I love Fiona’s Pleated Voile Scout Tee. Love it. So when the fabric I bought intending to make Simplicity 2444 turned out to be completely unsuitable for a dress, owing to the fact that it was completely see-through, my thoughts turned at once to Fiona’s tee.
Except that I had forgotten on whose blog I saw it and remembered only that it was a pleated version of the Scout Woven Tee. Google Imaging “pleats scout woven tee” happily revealed not only Fiona’s version, but also Claire’s Happy Skulls Tee, which is equally amazing.
Now, if only I owned the Scout Woven Tee pattern…
However, I did not own the Scout pattern, and didn’t much want to buy it, so some ingenuity was required. I used the Colette Sorbetto as a base. I wanted pleats across the bust, so the bust dart had to go. I pinned it together then cut straight up from the hem to the bust point to flatten out the pattern. This meant an extra couple of inches were added to the width of the front piece at the hem. I then chopped the new front pattern piece across just above the bust and spread it out just over a foot.
I cut the front section out very roughly, made 6 one inch horizontal pleats starting just over the bust and then re-cut to get an accurate piece. The back section was just the Colette Sorbetto back without any alterations, except my usual addition of a couple of inches of length.
I french seamed the shoulders and faux french seamed the side seams. I use faux french seams all the time. I’m too lazy to muslin anything and faux french seams let you fiddle around with the fit while still getting a beautiful finish. I took the side seams in by a good 4cms on each side in the end.
I bound the neckline with self-bias binding and would have been home and hosed, except I wanted sleeves. Fiona and Claire had sleeves, and I wanted them too. As you may know, the Colette Sorbetto is sleeve-less. What to do?
I decided to just use the Simplicity 2444 sleeve pattern. This did not go well.
Attempt 1. The sleeves insert like a dream. I have never sewn such perfect sleeves. I am overcome with smugness. I try the top on and realise I cannot move my arms.
Attempt 2. I reinsert the same sleeves with a 0.5cm seam allowance. I try the top on and find I can move my arms somewhat. Then I realise I have sewn one sleeve in inside out.
Attempt 3. I reinsert the sleeve the right way round. I make a hash of it. There are puckers and pleats everywhere. I decide I do not care.
Attempt 4. I realise I do care, and also that only moving my arms somewhat is not really very satisfactory. I completely recut the sleeves, using this tutorial to reshape them to have more ease at the back. I am very very careful when inserting them and use a lot of pins.
The result? Not bad.
I have a better range of movement, and the sleeves are set pretty smoothly. Not as smoothly as Attempt 1, but not bad. I’m still not entirely happy with the fit of the sleeves but am not sure what would improve it. Reshaping the armscye? Adding still more ease at the back of the sleeve? Cutting a larger size in the sleeve? Any suggestions gratefully received.
Despite the less than perfect sleeves, I like this top very much. It looks exactly as I pictured it in my head, which is always satisfying. Isn’t the fabric beautiful? It’s a Japanese 100% cotton lawn/voile (anyone know what the difference is?) and was lovely to sew.