21 May 2013

Self-drafted blouses: inspiration and rationale

I think I have now shown you most of the variations of the two blouses I self-drafted.  I thought it only fair that I share the inspiration for these two blouses, and the features I love about them.

The first blouse I drafted was inspired by a J. Crew top - their Embroidered Voile Top, to be exact.
What I love about this top are the raglan sleeves (read, no easing sleeve caps into armscyes) and the gathered neckline (no darts to fiddle with).  

For my version of this top, I decided to go with a pleated neckline (after I made a wearable muslin with gathers).  I also added a curved hemline.  This top is loose-fitting enough to avoid the need for any closures.  It just slips on, and is a great basic blouse for tucking into skirts and pants.
This shirt goes together very quickly with only 3 pattern pieces (front, back, sleeve).  So far I have shown you two versions of this shirt, one in a stiffer cotton fabric, and the other in a more drapey silk.

The second blouse I drafted was inspired by a top from Anthropologie - The Piped Peplum blouse.

It is a lovely fitted blouse pattern with modified princess seams, which I knew would be the perfect way to minimize my wide shoulders and allow for interesting color blocking.

I drafted this pattern both with and without the peplum for maximum versatility.  Because this is a more fitted blouse, it does require a back zipper.  I also added an all-in-one cap sleeve to the side front and side back pattern pieces (I don't wear many sleeveless shirts, so this was a necessity).  And I am still able to avoid setting in sleeves this way.
with peplum, in a cotton voile
without peplum, in a shirting-weight cotton
without peplum, and with color/print blocking, showing off a liberty print.
I know that drafting blouses can be intimidating and tricky.  But I am also starting to realize that many of my favorite patterns are the ones I draft with specific features that I really enjoy, like raglan sleeves and the use of pleats or princess seams for shaping instead of darts.  There is some trial and error in the process of drafting clothes, but it is also extremely rewarding.

Maybe at some point I can share some of my tips and tricks to make drafting a bit less challenging and a little more exciting.


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