Tag Archives: Grainline Studio

Ginger Made (Finally): Grainline Studio Archer Button Up Shirt

Oh, wow… this is kind of embarrassing.  I started this shirt wayyyyyyy back in March during the Archer Sew Along, annnnnnnnd… I just finished it now.  Let’s back this truck up for a minute, though, before I explain why it took me so long.

This is the Grainline Studio Archer Button Up Shirt, and if you haven’t already made this pattern, I HIGHLY recommend it.  When Jen released the pattern, I went crazy– this is exactly the style of shirt that I like to wear every day!  I couldn’t wait to try it out!

Sewing this was actually really fun.  I was nervous to deal with all the fiddly bits like the placket and collar, but everything went together really smoothly.  The photos and videos Jen posted for the sewalong were really helpful.  I had a little trouble keeping my topstitching neat, and since you could see the thread very clearly on the portions of the plaid that weren’t blue, it was extra necessary to keep things straight.  I did LOTS of seam ripping and worked really slowly.  Even so, it’s still not perfectly even.

Unfortunately, things really went sour when I decided to use pearl snaps instead of buttons.  I bought pearl snaps from Cowgirl Snaps on Etsy, and a pair of Dritz snap pliers to set them with.  Sadly, the pliers never lined up the two parts of the snaps correctly, so the prongs kept tearing little holes in my button placket.  After a couple of VERY frustrating evenings trying to fix this, I finally lost my cool and tossed the shirt to the side in a fit of rage… whoops!  It sat unfinished in my sewing area until a couple of nights ago– I just couldn’t stand looking at it any longer and had to finish it!  This time, I just set the snaps with a hammer.  It’s tough to hammer hard enough to get the snaps on firmly without cracking the pearl or flattening the other half.  Ugh!  So I’m not sure how long this shirt will last– there are little punctures in the button placket all over the place, and the snaps will probably rip out eventually as they just don’t feel very secure.  Oh, well. [EDIT: Lou and Liz suggested that, with the loose fit and stretch fabric, I could get it over my head without unsnapping it, saving lots of stress on the snaps!  I can!  Win!]

I used a cotton shirting that I bought for $5/yd in the Garment District (from It’s A Material World, I think) during my epic shopping expedition with Lauren and Oona.  I was so excited and over-caffeinated that I didn’t even notice the stretch content of the fabric at the time!  It’s not really noticeable in a shirt this slouchy, though.

Since the fabric was inexpensive and the fit seemed pretty forgiving, I didn’t bother making a muslin.  I thought the pattern pieces looked a little short, so I lengthened the shirt by 2″.  Other than that, I didn’t make any changes and I’m happy with the fit.  I might narrow the shoulders on the next go-round so they sit in the proper place.  I think the shoulders are supposed to be slightly dropped, but I prefer a more fitted shoulder.  I did spend a fair amount of time matching the plaid, which was a bit of a brain boggle and not 100% successful, but I’m OK with how it turned out.

Overall, I’m really happy with this shirt, and hopefully I will make the time to sew a few more versions!  I’ll be sure to use extreme caution when I snap and unsnap this to extend its shelf life as much as possible!  It’s a little bright (and possible even circus-y), but I love it anyway.  I’m so glad I finally finished this shirt!

Alright, now it’s confession time– what’s the oldest UFO in your collection?  Have you ever finished up a long-term UFO and immediately been sorry you didn’t finish it sooner?  Anything in your to-be-finished pile that’s just begging to be worn?


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Ginger Made: Grainline Studio Moss Mini Skirt!

GUYS.  Someone please check my vitals because I think I’m ill… I’m having fun sewing wardrobe basics!  What?!  I realized during Me-Made-May that I didn’t have a single skirt that I wanted to wear– not one!  I downloaded this pattern the day it was released, but kept setting it aside in favor of shinier projects.  I’m so glad I finally made it!

