When I was growing up, the British invasion was in full swing on the music scene. As the youngest, there was already a teenager in the house when I was 5 years old, and the Beatles and the Stones ruled on the record player. In the literary realm, my favorite books were Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, and 1984.
Since I started to sew, I’ve realized that I read a lot of English sewing blogs. I’ve read about buying meters of fabric, knitting jumpers, wearing trainers, and that wadders are to be avoided. I’ve watched The Great British Sewing Bee on You Tube with great interest.
My Barnes and Noble bookstore carries several English craft magazines sold in sealed plastic wrappers, so you can’t thumb through an issue before buying. The UK knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, and sewing magazines seem to always come with a bonus item. The only English sewing magazine I’ve seen sold at my B&N is “Sew”.
Lottie is a free pattern available for download of a pussy bow blouse by Simple Sew. The pattern was originally included with the second issue of a newer English magazine called “Love Sewing.” I love bow blouses, and saw many gorgeous versions on English blogs.
I want a Lottie, too!
One word of warning about the Lottie download: the pattern doesn’t have a test square to measure if your printout matches the intended sizes. So check your printer settings and measure the pattern before you pick your size. My printout was smaller so I made a bigger size.
The pattern is simple, with instructions for both a sleeveless and 3/4 sleeve version, with a keyhole neckline finished with bias tape and a long attached tie. There are no facings, zippers, or buttons. I made a mock-up from a sheet, and then cut the actual fabric larger because I wanted to have more ease. I’m still figuring out what a good fit is for me. I’m used to wearing figure hugging knits, and although I want some ease, when a garment is too big, it looks sloppy and unflattering on me.
I never seem to be able to follow a pattern. I draped the bodice on myself and pinched out bust and contour waist darts, and kept on improving the fit until I was satisfied. I was going to make the sleeveless version, but then decided to draft an extended shoulder.
I changed the sewing of the neckline tie to eliminate any unfinished raw edges. I followed the sew-along tutorial referenced below, except I hand sewed the tie to the inside of the blouse, covering the stitching line, instead of stitching in the ditch with the machine from the opposite side.
I’ve been wanting to add some solid color blouses to my wardrobe. I show this blouse worn with a skirt, but I will be wearing it most often with black or grey pants (notice I didn’t say trousers) in the cooler months. The bow will look especially good with a v-neck cardigan.
If I saw this magazine in the store, with the pattern for a bow blouse and a pencil skirt, I would have snapped it up. The neckline is very comfortable to wear, and can be tied lower or higher depending on preference. For a different look the tie could be made shorter, or eliminated to show the keyhole neckline. Of course, a tie could easily be added to any v-neckline pattern you already have.
One of America’s biggest holidays celebrates our independence from the British. Still, the Brits are pretty fab; I have loved their music and literature, and now it’s the sewing!
Lottie Blouse download – the page states the pattern is only available for free download for a week, but I was was able to download it months later.
Sew Deputy’s 7 Lotties – especially love her lace Lottie and lawn Lottie