Journal Entry

Selecting Interfacing

Grainline Studio | Selecting Interfacing

I’ve gotten a few questions about how to select interfacing for the upcoming Alder Sew-Along so I wanted to take a minute and direct you to two older posts I’ve made on interfacing. This first post, Selecting and Applying Interfacing, talks heavily about using silk as the self fabric but the same premise applies for any garment. You want to select an interfacing that generally has the same drape as your garment. If you’re doing a collar you can go a bit stiffer, but what you really want to avoid at all cost is having your fabric look like you stitched it to a bit of plywood. I always recommend going with either a woven or tricot (knit) interfacing and stay away from the bonded stuff. It’s made in a way similar to the aforementioned plywood with fibers running every which way, and as such, has little to no drape no matter how thin of stuff you get. I think that bonded interfacing is best left out of your fine garments and reserved for craft type projects.

Grainline Studio | Selecting Interfacing

The second post I’d like to refer you to is My Favorite Fusibles. This post is just that, the fusible interfacings I use in pretty much 100% of my projects. I’ve tried a lot of interfacing over the years, through this site, hound, and my pattern work and these are the ones I like the most and continue to reorder bolt after bolt. No hard glue, sticks through as many washes as I’ve thrown at my garments, never shrinks, beautiful hand/drape, and not plasticky like some of them can occasionally feel at large box stores. Just really great stuff in my opinion.

So that’s my fusible advice, hope you found it helpful!

8 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Alder Sew Along

Alder Sewalong: Schedule & Badge

Well! As of Tuesday night I’m still operating out of boxes and am still coughing like crazy so I’m going to have to start the official sew along on Monday. I hope you guys aren’t too upset but I really want to make it good and only knowing where 25% of my supplies are isn’t really a great start. When I did the Archer Sew Along I was able to plan ahead adn have the whole thing photographed and ready to go before the sew along started, this time I’m not so lucky. Word to the wise, don’t release a new pattern, launch paper patterns, move house & studio, and go abroad all at once. It’ll throw you off for a while!

Today I’m posting the schedule along with a little blog badge if you find yourself interested in that for your site. On Friday I’ll be doing a fusible specific post since I got a few questions about that, and then Monday we dive into Day 1 below!

Alder Sew Along Schedule
Day 1: Fabric & Supplies
Day 2: Selecting Your Size
Day 3: Specific Fit Adjustments
Day 4: Cutting Your Alder
Day 5: Sewing the Button Bands & Attaching Pockets
Day 6: Attaching the Yoke: 2 Methods
Day 7: Sewing the View B Skirt
Day 8: Assembling Collar & Collar Stand
Day 9: Attaching the Collar Stand: 2 Methods
Day 10: Perfect Armhole Binding
Day 11: Easy Buttons & Buttonholes
Day 12: Mandarin Collar Variation
Day 13: V-Neck Variation
Day 14: View A Shirt Variation
Day 15: View B Shirt Variation
Day 16: Alder + Archer Pattern Adjustments
Day 17: Alder + Archer Sewing Instructions

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20 Comments Posted in Alder Sew Along
Alder Sew Along

Alder Sew Along Announcement

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Announcement

Are you guys ready for the Alder Shirtdress Sew Along? Well get ready because it’ll be starting up next week! We’ll be starting on Wednesday and I have plenty of tips and variations planned. I’ll also be covering how to choose your size, a lot of people seem to be sewing based on the size they used for the Archer pattern, which isn’t the same bodice, and also the “hotly debated” question of why I didn’t include sleeves on this pattern.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Announcement

I’ve also got a bunch of variations planned for you guys. Originally I just had this v-neck planned but got a lot of requests for the mandarin collar so I’m throwing that one in the mix as well.

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Announcement

I’ll also be making both Views A and B into tops. I really like this pattern for the sleeveless button up because of the fact that it is drafted specifically to be sleeveless. While I know you can make the Archer sleeveless it’s never quite the same as a pattern that is actually drafted to be sleeveless. Same with

Grainline Studio | Alder Sew Along Announcement

And on that note I’ll also be showing you how to make an Archer / Alder hybrid dress. This one’s will take a small bit more pattern work than the others but we’ll make it through alive, don’t worry!

