I recently participated, again (see here, here, and here), in Elsie Marley's week-long kids clothing week challenge, where participants sew kids' clothes for at least an hour each day. It's satisfying to look up at the end of the week and see some cute finished garments. But for a sewstress like me, it can be a painful reminder of how slowly I work. Of course, choosing patterns (two!) that don't contain a word of English surely is not helping my efficiency.
My first project this time around was a dress for Big Sister. Knowing that I was working with pattern totally in a German and that I was not completely confident about seam allowances, I used some gift fabric that wasn't anybody's favorite. What a surprise when it turned out crazy cute!
I started with the Sommertop Lotti pattern, which I'm assuming means Lotti summer top, from the schnittreif shop full of awesome patterns.
Before I continue, I should explain that this was my first experience buying from DaWanda, which appears to be a German site similar to Etsy. I fell in love with the look of the Lotti top and was determined to sew it, so I guessed my way through DaWanda and ordered the pattern. I soon learned that I was wrong in my foolish thinking that paying by "bank transfer" meant I'd be able to send funds via PayPal. That was not the case, and my bank wanted to charge me $40 to transfer funds internationally. As I was trying to straighten this out and find a way to change my payment method (apparently the better choice is to buy DaWanda vouchers with PayPal and use those to make purchases), Anja, the sweet pattern designer and owner of schnittreif came to my rescue. She sent me the pattern for free, as an Easter gift, asking absolutely nothing in return. I swear, the blogging and crafting community is filled with people who are kind and generous beyond belief. Thank you, Anja!
Okay, so back to the Lotti, which you've already gathered is a shirt pattern, not a dress. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to turn it into a dress. So I shortened the top (I shortened a lot; it's generous in length) and added a waistband and skirt based on the Mamu Design Sabrina dress pattern. So, Lotti top + Sabrina bottom = Lottirina.
I love the Lotti, and I love this Lottirina combination. It's great for summertime, especially in this hot climate of ours.
I think you can see here how the shoulder pieces connect, so that it's only a partial sleeve. Super easy, went together perfectly. I wasn't so sure about the elastic in the neck, but trust me when I tell you to trust Anja. She's got it exactly right, and I know because I tried a different size of elastic, and then no elastic before finally getting it right. Use 1/4-inch elastic, and enough to tighten up the neckline just a bit.
I sewed a 122/128 for my girl who probably wears about a 7. The top could stand to be a bit roomier, but I take full responsibility for that because I was practically sleep-sewing, which means that I went a little crazy with the seam allowances. At least this fabric has lycra in it, so it's plenty stretchy. Next time I'll be a bit more careful. Hopefully.