Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Completed: Another Scout!

Firstly, thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my last post! So sweet! :)

And now on to another make. This has been a long time coming. I started it over a month ago, and it should have been a very easy, quick and straightforward make. Yes, it was relatively easy and straightforward, but early stage pregnancy exhaustion, plus my forcing myself to do my "best sewing" meant it was anything but quick. Hey ho, that's how life is at the moment.

This blouse was ripped off from inspired by this blouse I have had Pinned for a while, by Chinti and Parker (it's no longer available) which I thought was really pretty and looked very much like Grainline Studio's Scout Woven Tee, with a couple of variations.

Source: Chinti and Parker
Actually, I have only just realised that I forgot about the pocket!!! Doesn't matter. The bit I was most interested in was the ruffle at the back. I am not a huge fan of ruffles and flounces on myself. I find they just get in the way of life, but I do like a bit of added interest, particularly on the back of a garment. And this is not too ruffley.

Back in the summer, I bought a beautiful silky cotton voile in this delicious berry colour from The Village Haberdashery. I managed to snaffle the last 2 and a bit metres, so it's no longer available. At the time I really swithered* between the berry and this pumpkin colour which is still available, but in the end I felt the berry would suit me better. How gorgeous is the pumpkin though? I may still need to purchase some of that! I wasn't too bothered about the pink or the white of the original inspriration garment. I don't really wear either of those colours, particularly not white. And it's just as well, seeing as this garment never made it to fruition until November!

The make, as I said, was really straightforward. I decided to omit the back seam on the original because I didn't need it, so it was just the ruffle. On the inspiration picture, it looks like the ruffle starts at the model's natural waist, so using my back neck to waist measurement, I measured the pattern piece, remembering to factor in seam allowance at the neck and to add seam allowance at the waist. I then cut the pattern piece straight across at this point. For me, this ended up coincidentally being right on the shorten/lengthen line!

I cut the top back bodice piece, and the rest of the pattern pieces, as normal. For the ruffle, I used the bottom back bodice piece as a guide for shape, but I widened it (horizontally across the width of my back). Initially I increased the width by 1.5 times, as I wasn't sure how much volume I wanted it to have. I gathered the piece and pinned it to the top back bodice piece, but there was too much volume for my liking, and compared to the Chinti and Parker version, so I reduced it until it looked about right for me. I didn't measure it, or take pictures of this stage, sorry, as I was at my sewing class and I just didn't think. I tried to keep the curved shape of the bottom of this pattern piece on the extended piece, and of course I added seam allowance at the top.

The side seams, underarm seams and the ruffle seam (attaching it to the back bodice piece) are all French seamed. Before I attached the sleeves, I tried it on and decided it was too volumey. The fabric is lovely and silky, but it's not overly drapey, so it stood away from me and looked really boxy. So in the end I took it in at the sides. This meant unpicking and re-doing those lovely French seams, which was annoying, but worth it. I took the sides in 3cm (about 1.25 inches) at the bottom, tapering this out to nothing at the bottom of the armhole. It hasn't taken loads off, but it hangs a bit more nicely now.

Was quite obviously taking these photos myself, hence lack of head!
In the end, looking at the finished garment, the ruffle is about 1.5 inches wider than the pattern piece. Adding 1.25 inches back onto that (that I removed for fit) means my ruffle was probably 2.75 inches (or about 7cm) wider than the pattern piece originally (once I had adjusted it to my preference). Hope that makes sense?

The sleeve seams were finished using my machine's overlock stitch. All fairly standard for me.

When I came to finish the neckline, I realised I had either failed to read, or failed to understand the instructions for my first Scout. For that one I enclosed the neckline in the bias binding, but this time I realised the bias binding was to be used as a facing. Both work, and actually I think I might prefer the exposed bias binding as a finish, given you end up with a topstitch around the neck anyway.

I am really happy with this blouse, it's exactly what I was hoping to make (minus the forgotten pocket). The voile is a little sheer but I can wear a pale bra underneath without it being seen. Plus for autumn/winter I have a couple of cardigans that go with it. I'm preferring a cropped cardi with it though, just so you can see the ruffle a bit more! It's great with black trousers for work, or with jeans and boots at the weekend, so it really is very versatile. Jenny  from Bobbins and Whimsy would be proud!

Because this is still a roomy style, I think it will do me for a good few months of pregnancy, with a bump band or cami underneath once it starts to become a bit too short. And it's worth bearing in mind that another version of the Scout, without the fit adjustment and with added length could be a good maternity option for later too.

* Spell check doesn't like "swithered", so I'm wondering if this is perhaps just a British, or possibly even Scottish, word. If so, to "swither" means to be indecisive. Then again, it might be a normal word that everyone uses. After all, spell check doesn't like the word "blog"...


  1. It looks really great! I love the colour, and the ruffle on the back is a fantastic way of adding interest without "fuss". And well done for redoing French seams! It hangs beautifully now, so you definitely made the right call there.
    (For the record, I hadn't come across "swithered" before, so maybe it is British/Scottish!)

  2. Great idea to add a ruffle, it really suits the blouse. You could definitely add length in a generous curve at the front to cover growing bump too. I've not come across "swithered" either, but fun word I may start to use it.

    1. Yes, feel free! Although you might get a few funny looks! :)

  3. Swither is definitely a good Scottish word. I use it all the time but hubby had never heard it before. Lovely top and you look fab!

    1. THanks! For a minute there I was thinking maybe it was just something my mum said! :)

  4. Swither is definitely a good Scottish word. I use it all the time but hubby had never heard it before. Lovely top and you look fab!

  5. Love your top Helen, that back detail is lovely! And that colour looks great on you! And I'm sure swither is Scottish, it's a great word!


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