Grainline love and a Hemlock Tee

Long time no blog!

I can’t believe that the last time I posted was back in August… feels like an age ago. A lot has happened in the past 6 weeks including starting back at work in a new job. After 4 years of being at home with the kiddos this has been a big shift for the whole family. I have rather jealously guarded sewing as essential down time – but blogging has really taken a back seat as we all get used to the new routine of life! Hopefully I should be back a bit more now with A LOT to fill you guys in on. Namely a wedding outfit I made in the summer, fabric picks and sewing plans following SewBrum, a finished knit for my husband, a winter coat for my daughter and a bit of a Grainline love affair – which starts us off today.

I love Grainline patterns. Quite simply they are well drafted, staple wardrobe pieces that I reach for every day. This is the kind of sewing I love to do actually and is very much ‘my style’ (whatever that is?!!). Soooo today I quickly wanted to show you my second Hemlock tee (and a sneak peak of my Morris Blazer to be blogged sometime soon!)

Hemlock Tee


I’ve made the Hemlock before (here) and all through the summer it has been my most worn item of clothing. So when SewBrum came around and I got the chance for some selfish fabric shopping I knew I was going to be on the lookout for a lightweight knit to make another one of these. The rag market did not disappoint with an off cut of this gorgeous blue marl / striped jersey coming in at a meagre £2! Bargain!


This is a very simple sew (even if it always leaves me wishing for an overlocker…). Its a free pattern with one size option which you can access by signing up to the Grainline Studio mailing list. It’s supposed to be loose and drapey which is why it is so easy to make and wear. The fabric I choose had beautiful drape – perfect for this type of boxy top. But it also had a huge amount of stretch to it, which made a walking foot essential. My machine was continually skipping stitches until I opted for a change of foot! I also used a twin needle for neckline and hems with my usual stretchy nylon in the bobbin (you can read more about these and my favourite tips for working with knits here.)

Hemlock Tee neckline top stitching

I love a neat neckband - and I think I'm getting better every time I do one!

I love a neat neckband – definitely getting better every time I do one!

I’ve got a couple of different widths for twin needles, the usual 4mm and another which is 2.5mm – both specifically for stretch material. I went for the narrower on this make as I quite like the finish it gives. I find I’m much less likely to get tunnelling (where the fabric bunches up between the two lines of stitching) and I haven’t noticed much of a difference in the stretchiness of the stitch compared to the 4mm one. What do you guys think? Do you have a favourite width of twin needle (cos that’s not geeky at all….)!

Once finished I tried it on, but it was lacking something. It simply didn’t look ‘quite right’ and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Firstly I decided to tighten the sleeves by taking about an inch of the width (I did this on my last one too). Eventually I felt that the pattern of blue needed a bit of breaking up – hence the addition of the band at the bottom with the stripe at 90º.


I’m still in two minds about the length. I can still tuck it in more like a t-shirt and the longer length does mean that I can pair it with leggings to so it’s pretty versatile…. But I’m really tempted to do a split hem version which Jen did a tutorial on the Grainline website earlier this month. I think I’ve decided to leave it now as it’s not exactly an expensive make – but another version is sure to follow soon!


So that’s the Hemlock.

When I mentioned Grainline love at the beginning I wasn’t exaggerating. I’ve a Morris Blazer and Scout Tee made up and have just bought the Moss Skirt pattern with the perfect material all ready to go after I finish what’s currently on my sewing (dining) table… namely my daughters winter coat.

In other news I have updated my ‘Made and Making’ page so now you can click through my makes from the past two years and find links to the relevant blog post. I’ve also added my Pinterest account which is full of patterns that I love or want plus other bits of inspiration –  I don’t know about you but I find Pinterest can be a bit of a dangerous pastime where I can loose myself for hours!

That’s it for now. See you soon.

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