I am WAY behind with blogging my completed makes. Well not really way behind with the blogging as I have got some posts written but I have been seriously lacking the opportunity of a time when both I and my ever so professional photographer are free when it's not raining or gloomy to get photos taken. Things are stacking up. I actually made this top right at the beginning of the heatwave towards the end of July. Another reason why this top in particular has taken so long to make it onto the blog is that I've been wearing it ALL the time so it's been in the wash during most photo taking opportunities; I can't say that that's a bad thing though, it must be my most regularly worn make to date!
I'm usually the type of fabric shopper that looks for fabric for a particular pattern or project, usually with quite a good idea of what I am after. But on this occasion the fabric came first. I was browsing in Simply Fabrics in Brixton and this caught my eye, once I had a feel of it I couldn't resist buying some! It's a lovely soft cotton voile and the subtle random print is very 'me'. I can't remember how much exactly I paid for it but it wasn't a lot. On the journey home I schemed up a plan that it would be perfect for a simple top like the Grainline Studio Scout Tee which I have already made use of a few times before.
The fabric is fairly sheer, especially in direct sunlight so after my first daliance with hacking the Scout Tee pattern (giving it a dipped hem and a bit more room around the armholes) I decided to play around with the pattern again to combat the see-through problem. I'd seen Claire from Errant Pear's lovely version on Kollabora for which she added pleats across the bust. This gives the perfect extra thickness of fabric and coverage in this area to make the top wearable on it's own.
I'm always a bit wary of playing around with the paper pattern, whether it's for fitting or playing around with the design, as I haven't done a lot of this so lack confidence and as my sewing time is fairly limited anyway I'm always keep to just get on a sew something quick rather than get bogged down in complicated stuff. Altering the pattern to include these pleats was super easy though and actually really quick to do. I just drew lines across the traced pattern piece where I wanted the pleats to be and then used the 'cut and spread' method at these points. A couple of people at work have actually asked if I cut the pattern piece from a pre-pleated piece of fabric which I hadn't thought of doing, but I guess would work equally well!
The top itself literally took a couple of hours to make one evening after a couple of hours spent adapting the pattern the evening before. My boyfriend couldn't believe it, he went out for a beer, came back and I had a new top! The fabric sat around for a little while after purchase but when the heat wave hit I realised I had hardly any clothes suited to doing a lot of running around London fabric shopping for work in those kind of temperatures and decided to get sewing quick so I had the top to wear with shorts the next day! It was absolutely perfect for the 30 degree plus temperatures (which felt like 40 degree plus on the train home at the end of the day!) and it has had a lot of wear layered up with cardigans and vest tops in the more typical British weather since.
I've got plans to make many more simple tops like this with little variations like the pleats. I've just treated myself to the new Colette Zinnia skirt pattern and need some more plain but interesting tops I can wear tucked into it. I've been frantically pinning images on Pinterest of details I like on other handmade or ready to wear tops that I think I could add to or adapt the Scout Tee pattern to include. If your nervous like I am about getting creative with your paper patterns I think the Scout is a great verstaile basic to start with as there are no darts to work around and just three pattern pieces to play with. I'm planning to make another version of this so will take some pictures for a tutorial, then you've got no excuse not to give it try!