So, just to go over old territory, everybody loves a Grainline Scout t-shirt. It’s a lovely simple pattern for a slouchy, swing shaped tee. All the sewing bloggers say how easy it is and how they love it and have sewn loads of them in knits and silk and cotton- a while back I sewed one up and totally f**ked it up, if you want to wallow in my past failure, you can here.
But a defeatist I am not, or rather a defeatist I am not, after I have had a chance to sulk, give the pattern the stink eye, take a little nap and then come back to it after a snack. This my friends is a blog post of victory.This my friends is a Grainline scout that I have not totally f**ked up.
For some time I have been trying to create a more streamlined wardrobe, with more classic pieces and less things that could help me assemble a Lady GaGa costume at a moments notice. In my head I want to be one of those women who is all about clean line basics, assembled into one chic outfit and then top if off with a kooky necklace and wickedly precise eyeliner.
Looking through my wardrobe, an item I wear to death is a white crepe cami- it goes with everything.
It is clean and simple so can handle any number of accessories. With this in mind I thought I could use a nice cream tee in a silky crepe, the kind of thing I imagine I will buy from Cos or Reiss when I’m a grown up.
I managed to get this slinky cream coloured stuff off eBay, it was pretty cheap and it is somewhere between a viscose and a crepe. When this arrived I was worried that it was going to be really slippery and awkward to work with but in the end it wasn’t as bad as I feared.
Now, when I started this Scout I didn’t have any intention to do any hacks or smarty pants sewing, however, this dream of simplicity wasn’t to last long. Plans were that I was going to cut a standard 12 and sew it all up in an afternoon and saunter about wearing it. However, once I started to lay out the fabric and cut the pattern, I realised it was actually quite sheer and to wear it, would either have to wear the finished Scout over another top or indeed be aiming for a nip revealing Lady GaGa inspired ensemble. I wanted to illustrate just how sheer it was , so to do that I laid it over my awesome grungy Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt so you can see the design show through.
I was determined to crack this Scout and wasn’t going to give in. With a little pattern rearrangement I managed to cut two pieces and would make the front double layered. However this meant I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the back piece on the fold, so had to cut two back pieces with extra seam allowance and sew together leaving a seam down the middle.
Because of this pattern change I then thought to myself, ‘How can I make this very simple task slightly more challenging for myself, and push myself as a sewer and human person?’ (aaaaactually I was having my first work free weekend, after several very taxing weeks, so think I was just giddy not to be replying to emails and high on sugar). The answer to my question was to tackle french seams. For this to be the Cos rip off I so wanted it to be, it would have to be finished well and the lightweight slinky fabric lent itself to this technique.
I had read about this technique in a couple of my sewing books and was pretty confident. This way of sewing catches the raw edges inside, by sewing pattern pieces wrong sides together initially, then turning back to the traditional right sides together to finish.
I did like how the seems turned out and it is certainly more pleasing to look at than my usual zig zag stitch or pinking trim of seams. I think I might be inclined to keep doing this until I splash out and get an overlocker or m trying to be fancy pants. The extra effort is totally worth it and can only help to make homemade garments, longer lasting and look boss.
Even though I liked doing french seams in a ‘I’m not a novice any more! YIPEE!’ kind of way , it did mean every time I sewed a seam, my heart jumped into my mouth as I kept thinking I’d sewn it inside out, I hope this is something I’ll get over in time and proves I should probably exclaim ‘I’m a bit less novice-y than I was a little while ago! Huzzah!’.
After doing a few very lovely french seems at the shoulders and down the side, I was then slightly baffled at how to execute them attaching the sleeves to the bodice (does anyone has a good link for this?). I managed to do something, but it’s whilst I was doing it, I could feel it was very far away from recommended procedure.
Now there are many things I feel very lucky to have in this life- happiness, health, relatively good mental arithmetic skills, a pizza cutter shaped like the USS Enterprise and…weedy upper arms. In the aforementioned french seam sleeve challenge, I did not gather the top of my sleeves to set them in as per the Grainline instructions. Last time I made a Scout I didn’t gather the sleeves either, but that was with a more forgiving knit fabric and also the top as a whole was a complete pile of balls, so goodness knows why I thought I knew better again this time. I really am a sewing tosser sometimes.
By not doing the sleeves as per the instructions, I have ended up with a very slim sleeve, which if I were not blessed with weedy upper arms would have been a catastrophe.
Due to the double layer of the front piece I also had to do a double hem. I chose that the inner layer was slightly shorter, and the outer layer would meet the single back piece as one length hem. I felt this was neater and also made less of a point that the front was lined and the back was not. I finished the hem and sleeves with a double turn up, to make sure their weren’t any raw edges there either.
Thats about it, otherwise a very standard Scout t-shirt.
I am really pleased with this top and even more pleased once I added one of my badass gold FOB.com labels too.
I can really see this becoming a staple in my wardrobe and getting lots of wear, unlike my previous Flora and Bum Denial pencil skirt, which haven’t made many appearances in the real world.
As you will see below, the back is still pretty sheer, so can’t really get away with the purple bra like in the picture, but I can’t imagine this will put me off wearing it.
I even wore this top out the very next day to work and then to a curry with gal pals at the amazing Rasa in Stoke Newington. I managed to make it to the end the day with no stains down the front, which is a fate my other white tops suffer far too often.
Other Scout plans include makes from, black textured crepe with lovely hang, a black leather look jersey knit and another cream one, but with Liberty florals for the back piece.