a website says a fabric is re-orderable, I request a swatch to check the colour before committing to buying it.
I bought the paper copy of the magazine and pattern so I traced the front and back pieces and just folded the rectangular pieces to the correct size in case I ever need to cut another size. I held the front dress piece up to my body to check the length and decided I wanted it to end above the knee so I took 9cm off the length.
I didn't have enough fabric for pattern matching since I only bought 2 metres but I tried to stagger the flowers at the centre front so it didn't look too unbalanced. Here's a close-up of the button band (which is looking a bit creased because I wore and washed the dress before taking these photos).
The instructions tell you to try on the dress before attaching the straps to the front and after doing so I decided to shorten them by 4cm. Next time, I will cut a longer piece of bias binding and turn them into adjustable straps so they can be adjusted if the fabric shrinks or stretches.
I made a size 12 and the fit at the bust and hips is perfect. The belt is wider than it looks in the photos - I didn't realise it had folded over until I added the pictures to this post.
The neckline gapes a bit at the back and doesn't cover my bra straps so next time I'll try reshaping the back piece at the neckline to bring the straps in a bit. As you can see from the photo, my hair covers most of it anyway and I often wear cardigans with my dresses so I'll still get a lot of wear out of it.
The fabric is slightly see-through in the light so I need to wear a half slip underneath it. I don't own one so I think I'll make one using the Seamwork Eliza pattern.
I would love to make more of these using some viscose fabrics from my stash. I've never made bias binding out of viscose but I will practice with some scraps and spray starch before I cut the main dress pieces out. I would also love to make one using the Atelier Brunette viscose crepe - they sell matching bias binding so it would take barely any time to make.
Time to sew lots of Lotties!
Lottie dress by Sew Over It from Lisa Comfort Magazine (UK sizes 8-20)
Size 12 based on the following measurements:
- Chest: 36″
- Waist: 30″
- Hips: 38″
Shortened both straps by 4cm
Busy Blossom cotton lawn in Boho Black by Lisa Comfort
Didn't make a toile to test the fit so it gapes a bit at the back
Pattern is really quick and easy to make - perfect for last minute holiday sewing. Fabric is a little see-through so dress needs to be worn with a slip.