Pattern Review

Scouting Around — Grainline for the Win.

I am seriously late to this party.  Sewists and bloggers have been sewing up and touting the virtues of the Scout Tee for what seems like years and I just recently got around to sewing one up!

Creative Counselor: Scout Tee

Now I know what the fuss was all about.

I’ve been admiring and buying Grainline patterns ever since I started sewing for myself (and I’m a huge Linden fan girl), but I’ve only recently gotten around to making some of the original Grainline patterns.  I wish I had gotten around to them sooner because the drafting is top-notch, the fit is great, the instructions are clear, and these are destined to become staples in my wardrobe.

Creative Counselor: Scout Tee
Scout Tee — I love this one.

For this Scout Tee, I made my usually narrow, forward-sloping shoulder adjustment.  Since this pattern also has a set-in sleeve, I had to make the same adjustment to the sleeve piece.  This really is a very simple adjustment to make, and my garments fit soooooo much better for making it.  In fact, I make it so often now that maybe I’ll take photos for a tutorial the next time I’m altering a pattern — any interest?

Creative Counselor: Scout Tee
Perfectly-fitted sleeve.

I learned my lesson with storebought bias tape on my first Tiny Pocket Tank, so I sucked it up and made my own for this tee. I’m glad I did because the neckline lays nice and flat and moves perfectly with my fabric.  If you have trouble getting bias necklines to lay flat, check out Jen’s tutorial.  This is the method I use and I get pretty good results.

Creative Counselor: Scout Tee

My fabric is a Liesl & Co. lawn that I picked up at Joann’s forever ago.  I really loved the colors and pattern but it was a little twee for anything I could think to do with it.  I had a dress in mind when I bought it but I quickly realized that a dress out of this would look like I walked straight out of either the 1950s or an elementary school.  Neither of which is the look I’m going for!

Creative Counselor: Scout Tee
Not too twee I hope?

But I think it works well with this simple top.  The very simple and clean lines of the top counter the ultra-feminine print quite nicely.

I really love that this top is just as appropriate for the office at it is for home.  I’ve worn it under a suit to a deposition and with various skirts around the office.  I wear it frequently with jeans or shorts at home and it’s great for running around after the kids.  Nice and cool and easy to move.  Basically, my perfect top!

Creative Counselor: Scout Tee

Pattern: Scout Tee by Grainline Studios.

Cost: $12 (PDF); $16 (Printed)

Size: 6.

Fabric: Liesl & Co. lawn from Joann.

Difficulty: Adventurous Beginner.

Techniques required: Setting in sleeves, attaching bias binding, fit alterations, if necessary.

Similar patterns:  Zippy Top by See Kate Sew; Dip Hem T-Shirt by Salme; Inari Tee/Dress by Named; Beatrix by Made by Rae; Belcarra Blouse by Sewaholic.

Modifications: My usual narrow/forward-sloping shoulder alteration.  Otherwise, none.

Fit:  Love it.  Dolman or kimono sleeves are nice and easy, but I really do like the closer fit that I get with set-in sleeves.  Now that I know the alteration to make, I get a perfect armscyce fit everytime!

Pattern Format: PDF.  I taped this pattern together so long ago that I barely remember it.  Cutting and taping PDFs kinda sucks, but I don’t recall this being too terribly painful.  And I’m also thanking former-me for tracing rather than cutting my size so that I could trace off a smaller size this time!


  • Simple, classic silhouette that won’t go out of style (or can be brought into style with simple hemline alterations).
  • Relatively few seams means this is good for larger-scale patterns as the seamlines won’t break up the pattern.
  • No closures make it a good project for beginners.
  • Great instructions and straightforward construction.
  • Fabulous staple piece for both home and office.


  • Bias necklines aren’t my favorite finish.  They’re often necessary for fabrics that are slightly sheer.  Even this lawn needed a bias neckline for that reason.  But on more opaque fabrics I would have liked an option for a facing.

Overall Grade:  A.  This is a very solid, well-drafted pattern.  There are surprisingly few indie patterns in this silhouette — I actually had to search to find a decent representative sampling rather than pulling 5-6 off the top of my head.  Grainline’s was the first of these and is really well-done.  I’m now looking forward to adding more of these to my closet — it’s a great wardrobe builder!

12 thoughts on “Scouting Around — Grainline for the Win.

    1. It is! I think this top is deceptive. It’s such a simple design that it looks like the pattern would have been easy to draft as well, but it’s so well done that it’s definitely worth the money.

  1. Lovely as always. I am coveting the scout for a while too but since I have a similar pattern in an ottobre design issue from last spring it doesn’t really make sense to buy it. But I love grainlinestudio alot too. Sadly its hard to source the printed patterns in mainland europe though.
    Please do a little tut for your shoulder adjustment. I would also love to know how the unaltered pattern wears though. I struggle with fitting the armscye alot. I do a forward shoulder adjustment too (plus some shallow bust and broad back adjusting) but the lower part of the armscye still feels wrong. It is digging into my flesh and I sort of think i need to adjust the slope but can’t seem to find a technical explanation in any of my fitting books or the internet. I am a bit at a loss right now and this issue makes me not wanting to sew woven garments for my top half – with knits the problem is just not quite as evident. I would love to add some woven tanks/tops/button downs to my closet…
    Cheers, Susanne

    1. Will do! I sometimes find that I need to lower the armscyce for that same reason. I think when I take length out of the front for my sloping shoulder adjustment, the armscyce becomes too small so I have to add it back in.

  2. I have the same fabric and loved it but couldn’t bring myself to make a dress out it. So I’ve used it as bodice lining on two other dresses. It makes me smile every time I wear them.

    Great job on the tee.

    1. It would make a good lining. I love prints like this but I find that I just can’t wear them as dresses. I need them to be smaller garments like a top so that something else reduces the over all “twee” quality.

  3. I love your posts. I like how you “grade” the patterns at the end and summarize everything. You also have lots of photos. I always look forward to coffee with you too.

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