Just so you know, it looks even worse on me.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I wanted to show you that not all my garments are nice. Some are positively hideous. Of course you are distracted by the nice brocade fabric and the exotic qipao design. Don't. Pay attention to the darts, people. And the armscyes, which are beyond sad.
I am going to brutally analyze this for you, so we can all learn how not to fit garments. The neck and collar are nice. The collar, incidentally, is a muslin. So the fabric is not the actual fabric. I was experimenting with the shape (because, remember, I draft by feel, not formula) and the kind of interfacing, and where to apply it. Verdict: the collar passes.
The shoulders also pass. Marginally. There is something wrong with the shoulder point. Or, rather, the shoulder point is correct but for this qipao blouse, it needs to be cut in a little bit. And the armscyes... mrpppphhht... well, let's change the subject. Incidentally, I don't do cap sleeves, even though those are the traditional sleeves for qipaos. My arms are not traditional, skinny Asian arms. I swim and eat chocolate, so let's just say that set-in short sleeves are better.
Do you see the pins near the dart points? I put them there because I thought that putting the points farther away from the bust apex might help. As if. On further meditation, I think I'm going to move that French dart altogether.
Quick drafting infobyte: French darts are best for slender people who are less well-endowed. People with larger cup sizes do better with darts that open into the armscye, where gaping tends to be an issue. I almost always use armscye darts (and princess seams that originate in the armscye) in my garments. However, this qipao style has a wrap front that doesn't easily accommodate armsyce darts. Hence the French darts. Which don't work for me. But which I am determined to make work in this garment.
The back now. That passes, too. This thing will have a separating size zipper, incidentally. Which I'm not going to install until the wretched darts are sorted out. Moving on... ah, the armscye. Again, let us berate the armscye. It is too low and overall too large. Nnnnggggghhhhrrrrrr. Seriously, when I first tried this on, it felt as if I were wearing pyjamas.
I will say that I am content to stop here for now. This is the first fitting- disastrous, naturally. But not unusual, as far as first fittings go, especially when one is already expecting bizarre outcomes from non-preferred dart choices. The plan was really to make this first draft to test the collar (which passed, as said earlier) and to visualize the color scheme enough to start making coordinating frog button closures while we're on the road to visit family for Thanksgiving.
Incidentally, with what am I going to pair this blouse
if when it does fit properly? Indigo jeans, of course. And metallic sandals. And a small clutch. And sunglasses. And pearl earrings. How else does an Asian person wear traditional ethnic pieces without looking like she belongs in a bygone era?
Updated 2016 to add:
1 Here is a much later post on darts, including French darts. It may help with visualizing its shaping effect, particularly compared to bust darts, underbust/waist darts, shoulder darts and combinations thereof.
2 I have since finished this qipao blouse and am thrilled to say that it looks quite different (in a good way). Here is the post with the happy ending, and here is the post in which I showed how we got there.