Completed: Cotton & Steel Grainline Archer!!

I have to say…I’m particularly jazzed about this make. At the beginning of 2016, I had a some sewing goals for myself. The main two being: make a button-up collared shirt and make jeans. At the end of January, I found out I was pregnant, so there went my goals. I had terrible morning sickness (for the entire pregnancy unfortunately) but that fatigue in those first 4-5 months absolutely killed me. I had no energy to do anything after I had a full day of work. Plus, I didn’t want to invest a lot of time into clothing that I needed to be a normal size in order to fit to myself.

Well, my daughter is now 3 months old and I’m back at the sewing machine! I traced all of the pieces of the Grainline Archer and set about cutting it out of my Cotton & Steel Metallic Arrows fabric that I’ve been keeping for this occasion. I didn’t do a toile because I figured it’s supposed to be a looser fitting shirt. I decided to go one size up from my bust size because I tend to have broader shoulders for my size and I lengthened the sleeves by 1.5 inches since my arms are a bit longer.

I used the sew-along instructions  as my go-to instructions and the day-by-day steps made sewing this really manageable. I think when instructions are really long, I get overwhelmed by how much there is to do, but each day of the sew-along is a nice chunk where I feel accomplished and I’m not at my machine for hours on end (which is hard to do with an infant anyway!). The only deviation of instructions that I did was to use the Alder Shirtdress sew-along instructions for the yoke and Andrea’s alternative collar instructions for the collar.

Can I tell you…the sense of accomplishment is ridiculous?!?! I didn’t think that I would be able to sew something like this with its many pattern pieces and need for accuracy…but I did! And I love it. The longer sleeves are perfect for me and it is warm and comfortable to wear. I love it so much…I’m making a black/white/grey gingham version right now!

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2 Grainline Lindens

Before we moved from London back to the US, I sewed a bunch of stuff that I never got around to blogging. So this is me…trying to get through my backlog! The thing that makes me procrastinate blogging my makes the most is taking photos. I’m not fond of taking photos of myself, but how else am I supposed to showcase what I make? It doesn’t look as nice on a hanger, and I don’t have a dress form (yet)…thus, I don’t end up taking photos. Thankfully, I was able to take these whilst still in London so it was just a matter of writing the post.

Without further ado…my Lindens.

The Grainline Linden Sweatshirt is a fantastic winter wardrobe staple. I made these 2 a couple years ago, and I wear them literally ALL the time when it gets cold. Both fabrics I bought at Walthamstow Market, but I can’t remember where anymore. This chintzy blue and white Linden is a quilted cotton. At first I thought it might be a bit stiff to be comfortable, but it works really well and is super warm! I lengthened the sleeves a bit and omitted the cuffs on this version since the fabric itself isn’t that stretchy.

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You can barely see the raglan sleeve line because of the pattern.

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My second version is made of this blue and white striped terry fabric. The fabric itself is also super warm. The inside is really soft, so it’s very comfortable. I kept the cuffs on this version which is nice for keeping my hands and wrists nice and warm.

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Summer shirt round-up

Over the summer I sewed a lot of short sleeved shirts that I never got around to blogging about. In the time since then, they have been loved, worn a lot and then packed away as the weather in London cooled.

First up, the Sewaholic Belcarra. This is a simple raglan sleeve top that goes with just about anything and is super easy to make. I made a few that were too big, but ended up giving away as gifts (I really need to look at the finished garment measurements better). This shirt is the culmination of quite a bit of tweaking, but I’m really happy with the final fit and will be making good use of the adjustments to make more when the weather gets warmer. This shirt is made from a cotton fabric I bought on Goldhawk road.
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The ever popular Grainline Scout Tee was my most worn and made tee this summer. This pattern is really popular in the blog world and it’s not hard to see why. It is a clean and simple pattern that you can make out of pretty much any type of fabric. This pattern is what made me realise that all of my measurements could be spot on one of the sizes, but my shoulders are broader than usual at that size. I end up having to go a size up at the shoulders and then everything else is the same. Once I got that fit right, it was a breeze.

This first version is also made of a cotton fabric I found on Goldhawk Road. I’d originally bought some to make a Belcarra out of, but it was a bit too big so I gave it to my sister. I loved the fabric so much I went back to Goldhawk Road and found the fabric again (thankfully they still had some left) so that I could make a Scout Tee.
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This Scout is made out of a lightweight viscose that has a fish scale type pattern to it. I bought this from the Textile Centre.
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On this version of the tee, I tried the blind hem stitch on my machine to hem the bottom of the shirt. It worked out really nicely! I’d done the blind hem stitch when I hemmed a pair of work trousers and thought I’d try it here to a) cut down on the amount of hand sewing and b) making sure I actually finished this project because I tend to procrastinate on hand sewing.
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Last but not least, my favourite Scout of all. I lengthened this top and made it out of another flowy viscose from Textile Centre. The print is florally, but it also looked a bit Asian-inspired which I really liked. It’s not as lightweight as my fish scale viscose fabric but it’s still really drapey. I wore this top a lot when we were on holiday in Asia.
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