Five Ideas for Making Lotta Love Children

Lotta Love Children! - Tilly and the Buttons
Have you ever looked at your fave sewing patterns and wondered what would happen if you mixed them together? Kind of like a science experiment, creating a pattern mash-up can be a winning idea as you are taking the best bits of your most-loved styles. You can create a “pattern love child” or “Frankenpattern”, that is whatever you want it to be.

If you’ve never heard the above terms before, let me explain. The idea is to mix and match different pieces from different patterns to create something unique and maximise the usage of every pattern you own. When designing Lotta, Tilly had a lightbulb moment – the simplicity of the Lotta dress sewing pattern would merge so perfectly with some of our other well-loved patterns. Woah! 

There are a few things you have to consider when approaching a style merge. Will the pieces fit together or do I need to make some small tweaks to make them slot into place like a puzzle? Do I need to add a fastening to get in and out of the garment? Plus, collecting a little inspiration can help you get an idea of how the final garment will look.

You’ll be happy to hear that we’ve done some of this work for you 🙂 Here are five ways to make a Lotta love child…

Lotta Love Children! - Tilly and the Buttons
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We love utility vibes and our Alexa jumpsuit and playsuit is full of them. It gives your garment an achingly cool feel, without looking like you tried too hard. It is the understated details of utility-inspired garments that make them feel so luxe.

For this experiment, you need one part Lotta and one part Alexa. You can sew the Alexa bodice on the Lotta skirt if you take 5mm (1/4in) off the front and back bodice side seams. This would look particularly fancy in a Tencel (lyocell), sandwashed silk or cupro. 

If you wanted to omit the buttons, you could fold the front bodice along the buttonhole line, then place this fold on the fabric fold.

Lotta Love Children! - Tilly and the Buttons
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Every wardrobe needs a piece that you just know is going to work all year long, styled in completely different ways to make it feel seasonally appropriate. This idea gives you that in bucket loads! If you merge the popular Safiya dungarees bodice (from Tilly’s book Make It Simple) onto the full Lotta skirt you will create the perfect staple for the rest of your wardrobe to rotate around. 

In the spring, it will work well as a cute layering piece over a white T-shirt with a cardigan to hand. The sticky hot days of summer will see your sundress make worn with sandals, shades and a huge sun hat. In the autumn, you can pop a cosy roll-neck underneath, trench coat on top, and maybe grab a brolly just in case. For winter, you could pop a thicker crew neck jumper on underneath, and even have a cute collared shirt peeking out – completing the look with woolly tights (of course), chunky boots and a snuggly duffle coat.

To make this hack, shave 15mm (5/8in) off each Safiya bodice side seam to make it fit the skirt. 

Lotta Love Children! - Tilly and the Buttons
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Wardrobe woes? Don’t know what to wear? Looking for something that is comfy and cool? Just gimme the jumpsuit! Jumpsuits are great because they are an entire outfit in one garment and you don’t need to think about anything else. This idea could be perfect for working from home, especially if you made it in a low stretch jersey.

For this experiment, you need one part Lotta and one part Marigold. Combine the Lotta bodice with the Marigold trousers, taking the bottom of the side seams on the front bodice pattern out by 9mm (3/8in), and the back bodice out by 13mm (just under 5/8in).

Remember what we said about fastenings? You’ll need a way out! Cut the back bodice as two pieces, rather than on the fold, and add an opening in the bodice at the back. This could be either a zip or button back. For a zip, add 15mm (5/8in) seam allowance to the centre back. For a button opening, you’ll need to add more for an overlap. You’ll also need to extend the back facing so it runs down the centre back opening.

Lotta Love Children! - Tilly and the Buttons
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Wrap dresses are so popular at the moment. But do you ever find that fiddly ties are a little annoying, not to mention precarious? You can create the look of a wrap dress and make something you can pull right over your head, no ties required, with this Lotta love child.

So for this experiment, you need one part Lotta and one part Safiya. Add the Safiya wrap playsuit bodice (one of the six patterns from Tilly’s book Make It Simple), shaving 15mm (5/8in) off each side seam to make it fit the skirt. Whether you go with the knee-length or midi-length skirt is up to you.

Lotta Love Children! - Tilly and the Buttons
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Lotta comes with a short sleeve variation which is perfect for the summer months. If you want to make it even breezier, you could combine the Marigold bodice with the Lotta skirt. The Marigold bodice has a pretty sweetheart neckline that would work so nicely with the full and flowy Lotta skirt. Or if the sweetheart neckline isn’t your thing, you could straighten the bodice off to create something like the bottom image.

So for this experiment, you need one part Lotta and one part Marigold. Try lengthening the Marigold bodice pieces by about 2cm (3/4in), and take the bottom of the side seam on the front bodice pattern in 9mm (3/8in), and the back bodice in 13mm (just under 5/8in). 

Lotta Love Children! - Tilly and the Buttons

If you like your necklines lower than Lotta’s, you could trace on a scoop neckline similar to our popular Bettine dress. 

Or you could create a different silhouette by taking the tulip skirt from Bettine and adding it to the Lotta bodice. You’ll need to take the bodice side seams in by 10mm (3/8in) on each side.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to play sewing science experiments and combine Lotta with some of its TATB pals to make the ultimate handmade garment! If you haven’t got the Lotta sewing pattern yet, you can get the printed copy here and the PDF version here. The other patterns we have included in the Lotta Love Children are:

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Author: Louise Carmichael
Lotta Love Children ideas: Tilly Walnes 🙂

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