LuLaRoe has become a giant phenomenon, and I have friends and family that are huge fans, but for the most part I’ve looked at what they offer and thought “Man, I’m glad I can sew.” Mostly because I often score RAD deals on knits and can actually save money sewing my own.
That said, I’ll admit I do own some pieces. I’m definitely not begrudging the consultants that sell LLR; sewing is not for everyone. Even as someone who does make her own clothes, sometimes there’s only time to buy ready to wear instead of DIYing.
That said, the beauty of sewing is you can make exactly what you want exactly how you want. You can get the exact fit, fabrication, and colors or prints that YOU love (well, the latter if you can find ’em). And prints really are LLR’s shtick; the garments themselves are all quite simple.
Basically, I keep seeing sewing patterns and repeatedly thinking “That’s LLR *insert name here*!” so I thought it would be fun to share my pattern and fabric suggestions for some popular garments they offer. Imitation is the purest form of flattery, amirite?
These are by no means the only options, but just the first or best (IMO) ones that have come to my mind. In no particular order…
The photo (or two) directly under every product name and link is property of LuLaRoe
Pattern: Peg Legs by Patterns for Pirates
Bonus of this pattern is that it’s free. Mama likes free. NAYY
Fabric: Double brushed polyester spandex. This is what LLR makes theirs from. I’ve found some on fabric.com and there are tons of custom fabric groups on Facebook where you can get some really rad prints. The downside of the latter is a custom printed yardage is pricey: I’ve seen many print run $20/yd, while leggings straight from LLR are $25. That said, with the negative press they’ve been getting lately, maybe it’s worth it still?
That said, polyester is sweaty in Summer; you can use any 2 way stretch knit with good recovery that has least 50% stretch in each direction (because: dat ass).
DIY Differences or How to Hack: There’s no elastic in the waistband. You could pretty easily add it if you wanted by splitting the waistband horizontally (remember to add seam allowance) and sewing into the inside piece, but it’s not in the pattern as written.
My Makes: post here
Pattern: Lady Skater by Kitschy Coo
Sweetheart Dress by Patterns for Pirates looks like another good contender, but the info below is for the Lady Skater.
Fabric: Mid weight knit with good recovery. I’d definitely suggest a 2 way knit for comfort in the bodice and armscye/sleeves, but 1 way is fine for the skirt. Of course, you want to stretch to go around the body in a 1 way stretch knit.
DIY Differences or How to Hack: Different sleeve lengths are offered; the sleeve on these LLR dresses is between the short and mid length sleeve (elbow length). The bottom of the front bodice is curved. As for skirt lengths, Lady Skater is generally shorter than both of these dresses. For Nicole you may need to add a couple of inches to the skirt length (YMMV), for Ana you’ll likely need to add a couple of feet.
My Makes: post here
Pattern: McCall’s 6966 views A (Azure) and C (Maxi)
Fabric: Mid weight knit; 1 way stretch recommended so you don’t have a lot of vertical stretching out of the garment and bounce as you walk (unless you’re into that kinda thing, then by all means!)
DIY Differences or How to Hack: This one is pretty spot on!
My Makes: I’ve made two of these in the hi-lo hem, but have blogged neither. I made a third with a gathered overlay, but none really represent the spirit of the LLR garments anyway, so I won’t put a photo here.
Pattern: Simplicity 8377 views 1 (Sarah) and 2 (Joy)
This is a brand new Simplicity that pretty much triggered the writing of this post.
Fabric: Light to medium weight sweater knits; a fine rib or hacci would probably be very close to the fabrics these are offered in.
DIY Differences or How to Hack: Sarah: View 1 is really close, just missing the pockets. Pop some patch pockets on around hip level and you’re set to go! Joy: Use View 2 and create side seam slits to hip level and you’re golden.
My Makes: None; this isn’t really my style, so I don’t own this pattern.
Pattern: McCall’s 7561
Fabric: See Nicole or Ana
DIY Differences or How to Hack: The bodice of this pattern is an easy starting point for Amelia. You COULD also use the same pattern as I suggested for Nicole/Ana, but I feel that the Amelias I’ve seen are more on par with the conservative neckline of this silhouette. The neckline on this pattern is bound (or turned/hemmed) instead of a band like the LLR version.
The sleeves on Amelia are a bit shorter than her other dress friends, so I’d likely go with view A’s sleeves, maybe with a bit more length. For the box pleated skirt, you would cut a rectangle about 3 times longer than your bodice waistline measurement (one for front, one for back) using the View A or B length and a starting guideline. You’d want 6 box pleats on the front and 6 on the back, accounting for seam allowances on each side.
My Makes: I’ve definitely considered sewing up this hack, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Pattern: McCall’s 7348
Fabric: Mid weight jersey knit.
DIY Differences or How to Hack: Dude, View B. I’m not certain this one is quite as flared/tented as LLR Carly, but damn close enough.
My Makes: I’m really on the fence about Carly; I know quite a few women who love her dearly, which makes me wonder if I should give ‘er a try.
Pattern: Pirate Pencil Skirt by Patterns for Pirates
Another P4P freebie! Wheeee.
Fabric: Mid to heavy weight jersey or double knit. Ponte would be fabulous.
DIY Differences or How to Hack: Another that’s pretty dang close as is!
My Makes: We shall not speak of it, as it did not turn out well. My advice: even if your waist is a size bigger than your hips per the chart, make the waist of the skirt in the same size as your hips, don’t size up.
Pattern: I have definitely seen Julias with both raglan and set in sleeves.
Raglan: Simplicity 8174
Set in: McCall’s 6886
Fabric: Mid weight knit
DIY Differences or How to Hack: Both: lengthen the skirt (if that’s your thing; I feel like midi length is not really a great thing on…most people. But that’s just my opinion.) and shorten the sleeve to elbow length. Simplicity: leave the kangaroo pocket off. McCall’s: Use view A or C, depending on the neckline you’d like (neckline finish on this is also different from the LLR version)..
My Makes: Not sure I’ll attempt this one; it’s a little close cut for me.
As for the LuLaRoe tops, I can’t really say which patterns I’d use to make them, mostly because I’m not really interested in hacking them or haven’t seen patterns that make my brain go “DING!”. Do you have any ideas for Irma (drop shoulder), Classic T (set in sleeve, body skimming) and Perfect T (trapeze) copycats?
And whew…there it all is. I could go further, but I’m tuckered.
Go faux LuLaRoe!