Farrow Dress

Farrow Sew-Along: Assembling the Dress Back

Today we’ll be assembling the back of the Farrow dress. Let’s get started!

To begin align the angled edge of one of the back bodice pieces with one of the back skirt pieces. Make sure your right sides are facing each other. Stitch along this seam line at the 1/2″ seam allowance.


Finish your seam allowance as desired – we’ll be serging for this tutorial – and press the seam allowance towards the back of the garment.

I’m topstitching my seams on this linen version of the Farrow. It’s completely unnecessary, I just think it’s a cute detail on fabrics like this.

If you’re using a slippery fabric or a fabric that shifts a lot, like this Cotton + Steel rayon, I’ve got a little trick for you to reduce the bias stretch of the fabric on these angled seams. Cut a 1″ strip of woven interfacing on the straight grain. Align your back shirt fabric piece on top of the actual pattern piece to make sure your piece hasn’t stretched out of shape. Cut the 1″ strip of interfacing so that it fits the top seam line and fuse in place.

Note that if you’re using a taped together PDF pattern you will not want to iron on the tape!


Only fuse a strip to the back skirt piece so that it’s less visible on the inside of the garment and isn’t irritating to your skin. Align the back bodice and back skirt pieces and stitch along the seam line.

Finish your seam allowance and press towards the hem.

Repeat these steps for the other side of the back. At this point you’ll want to finish the center front seams. Again we’re serging in this tutorial and we’ve found it easiest to finish the seams before you sew them together because of the width of the serger foot. If you plan on using a zig zag stitch to finish yours now works great for that, but if you’re planning on finishing your seams using the turn and stitch method or by binding them if you’re not using too heavy of a fabric, you might want to wait on that till after the next steps.

Align your center back seams with the right sides of the garment facing and stitch along the seam line from the hem edge up to the top notch near the neckline. I usually baste the area above the notch closed so that I can get a good, even press in the next step, then take the basting out after I’ve pressed.

Press the seam allowances open, from the neckline to the hem edge.

It’s a bit hard to see here, but I’ve topstitched on either side of the seam line. If you’re topstitching you want to make sure that you stop at the notch for the back neck opening or you’ll have difficulty attaching the facings later.

That’s it for the back, next up is the front!


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Swatch Share

Glitzy fabrics for your Holiday parties

There’s nothing like being complimented on your outfit and then getting to tell the person dishing out compliments that you made it! Now that we are in the midst of the holiday season there are so many opportunities to wear handmade clothes. Better yet… shiny and glittery hand-mades!

I am excited to share these sparkly swanky fabrics I found.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

All of these fabrics are perfect for making the Alder Shirtdress, the Farrow Dress and the Willow Tank Dress. Numbers 1, 4 and 6 would all be beautiful sewn up into a Moss Skirt. Seen any sparkly fabric lately we should know about?

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Farrow Dress

Farrow Sew-Along: Cutting

Cutting the Farrow pattern is pretty straightforward, not too many pieces and only a bit of fusible. You can see what you’ll need to cut for View A and View B in the diagrams below.

View A

View B

We’ve gotten a few questions about whether the front and back pieces can be cut on the fold and the answer is yes and no. They can be cut on the fold, but the construction of the pockets is a bit more difficult due to the fact that you’ll be doing quite a bit of pivoting and clipping to get the corners to lay flat. The seam at the CF and CB also help to add a bit more stability to the garment. You’ll also need to insert a keyhole into the CB so that you can get the dress over your head. So yes you can cut the pieces on the fold if you don’t mind extra work but honestly we don’t recommend it or we would have drafted the pattern that way.

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Farrow Dress

Farrow Sew-Along: Pattern Adjustments

Today I have a few specific fit adjustments for you – lengthening and shortening the Farrow Dress pattern, a full bust adjustment, and blending between sizes. Lets start with the easiest first, blending between sizes.

In the above example we’re blending between a size 6 at the bust and a size 8 at the hip. You’ll want to blend between the bust and hip, rather than from the bust and hip because you don’t want to affect the measurements at those points, just the space in between them. If you need to blend between sizes and do other adjustments, we recommend that you blend first. Make sure that you make any changes to all affected pieces. In this case you would want to do the same blending to the back of the dress.

