Category Archives: 600 Classic Blouse

Sp600 Alterations

After several days of alterations, I’m pleased to share my final blouse from SP600:



First 4 alterations, removed a good deal of the frumpiness. Well all of it from the bust up. Alterations as follows:

  • Removed Collar
    • This was not a  pattern mistake. The collar is a combination collar with stand and should have been folded along the upper stand edge (about center of the collar). But I didn’t think of that until after I had removed the collar and finished the neck edge. Perhaps next version I should draft the exact collar of my dreams instead of doing a quick adaptation.
  • Increase shoulder slope to 5/8″
    • In retrospect, I’m not even sure why I stitched the shoulders with the 3/8″ slope to start with. When I looked at my notes I realized the error immediately.
    • This too is not a pattern error but a fitting issue.
  • 1/2″ dart at CB neck-seam
    • At this time, I am not sure if I stretched the neck edge or if the back neck is too wide. I had not taped nor stay stitched and I haven’t compared with the original tissue, yet.
    • Probably not a pattern error either. My back is rounded. I require a 5/8″ RBA and I did not exercise due care in handling the pieces prior to construction.
  • 1 . Half inch deep dart (1″ total length removed) on each shoulder
    • I haven’t had to do an NSA on  my other SP patterns including  the other non-stretch top

But there was some left which led to these alterations: Especially at the tummy and sleeve. After next 3 alterations the blouse hangs nicely front and back and the sleeve looks like it belongs on my body


  • Remove front waist dart
    • I often just ignore the front waist dart markings because I no longer have a waist in front
    • Not a pattern error but a fitting issue.
  • increase sleeve SA to 1.75″
    • I added 1″ for fitting. Have now removed all that plus about a half-inch
    • Even with the excess remove this isn’t likely to be a pattern error but rather personal preference in sleeve circumference.  I’ve heard that others share my desire for a slimmer sleeve. Some don’t. YMMV.
  • 1/4″ tucks 1.5″ apart around cuff 4.5″ high from raw edge
    • snuggled the blouse sleeve to my wrist.
    • between that and narrowing the shoulder, the sleeve now appears to be the correct length.
    • to me the sleeve looks good front and back
    • Again, most likely not a pattern error but personal preference coming into play.

I feel Like I’ve removed  99% of the frumpiness.  I’m leaving open the possibility future versions will look even better because I will start a nice fit.  I expect to be tweaking mostly for fabric variations but I may also need a few fit changes.

I was surprised at all the alterations needed, especially above the bust.  With the other SP top patterns I have made as I started them too with  a size 4; added the needed a 5/8″ shoulder slope and a 5/8″ RBA. That’s it to fit the upper bodice.  I would then add 1″ to the side seams and narrow that to 1/2″  under the arm at the first fitting to tweak the ease.

I pulled out the original tissue to check what I had traced. Only to discover I traced correctly. Really throws a wrench into my SP fitting plans and diminishes my enthusiasm for SP patterns. Not that there is anything wrong with the patterns. My enthusiasm for SP was based on being able to fit with so few alterations. LIke I said, I was tracing a size 4 and doing 3 alterations. One of the beauties of SP and one of the advertised features, is the consistency of the draft. However, I’ve put out a few feelers and had several people describe similar fitting experiences. I think it means, I can’t depend on size 4 with 3 alterations. I will need to check each new pattern before cutting fabric. I’m a little sad over that. I miss the years when I could buy a pattern, slash 1″ off the length and stitch together a ‘new creation’. Need to get over that regret.


SP 600 Classic Blouse

I’ve fit several Silhouette Patterns now, including one woven blouse (Pants 3418 still pending) so I expected 600 to be easy.  Necessary because, well it is the classic blouse which I will use as my block going forward and fitting it will confirm what I need to know to fit all woven Silhouette Tops. Or at least, that’s what I thought.

I started my routine tracing a size 4 because it fits upper chest (shoulder to bust); added a 3/8″ shoulder slope, and 5/8″ round back alteration before adding 1″ evenly to the side seams. Compared to the litany of pattern alterations I usually do, this was simple and easy.  I tell you the waists  dartsimpressed the hellO out of me. She’s not foolin’ with these. They are big, about 1″ width and shaped with curves not straight lines.  I can’t do my normal punch at the point and clip at the side seams. They have to be traced. Since they are so big I decided to treat them like stencils:

I trimmed the dart interior but left a tab to keep them joined. I will be able to run my purple pen inside to outline the dart for sewing but the pattern won’t flap about and become distorted — one of the things I dislike about a french dart is that it is so whomping big you have to trim and therefore it flaps about.

The more I thought about it, the less happy I was with the button band and collar details. They just aren’t me. I am more of a romantic preferring soft and flowing rather than buttoned up and stiffly tailored. At cutting time, I made a typical front facing by folding away the facing pattern 1-1/4″ away from the center front thereby avoiding cutting the button band extension that would be public. I also folded the button extension of the collar out-of-the-way creating a classic wing collar.

I chose a classic and loved cotton/linen blend fabric. Cotton/linen to me is one of the perfect blends. It will shed some wrinkles but not all and it is a dream to sew with. No issue with this fabric as I did with the Knit Ottoman of SP 3418.  It has an oriental print in browns with touches of orange. I think very pretty except after the blouse is done, I think looks more like drapery than dressmaking.

I serged shoulders together and basted the side seams. I add 1″ to the side seams but usually need to reduce them under the arm. Now I slipped the shell on and pinned along the previously marked center front. It looked perfect.

Which caused my terrible error. I finished the blouse. Did not stop for even  a 2nd fitting. Just zip, zop, done. Done all the way to the final pics. I sat down to make my post and examined my pictures.  I was horrified. H-O-R-R-F-I-E-D.  I couldn’t believe how utterly frumpy this blouse was on me.

Discounting the bad hair day (I haven’t had a real good one in months), the blouse just doesn’t look good on me. Is it the print? The colors? This is a classic shape. I’m not expecting to pop your eyes out, I’m expecting to look nice, put together.  I’m stunned by what I am seeing. The V lines have returned to the sides (diagonals on back and front that meet at the sides). I have no chest but am all belly in front (what was the point of those big darts?).  I mean, this is just not something I’m proud of. I can wear it with a vest on top or as a summer 3rd layer. I had intended this as a prime for spring and fall weather and supporting summer and winter. I’d just lost 2 seasons of wearing about the same number of seconds. Could this be fixed?