Tiny Pocket Tank & Portside Travel Set Printed Patterns

Tiny Pocket & Portside Now in Print  | Grainline Studio

In all my excitement over the new Cascade Duffle Coat pattern I completely neglected to mention that I now have the Tiny Pocket Tank and Portside Travel Set available as printed patterns!

I’ll be announcing the schedule for the Cascade Sew-Along on Monday and we’re going to dive right in. I don’t know how many people actually follow along day by day, it seems like more people catch up on the weekends or just wait till the whole things done so they know what they’re in for, so I figured lets just go for it! If you still need the pattern you can find it in both PDF and Print format here.

If you’ve ordered the Cascade already, I’ve been working nonstop on getting everything shipped all week and I think I should be caught up by Monday. Now back to the fulfillment center for me. Have a great weekend!

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Cascade Duffle Coat Inspiration

Cascade Duffle Coat Inspiration | Grainline Studio

Today I wanted to share a little inspiration for the Cascade Duffle Coat from my Cascade Inspiration board on Pinterest. I pulled a mix of more classic styles as well as some that showcase interesting toggle applications.

Cascade Duffle Coat Inspiration | Grainline Studio

Duffle coats are a traditional silhouette that has really made the transition to modern style quite well, I can’t imagine them ever really going out of style. They go so well with the timeless Breton top (as you can see in three of the photos above!) and I love the variation you can achieve with different fabrics, toggle applications, and even color-blocking. The color blocked one exists in my head but I couldn’t find an example to share. I can tell I’m going to end up with at least 2 more of these coats, is there a limit on how many coats are too many? I’m currently at 4 handmade coats… For more toggle & coat inspiration check out the Cascade Board here and if you’re looking for the Cascade Duffle pattern you can find that here in both print and PDF.

12 Comments Posted in Inspiration

Cascade Duffle Coat

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio

I’m so beyond excited to finally announce that the Cascade Duffle Coat pattern is now a reality! It’s a big pattern with lots to talk about so I’m going to launch right in. If you have any questions let me know in the comments below!

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio


First lets talk about the design elements of the pattern. From the pattern envelope…

“The Cascade Duffle Coat is a fresh take on a classic shape featuring a slight A-line cut, toggle front closure, and a hidden zipper band to keep the coat shut tight against cold weather. The hem of View A hits at the hip while View B’s falls to mid-thigh. Although View A is shown with a collar and View B with a hood, both are interchangeable allowing you to create your own perfect coat.”

Some people love hoods and hate collars, some people hate collars and love hoods. I wanted to make sure that if you’re making a pattern this involved that you have the choice between the two. The collar is generous enough that you can flip it up against the cold if you need to – I occasionally flip up the back collar and leave the front edges down.

As for the hood, we went through a few iterations together. It was important to me that the hood felt warm and roomy and could accommodate a scarf at the neck, but also wasn’t so roomy that it would blow off in the wind.

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio

Another detail I took into consideration was the hidden zipper which you can see in the above photo of the first version of this coat. While the zipper band is optional I really like having it in a winter coat, especially in a city as windy as Chicago. The toggles keep things closed but the zipper keeps them closed tight.

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio


“Medium to heavy weight coating fabrics such as melton, boiled, or felted wool. View A can alternately be made up in canvas or twill for a lighter weight jacket. Recommended lining is rayon bemberg or a similar fabric. If you’d like a pop of color or pattern try cutting your hood lining and zipper bands from flannel.”

I’ll be doing a post about selecting the supplies for this coat soon but in the meantime you may want to refer to this post I did with Britex about selecting fabrics for a coat.


Thread, 6 toggle buttons, View A: 18” separating zipper, View B: 22” separating zipper

I designed this coat so that the toggles and zippers can be purchased at any large craft store with no alterations to them. I’ve got a post planned out on making your own as well which I love doing. Good toggles can be hard to find but I’ve got a few sources I’ll be sharing, nothing groundbreaking but it’s always helpful to have a roundup.

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio


The Cascade Duffle Coat has an Advanced rating for a few reasons. Honestly all sewing is made up of sewing, pressing, and trimming (if needed) one seam after another so if you take things one step at a time it’s really no harder than any other pattern. The reasons the Cascade is rated advanced are…

  • There are 40 pattern pieces between View A & View B which is a lot to deal with and keep track of.
  • Between the two views there are about 60 steps which could be overwhelming and take more time than a more basic project. Take them one step at a time though and you’re good to go.
  • The suggested fabric is wool and you need between 2 3/4yds – 4 1/8yds depending on which view and size you’re making. This means you have the potential to spend more than your average amount on the supplies for this.