It’s a well-known fact that I have a red-hot girl crush on Jen from Grainline Studio (EEEEEK, have you SEEN her new Lakeside Pajamas pattern?), and this pattern, the Moss Mini Skirt, just adds fuel to the fire!  I love, love, LOVE this skirt!  It’s semi-fitted, casual, and ultra wearable– everything I need and want in a skirt!

I used organic twill from Mood Fabrics, the same type (but a different colorway) that I used for my sister’s Kelly skirt.  I love this twill– it’s just the right weight for skirts.  I bought this fabric months ago, planning to make a jacket, but you’ve gotta live in the moment, right?  CARPE DIEM AND CLEAR OUT THOSE STASHES, SEWISTS!

This was my first time putting in a zipper fly, so I was a little nervous, but Jen’s photo tutorial is really helpful if you’re a scaredy-cat (or you’re super brave, but you just want more visuals).  To close the skirt, I used a jeans button from Taylor Tailor and I LOVE how it looks.  It’s just so professional-looking!  Taylor’s tutorial for inserting rivets (same process as jeans buttons) is great, too.  I followed his advice and added two extra layers of twill between my button halves, so it’s nice and stable.  I should have finished the edges of the center front seam before installing the fly, but since I didn’t, I ended up with a portion of the raw edges visible.  I ironed a little square of very lightweight interfacing on top of the raw edges to seal them in.

I made a muslin, but the skirt fit quite well without any alterations.  The yoke in the back makes for a really nice fit and looks very RTW.  The only change I made was to shorten the hem band, and thus, the skirt, by 2″.

And look!  I finished it off with a pug!  My sister had these labels printed for me… aren’t they cute?

I’m really excited to have a new skirt in my wardrobe!  I can see myself wearing this basically ’round the clock.

What is your favorite skirt or skirt pattern?  And what are you working on right now?

What is happening with my face here?


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Scout Tee, Once Again

Hi, guys!  Hope you all had a lovely Canada Day and/or 4th of July, if you celebrate!  I spent the long weekend at home, hunched over the sewing machine (OK, OK, maybe I took some breaks for pug snuggles and movie watching).

Here’s one of the products of my weekend sewing.  It’s another Grainline Studio Scout Woven Tee, photographed just in time for the Kollabora Scout Woven Tee Sew-Along deadline!  This wasn’t at the top of my to-sew list, but I love Kollabora (even though they’re basically evil because they bombard me with so much awesome inspiration each day that my to-make list is absurdly long!), I love Wanett (the head honcho of the sew-along), and I’m basically a Grainline addict, so I couldn’t help but join in on the sew-along fun!

I used a length of chambray that was left over from my first sewing project– a super stash-bust!  My plan was to use the sweet birdie fabric that Sew Busy Lizzy sent me for the Sew Very Merry Christmas Swap, but I wanted to try out some modifications on less precious fabric first.  I rounded the hem line a little bit and tried to give it a hi-lo hem, but it’s so slight that you can’t really tell (whoops!).  I also added a pocket (from Jen’s Tiny Pocket Tank pattern) since the chambray is pretty boring on its own.

This isn’t the most exciting top I’ve ever made, but it’s super wearable and will hopefully last a long time (since I French seamed the entire thing so it’s nice and tidy inside).  I’m hoping to make a few more versions of this top in the near future!

What are you guys sewing these days?  Anything exciting?  Who’s made the Scout Tee?  Wanna be my friend on Kollabora?


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Ginger Made: Scout Tee

Hi, guys!  Happy 4th of July, Americans (and a belated Happy Canada Day to my neighbors up north)!  You may notice that I’m posting on the LAST POSSIBLE DAY for the Summer Spark Sew-along (unsurprising).  I made it (but just barely)!

You may remember that my grand plan was to sort out the Iris Shorts pattern for this sewalong, buuuuuut… I’m telling ya, they licked me!  I just don’t have the chops to figure out why they don’t fit.  I even had a private lesson at the Sewing Studio, after which I transferred all the changes to my pattern, cut a new muslin, and they looked worse than before!  I was so frustrated that I couldn’t even stand to look at them!  So.  I decided to try out a different kind of summer staple and made Grainline’s Scout Tee.

