I originally planned on making a t-shirt dress earlier this season. I knew I wanted to use the Lark Tee Dress Variation Pack pattern because the slim fit of the shirt is relaxed and more comfortable than any store bought t-shirt I’ve ever owned. However, as it does, time slipped away from me. I was torn between the different style options, especially with Fall and Winter looming.
I think I achieved a happy medium with this sleeveless midi-length Lark that will work well in any season. I chose the straight skirt option sewed up in a size 10 that I graded out to a 12 through the hips, and the resulting dress is loosely figure skimming. The loose fit and lack of sleeves have kept me from feeling hot even on 80 degree (26.6 degrees Celsius) days.
The pattern pack comes with a knee and mini length option. To create this midi-length I measured from my knee to my mid calf, and then extended the pattern the appropriate amount. I thought it would be fun to include a side slit on both sides, and chose to finish my hem using a mitered corner finish.
The ease incorporated within this design, means I could have likely sewn this up in a smaller size. While I think a tighter bodycon style fit would look nice, this version will allow me to layer tights and turtlenecks underneath throughout the cooler seasons without feeling like I’m suffocating. All in all, I foresee many more versions of this dress in my future.
Have you made a Lark Tee Dress? What pattern options did you choose? Let us know below!
Our Scout Tee September series continues today with another Scout Tee pattern modification. By creating a front yoke piece, we were able to build upon our favorite element of the Scout – the flattering neckline. The resulting garment ends up being slightly more voluminous than the original, but the proportions of the yoke paired with the loose gathers impart a playful, yet balanced, amount of flounce.
Even though I came up with this idea, I remained surprised by how much I loved the final tee. I typically avoid ruffles or gathers, and I was a little apprehensive about this variationt. I loved it so much I wore it home after finishing it. Then, I came back to work the next day wearing it again!
I plan on wearing this primarily with jeans, but I’m also considering making a matching pair of Lakeside Pajama shorts to pair with the top for a cute sleepwear set.
What we love most about this variation, is the seemingly endless amount of creative potential it has. You can play around with fabric placement like we did here, use contrasting fabric, experiment with color-blocking, add piping, and more. We think this would make a lovely dress or beach cover up, and you can also use the steps shown below to add a back yoke as well.
Here are all of the details you need to make this version:
Begin by tracing your front pattern piece out in full onto a separate piece of paper.
Trace a slightly curved line that is above your bust, but begins and ends underneath the armsyce. To determine where this line should be, you can hold your pattern piece up to your body and roughly sketch this out. You’ll want to make sure your shoulder and side seams are in place. Smooth out the line you draw so that it’s proportional.
If you previously made a muslin, you can put the muslin on a dress form, or your body, to sketch the line. After doing this, transfer the markings to your pattern piece.
Cut along the curved line you drew in the previous step. Add 1/2″ (1.27 cm) seam allowance to the bottom hem of the front yoke piece and 1/2″ (1.27 cm) seam allowance to the top of the bottom portion of your bodice front. Set aside your front yoke piece for now.
Draw in your center front line. Measure across the top curve of your bodice front from the center front to the side seam. Divide this number by 4. Starting at the center front and working towards the side seam, use the previously solved for number, to draw 4 evenly spaced lines. The lines will be drawn parallel to the center front line. Repeat from the center front in the opposite direction.
In our case we measured outwards from the center front line 2.75″ (6.99 cm) and then drew a line parallel to our center front line. We repeated this until we reached the side seam, and then did the same for the opposite side.
You’ll be cutting through the lines you drew in the previous step to evenly spread your pattern piece. Before doing this you’ll need to determine how much to spread your pieces. The following formula will give you a loose amount of gathers. If you would like a fuller bodice piece you can multiply by a larger amount.
Bodice Curve Measurement x (0.5) / 8 = the amount you will separate each piece by
For example our bodice curve measurement was 22″ (55.98 cm). When input into the formula our resulting number was 1.375″ (3.50 cm). We cut along the 8 previously drawn lines, and then spread the pieces by 1.375″ (3.50 cm) before taping them down in place.
Retrace your new bodice front piece.
Baste two lines of stitching 1/4″ (0.635 cm) and 3/8″ (0.95 cm) from the top edge of your bottom bodice front.