Due to these things and certain techniques like bagging a lining (which is super easy once you get the hang of it but seems completely bizarre and ill fated at first) I didn’t want to rate the coat Intermediate and have anyone put so much time and money into it just to have a failed project. I think it’s more than just a step up from a basic tank in sewing responsibility, though in all honesty the difficulty really comes from the compounding of steps and not one thing in particular.

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio


Cause I know you guys are going to want these…

Cascade Duffle Coat | Grainline Studio

lFor a contrasting hood / yoke like I did in View B, you’ll need approximately 1 yd of the contrasting fabric for all sizes.


I feel like I need to talk a little bit the sheer size of this pattern. If you’ve checked out the Cascade in the shop you’ll notice that it’s quite large. The reason for this is 1. it’s a coat with two views, but 2. it’s the way the linings are drafted. I could have easily saved about 30 pages (and a lot of money at the printer) by having the coat lined with the same pattern as the shell but that completely negates the point of the lining and I couldn’t do that. The lining needs to be larger than the shell in order to do it’s job of protecting the coat from stress and allowing you to get in and out of it easily. The lining is the cheap part, the part that you would replace when it wears out before the coat (because it’s doing its job of protecting the coat). If the lining isn’t protecting the shell as it should, there’s just really no point unless you’re after extra warmth. In that case I recommend interlining the coat and inserting the lining as drafted.

That said, each of the the downloadable pattern file options are broken into 3 files.

  • View A & B: This file contains the pattern pieces required whether you’re making View A or View B as well as the hood and collar pieces so you can switch those up without having to print additional pages. You will need to print this file no matter which view you’re making.
  • View A: This file contains the pieces specific to View A, you only need to print this to make View A.
  • View B: This file contains the pieces specific to View B, you only need to print this to make View B.

Well, that’s all I can think of for now. I’ve been wearing my grey version since November, 2012 and my other two versions since winter of last year and they’re all still going strong, even through last year’s Polar Vortex. I’ll be starting a sew along soon (I think people are going to want one for this coat) so we can start rolling along shortly!

*I’ve also got vest & cotton twill variations planned.


65 Comments Posted in Patterns
Knitted Garments

The Bellows Cardigan

The Bellows Cardigan | Brooklyn Tweed

May I present to you my new favorite cardigan, the Bellows Cardigan. This was my last finished knit of 2014 (which apparently was the year of the sweater for me) and I’ve only just gotten around to getting my winter photo situation worked out and photographing it.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

The pattern is Bellows designed by Michele Wang for the infamous BT Fall ’14 collection. There seriously isn’t a miss in that collection as far as I’m concerned, everything is just spot on. I had planned on knitting Ondawa but after finishing my Stonecutter my hands needed a bit of a break before launching into another intricately cabled design so Bellows it was.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

I had a hard time deciding on a size for this one. The second smallest size had 5″ ease but since I wanted to wear it more as a jacket / blanket I wanted a bit more ease than that. The third size up had 10.5″ of ease which is a ton, but in the end I went with the third size.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

As you can see its a lot of cardigan! when I blocked this sweater I blocked the length about 2″ longer than suggested so that took a bit of the width out. I can comfortably wear a tank, Hemlock, and Archer all at once underneath this cardigan, or I can layer it over my Benton, not that I would ever do anything so crazy (I have and it’s so warm and wonderful). When you’re essentially cold blooded like me you go to extreme lengths to stay warm.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

I had a bit of trouble working the buttonholes, but it turns out there was a small error in the pattern regarding which side should be facing while working them. A quick email to Brooklyn Tweed and a consult with Ysolda’s One Row Buttonhole tutorial cleared me up in no time though.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

The buttons I purchased from Soutache here in Chicago. Just a quick sidenote, if you’re in or around Chicago and are looking for buttons for a special project this is the place for you. Every button of their large selection is gorgeous and of such high quality. I went with a large leather woven button on the front and attached them through smaller buttons at the back of the button band. This prevents the button from stressing the particular stitch you sewed it to if you were just attaching the button straight to the button band.

