Penny Raglan

Penny Raglan Inspiration & Swatches

Grainline Studio | Penny Raglan

We love love love cozy drapey tees. They are causal yet so polished looking. This is some of our styling inspiration for the Penny Raglan and some really cute fabrics you could make one out of! Or many…

Grainline Studio | Penny Raglan

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Penny Raglan

New to Grainline, the Penny Raglan!

Penny Raglan | Grainline Studio

The search for the perfect tee… It’s a real thing. For us it needs to be boxy, drapey, unclingy and of course soft! That’s why the Penny Raglan is the perfect tee.

Penny Raglan | Grainline Studio

For those of you who have been following the blog and our Instagram for a while you probably recognize it. Jen has been wearing them for years. And I’m probably not the only one who has been wanting one for that long! Right?! Now you we can make our very own.

Grainline Studio | Penny Raglan

The Penny is great for all types of knits, as long as there’s some drape. The ones pictured above are made in bamboo knit, linen blends, and a silk viscose blend. We’ve got a post coming up for you on choosing fabrics, so if you’re unsure look out for that later this week!

Penny Raglan | Grainline Studio

The Penny is a super quick summer project that’s sure to get a lot of wear. Grab your pattern here!

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Alder Sew Along

The Alder as a Tunic or Shirt

Alder as a Shirt or Tunic | Grainline Studio

Around this time of year we get a lot of emails enquiring how to convert the Archer into a sleeveless shirt. We have a tutorial here but one thing to note is that since the Archer is both slightly oversized and drafted for sleeves, it will never be fitted in the armholes the same way the Alder is without some major drafting adjustments. The Alder on the other hand is very easy to turn into a sleeveless tunic or shirt just by shortening the pattern pieces! I just made the one above this week in this Art Gallery denim (Puzzle Sandblast) by shortening View A so that the front button band measures 26″ – which ends up being tunic length. I’m reposting our original tutorial from a few years ago on shortening the Alder below. Have you tried it?


Alder Sew Along: Alder as a Shirt

Start by deciding how long you want the shirt to be. If you’ve made the dress already it’s really easy to just try the dress on and mark where you’d like the shirt to hit. If you haven’t I recommend measuring starting from the hollow of your throat down to where you’d like the shirt to hit since that measurement corresponds with the center front of the dress fronts.

Once you know how long you’d like the dress, mark the new hem length on the front of the dress. Measure up evenly across the bottom of all of the dress pieces to mark the new hem. Make sure you remember to leave enough for the hem.

Alder Sew Along: Alder as a Shirt

All of the construction is the same as the original dress for this version so you can either follow the instructions in the booklet or follow along with the sew along here on the blog.

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Willow Tank Dress

Willow Sew-Along: Day 05 Hemming

Today we’ll be hemming up our Willows…just in time for the hot weather approaching! I’ll be going through hemming the tank version first, then the dress.

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Begin by folding up and pressing the 1/2″ seam allowance around the bottom hem edge of the tank.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Following the fold line marked on the pattern, fold the hem up and press it into place, pinning as you go. The hem edge is 2″ in case your markings have worn off by this point.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Stitch around the loose edge to secure the hem in place and give it a press. Your tank is done!


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

If you’re making the dress version hemming is even easier. Fold up and press 1/4″ around the hem edge. You can see here that I have a line of stitching around the hem at 1/4″ that I’m folding up along. That’s a little trick that can make it easier to turn fabric. This is a cotton/linen blend and it wants badly to fold along the grain. Since the hem is slightly curved, I placed a line of stitching along the fold line to force the fabric to do what I wanted.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Fold the edge up 1/4″ once more and press.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Stitch along the loose edge as close to the edge as you feel comfortable. Give it a press and your dress is completed!

Thanks for following along on this Willow journey…we’ll have a few more Willow related posts in the coming weeks, including a cropped tank I’m really excited to sew up!

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Willow Tank Dress

Willow Sew-Along: Day 04

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

In today’s installment of the Willow Sew-Along we’ll be binding our neckline and armhole edges. This is probably the most “difficult” part of the Willow, but if you take it one step at a time, it’s no trouble at all! I’ll be showing you how to bind the neckline in this post, but the armholes are done the exact same way.

