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

70 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!

370 Comments Posted in Book Report
Inspiration

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
News

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
Journal Entry

Fusible Interfacing for Coating

Grainline Studio | Fusible Interfacing for Coating

After my last post, Tips for Choosing and Working with Wool Coating, I got a ton of questions about what fusible I prefer for a project like this. Unfortunately I also got really sick at the same time so apologies for not replying to comments and only answering you guys now. I wrote a few months ago (woah just checked and it was almost a year ago!) about my favorite fusibles which featured the fusible I used for this coat, medium weight black fusible tricot. You can click over there for a more in depth look at, as well as a link to the exact fusible I use, if you like.

Grainline Studio | Fusible Interfacing for Coating

Grainline Studio | Fusible Interfacing for Coating

While we’re on the subject of interfacing, you guys might be interested to know that I have a 6 page spread in the latest Feb/March ’14 Sew News issue all about interfacing. I walk you through when and why to use each kind and we even brainstormed up this chart so that you can see the effects of 6 different weights and types of interfacing applied to 6 different weights and types of fabric. I’m really excited & proud of this article so if you have more interfacing questions you may want to head out to wherever you buy your sewing magazines and pick one up (I’ve also heard you can purchase a digital copy, though I’m not sure where). I also have a little web-only interview on their site here.

One last thing, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who sent me kind words etc. while I’ve been sick. I’m finally on the mend after LOTS of medicine and rest. I’m actually out of bed and working at my computer today after deciding to do absolutely nothing all weekend but sit on the couch, knit and watch the Olympics! I *might* have pulled a stomach muscle coughing last night though… haha!

7 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Tips & Tricks

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

I know that sewing a full on winter coat can seem a bit intimidating but they really are a most rewarding project, and one of my favorite things to sew! In this post we are going to talk about choosing the right fabric as well as construction tips to get a professional and long lasting coat. The pattern used in this tutorial is my Birchwood Toggle Coat pattern, which will be available in my shop shortly, paired with this unbelievably beautiful and warm Double-Faced coating. I’m also kind of freaking out about the toggle closures as well. So beautiful and actually made from quality materials. The colors really are a perfect match with this wool!

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

The first step on the road to your new winter coat is choosing your wool. This can be a bit of an intimidating process, there are so many types and weaves. Lets start out by talking a little bit about wool and the many properties that make it an ideal cold weather fabric

  • Wool is a natural protein based fiber shorn from one of many types of sheep.
  • Wool is an incredibly resilient fiber which means it has the ability to spring back after being crushed. In addition to resiliency cutting back on wrinkles, it also adds to the warmth and insulation wool is able to provide. Since the air pockets within each fiber of wool don’t become crushed over time they are excellent for trapping body heat.
  • Wool fibers have wicking properties that allow them to absorb moisture equal to around 1/3 of their weight, because of this wool will not only keep you warm, but also dry.
  • Wool is more flame resistant than other fibers because of the higher temperature it takes to ignite it.

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

Britex has a pretty great selection of wool coating, from double face to melton to bouclé, but which one is right for your coat? Lets talk a little about each type.

  • Boiled : this fabric has been knitted and then felted to create a dense fabric that falls somewhere between a knit and woven. It does not fray much.
  • Melton : consists of short haired fibers which are tightly woven and then felted to create a dense, warm, stable fabric. Fraying on Melton is at a minimum.
  • Tweed : a rough, textured wool mottled in color which can be woven with a plain weave or herringbone weave.
  • Double Faced : double faced wool consists of two layers of wool linked together with a thread and then felted much like a Melton would be.
  • Bouclé : loosely woven fabric made from a bouclé yarn which is usually 3-ply and has one thread looser than the others. This results in the nubby loops bouclé is famous for. Bouclé definitely needs to be lined and will fray badly when cut.

Keep in mind while selecting your fabric what sort of end result you’re looking for. Do you want something warm and tailored? Try a Melton. A coat with a softer drape? Perhaps boiled wool for a warmer coat or a bouclé if less warmth is needed.

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

Once you’ve selected your wool it’s time to get to work! Below are a series of tips that I’ve found result in a more professional looking coat that lasts year after year and looks great the entire time.

PRE-TREATING YOUR WOOL

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

There are a lot of methods out there for pre-treating your wool fabrics. Some people like to toss them in the dryer on air dry with a damp towel and some people like to get the yardage dry cleaned as they would treat their finished coat. What I do is give the wool a nice press with a steam filled iron. I’ve never personally found any shrinkage to happen when dry cleaning any finished wool garments I’ve made but if you feel more comfortable, the above two methods are options.

INTERFACING APPLICATION

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

I really can’t underestimate the importance of proper fusible application. Wool is an amazing fabric, it molds itself and can transform shapes under heat and stress which can enable some really wonderful tailoring at times, but that also means that wool can stretch when you don’t want it to at points of great stress. Typically on all of your garments you will be fusing your facings, but with a wool coat we’re going to add a few extra places. You will want to fuse the front and back shoulder areas of your coat extending down along to the armholes. These parts of your garment are under constant stress and also get a great deal more body heat than the rest of your garment and by fusing them you are ensuring they don’t stretch out of shape and hold up over time.

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

The hem is another place you’ll want to make sure is fused, again, preventing any unwanted stretch and it also helps keep a sharp press along the bottom of your coat.

Britex13 Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

If you’re adding pockets to your coat, place a square of fusible on the back of the garment slightly larger than the pocket you’re sewing on. This way when you’re waiting out at the bus stop in the freezing cold you can jam your hands into your pockets without worrying about stretching out the points where the pocket joins to the body of your coat.

REDUCING BULK THROUGH GRADING

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

Things get bulky very quickly while making a wool coat and because of this it’s a good idea to grade as many seams as possible. In something like the above photo, two seam allowances pressed to one side then topstitched, grading slightly reduces bulk and allows for a more beautiful seam line.

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

Britex08

When working with a part of your coat where you have layers and layers of fabric such as the center front closure, grading becomes more than helpful, it becomes a necessity. Without grading the center front would be bulky and hard to turn to the inside of the coat.

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

If you’re working with a double faced wool like I was you may want to consider separating the two layers for your facings. Since you want to interface your facings, they can get a bit bulky if left as the two layers.

PRESSING YOUR WOOL

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

When working with wool, the best way to press it is with a lower temperature (the wool setting on your iron) and lots of steam. Because of the properties we listed above wool responds remarkably well to a good steaming. What I like to do is press my wool seams on top of the wool side of my ham or sleeve roll and then after pressing the seam with ample steam, use my hand or a press cloth to press the seam till the heat and steam has dissipated. This allows the steam to really set the seam crisply.

SEWING WITH WOOL

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

If your sewing machine comes equipped with a walking foot it could be your wool coat making best friend, especially if you’re making a plaid one like this! A regular foot can have a hard time with the thickness involved in a project like this but with a walking foot you just glide on through. A sharp, heavy duty needle and a slightly longer than normal stitch length are also a great idea to get you through this much fabric.

Grainline Studio x Britex | Tips for Choosing & Working with Wool Coating

I hope you feel a bit more confident with the idea of making your own wool winter coat, it really is a fun time and all your friends & family will be so impressed with your work too. Just take your time, breathe, and follow these tips and you’ll have a quality garment to last the years over!

46 Comments Posted in Tips & Tricks