Category Archives: 418 FisherPleatedBlouse

SP418: Construction and Fitting

During cutting, I added 1/2″ to the side seams of front, back and sleeves. I do believe 418 will fit perfectly. Especially since I compared with my sloper and made changes reflected during the comparison.  Well I believe 99% that 418 will fit.  The  1% of doubt starts at my having learned the hard way that a new fabric, even if I’used similar fabrics before with the same pattern, well a new fabric +old pattern can = bad fit.  Pant fit is  especially vulnerable to a change in fabric. Today, though,  I also plan to use the back darts .  I rarely use them. I’m not even sure I used  back darts during SP600’s original fitting. I plan to  do so for 418 so I’m allowing a little fudge room.

As expected the neck kicked my rear. OK it wasn’t that bad but I did have to concentrate some effort. I cut the front, marked for the dart and marked the neck box with 3/8″ seam allowance lines.  I get the best angles if  I chalk them and then stitch on the chalked line. Then I Frey Checked and clipped to the corners. I am forever greatful to the sewing sage who shared a corner-cutting insurance tip. Yes it starts with marking, then basting but finishes with a straight pin placed across the corner

As long as that pin is there, I cannot ruin a clip. Wherever you are, Sewing Sage, I bow 3 times to you.

I had a little issue folding the pleat as well. The instructions say to fold so that  Circle 1 is about 1/4″ on the other side of Circle 2.  Where were the circles?  I never saw them.  Reminds me of a recent Pattern Review post in which the poster complained bitterly about her frustrating experience due to SP inaccurate instructions. This is the 3rd time I’ve fallen in a black whole trying to follow instructions which I either don’t understand or can’t find the designated markings. OK must be my fault, but I was so glad to read that someone else had  a similar experience. I finally looked at the pics of the pleat and figured that the right bottom corner  was supposed to fold over just past the left bottom corner and then I should stitch 2 lines parallel and below.  I put just 5 stitches vertically to hold my corner placement before making those 2 lines of stitches.  Probably totally unnecessary. It’s just that I personally need to make an extra effort to make things really crisp and precise. Pinning just doesn’t do it for me. I seem to be able to pull pinning apart at the critical juncture. So I make strategic stitching before hand.

I have a “sad face” to share during fitting. Well, just for a couple of things. The inserted sleeve, was shorter than I expected. Because I basted and did not attach the cuff, I have a few choices.  I could cut a wider cuff. Possible but not what I really want. I could trim the sleeve from an awkward ‘tween long and 3/4 to a proper 3/4 sleeve.  I really wanted a fully sleeve, but this is a good possibility. Could also piece the sleeve to the correct length. Well I’ve got a whole Pinterest Board of possible sleeve saves. I probably should read and consider all of them.  No matter what I decide to do, I will correct the sleeve so that the full length is full length on my arm.

My  2nd sad face was made when I basted between armscye and hem. The back is 1/2″ longer than the front.  Nothing in the pic, the broadcast, or the pattern instructions hint at a high-low hem.  Mostly likely this happened way back when I marked the “Hem Change Line”. Obviously I marked it wrong. Easy correction now, just trim the back; and for next time draw the line 1/2″ lower. No big deal, but it was a surprise.

I was tickled pink with a couple of things Yep couple of happy faces too. The circumference is fine.  I am glad though that I added the 1/2″.  I stitched on the original lines i.e before adding the ease.  I think I would like this pattern, this fabric to be just a little more roomy. When I put in the permanent stitching, I’ll angle it out to give myself a little more style room. Lastly, super pleased with the back.

No indication of tightness of insufficient length along the back. Love it.

And finished…..

My blouse is gorgeous!


Silhouette Patterns 418: Fisher Pleated Blouse

I save blouses crossing my Pinterest feed when they are similar to SP418 (above ).

I love the soft-folded, front-pleat which disappears into an easy, flowing front blouse.

I know this style was popular a decade or two ago. Maybe three?  I don’t remember why I didn’t make one at the time. (Possibly working took up my spare/sewing time?)  So now as very similar blouses cross my feed, I not only saved them but I tried to remember how it would be constructed.  It seemed to me  it was easy. Very simple. But I could not remember in the construction sequence or neckline shape in detail. As I pinned these blouses,  I kept hoping that at some point Pinterest would serve up the front pleat  details. Last week I was shouting “Hallelujah” when, in her  weekly video Peggy Sagers shared SP 418 in the New Fall Patterns. It was the exact blouse I was jonesing to make.  I bought 418 immediately!  Well I loved, wanted and bought all 4 new fall pattern, even though I had little hope of *fitting the pant #3218.