So that’s that! I’ll be covering all the construction basics of View A & B along with a bit of fitting advice as well as the pattern adjustments and sewing steps necessary to make all of the Variations. If there’s something specific you’d like me to consider touching on let me know in the comments below. The dress is rated intermediate so it will be helpful to have a bit of garment sewing under your belt when tackling this, mainly because of the collar stand and skirt pivot on View B.

Now I need to go finish unpacking my studio so we’re ready to go Wednesday! I’ll be back with an Alder Sew Along Badge sometime between now and then and if you still need the Alder Shirtdress Pattern, you can grab it here!*

*more paper patterns are currently being printed but likely won’t be available until late August.

39 Comments Posted in Alder Sew Along

A Quick Shipping Note

Just wanted to post a quick note to say that due to the fact that I’ll be in Berlin for a week I won’t be able to ship any patterns till I get back. Any printed pattern orders place after tonight – Monday July 21 at 11:59PM CST – will ship on Wednesday July 30th. Apologies if this is an inconvenience. The digital copies will continued to be mailed automatically since I use an automated service for that.

5 Comments Posted in News

New Happenings & The Modern Sewciety Podcast

Grainline Studio | New Work Studio

I’m sure you guys have noticed there’s a lot of stuff going on over here, especially if you follow me on Instagram, but if not I thought I’d fill you in! I’m so excited that I’ve finally moved my work space out of my apartment living room and into a dedicated studio! I’ve been dreaming of the day I wouldn’t walk out of my bedroom in the morning and be at work and it’s finally happened! Or happening…we’re in slight construction mode getting everything set up, etc. My goal is to be done by next week so I can get back to work but we’ll see how things go. It seems like things always take so much longer than you think they will. Anyway this new studio is the first step towards bringing you patterns on a more regular schedule, rather than the here and there I’ve been doing since I started. Whooo!! I cannot wait, I have so many ideas and just haven’t had the space to get them done, or the time really. I found that when when you work out of your living room in a space that’s about 10x smaller than what you need you spend a lot of time cleaning and tetris organizing things so that you can move around and not feel totally overwhelmed by stuff. I’m glad that now everything will have an actual dedicated place and my kitchen table and counters will now be free of patternmaking supplies!!

Grainline Studio | Modern Sewciety Podcast

Another thing that’s happened recently is I was interviewed by Stephanie for the Modern Sewciety podcast which was really a lot of fun. I’m in a really great episode, Carolyn Friedlander guys! Seriously, she is so awesome and when Stephanie told me she’d be on my episode I was totally excited. Anyway if you’re looking for something to listen to while you sew, want to hear me get weird talking about what I do, totally embarrass myself, and hear some other amazing ladies talk about their projects this is right up your alley!

Also I’ll be going to Berlin in a short bit, if you have any recommendations of things I need to check out let me know!

16 Comments Posted in News
Sewn Garments

Alder Shirtdress Versions 3 & 4: Printed Silk

Alder Shirtdress Versions 3 & 4: Printed Silk

Today we have both of the silk versions of the Alder Shirtdress. This first one is made in a woven silk with a bit of body which I think holds the gathers really nicely. A lot of people have asked me where I got this silk and I honestly can’t really remember. I got it towards the beginning of last summer either at Emma One Sock or Gorgeous Fabrics, which though I’m not sure. I have a habit of buying good silk prints when I see them even if I don’t have a specific project in mind because it’s so hard to find silk prints that I like.

Alder Shirtdress Versions 3 & 4: Printed Silk

This Alder is my favorite of the 4 I think, I love the way the silk moves in combination with the ease of the pattern, and it’s also a really light and airy combo for the heat and humidity we were having a bit back. I’d also really like to make one of these in black silk crepe de chine, I’d love to see the gathers in something a bit less structured than this silk.

Alder Shirtdress Versions 3 & 4: Printed Silk

Also this fabric, I wish I had at least 5 more yards, I kind of want to make everything in it! Why did I only buy 2 yards?! AHHH!! Major reverse fabric regret!

Alder Shirtdress Versions 3 & 4: Printed Silk

This silk crepe de chine I did get at Emma One Sock last summer, and I am so so into this print as well, it was another buy it with no purpose but I know I’ll need it eventually purchase. So glad I did! I don’t have a ton of pictures of this version because it was so windy out when we took these, the fabric is blurry in 98% of the images. Total bummer.