Lengthening and shortening your pattern pieces is usually pretty straightforward, find the lengthen/shorten lines and apply the changes between them. In the case of the Farrow, due to the unique pocket construction, you’ll want to make sure to adhere to the lines marked on the pattern as shown below.

I’ve marked the parts of the pattern pieces that are affected by the pocket placement in blue above. You’ll want to make sure that no changes you make fall inside these areas or you’re going to be in for a lot more pattern work.

Cut between the lines. With a piece of paper underneath the pattern, spread the two sections the amount you need to lengthen your piece making sure to keep the grain line of the two pieces aligned.

Trace your piece off onto the paper and re-blend any jagged edges along the side seam and repeat the adjustment to any affected pieces.

We recommend lengthening and shortening from the top of the dress since there’s more room to work with, but if you do need to adjust the lower portion and don’t want to add width to the hem by adding to the bottom, split the pattern piece about an inch below where the pocket falls at the side seam.

Again, trace your piece off onto the paper and re-blend any jagged edges along the side seam and repeat the adjustment to any affected pieces.

Now lets talk Full Bust Adjustments. The Farrow is drafted for a B cup (like all our patterns) so if you’re a C you may be able to get away without a FBA. If you’d like to do a small bust adjustment you would do the opposite of what I’m showing here.

The first thing you need to do before you start your full bust adjustment is to figure out how much of an adjustment you’ll need. To begin you’ll need your upper bust measurement and your full bust measurement. Once you have those you’ll subtract your upper bust from your full bust. If the number you get when you subtract your upper bust from your full bust (the total adjustment) is over 2″ (B cup) you may need a full bust adjustment, whereas if the number you get is 2″ or under you’re either fine to use the pattern as is or you might consider a small bust adjustment. So if your full bust was 40″ and your upper bust was 36″ you’d subtract 40-36 to get 4″ which would require an adjustment.

Now you can take this new number and do one of two things with it. It seems to be the most common to just divide this number in half and apply that amount to each side of the adjustment shown below, so you would be moving the pattern 2″ in Step 3.

Your other option is to take your new number, in our case 4″, and subtract 2″ from it to get the full amount of your bust adjustment. Subtracting the 2″ comes from the fact that the pattern is drafted for a B cup which is a 2″ difference. Since this amount is already drafted into the pattern you are just adding the additional amount on top of what exists. You would then divide the full amount of the adjustment in half so you would be doing a 1″ adjustment on each side of the pattern.

Select your size based on your upper bust & waist measurements. Cut size.

Locate the apex of your bust and mark. We highly recommend making a muslin to mark your exact apex for the most exact adjustment. Everyone’s apex falls at a different place and the only exact way to find it is to try the garment on and mark it yourself. Draw a line from the apex out to the side seam. Next you’re going to draw a vertical line from the apex down to the hemline of the pattern piece making sure to keep the line parallel to the CF / grain line. From there draw a line connecting the apex to the approximate center of the armscye. These are the lines that will form the full bust adjustment.

Slash through the waistline to the bust and up to the armscye taking care to cut to, but not through, the pattern at that point. You want to make sure that the two pieces are hinged together. Then slice through the line connecting the side seam to the apex, taking care to not cut through the apex point, you want the pieces hinged. You’ll then open the vertical slit the amount of your full bust adjustment making sure that the two edges of the opening are parallel.

Typically when you move the side out for the adjustment the side panel becomes longer than the piece you moved. The Farrow is a bit different than your normal FBA/SBA adjustment because of the angled seams. Take your ruler and place it along the angled pocket stitching lines to check that they’re still aligned.

This method of adjustment will result in a dart being formed. Fold the dart legs together with the takeup pointing towards the bottom of the garment and re-blend the side seam. I like to score the bottom dart leg and center line lightly with an awl to help the pattern fold right where you want it to on the first try. You can either cut across the side seam / dart or mark it with a pattern tracing wheel and cut when the dart is open. Unfold the dart and cut out your new piece.

Now we’ll need to adjust the lower front piece. Begin by folding the upper pocket section of the pattern down along the stitching lines.

Draw a line through the pattern piece from top to bottom parallel to the center front and equidistant from both pockets as the split line for the upper portion of the dress.

Slice through the pattern piece along this line and separate the pieces the same amount you did for the top. When separating you’ll want to maintain the angle of the pockets as shown above in order to ensure everything sews together when you’re done.

