Category Archives: SilhouettePatterns

SP575 Sleeveless Version

Having decided I might use Sonya’s blouse again, I transferred my alterations to the tissue copy; folded originals and put in a 9×12 mailing envelope and was putting my copy in another envelope…. when it occurred to me I should just do the sleeveless version now. In quick order I decide I should take it up a notch by narrowing the shoulder and creating a neckline more flattering for me. I traced the back and front of the upper bodice/yoke sections. Marked 1/2″ from the armscye edge and that’s where I lined up my sleeveless template. I can understand why Peggy seems short on words. This is so easy. It raised the armhole, narrowed the shoulder and created a sleeveless armscye in about 5 seconds. You just slap the sleeveless template down there and run your pen along the outside. Since this is  a sleeveless, presumably summer garment, I also widened the neckline. Again measuring 1/2″ from the neckline edge along the shoulder. On the back, I aligned my curve with the mark and the existing CB neckline; drew my new back neckline.  On the front, I made by 1/2″ mark on the shoulder but also marked 1/2″ up from the bottom yoke edge. I traced a V neckline between the two marks again using my french curve.  It is a shallow V.  Making the changes to the sleeveless bodice was really quick. 5 minutes or less.

I chose a fabric, pressed and laid it and my pattern pieces out on my cutting table. Turned off the light and went upstairs. This is my habit. I find it gives me time to review the changes and plans I’ve made. Sometimes I remember something really important. This time I realized I was not taking advantage of the white and yellow strip seersucker. On my first layout I was matching stripes when I could have been playing with them. Next day I spent a few minutes drawing bias lines on the center front and upper bodice pieces.  I laid the sides out on the straight of grain;

upper bodice cross grain. Center front and center back are on the bias.

While this pattern isn’t quite a TNT, it’s so close. I loved how quickly it came together. In an hour and 20 minutes I had basted the side seams, serged and stitched all the others; applied my facings, buttonholes and buttons. I was ready for a first try on which I expected to be good… but not perfect.

It did not disappoint. I spent a few quick sessions tweaking the seams.  I took the underarm in 7/8″ zeroing about 5″ down; increased the curve of the princess darts about 1/4″ above the waist; and offset the back to add 1/2″ ease.  My butt still needs a little ease. Someone will suggest a sway back alteration but I’m looking at the side diagonal pulling from the hip and the tightness across the hip. I think I need a little more ease.

Overall, it fits a little more nicely then my previous short sleeve.

The extra inch I added at the hem, makes the proportions more pleasing though I don’t discount that the slightly more fitted silhouette contributes. I’m on the verge of calling this a TNT. As I said, I need to add a little more hip room and I think I’d like to tweak the fit in the back a little closer. But I like it.


Sonya’s Blouse

I’ve come to terms with the idea I will no longer be sewing or wearing pillowcase dresses. That means no easy T-shirts; sarong skirts, or most other super simple patterns.  I need seams or darts to create curves in the fabric; curves to go around my own. So in that vein, I looked over Silhouette Patterns line up and found this interesting #575

It has yokes both  in back and front; princess seam panels (also front and back) and set in sleeves.  I love an extended shoulder and kimono sleeve but I always have to ‘settle’ for having folds of cloth that are  inherent to the style and worsened by my shape.

I’ve had such good luck with the armscye princess style that I excitedly hoped I was seeing on the schematic a yoke bisecting the armscye

I should have asked. The yoke extended about 1″ or so below the armscye.  On the plus side, the armscye is all one piece. Which is the negative side as well for me as it offers no place for additional shaping in the spot I need shaping. I put the pattern aside for several weeks. It was in the donate box when I decided I should try it at least once. Indy patterns are not cheap. To discard the pattern without at least a muslin seems like a real waste of $$$. Then too, Peggy’s drafting is definitely different from other Indies. She makes fitting look so easy when she drapes figures of all sizes and shapes.

