Hope for the best and get a Hot Mess.

photo 1 (1)I’d say that up until now most of the projects I’ve blogged about have been a success.
This however, I would class, as a failure- My first Grainline Scout.

After seeing so many gorgeous Scouts online, I was sold and ready to whip one up in every colour.
It had everything I wanted, the casual slouchy style, a pdf print off pattern, no button holes for me to avoid. Grainline have such a cult following in online sewing circles and I was planning for this to launch me into a world of gorgeous ‘Archers’ ‘Maritimes’ and ‘Tiny pocket tanks’.
However, despite there being so many wonderful examples of scouts and many guides, hacks, tips and support line numbers- I CHOSE TO IGNORE THEM ALL AND MAKE A WONKY SCRATCHY PUCKERED PILE OF CRAPINGTONS.

photo 2 (1)To quote the innumerable Tim Gunn it was a ‘Hot Mess’.

I thought that a scout could give me the perfect black jersey t-shirt I am constantly on the hunt for. So you would think I would have chosen a gorgeous luxe black jersey, maybe run it in the washing machine with some salt to soften and ‘vintage’ it up a bit. No. I bought the cheapest jersey ever. It is pretty much 100% nylon, I think it is just those dodgy black plastic bags you get from corner shops, shredded and knitted into a 4 way stretch. This fabric is itchy and I would be very weary to stand next to radiator for fear of going up in flames.

Scouts are designed for woven fabric, I know that, but I ignored it. There are some jersey scout examples online and they seemed fine, constructed by more experienced seamstresses than I. Maybe not the best idea to make my first scout with knit, especially as I am unfamiliar with sewing stretch fabrics- but I decided to throw caution to the wind.

photo 13. MY MACHINE
I don’t have a serger and up until only recently I had a little dinky machine that didn’t really have a specific stitch for knits. I thought “I’ll just sew it anyway and hope for the best”. There is a reason for knit friendly stitches, I am sure a great number of people have invested a lot of time over the years in finding the best way to sew knits, but I decided I knew better as a hobby sewer of 10 years.
I went for straight stitch instead of zig zag, my tension was off, the dog teeth weren’t as regimental as usual. Sewing my scout ended in a number of bobbin tangles and ‘basketing’. It was a bad idea.
Very occasionally bad ideas turn out to be good ideas, like when someone suggests doing more shots or skinny dipping or putting peanut butter on top of anything, but this was certainly not one of those, this was a bad, bad idea.

photo 24. THE NEEDLE Oh and I also didn’t bother to change the needle to a knit friendly ball point either. It’s not like they are made specially for the job or anything. As a result of using a regular needle, the holes at the seams were massive, even gape-y at times. This particularly shows on the neckline binding.

setting the sleeves was just a debacle, they look rubbish and are an accurate reflection of the number of curse words used in the process. As you will see I even managed to put one of the sleeves on inside out.

Here it is. Bluuurrrgggh.

photo 3

I am already in the process of making a new scout, this time I am going to play by the rules and stop being such a sewing renegade. As with any mistake, they most frustrating part is when you know why it went wrong and in this instance it was because I ignored nearly everything I know about sewing. What a wally.

On the subject of sewing rules (only so I can ignore them) , here’s some lovely olde timey advice to get you in the right state for sewing, thanks to the lovely Abbie Sio-Bahn Goff.

photo 4

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