Ali's Lotta Dress

When Han sent through the sample pictures of the new cotton jersey fabrics coming to the website soon, I was immediately drawn to this Winter Eucalyptus. I thought it would look lovely in a dress and I’d just bought the Olympia Dress pattern from Love Notions and was looking for suitable fabric. Unfortunately, that dress has a lot of negative ease around the bust and this fabric goes a bit white on stretching so I thought I’d better play safe and have a rethink. I decided on the Tilly and the Buttons Lotta Dress. Having had this pattern for a long time, it was fab to finally use it!  The great thing about this pattern (apart from being very easy) is that it’s made for both woven and jersey fabrics and includes a neckband for the jersey version.

I made a toile from a jersey bed sheet to see if I could tweak it to be less blousy. I found that, because it’s also made for woven and there is a grown on sleeve, I could get away with sizing down to a 4 with a 1cm seam allowance (except for shoulders and neckband where I used the 1.5cm). I also made a much larger waist elastic channel so that I could use 2.5cm elastic which I think is lovely although it ended up a tiny bit high. I had 2 metres of the fabric and it recommends 2.5 metres for knee length so instead of cutting the back bodice on the fold, I had to cut 2 halves and remember to add a seam allowance to join it up. You can barely tell even though it is patterned.

I made some adjustments to the skirt too; I shortened it by 2.5cm as the toile was a little long. I also took out some of the fullness by grading from size 4 at the waist down to the size 1 at the hem, which was perfect for me. Oh and, of course, I added pockets! There are patch pockets in this pattern but I didn’t fancy those so I added in-seam pockets and they are perfect. Next time I won’t shorten it as, after doing the wide waistband, I could do with that inch back! 

I’m just as proud of the inside! (Although maybe I should have used white overlocking thread?!)

So, the fabric - it is gorgeous to work with and a very good weight. I thought it was a black background from the picture but to me it looks very dark brown in the flesh. It is really stable and feels such lovely quality. It hardly rolls at the edges. The neckband went in perfectly and it hemmed like a dream. I overlocked the edges of the sleeves and bottom hem, then just turned them up once and sewed with a twin needle.

This is my first attempt with the twin needle as I found it impossible to thread until I discovered I could use tweezers! My first attempt was a broken needle on a test scrap of fabric! (well, on the presser foot really) I did check it would miss but then changed some settings and forgot to recheck! Rookie error! So, not to be deterred, I ordered a couple more (one spare, just in case). When they arrived I put one in, thread it all up and, in my excitement to try it, forgot to check it would miss the presser foot and promptly broke it again!!  Hmm, third time lucky?  Yes!  Thank goodness! And I’m really pleased with the results. 

I love this dress and can safely say it is my favourite handmade dress! 

Merry Christmas and Happy Sewing!


You can find Ali on Instagram @keep_the_bobbin_full.

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.