Featured Garment: Scoop Shell & Ramblings

Featured Garment: Scoop Shell & Ramblings

Published by Emily on 26th Sep 2015

Brief hiatus from posting, my apologies :D The kids are back into the school routine and we are all caught up on sewing. This is such a fun place to be, a little bit of time to toss new (and old) ideas around, or tend to things that have fallen through the cracks.

Scoop Shell in Clay bamboo

The Scoop Shell is sleeveless and double layered. I’ve mentioned before that avoiding topstitching is one of my best tricks for keeping our designs from looking too casual. This is especially important to me for shells, as they’re meant to fit into a work wardrobe and layer under non-Ureshii garments.

Scoop Shell in Clay bamboo, inside out. Yes, that is my BEST thread match :)

Over time I’ve developed an origami-like method of drafting patterns, and an order-of-operations for sewing to keep seams internal. A double-layered sleeveless shell inside out isn’t much different from right side out. The last seam is visible inside – either the underside of the topstitching or the seam that connects the waistband. I offset the underarm slightly to make the seaming less obvious. I’m not sure it’s necessary to do this, but a better behaved armhole is always a good thing.

The Pencil Skirt in Granite, inside out. Waistband and hem.

I started playing with this method when I wanted to avoid hemming the Pencil Skirt. Topstitching a knit fabric (especially before I had the coverstitch machine) is tricky at best, and I thought it best to skip it altogether. I decided to try doubling the layers of fabric and making the hem the fold. Doubling up the fabric actually made the skirt more wearable, ie. less naked-feeling. After a month or two, I started to stitch the centre back seam together for the sake of stability.

Two things about this:

  1. It is shockingly difficult to explain to people that the skirt hem is folded and not stitched, I should have taken this picture years ago!
  2. This is why it is important to give us an ideal length to work from and not plan to have your garment tailored. We always cut to the length, and the hem is decided with the first seam, not the last, as with most non-Ureshii garments. If you do need a skirt or dress shortened, we’d prefer to do it for you *tough face*. Plus, then we know for next time :)

Lots of these techniques show up in other garments. My favourite is the thumbs cuff, which I conquered by pure will and trial and error :D

So, I’ve been behind on sewing and writing this post in my head for six weeks. Of course I took it WAY too far. I imagined that talking about this would lead to questions about reversible garments, so I decided to head you off at the pass and make some. I made a Seamless Dress in Jade Ferns rayon, Spruce bamboo, and Black bamboo. Also, a dress with the Metro bodice (our best bust minimizer, that I’m aware I don’t need) and the Cloud skirt, in the same Jade Ferns rayon, Spruce bamboo, and Black bamboo.

Also, our supplier sent much more of this print than we wanted to buy, please buy some of it or we will dress our family in it von Trapp style.

Same dress as below – inside out. Reversible Seamless Dress in Jade Ferns rayon.

There is always (at least with my machines) a final seam that needs to seal up a double layered garment. This means adding a separate waistband or binding to flip over the final seam to hide it. My feeling is that this would add too much bulk to be convenient in a skirt or top, but might be worthwhile in a dress. So I made some dresses :D

note: I can’t actually make a sleeveless Seamless Dress unless I add this waist seam. Tying myself in knots over here.

Same dress as above – inside out. Reversible Seamless Dress in Jade Fern rayon with Black bamboo and Spruce bamboo waistband.

Reversible to me always feels funny, an idea that tickles the right place in my brain, but not enough to convince me it’s practical.


  • When I have two garments the same but in different colours, I always like one better.
  • When this dress is in the wash, both of these dresses are in the wash.
  • It is difficult to choose the details of one colour-blocked dress, much more so when they are back to back.
  • Light colours and white background prints can’t play this game.

Same dress as below – inside out. Reversible Metro Dress in Jade Ferns rayon and Spruce bamboo.

If you have dreams of reversible dresses, I’m willing to work on it for you. Parameters are that it be:

  1. double layer
  2. and sleeveless
  3. in opaque colours or prints
  4. that get along with each other.

Same dress as above – inside out. Reversible Metro Dress in Black bamboo with Jade Ferns rayon and Spruce bamboo.

It is entirely possible I take all of these things too seriously, I’m OK with that. It’s my job to overthink the clothing related stuff :) I hope you all have a beautiful weekend,

xoxo Emily