Sew & Tell

Sew & Tell | Mia

Grainline Studio | Tamarack Jacket

We are all crushing on this Tamarack Jacket that Mia made. She went the extra mile and added a quilt block to the back! It’s so clever to tie that in to a quilted jacket! Duh! Her fabric choices are also pretty amazing. Her project got us thinking about how many different directions we can take this jacket. Thanks for sharing Mia. We are inspired!

Name Mia Partlow

Where can we find you online? Instagram 

Link to your post about this project @grignotine

Which pattern did you use? Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio | Tamarack

What type of fabric or other materials did you use? Robert Kaufman Wexford Cotton, Linen Denim, Robert Kaufman Denim Stripe Indigo Railroad Denim, Rose-colored linen (I believe also Robert Kaufman).

Grainline Studio | Tamarack

Tell us about your project! In addition to sewing clothes, I’m also a quilter, so I wanted to make a Tamarack that incorporated an actual quilt block, for a bit of whimsy and a nod to my other craft. Plus, it is very satisfying to quilt something that doesn’t take months to complete! To create the back, I searched high and low for a block that would look good on its own, one that did not need to be part of a larger quilt with repeating blocks to look complete. I found the perfect block, the Double Star from Blossom Heart Quilts–she has a wonderful tutorial, but somehow I sewed one of the corners on backwards! To create the back, I removed a section of the back pattern piece equal to my quilt block, allowing for seams; since the back piece is cut on the fold, removing a square was fairly straight-forward. After cutting out the square, I cut the back pattern piece into three sections–top, sides and bottom–and then I sewed them to the quilt block. I’m sure there were easier/better ways to do this, but like many home sewers I am self taught and this seemed to work well. In this sense, the jacket itself is an ode to quilting, being self taught and embracing mistakes as part of the process. I absolutely love my Tamarack and now that Spring is here I’ve been wearing it constantly!

Grainline Studio | Tamarack

2 Comments Posted in Sew & Tell
Journal Entry

Sewing Tutorial | Getting Flat Bias Necklines

Grainline Studio | Sewing Tutorials

Hi guys! As we are heading into summer I bet many of you will be making Scout Woven Tees and Tiny Pocket Tanks! That’s what I’ll be doing anyway. Here is a tutorial that Jen re-posted last summer. I’m happy she did because now I get my bias faced necklines to lay so flat and look really nice and pro.

3 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Swatch Share

Styling & Swatches | Scout Tee

Grainline Studio | Scout Tee

We are just about to turn the corner into spring up here in the great north! Finally! I have been eyeing these adorb tees and am going to make something similar using the Scout Tee pattern. I found all of these cute fabrics online! It’s going to be hard to choose cause they are so luxe. Guess I’ll have to make one of each! Right?

Grainline Studio | Scout Tee

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

3 Comments Posted in Swatch Share
Extracurriculars  |  Sewn Other

Our Extracurriculars

Grainline Studio | Indigo Tile Quilt

Lately we have been wanting to share with you some of the projects we work on outside of the studio. We are all creatives here and are always working on something cool! I am going to start by sharing this quilt I designed and made with my Mom. She is a fiber artist as well and the two of us love getting together and working on projects. She has really been cranking out quilts and so she offered to sew this one for me! I knew that I wanted something minimal and geometric. I also thought it would be fun to experiment with achieving a variety of color values using indigo dye on Belgian linen.


I was really inspired by tile floors and thought it would be cool to have a blanket that looks like one! After I dyed the fabric my mom and I used the quilting technique called half square triangles to cut the shapes. Then we laid out the pieces together and decided where everything should go! Finally she pieced it together and quilted it using straight lines.

Grainline Studio | Our Extracurriculars

Voila! Hope you like it.

11 Comments Posted in Extracurriculars, Sewn Other
Journal Entry

Grainline Crew | Sarah

Sarah Crew Photo

A few weeks ago we introduced you to Lexi, and today I’m excited to have you get to know Sarah, our other new hire! Sarah joined the team back in January and has been busy ever since. You’ve probably noticed you’ve been reading posts from her over the past few months, so this is a great chance to get to know the person behind the posts!

Where are you from and what brought you to Chicago?

