Journal Entry

Moss Making Month

Grainline Studio | Moss Making Month

I’m a few days late on posting this but Stephanie at Makes the Things and Sara at An Elemental Life have declared April Moss Making Month! I’m pumped, these girls are always making stuff that I covet and I’m sure their Moss skirts will be no exception. You can follow along with them on Instagram by tagging #mossmakingmonth or following them on Instagram (makesthethings and anelementallife), don’t forget to tag #grainlinestudio and #mossskirt so I can see what you’re making as well if you join in! I’m hoping to get a Moss or two made myself since I basically lived in mine last summer. Hope you join in!

7 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Tips & Tricks

Cutting Fabric Folded vs. Flat

Grainline Studio | Tips & Tricks | Cutting Fabric Folded vs. Flat

I was cutting out this sweatshirt over the weekend and ended up trying a few different layouts before I settled on the one that worked. I thought I would show the difference in yardage needed to cut this pattern with the fabric folded vs. the fabric flat.

Grainline Studio | Tips & Tricks | Cutting Fabric Folded vs. Flat

Home sewing patterns have you cut your pieces out on the fold, cutting goes more quickly this way since you’re only cutting half, and the fabric fits more easily the size tables most people have in their homes. Unfortunately it’s almost never the most effective way to a great fabric yield. With this first method, fabric folded selvage to selvage I’m about  1/4 yd short.

Grainline Studio | Tips & Tricks | Cutting Fabric Folded vs. Flat

With the selvages folded towards the center I can fit both front and back on the fold but only one sleeve. So close yet so far!

Grainline Studio | Tips & Tricks | Cutting Fabric Folded vs. Flat

With the fabric laid out flat everything fits perfectly since you’re not wasting any of the fabric by folding it over. To make the full pattern I just traced the front and back pattern pieces on a folded piece of large white butcher paper and then traced an extra sleeve. Moral of the story, if you’re a tiny bit short on fabric  and you’re really dead set on using it, or if you’re just obsessed with yield like I am, try laying it out flat…you may be able to get it to fit!

38 Comments Posted in Tips & Tricks
Sew & Tell

Kira of Yarn, Purl, Stitch’s Archer

Grainline Studio | Sew & Tell |Kira of Yarn, Purl, Stitch

This Archer by Kira of yarn, purl, stitch totally blew me away when I saw it during the December Archer Awareness Month. Not only did she make a button down shirt, she dyed the fabric AND shashiko embroidered the yoke. So beautiful!!

Name Kyra

Pattern Archer Button Up Shirt

Kyra’s Blog Kyra Clarke

Her Project Post Sleeveless Sashiko Archer

What type of fabric / materials did you use? “I used the remnants of 2 metres of cotton voile I dyed navy blue with Dylon hand dye for another project. For the embroidery I used Presencia Finca Perle 8 thread in a similar colour to the dyed fabric.”

Tell us more about your project! “I was inspired by all of the sashiko stitching I’ve seen around recently, and particularly an image on pinterest of a denim button up shirt with sashiko stitching across the shoulders. I loved my first archer, also made in a cotton voile, and wanted to try my hand at a sleeveless version. These two ideas came together and I had a sashiko archer.

I borrowed a book from the library (The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook, by Susan Briscoe) and decided on a simple pattern to stitch Seigaiha (blue ocean waves). After cutting out the shirt I ruled up one of the yoke pieces in 1 inch squares and hand drew the pattern. Using the thread doubled I just followed the lines in a running stitch and then sewed it up as usual. I love how the thread is subtle against the blue of the shirt, creating texture as well as the pattern.

I didn’t make many alterations to the archer shirt itself. I didn’t like the interfacing I used for the first archer I made, so instead I cut out additional pieces from my fabric and basted them in place, removing the thread once I finished the shirt. I slimmed it slightly by removing half an inch from each of the side seams, omitted the pockets and collar and other than that followed the instructions Jen gave for the sleeveless archer.