Gather the bodice front so that it matches the width of your front yoke. With right sides facing, and the top edge of the front bodice aligned with the bottom edge of the front yoke, sew the bodice front to the front yoke using 1/2″ (1.27 cm) seam allowance. Finish seam allowance as desired and press down.
Treat this piece as your new front piece and proceed to sew your Scout Tee according to the pattern instructions!
Have any questions? We’ll be happy to answer them in the comments section below!
Patterns Used in This Tutorial
It’s been a little while since the last post in our scrap-busting series so we’re excited to be sharing this post today! These statement earrings not only vacuum up fabric scraps, but they also make use of all of those buttons you’ve collected over the years that are currently languishing in a jar or drawer somewhere.
We’re constantly writing down ideas for this series, and when we saw these earrings that were recently released as part of Rachel Comey’s Fall 2019 collection we were inspired to make our own variation. While the fabric pieces you use can be any width or length, we chose to cut out mostly rectangular pieces. We don’t see any drawbacks to using angled or amorphous pieces, and it actually may lead to less waste fabric waste!
Depending on the length of the fabric pieces you end up using, you can tie your fabric into cascading knots, braids, or even bows. In addition to leaving a lot of room for creativity, these earrings come together so quickly!
After batch finishing the edges of your fabric pieces you can easily assemble a couple sets of earrings in a single 2-3 hour window, if not quicker. Perfect for a rainy day, weekend, or a few hours in front of your favorite television show.
To get started you’ll need shank buttons (regular can work too – we aren’t showing that method, but do reference how to make it work in the instructions below), rectangular pieces of fabric, thread, scissors, needle nose pliers, and kidney ear wires.
Once you have everything assembled, cut your fabric into rectangles. The strip shown above is 1.5″ wide by 10″ long (3.81 x 25.4 cm). As noted above, you can also use different dimensions. Longer strips will allow you to tie knots or bows, and wider strips will provide more volume.
Finish all edges of your fabric. We used a rolled hem on our serger to do this. You’ll want to reference the stitch setting or stitch overview section of your machines’ instruction manual to determine a starting point for stitch settings. If you don’t have a serger you can finish the edges using a rolled hem or by turning and stitching.
Below we’re showing you two ways of attaching the fabric and button to the kidney ear wire, but first we wanted to show you how we’re using the kidney ear wire. It can be hard to see clearly once the fabric and button are attached.
Once your fabric is prepared and you have your button picked out you’ll be sliding them on to these ear wires. You can simply leave the ear wire as is, which will result in a dangly earring. You can also adjust the size of the loop with needle nose pliers to make the earring hang higher or lower. If the buttons you’re using are bulky you may want to reform the ear wire loop entirely.
Unclasp your ear wire loop. Then using a pair of needle nose pliers fold the hooked edge up and around to form a new loop. You may need to adjust the size of your loop so that there is enough room for your button and fabric.
You can also use a pair of needle nose pliers to coil the end of the hook around the wire to create a more secure finish.
Statement Earrings Method One
Mark the center of your rectangle with a pin. Using the pin as an anchor, tie a knot.
Remove the pin, and then insert your ear wire.
Slide your button onto your ear wire.
Once everything is in place use a pair of needle nose pliers or your hands to fold the ear wire up into a loop. Hook the wire closed above the fabric and button in order to anchor everything in place. For added security you can coil the end of the hook tightly around the wire.
Adjust the wire as needed so it sits comfortably, and then repeat for the other earring.
Statement Earrings Method Two
Find the center of the length of your fabric. Thread your needle, and anchor your thread at your finished edge.
Wrap your thread around your fabric, causing it to cinch together, a few times.
Slide your button down your thread until it meets your fabric. If you’re using a regular button here you would simply attach the fabric piece to the button through the button holes.
Insert your ear wire through the button shank or attached button, and then wrap the wire back up and around the fabric and button. Hook in place or coil the edge of the wire closed.
Repeat the previous steps for your subsequent earrings!
We had so much fun making these earrings, and we’re hoping you do as well. In addition to being earrings we also think these could be attached to a safety pin to be pinned on jackets, sweaters, or bags!
If you try this tutorial out let us know how your earrings turn out below.
We established our love for split back tops back in 2013 when we released our Lakeside Pajama set, but for some reason we’ve never transferred that design detail over to any of our other patterns until now!