I grew up on a hobby farm in a tiny town in Kansas and moved to Kansas City when I was ten. I have always been artistic and in 2005 I moved to Chicago to study fiber at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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

I am mostly a self taught sewer and I started when I was about eight years old. I would cut up old sheets and make clothes for my dolls. My mother and grandmother are both sewers and they taught me the super necessary things. Like hemming my jeans and making simple dresses. I continued to sew through college. All of my real skills came from Jen’s Sew Alongs and tutorials! Now I make tons of my own clothes.

What do you do for Grainline Studio?

I write for the blog and create content for social media!

What is your favorite Grainline pattern to sew?

My favorite Grainline pattern to sew is the Scout Tee. I have a casual minimal style and tee shirts are my favorite! I love surface design so I love pairing prints with the simple shape of the scout tee. I am dying to make a Morris Blazer! That is the next thing I am making. For sure.

What is the funniest thing you have made?

A sushi costume for Halloween and my cat has a matching one…

What do you do outside of Grainline Studio?

I am a textile designer and I have an online store! I also love cooking and trying to keep plants alive.

What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago?

Go to the Lake!

Sarah Crafting

6 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Sew & Tell

Sew & Tell | Andreia

Grainline Studio | Linden Sweatshirt

I’m in love with the fabric Andreia chose to make this Linden Sweatshirt. It’s the perfect pop of color to have for a rainy spring day. Wishing it was mine!

Name Andreia

Where can we find you online? In a manner of sewing 

Link to your post about this project @andsalgueiro

Which pattern did you use? Linden Sweatshirt


What type of fabric or other materials did you use? French terry from my local shop.

Tell us about your project! I have a very special love for the Linden. It was the very first PDF pattern I bought as I was starting to sew for myself. It worked as a confidence booster and made me take the plunge into other patterns, simply because I realized I could sew something simple but still with great results.

It´s the perfect “serger only” project and by now it just takes me around 15 minutes to sew one up. I always have it in hand in my tried´n true “Wall of Fame”.

Even though it´s quite simple construction wise, I´ve learned a lot about knits just by sewing it and also the perfect way to attach bands, whether neck or cuff ones.

This is my sixth Linden and I´m only missing one to cover the whole week, ha! The size is a 0 with no alterations: the fit results in a very comfortable sweater, sitting just at hip line and with enough ease to overlay with other pieces.

It´s all about the fabric here: the french terry has a beautiful floral print that reminds an aquarelle painting and makes it something more than a regular sweatshirt. Not that there´s anything wrong with that, a good old plain grey version was my first and still essential on my wardrobe. It´s just my “hmm don´t know what to wear tomorrow” piece one can whip up in no time!

Andreia Linden3

5 Comments Posted in Sew & Tell
Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks: Estimating Yardage

Estimating Yardage | Grainline Studio

We get a lot of questions along the lines of “I have the ___ pattern and I want to do a contrast ___. Do you know how much yardage that will take?” I love that people are thinking outside the box and going to town with their ideas but unfortunately it can take us a little bit to get back to these questions. When I figure out the yardage for each pattern, I calculate it based on the complete configurations on the pattern envelope, not on a piece by piece basis. This means I don’t have this info stored anywhere. Occasionally I can produce a reasonable guess, but most of the time we have to take the pattern out and measure the pieces since you guys do like to get creative. Since it’s such a popular question, and would also be useful for any pattern variations you might dream up that could change the yardage, I thought a little mini tutorial on how to estimate might be useful!

Please note that you will need to actually have the pattern in your possession to estimate using this method.

Estimating Yardage | Grainline Studio

First separate out the pattern pieces you’d like to estimate the yardage for. I’ll be using the Driftless Cardigan as an example. Lets say we want to do a contrast lower portion, so we’ll pull the pieces that would be affected.

Estimating Yardage | Grainline Studio

Lay two rulers or measuring tapes out on a table to create a squared L – these become the stand in for the fabric you haven’t ordered yet. Using the bottom ruler as the fold, lay out your pieces making sure to keep everything on grain.

Estimating Yardage | Grainline Studio

Once everything is laid out, take a quick measure to make sure that you haven’t surpassed the max width of your fabric folded. We’re measuring for 54″ fabric here so you want to make sure the width of your layout doesn’t exceed the 27″ width of the folded fabric. You may also want to subtract an inch from your width to account for selvage. So that means if you’re ordering 45″ wide fabric you’ll want to stay within 21.5″ and if you’re ordering 54″ wide fabric, stay within 26″ of the folded edge.

