July 17, 2011

It's a wrap!

Apperently, I hadn't used that silly pun here before. Probably because my wrap dress pre-dates this blog. Hm, not being a native speaker may just make me a bit limited in the expression-department...

Anyway, my wrap-top is finished. Thank you all for your comments on the flat v. gathers post. As you can see, I went with the flat front in the end.
This top is pretty far out of my comfort-zone but I think it does pretty much look the way I intended it to.

The shape of the collar reminds me a bit of a 'fichu', a shoulder cloth worn with 18th century dresses. Or that may just be down to my period-drama-addled brain...

The actual inspiration for it is much more recent in date.
When I started sewing, I actually did use patterns. With Burda and Knipmode being the obvious choices here in the Netherlands. Even when I started to learn how to draft my own patterns, I still bought some magazines. Which led to my modest collection of un-used Knipmodes from 2007.

In the April issue of that year they did a feature on catwalk-inspired clothes. Among those was this blouse. I never cared for Knipmode's interpretation, but the Armani original remained somewhere in the back of my mind for all those years.
There was something quite different about that collar, something which made it much more intriguing than Knip's middle-of-the-road one. I used to think the collar had been cut in one with the bodice, but I don't think so anymore. By studying the tiny picture in detail, I did find out what I believe to be the secret to its interesting, sloping-down-the-shoulders shape: darts. It has darts at the shoulder. Two on each shoulder are to be seen in the picture, but I bet there are third ones at the back of the shoulders.

So, when I drafted my pattern, I didn't make the usual rounded piece for the big collar. I made a straight piece, with three darts at the shoulder which was cut on the bias.
I was never going for a carbon-copy of that Armani blouse. I was just doing what I do very often: I had seen something which provided a challenge to my drafting skills and my spatial awareness and I took it on.
I sometimes tell people my wardrobe is about 50% useful pieces, and 50% wearable experiments... in fact it may be more like 70 to 30% but there is a lot of truth to that statement....


  1. The shirt turned out FANTASTIC!!! And it looks great with those pants!

  2. Great looking wrap top! Interesting use of stripes.

  3. I love it. It's very elegant, I think and in combination with those trousers you look great!

  4. Like it! It's something I'd wear too. Must copy when I finally get my sloper done :-)

  5. That looks super neat! And I'm fascinated by your description of the darts. It definitely takes the term "shawl collar" literally ;).

    I love seeing your wearable experiments. :)

  6. Beautiful masterpiece! I loved how you managed to match the stripes. And of course I love the pattern design. You're great at drafting

  7. What a stunning piece ! I love the way you worked the stripes.

  8. Oh well, at least your experiments are wearable! I like this top a lot.

  9. OH. Holy. Hell. Indeed. That is one fantastic outfit. My sincerest cudos to you!