Last summer, I made a wearable muslin and a sleeveless blouse using Silhouette Patterns 575. I love both versions and knew even with the wearable muslin, this pattern was destined to be a perennial favorite camp shirt. Sorry, but the styling and my linen and cotton/poly fabric choices just made me think camp shirt not blouse. I am surprised that I haven’t used SP575 since the sleeveless version because I like to wear camp shirts year round. To me they are a wonderful blend between casual and tailored depending on my finishing and detail choices. This time, I decided to take it a step closer to the classic camp shirt by adding a collar and merging the princess seam pieces into single front/back.
SP575 includes a stand-up collar. That’s a type collar I rarely use and don’t particularly care for. But it was enough for me to see the curve I needed for the neckline. I traced the neckline of SP575 and the rest of the collar from Connie Crawford’s 5047 and set it aside.
I knew I had made, well let’s call it more than just tweaking the upper bodice. I wasn’t quite sure how the princes seam pattern pieces would fit together. I marked the stitching line and then overlapped the pieces. To my surprise, it forms almost a straight line. Truly, I thought there was more shaping at least in the back! I could have left the pieces pinned together for future use but I decided I really prefer these style lines. I traced their combined shapes so that I have 2 pieces for front and another 2 for the back rather than the 3 pieces as drafted. Discovered an unexpected boon to this process. Previously i.e. when there were 6 pieces , I was easily confused at to which was hem and which was yoke seam; which was left; which was right; and even which was front and which was back. I had carefully marked the pattern pieces and did not separate them from the fabric until I pinned them together. Even then I needed a few extra marks to distinguish yoke from hem seam. Not that there’s anything wrong with the pattern or drafting, rather after my fitting alterations the pieces looked a whole lot alike.
Last year, or it may have been the previous year, I started collecting pins for clever uses of stripes and striped fabrics. (I am not sure Pinterest will allow you to see my board.) Since then I’ve been having lots of fun playing with striped fabrics. I chose to cut horizontal stripes for the yokes and facings; and vertical stripes for the remainder of the bodice and sleeves.
To my chagrin, initially the stripes didn’t match across the yokes!
Really, I was dumbstruck. Usually folding the fabric and carefully align the stripes along the edge will result in a close match of stripes. This was way off. Fortunately, I planned short sleeves and had enough fabric left-over to recut all the yoke pieces. I cut them singly to be sure they matched. Usually, I match the stripes while pinning frequently the along the stitching line. This time I wanted to try a ‘shortcut’. I offset the center back seam just slightly. Not even 1/16″. Just enough to see and match the stripes. I tell you when the fabric went under the needle the stripes matched. When I opened the seam, they did not
Well at least it is a very close match but that’s the last time I try that short cut. I no how to do better for not much more effort. I was modeling the garment for my Amazon Look, just styling away, when I had a “V8- moment”. I know how to completely eliminate the CB seam; without having to resort to darts at the neckline. That will be a change for a future version.
I’m also wanting to eliminate the little back flip I’ve got going on at the hem
I’m guessing that while the seam looked straight but there really was some shaping. Not a big deal but if I’m fixing things, well why not.
I did not cut the collar immediately. I constructed the front and back bodice units and serged the shoulder seams before walking my new collar pattern along the neckline edge. I trimmed 1″ length from the pattern piece before cutting, constructing and adding to the blouse (followed by adding the facing and finishing the neckline, collar, facing unit.) I was afraid the collar would be too pointy or too big but it’s perfect for this version.
I do feel a little disjointed in that the collar is angular and the lapel is curved. Another future change will be harmonizing this area either by rounding the collar point or squaring the lapel. Heck I might want to keep all 3 versions and may even add more collar variations. This says ‘camp shirt’ to me because of the yokes and it is neither tightly fitted nor fully bloused. I could easily add darts or use the princess pieces and pin in more waist shaping; make the sleeve long or 3/4; add a tailored cuff and the pattern assumes a more tailored aspect. A different fabric, more circumference/width in the lower bodice and it becomes more feminine. Especially says “blouse” to me if I choose a longer sleeve and more famine cuff. One possibility I am considering and not sure I will pursue is the one-piece yoke. A one-piece yoke doesn’t really say ‘camp shirt’ to me but now that I have the shoulder slope corrected I could easily adapt the pattern pieces. Having played around with the extended shoulder, I might consider developing cap sleeve looks. I just love this pattern. It was relatively easy to fit. Yes I did have to fit and I did make alteration changes. But that first trial became a wearable in short order. It is also really easy to sew and I can see so many variations. It’s a wonderful pattern.
- Eliminate Yoke CB seam
- Eliminate curve; create fold line
- Add length at top of lower, back-bodice.
- Eliminate back hem flip
- Trim a little wedge from the side at the bottom hem.
- Match the shape of the collar point and lapel
- curve the collar or
- square the lapel
- Increase front, waistline ease.