Gladiator arms

Hiding beneath the bows and dangles of this top is actually a design that I’m perfectly happy with. I love the uneven hem and the interesting back. I like the shape of the neckline and the back yoke buttons.

I’m not so sure about the turbo-boosters. But it was a lot of fun experimenting. And you all know how much I like to experiment. It’s the thing I like most about sewing. There isn’t really anything you can’t do with fabric, even if it doesn’t always work.

My first idea was shoulder bows. I don’t dislike them. But they don’t suit broad shoulders like mine. I think they’d look pretty on a pear shape, for a special date.



For a bit of fun, I tried some gladiator arms. Now this is a trend I could push… if I was seventeen or Leandra Medine.



This top is still very wearable for me. In real life, I think I’ll leave my turbo boosters hanging, a little bit like drifting seaweed, I guess. The fabric is beautiful though and can let me get away with almost anything. It’s the same gorgeous striped linen that I used in my Wonderland Skirt.



I’m going to work a little more on finessing the design and fit of the top underneath. It’s my attempt at coming up with a more wearable version of this white linen tunic and I like it best kept simple. I’m listening though. If you do like the bows and gladiator arms, speak now, or forever hold your peace.

14 thoughts on “Gladiator arms

  1. Shirley

    I love the back on this! I like it without the ties on the arms. It is such a nice blouse. The ties can always be an option for those who like or to be left off for those who like a more simpler design.


  2. Kat @ House of Lane

    The ties look fun but they aren’t something I’d wear out. I loved your white pinafore top so I’m excited to see how you turn it into a more wearable pattern. While I’d love to wear the white pinafore version after two babies my boobs won’t let me go braless so backless is also an issue.


    1. Janice

      I love the top – lovely lines and great detail at back – but would most definitely lose the bows ! They detract from an otherwise great design.


  3. Jillian - SewUnravelled

    Now I don’t even begin to assert I know anything about clothing design, but this totally reminds me of a dude contestant on Australian Masterchef at the moment. Go with me here. He is all about the elements on the plate – lots and lots of elements. The professional chefs keep telling him to plan his dish and then take a few elements out (bit like packing for a holiday). Keep it simple and sophisticated. Dude isn’t listening and keeps tripping himself up! This is no way a critique of you, it just rang a bell when I saw your top. Maybe there’s just too much happening. I looooooooooooooove the basic top – sleeveless – there’s plenty going on. Love the top – release it 🙂 Basically I’m saying what everyone else said. I’m just being my normal verbose self 😉


  4. Carolyn

    I love the gladiator arms! Your creativity and experimentation are always so inspiring. I like the tails hanging loose too, but the wrap-around arms are really interesting and unique. Rock that style!


  5. Steph

    Oh I like the ties, I think they are fun and interesting! I also feel like if you paired them with a simpler top that it might not be too much look for others to get on board with. It would be fun to experiment with three ties on each arm so you could braid them down the length of the outside of your arm, maybe stopping with a loose tie to the part of your arm just above your elbow. Does this make sense?! Haha! Or, I feel like your original idea (2 straps) might be cool to try in more of an evening fabric, chiffon, a matte satin, or even a velvet would give a richness to this statement piece!!


  6. Carolyn

    Debbie, this looks amazing! I like it both with and without, and it’s nice for people to choose for themselves whether to leave them on or off so I would definitely hope you keep them IN the design. With the option to leave them off, if desired.
    The hemline and lines of the body look absolutely fabulous. I’m so looking forward to seeing more of this one!


  7. Melanie

    Seaweed? Hahaha. Gorgeous top. I like the wrapped gladiator arms, which you can definitely wear without fear. I like the bows on you too but I’m not much of a bow person myself. The button details on the back are great. I look forward to seeing what else you do with this design.


  8. Kirsty

    You are right that this is so manrepeller! I love the ties on you. Me, I hate my arms so it wouldn’t do but think it looks super fun and fashion.



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