The Bellows Cardigan | Grainline Studio

I used the recommended yarn, Shelter, in the recommended color. I debated long and hard about choosing a color, but I was just so in love with this dusty blue I had to go with it. I don’t have many other garments this color so it it goes nicely with my wardrobe palette but I’m also not head to toe one color, which is becoming a problem for me.

The Bellows Sweater | Grainline Studio

I am so in love with this sweater, it checks all the boxes in something I love in a cardigan – maritime inspired cables, warm collar that can be flipped up, can be layered over 3-4 other garments… essentially a walking blanket, and in my book that is the only kind of cardigan worth wearing, unless you are laying a thin cardigan underneath a large cardigan, I’ll rally for that too. For more details on this project you can check out my Ravelry page here.

32 Comments Posted in Knitted Garments
Journal Entry

The Putter: Handcrafted Scissors

I just came across this beautiful video last night of  a ‘Putter’ at Ernest Wright & Sons of Sheffield – one of the last hand manufactures of scissors – when Fleur shared a link for it on Twitter. It reminds me of the videos showing couture gowns being handmade but for some reason I find it so much more interesting and compelling to watch. It could be because I grew up watching The New Yankee Workshop and This Old House on the weekends (we never had cable and weren’t really allowed much TV), but there’s just something so satisfying about watching someone make a tool you use every day with the high level of care that this man does. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

29 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Journal Entry

Winter ’15 Wardrobe Plans

Winter '15 Wardrobe Plans | Grainline Studio

A little bit back I posted on some of my Winter /15 Wardrobe inspiration and I’ve slowly been working on some garments inspired by the things I want to see in my wardrobe. I drew up a few pages of sketches to guide me through the process and thought I would share a few before my first Winter ’15 Wardrobe post!

The above photo features two sweaters, one I’ve finished, Bellows, and the other I’ve started on. I’m excited that I’ve had a little time to knit so I can add some hand knit sweaters into the rotation. In addition to sweaters, I’d like to add some knit shells for layering as well as pants / jeans (I have the Ginger jeans and a personal pattern ready to go if I get some time) and I really need another Moss skirt so bad!

Winter '15 Wardrobe Plans | Grainline Studio

I’ve basically stopped wearing dresses but I’m going to make a few up in loose shapes and try to incorporate them into my wardrobe. I want a nice shift, a crepe de chine Archer / Alder, and I’ve got some ponte all washed and ready for a Marianne dress! I’d like to add a few garments designed by my friends into my closet this year and I think Christine is the perfect place to start, seriously she had me in mind with that pattern!

Winter '15 Wardrobe Plans | Grainline Studio

The past few months I’ve been doing yoga in an attempt to get myself running again (a bit of sciatica from my old pal L5 put a stop to things for a while but I just started back on the treadmill!) and I’ve noticed that there’s something I don’t like or would change about almost everything I wear to class. I’d like to design some new basics as well as alter some existing patterns to make things I love. First on the list are some racer back tanks and cropped Hemlocks!

I don’t usually draw out what I’m planning on making, I’m much more of a list maker, but I thought it might help me get my thoughts more in order on this project. So far it’s working well! There are many more garments I plan on adding over the year, including coats, bras, blazers, etc. but these are first on my agenda. What kinds of garments do you want to add to your wardrobe this year? Do you sketch out your plans? I’m also going to try to pull a Tasia and do a little bit of personal sewing each week in an attempt to keep things fun and take a break from business sewing.

48 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Journal Entry

The Sunday Sweater KAL

Sunday Sweater KAL |Grainline Studio

I’ve gotten some questions about the Sunday Sweater KAL that Jess, Amy and I are doing on Instagram so I thought I’d do a quick little post to try to answer the questions. This is a totally unstructured knit along, no specific patterns, no dates, no prizes besides your awesome sweater at the end, it’s just a bunch of friends knitting sweaters together using a common hashtag to share, encourage, and motivate each other! If you’re wondering what qualifies, we’re all knitting sweaters that, in the words of Jess, “reminds you of a lazy Sunday afternoon,” so use that as your jumping off point. If you have a sweater you started last year and stalled out on, want to knit a sweater for someone else (adult or child), or are starting a brand new sweater, all are welcome!

