Lotte Blouse Hack


Spring is here and all I want to wear are pretty floral romantic blouses! I hacked the Lotte Blouse pattern, giving it fuller sleeves and body, adding length to the top edge so that it sits on top of the shoulders and I also shortened the sleeves. I sewed a narrow self-fabric tie for the neckline, mostly for decoration, but I think it adds a nice touch. Keep reading if you are interested in recreating this blouse!


  • Lotte Blouse PDF sewing pattern
  • About 2 1/2 yards of 45" wide fabric (I used Lecien cotton lawn "Memoire a Paris" from a few years ago)
  • A few yards of cord or yarn to make the self fabric tie
  • Elastic, thread etc (as specified in the sewing instructions)

Cut out your size and alter the pattern as follows:

Add 3" to the top edge of all pattern pieces (front, back and sleeve)

Extend the center back and center front 2".

Extend the sleeve width at the fold line by 4".

For short sleeves, as pictured here, shorten the bottom edge by 3 1/2".

Continue with the sewing instructions included with the pattern. When you have folded the top edge under, preparing it for the elastic casing, add a piece of fusible interfacing at center front. This is where you will sew a small buttonhole, about 3/8" long, for the self fabric tie to go through.

Continue with the instructions, sewing the top edge casing, sleeve casing and hem. Thread the elastic through the neckline. Instead of letting the elastic fall off the shoulder, pull the elastic tighter so the blouse sits on top of your shoulders, or wherever feels most comfortable. Thread elastic through the sleeve cuffs, trying on to make sure the cuffs are loose enough around your arms.

Make a self fabric tie: Cut 1" wide bias strips of fabric and sew together so the final length measures approximately 60" long.

Take a long piece of cord or yarn and knot the end. Wrap the bias strip right sides together, around the cord, keeping the knotted edge slightly above the bias tape and stitch along the top edge several times so the cord is secured to the bias tape. You do not want the cord to pull through the stitching when you go to turn it! 

Using your zipper foot, stitch less than 1/4" away from edge, encasing the cord, and pulling the bias tape as you sew.

When you finish sewing the length of tape, trim the top corner and begin pulling the cord so as to turn the bias tape right side out. It may take a little time to get the top edge to turn, so you may need to use a sewing pin to help it along. Keep working at turning the tape, being gentle at any areas where there are seams.

Once you have completely turned the cord, cut off the end. Secure a small safety pin to one end of the fabric tie and thread through the buttonhole, continuing around the neckline and then out of the same buttonhole on the other side. Tie into a bow and trim edges. You may want to turn the edge of the self fabric tie to the inside and hand stitch closed, but I left mine raw. 

That's it! Try the blouse on and re-position the neckline gathers to where it looks most flattering on you. I like the gathers primarily in the front and back, and less on the shoulders/sleeves. I personally find this style looks best tucked into high waisted pants, like the Persephone pants/shorts or Philippa pants. If you make this blouse, feel free to tag photos on Instagram with #lotteblousehack so I can see yours!

The Shop Company Professional Full Body Form Review


I’m so excited about my new full body form! I have been thinking about getting a professional full body form for quite awhile now. Although I had one of those flimsy plastic adjustable forms for years, it completely broke down last year and I had to part ways with her. A few months ago I contacted The Shop Company and asked about doing a collaboration and they kindly agreed to give me 50% off the price of the full body form. I was researching their forms and was planning to make the purchase myself either way, so I am pretty thrilled they agreed to work with me! The form is very well made and quite sturdy. I thought assembling the form would be difficult and take me hours, but it actually only took about 20 minutes.

I started right away working on a new pattern for a pair of overalls. I had the pants block ready to go, but I wanted to drape the rest of the pattern pieces on the form. Before I would have had to do this on my own body, which as you can imagine is a little difficult to do! This form is also pinnable, so it was easy to pin the tissue paper onto the form. The other feature I like is that it has collapsible shoulders. This means there is a spring inside the form at the shoulders. You press the shoulders together and they stay in place while you put your garment on. Then once the garment is on the form, you press the shoulders again to make them spring back into place. It’s very helpful! I also ordered the arms to go with the form, and they are easily removable as well.

As for which size to order, I kept going back and forth on the size. I read everywhere to order the smaller size and then pad up. The thing is, the bottom portion of the form was way smaller on the size that fit my top portion best. And I really didn’t want to cover up the form with lots of padding if the one measurement that was too big for me was the bust. Since I will be using the form primarily for pattern making, I decided that it would be okay to order the larger form in the end. So I ordered the one that was closest to my measurements in the lower portion and close enough everywhere else, except for the bust. So far the slightly larger bust hasn’t really been an issue. If you plan to make a lot of tight fitting garments, you might want to be cautious and order down a size and pad it where you need it. I suspect most people will need to pad the bust and to do that you can easily put one of your bras on the form if necessary. The backside is a little less padded than me, but that can be remedied with a bit of quilt batting!

I am very happy with the quality of this full body form and it has already helped me so much with the patterns I am working on. It is reasonably priced, compared to other quality forms and it is quite sturdy, so I think it will last me a long time. I feel like I have an extra helper in the studio!

The Shop Company has kindly agreed to give my readers a $15 discount on any Professional Dress Form! Just add the coupon code “anna_mcclurg” when ordering. You will also be offered a choice of a free gift (either a 10" Heavy Weight Shears, 8" Lightweight Shears, 4.5" Thread Snipper or 120" Retractable Tape Measure) when you check out.