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Classic Styling for a Tropical Get Away

Updated: May 18, 2023

I think it's wonderful to wear something that fits in with the classic styling of a country when you travel there.

The Loretta top from Seamwork reminds me of a traditional mexican peasant blouse. It is a pull-over design with an elasticized neckline which makes it easy to convert into an off-the shoulder or scoop neckline. I made the elastic loose enough to be able to wear it both ways depending on the occasion and the climate.

Loretta features a flutter sleeve that keeps you cool and adds a traditional design element to a modern take on a peasant blouse. The pattern is offered in either a blouse of tunic length with a tie belt. It could easily be lengthened to create a knee or maxi length dress as well.

Historically peasant blouses were a practical make that women could stitch at home. They have simple construction that can be embellished with embroidery and hand smocking. The term "peasant blouse" first appeared in the pages of Vogue in 1902 to describe an embroidered bodice with loose bishop sleeves. This style of blouse dates back from Mexican, Romanian and Hungarian cultures and it is often paired with a full elegant skirt that would rarely be mistaken for anything rustic or peasant-like. In Mexico

the blouse is called a guayaberas and it has been worn for many decades. It is extremely popular and is often considered formal wear due to the complicated stitching used to adorn this traditional top.

For my Loretta I chose to make the blouse length so that I can pair it easily with shorts, skirts or pants. It is a classic design that offers versatility in styling ; an important criteria for any capsule travel wardrobe. Loretta can be worn casually with shorts or dressed up for a dinner date, especially if it is worn off-the-shoulder.

I made a size large based on finished garment measurements and graded down through the waist and hips otherwise I made no further adjustments to the pattern. This is a fun, easy pattern to sew. Great for beginning sewers or for a quick make just before you set off on your travels.

I really like the classic elements of this blouse. It is fun to wear and reminds me of tops I have seen on my travels. It could be sewn up in a variety of fabrics from a lightweight cotton to a viscose challis if you wanted more drape. I love the vintage feel of this printed eyelet design. I think it adds a bit of interest without being too fussy and the cotton keeps me cool while feeling chic.

Loretta is a great pattern to have on hand to create a variety of easy to wear, fun travel wardrobe pieces in a variety of lengths and fabrics. After all... there is Sew Much To Design.

Happy Travel Wardrobe Sewing

Lou Sheffer


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