Journal Entry

Grainline Studio x Sprout Patterns

Sprout Patterns x Grainline Studio

Images via the Sprout Patterns Instagram Account

Have you guys heard about Sprout Patterns yet? There have been some awesome projects popping up on blogs and social media so I know some of you are all over it already, but in case you haven’t heard we’re here today to fill you in! Sprout is a really exciting service from the geniuses behind Spoonflower that combines their custom print on demand fabric with indie sewing patterns. We’re really excited to have teamed up with them on this project with some of our best selling sewing patterns, which you can see here!

Sprout is really easy to use. You’ll start by choosing your pattern, then the fabric and size. We worked closely with Sprout to make sure that the fabric choices available for each pattern really worked well, so if choosing substrates isn’t your forte, rest assured we’ve thought that through for you.

With Sprout you can choose a fabric from one of the zillions of prints available on Spoonflower or design your own! We’ve also worked with our friend, surface designer Michelle Vondiziano of January Prints, to develop a line of prints we love that pair well with our patterns. You can view those in our Spoonflower Shop here!

Once you’ve chosen your fabrics Sprout has made it easy to configure them into your garment. You can even move the print around on the garment to get the perfect layout which is a pretty cool feature.

We’ve made up a few Larks already and the process was so easy since there’s no tracing involved. We had two cut and sewn in well under an hour! A few other points you might find useful about Sprout…

  • All pattern pieces are outlined with a white border to make cutting very easy.
  • All seam allowances are included in the printed pattern area so you don’t need to worry about any white showing in your finished garment.
  • Shrinkage is factored into the pattern on all Sprout purchases based on calculated shrinkage percentages for each substrate. This means you can launder your garment without fear!
  • All patterns include the original PDF pattern download and full instructions so you can remake your garment at any time with any fabric.

We have a few projects on the way to us from Sprout at the moment so we’ll be sharing our process and final projects on the blog in the next few weeks once we get them sewn up! Have you guys tried Sprout yet? Are there any of our patterns that aren’t on there that you’d love to see available?

8 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Journal Entry

Spring Sewing Jams

Grainline Studio | Spring Sewing Jams

Finally! It’s spring here in Chicago. We can’t wait to go blueberry picking this summer and make homemade jams! But… until then we will being working hard in the studio and listening to this spring sewing jams playlist we made. Have a good weekend everyone!

4 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Sewing Tutorials  |  Sewn Other

Cinch Pouch Tutorial

Grainline Studio | Cinch Pouch Tutorial

I can’t believe it’s already May and Mothers Day is next week! Jen and I made these cute little cinch pouches for our Moms. We are going to fill them with surprises! They make great presents because they are super easy and you can make them using scrap fabric.

Because I am using scrap fabric, this tutorial is more free form when it comes to measurements.  The goal is to get two good sized squares or rectangles, so try to find some larger scrap pieces.

Have fun making them!

Grainline Studio | Cinch Bag Tutorial


  • Ball Park 1/4 yard of fabric or scraps
  • Thread
  • Shoe laces, binding, rope, ribbons… Your choice! It just needs to be over twice as long as the width of your pouch.

1. Cut two rectangles of fabric. Any size! Depending on how large or small you want your pouch to be. Our large pouch rectangles measured 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ and our small pouch rectangles measured  7 1/2″ x 6 1/2″.

Grainline Studio | Cinch Pouch Tutorial

2. Fold and press under 1/4″ around the three top edges of each rectangle, stopping 2 1/4″ down from top on side seams.

Grainline Studio | Cinch Pouch Tutorial

3. With right sides facing, stitch your rectangles together starting 2″ down from the top, using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Grainline Studio | Cinch Pouch Tutorial

4.  To reinforce the side seam, sew a line of horizontal stitches where the fabric splits at the top.

Cinch Bag Photo four

5. Fold over fabric 1″ from the top, and press.  Sew along the folded edge to create a casing for your rope.

Grainline Studio | Cinch Pouch Tutorial

6.  Thread your rope through one casing channel, and continue around through the other channel, bringing both rope ends to the same side. Repeat on the opposite side.

Grainline Studio | Cinch Pouch Tutorial

7. Tie the ends of your rope together and pull closed. There you have it… a perfect gift for your Mom!

2 Comments Posted in Sewing Tutorials, Sewn Other
Sew & Tell

Sew & Tell | Mia

Grainline Studio | Tamarack Jacket

We are all crushing on this Tamarack Jacket that Mia made. She went the extra mile and added a quilt block to the back! It’s so clever to tie that in to a quilted jacket! Duh! Her fabric choices are also pretty amazing. Her project got us thinking about how many different directions we can take this jacket. Thanks for sharing Mia. We are inspired!