This is a fairly simple pattern modification that slightly alters the shape of the final garment, the A-line shape will be exaggerated, while adding a design detail that catches the eye. The split is low enough to keep all undergarments hidden, but the breezy design keeps the shirt away from your skin which feels delightful when the weather is humid or you’re craving a comfortable garment that looks more pulled together than a sweatshirt or knit tee.
Please note you’ll likely need more fabric than the pattern instructions indicate as you’ll be cutting two back pieces. If you need help estimating how much fabric you need you can check out our Tips & Tricks: Estimating Yardage post.
Also, we finish the hem with a bias facing in this tutorial so you will need to purchase or make your own bias tape if you choose to finish your hem similarly. If you’re interested in making your own bias tape we have a tutorial that covers all of the steps which you can find here: How To: Make Your Own Bias Tape. Let’s get started!
Begin by tracing out your back pattern piece in full.
Starting about an 1″ (2.54 cm) below the armscye notches draw a curved line down to the opposite bottom corner. You can draw this line higher or lower to suit your preference. You’ll want to keep in mind that the the point where your curved line crosses over the the center back is where the pieces of your split back top will eventually overlap.
If you plan on wearing this top with high waisted jeans or skirts an higher curve and overlap point may suit you, but keep in mind more of your lower back will be exposed if you choose to wear it with regular waisted jeans or skirts.
Trim the pattern piece to remove the point below the curved line. This is your new pattern piece for your split back top. Cut two out of your fabric. Make sure to mirror the piece so that you have a left and right back piece. Cut out the rest of the pattern pieces according to the instructions.
Overlap your two back pieces so that the shoulders, neckline, and armscyes align. Baste together at the neckline at 1/4″ (0.635 cm), and also baste along the armscye from the shoulder down stopping about 1″ (2.54 cm) before the hem of your back piece. Then follow the pattern instructions through step 6 to begin assembling your Scout Tee.
After sewing your side, shoulder, and neckline you’ll now finish the hem of the entire garment using a bias facing. It’s the same exact method you used to finish your neckline, but instead of working in a circle you’ll be working from one edge of your back pieces around the front of the garment to the other back edge.
Start by pinning your bias tape to the right side of the hem of the entire garment. Follow the pattern instructions from step 3 through step 6 to apply the bias binding to your hem; the pattern instructions will say neckline, but read as hem.
Once your hem is finished, pick up the instructions at step 8 and finish your garment accordingly!
Do you like the look of split back tops? Let us know what you think about this modification below!
Patterns Used in This Tutorial
The simplicity of the Scout Tee makes it a wonderful canvas for creativity, and it’s why we’re so excited to be featuring it all month long. We previously wrote about the measurements you’ll want to take, full bust adjustments, and how important muslins can be on the path to a successful garment. Now, that we got the foundation of our Scout down pact we’re ready to spend the rest of the month sharing variations and pattern inspiration!
When we were writing the title for this post we were shocked to realize this was the sixth modification that we’ve posted for the Scout Tee. We’re equally amazed that after eight years with this pattern we haven’t run out of ideas yet. You can take a look through our past Scout Tee modifications here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
The cuffed sleeve for this shirt will be created in the exact same way we created the cuffed sleeves of our Uniform Dress; however, these will fall at a different length so the measurements you’ll be taking will be different. It’s a look we love, especially as the seasons change. If you have the Scout Sleeve Variation Pack you can follow the instructions for the cuffed sleeve (steps 7-15) to sew the cuffed sleeve, but you will still need to adjust the length of your sleeve to get this look following the tutorial below.
To start you’ll need to figure out how long you want your finished sleeve to be. I want my finished sleeve to be 12” (30.48 cm) long along the outer edge of my arm which hits right at my elbow. I’m taking that 12” (30.48 cm) , you’ll use whatever length you want here, and adding 3¾” (9.52 cm) which will be the length needed to create the cuff of the sleeve. Take the total measurement (15¾″ or 40 cm in my case) and draw a line from the top of the sleeve cap down, parallel to the grain line. At the bottom of your measured line draw a perpendicular line.
Draw a line from each underarm corner, down to the new lower edge of the sleeve. These should be parallel with the grain line as well. These lines are your new underarm seams.
