Cotta Sewing Patterns for Altar Servers

You asked and your requests have been answered!


Church Vestment patterns

Every day at Ecclesiastical Sewing, we receive requests for a variety of items that are needed to make church vestments. One of the most frequently asked questions is, “Do you have patterns available for making altar server robes or acolyte robes?” OUr reply was a regretful no. But after the first few requests, we noticed there was a consistent need for something that was not available. And so, we started to ask questions. And when we asked, our wonderful audience responded and they told us exactly what they needed! Image – one just needs to ask! As we were blessed with the needed answers, we began our work and prepared to give back to the church the very thing they needed and could not find: Cotta Sewing Patterns for Altar Servers!

The traditional garment that was requested needed to have a gathers skirt attached to a one-piece square yoke. The sleeves needed to be about the mid-arm length and have a gathered sleeve cap. The lower edge of the sleeves needed to be full. The garment needed to be about hip length. As to trims, the Cotta could have plain hems or have lace insertion at the sleeve and bottom hem.

After gathering all of this information over time and after many requests, it always takes a bit of time to come up with the exact vision. We pull out many of our books on the history of church vestments and look at the garments and descriptions. Next, comes a list of the design features, along with a collection of photos if possible. Once we have gathered all of the information from clients, historical resources, and photos, it’s time to really get things started. It’s time to contact the pattern maker.

We have been blessed over the years to have an extremely talented pattern maker available to create our complete collection of church vestment sewing patterns. For those who are not familiar with our line of church vestment sewing patterns, we have the largest collection of sewing patterns currently available on the market.

We contacted our pattern maker and relayed all of the information about the garment we needed to have her create. And so began the process of creating a  new Cotta Church Vestment Sewing Pattern for those who need to create their own garments for altar servers. Making a new pattern involves a great deal of work. The first step was to convey the overall design concept.

Square Yoke Cotta Sewing pattern Ecclesiastical Sewing

The next question that came up was size. What sizes were needed? Was this something to be worn by children and youth or was this something that would be worn by adults?

Again, our clients had the answers to what was needed! They wanted a garment that could be worn by children and adults. The Cotta Sewing Pattern for Altar Servers needed to be available in small Youth Sizes for children ages 6 to 10 years old and go up to adult sizes. And so our pattern maker got to work. She created our standard size chart for Cottas and Surplices as seen below:

Youth and Men’s Size Chart Ecclesiastical Sewing.  

And once the sizes were worked out, she started to create the actual Cotta Church Vestment Sewing Pattern. The Cotta Sewing Pattern was created in two different variations. The first style featured plain hems for the sleeves and skirt as shown above.

Square Yoke Cotta Altar Srever Sewing Pattern With Lace Insertion Ecclesiastical Sewing

The second variation was created with Lace Insertion for the Sleeve and Skirt hems. This item is titled the Square Yoke Cotta with Lace Insertion on the Ecclesiastical Sewing Website.

The patterns are available with multiple size combinations. from Youth Small to Adult XXL. They feature standard symbols such as shorten and length lines, notches, grainlines, just as one would find these on a commercial sewing pattern. The patterns have accurate seam lines that are trued and straight. These are not patterns drawn out with a black marker on white paper. The patterns are full-size and printed on heavy white paper.

The Cottas can be made using a variety of fabrics: Portsmouth Poplin would be a low iron option. Linen, such as our Renaissance Linen would be a traditional fabric choice, but linen would also require a great deal of care and ironing. And broadcloth in a poly/cotton blend would also work.

The pattern construction is fairly simple. It is similar to creating a child’s pinafore garment. Cottas may not be a beginner’s sewing project, but someone with advance beginning to moderate or above sewing skills should be able to create the garment. At the moment, the garment does have basic sewing instructions and assumes that the seamstress has a thorough understanding of garment construction. Our pattern maker will be working on complete written instructions with illustrations soon.

As we have been blessed to know the needs of the church, we hope this pattern might be a blessing to many churches and seminarians who serve at our Lord’s altar. We thank everyone who provided information on what is needed to help you #Worship Beautifully!

Soli Deo Gloria


Portsmouth Poplin

Renaissance Linen

Cotta Church Vestment Sewing Pattern

Square Yoke Cotta with Lace Insertion

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