Previously I had fit #195 starting with a 7W, B cup.  I wasn’t entirely satisfied with either the end result or the process .So this time I decided to make a size  4, the largest of the regular sizing and add 1.25″ to the side seams for fitting.   I also decided to use a C cup even though I barely fill out my B cup bras.  I chose the C because I struggled with gaping in the armscye. Peggy repeatedly says you tweak the shoulder angle, increased the bust dart and if that doesn’t work go to a larger cup size.  So I chose the C cup. One last change before cutting my fabric,  was adding a 5/8″ round back alteration with center back seam.  I need the extra length. I need roundness or back necklines stick out. I had to add it for 195. Instead of waiting until it was obviously wrong, I added the RBA now.

My fabric is a linen from the Walmart $1 days. It’s one of the fabrics which made me say WTF when people said the $1 fabric was all junk. There is junk linen but this is not it. It is a muted pink color a sort of salmon which might not be that popular. I actually had in mind doing some discharge or printing but decided it would make a great muslin. See I love the history of linen. Love sewing linen. Nothing more wonderful that putting a fresh, cool linen shirt on my back. But I hate the wrinkles that develop almost immediately thereafter. This 1.75 yards had sat in my stash for ages just simply because I knew I didn’t want to wear the wrinkled mess that would eventually develop.

For the first fitting, I basted the seams all at 3/8″ using water soluble thread . I love early successes.  The levels are about right. Neither neckline nor shoulders are  noticeably too wide and the back neckline does not gape at this stage.

Also there are not as many of the side diagonals as I usually see before correcting the shoulder angle.  However I’m not going to  work on them  yet because over all the first fitting is ginormous. Peggy says, check L(ength), then C(ircumference) before proceeding to D(epth).

Frankly, though I was surprised at how large my blouse was.  I had added much more to the side seams of the 7W to give my hips enough room.

I increased the 3/8″ side seams to 7/8″ increasing to 1 1/8″ at the underarm.  2nd fitting looked much better. In fact, good enough that I felt (C)ircumference was right.  I started working on (D)epth at the shoulders.  I increased the slope 1/2″ then backed it off to 3/8″ because  the back neck started gaping and the shoulders pulling backwards ( remember I have already added a 5/8″ RBA.)

Since I couldn’t tweak the shoulder more, I  offset the yoke/upper bodice (both front and back) 1/2″ at the side seam, zeroing at the side panel seam; and then a 2nd time a full 1″. That got most but not all of the side drapes/V’s that develop on my frame.

BTW, because the yoke is mostly cut on the bias, it eases beautifully. That 1″ offset was hardly an issue.

At that point I started fussing with distribution of circumference.  I know Peggy says it doesn’t matter, circumference is circumference, but I swear I need more fabric on the back side of me than in the front. This blouse was no different.  If I increased the side seams evenly, 1/2″ 3/4″ 1″ both back and front, I could make the front look nice and shapely, but the back would be too tight. Release so that the back skims my butt and the front is not blousey but balloonish. Eventually I realized I was also dealing with some line/style decisions and proportions that have little to do with actual fit i.e. how the fabric encapsulates the body.   Like…

I don’t care for the neckline on me. I left off the little stand up collar because I hate wearing those things.  They rub my neck until it is raw. I constantly pulling and push at it. Eventually I realized, don’t make those things. If you don’t like them, don’t make them. While I eliminated the annoying collar, I did not reshape the neckline. I did try to fold the ‘lapel’ and create a small V, but the linen was having none of that. It, the linen, would have made a great stand-up, mandarin collar. Too bad I didn’t agree.



You can’t see this; I  made by own facing.  I hate little skinny facings as was provided in the envelope. To me they are fussy and I’m rarely able to finish them nicely .  So I made big facings.  I usually substitute bias tape to finish the back neckline. Fearing I might have stretched the neckline, I opted for a big, back facing with which I could ease the stretched out neckline. BTW, it was worry for naught. Facing and blouse stitched together perfectly.

I also realized I have a proportions issue. Which improves with different pants, but still is not right to my eye.

Looking at the finished garment (right and me smiling), I think the shoulders may be 1/2″ too wide. Despite the different lengths of my shorts, I still think my blouse should be another 1-1/2″ longer which would give me enough fabric for a narrow hem too.

One note, I’m note sure the selection of a C vs B cup made any difference. I did remove what amounts to a 1″ deep dart just below the yoke and at the top of the lower bodice.  However, I think I did near if not more when fitting #195.

