This is the third time I've made up Grainline's Scout Tee pattern and I can see many more in the future! It's a great basic pattern which looks lovely made up as is (as I did for my first version in some lovely Liberty Tana Lawn) but also provides a great base for getting a little bit creative and adding your own twist (as I did for my second silk version, adding a dip hem detail). This time I decided to try out a style which I've been looking for in the shops for ages but couldn't find anything quite right; a slightly 60's style lace top with an underlined bodice and sheer three quarter length sleeves.
Before I get into the details let me just apologise for the sparse amount of modelled photos, and the bad quality of the one's you do see; man, black is hard to photograph!
As tempting as it is to buy amazing looking fabric to make up pretty dresses I'm really trying at the minute to make things I can actually wear a lot and am therefore taking a look in my wardrobe at what actually gets worn a lot. I do try and get colour into my outfits but often end up falling back on a black t-shirt and jeans so decided to go with black on this occasion rather than a colour which may not appeal to me so much when trying to put together an outfit on a miserable grey English summer morning. I had the ides for this top rattling around way back in January and managed to pick up this lovely stretch lace in the John Lewis sale for a bargain price which escapes me now. I also picked up the black cotton poplin underlining there. Having now completed the top I wish I'd gone for a more delicate lining, maybe a cotton lawn with a bit more drape as the poplin is a bit stiff for the shape of this top which has no darts. From the side in the top photo I look a little like I could be pregnant!!
I've never made anything with lace before or underlined anything so it took a bit of figuring out but I think it worked out pretty well in the end. I kind of made it up as I went along so I doubt it's the proper or recommended way to do it but I'm happy! I really wanted to incorporate a shaped edge to the lace along the hem and on the cuffs, so although I was underlining I wanted the hem of the cotton poplin to finish higher than the hem of the lace and to hang separately from it. Rather than begin by basting my front and back lace pieces to their respective poplin pieces I hemmed the poplin to start. I then basted the pieces together around all the other edges so I could continue assembly treating the layers as one, having already created the tiered hemline.
I thought the two fabrics together would be a bit thick to cope with my favourite french seams so opted to bind the edges using a bought black bias tape. This worked in my favour when it came to tidying up the ends of the seams at the hem. I was worried about ending up with a messy bit each side where the poplin had been hemmed nicely and the seam allowance of the lace continued from inside it. With the binding I could bind lace and poplin together, continuing over the join and just fold the ends of the bias tape in on itself to create a clean finish at the hem. I'm not sure that makes any sense written down...however it looks nice inside with the lace visible in the seam allowances between the binding but I couldn't get a decent picture with it all being so black!
One of the things I love most about this pattern is the neckline; on every one I've made so far it's sat really nice, flat and even. Jen has you use bias strips cut from your fabric as a facing. On this I used the same bought black bias tape as on the seam finishing and machine stitched it down so a row of topstitching is visible on the outside. I could have catch stitched it down and kept it invisible but the topstitching really helps hold the lace down flat against the underlining.
All in all, not my favourite thing I've ever made but I have actually had quite a bit of wear out of it so far. anything I dislike about it is entirely to do with my choices rather than the pattern though. I really recommend giving Grainline Studio Patterns a go if you haven't already, Jen's drafting is just great. I love all her patterns for their simple design perfect for making up some more practical garments which I can actually get some wear out of day to day. As discovered through Me-Made-May my dip hemmed Scout Tee must be my most worn item I've made. I've got the Tiny Pocket Tank cut out and ready to make up and the Moss Mini Skirt paper pattern is assembled and ready to go to!