Style 1054 shrug/bolero. I cut a size 10 from black stretch velvet re-purposed from a stretch velvet pair of pants and a stretch velvet dress given to me by my former classical Cambodian dance teacher before she left to start a professional troupe in Cambodia. I also cut a size 10 from ivory nylon stretch mesh I had purchased from a remnant bin. I think this was supposed to be swimsuit lining but I had collected the piece for dance costumes.
Although the pattern calls for the bolero to be lined, I didn’t read the instructions before packing the fabric to be cut at a tango friend’s home, so I didn’t bring enough stretch fabric to line the boleros. They are both intended as “tango cover-ups” that allow me to wear costumes and clothing that shows a lot of skin to cool off after dancing, but then I can sweat into and cover up my bare skin with the boleros or “cover-ups” so that I don’t stick to my dance partners.
I’ve also found that when I cover up myself a bit, the partners are less prone to lechery than they are with tango acquaintances that dress to show a lot of skin. It’s made not only dancing the main focus but also made it easier to accomplish on a tactile level.
And then I also have these lovely gowns and ensembles that can be more formally-showcased for parties, concerts, and dinners I might choose to attend with jewelry, etc.
The black bolero was to complete my Morticia Addams Halloween 2012 costume. The ivory bolero was to keep me warmer in a highly-air-conditioned dance studio for my Columbine (commedia dell arte) costume.
After seeing myself photographed in both shrugs, I think that I should have gone for a child’s large-sized shrug pattern instead. I have very small arms and the armpit length sags on my figure so that my short torso looks even shorter and unfortunately a bit dumpy or plump in the photos. I’m not perfect, but I’m also not plump, so this is not a flattering cut to me. The pattern is odd — it’s hard to tell where the top and the bottom are, even though it looks logical in the diagrams. In actuality, when I’m putting on the bolero, I have to remind myself what the seams look like at the top of the bolero to figure out which is the top, which is the bottom.
I’d prefer the bolero to look more like this hand-knit shrug does on me (commissioned by someone that I think these boleros would fit). I would not make this bolero pattern for myself again, except maybe to take out the side piece or halve it to see if I can shorten the armpit length and “snug up” the sleeves.