The finished garment is blousey with a distinctive camp shirt vibe.

Of course the big question is will I make this again? Well a camp shirt may not make anyone say WOW but it is a very good component of nearly every woman’s wardrobe. I’ll have to recheck that the armscyes are big enough for me to wear  over other tops. A favorite use of mine is transitioning  my camp shirts into coordinated summer  3rd layers.   So I can see more of these with long and 3/4 sleeves to be  worn year round. (Unfortunately I don’t wear short sleeves very much so this version may not see much use.) I also want  to make a sleeveless version  to test Peggy’s theory that any of her patterns can be converted by copying the appropriate armscye  and sleeve template. I’m sure she’s right. I just want to have the experience. Afterall, I have my perfected sleeveless armscye . I should try it out, right?  I think seams are quicker/easier to sew than are darts (which must be marked and then sewn). I’m wondering how hard it would be to develop a more shapely version of my new camp shirt pattern. I’d love to grab this pattern, change the neckline and produce a shapely, attractive blouse.  Then I take a deep breath and remember how hard I worked at converting  Connie Crawford’s 0456 only to find that she had already drafted all the changes I wanted with B6299. I rather buy another pattern than redraft. So I predict a sprinkling of this pattern in my wardrobe. One or two versions spring, fall and winter. Maybe even a few in summer as  3rd layers and sleeveless. But it’s not going to be a goto like the Tabula Rasa or B6299 i.e. good pattern but not fav.

Beyond Frustrated

I’ve just had 5 days of sewing which made me want to destroy my entire pattern collection.  I’m documenting it here so that should I tackle these particular patterns again, I will have some recollection as to what I’ve previously done.  You, the reader, shoulder probably skip this post because there are no pictures only whiny bitching.

I was at a standstill with my Spring 6PAC. I wanted a little time to figure out corrections for both my printed and solid Tee. Also when it came time to cut fabric for the 3rd layer, I wasn’t so sure I had the right fabric for the type garment I wanted. So a time out which I would use by sewing something else.

I opted to make a quick check of the Ebb.  I love this pattern. It’s been one of my favorites ever since my first muslin.  But in recent years I’ve been unable to fit it completely. Last fall I thought my remaining issue was the rising CF which was emphasized by the empire line. During the review of my spring clothing, I discovered and was somewhat horrified that NONE of my Ebb’s fit even close to nicely.  They all suffered with not only the rising CF but also deep V’s on the sides. Since I’d recently discovered that I need an RBA, I thought of making a quick muslin to see if the RBA would fix my issues. I traced my size based on finished measurements. IOW I measured the pattern and compared with my completed Brad’s chart.  I opted to trace a medium shoulder, large side. I added a 1/2″ RBA and 1/2″ shoulder slope. After that, nothing went right. Since this was a muslin, I slashed freely to let the CF drop as needed. Would you believe, it didn’t drop? Nope instead it slid to the back; and in the process all the V’s I had removed returned. What’s worse is that the original fitting, the one with only the RBA and Shoulder Slope changes fit better than the 8 subsequent changes and fittings.  After 2 days of futzing with not 1 but TWO muslins. I decided I needed to get smarter, still.  I’ll find notes on this in 2016, Indy’s, Ebb Muslin Apr folder

Moving along, how about adding sleeves to the “fit” Sweater Set, Silhouette Patterns 195. I  had fit this for a sleeveless version. Didn’t want to make sleeveless tops right now but the pattern was supposed to be easily adaptable for sleeves. The sleeve pattern is already enclosed. The designer claims that the armscye for knit sleeves and sleeveless patterns is the same.  This may be a personal preference, but I always seem to want my sleeveless versions to rest higher at the underarms and that’s the way I fit the sleeveless 195. So I thought it would be easy to add the sleeve; just trace the sleeve and lower the armscye as needed. (I even considered that the designer might be right and the armscyes be the same.)