Name Mia Partlow

Where can we find you online? Instagram 

Link to your post about this project @grignotine

Which pattern did you use? Tamarack Jacket

Grainline Studio | Tamarack

What type of fabric or other materials did you use? Robert Kaufman Wexford Cotton, Linen Denim, Robert Kaufman Denim Stripe Indigo Railroad Denim, Rose-colored linen (I believe also Robert Kaufman).

Grainline Studio | Tamarack

Tell us about your project! In addition to sewing clothes, I’m also a quilter, so I wanted to make a Tamarack that incorporated an actual quilt block, for a bit of whimsy and a nod to my other craft. Plus, it is very satisfying to quilt something that doesn’t take months to complete! To create the back, I searched high and low for a block that would look good on its own, one that did not need to be part of a larger quilt with repeating blocks to look complete. I found the perfect block, the Double Star from Blossom Heart Quilts–she has a wonderful tutorial, but somehow I sewed one of the corners on backwards! To create the back, I removed a section of the back pattern piece equal to my quilt block, allowing for seams; since the back piece is cut on the fold, removing a square was fairly straight-forward. After cutting out the square, I cut the back pattern piece into three sections–top, sides and bottom–and then I sewed them to the quilt block. I’m sure there were easier/better ways to do this, but like many home sewers I am self taught and this seemed to work well. In this sense, the jacket itself is an ode to quilting, being self taught and embracing mistakes as part of the process. I absolutely love my Tamarack and now that Spring is here I’ve been wearing it constantly!

Grainline Studio | Tamarack

2 Comments Posted in Sew & Tell
Journal Entry

Sewing Tutorial | Getting Flat Bias Necklines

Grainline Studio | Sewing Tutorials

Hi guys! As we are heading into summer I bet many of you will be making Scout Woven Tees and Tiny Pocket Tanks! That’s what I’ll be doing anyway. Here is a tutorial that Jen re-posted last summer. I’m happy she did because now I get my bias faced necklines to lay so flat and look really nice and pro.

3 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Swatch Share

Styling & Swatches | Scout Tee

Grainline Studio | Scout Tee

We are just about to turn the corner into spring up here in the great north! Finally! I have been eyeing these adorb tees and am going to make something similar using the Scout Tee pattern. I found all of these cute fabrics online! It’s going to be hard to choose cause they are so luxe. Guess I’ll have to make one of each! Right?

Grainline Studio | Scout Tee

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

3 Comments Posted in Swatch Share
Extracurriculars  |  Sewn Other

Our Extracurriculars

Grainline Studio | Indigo Tile Quilt

Lately we have been wanting to share with you some of the projects we work on outside of the studio. We are all creatives here and are always working on something cool! I am going to start by sharing this quilt I designed and made with my Mom. She is a fiber artist as well and the two of us love getting together and working on projects. She has really been cranking out quilts and so she offered to sew this one for me! I knew that I wanted something minimal and geometric. I also thought it would be fun to experiment with achieving a variety of color values using indigo dye on Belgian linen.


I was really inspired by tile floors and thought it would be cool to have a blanket that looks like one! After I dyed the fabric my mom and I used the quilting technique called half square triangles to cut the shapes. Then we laid out the pieces together and decided where everything should go! Finally she pieced it together and quilted it using straight lines.

Grainline Studio | Our Extracurriculars

Voila! Hope you like it.

11 Comments Posted in Extracurriculars, Sewn Other
Journal Entry

Grainline Crew | Sarah

Sarah Crew Photo

A few weeks ago we introduced you to Lexi, and today I’m excited to have you get to know Sarah, our other new hire! Sarah joined the team back in January and has been busy ever since. You’ve probably noticed you’ve been reading posts from her over the past few months, so this is a great chance to get to know the person behind the posts!

Where are you from and what brought you to Chicago?

I grew up on a hobby farm in a tiny town in Kansas and moved to Kansas City when I was ten. I have always been artistic and in 2005 I moved to Chicago to study fiber at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

When did you start sewing and what is the first thing you sewed?

I am mostly a self taught sewer and I started when I was about eight years old. I would cut up old sheets and make clothes for my dolls. My mother and grandmother are both sewers and they taught me the super necessary things. Like hemming my jeans and making simple dresses. I continued to sew through college. All of my real skills came from Jen’s Sew Alongs and tutorials! Now I make tons of my own clothes.

