Grainline Scout Tee: Knit Madewell Variation

madewell scout tee grainline studio sewing

This top was a no brainer. I had a little over a yard of black ponte knit fabric left after making this simple half-circle skirt, and I’ve been crushing on Jen’s Madewell Scout variation since she posted the pattern and sewing tutorials this spring.

madewell scout tee variation sewing

The tutorial was easy to follow and well photographed, making for a relatively quick project, albeit finished over a couple days because of weekday time constraints. Sidenote: Kudos to anyone with the patience to start and finish a project during the workweek. Try as I might, I always end up finishing on a Saturday or Sunday and then promptly celebrating with several cold beverages.

The Madewell variation calls for three changes to the original Scout pattern:

  1. Raised neckline with a split opening
  2. Slightly curved bottom hem
  3. Longer sleeves with a fold

I had every intention of incorporating each change, but I was just shy of having enough fabric for the lengthened sleeves so I sewed those up like normal. Since I used a knit, this knit Scout tutorial also came in handy when it came to cutting the fabric, hemming, and cutting neckband binding.

I’ve gotten lots of wear out of my first Scout tee, but I have noticed a tiny bit of tightness across my back from armpit to armpit. One of my goals this year is to achieve a more perfect fit with my garments, so I wanted to make sure that I addressed the tight-back issue on this Scout. A Google search turned up this gem from Threads, and it goes into lengthy detail about how to adjust a pattern piece if you have a broad back (or a narrow back, but I have no clue what that looks like since the breadth of my upper ribs rivals that of most NFL linebackers).

threads magazine adjust a pattern for a broad back

I slashed the pattern and added about a half inch between the mid-shoulder to hem, as the Threads image shows. After that adjustment, I simply altered the neckline and hemline per Jen’s instructions and got to work.

grainline studio scout knit madewell tee

Creating the split front was surprisingly easy, just make sure to leave enough binding on either side of the V (Grainline’s tutorial pic here). I left too small an amount on one side and struggled to get a clean finish on the wrong side of the garment. I also wasn’t entirely sure how to hem the curved edges where they met, so I just tapered the standard half inch hem at those spots. Other than that, this came together like a dream and is amazingly comfy. I’m glad to have some solid black staples in my wardrobe now, but my print-hungry brain is dying for an insanely bold pattern.

grainline studio madewell scout tee

The Hudson Pant is next up on my docket, so stay tuned for some possibly wacky-printed track pants. Let me know in the comments if you’ve sewn these up yet and have any tips!

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