Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Dip Hem Scout Tee

Diary of a Chainstitcher Black Hammered Silk Grainline Studio Scout Tee with Dip Hem

I am really, really pleased with this project as it is my first attempt at really playing around with an altering a pattern. I made my first version of Grainline Studio's Scout Tee a while back and although I'm happy with it and it gets regular wear I wanted to make a few adjustments to the fit. Firstly I found the size I cut (a 4) to be perfect across the shoulders and around the waist but a little tight across the bust. The armholes also felt a little small and the length was a little short for my personal taste; great for tucking into skirts but on the short side for wearing with jeans. Before I started this version, I shook of my impatience to start sewing, and traced the size 4 pattern pieces onto a large piece of paper. I then increased the width across the bust (grading down to the usual size waist) and depth of the armholes slightly. I then cut and spread on the 'lengthen here' line to add just an inch front and back.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Black Hammered Silk Grainline Studio Scout Tee with Dip Hem

I wasn't yet sure what fabric I wanted to make this in, probably a lightweight printed cotton similar to my first. Then when out and about shopping for work one day I came across this remnant of black hammered silk at a bargain price in Biddle Sawyer Silks on Berwick Street. I knew instantly the type of top I wanted it to be and thought the Scout Tee pattern might be just the place to start. After making my alterations for a slightly looser fit all I really needed to do was create the dip hem which I simply drew on by eye. I didn't want too extreme a dip so just made it 2 inches longer at it's lowest point. I'm pretty happy with this aspect of it as it means I can still tuck it in if I want to.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Black Hammered Silk Grainline Studio Scout Tee with Dip Hem

I'm really chuffed with the finished result and love the relaxed, loose feel of the top but I'm wondering if the drape might have turned out just a smidge more flattering if there was slightly less fabric involved around the waist. I wonder if this is to do with the increased width to accommodate the bust and if next time I should try using just the adjustments to the front pattern piece and keep the back slim?

Diary of a Chainstitcher Black Hammered Silk Grainline Studio Scout Tee with Dip Hem

Anyway, I think that's nit picking!

I expected this fabric to be a complete nightmare to work with and while the cutting was a little difficult it wasn't as bad as I had built it up to be in my head and for some reason my machine absolutely loved this stuff! Maybe it was something to do with the hammered texture helping it to get a grip but it just glid through with no slipping and sliding about.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Black Hammered Silk Grainline Studio Scout Tee with Dip Hem

The fabric for this project was the perfect opportunity for me to try out a new technique and a new little gadget for my machine! After the success I had with the invisible zip foot I bought last month I got the bug and treated myself (or rather my Janome) to a rolled hem foot after watching some very helpful YouTube clips on how to use them. It wasn't quite the success of the zip foot but still had me squealing! I need a little more practice to get used to how much fabric to feed into the magical turning part of the foot as in some places I gave it too much to cope with and there are some raw edges poking out but it got better as I went along! Just look at how narrow and professional looking that hem is! I think hemming this slippery silk along the curve of the dipped hem would have been an absolute nightmare without it. I also used a rolled hem on the sleeves.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Black Hammered Silk Grainline Studio Scout Tee with Dip Hem

For the first time I tried setting in my sleeves on the flat, before I sewed the side and underarm seams. I don't find setting in sleeves too complicated usually I just wanted to try this new technique because I was using my favourite french seams everywhere else and wanted to attempt them around the armholes. It was much easier than I had expected thanks to some reassurance that it WAS possible from Jen at Grainline's tutorial. I'm so pleased that the whole of the inside of my garments can now be finished in this beautiful fashion! As far as setting the sleeves in flat goes, I didn't find it any more or less difficult than the traditional method to be honest.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Black Hammered Silk Grainline Studio Scout Tee with Dip Hem

I found the neckline the most difficult part of this project. I really liked the bias tape facing on my first version so decided to stick with it on this. I had an inkling that making bias take with the slippery hammer silk was going to be a nightmare and considered using bought bias tape as an easier alternative. But the cotton bias tape was much stiffer than the silk and I wanted to keep the soft drape throughout so gritted my teeth and went for making my own. The actual making of the tape wasn't too bad thanks to my trusty bias tape making tool and a hot iron. Attaching it was not so straight forward. I used soooo many pins to put this in and still it was impossible to keep nice and straight and even. I did the best I could and think the end result is ok but it does sit away from the body at points and shows a bit of a twist whereas my first version sits nice and flat all the way round.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Black Hammered Silk Grainline Studio Scout Tee with Dip Hem

I can see me getting a lot of wear out of this top; the relaxed style and dip hem make it great to wear with jeans and boots but the elegance of the fabric means it could also be a great evening option. It looks great tucked into my Charlotte skirt anyway!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Black Hammered Silk Grainline Studio Scout Tee with Dip Hem

(apologies if you can't make out a lot of the construction details in this post. Black, particularly this shiny black is so hard to photograph!)

7 comments:

  1. This is a super top. I really must try Scout too. I used to work on Archer Street many moons ago and really miss browsing on Berwick Street during my lunch hours.

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    1. It's so dangerous for the bank balance though! Though I guess to expensive to be too much of a risk of on a whim purchases!
      Thanks Evie. The Scout is a lovely versatile pattern - I think it would be great in any fabric!

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  2. What a great, versatile top! Looks great!!

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  3. I love your silk top! Very tempted to try something similar as I would get heaps of wear out of it. Thanks for the link to the Grainline tute too. But its been expensive reading..I now know I need a bias tape marker, a rolled hem foot oh and an invisible zip foot too while I'm at it!

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  4. Ooops! Sorry! All totally worth a purchase though!

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  5. Looks fantastic. And now I want a rolled hem foot for my Bernina...

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!