Inspiration  |  Jen's Handmade Wardrobe

Jen’s Fall / Winter ’16 Wardrobe Inspiration

Jen's FW '16 Wardrobe Inspiration | Grainline Studio

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The nights are getting longer and the weather is finally starting to turn cool, which can only mean one thing…fall is here! There’s nothing I love more than wardrobe planning for my favorite season, the season of long sleeves, closed toe shoes, sweaters & beautiful, rich colors. With that in mind I set to work on gathering images that reference the silhouettes, textures, and colors that I hope to include in my own handmade wardrobe this season. You can see everything I’ve pulled on my Fall / Winter 2016 Pinterest board here, as well as the sources for every item of clothing shown in this post.

Jen's FW '16 Wardrobe Inspiration | Grainline Studio

This season I’m imagining an easy, yet put together, wardrobe for my everyday look. Loose fitting dresses that can be dressed up or down, oversized button-ups (as always), and lots of cozy knits. I also am planning a few updated basics, like silk or wool tees for layering. This means Archers, Scouts and Larks aplenty as well as a few versions of our upcoming fall pattern. The color palette contains all my favorite colors, so I’ll be on the lookout for fabrics in the near future.

Jen's FW '16 Wardrobe Inspiration | Grainline Studio

I’m also planning on making a sweater or two for myself as well as another Tamarack. We’ll be releasing a printed version of the Tamarack soon which includes an update to add snap or button closures down the front, so obviously I need one of those!

My next step is going to be working out the exact pieces I plan to make and getting started on finding fabrics. I’m particularly excited for my fall wardrobe plans this season because I finally have a sewing setup at my house which means I’ll actually get some of this done!

Are you planning a fall wardrobe or sewing list? What are you most excited about sewing up? Any silhouettes you can’t get enough of? Fill me in!

22 Comments Posted in Inspiration, Jen's Handmade Wardrobe
Pattern Tutorials  |  Sewing Tutorials

Archer + Alder Version 02

Archer + Alder Version 02 | Grainline Studio

Today I’ll be walking you through another version of combining the Alder and Archer patterns to create a dress. If you remember, we posted the first Alder + Archer variation shortly after the Alder was released. That version used the complete Alder pattern and required you to re-draft the yoke to combine with the Archer sleeve. If you know what you’re doing it works alright, but it’s a bit involved for a tutorial. This version uses the Archer for the top half of the garment and combines with the Alder at the waist, this means the amount of work you need to do is greatly reduced. I’ll outline the differences in the fit of the two variations below and then show you how to make the dress above!

Archer + Alder Version 02 | Grainline Studio

The main difference in the two methods of combining the Alder & Archer is that in the first tutorial we posted you get the more fitted bodice and dart of the Alder. The caveat with this is that you need to preform some moderately complicated pattern alterations to get the Archer sleeve to fit. You can see in the photo above that the bodice of v.01 is more fitted than that of v.02. With this second method of combination, you are getting the looser fit of the Archer combined with the slightly flared hem of the Alder and you have to perform zero alterations to the sleeve area. Personally aside from the pattern alterations, which don’t bother me to do, I prefer the fit of the v.02 in a dress this style. So much so that I own multiple versions of this combination!

Archer + Alder Version 02 | Grainline Studio

To combine your Alder & Archer in this method you’ll start by locating your front and back pattern pieces. The Archer contains separate pieces for the left and right fronts, for this tutorial you can discard the right front. Align the front and back pieces, matching the waist notches and the center edges of the pattern pieces. The side seam edges will be slightly off at this point, that’s fine. We’ll remedy that in a later step.

Archer + Alder Version 02 | Grainline Studio

Once combined, your pattern pieces will look like this. You can see more easily here where the Archer and Alder are off at the side seams.

Archer + Alder Version 02 | Grainline Studio

Blend the jagged edge between the bust and hip as shown above. Make sure you blend similar lines between the front and back pieces so that they sew together smoothly.

Archer + Alder Version 02 | Grainline Studio

Your pattern pieces will now look like this. Walk the side seams of the front and back to make sure that your seam lines are the same length. If you need to make adjustments, we recommend making them to the hem edge. If you properly aligned your waist notches, you should’t need additional adjustments.

Archer + Alder Version 02 | Grainline Studio

Once you have your left front and back pieces settled we’ll need to prep the right front and button band. To create the left front, simply trace your left front piece upside down, then trim 2.5″ off the center front. For the button band, take the Alder button band and measure to make sure it is the same length as the center front length. Make adjustments to the band, not the dress, if needed. Use the button placement guide on the Alder when it comes time to add your button holes and buttons.

