Today, I’m excited to bring you my 3rd make as part of the IndieSew Blogger Team! This quarter, I chose to sew up the Anna Allen Lotte Blouse in a beautiful striped rayon crepe fabric. I received my fabric and pattern, with the intent of sewing this top up towards the middle or end of this month, but as soon as it arrived I couldn’t stop thinking of what a great 4th of July top it would make, so I sewed it up much quicker than planned! As anticipated, this was the perfect top for a summer holiday – the fabric was perfectly light and breezy, the pink and navy stripes were the perfect muted combo of good old American red, white, and blue, and the top was loose and comfortable enough to accommodate the baby bump, while still allowing me to feel stylish and put together!
Anna Allen Patterns have been all over my instagram feed lately thanks to the Persephone Pants (how do these look fantastic on EVERYONE?!) but I actually didn’t put two and two together and realize that this was the same Anna Allen until after I began looking through Instagram to see other makers’ Lotte Blouse creations. While admiring the many iterations of the Persephone pants the sewing community has made (and dreaming of the day I can wear high waisted pants again and make my own pair!), I was surprised at how few Lotte Blouse posts there were! Although the Lotte Blouse pattern has been around since 2016, there were only 10 posts featuring the #LotteBlouse hashtag on Instagram! This top perfectly suits the off the shoulder trend that has been so big recently, so I can’t believe more people have not joined me on the Lotte Blouse bandwagon. Feel free to hitch a ride now, though!
This pattern is absolutely beginner friendly, and would make a perfect gateway pattern for someone trying to transition into utilizing some more wardrobe friendly substrates. When I first began sewing, I spent a year or so sewing almost exclusively with quilting cottons. However, when I began to sew more tops and other things that I wanted to be more loose and flowing, I realized that I’d have to venture away from quilting cottons and try some new options. This pattern would be perfect for someone at this crossroads – the pattern is simple and straightforward. It is not daunting in its construction, and therefore lets you focus on best featuring your soft and drapey fabric. In the end, you end up with a stylish top with some really lovely detail!
I made a few minor adjustments to suit my style, as well as to make sure that this top will last me through the summer. Starting in about the 3rd week of June, every morning I wake up and am surprised at how much my belly has grown in the past 24 hours – it truly grows EVERY. STINKING. DAY. at this point. I don’t imagine that will stop anytime soon, so maternity friendly clothing is key! To accommodate the growing bump, I simply measured down about 2 inches from the original bottom of the center front. I left the bottom of the front sides where they were, and drafted a curved seam from those original sides to my lengthened center front line. I left the back as it was – if anything, I need shorter backs now as my swayback becomes more prominent!
For the gathered elastic neckline and sleeves, the pattern shows you a great way to achieve a frilled / ruffled gathered effect. I followed the pattern instructions for the sleeves, and you can see how the sleeves gather with the elastic and still have a bit of a frilled ruffle at the edge. I chose not to do this for the neckline, partially because I didn’t want the frill at the neckline, and partially because I only had ¾” wide elastic on hand! I used this thicker elastic to thread through the casing I had sewn (without the additional stitch line recommended in the instructions), and ended up with a gathered elastic neckline without the additional ruffling above. I thought this suited my striped fabric more, and I’m happy I made this modification, though I will try the ruffled version in the future with a different fabric (assuming I have the correct size elastic on hand!).
The fabric that I used here is truly the perfect summer fabric. It is so light and comfortable – I spent the 4th of July at our downtown parade, followed by walking around the downtown square with friends. All of this on a lovely, blazing hot Texas morning 🙂 (it did get down to around 87’F though, so that was lovely for a minute or two!). In the afternoon / evening, our crew packed up to attend the FC Dallas soccer game and watch the following fireworks show. All of this to say I spent a long, hot day outside and I was perfectly comfortable all day long! As I mentioned above, the colors are perfectly muted – I felt very Americana without feeling cheesy, and I won’t feel like I’m screaming “I’m proud to be an American!” when I wear this throughout the rest of the year! As is expected with a rayon crepe, this was still a bit of a pain to cut – it just really likes to slip around, and with a stripe, that is maybe the last thing that you want! – but taking that little bit of extra time made it all work out in the end.
So there you have it, guys! You know that I love any opportunity to dress up for a holiday, and the 4th of July is no exception. Even though this was an entirely unplanned holiday top, the happy coincidence makes me think I must’ve been planning this subconsciously before I ever realized it. I hope this inspires a few more people to make a Lotte Blouse – I’ll be checking that tag on Instagram, there need to be more lovely Lottes in the world!!
Though the pattern and fabric used in this post were generously provided to me by IndieSew, all opinions expressed are my own, as always!
- XX Elizabeth