But I ran into problems immediately. I looked at the final muslin and didn’t think all the changes had been transferred to the tissue. Yet, I swear I did that before I wrote my final blog post. Well, easy to check, do a quick muslin.  Sure enough, the center back needed to be taken in a little more, i.e my rounded back adjustment needed a little tweaking at the neckline; also the back armscye darts had not been transferred to the pattern. So no big deal. I make those to the sleeveless pattern. Then I trace the sleeveless version and get ready for a sleeved muslin. As always, I walk my seams. Let me repeat, AS ALWAYS I walk the seams. I’ve learned that anytime I make changes there is room for error. My seams won’t walk.  The front hem is 1.5″ shorter at the side 1″ shorter CF. I thought I added an even 2.5″ to both front and back to make the whole garment longer.  I don’t like the length. It’s a simply style change, isn’t it? Then I find that the side seam notches don’t match. the front armscye is a different depth from the back at the side seam. The back armscye dart has never changed the side seam length before this, did it now? Somehow, I have gotten so many things mismatched that I don’t believe the sleeveless version fits either!

I start the fitting process over, tracing a 5W at the shoulders/armscyes and 7W at the side seams. I intend to remove 1/2″ circumference on each seam at the bust after all the other adjustments are made.  I do RBA, shoulder slope and add length now.  I walk the seams. THEY WALK!!! Well it’s a good sign.  Then I add 5/8″ to the side seams so that I will have a 1″ wide seam allowance for fitting.  I make my first muslin. At which point I discover I haven’t made the 1/2″ adjustment to circumference at the bust. After that it goes downhill. Downhill through 2 more muslins. (I made a total of 3 muslin).  I adjust the RBA up (3/4″) and down (3/8″). I increase and decrease the shoulder slope.  I add 3/8, then 1/4″ shoulder pads before deciding that no shoulder pads are needed and that I’ve stretched out the neckline (reason for beginning muslin 2) I take in a let out seam allowances. Just before Muslin 3 I decide that one of my issues has been ignoring hip circumference. The designer did not specify hip circumference and the waist was more than sufficient. I assumed the designer was correct and there would be plenty of circumference at the hem. Nope I need 6″ more.  I tell you I made, increased and decreased everything I could think of. Lowered the armscyes repeatedly.  I ignored the wrinkles on the sleeves thinking I needed to get the bodice fitting first. Never, ever did the bodice fit me again. I never removed the V’s. I never made the pattern look any better than it did when the only changes were RBA, Shoulder Slope and increased hem. What’s worse, I was trying to transfer changes that I thought successful to the tissue and add the 6″ (1.5″ each SA) I needed for the hip but I could never draw a nice curve. There was too much difference between bust to waist and waist to hem.  I was thoroughly frustrated.  3 muslins, innumerable changes and fitting pics. (I will find detailed notes in Indys, 195Muslin, Muslin2 and Muslin3). I threw all my tracings and all my muslins into the trash. It shouldn’t be this hard!!!

Why did the TRT and TRJ and TRB fit me so easily while these two (Ebb and Sweater set) never even came close?

Muslin 2

I dwaddled and delayed making needed tweaks. I was unsure.

Fitting is somewhat like diagnosing a bodily illness. Sure, when you show up at the hospital with a bone sticking out, they know pretty quickly what to do. But when you show up saying, “I hurt all over and I’m just so exhausted”, it takes medical staff a little longer. Truth is our bodies have only so many obvious symptoms that we report: pain, inflammation, unusual bodily bumps and a few more but not many.  Medical personal have to start putting together what they know about the body with what you are telling them.  Oh and there’s that thing called referred pain.  I know about that.  I showed up at the dentist office having made an appointment a few days earlier.  Only now I’m in pain. He asks me “So what’s this about pain?” I reply “I know this tooth chipped. That’s when I made the appointment.  I can see the tooth is chipped. But it’s the tooth directly opposite that hurts.”  That’s when he told me about referred pain.

Our fitting diagnoses can also take a circular route.  They say ‘read the wrinkles’ and ‘the wrinkles point at the issue”.  I’ve noticed, thought, that the wrinkles have two ends which point.  How can I be sure, for example a wrinkle from the front crotch is pointing to a short front crotch, a full front thigh, or a short back crotch?  Give up?  On me it’s nearly always a short back crotch!  So I look at the wrinkles on my 195 top. I’ve made the obvious corrections the usual amounts. Am I still looking at obvious causes? Or should I be considering something else?