Once you’re sure your layout fits width wise and that everything is on grain, take the measurement from the lower ruler, this is how much fabric you’ll need to order. Ours is 25″ in the above example so we’d need to purchase 3/4 of a yard.

If you have the fabric you’d like to use already and are just wondering if you have enough you can use this method, but instead of laying out rulers you can just lay out your fabric and arrange the pieces on top of it.

I hope this helps with yardage estimation, now let those variations flow!

9 Comments Posted in Tips & Tricks

Crafty Planner Podcast Interview

Crafty Planner Podcast | Grainline Studio

A few weeks ago I had a chat with Sandi Sawa Hazlewood of the Crafty Planner Podcast and today our conversation is up on her site! I’ve been a fan of her podcast and excellent interviews for a while so it was an honor to sit down and be a part of it myself. I had such a good time with Sandi that we talked for quite a while before and after the actual interview, meaning I don’t recall exactly what was in the podcast and what was outside. You can find the interview here, hope you enjoy our chat!

4 Comments Posted in News
Jen's Handmade Wardrobe  |  Knitted Garments

Jen’s 1st Quarter Knit Report

Hawser | Grainline Studio

Hawser Sweater
Ravelry Post
Pattern: Hawser by Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Cast Iron

Hawser | Grainline Studio

I decided I needed to knit this sweater after seeing Erica’s beautiful version back in February of last year. I had to finish a few things up before starting, but cast on at the end of August. I definitely stalled out on this sweater part way through, somehow knitting double moss stitch in grey yarn was not the most compelling thing for me…especially when faced with pretty pretty Madelientosh sock yarns. Luckily once I start something I’m pretty good at forcing myself to finish, so on the last day of March, juuuuust before this first quarter ended, I cast off the neckline and wove in the last ends.

Hawser | Grainline Studio

I made quite a few mods to this sweater. I don’t like knitting in the round on a large project like this for a few reasons. First I don’t enjoy the weight and it takes sooo much longer to complete a row. Also as a sewer and patternmaker, I really enjoy the stability that seams provide, so I knew that I’d be knitting this thing flat. The pattern already had a faux side seam rib so it was relatively easy to split it down the center of that section. Since I was knitting it flat I was also able to copy Erica’s genius side seam split, which I think is a really nice touch on this design. I also lengthened the back hem ribbing on mine which I think looks better on me when there’s a split hem since I’m always hunched forward from work.

Hawser | Grainline Studio

The other mod I made besides knitting the entire sweater flat and seaming, and the side split hem was to omit the double fold neckline binding. I have small shoulders and features so when I tried it on it totally overwhelmed my entire body from the shoulders up. Really it looked clownish on me. I ripped the neckband back to the fold and did a loose cast of. So glad I did because it now looks like a pretty normal sweater on me.

Hawser | Grainline Studio

Even though I really had to push myself through the actual knitting process on this one, I’m so in love with the result. I love how the color and texture of the yarn works with the double moss stitch. I feel like that texture is really showcased in this awkward accidental photo of me adjusting the aperture on my camera during my self timer photo sesh. Occasionally a dark yarn can cover texture but I really think this one sets it off very nicely.

The moral of this sweater: sometimes you knit things because of how amazing the yarn is or how fun the pattern is, and sometimes you knit things for the finished product. It’s amazing when all these combine into the perfect knitting experience but in the cases where they don’t, it’s still pretty nice when you get a sweater you know you’re going to wear to death in the end.

Skiff | Grainline Studio

Wedding Skiff
Ravelry Post
Pattern: Skiff by Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn: Nutmeg Fibers Hearth in Silverview

Skiff | Grainline Studio

I knit this hat to wear at my recent wedding since February is pretty cold here in Chicago and my existing hat was in really sad shape. I saw on Ravelry that many people found the hat much too large as written, something I found to be a problem with my Bray hat I knit a few years back. To remedy this I used a beautiful silvery grey yarn I bought last fall when teaching at Nutmeg in Nashville. This yarn has a slightly smaller gauge than the recommended Shelter, as well as much better recovery. I also went down a needle size to reflect the smaller gauge on the Heath yarn resulting in a hat with a great fit. I’ve worn this pretty much nonstop since the wedding – especially since it’s perma-winter here in Chicago. I also need to give a shoutout to Sarah (who you’ve seen posting around these parts lately) for making that sweet pom. She’s a serious pom wizard!

