Tag Archives: Scout Tee

MMM check-in

0

I intend to do a proper debrief/round up post about Me Made May at the end of the month, but given how quickly our free time is getting booked up, that might not be as prompt as I’d like (or it might — schedules can be tricky to predict). Anyway, with three weeks down I think I’m far enough into this thing to check-in. I’ll do it in point-form, so I can keep myself organized.

mmm1

One of my most-worn garments: My chambray Scout Tee. (This, and the other photos in this post were taken with my phone and grabbed from Instagram, in case they look familiar.)

1. Taking selfies is time consuming. I’ve been pretty good about posting daily photos to my Instagram (my planned wrap post will include photos, like last year’s if you don’t want to click through), but they take way more time than I thought they would! I do think my photos have improved since the first few days, but because of lighting/mirror restrictions in our new place, I’ve had to get better at turning the camera around, which has led to lots of similar poses and attempts to take photos of what I’m wearing without appearing to strain at the effort. Usually, that requires a few attempts, and it has not been a smooth addition to my morning routine, which is otherwise very organized/well-timed. It’s getting easier, but that first week or so involved a lot of rushing out the door at the last minute.

2. I’m not as self conscious as I was. It might be a weird thing for a blogger to say, but I’m not actually very comfortable putting myself out there on social media. This blog has always felt a little removed from that — public, but private too — and even here I don’t actually feature in many photos. I’ve still kept my face out of most of the MMM photos I’ve posted (this being the exception), but that’s been mostly about logistics (my arms are not long enough to get my face and my outfit in a photo, and I refuse to buy a selfie stick). The first week was kind of uncomfortable, if I’m being honest, but I’m getting over it.

mmm2

I can’t believe it was cold enough to wear my Epistrophy this month, but I was happy to have an excuse to mix up my options a little.

3. Beyond the whole daily photo thing, which isn’t even a requirement of MMM, I feel really good about the handmade items in my wardrobe. I plan to write about this more another time, but one thing I’ve noticed over the last few weeks is how much I like the clothing I’ve made for myself. That sounds like a weird thing to say, I realize, since what’s the point of making things if you don’t like them, but there are no guarantees: lots of things can go wrong and while in knitting you have the option to rip everything out and start over, that doesn’t often work in sewing. When I first started to sew clothes for myself, I was prone (like a lot of beginners) to settle — this version is so much better than my last one — and end up with items that demonstrated a lot of learning but not much style. Improving my technique has meant letting go of those early garments in favour of ones whose construction and fit and overall appearance I’m really proud of.

4. Documenting what I wear every day has given me a different way to think about my wardrobe. Me Made May offers a funny constraint: What you want to wear meets the limitations of what’s available. I guess that’s an everyday constraint no matter what, but when I run up against the what I want to wear/what’s available, it has forced me to really think about what it is I want to be able to wear on a regular basis, handmade or not. But, especially where handmade is concerned, it’s been interesting to see which items I wish were always clean, versus which ones hang in my closet unworn until I’m desperate (ie: it’s laundry day). In a lot of cases, there’s nothing wrong with the things I’m not wearing, but for whatever reason, they don’t interest me. MMM has offered a reason to embrace some of these items anew, which is nice, but it’s also forced me to think about why my favourite items are my favourites — whether it’s cut or fabric or fit — which in turn as informed my to-make list. Obviously, I want to try new patterns and fabrics, but if there are a few that I reach for the minute they’re clean, that’s probably a sign that making another, similar item would be a good bet (hence why I have so many Scout Tees, I guess).

mmm3

And, speaking of Scout Tees, here’s the original! Not the first one I made, but the first one that fit the way I wanted it to. I wasn’t sure about the print, originally, but I kind of love it now.

5. I have more handmade clothes than I realized. Last year, MMM was kind of a struggle after the first week or so, but this year has been so much easier. I have enough items that I don’t feel like I’m wearing exactly the same rotation week after week, though to some degree the cooler weather helped with that, since it let me lean on my knitwear a bit. I could use a more varied colour palette, but otherwise I have a pretty respectable number of pieces to choose from. And thank goodness! I prefer not to do laundry every few days, so having a bigger selection has taken that pressure off this year.

I’ll stop there, lest I start getting repetitive, but the main thing I think is that I’m having so much fun this year. I love clicking through to the hashtags to see everyone else’s work, and instead of feeling burnt out, I’m just so inspired. If you’re taking part, let me know!

Advertisements

Looking Back & Reassessing

5

What a year it was! Personally, 2015 had a lot of big moments: L and I got engaged and moved cities, and I took on quite a lot more responsibility at work. All good things, certainly, but all things that kept me very busy.

Last year I knit 35 items (!!!) and I had similarly high hopes for this year. But, well, reality crept in. I had so much less time this year, for all kinds of reasons, and although I didn’t manage to knit as many things as I had hoped, I am really happy with what I did make. I spent a lot of the spring thinking seriously about my handmade wardrobe and how to build it out. Between that, and the growing realization that I was producing handmade items faster than I was wearing through them gave me pause.