I really had to agreed that these:


looked like a needed RBA.  I was puzzled and hesitant because the downward diagonal didn’t seem to be accompanied by fabric stretch across the center back.  I had a 1/2″ CB seam (added for the purpose of making an RBA) and decided to use it to test.  I restitched that seam so that it curved from neck  out to cross back and returned to waist.   I increased the width at the cross back 1/2″.  Did that work?

Unfortunately that would be a “no”. The same diagonals are present from shoulder-blade to side seam at the hip.

Perhaps not enough ease at the hip.  No pic above also shows the result of stitching the side seams at 1/4″ instead of 1/2″.  In fact letting out the seams was a mistake.  I altered my tissue for 1/2″ side seams.  At 1/2″ the front armscye is nice and smooth

Add a little more ease and the front armscyes are now gaping.

The sides views weren’t improved either.

So what’s next. I started by returned the side seams and center back to the 1/2″ seam depth I desired.  Perplexed, I measured the armscyes.  Measuring right at the edge (which I was thinking would be a nice place to wrap FOE), but not including seams allowances at the shoulder or side seam give me an 17-7/8 armscye. Measuring inward at the seam line as Peggy drafted, 19.5″.  My minimum armscye, the armscye I would want for leotards and scuba suits is 19.5. Ummm…  I opted to lower the armscye 1/2″ and take more pics.

Lowering the armscye had an interesting effect.  I lowered it 1/2″. That’s all. However, compare the two underarm pics

The underarm in the right hand pic (and looking at my right side underarm) is considerably lower than the left.  I measured.  I measured down from the underarm 1/2″ and redrew the sides to curve smoothly.  I trimmed the excess, then serge finished. It’s hard for me to understand why the underarm looks 1-1.5″ lower.

Good news is that the diagonal wrinkles, as seen in the side views,  are better

Not completely gone, but much lessened.  So what now.


Well, I wear sleeveless tops in spring, summer and fall. I never want a neckline that high during any of those seasons.  So I trimmed the neckline to the highest I will wear and I finished it with FOE. I didn’t have to finish it. But sometimes, I start something and I’m not satisfied until it is all the way done. Then I looked carefully at the back alterations I’ve made to previous garments.  This is not exactly a brand new fitting issue.  I drew a line across the back where I’ve previously altered the back and made 1/4″ darts at the sides which zero at CB.  It seems as though I need extra length at cross back, but then it’s too much length at the side only a few inches lower

My back photo caught me just removing my hands from settling the back into place. So, it

could be suspect.  Front and side however look really good even lightened 70%.

The final proof would be sewing up one of my pastel knits. Unfortunately, I’m not inclined to make another sleeveless garment at the moment.  Temps have once again dropped to the point photo sessions being uncomfortable. For now, I’m listing the accumulated changes

  • Size 5W across shoulders and armscyes; 7W down side seam
  • 1″ tuck above bust on both front and back pieces.
  • Shoulder slope increased to 1/2″ left, 3/4″ right
  • Decrease bust circumference 1.5″ starting at underarm zero on side seam 4″ lower
  • RBA 1/2″
  • Add 3/8″ seam allowance to CB
  • Cross bust dart 1/2″ at side seams, zero at 3″ towards CB.
  • Length add 2.5″ (1.25″ length, 1.25″ hem)
  • Lower underarm 1/4″ (may need to be increased)

I’m this close <>.  I count it a success, my first real success with fitting Silhouette Patterns. In the next few weeks the weather will warm and I will return to tweak my 195 sleeveless top.  For now, there are other things that need to be done.  If it stays cool long enough, I might take on the long sleeved top.