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Begin by taking your neckline binding piece and sewing the two shorter edges together, with right sides facing each other, to create a circle.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Press the seam allowance open.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Align the binding piece around the neckline and pin in place. I like to put the seam of the binding at the center back of the garment, but that’s just my personal preference.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Head over to your machine and stitch the neckline and binding together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Grade the seam by trimming the seam allowance of the binding in half all the way around the neckline. This will reduce bulk and create a better looking neckline.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

After grading, clip around the neckline through all layers of the seam allowance approximately every inch or so. This will allow the smaller cut edge to turn back smoothly onto the wider neckline.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Press the seam allowance and the binding up away from the garment.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Stitch around the neckline through the binding and seam allowance as close to the seam line as you feel comfortable. In this sample I’m at about 1/16″ but anywhere between there and 1/8″ works just fine. The point of this stitching line is that it will help to force the seam line to the wrong side of the garment so that you can’t see it from the right side.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Press the binding to the wrong side of the garment making sure the seam line just barely rolls to that side as well.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Now tuck the raw edge of the binding under to meet the fold line, then pin the binding in place. Continue this around the circumference of the neckline, pinning as you go.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Head over to your machine and stitch the neckline binding down. I again stitch about 1/16″ from the loose edge, but wherever you feel comfortable works just fine.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Give your neckline a good press and you’re done! Repeat these steps for the two armholes. All we have left is hemming…till next time!

6 Comments Posted in Willow Tank Dress
Journal Entry

January Prints Interview on Fabric Design & Sprout Patterns

Grainline Studio | Sprout Patterns

Hey! Did you see our posts about our presence on Sprout Patterns?! Sprout Patterns is an online service where you can have one of our sewing patterns printed directly onto Spoonflower fabric. We also have a Spoonflower shop!

Our shop is populated with surface designs from the very talented Michelle Vondiziano of January Prints. Michelle was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, but grew up in Michigan where she studied art history and painting. After a stint as a gallery assistant, Michelle found herself in the world of textiles at the Chicago-based company, Unison. It was here that her love and understanding of textile-design flourished. Since then she has moved with her family to Pennsylvania where she works independently on her designs while raising two children. We are so excited to be working with her! She is awesome and we wanted you to get a chance to learn more about her. Here is a conversation that we had with Michelle and wanted to share with you.

Sarah: Michelle, what is the kernel of your design aesthetic?

Michelle: The inspiration for my work comes from stamping, primitive designs, traditional batik, and my 5-year old daughter’s drawings. I have always been fascinated by the relationship of color and pattern established through repetition. It’s one thing to draw a design, but how does it look repeated over and over again? I love the negative space created by batik and other resist techniques as well as the simplicity of geometric shapes. Those things go a long way when incorporated into a simple repeat.

Sarah: How does your original idea or inspiration evolve into a complete design?

Michelle: I usually begin with a hand-drawn, hand-stamped or hand-painted design, then scan it into my computer to experiment with color. From there I have to determine the scale, keeping in mind what the design will be used for – apparel, wallpaper, home textiles etc. It’s easy to go too big or too small, so I have to be sensitive to the design’s application.

Sarah: As design is an amorphous process we are curious… how have your inspiration and methods changed over time?

Michelle: Living in a rural area for the first time in my life, I am inspired by the landscape, skyscape, and change of seasons. Feeling closely connected to the natural environment, I’m inspired to get more hands-on with my process, moving away from digital design, and pursuing hand-dying, hand-stamping and natural pigments. This past summer was the beginning of my indigo and resist tea-towels, which have set the stage for a new collection.

Sarah: When did you start sewing, and what is the first thing you sewed?

Michelle: I began sewing around age 7, but believe me, that does not make me a good sewer. I did not pursue it. My mother, on the other hand, was an amazing sewer, and I have vivid memories of her sewing up matching outfits for the two of us! She also made me tons of Barbie clothes. I think the first and most sophisticated thing I ever sewed (with her help), was a Barbie bra. 

Sarah: What is your favorite Grainline Studio pattern to sew? 

Michelle: I will be sewing my first Grainline pattern as we speak! I’ve chosen the Lark Tee with boat neck and long sleeves.

Sarah: What is the funniest thing you have made? 