Modern Fair Isle BFF Socks | Grainline Studio

Modern Fair Isle Socks
Ravelry Post
Pattern: BFF by Cookie A
Yarn: Madelinetosh Twist Light in Modern Fair Isle

Modern Fair Isle BFF Socks | Grainline Studio

I’ve been really into knitting socks the past few years. Right now I’m 11 pairs deep, not counting the many pairs I’ve knit for my sister. I really enjoy knitting (and sewing) functional things that will get a lot of use and what better than socks? Socks are also great travel projects, of course, but are equally great for family gatherings at in-laws houses where you might only half remember all the members of your brother-in-law’s family and need a conversation starter/something to do with your hands until the rest of the Krohns arrive. Haha!

These are the same BFF socks I always knit. I love that the pattern is simple and unfussy, wears well inside of a shoe or boot, while also reall showing off a hand dyed yarn nicely, so I figure if it isn’t broke…you know. Like my last few pairs, the yarn is Madelinetosh Twist Light. There are so many colorways I want to use that I’ll probably just keep trucking along with these personal staples as long as I’m into them.

Optic Mittens | Grainline Studio

Optic Mitts
Ravelry Post
Pattern: My Own
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Optic

Optic Mittens | Grainline Studio

I have a really hard time finding gloves and mittens that fit my small hands so a few years ago I knit up a pair that was a perfect fit. Unfortunately I never wrote down the pattern (what was I thinking?!) and then ruined them last winter digging out our car. This fall I decided the only smart thing to do was to make up a pattern that was a perfect fit, and then write it down! It took me 4 gloves and 3 mitten caps to get to this finished pair but it was totally worth it.The design is nothing ground breaking, but I now have a perfect pattern ready for use with any sock yarn should these happen to meet the icy handle of a snow shovel.

You may recognize the yarn from the feeds of almost every sewing knitter on Instagram, it’s Optic by Madelinetosh. I really think this has to be the most Instagrammed colorway of the past year, collectively we were/are really into it – with good reason! I personally have socks and mittens made out of it, and I wouldn’t be sad if something else just happened to end up in Optic!

As far as my next quarter knit plans, I’ve got this pair of socks on the needles and a pretty good start on this sweater. I’m not sure what’s in the cards for me other than that, but we’ll see what happens between now and then. Do you guys have any great spring knits planned? Fill us in!

Lastly just a quick bit of housekeeping…I recently moved most of my knitting posting from the Grainline Instagram account over to my personal account. If you’re in it for the knits and have been wondering where those went, you can find them here @jen_beeman.

20 Comments Posted in Jen's Handmade Wardrobe, Knitted Garments

Spring Wardrobe Inspiration

Grainline Studio | Spring Wardrobe Inspiration1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I am so excited that it’s spring! Seriously guys. I was so pumped to put together this style inspiration post. Spring for me is all about stripes and wearing shorts and dresses. It feels so good to get out of pants and sweaters. And hey, spring is leather weather! I love how this top has an open back. This would be such a fun thing to try out on a Scout Tee! I already have the perfect striped linen for this.

I am going on a trip to Florida soon and this is the perfect weekender bag. I have just enough time to make my own Portside Travel Set with a very similar fabric!

Grainline Studio | Spring Wardrobe Inspiration

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I pretty much wear ALL black and white ALL the time! I try to branch out and what happens is I go for pops of pink and blue. But this collage is all about indulging in black and white. I love this popover top. The Archer Popover Variation Pack would be perfect for achieving this look. I want it in a black gauzy cotton! These comfy clogs are the perfect pop of pink!

Grainline Studio | Spring Wardrobe Inspiration

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I am so into textiles with splashes of blue! I need this dress for summer. I imagine myself wearing it against a terra-cotta landscape. Let’s see if I can get that trip organized!

Pull on shorts on hot days! These will save me. Breezy, cute and comfy. I can’t get enough of these bun pins. They are so amazing! They make my hair look so cute and it’s the only hair accessory you will ever need. I have shoulder length thin hair. usually nothing fun will work with my hair but these are magic! They work great with all hair types… through thick and thin!


Leave a comment Posted in Inspiration