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Laura’s Anthea Blouse

Laura received the purple double gauze in October’s Classic box and made an Anna Allen Anthea Blouse.

Eager to get ahead this month, Hayley sometimes lets us know what the fabric is going to be so we could get planning with our makes. When we got told it was double gauze (for the classic/mini box), I was very happy to be receiving one of my favourite fabrics.

My mind immediately went to the Anna Allen Anthea Blouse. It is relatively new, but I have seen so many gorgeous versions popping up on my Instagram feed that I really wanted to give it a go. I could tell that those puffy sleeves were going to hold up excellently in double gauze.

And then when the fabric came, it was like a match made in heaven. This dreamy shade of pinky-mauve is one of my favourite colours. It goes with so many things in my wardrobe. I was holding it up to things like yep, yep yep! And made into this blouse it would pair brilliantly with jeans, pinafores and skirts.

Incidentally it was also my nana’s favourite colour, and she also loved anything with butterflies. It felt rather poignant as it is her birthday in October, and we sadly lost her last year.

But, on with the pattern! I have so many shirts in my wardrobe, it was nice to introduce one without a collar. Instead, the front consists of a fold-over placket and a wonderfully neat bias faced neckline. The blouse version only consists of 4 pattern pieces (plus the sash if you were making the dress version), so it was nice and quick to cut out.

There are also no darts, favouring a trapeze shape, so its wonderfully floaty and loose fitting without being oversized.

I made the bias bound neckline piece in the same fabric, but you could easily swap this for a contrasting fabric – like one of your SHJ fat quarters – for a cute pop inside. I would recommend this if you’re making your blouse out of something lighter weight to give it some structure and stability. No droopy necklines here, thank you!

Those huge, fabulous, puffy sleeves are gathered and bound with a cuff. I love all that volume and I think it holds up amazingly in this double gauze. The pattern gives you a good tip to press the armscye seam allowance in different directions at the shoulder and underarm to give your sleeve a rather pleasing “poof”.

The only thing I’m not sure on is the cuffs. The cuff band is cut on the bias. I was as careful as possible not to stretch it out during sewing, but when I had finished it, the arm hole looked huge. I checked Instagram to compare with other people’s versions, and mine appeared noticeably bigger.

What struck me as odd though was that I had done both sleeves exactly the same size. Surely if I had stretched it by accident, then both sleeves would be different?

In all honesty, I didn’t have the patience to unpick it all, cut out a new cuff and redo them, to

probably the same result. The oversized armhole doesn’t bother me and when I’m wearing it, no- one’s going to tell me that it’s wrong! Next time I will do a toile of the sleeve and try cutting the cuff on the straight grain to see if that makes a difference.

For the buttons, I used the gorgeous Ethel and Joan mini Dalmatian buttons from the May “Wild

Side” box. They’re the perfect size, and the little specks of pink just tie it together.

Whilst my buttons are functional, the blouse is very roomy so you could probably get away with not doing buttonholes and just sewing your buttons through both plackets, although you will probably want to check that you can still get it over your head.

Cuffs aside, I really love this blouse and it will be a firm staple. I didn’t make any adjustments, and for me it is the perfect length to wear out, tucked in and French-tucked. Plus, the added bonus of being double gauze amps up the cosy factor. I’ll be pretty much living in this now.