Monday 17 January 2022

A Whole Lotta Lotta!

Having seen Lotta Jansdotter's name on Martha Stewart's website, I borrowed a couple of her books from the Library. Born in Sweden, Lotta moved to the States at 19, and now, more than 2 decades later, has made a name for herself as a designer of crisp Scandi style prints, author of sewing books, and seller of fabrics and homewares.The first book I had was "Key pieces". This is a 'capsule wardrobe' collection, and at the pack were patterns for the following garments; 

  • a wide straight midi skirt
  • a straight dress without sleeves
  • short or long casual pants
  • a jacket with raglan sleeves
  • a tunic or caftan
  • a bag with rounded corners
  • a cross-body bag
  • a very large bag
  • a yoga bag

The patterns offer options [sleeve and hem lengths] giving a whole range of garments.

Lotta is a tall slim blonde Scandi woman. I am not sure these garments would suit me [eg outfit 2 with short jacket and ankle grazing trousers]

I liked the simple Esme shift though [and the fact it had no zip!] and traced off a copy of that pattern.

Instructions are good and clear, and she avoids fussy fastenings, so these are all easy to make.

Many of the garments are made in Lotta's characteristic block print fabrics. But this picture looked strangely familiar. Yes, that is IKEA black and white check curtain fabric! Lotta is fond of simple prints, and stylised natural objects - leaves, flowers etc. [similar to Orla Keilly]

But one is reluctant to spend a lot of money on them, when remarkably similar prints are obtainable from the better known Scandi manufacturer. Although I suppose it might be embarrassing to visit a friend and be totally camouflaged if standing in front of the lounge curtains.

Would I buy this book? - no, I do not need a whole new wardrobe, and apart from Esme [which can be a tunic, dress or kaftan] I don't think I'd want to make any of the other garments. But it is well presented and has a complete set of pattern sheets. These are printed double sided [as with Prima and Burda patterns] so a bit of a faff to copy if you haven't experience of that technique. ****

Above LJ fabrics, below IKEA fabrics

The second book was  "Simple Sewing, 24 fresh and easy projects" 
Simple, easy - yes. 
Fresh  - no! 
In what sense are a tea-towel, a simple tote bag or an oven mitt 'fresh' ideas?

I really felt this one was just to show off her fabrics - there was nothing in it you could not find freely on the internet. Borrow and read whilst enjoying a cup of coffee - but I wouldn't spend any money on it [Sorry Lotta] Only giving this **  not enough 'fresh ideas' and surely it is a little patronising to give definitions of 'cross-stitch' and 'hem' in the glossary?

You can find homewares made with Lotta's prints in her shop here. I admit they are fun to look at - but personally I think they are a rather beyond my budget.


  1. I've never heard of her, so thank you for sharing!

    1. I wonder of her fabrics are more easily available at discount in the US?

  2. Very similar Scandi prints...but what?! £75 for 4 mugs. That's nearly £19 a mug. Who on earth pays that?!

  3. Haven't you often wondered what a hem was?! I must say Lotta looks very attractive in the clothes, but her prints are not for me.

  4. She does look good. But her legs are longer than mine!

  5. I do like the mugs but definitely do not like the price! I like her prints and designs but they wouldn't suit me at all. I too lack the long legs!

    1. The average height of a British woman is 5'3" according to the Office of National Statistics - but for Swedish women its 5'5¼. I'm only 4'11½. But I am quite happy being short and sweet.

  6. HOW MUCH for four mugs?!!!!? And I like the IKEA ones better. I suppose if someone likes it and you have the money, then it's up to them. I don't think I could do it, though.

  7. Interesting to see the fabrics and designs. The mugs are lovely and way too expensive. It's more fun to seek out attractive, affordable mugs than to squander money!

  8. I quite the the second outfit that you wouldn't wear, but then I'm tall. Also who on earth makes teatowels?

    1. You'd look good in that second outfit, Claire. I guess teatowels might be made by someone who wants to improve their hemming skills..


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