Friday, 6 September 2013

Completed: Silk Scout!

I finished it. And I LOVE it! Why did it take me so long to buy this pattern?

I bought the pattern and ordered fabric online, intending to make a different version, but then remembered about this fabric in my stash. 

Strange light in the garden that evening - last days of summer!
I originally bought 1.5m of this silk, from John Lewis, intending to make a Colette Violet blouse, however after I brought it home, I realised it had a sort of scallop pattern in amongst the ditsy floral print. I love the scallop, and I decided I didn't want to break it up with a button placket - or have to pattern match it, as I didn't have enough fabric for that, so it joined my stash. For a while it was going to be a short sleeved Mathilde, til I realised I probably didn't really have enough and that the pintucks would still break it up. Then, I bought the Scout pattern, and had the brainwave! 

This pattern is perfect for the fabric. No darts, no seams other than side seams. There is nothing to break up the fabric. It would be great for a large scale print. Plus it's a simple straightforward pattern for a troublesome fabric.

On the whole the fabric wasn't actually too bad, and it certainly wouldn't put me off silk in future, but it was more tricky than I have experienced previously. The fabric did seem to become harder to handle after I pre-washed it, which makes it lovely and drapey to wear but tricky to sew. The main issues were that it moved when I cut it, pins fell out all the time and it was really hard to press.

You can best see the print here
The fact that it moved during cutting out was probably the most frustrating piece about the whole thing and almost certainly the cause of most of my issues. The hemming issue I had originally is better now, but not perfect, and the neckline doesn't sit quite straight. I think both these issues are caused by the fabric slipping while cutting and therefore one side is not cut perfectly on grain. It's not massively off, but it probably shows why these things are important.

I french seamed the side seams and used my overlock stitch on the armholes, which is fairly standard for me these days. The bias binding is machined down as are the sleeve and bottom hem. Although this is fancy silk, it's a casual shape and I felt that machine stitching added to that casual feel. That's my excuse.

This was after a day's wear, hence the creases.
I cut the size 4, which matched my bust and hip measurements perfectly When I made the muslin, I had some excess fabric at the shoulder/upper bust area, just next to the sleeve. I also felt it was a bit loose below the bust, so I took out about 0.5cm all the way down from the shoulder to the hem. This felt fine on the muslin, but on the finished garment it feels a little tight now across the upper back and at the bottom front of the armhole. I'm not sure if the armhole issue is related to the adjustment or whether this is a separate issue. At first it annoyed  me, but having worn the blouse for a whole day, I found it actually didn't bother me that much. For my next version, I may try just taking the excess from the shoulder and leaving the rest. Anyone have any other suggestions?

I love this blouse already. It does feel a little summery, but it will work well under a cardigan, so I will probably get quite a bit of wear out of this.

I have grand plans for this little pattern. I already have 2 pattern hack ideas, one based on the original RTW inspiration:

Chinti & Parker Voile tee - no longer for sale

and the other based on another pattern. That might be a bit awful considering it's another Indie pattern company, but I'm not sure I can justify the purchase of both, if I can do it myself. IF I can do it myself, that is.
Sinbad & Sailor Dove Tee
I do realise both of these are quite summery, considering we're into autumn, it was 10°C today and I have 2 other things to make before I even get started on these. They might end up not happening til next summer now, but that's OK.

So, there we go. Next up, my niece's dress and Fall for Cotton!


  1. Love your top, the fabric is gorgeous! I have silk in my stash that I am a bit scared to use, maybe I should use it!


    1. Go for it! But I would suggest you choose an easy pattern, and you do a full muslin or practice on an easy fabric first. At least then you know what to expect from the pattern!

  2. Oh, it's lovely - a perfect marriage of pattern and fabric! And it looks ideal for transeasonal weather :)
    I hear your pain on the slipping-while-cutting issue - I'm up to my eyeballs in bridesmaids' chiffon at the moment and I haaaaaaate it!
    :( I read somewhere it can be helpful to lay slippery fabric out over a layer of tissue paper and cut both, but I'm actually finding it's working pretty well to lay it out on carpet rather than a table. So long as it's laid out perfectly straight, that is!
    Love your hack ideas! I don't think you'd have any trouble DIYing either of them. Aren't versatile patterns just the best!
    PS: Our absolute coldest, middle-of-winter day this year was 8 degrees...

    1. Thank you! :) I did cut on carpet which probably did help a bit, but it clearly just wasn't totally straight. It had been torn rather than cut, so I presumed it had torn on the grain, but I wonder now if it had torn off grain - apparently that is possible, especially on lighterweight fabrics.

      Lucky you if that's your winter! TBH, this afternoon was lovely and warm again. That is Scottish weather for you!

  3. The Scout Tee is such a great pattern and I really like it in the silk. It's a very pretty top and I think the colors will be perfect in fall. I made a knit version using Jen's online tutorial and it came together very easily which shows how versatile this pattern is. I can't wait to see your hacked versions!

    1. Thanks Shar! It is a great pattern! Can't wait to see your knit version!

  4. This looks great! It's a gorgeous colour and I think it'll be perfect for Autumn with a cardigan. I've not sewed with silk yet but have some that I got a few years ago in a bargain bin at Mandors that I will really need to have a go with. Looking forward to seeing your pattern hacks!

    1. Thanks Kathryn! Ahh, silk in a bargain bin - how lucky are you!!! I suggest you not only wait til the baby is born, but wait til he/she is sleeping better before you begin on that one though. :)

    2. haha there speaks the voice of experience!

    3. LOL! Tired sewing is always a bad idea, particularly when it's a treasured piece of fabric!

  5. Beautiful..I love simple patterns in beautiful fabrics -- you've done a great job!


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