Michelle: One of the funniest things I’ve made is a pair of DIY bell bottoms. You know the ones where you start off with a pair of grungy jeans and then add the triangle of fabric at the bottom? Yes, I sported those for a while in middle school. 

Sarah: Thank you for chatting with us Michelle!

Michelle: I’m so excited to work with Grainline Studio again. It’s come full circle from our first collaboration back when they were Hound. That was my first custom apparel project, thanks to Jen Beeman’s confidence in my work. Going forward with our current Sprout/Grainline Studio project, I can’t wait to see what fabric combinations people choose. What a beautiful way to work collaboratively across the board!”

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Willow Tank Dress

Willow Sew-Along: Day 03

WillowDay03_11

Today we’ll be attaching the skirt to the bodice for the dress version of the Willow. If you’re making the tank, you can skip today!

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Begin by sewing the side seams of your skirt pieces. Finish the seam allowances as desired and press them to the back of the garment.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Now we’ll sew the first waistline seam, the one that attaches the bodice to the skirt. Place the bodice right side out inside of the skirt with the right side facing in. Pin the two pieces together.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Stitch around the seam line and finish the seam allowance as desired but DO NOT press the seam one way or the other!


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Now we’re going to create the waistline pleat. To start turn your dress inside out and place it around your ironing board.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Fold the seam line up over the bodice of the skirt. If you’ve marked your fold and stitching line you can match those and pin in place. If you haven’t you’ll need to make sure that the depth from the fold to the seam line of the waist seam is 2″.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Pin the seam in place and press, working around the circumference of the dress.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Move over to your sewing machine and begin stitching, following the stitching line marked on your pattern. This line is the same as the stitching line for the waistline seam, so I usually just follow that. We’ve found that stitching with the dress inside out is the easiest.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Give your pleat another press and you’re done with this step!

Up next, binding the neckline and armholes!

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Pattern Tutorials

Crew BBQ

Grainline Studio | Pattern

Hey guys! We had a really fun Grainline Studio backyard bbq in Chicago today! The weather was beautiful… feels good to finally say that! We ate some delicious watermelon, pie and sausages. To protect our awesome outfits we collaborated with fabric.com to make this apron. Here is a free pattern and instructions to make your own!

Materials

Grainline Studio | Tutorials

1. Cut out pattern pieces, trace onto your fabric and then cut your fabric.

2. We are going to start the apron by sewing on the pocket!  Press 1/4 inch around the edges of your pocket piece. On all four sides. Fold over the top of your pocket piece 1 inch and press. Now sew as close to the bottom folded edge as possible.

Grainline Studio | Tutorials

3. Pin your pocket fabric to your self fabric. Sew around the 2 side edges and the bottom edge as close to the outside of the pocket as you can.

Grainline Studio | Tutorials

4. Hem the top of your apron, the sides and bottom.

Grainline Studio | Tutorials

5. Fold over the ends of your curved facings 1/2 inch and press. Then fold over the outside edge of the curved facing 1/4 inch.

Grainline Studio | Tutorials

6. Pin these pieces to the arm curves of the self fabric. Make sure the raw edges of the self fabric and the facings are the edges that are being pinned together. Now sew them!

Grainline Studio | Tutorials

7. Press the seam open. And turn the whole facing piece to the back of your apron and press.

Grainline Studio | Tutorials

8. Sew along each edge of your curved facing. Making a channel.

Grainline Studio | Tutorials

9. Now for your strap! Sew the three pieces together and press your seams to one side. Fold over the end pieces and all along the side edges of the strap 1/2 inch and press. Now fold the strap in half and press + pin as you go. Sew the strap closed as close to the edge as possible.

Grainline Studio | Tutorials

Grainline Studio | Tutorials

10. Thread each end of your strap through the arm channels of your apron making a loop at the top. Try it on.. tie a bow.. your done!

Grainline Studio | Tutorials Grainline Studio | Pattern Grainline Studio | Pattern

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Willow Tank Dress

Willow Sew-Along: Day 02

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Today we’ll be sewing our darts and the side seams for the bodice of the tank & dress. If you missed our previous post about fitting and cutting, you can find it here.

