Wednesday 4 March 2015

Lottie blouse sew-along week 1 - Let's talk about fabric!

Are you ready to get started? I know I am! And if you are still sitting on the edge, let me just tell you one thing - this pattern does not require any closure! You can refer back to the schedule and grab a badge here

Right, let's begin. Today we will be talking about fabric choice for the Lottie blouse! 

Firstly, we need to know the sizing, and how much fabric to buy/use from the stash. Here's the helpful chart from Love Sewing magazine:

The chart calls for fabric that is 60' wide, which allows us to cut the neck tie (pattern piece 1) in one piece with the fabric folded selvage to selvage. Whilst this would certainly make things nice and easy, it could be restrictive in terms of fabric options. The good news is that we would be able to work around this if you have set your eyes on narrower fabrics, eg 45' width ;) However, if you do go for the narrower options, you will need to make sure to buy a bigger length than the chart suggests - the narrower your fabric width, the more length you will need. 

Now the actual sizing. Are you familiar with your own measurements? If not, it is very much worth spending a few minutes to get them taken and noted down accurately, as they will be super useful for all sorts of dressmaking projects. Here are a couple of links to guides on how to take your measurements, and choosing the right size:

Once you've got your measurements ready, use the high bust number to select the size for this pattern. This is due to the relaxed fit of the blouse (and hence no closures!), which means that the most critical fitting point is around the shoulders, as opposed to the waist. 

OK, so now you should know what size you will be choosing, and how much fabric you need. Naturally you will be asking, what fabric would be suitable for this cute little blouse?

Based on the shape and design of this pattern, I would recommend the following fabrics:

  • Viscose/rayon - for its drapiness and comfort
  • Lightweight cotton such as a tana lawn - perfect for a beginner as cotton is super well-behaved
  • Sheer fabrics - cotton voile, chiffon, georgette 
  • Lightweight polyester satin/crepe  
  • Lightweight silks such as crepe de chine, charmeuse 

Quite a large selection to choose from ;) 

If the above isn't enough to get you going, I've found a few lovely Lottie blouses on the blogsphere to inspire you: 
An elegant cotton make from Lazy Daisy Jones

 A classy version from Audrey Wardrobe Envy in polyester georgette

 A polka dot viscose Lottie from Looks Like I Made It

And a red viscose version from This Blog Is Not for You 

Still not convinced and need more inspiration? The Lottie Blouse is pretty similar to the Pussy Bow Blouse from Sew Over It, so you will no doubt find numerous beautiful pussy bow blouses to be inspired by ;) 

What fabric will you be using for your very own Lottie? I have 3 potential fabrics in the running - a vintage (from 1920s!) red polyester crepe, a monochrome cotton voile, or a coral viscose. Decisions decisions! 

And a final word of advice - once you're happy with your fabric choice, do make sure you pre-wash/pre-shrink it. If you could see the colour of the colour catchers after pre-washing my red poly crepe, you wouldn't be skipping this step! 

The rule of thumb I try to stick with is to pre-treat the fabric the same way I plan to wash the garment, i.e. if I'm going to machine wash the finished blouse, followed by a medium tumble dry, then that's what I'll do with the fabric; same goes for dry cleaning. Want more information? Here's the quick link to a useful summary by Coletterie

That's it from me for week one! I hope you have found this useful, and do leave a comment if you have any questions :) 


  1. What a fabulous post. Great that you have shown other examples, and mentioned about using 45" since most of us may have fabric in their stash, and I always buy two metres for tops. I won't be able to participate until afterwards.

  2. Ow, I always find it so hard to decide which fabric I am going to use for a project! Sometimes it is just crystal clear from the beginning, but most of the time... I'm always searching in every nook and corner of the internet for inspiration. I had already spotted the red viscose version of "this blog is not for you" and that convinced me to use a plain fabric with a nice drape. So I think I will use a violet silk-blend that I brought from a holiday in Nepal, that is a bit sheer. I hope I can manage the slipperiness though!

    1. Woo I love a good holiday fabric purchase! I am leaning towards the plain crepe myself, mainly because the photos might show up more clearly. As you can probably tell, I am also a ditherer when it comes to fabric! Picking the right fabric for the pattern can make or break the project though, so I think it is sensible to take your time over it.

  3. Great post! Looking forward to seeing everyone's Lotties! xoxo

  4. Get set to be stared, whistled at and photographed - when you deck up in style in Men's beach clothes, made exclusively for beach wear


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