Ellie’s Anthea blouse.
I’m late to the #LilacLoversClub but I’m making up for it with this dreamy broderie cotton blouse.
This beautiful fabric has the lightness of a truly superior quality cotton lawn and is adorned in a swirling floral pattern. I haven’t used a broderie anglaise with a pattern on this scale before, but I have to say I’m a convert!
To really show off the beautiful open structure of the broderie, I decided to make the Anna Allen ‘Anthea’ Blouse. With its simple design – lacking darts or collar – but with those statement voluminous sleeves, it lets the fabric to do the talking.
The biggest challenge with this make was keeping track of the right sides of the pattern pieces, since both sides of the fabric look very similar. To save a headache later down the line, I marked the front side of each piece with a pin as I cut them out. For the sleeves, pop a pin at the front of the armscye to make it much easier to keep track of which way the sleeves should be inserted – this is particularly important when the sleeves are such a focal statement of the garment as there’s no hiding if they’re inserted backwards!
I found the pattern sizing to be accurate, and I cut my normal size. I made no changes to the pattern, other than cutting a separate placket binding out of the non-embroidered selvedge. I was concerned that the broderie on its own wouldn’t be stable enough to securely carry the buttonholes (although I haven’t tested it). The pattern clearly marks where the placket folds are, so this minor change was easy to make.
Since the fabric carries this beautiful open pattern, I had two choices with the final garment. Leave it unlined and wear it open, over a fitted tank (a look I love for the summer), or line the body and wear it buttoned. I decided on the lined option since it means I can wear it for more than just one season.
For the lining, I cut two extra bodice pieces in a plain white cotton lawn and mounted them to the main fabric before constructing as normal. At the placket edges, I hand stitched the lining to avoid it showing through the placket.
Despite the fiddly bindings at the neckline and sleeve cuffs, this was a relatively simple make, only complicated by the addition of the lining. I was impressed with the pattern instructions and found them easy to follow.
I finished the blouse with the Pigeon Wishes ‘Moon Flint’ buttons – pearlescent grey / silver buttons that catch the light beautifully – and a ‘Maker’ label from the now (sadly) closed This is for Makers.
The final garment is one of elevated simplicity, my favourite! I’ve been desperate to make the Anthea blouse as I’m a huge fan of a statement sleeve, and this fabric couldn’t be a better match for it. I really believe in wearing brighter colours over the winter and making garments as transitional as possible. Over the late autumn and into the winter I’m planning to wear this floaty, floral blouse with a pair of chunky black boots, before using it as a key transitional piece once spring rolls back around.
I think I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of this make!
Thanks for reading!