In my recent post, December Red, I showed a red wool 1930's skirt and coat. This 1930's style skirt is a bit of an ode to skirts worn by the Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher, in Miss Fisher's Murder Mystery series. Her character is quite fashion forward for the 1928-1929 timeline the series is set in and her clothing and style, in general, seem to echo both decades (1920's & 1930's). So, I needed a top to pair with this skirt in my quest for a Miss Fisher Wardrobe.
In the series, Phryne wears iconic White separates (Pants, Blouses, Skirts) that she tends to accessorize differently with coordinating jackets and long, flowing sweaters and dramatic jewelry. The blouse I was inspired by is a little shell with a cowl neck and cap sleeves. Maintaining a similar monochromatic feel, I used the red silk crepe de chine left over from lining my coat (December Red) and skirt.
I started by tracing off the pattern used for my 1920's Blouse Done 3 Ways post. I like the way that blouse fits and it seemed easy to adapt.
Next, I followed the directions for an inserted cowl, taken directly from Pattern Making for fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong (My 1987 edition).
I just made up the sleeve from scratch - a cap sleeve that ends 3/4 of the way down the armhole. It's kind of a mini sleeve with not a lot of shape.
Above in purple, you can see my first prototype. I was fairly confident that the pattern would work, so I sewed it up as a wearable muslin (made from purple silk crepe de chine).
It looks pretty good, but the sleeve was too fly-away and the it felt tight in the back armhole.
I moved onto pattern revisions fairly quickly. and adjusted the sleeve like the illustrations above. The fullness to be removed was divided in two and distributed between both the front and back armholes.
I filled in the back bodice armhole so that it wouldn't feel tight.
This little shell will become a wardrobe staple, I think. I like the way it fits and, paired with the right accessories and jackets, makes a terrific addition to take to Miss Fisher Con. So excited!
Until Next Time, Happy Sewing!