One of my goals for this year is to alter or make my patterns to suit what I really want. Last year I made a cotton shirt from McCalls 6436 that was fairly successful in appearance, but had some fit problems that were mildly annoying when moving or sitting. The body simply didn’t have the flow and ease I desired for a wearable shirt. I’ll be honest, I could just wear knits every day, but there are so many incredible woven textiles in the market that I wanted to solve this problem.
I recently saw a photo of back of the Zelida blouse by Lafayette148 ($398 for a white blouse?!) and fell in love with the flow of the back pleats and yoke. The McCalls blouse didn’t have a yoke, but that seemed easy enough and off I went into alteration mode. This blouse took several weeks to make since in the end I made significant changes to every single pattern piece! I can honestly (and legally) call this my own design.
I added the yoke and pleats to the back and changed the hem profile. It’s now longer in the front and curved in the back. The front and back pieces also required shape modifications resulting from the added pleats and hem.
I changed all of the darts to better fit my body and reduced the shoulder width for fit.
It should have just been a muslin with all of these changes. However the lovely stretch cotton fabric was very forgivable and the shirt began to shape up. Since it was wearable I decided to experiment with some added details like the grosgrain ribbon trim and a small appliqué embroidery element on the collar.