How to make your top or "Choli".
Here I am going to give you images of the finished product and the pieces. There is also a link on the construction of a bodice that you can use as a guideline when draping your fabric on yourself. It tells you how to mark it out. Just do not mark it out for more than the three pieces that you need.
Scrap fabric to make your pattern
Fabric pen or some kind of marking utensil
Possibly a buddy *wink*
This is the sleeve. It is a short sleeve. Put on a sleeveless shirt. You will take a piece of fabric and drape it on shoulder and pinch it under your arm, pin it. Now with your fabric marking pen make a line where your sleeveless shirt's arm hole is on the fabric. Tracing it so to speak. Mark a line along the bottom of your arm and where you want your sleeve to end on your arm.
Take off the piece of fabric and mark out your seam allowances, mark the front and back.
This is your front and back pieces. To make these cut a square of fabric that is the length of the measure from the back of your waist to the front of your waist over your breasts by a width of half your hips. Fold this piece in half at where the shoulders would be, the front would be longer than the back cause of the breasts.
Cut a line at the top that will fit your head. Still with me?
Drap this over your head. Pinch the shoulders and pin them, mark the line. With your marking pen draw the neck line to the depth that you want in front and slighly higher in back. You need that to support the sleeves. Otherwise if it is too low in back your sleeve will fall off your shoulders. Pin the sides and mark your lines around the arm hole and down the sides of your chest. When you fould it out you may notice a curve on each side. That is ok, that is for your breasts to keep their curve without darts. Now the last mark is the hem line. Draw it down as low or as high as you want it to be on your tummy. Take off the piece and put in your seam allowances, fold the fabric in half and mark the front opening. Cut it out. You will need to add a piece of fabric to the front opening for modesty sake. *smile* To make this you cut it the same length as the opening and about 4 inches wide so that you can fold it in half. Stitch it in last about a quarter of an inch inside the choli.
Sew the pieces together to assure a fit, pin the front closed to help the look. If you wish to put in darts know that it may attract attention as being even more unperiod that it is already. It is up to you to make the fit as comfortable as you want it to be.
The last thing you will do before you decorate it is to add hooks and eyes in the front. About 6 should do it.
Once you are sure of the fit transfer the pieces to your fabric and lining. If you are not going to use lining then use bias tape to finish your edges and hem on the bottom and sleeves.
Pearl and bejewel to your heart's content
Chiara Francesca Arianna d'Onofrio