Pattern Review, Sew The Show

A Whole New World: The Granville Shirt

Hey there peeps — long time no see!  For the lazy, hazy summer, June was actually quite busy.  I’m not quite sure how that happened actually.  But we had friends visiting 3 weekends, and then Father’s Day weekend, so I guess it shouldn’t be a big surprise.

I had grand plans for my June Sew the Show outfit to make three pieces, but alas, one was all I could muster.  But I love the one that I made.  It is destined to become an office wear staple, and I’m very excited to make more!

Introducing, my sleeveless Granville shirt!

Sleeveless Granville Shirt sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Gotta love a sleeveless shirt!

I did a proper muslin of this shirt since it’s pretty fitted and I’ve always had an aversion to button-down shirts.  That’s because button-downs almost never fit me properly.  And after going through the process of muslining, I can see why.

Sleeveless Granville Shirt sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Pretty sassy shirt.

I’ve been following along with Becca’s Capsule Wardrobe Sewing series over at Free Notion since one of my sewing resolutions this year was to take my time and make garments that fit me properly.  As a result, I’m taking the time to properly muslin garments before I cut into my nice fabric and make the proper adjustments for my body.

Through that process, I have learned that I have forward sloping shoulders.  News flash, right?  I mean, I’ve worked at an office for the last 10 years, spent 7 years before that lugging textbooks around, and I’ve birthed and nursed three babies.  Forward-sloping shoulders pretty much go with the territory!

In addition to the forward-sloping shoulders, I have come to terms with the fact that I have a swayback, and I routinely need to remove fabric from the back center of garments to avoid fabric pooling at the small of my back.

Sleeveless Granville Shirt sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Look at that nice back — no fabric pooling!

The muslining process made the need for those two adjustments starkly obvious, so I dutifully slashed and cut, altering the armscyce and bust dart in the front, and removing fabric from the center back.  The part of me that wants instant gratification cringed at taking the time to make all those adjustments, do new pattern pieces, etc, but ultimately, it was not time wasted.  My top fits perfectly through the arm openings and the back is nice and smooth.

Sleeveless Granville Shirt sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Aww yeah, the arms rock.

The only alteration I still need to make (which you can see above) is moving the bust dart.  Moving the dart I pinched out of the sleeve to the bust dart apparently lowered the dart, so now I need to move it up about an inch.  It definitely will not keep me from wearing this shirt (a lot, I might add), but I will make the alteration on my next ones.  I’ve already pulled out 3 fabrics for more Granvilles!

Sleeveless Granville Shirt sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Pearl snaps.

Since I hate sewing buttonholes, I opted for pearl snaps on this top.  It’s such an easy modification for those of us who dread the moment when we have to meticulously place and sew 7-8 buttonholes, hoping against hope that we don’t royally screw it up.

Sleeveless Granville Shirt sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Pearl snap close up. I added a purple one just for fun.

I will probably shorten my next ones a tad as well so that I can wear them untucked with work pants.  The things I hate most about button down shirts (until now) — sleeves, bunching fabric, and tucking them in!

Sleeveless Granville Shirt sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Yay for shirts!
Sleeveless Granville Shirt sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Loving my shirt!

Pattern: Granville Shirt by Sewaholic Patterns.

Cost: $15.98 CAD (paper pattern) or $11.98 CAD (PDF pattern)

Size: 8.  I started with my usual-for-Sewaholic 3-size blending going from an 8 at the bust to a 6 at the waist and 4 at the hip.  But after making my muslin, I added that width back to my final shirt.  I guess having 3 kids has officially made me pear-shaped.

Fabric: Good ol’ Moda quilting cotton.  In my opinion, quilting cotton is typically a never-meant-to-be-worn-on-your-body fabric, but it works well for button-down shirts.

Difficulty: Intermediate.

Techniques required: Fitting and alterations, topstitching/edgestitching, attaching collar, buttons and buttonholes.

Similar patterns:  Any number of Big 4 patterns, Named Tyler Shirt, Grainline Archer, Papercut Patterns Meissa Blouse

Modifications: Narrow/sloping shoulders adjustment, swayback adjustment.  Removed 1.5″ from the shoulder seam, tapering to nothing at the underarm seam to account for the lack of sleeves. 

Fit:  With my destined-to-be-standard modifications, it’s almost perfect.  I will move the bust dart up an inch and shorten the front on my next one.

Pattern Format: I have the paper pattern, which was great.  But I admit I completely ignored the directions.

Pros:

  • Beautiful seam lines for a feminine, fitted look.
  • Great drafting and good fit, particularly for the pear-shaped gals.
  • Princess seams in back make for easy modifications.
  • Classic piece — this one will never go out of style.
  • Has a proper collar stand and tower plackets!!!!!

Cons:

  • Instructions use the collar assembly method that I hate.  I used the order of assembly from Four Square Walls, as usual, and got a beautiful result.
  • A properly-fitted button down is definitely not an instant gratification project.  It takes time, but it is definitely gratifying to have a beautifully-fitted shirt!

Overall Grade:  A.  This piece, more than any other I’ve made to date, highlighted the fitting challenges my body presents.  I adjusted for them, and I love the result.  This pattern is well-drafted and classic.  I’ve been wearing this top both at home and at work, and it works equally well both places.  I can throw it on with jeans and be comfortable and put-together, but it’s still office appropriate with slacks or skirt and a cardigan.  I love a pattern that moves effortless from office to weekend!

15 thoughts on “A Whole New World: The Granville Shirt

  1. This looks great. I also have a love/hate relationship with button-downs. I’ve never attempted to sew one myself before. I found you through the SOSM and I like how you review the pattern you’ve done.

    1. Glad you found it helpful! I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with them as well. I wanted to love them but hated how they fit. Now this one I just love 🙂

  2. I used to love wearing button downs, and especially sleeveless ones. The modifications you did really resulted in a great fit! Makes me hope to get back to wearing them again.

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