13 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Journal Entry

2014 in Review

New Studio | Grainline Studio

2014 has been a pretty crazy year over here. So many new things have happened so here’s a little look back at this past year. One major thing that happened this year was that I moved out of my living room and into a dedicated Grainline Studio studio! It’s been amazing for my productivity to be able to go to work and then come home and be a semi-normal person. I say semi-normal because as much as I’d like to, I rarely am able to not do a bit of work when I get home.

Working | Grainline Studio

Moving out of my apartment also made it possible for me to hire a part time assistant, Kendra. She’s been so amazing, there’s no way Grainline Studio would be where it currently is without her helping me out. Now I just need to get her more days a week and we’ll be cruising!

Printed Patterns | Grainline Studio

2014 also brought printed patterns to Grainline Studio and I couldn’t be happier about that finally happening! It was a crazy amount of work and a lot of learning but it happened and it’s been so great. We put so much work into making the printed patterns easy and fun to use and I think it paid off. I currently have the rest of the patterns at the printer ready to go a few at a time so come spring all of the Grainline Studio pattern catalog should be available in both printed and PDF format. Phew!! If you purchased one of our printed patterns this year, thank you so much for making them a success!

Shop Relaunch | Grainline Studio

In addition to launching the paper pattern line we also redesigned our entire shop as well as the layouts of the PDF patterns to both standardize the layouts with the print material as well as make them easier to read. The shop relaunch was a huge undertaking which took me from about September 2013 to minutes before the launch at the beginning of July of this year. I also made a complete set of new samples for the new shop in order to get a more cohesive look to things, that was quite a task but also super fun thinking about the entire pattern range as more of a collection.

Alder & Linden | Grainline Studio

2014 saw the release of two new patterns, the Alder Shirtdress and the Linden Sweatshirt! I’m kind of floored by your positive response to both patterns, and I’m so glad you enjoy them both as much as I do! I never release anything unless it’s become somewhat of a wardrobe staple for me and these two patterns got a LOT of use since I originally developed them.

Blogged 2014 Garments | Grainline Studio

I sewed a zillion things and some of them ended up on the blog, this is just a smattering of the ones that ended up here. I really do hate having my photo taken and that prevents me from posting the majority of what I sew. Lots of Alders, Archers, Lindens, Scouts, etc. were made this year, but the Alder was by far my most sewn pattern.

Instagram Garments | Grainline Studio

I also made a zillion things that never made it here but I do post almost everything I make on Instagram (@grainlinestudio) so if you follow me there you can see all the bizarre things I make that never end up with their own post. There’s a point where I kind of feel like, can I really blog another _fill in the blank with whatever pattern I’m currently making nonstop_ on the blog? They all go on IG though.

2014 in Review | Grainline Studio

[View Project Details on Ravelry]

One of the side effects of moving all of my work over to an out of the house studio was that I actually had time to knit again in the evenings! This year I managed to finish up 3 sweaters and three hats and dream up plans for a million more of both. I also took part in both the Summer Sweater KAL organized by Shannon as well as the Fringe and Friends Knit Along organized by Karen. Not only did these help me motivate to finish two of my sweaters but they were also great ways to connect with other knitters via Instagram! Jess (@shoplamercerie), Amy (@seamstressandtheband) and I (@grainlinestudio) are planning on knitting sweaters together in the new year with the loose theme being “comfy sweaters.” We’re using the IG hashtag #sundaysweaterkal if you need a little motivation to knit up a sweater and want to join in. Our tentative cast on date is January 4th (though my knit swatches won’t arrive until the 2nd) and our mottos is the more the merrier!

Marketplace | Grainline

I was super lucky to be interviewed for a short segment on Marketplace for NPR about my disappearing job – patternmaking – which was super cool. You can listen to that here if you haven’t already.

Columbia Pattern Grading | Grainline Studio

2014 also saw me teaching my first college level course, Pattern Grading, at my alma mater Columbia College Chicago. It was such a huge learning experience for me but thankfully my students seemed to appreciate my effort to make sure they really grasped the material and seemed to do well and enjoyed the class. Phew!!

Teaching | Grainline Studio

I had my first in-store class at Drygoods Design in Seattle over the Thanksgiving weekend which I of course was nervous for but it was so fun. I loved getting to talk to people who enjoy the patterns and share some of my tips with them. I also signed on for Camp Workroom Social taking place next October in the Catskills which I seriously cannot wait for. I’ll be teaching how to make a basic skirt and bodice based on your measurements as well as whatever pattern manipulations we can fit in. I think there are only one or two more spots open in my class so if spending a weekend in the Catskills with a bunch of sewing friends sounds like fun, hit that up!