Archer + Alder Version 02 | Grainline Studio

You can see how much easier this combination is to make! This variation works with the same fabrics recommended in both the Archer & Alder patterns — the green dress I’m wearing here is silk crepe de chine but I also have a denim version that is equally loved. This variation is perfect for fall layering, hope you’ll give it a try!

7 Comments Posted in Pattern Tutorials, Sewing Tutorials
Journal Entry

On the Surface | Natural Dyeing


We are fastly approaching the end of summer! There are only a few weeks left. That is not going to stop us from doing some summery themed natural dyeing. Today we are going to be showing you how we made this perfect dusty rosé naturally dyed Scout Tee using avocado pits. It sews up beautifully in cotton gauze, or raw silk.  It is so soft and breezy. It will be so cute for these remaining summer days and the early fall ones!


Grainline Studio | Natural Dying1. Start with clean fabric. I suggest a natural fiber! It is going to pick up the dye a lot more easily than a synthetic fabric. I am using cotton gauze however, cotton voile, cotton lawn or a light linen would also be lovely!

2. Soak your fabric in water overnight. This will insure that the fabric picks up the dye evenly.

3. Now  harvest your avocado pits! You are going to have all of this extra meat… perfect for making guacamole. See my personal recipe below!

4. Add the pits to a pot of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for at least one hour.

5. Toss in your fabric and boil in the dye for one hour, stirring often. The longer you leave your fabric in the darker it will be and adding more avocado pits can make your dye bath darker as well.

Grainline Studio | Natural Dying

6. Remove the excess dye by rinsing your fabric in cool water. Hang it out to dry and then it will be ready to make into one breezy Scout Tee!


  • Two ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • One lime
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Queso fresco
  • Salt and pepper

Add your peeled avocados to a bowl and mash with lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix in the onions and top with cilantro and queso fresco!

Grainline Studio | Natural Dying

Grainline Studio | Scout Tee

12 Comments Posted in Journal Entry

Teaching at Craft South!


Our blog has been down for quite a bit so I haven’t had a chance to tell you that I’ll be teaching at Craft South next weekend! I’m really excited about this class, we’ll be learning how to measure, draft, and fit a custom fit bodice and sleeve. In addition to this I’ll also show you some basic manipulations so that you can turn your bodice into the shirt of your dreams. If you don’t have dreams of your own custom shirt, this class is also a great way to learn about your body in relation to patterns, giving you insight into altering patterns and why things might fit the way they do.

I taught a class similar to this last year and seeing how empowered everyone was after the class, wearing their muslins, was a really amazing experience. I have no doubt that this class will be the same! There are still a few spots open – you can see the listing here – so I hope I’ll see you there!

2 Comments Posted in News

Back in Stock!

Grainline Studio Back in Stock

If you’ve been poking around our shop the past month you’ll likely have noticed we were out of stock on many of our most popular patterns. It seems like you guys just can’t get enough Grainline patterns because despite our best efforts you all are cleaning us out…which I love! We’ve just been restocked with the above patterns, so if you’ve had your eye on the printed version of the Linden, Scout, Moss, Morris, Alder or Archer then you’re in luck! If you’re looking for the Willow or Portside, we will have more of those, along with new patterns (yay!) hitting the shop in October. Get excited!!

8 Comments Posted in News
Pattern Tutorials  |  Willow Tank Dress

Willow Variation 01: Cropped Tank

Cropped Willow Tank |Grainline Studio

Today I’m going to talk about turning the Willow Tank into a cropped top! Typically when lengthening or shortening a pattern piece you’ll want to use the lines marked on the pattern. When shortening the Willow into a crop however, we recommend shortening from the bottom. This keeps the top from becoming too wide at the new hem, keeping the proportions in tact. In the instructions below we’ll be marking and re-shaping a new hem.

Cropped Willow Tank |Grainline Studio

To begin grab pattern pieces 1 and 2. Find and cut your size, make note of the original stitching and fold lines.

Cropped Willow Tank |Grainline Studio

Measure up from the fold line the amount that you’d like to shorten your top. For the version in this tutorial I started with a size 6 and shortened the top 3″. Draw the new fold line across the front and back of the pattern pieces.


Measure down 2.5″ from the new fold line to create the new cut line, aka the bottom edge of the pattern piece. The 2.5″ includes a 2″ hem and a .5″ seam allowance.

Cropped Willow Tank |Grainline Studio

Cut across the new cut line and discard the extra paper.