We’re making a 1 ½” (3.81 cm) cuff here so we’ll need to mark each of the fold lines at this point. Mark a line ¾” (1.90) up from the lower edge, then another 1 ½” (3.81 cm) from that line. The final line will also be 1 ½” (3.81 cm) from the previous line. Your pattern should look like the one above.
This sleeve is straightforward to sew as well. Sew the underarm seam as you would according to the instructions in the pattern booklet.
With the sleeve right side up, fold the lower edge up along the top dashed line, 3 ¾” (9.52 cm), and press. Then fold and press ¼” (0.635 cm) over for the hem allowance.
Fold the hem edge over another ½” (1.27 cm) and press.
Fold the hem edge down to meet the lower edge, you’re creating the cuff right now.
Tuck the new sleeve length edge into the hem edge and pin in place catching only the hem edge and sleeve, not the cuff.
Unfold the pinned cuff, and then fold the sleeve down and out of the way. Stitch along the edge of the hem anchoring the hem in place. You may want to do a small bar tack at the underarm of the cuff to keep it from folding down while being worn.
Finish sewing your Scout according to the pattern instructions. Feel free to share any Scout’s you make this month using the hashtag #scoutteeseptember on social media! We’ll be reposting and sharing some of our favorites with the community. Still need the pattern? You can get it below by clicking the product links.
Welcome to the first post in our Scout Tee September series! Before we begin sharing pattern variations, we wanted to make sure you have a solid starting point – a well-fitting Scout Tee. Today’s post is all about muslins and the steps you’ll need to do a full bust adjustment (FBA) for this top.
Our number one recommendation for anyone sewing a pattern for the first time is to make a muslin or toile. In addition to being plain cotton fabric, muslin is also a term used to describe a test garment that’s made from inexpensive fabric. This test garment can be used to assess the fit of the pattern and any changes that need to be made. Muslins also allow you to practice new sewing techniques, or test out a fabric choice that differs from what was recommend by the designer, before you cut into your project fabric. A frequently touted benefit of sewing is that it results in garments that fit in a way ready to wear clothing doesn’t; however, a common misconception is that garments made from patterns fit perfectly without any work. Unless you’re the exact same measurements as one of our two fit models you’ll likely have to make some adjustments to the pattern to get the custom fit of your dreams.
We know this, and yet it can still be a challenge to reign in our desire to jump right into a project. What’s helped us make a habit out of making muslins before diving in, is accepting the reality that the garments we reach for are those that fit well. With that said, let’s get started!
Before you begin, you’ll need to take your measurements as this will allow you to determine which pattern size you’ll be cutting out. The three measurements you’ll need to take are your bust, waist, and hip. With the Scout Tee the most important measurement will be your bust as it is the most fitted section of the garment. The A-line shape of the top is designed to fall away from the body, but depending on your measurements you made need to grade out through the waist and hips.
For the bust measurement you’re going to measure around the fullest point of your bust, wearing whatever type of bra or undergarment you plan on wearing under your garment. It’s a good idea to have someone help you take your measurements, especially the bust, if you can as having your arms up and holding the tape can affect the measurement a bit.
The waist measurement will be at your natural waist. Your natural waist is the point you bend from. Leaning to the side or placing your hands on your waist in a natural manner can help you identify where this is on your body. The hip measurement will be the fullest part of your hips and butt. Typically this is approximately 7″ below your natural waist, though on others it can be lower. You want to make sure you get around the full circumference so you don’t end up with tight hips!
Once you have all of your measurements you can select your size and follow the pattern instructions to complete your muslin. Generally, muslins are left with the seams and hems unfinished, but if you’re new to sewing you may want to go through all of the steps in order to get some practice in. For my first muslin, I cut out a straight size 8 after referencing my measurements, highlighted above, from memory. Due to the fact that the Scout hem falls at the high hip it wasn’t necessary for me to grade to a larger size through the hips, but I knew I needed to make a few changes to the pattern after my muslin was complete. My first muslin, shown at the top of this post, fit tight across the bust. It also had numerous drag lines from the backside of the underarm.
As I mentioned, I selected my size using the memory of my measurements. This brings up a good point – your measurements change! You may not need to measure yourself in between every project, but every few months it’s a good practice to remeasure and ensure that the measurements you’re selecting are grounded in reality. After measuring, I realized my bust measurement is currently 37.5″ (95.25 cm), and my upper bust measurement is 35″ (88.9 cm).
