This is a dance shirt I made three or four years ago now for my older daughter. The idea is loosely based on an Indian choli, a kind of cropped, sometimes backless blouse worn with skirt or sari or whatever (depending on the region). They’re popular in tribal bellydance, and a little more modest than the traditional bellydance bra top. I have about a zillion of my own, made to various patterns, which maybe I will talk about at some point, but this one seemed like it would make for a nice quick post.
I drafted the pattern for this shirt based on her measurements; kids’ patterns are SO nice to draft because you don’t have to worry about bust shaping. There’s a theme or principal in “folk” clothing where you try to be as economical with the fabric as possible—most pieces will be rectangles, triangles, or trapezoids. This makes sense if you have to spin and weave your own fabric—you don’t want to waste ANY of it. It comes at the
expense of fit, of course… but that’s the nature of the beast. The other upside, however, is it makes the patterns dead easy to draft. My daughter chose the kimono-inspired sleeves for this shirt (and made up her own pose). Since you can’t see it too well in the photo, here’s a rough technical drawing of the shirt: as you can see, nary a curve in sight. The triangles under the arms are actually square gussets.