So, anyway, this year I completed 19 knit items (and I’m pretty close on no. 20). Nearly half of those things were gifts, which is something I’m quite proud of, and several were sweaters, another positive! You can see all my knits here (most of my sewing wasn’t blogged) but here are my favourites from the year.

2015-favourites

Bedford and Lighthouse socks // Spring Fever Scout and Fika Socks // Chambray and Double Gauze Scouts and Balta // BFF socks and Epistrophy

Socks and sweaters and t-shirts. Haha. That’s definitely my uniform. These are all garments I wore a lot throughout the year (and will continue to wear in the year(s) to come) and they are a good template for me to follow this coming year, I think. I have yarn for two lightweight sweaters — one neutral cardigan, one brightly coloured pullover — and no shortage of sock yarn. I would like this to be the year I add a couple of shawls to my wardrobe as well, since I really do wear the ones I have quite regularly. Sewing wise, there are certainly more Scouts in my future, and I hope a dress or two as well.

And the gift knitting will continue as well. L has become a full hand-knit-sock convert (he wore the pair I have him for Christmas for four days straight) and I can hardly ignore that kind of enthusiasm. And there are lots of babies to knit for these days as well — including our soon-to-arrive nephew!

I do have some specific plans in mind for the New Year, but I’ll save those for another post.

How do you feel about your year, now that you can look back on it as a whole? Did you accomplish what you wanted to?

Spring Scouting

3

When it comes to writing about sewing, I am terrible. Part of it is definitely a practice issue — I am definitely a seasonal sewist — but part of it is also that sewing is so much quicker than knitting, which means I have less time process time during which to think about what I’ll eventually say. The result, of course, is a back log of projects, which I find weirdly intimidating to write about (as if, since they’ve been kicking around, I should have more to say). ANYWAY, this preamble is just more procrastination, so I will just jump in.

This was meant to be a test shot, but I actually kind of like the angle. Anyway: I'm not sad, is what I'm trying to say.

This was meant to be a test shot, but I actually kind of like the angle. Anyway: I’m not sad, is what I’m trying to say.

As I said, I am a seasonal sewist, so when the warm(ish) weather arrived about a month ago, coinciding with Felicia’s simple sewing series, I was inspired (inspired!) to revisit Grainline Studio’s Scout Tee, which I had tried before but never quite gotten right. I read lots of sewing blogs over the winter, so I was feeling vicariously confident in my skills. I pulled out the pattern pieces, made some alterations, and whipped up this pink floral top. (Would I have said this fabric was my style before this shirt? Maybe not. Why did I have it in my stash? In a fit of spring fever a year ago, I bought four metres of it! Thank goodness I like it so much now).

springfever3

This spring fever Scout is a very, very wearable muslin. It does billow a little in back, so I made a few tweaks before making a second one.

windows1

I love this fabric. Love it. And it’s even better for being navy — my go-to neutral — since that makes an otherwise whimsical print very easy to wear. I am a big fan of elbow-length sleeves (I often roll my regular sleeves up this high), and it’s a great length for spring. These sleeves are slim enough to fit comfortable under a cardigan, but still have enough room to move around in. I suspect I’ll make a couple more tops in this style for the fall, though its probably safe to switch over to t-shirts for now.

windows2

Another test shot that worked out pretty well!

So, what do you think? I have two more of these to blog about (I don’t have photos, or I’d have lumped them all in here together), so I hope it isn’t deadly boring. Is anyone else feeling the urge to sew as the weather warms up?

Edited to add: I completely left off the usual Details part of this post. Maybe if I treat sewing FOs the way I treat knitting ones, the blogging will be a little easier? Hmm. Anyway, here it is:

Details
Pattern: Scout Tee by Grainline Studio
Fabric: Anna Maria Horner Voile in Cell Structure in Americana (from Field Study) and Cotton + Steel Lawn in Window Vine (from Homebodies)
Notes: I honestly can’t remember what size I started out with, so I’m not sure helpful these modification notes will be (I think I may have started with a size 8, based on the finished garment measurements). Anyway: Initially I did an FBA and graded the side seams in two sizes at the waist. I noticed that I had a lot of extra fabric at the centre front (a lot), so in a move that worked for me (but might not for you!) I cut an inch off the pattern piece (thus taking two inches out of the centre front; as I said, there was a lot of extra fabric just sitting there, yet the top didn’t fit properly at the sides without the FBA). I then re-drew the neckline and did a slight broad-back adjustment to make up the difference. I also added an inch to the length and did French seams where I could.

I should note that because I started all these alterations months ago (there was another muslin somewhere around the holidays) that part of the reason everything is in a jumble is because I didn’t really know what I was doing. Undoubtedly choosing a more appropriate size from the get go would have lessened the alterations. This really is a simple and straight-forward pattern if you don’t go crazy overthinking it (as I sort of did). In the end, though, I’m happy with the pattern pieces I have, which is the main thing.