The Anthea Blouse has featured so often on my Instagram feed that I decided to make it!
Anthea is described as a dart-less blouse (or dress) pattern with puffed sleeves. All views have a button-up placket with a bias faced neckline.
View A – Blouse – has puffed sleeves that end at or just below the elbow with a narrow bias cuff.
View B – Dress – same style as dress A but lengthened with a waist tie – however the sleeves are 2 inches shorter.
This pattern was drafted for someone 5’5” with a B/C cup. Both the top and dress can be lengthened or shortened as desired and have a curved hem. It is designed for non-stretch woven fabrics.
Currently, the pattern is available from sizes 0 – 22 and retails for $14 USD.
Overall, I found the pattern an easy sew. I made a top in size 4, view A, but ended up cutting the top-down to a size 0. There is still plenty of volume, but the top doesn’t stick out which is what was happening in the size recommended for my measurements. As per the instructions, the arm cuffs are cut on the bias. The cuffs wanted to flare out which wouldn’t have happened if I had cut them on the straight of grain. I used pre-made bias binding for the neckline as I wanted a rigid fabric that wouldn’t stretch out. The bias binding in my stash was the perfect match.
Both the pattern and the fabric were wildcards for me in terms of value and style. It’s a very simple pattern but I wasn’t sure if it was worth the cost ($21 NZD or $35 including printing A0) or the hype. Personally, I don’t think it is – the reason I buy a pattern is to get a perfect fit right out of the box. I have seen many others size down one to two sizes. For such a simple pattern I would expect the amount of ease to be correctly factored into the sizing recommendation.
I purchased 2 meters of Cupro Satin in African Violet from Fabric Box to create this garment. The fabric is described as having a sand-washed finish and a liquid drape.
I was relieved the pattern wasn’t more complicated to work with. The fabric was easily damaged by pins and needles. I tried using both Microtex and Jersey needles but both left runs in the fabric. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for handling Cupro as I’d love to know what the issue is.
I love big sleeves but both a big sleeve and a voluminous top can overwhelm my hourglass frame. To contrast the volume, I wear the top with slim-fitting garments such as slim pants and jeans, pencil skirts or a close-fitting singlet dress. I tried it with my pinafore dress but it didn’t feel good with the lack of shape.
This top has been worn a few times since I made it. I love the unique colour and the silky fabric. I’m glad I tried this pattern, but I won’t be making it again as it isn’t aligned with my style-personality.
Sometimes it is worth trying new styles but knowing the shapes and colours that work for you can save a lot of time and money.