While we’re talking about bust measurements, it’s important to note that The Scout is drafted for a B sewing cup which means that it’s designed for there to be a 2″ (5.08 cm) difference between the upper bust and the full bust. This number is important, as it can help you decide whether or not you may need an FBA. If the number you get when you subtract your upper bust from your full bust (the total adjustment) is over 2″ (5.08 cm) (B cup) you may need a FBA, whereas if the number you get is 2″ (5.08 cm) of less you’re either fine to use the pattern as is, or you might consider a small bust adjustment. Since my total adjustment is over 2″ (5.08 cm) I chose to move forward with a full bust adjustment and we’re showing you how to do that here.
Scout Tee Full Bust Adjustment Steps
- Select your size based on your upper bust (in my case a size 6) and waist measurements, and cut out your pattern pieces. Locate the apex of your bust by measuring from your shoulder to your bust point or by holding the pattern piece up to your body with the shoulder and side seams in place. Mark this point on the center front pattern piece.
- Draw a line from the apex out to the side seam at a slight downward angle. Next you’re going to draw a vertical line from the apex down to the hemline of the pattern piece, making sure to keep the line parallel to the CF/grain line. From there draw a line connecting the apex to the approximate center of the armscye. These are the lines that will form the full bust adjustment. Additionally you’re going to need a line across the torso, perpendicular to the CF/grain line in order to line up the hem in a future step. I made this one dotted so it doesn’t get confused with the adjustment lines.
- Slash through the waistline to the bust and up to the armscye taking care to cut to, but not through, the pattern at that point. You want to make sure that the two pieces are hinged together. Then slice through the line connecting the side seam to the apex, taking care to not cut through the apex point. You want the pieces hinged. You’ll then open the vertical slit the amount of your full bust adjustment making sure that the two edges of the opening are parallel. To determine the amount of your adjustment subtract your upper bust measurement from your full bust measurement. So if your full bust was 40″ (101.6 cm) and your upper bust was 36″ (91.44 cm) you’d subtract 40-36 ( 101.6-91.44 cm) to get 4″ (10.16 cm) which would require an adjustment.Now you can take this new number and do one of two things with it. It seems to be the most common to just divide this number in half and apply that number to each side of the adjustment shown below, so you would spread the vertical slit by 2″ (5.08 cm).Your other option is to take your new number, in our case 4″ (10.16 cm) and subtract 2″ (5.08 cm) from it to get the full amount of your bust adjustment. Subtracting the 2″ (5.08 cm) comes from the fact that the pattern is drafted for a B cup which is already a 2″ (5.08 cm) difference. Since this amount is already drafted into the pattern you are just adding the additional amount on top of what exists. You would then divide the full amount of the adjustment in half so you would be doing a 1″ (1.54 cm) adjustment on each side of the pattern. We recommend doing a muslin to decide which method works best for your body.
- You’ll notice that when you move the side out for the adjustment the side panel becomes longer than the piece you moved. Cut along the line you drew in Step 2 and align the newly freed piece so that it’s even with both the center front and the dotted line on the side piece.
- This method of adjustment will result in a dart being formed. To aide in creating the dart legs, find the center of the dart and mark a line through it (dotted line above). This will help you when folding the dart in the next step.
- Fold the dart legs together with the takeup pointing towards the bottom of the garment and re-blend the side seam. I like to score the bottom dart leg and center line lightly with an awl to help the pattern fold exactly where you want it to on the first try. You can either cut across the side seam/dart or mark it with a pattern tracing wheel and cut when the dart is open.
- Unfold the dart and cut out your new piece!
My second muslin, shown above, with my FBA had more room throughout the bust and ultimately fit better than the first. The benefit to making a second muslin after making pattern adjustments is to determine whether those adjustments worked and whether any other changes need to be made. Case in point, I realized that I had marked my bust apex point too low on my pattern piece when doing my FBA which resulted in my dart being too low. Making this second muslin allowed me to make this correction before cutting into the fabric of my first Scout Tee.
Now that we’ve got fitting out of the way we’ll be sharing Scouts and variations throughout the month. Have you made your muslin yet? Do you make muslins? Let us know in the comments below!
What are you looking for?