Scout Dress

I’ve been admiring shift dresses and t-shirt dresses and wanted to make one. I tried the Colette Laurel pattern, but it wasn’t meant to be – lots of fit issues to address. Since I wanted a more instant-gratification project, I decided to use the Scout Tee as the base for a dress. There was no shortage of online inspiration for turning the Scout into a dress.

I lengthened the Scout tee pattern about 12 inches (I think) and kept the slightly curved hem. I used a fairly stiff red cotton ikat print. Once it was sewn together I wasn’t satisfied with the shape. I thought a couple of darts in the back would help define the waist, but there were a few wrinkles and it didn’t seem quite right. So I consulted with my local sewing expert (thanks Mom). We played around with the shape, pinning in a few darts where the fabric was creasing and taking in the sides a bit. I tweaked the darts a few more times and ended up with two darts in the back and four in the front; two below the waist and two below the bust.

My dress fits now and I really like the way it turned out. Enough to go out in public looking for scenic backdrops!

Scout Tee Dress Front

Scout Tee Dress Back

Scout Tee Dress Side

Notes to self:
– Darts aren’t so scary, and I will be much more confident about adding and adjusting in future projects.
– Darts affect the length — the dress is 3-4 inches shorter with the darts. Next time I’ll give myself a little more length to worth with.
– Stiff cotton does not make a drapey dress. A good reminder. 😉

Details: size 0, lowered armscye, size 2 sleeve, lengthened shirt by 12″, added 6 darts for shaping


  1. Made By P says:

    The best looking scout dress I’ve seen. Can you give a bit more detail about your dart placement please? Thanks!

  2. pinned says:

    Thanks a lot! My pleasure, though I sort of made this up as I went along so I don’t know if I can provide a very technical description. Let me know if you have more questions or want to see a better picture.

    The back has a pair of fish-eye darts. They are about 1 1/4″ deep in the center, and taper out for 4 1/4″ inches above and below the center. There are bust darts on either side that start just below the bust apex and angle towards the side seam. They are about 5 inches long, and stop about 1 1/4 short of the side seam where they run into the waist darts. The waist darts are curved and kind of define the curve of my waist/hip. They are also about 5 inches long, but they only remove a small amount of fabric. My “technique” (hah!) was to keep pinching out fabric anywhere it bunched. Then I tried to trace onto my pattern and transfer to the other side to keep it symmetric. Followed by lots of trying on and tweaking. Hope this helps!

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