13 October 2012

FO: Scout woven tee 2 and an excursion

Hello hello!

So Autumn is definitely here. Brrr. Last night, I finally succumbed and put the heating on "just to get the chill out of the air". But I have loved being wrapped up in my big red kerchief. This weekend I suppose I must hunt out the rest of my warm things (hats and gloves etc) and sadly pack away my Summer clothes - the much longed for Indian Summer never happened afterall. *sigh*

But anyway, here's my second FO for the week. Another Scout Woven Tee:

Scout woven tee with sleeves

As you can see, I modified the sleeves to make it more seasonally appropriate. I lengthened them to a 3/4 length and added a cuff band (using the pattern piece from the Wiksten Tova).

Scout woven tee with sleeves

Apart from that, no other mods. The fit seems a bit looser than my first version, but I think that's more to do with the fabric choice. I used a not-great, over-priced polyester from John Lewis. Yes, I do know better but I just popped in for a zip, and it was pay day, and before I knew it, I had 2 metres of this stuff in my hand and was handing over (*embarrassed whisper*) £20. Well, as silly as that was, I do actually really like this top, and have worn it three times since I finished it early last week. But I won't be going back to John Lewis' Haberdashery department on pay day (or ever really, because £3.50 for a zip? pppsshhhhwaahhhh. no thanks).

BUT, have you seen their new collection of sewing tins?

Images from John Lewis

Ooh, I like a nice tin, me. (Mum, if you're reading, only 73 days until Xmas, hint hint)

Anyway, the sums for my long-sleeved Scout:
2m polyester (110cm wide) £20
Pattern free!
Thread £1.45
Total  £21.45

An excursion
Yesterday, I took a little excursion to the annual Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (on til Sunday). I've been going every year for the past four years, and I really enjoy it. It is mostly quilt and knitting based, but over the years it's become slightly more dressmakingy too. There are usually some really interesting exhibits (but no photography allowed, boo), and the rest is just lots of window shopping. I briefly met up with Melizza of Pincushion Treats, but sadly wasn't able to spend too much time hanging out with her as I'd booked onto a few workshops:

L: English paper piecing; M + R: Machine embroidery
English paper piecing is brilliant - so simple and portable (hurrah for projects that can be done on the bus etc), and really lovely for using up all those scraps as you only need a really small bits of fabric for each little hexagon. Like knitting, it's all by hand. I know hand sewing isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I love it. I find it so relaxing and I get immense pleasure from watching an entirely by-hand project grow and turn into something (one hopes) both useful  and pretty.

The next class was a quick intro to machine embroidery. Again, really simple: basically, drop your machine feed dogs, use a free-embroidery/darning foot, and away you go! (Apparently, this can be done without a machine foot, but I know I'd just sew my finger, so personally, I wouldn't try it.) It's such a weird sensation - we did some practising and then made a small design which was used to back a small cosmetic mirror. My final mirror is on the far right above (the blue and white polka dot). I can't say I've mastered the technique - it basically looks like a child's scribble, but with thread. But I think with practise, it would be a great way to decorate cards or gift tags.

I also attended an hour-long session on tissue fitting, led by Celia Banks, a Palmer Pletsch qualified instructor. It was a super class. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a pen and notepad to the show, so couldn't take notes. But I took away a couple of really useful gems of knowledge, which I think will help in my approach to fitting:
  • Always go by the high bust measurement. Celia demonstrated that using the high bust measurement will mean a better fit (with fewer alterations) around the neck/collar and shoulders, and that it's much easier to make alterations to accommodate our "cuddly lady bits". She also showed how very easy (and similar) full bust and small bust alterations are (the difference is only whether you need to add or subtract).
  • Always fit the back first. I must admit, this had never occurred to me. I look at the back, but always look to fit the front first (because that's the bit I can see!).
  • Tissue fitting is actually easy peasy.
Celia is a brilliant instructor - very clear, enthusiastic and she made it all seem so simple, straightforward and not scary. She kindly took my measurements after the session and said that I should use a size 8 when sewing from the Big 4. She runs lots of courses, which look brilliant. However, as she's based up in Manchester (boohoo), I can't see that I'd attend. She did give me the details of another Palmer Pletsch trained instructor (based just south of London), and I'm very seriously considering a session.