You’ll need to tape some paper underneath the pattern to form a bridge for this last step. After we separated the two pieces the hem is lower on the left than the right. Extend the center front line down. From the bottom right corner of the left piece draw a line over to the center front, this corner that the hem and center front form should be square. This will be your new lower front piece.

Unfold the pattern piece and trace off your new piece!

That’s it for adjustments for now. Almost time to start sewing!

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Journal Entry

Give the gift of choice with our gift cards!

Grainline Studio | Gift Cards

Not sure exactly what pattern to give a sewer? We’ve got you covered! Make your sewer’s holiday by giving them a Grainline Studio gift card.

Choose between email delivery or our physical gift card, beautifully foil stamped in gold on thick paper. Our gift cards have no additional processing fees and do not expire.



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Farrow Dress

Farrow Sew-Along: Selecting Your Size

Today we’re going to talk about selecting your size. The first thing you’re going to want to do is get some measurements. The three measurements needed to select your size are bust, waist, and hip, and with the Farrow, the most important measurement is going to be your bust due to the fact that it’s the most fitted section of the garment.

For the bust measurement (1) you’re going to measure around the fullest point of your bust, wearing whatever type of bra or undergarment you plan on wearing under your garment. It’s a good idea to have someone help you take your measurements, especially the bust, if you can as having your arms up and holding the tape can affect the measurement a bit.

The waist measurement (2) will be at your natural waist. On many people this is the smallest point of your torso, though on me, it’s pretty much a straight shot from one measurement to another. If you fall into my category a good rule of thumb is your waist is generally where you hands want to end up when you put them on your waist if that makes any sense. It’s also where you bend from.

The hip measurement (3) will be the fullest part of your hips and butt. Typically this is approximately 7″ below your natural waist, though on others it can be lower. You want to make sure you get around the full circumference so you don’t end up with tight hips!

Once you get your measurements you can select your size on the size chart. If your measurement falls between two sizes, for instance your bust is 34.5˝, you’ll want to round up and choose the next size up.  If you fall into different sizes for each measurement as in the illustration above, you can either go with a straight size of the largest measurement (a straight 6 in the photo above) blend between sizes to get a better fit.

If you’re a straight size and don’t need to do any pattern adjustments you’re good to cut your pattern pieces. If you fall between sizes, or need to make an adjustment, we’ll have more about that in our next post.

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Farrow Dress

Farrow Sew-Along: Gathering Supplies

We had such a good reaction to our Tamarack supply post that we’re now going to be doing one for each of our new patterns. I love when something is both fun to put together and really helpful for you! Below you’ll find a list of everything we used to create our Farrow Dresses. If you have any questions just let us know in the comments below.

1. Farrow Pattern: You can find the paper pattern here, or the PDF version here.

2. Fabric: I’m using a rayon from Cotton & Steel for the sleeved version of the Farrow and a Robert Kaufman Essex linen for the sleeveless version. If you’re on the fence about what to use for your dress, our previous post about fabric choices can be found here.

3. Thread: I prefer to use standard poly thread for my garments. I like poly because I pre-treat my fabrics and I know that poly won’t shrink when laundered, keeping my seams nice and neat. Try to use high quality thread as it’s kinder to your machine.

4. Fusible Interfacing: You’ll want either a woven or tricot fusible interfacing in approximately the same weight as the fabric you’re using. Avoid bonded interfacings as they lack the drape necessary to produce a professional looking garment you’ll want to wear.

5. Hook & Eye: We recommend a medium sized hook and eye, nothing too small or large.

6. Marking Chalk: You’ll need chalk or your favorite removable marking pen to both trace out your pattern as well as trace your quilting lines onto your pattern. This is my favorite chalk tracing pen, but use whatever works for you!

7. Pins: Whatever pins you usually use will be just fine for this as long as they correspond with your fabric choice. For example if you’re using silk or rayon, you might want to opt for extra-fine satin pins as they’re a bit slimmer than dressmaker’s pins.

8. Hand Sewing Needles: These are simply for sewing on the hook and eye so as long as what you have on hand matches your fabric weave there’s no need for something special.

9. Regular Machine Foot: I love my 1/4″ foot (which BERNINA calls the Patchwork Foot) because of the accuracy it provides but I recommend using whatever you’re used to.

