Category Archives: Sewing

Scout Tee

Despite tackling three different versions of the Alder Shirtdress, and being mildly obsessed with Grainline Studio patterns in general, I have somehow never made a Scout Tee.  When I jumped back into sewing last summer, I was mostly motivated by my desire to have a collared shirtdress (the Alder), and skipped over a bunch of perfectly lovely patterns that would have been far simpler and significantly less frustrating.  One of these was the minimalist Scout Tee, which is quite ubiquitous in the sewing blogosphere.

I used a double gauze from Cotton + Steel, bought last summer in Portland, OR at Bolt, in a color that seems either coral or reddish-orange depending on the light.  It’s actually a bit brighter than I anticipated, but since we hit 70 degrees today, I think it’s appropriate.  I also managed to eek this top out of about a yard of fabric (maybe less!) because I knew I could be more efficient than the printed cutting diagram (often the case when I’m making a small size).

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The pattern really is simple to put together (just four 4 pieces to cut, woohoo!), and it produces a nice breezy top that still manages to be flattering.  I did end up with a bit of a gaping neckline (see below), and have a feeling this is a fit issue, or just that I need to cut a shorter bias piece, or something, since this happens with a lot of my tops.  Experienced sewists, please inform me if you know what I’m doing wrong!

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Since the pattern is only fitted at the shoulders, I cut a 2 to accommodate my broad back/shoulders, and then graded down to a 0 (which is the right size according to my bust measurement).  It may not have been necessary to even make that adjustment, but I just remember that my Tiny Pocket Tank from last summer was a straight 0, and although it fits, I have to shimmy a little to get it on my body.

And just because I’m nerding out here, I’ve finally figured out how to use the overcast stitch! I stumbled across a great deal on Craigslist for my serger about a year ago, so I’ve never made the effort to figure out how to overcast, but my new sewing machine (more on that another time) makes things so easy to understand that I finally went for it.  It’s obviously much slower than the serger, but the ease of getting that perfectly coordinating thread without having to rethread my serger is kind of cool.

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Also, I’m still working on getting good photos of my makes, so bear with me as I learn to use my camera remote without looking like there is something very odd happening with my arms.  :-/

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Carolyn PJs

It took me a little bit of inner strength to post these pictures of me in my jammies, but we crafters know that it’s normal to share front, side, and butt views of all our makes, right? I know from reading other sewing blogs that those self-conscious feelings just need to be chucked out the window, because hello, we need to know how well these garments fit.  It’s a new thing for me, but I think I’m making progress.

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So, the Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case Files.  I made a pair of these for my sister as a Christmas gift, but hadn’t yet made a pair for myself.  In fact, my husband was also the recipient of some pajama pants (from a Men’s Simplicity pattern) back in November for his bday, so it was really time for me to have a pair of my own.

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I cut a straight size 4, based on my hip size.  The pattern suggests that in this case, since the waist is elastic, the hip size (rather than waist) is the one to go with.  It’s an excellent fit, roomy but still flattering, and I think that has to do with the slightly narrower leg.  Most RTW pajama pants are really billowy, which I can deal with, but these LOOK GOOD.  Like I’m super comfortable, but I still have legs.

I did have to chop off about an inch or an inch and a half to get the right length, so I think that I’ll do that adjustment on my pattern pieces next time, particularly since I was cutting it so close with the amount of fabric I had (2.5 yards of a 45″ width) that I had to piece together part of the waistband.  Not a huge deal, but annoying nonetheless when you buy the called-for yardage.  The fabric is a brushed cotton that is absurdly cozy and warm, from Cotton & Steel’s Holiday 2015 line.  This is the Washi print in Navy, from the Tinsel Collection (appears to still be available here).  When Fancy Tiger Crafts had a 20% off sale on Cotton & Steel over Black Friday, I went for it.  There wasn’t enough of this print to make a full set (top and bottom), but I find that I always end up in an old t-shirt when I’m wearing my pj pants anyways.

There’s nothing better than pockets, and these don’t disappoint, plus the construction is really clever (says the lady who has only sewn on-seam pockets and is probably easily impressed, but still…).  I couldn’t be happier with the finished product, and am looking forward to tackling the other version with piping, as well as the shorts version once it isn’t the dead of winter.  And if I’m feeling particularly brave, there’s a cut of Liberty lawn in my closet that might make an exceptionally classy set of summer pajamas.

Oh, and for the nerds who read to the bottom of the post, check out this amazing seam-matching I did!  So, so proud.

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