Like the first sip of a tiki drink. Like jumping into Lake Michigan on a hot day. Like peeling off a wet sports bra.
If you happened to pick up a RedEye newspaper yesterday, check out the New Year’s Eve Guide insert.
My friend Lauren is a style blogger and contributor for RedEye, and she wrote up “Raising the Style Bar,” which features a little bit of fashion advice from yours truly. It’s mainly about how to dress like a disco ball, but with tact. Thanks for the shoutout, Lauren!
I think it’s safe to say that Grainline Studio’s Scout Woven Tee is the darling of the indie pattern world. I’ve read rave reviews from probably 15+ bloggers at this point, most commending the pattern for its sizing, breezy fit, and ease of construction. Not to mention that it makes it really easy to highlight a fantastic print.
But, being slightly cynical, I wasn’t quite sold by the blogosphere’s near-unanimous praise. A slouchy, loose-fitting T-shirt with no bust darts (no darts at all, actually), to be made with a nonstretch woven fabric. Uhhh, I’m all for embracing this summer’s boxy shirt trend, but I was a little afraid this would veer into the “looks like you’re wearing a tent” arena. Still, at only $6.50 ($7.50 total because of dumb Illinois tax), I had to give it a shot.
Scout calls for a lightweight woven fabric. Per usual, I hit up the Needle Shop in Chicago’s North Center, where I found a beautiful Leah Duncan hyacinth fabric (not in stock anymore).
It’s 100% cotton and super soft—really an awesome print for summer with its crisp off-white color and pops of navy. I washed and dried it, then got to work laying out my PDF pattern pieces and cutting out the fabric.
There are only four pattern pieces total—the front, back, sleeves, and bias neckline binding—making the cutting process a total breeze. The pattern includes seam allowances (my last PDF pattern did not), which is another huge plus in my book. So far, so good, Scout.
After sewing the back and front pieces together, I used Grainline Studio’s tutorial, Getting Flat Bias Necklines, to finish the scoop neck. If you haven’t visited the Grainline Studio website, check it out. Jen Beeman, the brain behind Grainline, sells her PDF patterns there and also shares super helpful tutorials and tips that complement her designs. Plus, I read an interview that revealed she lives in Chicago and likes Black Dog Gelato, the best dessert in the city/state/world. OK, done fan-girling and pining for goat cheese cashew gelato. Back to the pattern!
I finished the bottom with a simple double-fold hem. Next were the sleeves, and the directions call for a double row of basting stitches in order to gather the sleeves when attaching them to the bodice. The sleeves went in without a hitch, and I finished each edge with another double-fold hem and gave the whole thing a quick press.
At this point, I was… done?! How could it be!? Surely this was too good to be true. I’d never sewn a (wearable) shirt in less than 90 minutes, so naturally I assumed it would look wonky when I tried it on.
To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure about it when I first tried on the finished product. I usually wear more fitted tops or ones that are cinched at the waist. This tee is kind of the opposite of all that. The garment details aren’t lyin’ when they say that “this top falls into a loose shape below the bust.” But within 15 minutes of wearing Scout, I was converted. It’s loose, yet somehow manages to skim the body in a flattering way. It’s also insanely comfortable. I can see pairing this shirt with everything from linen shorts to skinny jeans or even tucked into a pencil skirt with a belt thrown on top. This is really a great, simple pattern and I can’t wait to sew up a few more. Maybe I’ll try Jen’s Madewell Scout variation next.
And that’s about it! PDF pattern #2 complete for my summer challenge. If they’re all as easy and awesome as Scout, I might need to up the ante and start sewing two or three per month! Any personal favorites?