SP195 Muslin 2

I contemplated recutting the sleeve and tweaking the right side of the garment but then decided I couldn’t really tell how the garment would fit until I corrected the RBA.  I started to transfer my changes to the tissue. Wait a sec. At this point I’m thinking I need a sleeveless version, a sleeved version and a cardigan version. May not all at once, but should this pattern work (which it looks like it will) I will want this basic pattern in all 3 versions. So Instead of transferring my changes to the tissue, I traced the tissue and now how a Sleeveless pattern. I petited the Sleeveless pattern 1″. On both back and front I made a  3/8″ deep (3/4″ total) dart below the shoulder in the armscye (terminating at the neckline).  I also lowered the front neckline 1/2″. At that point, I trimmed the excess from the neckline and shoulder; trued the armscye and trimmed excess from around the armscye both back and front.  I added a 1/2″ RBA and 2.5″ in length at the bottom. I marked the side seam so that I trimmed 1-7/8″ at the underarm. Aligned my curve 6 at the armscye and 11 at the stitched seamline.  Added 1/2″ seam allowances and trimmed all the excess tissue. Not sure it will look very different to you

I started to rip apart the old muslin when the stray thought exploded in my brain. “Surely there was more fabric I could use for a trial garment”.  Muslin 1 had been on and off my body 8 times. Pressed and lightly starched about the same.  Wonder how much it had been stretched? Besides, when alterations are incorporated into the pattern, the fabric can hang a bit differently. I searched for an older jersey knit fabric, preferably a light cotton. Very shortly I came across an animal print. Pseudo because I know of no animal with blue and black splotches on a cream background. It’s most endearing quality is 3 yards of 60″ wide fabric. I can make a muslin and have enough left to make a real garment! Win-win! I cut the back and front from this new fabric. Stitched the darts and center back seam. Serge finished every edge except the shoulders which I serge front and back together.  My serge creates a finished 1/4″ seam so I also stitched the shoulder 3/8 deep on the sewing machine before basting the side seams.

Peggy is right about this pattern being quick.  Once the fitting is done, I’m sure I can cut, sew and wear in about 2 hours time. Or less.

My first fitting was a genuine surprise. Pleasant at that.

You can’t actually see how lovely this fabric is because I lightened the pics 70% but you can see there’s not a whole lot of bad stuff going on.  I might should let out the front across my tummy 1/8″.   I am wondering about the advice I receive earlier to make the RBA a little bigger.  At the time I stated that I’d used a 3/4″ RBA on another pattern without effect. But this is clearly showing the typical downward dog lines of rounded back. They are equal on both sides.  I was expecting to see diagonal lines only on the right side.  Which are more obvious on the side views

Right Side                            Left Side

I’m wondering if I want to trim out the underarm some. I stood with hands down at both sides; then slipped my right hand over to the left side and held the underarm in place while I lifted my left arm

When wearing it, I thought the underarm was fine. Look at the pic, I’m not so sure.  Anyone want to encourage me to scoop away?


SP195: Continuing Muslin #1 Fitting

I did not get back to finish fitting of Muslin 1 as quickly as I wanted. There was a full day in-between and limited time when I again  picked up the muslin.

Time to start considering the sleeve, so the first thing I did was reduce cap height by making a 1/2″ tuck. Then trued the cap shape by using my french curve. I also trimmed 1.75″ from the side seams because that’s what the bodice required at the underarm. A nice side effect is I can now cut 3 full sleeves out of the remaining fabric — if I want.   For now, I cut one sleeve sans hem.  No point in hemming the muslin and cutting off right at the hem fold will tell me unequivocally whether the sleeve is long enough. Or not.  I stitched this sleeve into the left armscye…

and turned my attention to the right armscye.   I read my replies sometimes and think I’m being defensive and there’s no need. I have many new readers. Some will only be interested in my blog as long as I’m working with a Silhouette Pattern. A few have been readers ever since Swap 2003. People who have been reading since 2003 have heard my every whine and rant multiple times. They are sick of it.  A recent reader has no clue of what I’ve done which is evidenced by the repeat suggestions I get. Sometimes my response to the repeat suggestion is less, …. um…. , warm than it could be.  So I decided to repeat some of the fitting suggestions which failed me in the past making, hopefully, a more inclusive response. Besides, Peggy’s draft and fitting procedures are not exactly like any other. It could be those failed alterations would work perfectly in conjunction with her patterns.