Cropped Willow Tank |Grainline Studio

Fold along the new fold line and trim the excess where the folded section overhangs the upper pattern piece. This will ensure your hem will lay flat without buckling.

Cropped Willow Tank |Grainline Studio

These are now your new pattern pieces. All of the instructions for the tank are the same after this alteration, so just follow along with your instruction booklet.

Cropped Willow Tank |Grainline Studio

Hope you enjoyed this cropped Willow variation! We’ve got a few more variations coming over the rest of the summer so stay tuned!

11 Comments Posted in Pattern Tutorials, Willow Tank Dress
Penny Raglan

Penny Raglan Inspiration & Swatches

Grainline Studio | Penny Raglan

We love love love cozy drapey tees. They are causal yet so polished looking. This is some of our styling inspiration for the Penny Raglan and some really cute fabrics you could make one out of! Or many…

Grainline Studio | Penny Raglan

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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Penny Raglan

New to Grainline, the Penny Raglan!

Penny Raglan | Grainline Studio

The search for the perfect tee… It’s a real thing. For us it needs to be boxy, drapey, unclingy and of course soft! That’s why the Penny Raglan is the perfect tee.

Penny Raglan | Grainline Studio

For those of you who have been following the blog and our Instagram for a while you probably recognize it. Jen has been wearing them for years. And I’m probably not the only one who has been wanting one for that long! Right?! Now you we can make our very own.

Grainline Studio | Penny Raglan

The Penny is great for all types of knits, as long as there’s some drape. The ones pictured above are made in bamboo knit, linen blends, and a silk viscose blend. We’ve got a post coming up for you on choosing fabrics, so if you’re unsure look out for that later this week!

Penny Raglan | Grainline Studio

The Penny is a super quick summer project that’s sure to get a lot of wear. Grab your pattern here!

5 Comments Posted in Penny Raglan
Alder Sew Along

The Alder as a Tunic or Shirt

Alder as a Shirt or Tunic | Grainline Studio

Around this time of year we get a lot of emails enquiring how to convert the Archer into a sleeveless shirt. We have a tutorial here but one thing to note is that since the Archer is both slightly oversized and drafted for sleeves, it will never be fitted in the armholes the same way the Alder is without some major drafting adjustments. The Alder on the other hand is very easy to turn into a sleeveless tunic or shirt just by shortening the pattern pieces! I just made the one above this week in this Art Gallery denim (Puzzle Sandblast) by shortening View A so that the front button band measures 26″ – which ends up being tunic length. I’m reposting our original tutorial from a few years ago on shortening the Alder below. Have you tried it?

Alder Sew Along: Alder as a Shirt

Start by deciding how long you want the shirt to be. If you’ve made the dress already it’s really easy to just try the dress on and mark where you’d like the shirt to hit. If you haven’t I recommend measuring starting from the hollow of your throat down to where you’d like the shirt to hit since that measurement corresponds with the center front of the dress fronts.

Once you know how long you’d like the dress, mark the new hem length on the front of the dress. Measure up evenly across the bottom of all of the dress pieces to mark the new hem. Make sure you remember to leave enough for the hem.

Alder Sew Along: Alder as a Shirt

All of the construction is the same as the original dress for this version so you can either follow the instructions in the booklet or follow along with the sew along here on the blog.

3 Comments Posted in Alder Sew Along
Willow Tank Dress

Willow Sew-Along: Day 05 Hemming

Today we’ll be hemming up our Willows…just in time for the hot weather approaching! I’ll be going through hemming the tank version first, then the dress.

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Begin by folding up and pressing the 1/2″ seam allowance around the bottom hem edge of the tank.

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Following the fold line marked on the pattern, fold the hem up and press it into place, pinning as you go. The hem edge is 2″ in case your markings have worn off by this point.

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Stitch around the loose edge to secure the hem in place and give it a press. Your tank is done!

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

If you’re making the dress version hemming is even easier. Fold up and press 1/4″ around the hem edge. You can see here that I have a line of stitching around the hem at 1/4″ that I’m folding up along. That’s a little trick that can make it easier to turn fabric. This is a cotton/linen blend and it wants badly to fold along the grain. Since the hem is slightly curved, I placed a line of stitching along the fold line to force the fabric to do what I wanted.

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Fold the edge up 1/4″ once more and press.

Willow Sew-Along | Grainline Studio

Stitch along the loose edge as close to the edge as you feel comfortable. Give it a press and your dress is completed!

Thanks for following along on this Willow journey…we’ll have a few more Willow related posts in the coming weeks, including a cropped tank I’m really excited to sew up!

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