I used a lightweight cotton from Paron’s that I really like.  It’s a sort of irregular, geometric print, but it’s fairly subtle and interesting.  It makes for a breezy, cool tee, which is awesome.  The style, however, is probably not the best for me.  I really like that it’s an easygoing, casual fit,  but it doesn’t really do any favors for my kinda rectangular shape.  My poor choice, not the pattern’s fault. The combination of the boxy shape and a fairly crisp fabric makes it stick out a bit.  Not my favorite, but not awful.

I thought this pattern was drafted nicely and the sleeves went in easily, which is a huge bonus!  The neck binding is nice and neat (a first for me!), but it sticks out a bit (every time I bind a neckline, it always sticks out!  What gives?!?!).  Overall, it was super quick and easy to put together– yay!

Even though I don’t think this top is super flattering on me, I’m sure I’ll wear it a lot.  It’s hot and sticky today, and the loose fit is really comfortable for this kind of weather.  I may try this one again in cotton jersey and size it down one step, or maybe I’ll try it with a drapier fabric, perhaps a silk.

This was the BEST photo of the back view… eek! Maybe I just made it a size too big?

Big thanks to Ali, Alessa, and Sarah for hosting the sewalong!  I really liked the idea– one month to make one pattern that will be a nice summer basic!  Did anyone else participate in this one?


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Ginger Made: Tiny Pocket Tank v3

GUYS. I love this pattern. Have we discussed this?  OK, we have, like, maybe 100 times, but I’m sayin’… dudes, you gotta make this thing!  It’s basically my favorite ever.

This is a cotton lawn from Lisette’s collection for Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I bought it a little over a year ago with a dress in mind, but I’m glad that I used it as a top.  Next time I make one of these, I’m going to skip the binding piece included with the pattern and just make my own double-fold bias tape.  I’m too clumsy to cleanly attach the binding following Jen’s directions (not that I’m very good at attaching regular bias tape, either…).

If it looks like my Tiny Pocket Tank is missing a tiny pocket this time, it isn’t!  I just matched the pattern very, verrrrrrrry carefully!  Yay!

What are you guys up to these days?  Working on anything fun?  I’m just about done with the muslin for my Hazel dress, and hopefully will get one more project finished before the end of the month.  We decided on a whim to move, so it’s been super hectic around here lately with packing and all that stuff.  Hopefully that will go quickly and smoothly so I can get back to sewing!


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Ginger Made: Tiny Pocket Tank + Me-Made-May ’12: Day 8!

Another puggy cameo today!  Man Friend’s laundry is still in the same spot.

sweater: J. Crew

top: Grainline’s Tiny Pocket Tank, previously unblogged

jeans: Uniqlo

necklace: Rare Bird on Etsy

This was my first Tiny Pocket Tank (my second was the top in my Pink Nightmare Pajama set).  It’s a lovely pattern, but… I dove headfirst into sewing this, thinking, “eh, it’s a swingy top, no need to muslin!”.  Famous last words!  The shoulders were way too big, which I decided to fix with a box pleat in the back, but that wasn’t a very elegant solution.  And even worse, the armscyes are too tight and ride up in my armpits all. day. long.  I need to take off the armhole binding and lower it, but the fabric is pretty sheer and delicate and doesn’t take to seam ripping too well. I did a pretty awful job with the bias binding, too… hopefully it’s not too noticeable.

The fabric was labeled Liberty lawn (totally untrue– unless Liberty is now practically transparent and $8/yard).  It’s underlined with yellow cotton batiste that I had in my stash.  I was worried that the tank looked too much like PJ’s, but Gail suggested that I wear chunkier accessories with it, and I think that helps.

Despite the issues that I have with this, it’s really a nice pattern and I’m glad that I was able to work out my fitting issues before I made the second version.  I’m hoping I can fix this one enough to wear it comfortably because I really do like it.  Make one (or four)!


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