scout tee x complex geometries.

Originally posted to on 27 November 2014


One of my sewing goals over the last year or so has been to start working with some of the same patterns more than once. Don’t get me wrong, I love the thrill of the new just as much as the next person. But some of my least favorite steps in the sewing process are the fitting/muslin making steps, and one way to avoid those less thrilling steps is to use a pattern I’m already familiar with. Sunni has written about the power of building a collection of basic patterns that you can alter and remix to create a new look, and Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing was also written with this approach in mind.


For this top I started with the well-known, well-loved Grainline Scout Tee, then altered the pattern to make it look more like this tee by Complex Geometries.

image via

image via

When I originally spotted this piece on my favorite (for gawking more than shopping) online boutique, Totokaelo, I fell immediately and completely in love with it, but it was, alas, sold out. Sewing skills to the rescue!


To get this look I used Jen’s tutorial to lengthen the sleeves. I also lengthened the front of the shirt by about five inches, lengthened the back of the shirt by about a foot at center back then tapered it up to meet the front at the sides. And of course I added a TON of fullness, which is really what makes this shirt so fun.


I made my shirt out of a cotton blend jersey. Several other sewicialists have made up Scout in jersey without altering a thing. Janice of She’s in Fashion posted an example of how awesome a knit Scout can look just last week. I’m not sure what she did to finish her neckline, but I opted to use the finishing technique I learned from Heather’s Nettie pattern instructions. The sleeves and bottom hem are simply turned up and finished with a double needle. For those of you who don’t have or are otherwise averse to using a serger, this is an example of a knit jersey project that was constructed entirely on a sewing machine. Yep, it totally works out fine.


This shirt has been getting so much play since I made it a month or so ago. It’s just as comfortable as any old tee, but the added drama of the fullness and funky hemline mean it’s way, waaay more fun to wear.


On the subject of comfort, I’m not really one for wearing leggings as pants, despite how deliciously comfortable they can be, because city girls have to be conscientious about just how much body we’re trying to expose to unwanted attention, if ya know what I mean. This shirt pairs perfectly with leggings because the butt is fully covered but the legs still show up front, which is exactly how we want it.


Given my little success with this Scout alteration I’m super inspired to keep working with this pattern to see what else it can do! Have you experimented much with pattern alterations? What patterns do you find yourself returning to?

Ebony HaightComment