This year I headed into autumn with a plan. A cunning plan. A plan so good I needed to sit down and have a Caramello Koala to celebrate when it was done. Drumroll please… I designed a capsule wardrobe. Boom! Adulting win. It had ten key pieces and I identified patterns that would work, ordered fabrics and arranged notions and had all my little sewing ducks lined up in a row. And then life happened and my well planned sewing got put to the side. But never fear! Seasons may change, the temperature may drop below zero but those ace autumnal pieces will get sewn ready in time to wear for autumn 2018! So please welcome my first autumn 2017 capsule wardrobe piece with a rousing cheer. Huzzah!
This sharp number is the Granville Shirt by Sewaholic Patterns. The Granville is an oldie but a goodie – a fitted, long sleeve button-down shirt with plackets and cuffs. What drew me to this pattern is the lady cargo friendly front darts and some sweet back princess seams – fitting win! Whilst I dig my both my sleeveless Archer and dotted swiss Archer and wear them a bunch I wanted to try something more fitted around the waist which the Granville totally manages. I made View B and left the front pocket off to simplify the lines (or because I was lazy…) 😉
The fabric is a chambray cotton shirting from The Fabric Store. It is super lovely, has a nice tight weave and presses like a dream. In hindsight, I think this chambray was a bit too structured for this top. I feel like every time I move it appears like there are bananas drag lines everywhere drawing the eye. Oh well, you live and you learn. Next time I would go for a tencel blend so there is a bit more drape. Or a patterned print. Because, repeat after me, patterns hide our sewing sins!
Construction wise, this was a straightforward button up shirt to make. The instructions were clear, easy to follow and well illustrated. The only two issues I had were totally on me…
- The chap at Officeworks who printed this for me DID NOT PRINT TO SCALE! Gah! I was in a total rush when I got the pattern printed and forgot to check. I have never had any issues before so of course this was the time it all went wrong and by the time I realised my fabric was cut. Anwho, I soldiered on and this top has the scantest seam allowance in the history of sewing and is just a bit too small all over. Lesson learned. The most recent time I got something printed I totally took my sewing gauge and pulled it out to measure things on the spot. In my head I was super cool like a sewing gun slinger in the old west. In reality, I probably looked like a crazy lady wielding a tiny ruler but whatevs…
- Tower plackets are not yet my friends. My first one was hideously mishappened and any resemblance to an actual tower placket was coincidental. My second attempt was much better and is what I would call “tower placket-esque”. I seriously love how sewing continues to give me new skills to learn and improve upon. And also reasons to invent fabulous insults as I screw something up for the twelfth time!
Alterations wise, I took the advice of a friend who has made this pattern a number of times and measured the sleeves. As a result, I removed 1.5cm from the length to get them to a length I was happy with. Which in hindsight really doesn’t matter because I always where long sleeved shirts cuffed (ugh to things touching my wrist!). I also moved the placement of the buttonholes/snaps so there was one placed in line with my bust apex. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way with many of my previous tops needing to be safety pinned shut to avoid gaping. It’s not quite the perfect placement but it’s getting there. I also had fun making this a bit more Amanda-ish with some pearl snaps, polka dot collar stand fabric and some sassy pink patterned hem binding. Check it out!
What I liked about this pattern:
- The fit. Whilst I love the boxy men’s shirt feel of the Archer there is something rad about having a top fit at my bust, waist and hips. And back princess seams are the best! My Springfield top totally converted me.
- All the lovely details. Who can say no to some sweet top stitching and fancy tower plackets? Probably a bunch of people but not this sassy lady!
- The clear instructions. I’m getting to a point with sewing that I don’t use instructions a lot but when I do I want them easy to follow. These ticket that box like a boss 😀
What I would change next time:
- PRINT TO SCALE!!!! Hmmm… it appears that I am still quite vexed about that little mishap which has made everything just a smidge too small. Grrr.
- Try this in a tercel blend. I feel like it just needs a smidge more drape – also I want to relive the 90s when tencel was a huge thing at all the jeans shops in Australia.
- Work on my button placement. It’s still not quite right.
Notions: 9 x pearl snaps from Lincraft, contrast thread, 1-ish metres of bias binding from the stash
Size: 14 bust, 12 waist and 10 hips (though as mentioned earlier who actually knows as the pattern was not printed to scale)
Alterations: moved button holes, shortened arms by 2cm, sassy customisations (ALL THE PEARL SNAPS!)
Overall, I think this is a pretty good rescue job of a bad situation. Whilst the fabric is a little too stiff and the fit is a bit small thanks to the print fail it’s still a wearable number. Now I just need to find the perfect chambray tencel and try again… Any suggestions on a fabric supplier welcome!