Alder Shirtdress Versions 3 & 4: Printed Silk

A few people have asked me about interfacing in regards to this dress with these two fabrics. In both cases I used a light weight woven interfacing, and on this crepe de chine version I fused the entire right front button band. I’ll talk more about that during the sew along, and I’ll also be posting a schedule for that soon. Promise!

Also the shoes in the top photos are from Madewell, and the shoes in the bottom photos are from No. 6. I got a lot of emails asking so I’ll just post that here now.

13 Comments Posted in Sewn Garments
Sewn Garments

Alder Shirtdress Version 2: Light Denim

Grainline Studio | Alder Shirtdress V2: Light Denim

Here we go with round two of awkward photos of me talking to Jon while getting my photo taken in an Alder dress! This View B of Alder is made out of the same denim as the dark denim version of View A, this 6.5 oz Robert Kauffman denim in Bleached Indigo Wash. I’m pretty into this color of denim for dresses and shirts so I’m really glad I could find it out there!

Grainline Studio | Alder Shirtdress V2: Light Denim

It was crazy windy the day we took photos so a photo of the dress hanging perfectly straight was not going to happen, but on the plus side you can see how the dress moves in the photos so perhaps it’s not a bad thing?

Grainline Studio | Alder Shirtdress V2: Light Denim

Back gathers blowing in the wind!

Grainline Studio | Alder Shirtdress V2: Light Denim

And one last super dorky photo but I think the skirt looks great here. Ha!

As for the sew along, I’m in the middle of moving into a new studio space outside of my apartment so I’m hoping that I’m settled in enough to get started next Monday. I’ll let you know towards the end of the week how things are looking though. It’s funny how everything always happens at once. Release of a new pattern, new website, studio move, etc. PHEW! I also don’t have internet set up at the new place yet so that combined with the increase in emails I’ve been getting means that my reply time is a little longer than usual at the moment. Soon things will be settled and getting back to normal and I cannot wait!

20 Comments Posted in Sewn Garments
Sewn Garments

Alder Shirtdress Version 1: Dark Denim

Grainline Studio | Alder Shirtdress V1: Dark Denim

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post I’ve made about a million (okay 7 in actual fabric) Alders so far. I wanted to post a little about some of them so you can get a feel for how the pattern acts with different fabrics if you’re looking at fabrics for one of your own. This pattern is unusually versatile in regards to fabric selection and when reading the recommended fabrics on the pattern you might be thinking, really Jen? Denim, chambray, quilting cotton, and silk crepe de chine? I promise you it’s all true and you know I try to never ever steer you wrong!

Grainline Studio | Alder Shirtdress V1: Dark Denim

Up first is this 6.5oz denim from Robert Kauffman. I know people are really in love with chambray (believe me I have one planned in this fabric) but I also love how the Alder looks with a bit of a heavier fabric with some body to it.

Grainline Studio | Alder Shirtdress V1: Dark Denim

I went back and forth between using topstitching thread and regular thread for this dress and ultimately decided on regular thread. I found the topstitching thread to be a little more bulky than needed and stood out a little too much for my taste on this fabric.

Grainline Studio | Alder Shirtdress V1: Dark Denim

This version is super easy to wear around like you would jeans and a tee shirt, but easier because it’s only one piece! I’ve been clogging it up with this version pretty hard, for some unknown reason I feel like these shoes were made for this dress and I have to wear them together at all times. Do you guys ever get like that with pairing things? Could be just a weird Jen tic…

Grainline Studio | Alder Shirtdress V1: Dark Denim

This photo is just for giggles, I think I might need to go to a posing class. I feel like I never know what to do with my arms and basically I talk to Jon the ENTIRE time he’s taking my photo. Poor guy. I’ll be back tomorrow with another version…stay tuned, and if you need to grab yourself a copy of the Alder Shirtdress, you can do that here!

27 Comments Posted in Sewn Garments

The Alder Shirtdress & A Shop Relaunch

Grainline Studio | The Alder Shirtdress

Grainline Studio | The Alder Shirtdress

I’m so excited to announce that the Alder Shirtdress is finally here!! I’ve basically been living in these dresses since the minute I photographed them, they’re light and breezy, perfect for the heat of summer. There are SO many fabrics that work for the Alder it kind of blows my mind a little, I personally have Alders in denim, cotton Ikat, quilting cotton, chambray, silk twill, and silk crepe de chine and I love them all!