Happily, I got started today by pulling out the tissue pieces and separating the 5-8W sizes/pieces  from the 1-4 sizes. Well OK, first I admired my stash of fabrics, fondled a few lovingly and  wondered which would be best as the first(test).   Then separated the sizes and since I’m not all that chesty folded up and put away the C and D cup fronts.   Next was comparing 418 with my Woven Top Sloper SP 600. If you’ve never sewn with Silhouette Patterns, I agree whole-heartedly with Peggy’s recommendation for making a muslin and testing.  Why?  Because Peggy uses SP600 as her woven-top base.  She creates so many patterns starting with SP600 and then adding the variation. For us, this practice creates a very welcome situation in which whatever is needed to make SP600 fit, is needed for every pattern which Peggy used 600 for the base.   My comparisons showed that the biggest differences would be the (1)length and shape of the front and back hems; (2) the length and cuff of the sleeve and (3)the neckline shape  I did not trace 418 back.  I placed 600 on top and marked my previously determined ” Hem Changes Line”. Then I traced the bottom-back of 418.

I made the blue Hem Changes lines months ago on my sloper SP600. You won’t have this line on your pattern (unless you created one yourself) and you won’t find it on any of Peggy’s patterns.  This is a “me” thing because one of the changes I love making is an alteration to the hem.  Instead of making a whole new back pattern piece,  I make a  piece that can be pinned in place onto the back whenever I have the urge to use that particular hem shape/length again. When I finish this first 418, I will keep the hem piece with my fitted 418 pattern pieces. The rest of the back will be placed into the envelope with the rest of my SP600 sloper pattern pieces. (I hope that made sense.)

SP600 back with SP418 Hem curve pinned in place

I traced the entire front  of 418 because not only did the hem change, but Peggy has rotated the dart to the traditional/common and my 2nd favorite position  horizontal-at-the-bust. Next following Peggy’s instructions, I raised the front neckline depth 4″.

During the broadcast, Peggy said we really don’t need to raise it but the most modest would find  4″ would be more than enough.

After walking the sleeve cap of 418 with 600, I traced my SP600 sleeve. All SP patterns I’ve used so far are too tight in the bicep for me. Instead of working it out through a muslin, I copy my fitted 600; mark 418’s  cuff line and slash.  I copied the cuff.  For the most part, I like Peggy’s style decisions and cannot criticise her drafting skill at all. I want to use her cuff once but not this time.  I want to concentrate on the neckline. So I will use my fitted sleeve modified for Loes Hines 5202 cuff. Love that cuff. Absolutely The LH cuff has become my all time favorite. my favorite. No pics. Well I made a pic but I couldn’t see a thing.

Did not copy the back neck facing..  I hate little fussy facings.  I want either something big I can get my hands on  and manipulate or I want to use bias tape, elastic or FOE.  Blah on picayune, raveling POC facings. Not tracing them. Not giving them a second thought.

Now I was ready to select fabric.  I narrowed my selections down to a beautiful polyester crepe-de-chine.  Love the print but this is one version of polyester fabric that doesn’t work for me. Most of the time poly is no problem and I am happy for that. But poly crepe de chine is IMO weird.   Hard to explain, but  I am cold when I wear blouses of crepe chine, while at the same time  I am sweating and over-heated. How can that be? I don’t know but I do find that a cami of natural fibers helps. This crepe de chine is in my stash because I couldn’t resist the print.  It contains camelias (I think) on a blue and black background. Wait,  I know that is not a blue background it is purple.  I checked with my 3-in-1 tool and  it is definitely  purple.  In my mind it is blue. I’m wrong. Since I really don’t love crepe-de-chine especially in polyester if I make a beautiful garment or bomb totally, it  will be fine.

At this point, I checked my machines. Serger has black thread–that’s OK. Sewing machine had blue/purple but sapphire blue in the bobbin.  I wound half-a-bobbin of matching thread. Then changed from a 12BP to a 10 sharp needle. I don’t want any snags, or thread pulls (I’m sure there’s a better word for this phenom) regardless of whether I love the finished blouse or not don’t want it ruined during construction due to thread pulls. Finally, I laid out my fabric. Placed the tissues pieces on top with grain aligned (learned the hard way about what happens when grain is ignored), then snapped out the lights and went upstairs.  This is the process I love: Day 1: tissue fitting and lay out pattern; Day 2 basting and fitting; Day 3: finish and photo.  I’m off to a good start



*********So far I have been able to  fit only 1 of SP’s pants patterns to my satisfaction and it (3200 Sally’s Pant) still suffers with the appearance of a prominent pubis despite that many alterations I’ve made AND I can’t slim the hem as far as I desire.  I count 3200 as a good pattern which I make often. But  3200 + perfections is a situation which eludes me still. Even though 3200 does not qualify as perfect on me, it  is a vast  improvement in fit  over her other pant patterns (and my body) which all result in variations of awful.  So sorry but despite the ease with which I fit Silhouette Patterns tops/blouses, I’ve not found the golden key to fitting SP pants patterns and yes I have followed her instructions to the letter.