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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Scout Woven Tee

Ok, so my first challenge with the Fabric Mart Sewing challenge week 1 which you can read about here.  So at first glance, easy peasy, right?  Well, not for miss over-analyzer Sue.  Yep, that would be me!  And that is how I sew....will this work?  Is this just the right fabric for this pattern?  Is this the right interfacing?  Will it fit right?

Sometimes I drive myself so crazy I actually forget to sit and sew but instead contemplate what I am going to do with each pattern and fabric.  Sometimes I actually have gotten to the point of having everything pinned and am ready to make my first cut and then change my mind!  Good thing I am a female!  Truly though, I am working hard to just cut it out and sew something!  So here is my journey with the Scout Woven Tee.

So for the pattern:
 Scout Tee

Should be no problem, right?  Well, if you read the directions to the contest, you need to make it your own by embellishing and altering the pattern.  Anyone can make a pattern as written, but when you take time to fit it right and to have fun and be creative, it is a process!  Albeit a fun and challenging one at that!

So here is my journey with my very own Scout!

First, the fit....oh the fit!  According to my measurements, I should have made a 14, well, I did that once and although the fit was fine, I wasn't thrilled with it.  You can see that top below.

See what I mean?  It is fine, but definitely not worthy of entering into a contest!  So, I made two muslins, why two?  Well, becuse I wasn't happy with the first alterations and wanted to make sure I loved it, so two I made.

Here is the first, which to me looks frumpy and lumpy.  This is a size based solely on my measurements.  Major modifications are needed!  Agreed?

Look at those drag lines at the bust!  I just think that looser-fitting tops look so cute on a different body type than mine.   I feel frumpy in them!

Ok, so major adjustments needed for swayback, addition of bust darts, smaller hips and waist to start. Wow, so I started pinning this how I wanted it to look and couldn't get the bust to stop pulling at various places so I thought maybe I needed to use my high bust measurement and then adjust for a full-bust.

Sounds reasonable, right?  So my second muslin was a size 10, which is two sizes smaller than what I started with!  I added a bust dart and my swayback adjustment was reduced twice to a total of about 1.5 inches--to  me, that is a startling amount!  Although whatever, it worked!  I struggled with over-fitting the top as I really wanted it more tailored rather than swimming-in looking!  So, enough was enough and here is my second muslin--lesson learned, make more muslins  Why am I such a stinker about this?  I so rarely do it and what a tremendous difference it made in this top!

Here were my other ideas for this top:
1.  Button up back, because I am a sucker for any top that has a button back!
2.  Three-quarter sleeves, because well, fall and winter are approaching rapidly and I'd like to wear this once or twice before putting it away until spring.
3.  Bias-bands on the neckline and hems because I love the look
4.  Color blocking!  I love lots of color!
5.  Silk fabric, so it would be floaty....more on that later.

The process:
Oh the process!  So after making my muslins and transferring the markings to the pattern pieces, I set about to find fabrics.  My first thought was to use silks in three colors.  Let me tell you a bit about the fabric choices where I live, we have a JoAnn's and a Hancock.  There are three quilt shops and a Hobby Lobby.  Do you think I was able to find silk?  Don't spend too much time contemplating, the answer is no!  Hancock's selection was closest with 70% silk but in beige.  Argh.  Next decision was to try and hand dye some fabric to the colors I had envisioned.  But my dye from Dharma Trading Company recommends natural fibers.  What was available to me?  Synthetics.  I don't give up too easily and decided to try and dye 100% poly.  What happened?  Well, it is pretty!  I used twice the amount of dye so I could end up with a deep fuchsia red, but got a baby pink....Grrr!  BTW, the dyed fabric is on the far right.

Next thought was to drive to a local thrift shop and try and find some gently used silk clothing I could dye and use.  Smart, right?  Maybe in theory, but in practicality I found only one top made of silk. My Argh's and Grrr's quickly progressed to unrepeatable four-letter words!  While I was looking for the silks I did find some fabrics I really liked and decided to deconstruct and use in my top.   And, I found two colorways and decided to make not one but two tops so I would have a choice of entries.   I like choices, how about you?

Why don't I rescue more unwanted clothing more often?  I made sure I purchased high-quality fabrics and trims and it gave me another layer of the challenge that I took on!  I really loved the colors in the blues and greens and started with those.

Something I hadn't considered with taking apart previously made garments (most of which were brand-spanking new!) was that the seams and such made it impossible to have big pieces that I could straight cut the pattern pieces.  Creative piecing was in order along with dealing with things such as button bands--check out one of my sleeves!

So with the major portions of the top front and back ready to cut, I had to make a commitment on fabric choices and my only option happened to be the dark blue with the white emblems on it.  Is it bandanna like?  Is it just a random print?  Not sure, but since it was a never-worn dress with a background color I liked, I went for it!  Creative piecing was in order and worked well for my overall design.

Speaking of design, it sort of evolved as I went along.  I found that as I added embellishments, I thought of more things I could do and tried them out.  I mean, how many people use all those decorative stitches on their machines?  I try, but with over 100, I have only scratched the surface and tend to go back to the ones I like the best, and are also the simplest.  Trying to branch out can be difficult, but with the main greenish-yellow band on the front (is this chartreuse?) I knew it needed some sort of dark blue stitching on it.  I like the effect.  Super easy, but very creative, amirite?  

I also found this baby and normal sized rickrack in my stash and in the perfect colors!  It had to be used, it is a match made in heaven!  I also used it down the center back seam which was originally going to be a button back, but I thought that might border on too much, and added just the right amount of touch I wanted and felt was needed.

Other parts of the construction process included bias bands on the neckline that flipped to the right side which I show in process here:

Also, I had to use this button band down the sleeve, you would too if you had the chance, right? 
Baby rickrack highlights the seam as well.  

So enough about all this process nonsense, let's see more of the final result!


So, now I am wondering what your thoughts are?  Have you done anything like this before?  What did you think?

Thanks for reading!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Is yours posted? I can't wait to see all the versions!

    2. Not yet. Me toooooo! It's so exciting!

  2. I would never have thought you would end up here from where you started. Great job.

    1. Thank you nancy! This was a fun yet challenging contest for me!

  3. This was my favorite entry. I loved how you reused thrift store fabrics and made it look special.

  4. This is so pretty! I love everything, and I love how committed you were to the process. I applaud all of your hard work!!

    BTW, this made me lol: 1. Button up back, because I am a sucker for any top that has a button back!

    Yeah, I made a button back on mine. Great minds? ;-)

  5. You are right with the great minds! :)

  6. What a great idea to use thrifted clothing! I had the same problem, no WAY would I have found silk local to me. I can't believe you actually dyed polyester, I've heard that it's basically impossible!

    1. Thanks Beth, I have to say that dying polyester is pretty impossible, but at least it held onto some of the color! I am glad I used the thrifted clothing....although I do wish I had found silk!

  7. This looks great on you! You really got a great fit, and the combined fabrics make it so visually interesting! I'm going to have to start doing more thrift shopping for my sewing.

    1. Thanks Ann! This was so much fun! I am pretty sure that I have enough clothing in my closet I could 'thrift' into other things! I should have started there!

  8. Great thrift store finds to make an awesome top! I also really love the little extras you popped on your Scout.

    I had the same fitting issues as you; I think this top works best for ladies with a bit straighter shapes than ours!

    1. Oh yes! It is for sure made for straighter ladies! It was fun and somewhat challenging to work with the pattern!