Pattern Review: Silhouette Patterns #620 Escada’s Blouse

In looking for a way to elevate my everyday style from all day workout wear to a more pulled-together, cohesive look, I decided to add more blouses into my closet. I wanted blouses that fit me better than what I could by in the stores, so of course, I decided to sew them up myself. I chose Silhouette Pattern #620 Escada’s blouse

for its trim fitting silhouette, and liked the funnel neck and elegant side-tie closure. Optional front and back darts give it an even more personalized fit. After making a wearable muslin, and fine-tuning the fit for my shape, I made two versions. I’ll share the fit changes I made, and the style changes too! I love the way both blouses turned out.

The picture on the front of the pattern shows it made in a silk, which just hangs beautifully in this blouse. I didn’t have any silks in mind for mine, but did choose some nice drapey, blouse weight polyester woven fabrics. I liked the idea of a print instead of a solid, since the plain front would show the print off well with no seams to have to worry about pattern matching.

For my first attempt/wearable muslin, I went against Peggy Sager’s advice not to overthink it, and made my own multi-size by grading from one size to another as shown in the table below.

The resulting blouse was too large all over, but at least I learned from it! I noticed that the fabric wasn’t hanging quite right on me from the neckline to the bustline. The fabric was pooling above my bust. Even though the size was too big, I could also tell that I was going to want to shorten the funnel neck height. The ties are attached and ended up getting narrowed as well, which was fine. I also decided to change up the sleeve to a bishop sleeve. I made a clean start muslin in a straight size 1, and fit it for what needed correcting.

For the second attempt in the yellow fabric, I chose a straight size 1, with these fit and style changes:

  1. I corrected the front bodice fabric pooling
  2. I shortened the height of the neck funnel and narrowed the ties
  3. I substituted the sleeves with a bishop sleeve with special cuff “hack”
  4. I took a swayback correction after it was sewn
  5. For the second blouse I made style changes

1. Fixing the front bodice fabric pooling

The first change was a tricky one I had never done like this before, so I’m happy to share it! The sign that I needed it was that fabric was pooling on my chest above my bust, below the neckline. This basically meant I needed the front version of a swayback correction! Here is my quickie sketch of what this change would look like:

When you do this change on the pattern, before the fabric is cut and sewn into a garment, the change is invisible – meaning it has no seam to “give it away.” In this case, we are taking the change back to the pattern from a muslin, so I was able to try it on, pin out the excess & measure what needed to be done. Here are those steps, shown in detail for a front pattern piece:

2. Shortening the funnel neck height

This was pretty straightforward in theory, but since the neck ties are grown on to the pattern, it meant they got narrowed as well. At the top of the front and back bodice pieces, the neckline has a grown on facing which folds back into the blouse. I simply pinched out 1/4″ at the fold line, which lowered the top of the neckline by 1/2.”

3. Converting the sleeve into a bishop sleeve with a hack

I knew I wanted the blouse to have a bishop sleeve going into an elongated, narrow “cuff” at the wrist. I added fullness at the sleeve head and where it met the cuff. In order to make the fitted cuff I wanted, I had to figure out a way to get it over my hand. I didn’t want to take the time to do buttons and buttonholes on this project, so that option was out. I considered shirring the whole cuff, but didn’t want to do this because it would distort the pretty but busy bird print of the fabric, and I didn’t want that.

My solution or hack was to do a hybrid cuff! I kept the fabric of the cuff flat in front, and shirred enough of the back to get me to the point where I could slide my hand in & out of the sleeve but still have the desired level of snugness. This took some trial and error, but was so worth it in the end! You can check out the blouse and cuff in more detail in my July 2023 Makes and Fabric Haul YouTube video! Let me know in a comment if you’d like a blog post or video tutorial on this!

4. I took a swayback correction after it was sewn

So, I noticed when I had sewn the garment in the fabric that I was unhappy with the way the back fit. It had more of a swayback correction need than I could fix with the vertical darts, so I fixed that. I took a swayback correction about 2.5″ down from the base of the neck. I did this a little higher up than I usually do so that I could disguise it in a seam that looked like an intentional design feature or yoke seam. It worked great.

To see this broken down in more detail, you can check out my blog on how to take a swayback correction on an already sewn garment where you don’t mind having a seam across the back. In my situation, I’d almost always take a seam across the back if it means I won’t have the pooling of fabric that the swayback correction fixes!

5. Second blouse style changes

After seeing how great the first blouse in yellow turned out, I made a second version. This time I took the fullness out of the sleeve head, but kept it where it met the cuff. I also shortened the cuff, but still used the same hybrid shirred cuff method. For this version, I incorporated the swayback correction into the pattern, so it had no back “yoke” seam. The last change was that I made the neck tie on the right shoulder instead of the left, just for fun.

Final garments

In Conclusion

I had a lot of fun playing around with sleeves, cuff hacks, and learning new ways to fit the blouse with this pattern. Also, just to keep it honest, I am not compensated in any way nor do I have any association with Silhouette Patterns, and I would let you know if I did. I do tend to use their patterns a lot since they come in bust cup sizing, and I find that convenient. I really like the results I got with this blouse, and would still like to make one in a silk fabric. I also think it would be very nice in a rayon challis, and I might have a stash fabric or two that would fit the bill. I also think it would make a really sweet sleeveless blouse. I don’t think I’m done playing with it yet… I hope you found this helpful and stay sew happy!

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