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Make sure that you have your dart point marked and the dart legs notched.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Fold the top right sides together matching the two dart leg notches. The fold line should cut through the dart point.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Stitch from the dart leg notches to the dart point. You can either leave a thread tail at the dart point and tie off the dart, or what I usually do is back tack about 3 stitches.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Press the dart take-up (this is the wedge that you took out of the garment by sewing the dart) down towards the hem. I like to press my darts over a tailors ham to avoid any weird bubbling at the dart point.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Now with right sides together, align the side and shoulder seams of the front and back bodice. Sew them together along the 1/2″ seam allowance.

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

I like to serge my seams before I press them, but if you don’t have a serger you can finish them by zig zag stitching over the edge on your machine or trimming the edges with pinking shears.


Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Once you have your seams finished as desired, press the seam allowances towards the back of the garment.

That’s it for today, up next will be attaching the skirt for the dress version. See you back here then!

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Journal Entry

Jen’s Me Made May Recap

Jen's Me Made May Recap | Grainline Studio
Willow Tank Dress | To be released Penny Raglan

Every year when Me Made May rolls around I get a little stressed out. I have no problem wearing handmade garments most days of the week, but the pressure to take a selfie every day is a little overwhelming for me. Those of you who’ve been around here for a long time know that ironically, for a business that started as a blog, I hate having my photo taken. This year I decided to relieve some of the pressure on myself and just take photos when I thought I had outfits worth snapping for one reason or another, whether they were me made or by one of the small designers I love, when I happened to remember. I documented my Me Made May over on my personal Instagram account so as not to clog up the Grainline account with a million selfies.

Jen's Me Made May Recap | Grainline Studio
Willow Tank, Driftless Cardigan, Skiff Hat | Personal Coat Pattern

I didn’t learn too much about my wardrobe over the last month, but it did reinforce something that I’ve already known to be true. My handmade wardrobe is shrinking! Unfortunately I don’t have a ton time outside of designing, drafting, testing, blogging, and everything else involved in running a business to sew anything for myself. Most of what I have at this point are garments from about 2 years ago or samples I stole from the testing phase of patterns.

Jen's Me Made May Recap | Grainline Studio
Linden Sweatshirt, Skiff Hat | Tamarack Jacket, Hemlock Tee

Probably the main reason though is that I haven’t had a sewing machine at home for the last two years. It’s not that I don’t want one here, quite the opposite, but I just don’t have room as Jon (my husband) and I have been living in a 500 sq foot apartment. That square footage includes the bathroom and closets! It’s been really frustrating and at times really depressing for me to not be able to have fun doing what was originally my favorite hobby, outside of work. Any time I would go in to work with the intentions of sewing for myself I would inevitably end up working as having a small business means that there is ALWAYS something you should be doing! I’ve gotten really good at leaving work at work these days for the health of my mind, body and relationships, but once I get back into work I’m unable to not work. Ha!

Jen's Me Made May Recap | Grainline Studio
Hemlock Tee | To be released Penny Raglan

Jen's Me Made May Recap | Grainline Studio
Lucinda Sweater | Stone Lake Sweater

While I haven’t had any sewing time, I have been buying fabric to replace the garments I love that have worn out over the past few years which means I’ve accumulated a mini-personal stash. I’ll be moving soon and will once again be able to have a dedicated home sewing space and I’m so unbelievably happy about that fact! Can you even believe I’ve gone so long without a home sewing setup of any kind?! I really can’t!

Jen's Me Made May Recap | Grainline Studio
Penny Raglan Again | Unblogged Alder & Archer Mash-up

One of my personal goals coming out of Me Made May for this summer (and beyond!) is to really start working through my stash, both fabric and yarn. Neither are huge but I’d love to get through the bulk of it since they’re all lovely fabric and yarns I bought for a purpose. It’s kind of sad when things with a purpose don’t get to live that out isn’t it?

Jen's Me Made May Recap | Grainline Studio
Personal Coat Pattern, Elizabeth Suzann Top | Lauren Winter Dress

I’ve already started with my yarn and have been posting my progress on my personal Instagram account (@jen_beeman) with the hashtag #summerstashproject. If anyone else is working through their stash this summer, yarn or fabric, feel free to jump in on that tag! I’d love to see what you’re doing with what you have and see some of these stash goodies make it free from bags and bins under our beds and in the backs of our closets!

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