Week 6:: Kioko blouse: drafting and muslin - Part 2

Hello! It's been a while. It's just been one of those weeks... unplanned meetings (waste of time, but that's a whole different post), Halloween preparations, a short out of town trip (which was very, very nice), feeling a little bit under the weather (which means a bit more resting, a little less work)... you get the picture.

Which made me think, to 'rethink' the idea of week challenges. With the designs getting a more difficult to draft and more complicated to sew, weekly challenges, could be just a bit too... challenging. Thinking I could do them in a week might have been a bit too optimistic. I will still do the challenges, but instead of trying to kill myself and complete them in a week, I will give myself two weeks. I will have to change the titles too... work in progress, right.

But let's not waste any more time and go back to this top... In this post I will show you the minor changes I made to the pattern I made last week and all the other modifications I made to finish the design...

Step 1: Shorten sleeves. First things first. I thought the sleeves were a bit too long, so I shortened them by 2.5 cm. Make sure you draw a line parallel to the sleeve opening (the front is not a straight line). I did not throw these away - I will reuse them later for a pattern for a band around the arm opening.

Step 2: Tighten neckline. The neck was gaping a bit - because it was so deep. So, to tighten it and make it lie flat against the chest, measure 8 cm from the bottom of the V-neck (I measured that on the dress form) and then draw a line from BP to the neckline at that point. That will be the "bottom" leg of the dart we are drawing. The "top" leg is about 0.5 cm from the "bottom" measured at the neckline. Now we need to close that dart and move it to the waist. Therefore, cut that little dart we just drew. And cut from BP (but not through BP) down to the waistline. Close and tape the neck dart and open the waist dart (I put some paper under the pattern and taped it). Also, don't forget to smooth the neckline.

Step 3: The yoke. I decided to do a yoke, after I decided to do the shoulder gathers. I just thought gathers would not look so good coming from the shoulder seam - too high. OK, so, put the front and back together at the shoulder (tape together) and then draw the back yokeline about 7.5 cm down from the back neck, parallel to the hem (or waistline). The front yokeline should be parallel to the shoulder seam, 3 cm down. One more thing to do here... as I was learning about kimono and french sleeves, I noticed than in all of the variations of those, the shoulder seam is lowered a bit away from the neck. I am guessing to remove the bulk at the shoulder. The sleeve is wide enough, no need for the extra fabric. Well, I couldn't do that at the shoulder seam because of the yoke, but I can do it at the yokeline. See the second pic above. Measure 2 cm down from the yokeline at the arm opening and smooth the seam down from the original arm opening from the sloper (see the red lines). Do not cut the yoke out yet.

Step 4: Shorthen arm band. If you are not going to be doing bands on the arm openings, you can skip this step. Otherwise, we have to shorten the bands by the same amount we took at the yokeline in the previous step. Tape the bands together at the shoulder, and put them against the font and back patterns from the last step. Draw the lines on the bands at yokelines and the new lowered seams. Fold the bands at these lines and tape.

Step 5: Prepare for moving waist dart into shoulder seam. In first picture above you can see I outlined the waist dart (ignore the red lines inside). The waist dart was created in previous steps when we moved the bust dart and later the neck dart. This will now be moved into the shoulder (actually yokline). Mark point 1 at the midpoint of the sloper shoulder and points 2 and 3, 2.0 cm on each side of 1. Draw lines from BP to points 1, 2 and 3.

One more thing... mark the gather points (the stars in the pic above) about 1.0 cm from points 2 and 3. Then, match the gather points at the yoke.

Step 6: Move the dart. Cut out the waist dart, close and tape. Cut along the three lines from yokeline to BP. Spread them equally and tape on paper (see second pic above). Smooth the yokeline.

Step 7: Draw the high waist line on front. This one is going to go from the tip of the V-neck, under the bust and to the sideseam at the notch we drew in in the previous post (it's 10.5 cm down the sideseam from underarm). I did this without measuring. The point under BP I choose (eyeballed) to be 7.5 cm under BP. Then I connected the three points with straight lines. No need for curves, I hoped.

Step 8: Add length. Use extra paper and add length to the front and back patterns. I wanted this fairly long so I added 27 cm from the waistline. Since we will be adding some flair too, divide the width of the front and back in 4 pieces. Draw the lines from the high waist to the hem. Cut along the high waist line.

Step 9: Add flare. Do this for both back and front (pictured for front only). Cut along the three lines from hem to the top (but not through). Spread to add flare as you wish. I added 2 cm at each line - 6 cm in all. 

That's it. I forgot to picture all the pattern pieces together, but you will have: the yoke, back and front top, back and front bottom, and arm band. You will also need facing at the neckline.

Here is muslin (don't let the pattern distract you! also, excuse the flare, it was so bright, I had to photograph in shade but against the sun).I did not cut the armbands.

Overall, it was good. The sleeves look good, the drape is fine, from front, side and back.

The neck fits very well, no gaping. And the gathers look fine too.

The only problem was that it looked too wide under the bust, at the high waist seamline. But I couldn't take in any more, because this is supposed to go over head. So I decided to go with some elastic in the seam. 

So no pattern modifications... we'll see how it turns out.

Previous Week 6 posts:
Week 6:: Kioko blouse
Week 6:: Kioko blouse: drafting and muslin - Part 1


  1. That is looking lovely. You are so patient to make all those minor changes. I like the gathers at the shoulders.