So looking at the right armscye with all its gaping and diagonal wrinkles, I decided to pinch the shoulder slope. Not that I haven’t already.  At the last fitting the right shoulder slope was increased to 1″. Now I increased it to 1.5″

This is the ‘right’ shoulder. I edited the pic, cropping and mirroring as well as rotating. So don’t let that confuse you. Please accept this is the garment shoulder which sits on top of my right shoulder.

Even at 1″ I was already modifying the depth of the neck. As drafted the neck is almost uncomfortably right up against my neck in front.    When I increased the shoulder slope to 1″ , the neckline started choking.  I scooped the neck 1/2″ and regained some comfort which I’m already losing with the 1.5″ slope. I particularly want you to notice how the neck is gaping after the slope was increased:

I’m also sorry to say that there is no significant improvement in the armscye gaping just above the bust

I think that’s more clearly seen when I repost the front previous to changing the shoulder slope

If anything, the previous fit was better.

After increasing the shoulder slope, the back is no better either:

Looking at the fit before increasing the shoulder slope to 1.5″

I don’t see any improvement by increasing the shoulder slope from 1″ to 1.5″. Both Connie Crawford and Nancy Zieman have said in various places (wish I had links but some of it is in their hard copy books), that increasing the shoulder slope beyond 1/2″ is ineffective. I may be a little different since the slope also helps with my rounding back.

ETA Peggy in her March 9 2015 broadcast “From the Start: using Silhouette Patterns” along about min 52:00 says only so much can be fixed by pinching shoulder. She suggests increasing bust dart and if neither work change size or bust cup.

My conclusion:  on my personal body increasing the shoulder slope beyond 3/4″ does not reduce any wrinkles, does not reduce gaping and in fact increases discomfort.  If I were to leave the slope at 1.5″, I would need to scoop the armscye  as it is now cutting into my underarm.  Shoulder slope increase FAILURE. Just as on other patterns.

But let’s take a look at the left side now. The sleeve is a little close. I’d actually try to wear it as is in a wearable-muslin.  Un/fortunately, I trashed this muslin with the RBA.  It set in easily so the alterations I made were either spot-on or really good. While I suppose I could complain, I think it’s hanging nicely both front and back and is my preferred length

Back Left
Front Left

I think this is about as good as you can expect a sleeve to look when there aren’t any differences between front and back sleeve cap; no arm curve or other measure to accommodate the elbow and it’s a one piece sleeve. It’s only barely more than a decorated pillowcase for the arm. BUT it isn’t any worse looking/fitting than RTW T-shirt sleeves  (on me). In fact, it fit better than some of the sleeves I’ve stitched up in the last few years. So it’s not perfect, but I’m good. I’m really good with this sleeve other than adding 1/4″ more ease.

However the side view tells me,  I’m going to have to scoop out that armscye:

Yes the left side that was so beautiful sleeveless:

is now begging for a change

I am a little surprised. Sleeveless, the underarm sits about 1.5″ below my underarm. Is it possible I made the sleeve cap too low or reduced to much circumference?  I’ll do some measuring,,,,


and let you know.


SP 195: Fitting

For someone who says they hate fitting, I do an awful lot of it. I want to explore my creativity, however limited that may be. BUT, I seem to be constantly wrestling with converting a flat 2-D shape into 3 dimensions.

I had hope for more comments that would say no don’t do that or do this instead. I’m afraid I confused some people when I show comparisons with my sloper.  I wanted my sloper to tell me I had enough width and length. The other things I pointed out were curiosities.  I’m sorry to have confused the issue because my post on selecting my size, which I thought critical, was largely ignored. That being the case, I proceeded along the lines of my previous thoughts and traced size 5W across the shoulders swinging out to the 7W at the underarm.

As instructed I increased my side seam allowances to 1″.  I tried to estimate where the bust point should land. No way of guess for waist and hip.  I’m a very analytical person. I want to know these things. I guessed that it was 2″ beyond the dot just above the dart and drew and X.  Next I marked  the 3/8″ shoulder seam allowance, drew a line from shoulder to bust and measured it at 11.5″

My shoulder to BP is 10.5.   What I’m seeing above happens to validate what I was seeing when comparing my sloper:

and dove-tails what I saw today with the first fitting:

To take this pic, I started with both arms down at my sides. Snuck the right hand over and under my left arm and nailed the left underarm in place. Then I lifted my left arm for the photo. Yes, the armscye really is this low.