And of course, I couldn't resist making a few purchases while taking a turn around the exhibitors (but I was very good and stuck to budget):
From top-bottom: retractable tape measure (I spent more time deciding between the bear and the pig tape measure than I did on any other purchase!); 1/2m Echino linen blend for a tote bag; FQ of Melody Miller typewriters; 1m Nani Iro brushed cotton; 1.5m brushed cotton; 1.5m Liberty lawn in Melly A; 1.5m Liberty lantana wool in Miranda B (another 3/4 sleeve Scout tee?); some thread snips and the mirror I made.

Definitely no more fabric purchases for a good while!

I'm getting started on one of my Autumn skirts this weekend. I'm going to try the tissue fitting method, and (gasp) not bother with a muslin.

Hope you have lovely things planned for your weekend!

Speak soon!


  1. What a great idea to extend the sleeves on this top to make it more appropriate for fall. The print is truly lovely and if you’ve already worn it three times, I’d say it was worth it! That orange Nani Iro brushed cotton is making have a major case of fabric envy :)

  2. Ooh, I love the sound of that tissue fitting class. Lucky you!

  3. I bet that fabric smells nice and that's why you bought it! I used to love sniffing the fabric in John Lewis - I don't know what their secret is, but they definitely do something to make it un-put-downable! It looks lovely, and that's the main thing. Those sleeves are just the right length.
    And your day out sounds fab!

  4. Sounds like such a great class! And your top looks comfy and cute- sometimes you just have to own fabric impulse buys! Especially whne they turn out that nice :D

  5. You made out with some lovely purchases. Ugh....I wish I had gotten some Nani Iro now. Grrr...Oh well.

    Who would have thought that you should fit the back first?! And how? You can't see it! But I will have to investigate on this practice.

    And super cute Scout Woven T!

  6. beautiful top again hun, you make the cutest ones I see. can you let me know when you get that instructor phone. I want have a class too..

    love your goodies.. sorry i couldn't met you both !

  7. Ha ha, when I saw the lady on my left taking photos of her free motion embroidery I thought to myself she has to be a blogger lol.. It was lovely meeting you. You made some lovely purchases. I came here today via house of pinheiro in case you were wondering

    1. how funny! lovely to have met you too (albeit briefly)! You certainly seemed to get to grips with the machine embroidery v quickly!

  8. No, it was pincushion treats!

  9. Great top Shivani - the sleeves look great, the perfect top for Autumn I reckon!

  10. Oh! Look at this super-cute Scout Tee! I love it!

    The show sounds like such fun! I've never tried tissue fitting, but I like the idea (anything to get out of making a muslin!). I'm interested to know what you think of it.

  11. I love your Scout. I can definitely see why you bought that fabric, it's lovely. Just wondering, did you reshape the sleeves at all when you lengthened them or did you just extend the pattern lines?

    1. hi - thanks! I just extended the pattern line, but tapered it very slightly (as they seemed a bit too wide otherwise). hope that helps!

  12. Shivani, what a delight of a post---so many goodies including your lovely top which SO suits you.
    Your Ally Pally notes got me excited about the machine embroidery course Im taking next month....Im dying to give it a go also :-) & Laura (who came to Bath) is also coming on it- fun!!
    ALso your notes about fitting are really interesting, because I am kind of coming to the realisation about back fitting & high busts might be what saves me (esp Colette patterns). I read Rachel's recent post about this too - I usually end up with a gaping back - so it's revolutionary to consider using a different size, but could make such sense! I might try it very soon ....so thank you for sharing :-)

    1. thank you Winnie! Ooh, I bet you'll love machine embroidery!

  13. ooh I love your longer sleeve length scout-tee - perfect for this time of year! Love those tins too - tins and stationery - you can never have enough!

  14. Love the scout tee - such a great colour. Sounds like a great day out, I am intrugued by tissue fitting. i am planning a tova and wanted to pick your brain and use your photo....can you email me if you have time? debbieshaldon@gmail.com Thank you x

    1. thanks Debbie! I've sent you an email :) x


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