Xena Blouse

Drafting a semi-fitted blouse with special style lines…

So…I was watching an episode of Xena last week. My eye was drawn to the seaming on Xena’s bodice and it struck a new cord in my brain:

Those seams would look interesting on a blouse.

My wardrobe was crying out for a hero, more accurately it was crying out for a decent pull-over blouse.

I’ve tried the Airelle, Arum, and Clover blouses (Deer&Doe; Papercut). They’re ok, the Clover being my favorite, but I don’t love them.

In my post about drafting the blazer, I mentioned my terrible croquis and garment drawings. Here is the proof:

X blouse sketch

The fact that I couldn’t make the drawing look good made me nervous that it wouldn’t make a good garment. But I chose to Battle On!

I started by gathering intel from the pull overs I made before. They all had 4-6″ of ease, which allows them to be pulled on.

I worked off of my basic fitted sloper, which has about 2″ of ease. First I dropped the armscye by an inch and extended the side seam accordingly. Next I added 6″ of length, drawing a new side seam with a gentle curve at the waist.

Then I adjusted the sleeve by lowering the sleeve cap 1″ and extending the width of the sleeve by 1/2″ on each side.

To find the right placement of the style lines, I referred to my muse. Xena’s costume is a leather bodice with seaming, cups, and a lace-up back. It’s closely fitted.

The style lines I borrowed fall under the bust, starting from the armscye, near the side seam. They come close to the CF seam, but they do not touch it.

I added the same lines to the back of the pattern.

Sewing the muslin wasn’t any trouble. It look me about 2 hours. The sleeves fit perfectly and the side seams matched. Best of all, it fit!!

There’s a lil fold of fabric above my bust, which I may remove with a dart in the future.

The final garment turned out pretty good! There’s draglines around the neck line that weren’t there in my muslin. I’m not sure if it’s the fit of the shirt or the neckline finish. It could be the armscye, since I changed it from the original. Any suggestions are welcome!

ETA: It was the finishing technique. Once I drafted a curved facing for the neckline, all the draglines went away šŸ™‚

I still like it alot and plan to make more! The style lines are flattering and their homage, while direct, isn’t costumy.

The bummer is my seams get lost in the fabric but they’re also the reason I was able to showcase this beautiful fabric so well. It’s a border print and not very wide; a crisp lawn that I hope will soften a bit in time. Here’s what it looked like (its a bit pink from the light in the room – that’s not part of the fabric). The red flowers are along the selvage.

Fabric!

I started a second one with black side panels. This time I will draft a curved neckline facing and see how that goes. The stripes are intentionally not matched so they don’t bury the seam again.x shirt #2

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