10. Scissors: I’m not much of a rotary person, but the scissors I find most useful for almost every project I make are my Gingher bent handle shears, embroidery scissors, and thread snips. I couldn’t sew without them.

11. Tape Measure: You’ll need a tape measure to take your measurements as well as lay out your pattern pieces for cutting.

Next up we’ll talk about sizing. If you have any supply questions just let us know in the comments below!

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Journal Entry

Holiday Gift Guide | For a quilter


Grainline Studio | Gift GuideHow is your holiday shopping going? This is a very stressful and joyous time of year. We hope that you are feeling the latter more! It’s also a cozy time of year and we put this gift guide together for the people who probably appreciate coziness the most… quilters. We hope this guide gives you some pointers on what to give your special quilter.

Grainline Studio | Gift Guide

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1. These Rifle Paper Company fat quarters are the perfect addition to any quilters stash. The prints are so beautiful and festive.
2. The Tamarack! Our very own quilted jacket pattern. Wearing a quilt is the only way to get through these blustery winter days.

Grainline Studio | Gift Guide

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3. Sashiko thread. The Japanese have been using it for hand stitching as far back as the Edo period beginning in 1603. A quilt enthusiast will love experimenting with Sashiko stitching techniques.
4. Chalk pencils are great for marking designs on quilts and these ones are also cute!

Grainline Studio | Gift Guide

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5. Fog linen binding tape. This tape is used to encase the raw edges of quilts, it can also be used as ribbon.
6. Tag gun for quilting. It makes sandwiching your layers together so easy. This is a life changing tool.

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Journal Entry

Holiday Gift Guide | For a knitter

Grainline Studio | Gift Guide

If you are shopping for a knitter this holiday season we put together this guide of presents that any knitter would love to have and would find useful. Enjoy!

Grainline Studio | Gift Guide

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  1.  This Loome Tool is great for making pom- poms to add to hats and all sorts of other objects. I like to put pom- poms on the back of my socks… its like having fun burrs attached to me.

  2.  The Stowe Bag. It’s a very handy project bag that any knitter would appreciate making. It has tons of pockets and is the perfect way to make a knitting project portable.

Grainline Studio | Gift Guide

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3. Stitch Markers are a must have for knitters and these markers come in an adorable pouch!

4. These snips have a candy cane theme going on. Perfect for the Holidays!

Grainline Studio | Gift Guide

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5. Soak is a knitwear safe wash that smells fantastic. It’s gentle and suitable for your fine hand knit items. You don’t have to rinse it!

6. All knitters have a yarn stash. This basket would be a lovely place for that stash to live.

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Journal Entry

Holiday Gift Guide | For a garment sewer

Grainline Studio | Gift Guide

It’s time to get cozy with our families, friends and pets and celebrate the holidays!  The season we love for cookies, parties and gift giving! Gift giving can be stressful because if you are like me, and the rest of the crew here you want to give your loved ones something useful and yet meaningful. And so many of us feel like we don’t need more stuff! However, as a crafter, I am always happy to receive something special that helps me make things. We are excited to share a series of gift guides that we created to help you shop for the crafters that you love. This first one is a gift guide for garment sewers. Stay tuned because we will also be posting guides for knitters and quilters.

Grainline Studio | Gift Guide

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  1. Our Scout Tee! It’s the perfect gift for a garment sewer because every sewer needs a tee shirt pattern and it’s a project that is not overwhelming to take on. The sewer you know will have it finished by the end of January!
  2. This fashioner sketch book is perfect for planning outfits and future projects. The pages are printed with a dot-line drawing of a female figure for you to sketch garments or outfits on top of. It’s essential for planning outfits and keeping inventory of garments you already own.

Grainline Studio | Gift Guide

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3. This bamboo point turner is the perfect tool to really get into those corners and make crisp edges. I use it all the time when I make pockets, pouches and collars. It’s extremely handy and a lovely object.

4. The pen style chaco liner is my absolute favorite tool for tracing around my pattern pieces. It leaves a visible mark that you can brush off when you are done. It also makes a very satisfying sound when the wheel turns. It’s perfect for a stocking stuffer. Grainline Studio | Gift Guide

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5. Sometimes it’s nice to get a prettier version of the most basic tool you use all of the time. I love the red caps on the end of these pins… and the box is adorable.

6. People who sew get rough dry hands. Especially  in winter! It’s the time of year to really take care of those digits.

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