This is such a wonderful pattern, really easy to construct and in a super light fabric it works excellently as a top for the Australian summer. Thanks Jen.”

9 Comments Posted in Sew & Tell
Sewn Garments

Spring ’14 Wardrobe: Cream Terry Sweatshirt

Grainline Studio | Spring '14 Wardrobe | Cream Terry Sweatshirt

I’m so excited to blog the first part of my Spring ’14 Wardrobe! I finished this a little bit ago but was waiting for some non-coat, snow melted weather to go out and photograph it and yesterday was the day.

Grainline Studio | Spring '14 Wardrobe | Cream Terry Sweatshirt

I picked up this natural colored terry at Drygoods while I was in Seattle last fall with the vague idea of making a sweatshirt. Quick note about Drygoods, I feel like Keli is stocking that shop specifically for me. SO GOOD!! Okay back to the sweatshirt. Originally I thought I’d dye this fabric but when I saw this slightly off colored ribbing at JoAnn I got the idea to make the sweatshirt with ‘contrast’ ribbing. Can you really call it contrast ribbing when it’s just barely off? It’s off colored enough that you can tell I mean to do it, but still really subtle. If it didn’t work out I was going to overdye the sweatshirt but I love how it turned out!

Grainline Studio | Spring '14 Wardrobe | Cream Terry Sweatshirt

Grainline Studio | Spring '14 Wardrobe | Cream Terry Sweatshirt

You can see the contrast a bit better here. For the pattern I drafted a sweatshirt with a wider neck than normal. I hate when things are close up on my neck, always feel like I’m choking, so this neck is great for me.

Grainline Studio | Spring '14 Wardrobe | Cream Terry Sweatshirt

Grainline Studio | Spring '14 Wardrobe | Cream Terry Sweatshirt

This was also my first real project on my Bernina coverstitch/chainstitch machine. I’d done a lot of sewing with it on scraps to test it out and see what worked and what didn’t, but it took me quite a while after I purchased it to get to a real project. I have to say I love it so far!

Grainline Studio | Spring '14 Wardrobe | Cream Terry Sweatshirt

Grainline Studio | Spring '14 Wardrobe | Cream Terry Sweatshirt

Anyway I’m loving this sweatshirt and now that it’s been photographed I can wear it without worry of a tea mishap or some similar horror! It’s funny how now when I make something, instead of wearing it with abandon right away I wait till I’ve photographed it to really wear it like a normal garment. Ha!

Grainline Studio | Spring '14 Wardrobe | Cream Terry Sweatshirt

One last hilarious Chicago alleyway photo. Check out that beautiful pile of dirty, dingy, old snow. You thought it was a rock? Ha! Also in case you were wondering, here are the details of my outfit.

jean jacket – high school | jean jacket pin – canadian souvineir shop
shoes – dieppa restrepo | bag – claire vivier | pants – gap

69 Comments Posted in Sewn Garments
Progress Report

Laying out the Catnap Quilt

Grainline Studio | Laying out the Catnap Quilt

Lately I’ve been very busy working on things that are, as of yet, unbloggable, but I’m trying this new thing where I take at least one day off during the weekend to work on something totally unrelated to business. Over the past two weekends I’ve started working on my Catnap Quilt!

Grainline Studio | Laying out the Catnap Quilt

I ordered a full set of fat quarters of Lizzy House’s Catnap fabric line and cut each into 6 triangles using a scaled down version of this tutorial by Fancy Tiger Crafts. I LOVE how each of their quilts turned out and figured that since I have a similar color scheme I’d be in good hands.

Grainline Studio | Laying out the Catnap Quilt

Grainline Studio | Laying out the Catnap Quilt

As you can see, I had a LOT of help with laying out this quilt. It took me an entire day to lay out the triangles so that they looked random but without too many color or print pools. It was way more work than I had imagined it would be but I’m happy with the layout I finally came up with.