Yes I did get to a first fitting (and beyond).  I cut the back and front. Stay stitched armscyes and necklines. and basted shoulders and side seams before taking my first fitting and pics. I  put water-soluble thread in the bobbin and I decided to try her recommended knit stitch settings (straight stitch 3.5 mm long).

I would have sworn I had place the print upward. But clearly I have it pointing downward. Thank heaven, this is a muslin

I see several issues but I’m ignoring them. I only wish to petite 1″ across the upper bodice. Which did marvelous things for the underarm position

Although I might still come back and petite the upper bodice again, I figured it was time to start working on the shoulder slope and my asymmetrical shoulders.

I’ve increased the shoulder slope to 5/8″ on the left side. The right was increased to 5/8 and then the entire slope redrawn 1/4″ lower — because, that’s usually what I need to do. While not totally ignoring those wrinkles waist and below, I’m giving greater attention to the wrinkles around the armscye. One of my concerns has been is the bust point properly located? With the last fitting, I think I can say definitely yes …

First Fitting ………………………………. 3rd Fitting

…and wish I could be so positive around the waist and hip.  My analytical side wants to be able to say “see there’s the waist mark and I’m really close.”

I know I seem to have passed over checking circumference but I really didn’t.  Once the upper bodice was petited, the circumferences at the waist and hip seem to be OK.  I’m didn’t see vertical, up and down wrinkles that would say I have too much ease, or horizontal pulls that say give me more.  What I saw are all diagonal lines; some more diagonal than others.

After the 3rd fitting, I really wished for a horizontal bust dart for cleaning up all the diagonal lines from underarm to waist. Not having that, I proceeded to take in under the arm. In some broadcasts, Peggy will tell you that vertical darts are circumference. In other broadcasts (to which I don’t have the links) she says this dart is a depth issue.  Personally, I’m confused as to whether it should be made before the shoulder slope or afterwards. If it is circumference, I should have done it first. But if this is depth, darting, I did it exactly when I should have. Well, that’s moot really. What is important is how the dart improves the fit.


I had to pinch and stitch that dart twice. Once at 3/4″ deep and 2nd time at 1.25″ deep.  There are still issues. I can’t remove the gaping at my arm. Pinching at the shoulder (increasing the shoulder slope) could only do so much. I don’t think the underarm dart helped at all (with the armhole gaping). I think I may need to pinch out an actual front armscye dart for a sleeveless top. I dont think the gaping would be apparent if a sleeve were inserted.  If I make an armscye dart, I don’t see how to put the armscye dart into the french dart. It may be possible to increase the front  shoulder slope more (the back is not gaping) except I dislike making the front shoulder slope different from the back. Another possibility is during finishing with either facing, FOE or a ribbing, cut them a little short and ease the armscye in that area only.

BTW the side seam dart is curved to fit me.

As you saw from previous pics, I don’t need the ease at the underarm but a short distance below (about 4″) I do need all that fabric to cover the girls.

I’m quite sure there are several of you screaming “Sway Back. Sway Back. Sway Back.”. I hear your chanting all the way in South Dakota, but I opted to make the Round Back Alteration first.  Why:

Because I’ve seen many of my fitting drag lines disappear with a simple RBA.

Still chanting “Sway Back”?

I opted for a little more ease across my tummy and prominent seat. Only 1/8″ which is 1/4″ at each side, total 1/2″ ease.  I like my clothes with just a little more ease; and I like my clothes to skim not hug my curves.

I’m at the point now of saying I really need to go back and work on the right shoulder.  It’s especially evident when looking at the two sides that I still need to make a correction.

The right side is filled with diagonal lines. The left? None that I notice.

There’s still the sleeve.  It will need to adjusted across the cap (I shortened the armscye. I have to shorten the cap.) I think the sleeve has enough ease, but you never know until try on. And while I’m at it, I’m going to want to consider differences I will want for the cardigan. I just don’t see making it exactly the same especially if I want to wear it as a 3rd layer.


to be continued …