Grainline Studio | The Alder Shirtdress

Here’s the official garment description… “The Alder is a loosely fitted sleeveless shirtdress with two options. View A falls into an A-Line at the waist and features a curved hem, bust darts, and two breast pockets. View B has the same bodice but with a gathered skirt at the sides and back of the garment resulting in an incredibly flattering and fun silhouette.”

Grainline Studio | The Alder Shirtdress

The Alder is Intermediate on the Grainline difficulty scale, techniques involved in making this dress include sewing a straight seam, bust darts, bias facing armholes, adding a shirt collar, gathering, and buttons & buttonholes. I’ll be doing a sew along for the Alder which I’ll talk more about next week, but it will include sewing both Views A & B, a neckline alteration, and using the pattern to make shirts out of both views. I’m super excited about it and if you have any trepidation about sewing any part of this dress we’ll cover it there.

Grainline Studio | The Alder Shirtdress

I’ll be sharing more info about each of these Alders over the week so get ready for that, hopefully it’ll give you a little extra something to think about when deciding on fabrics.

Grainline Studio | Alder Shirtdress

The last thing to note about the Alder is that it comes in both a PDF and printed pattern format! FINALLY!! I know you guys have been asking for printed patterns for a long time and this is the start. Eventually all the patterns will be available in hard copy but you need to start somewhere! The printed patterns are also available for wholesale if you’re a shop interested in carrying them. You can find more info on how to become a retailer here.


Grainline Studio | Shop Relaunch

In addition to a new pattern, we’ve also redesigned both the online shop and all of the Grainline Studio patterns. All digital patterns now include both a print at home and copy shop version along with completely redesigned instructions. I’ve always strived to give you clear, easy to understand instructions and I feel like the new layout really helps out with that. We’ve inserted tips, tricks, and links to online resources as well as a glossary and finished garment measurements.

I really need to just take a minute to thank the people who helped me accomplish this monumental (or at least what felt monumental to me) task. I’m unbelievably lucky that I can call these insanely talented people my friends and that when I mentioned I needed help they were all right there with their super skills. A major shoutout to my number 1 right hand man through this past year Troy! We spent a lot of time going over layouts, eating gelato, going over more layouts, inventing things, scrapping things, eating more gelato (it’s the halfway point between our houses, what can I say) and finally got to the new pattern layouts, packaging, plotting the future of Grainline Studio, and so much more. You’ll definitely be seeing more of him in the future! Thanks to my pal Mason who so kindly coded my blog and shop in his spare time, Ariana who ruthlessly tested my pattern instructions and shared many cups of tea with me, and Casey, who proofed ALL of the new patterns and caught some really funny mistakes we’d read over and over so many times that there was no chance on earth we were going to catch them. Also the grammar, she nailed that like I never could. Also a thank you to Jon for helping me craft emails to the printer so they wouldn’t think I was a joke (I don’t know printing terms at all) and for giving me the encouragement I needed to just get these things printed already, and my family for always being there for me. THANK YOU a million times! Nothing in life is ever a one person show, you really need a pack to get you through things, and this pack totally killed it! Okay super gushy rant over! Go check out the new shop!

67 Comments Posted in Patterns
Pattern Errata

Moss Skirt Updated Cutting Layouts

Hey guys! So over the time that the Moss skirt has been out I’ve received sporadic emails saying that there’s a drafting error in the waistband pattern. Over this time I’ve sewn up 30 additional skirts (3 of each size) beyond the original 10 that I made before the pattern was published and never had a problem. I also had my intern sew some up because if more than one person was having a problem, there’s something going on, and I wasn’t catching it. She had the same results as me and approx. 50 skirts in we were stumped so I kept thinking what could be going wrong. Well I think I figured it out this past weekend when working on the updated file and verified with someone who recently emailed me about this problem. What I believe is going on is that the cutting diagram is misleading in the pattern. The waistband should be cut flat and not on the fold, which it says on the pattern piece, but I can easily see how just reading the diagram would look like it should be placed on the fold. The skirt pattern piece is not symmetrical so depending on how the pattern was placed on the fold it will end up either several inches too short or too long. I’m posting the updated cutting layouts below. If purchasing the pattern after July 1st these will be included in the pattern instructions. If you have any questions about this you can email me, as always, at

Grainline Studio | Moss Skirt Updated Cutting Layouts

17 Comments Posted in Pattern Errata