Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sewaholic Granville

Sewaholic Granville





So! It's finally spring in these parts, but I'm still obsessed with sewing blouses. I mixed things up by using a new (to me) pattern, the Sewaholic Granville. What appeals to me about Sewaholic patterns is they're designed for women who are pear-shaped ... smaller on top, curvier on the bottom. I wouldn't say I'm small on top because I'm full-busted and frequently have to make full bust adjustments on my patterns, but I do have narrow shoulders so to get a good fit with blouses and dresses, I often have to buy a very small size to get the shoulder fit right, then adjust for my fuller bust and hips. My KwikSew blouses fit me well on top, but I've noticed there's a extra fabric pooling at the small of my back and the hem could be looser around the hips. My hope was that the Granville would fit me better straight out of the "envelope."

I put "envelope" in quotes because this was a pdf pattern. I'm just going to say it. I hate PDF patterns. I know some dressmakers love them (instant gratification) but I've recently made a resolution to not use them anymore because printing, taping, cutting, tracing ... yuck, no thanks. That said, putting the Sewaholic pattern together went as well as it could despite my cat "hell-ping" me on the sewing table.

I made a size 12 with no modifications. I measured some key points on the flat pattern, figured the 12 would work, and started cutting. The fabric? Ok, confession. It's quilting cotton. I stopped making clothes out of quilting cotton years ago, but when I saw this print while shopping with my mom this winter, I couldn't resist. Pink and orange (my favorite color combo), and it reminded me of a Liberty print. It was also kind of loud. And my mother hated it. But it was $2.99 and had a nice hand, so all wins for me! (Yes, that my mother hates something usually makes me want it more. We have totally dissimilar tastes.)

I skimmed the directions, which were fine, but I mostly did my own thing based on what I learned in watching Pam Howard's Craftsy class on shirtmaking. However, I did not flat-fell the seams ... instead, I overlocked the seam allowance, then caught them with topstitching on the other side. Not the finest shirtmaking technique, but I figured if I sewed the pattern again, I'd do it with a higher quality fabric and do it right.

I was mostly happy with the results. The sleeve needs more ease, so I made a new pattern piece that includes a full-bicep adjustment, which should give me some extra wiggle room without changing anything else about the fit, which was perfect. I plan to make a couple more Granvilles with this adjusted sleeve. Stay tuned. Some other areas I need to work on include smoothing out the join of the collar band to the shirt and taking more care with the tower placket on the cuff. This was my first tower placket, and because the fabric wasn't that tightly woven -- quilting cotton, remember? -- it didn't come out that hot. 

I finished another sewing project last night, which I'll post about later this week or next. My next sewing adventure is something easy ... a pink and orange striped knit dress with the super-popular McCall's M6886 pattern. This I plan to wear during our trip to Germany this summer. :)

Summer sewing with McCalls m6886

In other news ... I've been working flat-out on our start-up business, Renegade Writer Press. Earlier this week, we released our first official title. More on this later, but reviews are coming in and they're great. My business partner (and friend, let's be honest) did a fantastic job getting this book done in record time. 

I hope you're having a wonderful spring, too!


  1. Your shirt is terrific! I want you to know that you have been one of my sewing inspirations. I'm still quite hopeless at it, and yes I sometimes use quilting cotton, but I'm having fun. Which, just a few short months ago would have been a word I would have said was impossible to use when talking about sewing. That knit dress is going to be wonderful. I've only sewn one knit shirt so far and wasn't too happy with how it turned out. Now I'm off to check out the link to your business.

  2. Kristie, nice to hear from you! I think the best way to learn how to sew is to with quilting cotton ... it just doesn't hold up well over the long haul with garments, especially those you wear quite often. Glad to hear I've been one of your inspirations ... the wonderful thing about sewing is that it goes so fast in comparison to knitting. I sewed a rather complicated fleece jacket recently ... took me four days. A similar knitting project would take months! :) (But I still love knitting the best.)


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