Pattern Spotlight: Grainline Studio's Scout Tee

This week's 'Outfit of the Week' is Grainline Studio's Scout Tee paired with Liesl + Co.'s City Stroll Wrap Skirt.  The Scout Tee is a very popular pattern: there are currently 65 reviews on and many more versions scattered across the web.  I was looking through some of the reviews and blog posts - enjoying seeing all the different versions people have made - and it occurred to me that it might be nice to occasionally highlight some popular patterns on the blog, as well as start a new category in the 'Make Something!' section of the website devoted to these patterns.  So, 'Pattern Spotlight' was born - and this is the first installment!

Grainline Studio's Scout Tee has not only been popular among sewers, but it's also been glowingly reviewed: 93% of the reviews on give it a positive rating. Why is it so popular?  Here's what I've gathered looking at the reviews:

  • It's got a nice shape.  In particular, it's fitted at the shoulders and then falls loosely from the bust downwards in a slight a-line shape. The hem is also scooped - higher in the back than in the front. A lot of sewers find it a very flattering shape.
  • It's versatile.  It was originally released simply as a woven T-shirt.  However, since then, Jen (the designer) has put a lot of variations on her blog.  The most significant has been instructions for sewing it in knit fabrics: a lot of sewers now sew it with knits.  There have also been tutorials for adding longer sleeves, a fuller back, cuffed sleeves, a curved hem, and more.  I'll be talking more about these later.  Also, with its simple shape, a lot of sewers have also done their own modifications (as you'll also be seeing later!).
  • It goes together nicely.  As with all of Jen's patterns, it's very well-designed and has great instructions.  There's also lots of extra help available to get a beautiful finish.  There's a detailed sewalong on Kollabora by SownBrooklyn.  Jen has also posted tutorials on how to do the bias-faced neckline and how to do French seams (both on straight seams and armholes).
  • It's easy to sew.  It's a simple shape - it doesn't even have darts or buttons - so it's easy and quick to sew, and requires very little (if any) fitting.  Jen has given it her easiest difficulty rating. 
  • It's easy to wear.  Throw it on with a pair of skinny jeans and you've got a great outfit!

Ok - let's first look at the Scout-related modifications that are available on Grainline Studio's blog.  Jen released the pattern - as a woven T-shirt pattern - in 2011.  Here's the Scout that Jen made in Liberty tana lawn to introduce the pattern:


Her first variation was to alter the pattern to create a fuller back.  She provided a tutorial on her blog for doing this.  Here's one she made in red wool crepe:


Next, Jen provided a tutorial on how to sew up Scout in knit fabrics.  She did three posts for this: one showing three knit tees she made, one showing close-up shots, and one giving instructions on how to sew Scout using knit fabrics.  The Scout shown in the photograph below is sewn in cotton jersey.


Jen later provided a tutorial on how to add three-quarter-length sleeves to Scout.  You can see that she's also lengthened Scout to tunic length.  This version is made in viscose challis.


Last, but not least (yes, there's more!), inspired by a top she tried on at Madewell, Jen provided a variation with these alterations: a longer short sleeve with a cuff, a raised neckline with a slit, and a curved hem.  There's three posts with this variation: one introducing it, one with the pattern alterations, and one with the sewing instructions. Here's the one she made with these alterations - sewn in 6.5 oz denim:


So, as you can see, you can get a lot of mileage with Scout!  

Now for some more inspiration! I've had a look through reviews of Scout on and more widely across the web, and I've put together some collages with some of my favourite versions.  Sadly, I could only choose a few to feature.  I wish I could have shown more: there's lots of fantastic versions out there! 

First, as you've probably already noticed with Jen's cotton jersey version above, Scout looks great made up in striped fabrics -  both knit and woven! 

Clockwise from top left-hand corner: Kelley's version in a striped ponte; Heather B's version in a striped silk crepe de chine; Jen's version in a cotton jersey; Katy's Scout in a mystery synthetic fabric


Scout also looks great in bold, graphic prints:

Clockwise from top left-hand corner: Scout by Ehashley in polyester charmeuse; Scout by Mmmberry in silk charmeuse; Scout by ShanniLoves in a mystery fabric!; Scout by Swirlgurl in cotton lawn


Floral prints also work well.  Here's two I love:

 Scout made by Sarah in a cotton print; Scout made by Dixie in a cotton voile


It also looks great in small novelty prints like these:

Gillian's Scout in a koala double gauze; Jen's Scout in an elephant cotton print


Scout also looks fantastic in solid colours.  I love Jen's solid-coloured Scouts.  Here's some more of my favourite solid-coloured Scouts made by other sewers:

Clockwise from top left-hand corner: Sara's Scout in a lightweight chambray; Lisa's Scout in grey cotton jersey; Katie's Scout in chambray; Shedabble's Scout in a blue cotton


Looking at the photos, it seems that Scout looks particularly good paired with skinny jeans or a short skirt.

Most reviewers wear their Scouts untucked.  However, Scout also looks good tucked into skirts!  Here are some examples:

Lsaspacey's Scout; Jen's Scout


Finally, Scout can also quite easily be transformed into a tunic or dress!  Here are two I love:

Sara's version in a cotton jersey; Kelley's version in ponte

Wow - lots of inspiration! 

Based on these inspiration images, I've chosen some of our fabrics that will work particularly well with Scout.  You'll find all the recommendations here.  You can also access this page by going to the 'Make Something!' section of the website: I've added a new category called 'Pattern Spotlight'.  You'll see that I've added an abbreviated version of this blog post at the top of the page, followed by all of fabric recommendations.

Now, getting back to where we started - this week's 'Outfit of the Week' - I've paired Scout with Liesl + Co.'s City Stroll Wrap Skirt:


I've recommended a few of our crepes and jerseys for Scout, and some of our suitings, sateens and lightweight denims for the City Stroll Wrap Skirt:

Inspiration images from here, here, here and here 


You can find out more about this week's 'Outfit of the Week' - and see the patterns and recommended fabrics - by clicking here.

Ok - so that's it.  Phew!  I hope you've enjoyed this guide to Grainline Studio's Scout Tee. Please do let me know if I've missed anything!  Also, do you have a favorite version of Scout that I haven't featured?  Please do let us know!


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September 26, 2015 by Amy Lloyd
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Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones said:

This guide to the Scout Tee is so informative.
A wonderful resource for any sewer.
Autumn and winter weight fabrics would
be good too. A real workhorse of a pattern!

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