Grainline Studio | Laying out the Catnap Quilt

This past weekend I spent a chunk of Saturday assembling my quilt. I got about half way done and I’m hoping to finish assembling the quilt top next weekend if I have time. I can’t wait to have this quilt replace my worn out couch blanket, especially since the sun is now beaming down onto the couch in the late afternoons begging for a little sun break! I haven’t decided how on my backing or how I’ll be quilting it yet but I figure I still have time for that. Are any of you working on quilts right now? They’re kind of a fun change from garment sewing all the time!

64 Comments Posted in Progress Report
Journal Entry

Giveaway Winner!

Grainline Studio | Christine Haynes Giveaway

Hey guys, thanks so much for entering the giveaway! It was really fun reading through the comments and hearing what techniques / sewing related things you’d like to get better at. Now it’s time to announce the winner……….. It’s Julia! I’m not going to lie, I really really wanted to secret enter myself into this for that amazing fabric from Christine but I refrained. It was hard though!!

Grainline Studio | Christine Haynes Giveaway Winner

Hope you all have an excellent weekend, it’s 50F here, I’ve got a window open and I’m working on some patterns. Pretty good start to the weekend if you ask me! I’ll be back Monday with more plans for my Spring Wardrobe. See you then!!


4 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Book Report

Book Report | The Complete Guide to Clothing Construction by Christine Haynes & A Giveaway

Grainline Studio | Book Report | The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing Construction by Christine Haynes

Hey guys! I’m really excited to be the next stop on the blog tour of Christine Haynes‘ new book, The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing Construction! Recently a good handful of my friends have shown an interest in learning to sew and have asked me for recommendations on good beginners sewing books. Well now having read this book, it’s is my new recommendation! Unlike a lot of guide to sewing books, which are useful for beginning sewers but not so much advanced ones, this book really does go into all sorts of techniques from beginning to advanced and the range in between.

Grainline Studio | Book Report | The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing Construction by Christine Haynes

I know this is going to sound weird, but one of my favorite parts about this book is that it covers two things that confused me when I started out sewing… different types of thread and different types of pins. I weirdly remember staring down the huge wall of pins at JoAnn and thinking, dude, so many pins! Do I need the pins that have balls on the ends? The thicker dressmakers pins? What are these really thin ones all about? Thread too, so many kinds! I really appreciate a book that takes the time to talk about these little types of details as well as bigger things like how to sew a dart, how to set a sleeve, etc. I think it’s really impressive that Christine managed to fit in a million little things that so many books tend to leave out, it definitely shows the detail and care put into planning this book. Christine is a total sweetheart and it really comes across in the book. She manages to sound just like your really really informative bff and I think that’s really comforting while you’re trying to learn a new technique!

Grainline Studio | Book Report | The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing Construction by Christine Haynes


Grainline Studio | Book Report | The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing Construction by Christine Haynes


Speaking of Christine being a mad nice lady, she’s offered up this selection of amazing vintage notions and a 2.5 yard of this AMAZING silk organza for me to give away! In addition I’m throwing in a pattern of your choice from my shop, and perhaps a little surprise from my gigantic fabric & supply hoard, so leave a comment below telling me what technique you’re looking forward to mastering next!

You have until Thursday March 13th at midnight CST to enter, I’ll announce the winner on Friday March 14th!

*cat bank not included in the prize…meow!

369 Comments Posted in Book Report

Spring ’14 Wardrobe Inspiration

Grainline Studio | Spring '14 Wardrobe | Inspiration


If you’ve been following along with this blog for a while you may remember that I used to plan out seasonal wardrobes and then make as much of them as I could (wardrobes one, two, three if you’re curious). I really had fun doing it but then work took over and I let that slip. Well I’ve really been wanting to do another one so over the past week I’ve been thinking about what sort of garments I want to be wearing come spring…if it ever shows up! I’ve been posting silhouettes (and shoes) I like to my Spring ’14 Inspiration Pinboard (all of these garments can be found there for more info) and searching through my fabric stash for the proper fabrics. A bit of new yardage may have been purchased as well.