What do you do for Grainline Studio?

I write for the blog and create content for social media!

What is your favorite Grainline pattern to sew?

My favorite Grainline pattern to sew is the Scout Tee. I have a casual minimal style and tee shirts are my favorite! I love surface design so I love pairing prints with the simple shape of the scout tee. I am dying to make a Morris Blazer! That is the next thing I am making. For sure.

What is the funniest thing you have made?

A sushi costume for Halloween and my cat has a matching one…

What do you do outside of Grainline Studio?

I am a textile designer and I have an online store! I also love cooking and trying to keep plants alive.

What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago?

Go to the Lake!

Sarah Crafting

6 Comments Posted in Journal Entry
Sew & Tell

Sew & Tell | Andreia

Grainline Studio | Linden Sweatshirt

I’m in love with the fabric Andreia chose to make this Linden Sweatshirt. It’s the perfect pop of color to have for a rainy spring day. Wishing it was mine!

Name Andreia

Where can we find you online? In a manner of sewing 

Link to your post about this project @andsalgueiro

Which pattern did you use? Linden Sweatshirt


What type of fabric or other materials did you use? French terry from my local shop.

Tell us about your project! I have a very special love for the Linden. It was the very first PDF pattern I bought as I was starting to sew for myself. It worked as a confidence booster and made me take the plunge into other patterns, simply because I realized I could sew something simple but still with great results.

It´s the perfect “serger only” project and by now it just takes me around 15 minutes to sew one up. I always have it in hand in my tried´n true “Wall of Fame”.

Even though it´s quite simple construction wise, I´ve learned a lot about knits just by sewing it and also the perfect way to attach bands, whether neck or cuff ones.

This is my sixth Linden and I´m only missing one to cover the whole week, ha! The size is a 0 with no alterations: the fit results in a very comfortable sweater, sitting just at hip line and with enough ease to overlay with other pieces.

It´s all about the fabric here: the french terry has a beautiful floral print that reminds an aquarelle painting and makes it something more than a regular sweatshirt. Not that there´s anything wrong with that, a good old plain grey version was my first and still essential on my wardrobe. It´s just my “hmm don´t know what to wear tomorrow” piece one can whip up in no time!

Andreia Linden3

5 Comments Posted in Sew & Tell
Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks: Estimating Yardage

Estimating Yardage | Grainline Studio

We get a lot of questions along the lines of “I have the ___ pattern and I want to do a contrast ___. Do you know how much yardage that will take?” I love that people are thinking outside the box and going to town with their ideas but unfortunately it can take us a little bit to get back to these questions. When I figure out the yardage for each pattern, I calculate it based on the complete configurations on the pattern envelope, not on a piece by piece basis. This means I don’t have this info stored anywhere. Occasionally I can produce a reasonable guess, but most of the time we have to take the pattern out and measure the pieces since you guys do like to get creative. Since it’s such a popular question, and would also be useful for any pattern variations you might dream up that could change the yardage, I thought a little mini tutorial on how to estimate might be useful!

Please note that you will need to actually have the pattern in your possession to estimate using this method.

Estimating Yardage | Grainline Studio

First separate out the pattern pieces you’d like to estimate the yardage for. I’ll be using the Driftless Cardigan as an example. Lets say we want to do a contrast lower portion, so we’ll pull the pieces that would be affected.

Estimating Yardage | Grainline Studio

Lay two rulers or measuring tapes out on a table to create a squared L – these become the stand in for the fabric you haven’t ordered yet. Using the bottom ruler as the fold, lay out your pieces making sure to keep everything on grain.

Estimating Yardage | Grainline Studio

Once everything is laid out, take a quick measure to make sure that you haven’t surpassed the max width of your fabric folded. We’re measuring for 54″ fabric here so you want to make sure the width of your layout doesn’t exceed the 27″ width of the folded fabric. You may also want to subtract an inch from your width to account for selvage. So that means if you’re ordering 45″ wide fabric you’ll want to stay within 21.5″ and if you’re ordering 54″ wide fabric, stay within 26″ of the folded edge.

Once you’re sure your layout fits width wise and that everything is on grain, take the measurement from the lower ruler, this is how much fabric you’ll need to order. Ours is 25″ in the above example so we’d need to purchase 3/4 of a yard.

If you have the fabric you’d like to use already and are just wondering if you have enough you can use this method, but instead of laying out rulers you can just lay out your fabric and arrange the pieces on top of it.

I hope this helps with yardage estimation, now let those variations flow!

9 Comments Posted in Tips & Tricks