<3 | Grainline Studio

The year wasn’t all great, I had a lot of ups and downs trying to get everything done that I needed to, and I definitely broke into tears more than a handful of times because of stress, but I got super lucky last January when I met this dude. He’s really good at keeping me semi-sane and making me laugh which is just about the best thing you could ask for, even if he is a dog person… hahaha!

Cat Quilt | Grainline Studio

Oh yeah, I also made this quilt this year using Lizzy House’s amazing Cat Nap fabric collection. I almost forgot about this because literally I finished the quilt, took this photo, and immediately lost custody. It now follows Jon around the house from the bed to the couch and back again. Even though I like to tease him about it makes me happy that he’s adopted it, and the fact that he isn’t a cat fan means he really just loves it because I made it.

So! Thank you to all of you for your support this year, it’s been quite a ride! My work plans for 2015 include more patterns, more posts, and lots of fun. I have some business ideas in my notebook I’ll be testing out and I’m excited about that. How was your 2014? Anything exciting planned for 2015?

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Years and I’ll see you back here in 2015!


40 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Journal Entry

Gift Ideas for Handmakers: Knitting Edition

Gifts for Knitters | Grainline Studio

As I’ve been gathering gifts for people in my life this holiday season I’ve found myself mentally putting together a few list ideas for handmakers and I thought I’d lay them out nicely and share them here. First up is knitting, I’ve been posting a lot of knitting progress on my Instagram lately due to the fact that what I’m working on sewing wise is either not ready to be seen or is end-of-the-year-finance-type-computer-work and isn’t what anyone wants to see (myself included). Hope you find something you like below!

1. Kelbourne Woolens Knit Check: I first saw this little device on the Kellbourne Woolens Instagram and thought not only is it super useful, it’s also beautiful. Now that I’m a swatcher (still not sure how that happened) I love the idea of using this to calculate my gauge since it has both the x and y axis in one place. Bonus points for the needle gauge down the side, I love a tool with a dual purpose!

2. The Fibre Company Acadia: Okay so this yarn is 60% merino, 20% alpaca, and 20% silk, it’s basically all of the dreamiest fibers combined into one tweedy bundle – definitely a yarn I want to know more about! I’m imagining it made into a super warm cowl or a totally deluxe sweater since it somehow manages to look both polished and rustic at the same time. Fancy tweed guys! Yes!

3. Baggu Small Pouch: I know, this isn’t technically a knitting item but hear me out. I have a little leather pouch I made that I keep all my knitting essentials in, tape measure, needles, mini-scissors, stitch markers, etc. and I think this would be a nice deluxe pouch to fill with fancy knitting tools. If you’re looking for fancy tools keep reading down to number six below…

4. Soak Wash in Scentless: After you spend so much time knitting up a beautiful sweater, hat, scarf, whatever, it’s not a bad idea to wash it with a delicate soap. I haven’t heard a bad thing said about the Soak line, it just seems ideal. There are a few good sounding fragrances but the fact that there’s an unscented version makes this fragrance allergic girl excited. This would be a great gift for any knitter and there’s an excellent tips page for cleansing your knits as well.

5. Purl Soho Line Weight: Another yarn I’m dying to try, this one is 100% merino wool and comes in some amazing colors. I’m not much of a fingering weight knitter but two of those dreamy colors held together for a nice marl effect is right up my alley. The Purl Bee has a great free hat pattern that uses two skeins, it’s kind of a splurge for a hat which is exactly why it’s an excellent gift!

6. Fringe Supply Co. Bone & Ebony Repair Hooks: Remember when I said to look below for fancy knitting tools? This is the place. I’m currently obsessed with these repair hooks to replace the metal crochet hook that is too long for my knitting pouch. If your knitter is anything like me they bought tools when they learned how to knit and while not beautiful, they still work and as such, are still being used. Upgrading a knitters tools to something beautiful to look at and hold is such a nice gesture, especially since they’re spending so much time turning this ball of string into a sweater…maybe for you!

7 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Make It

Holiday Ornaments



I’ve noticed a lot of these little guys popping up in Instagram, on Pinterest, etc. so I thought I’d round them up here in case you’re looking for a quick little holiday project! You can get the patterns and tutorials for the Narwhal here and the Owl here!

7 Comments Posted in Make It