Grainline Studio | Spring '14 Wardrobe | Inspiration

1. Button-up shirt alternatives: Obviously I’m really into the button-up shirt, I’ve made about 18million Archers, but I’m always looking for a fun way to hack that pattern and this looks to be the next one I’m planning!

2. Letterman / bomber style jackets: I tried to include one of these in a hound collection a few years ago and everyone thought I was nuts. Well, who’s nuts now? Probably still me. I really want to make one of these happen and I happen to have the Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber sitting on my pattern table.

3. Ummmm shoes. Not making them but in my head these Swedish Hasbeens will go with all my spring / summer dresses.

4. You guys, I am so into the sweatshirt at the moment. Regular sweatshirts, ‘fancy’ sweatshirts, printed sweatshirts, give them all to me.  I have a sweatshirt pattern I just drafted and sweatshirts will be happening for spring.

5. Loose striped tops, and loose tops in general, are always a must have for me. I’ve got the perfect fabric under my table right now for one of these.

6. I’d really like to make a nicer spring coat that isn’t a jean jacket – currently my only non-winter jacket.

7. These babies are my ultimate dream shoes and sadly they’re sold out in a 6! As soon as they’re back in stock they WILL be mine and they will go perfectly with everything despite the fact that they’re orange!

Up top are two other things I really want for spring. Shirt dresses and a leather mini skirt. I’ve got this awesome shirt dress pattern and I’ll be using some bronze leather with the Moss pattern for the mini. What types of garments & silhouettes are you guys into for spring? Is there anything you’re dying to sew for the warmer weather? Hopefully it’s on it’s way soon cause I’m getting tired of all puffy coat alllllll the time.

29 Comments Posted in Inspiration

Upcoming Craft/Work Panel & Shibori Dye Workshop

Hey guys! Just wanted to stop in and let you know about an upcoming event I’m involved in. Next Tuesday, March 4th I’ll be taking part in Craft/Work’s next event, Global Practices & Economic Sustainability: the Ethical Implications of Local and International Craft Production. I’ll be chatting alongside Harish Patel of ishi vest and Maureen Dunn of Mata Traders with an after discussion Shibori Dying workshop by the crazy talented Nora Renick-Rinehart who I was lucky to meet over at Lillstreet! So if you want to hear us chat or you want to learn to Shibori dye techniques head over to Beauty and Brawn Gallery at 6:30pm next Tuesday!

1 Comment Posted in News
Life Lately

Where I’ve Been Hiding

Grainline Studio | Life Lately

Nothing new to show today, but I needed to get back into blogging somehow and this seemed like the best way. This flu or whatever that’s been going around grabbed on, turned itself into bronchitis, and now just won’t let go! After 4 weeks I am still coughing, omg when will it stop?! Anyway, since I last checked in, besides getting sick, I’ve been watching a lot of Olympics & knitting, teaching pattern grading over at Columbia, got interviewed for Marketplace (no air date yet but I’ll post when I get one), and eating delicious vegetarian takeout in the hopes of getting healthy again someday. HA!

Grainline Studio | Life Lately

Above we have a late night hair braid-off, Roamy helping me with my taxes, a very very frozen Lake Michigan from when I was down at WBEZ, and some tool knolling. ALWAYS BE KNOLLING GUYS!!

I’ve had to reconfigure some of my Grainline Studio plans since getting sick, I still get crazy tired after a moderate amount of activity and I injured a rib pretty badly coughing last week. I *might* have been stuck on the floor at some point and couldn’t get up, even with help, and it WAS really funny even at the time so feel free to giggle at that mental image. I definitely am! Anyway plans were scrapped and plans were remade and hopefully things come together. Soooooo we’ll see what the future brings!

Also, if you want to watch the rest of the Tom Sachs 10 Bullets here’s the link. Words to work by. 4real.

43 Comments Posted in Life Lately