Happy Easter everybody! Did the Easter Bunny pay you a visit yet? Here brought some chocolate, but you know how it goes, it’s never enough! :) Today I want to share with you my first go at the Granville Shirt by Sewaholic. It didn’t turn out as good as I wished, thought. I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it and I decided to sew it even if I’m not pear shaped and I knew I had to make few alterations. As everybody knows, in fact, Sewaholic patterns are designed to be flattering on ladies with a more heavier bottom so, who like me, has a totally different figure, needs to modify them. Mind you, I need adjustments on patterns from other companies too, so I think it’s not a big deal. It’s nearly impossible for me to find a pattern that fits me straight out of the envelope and I guess it’s the same for most of us.
I had a very hard time trying to decide which size to make. First of all because the finished ease for the size I was supposed to cut at the bust is quite a lot, considering we’re talking about a slim fit shirt. Looking at the photos of the lady modeling the Granville on the Sewaholic website, I can’t really see and believe she’s wearing a shirt with that much ease. Secondly, my measurements fall in three different sizes: my bust is nearly an 8, my waist a 4 and my hips a 0. That said, I traced a size 6 at the bust (and sleeves), grading down to a 4 at the waist and to a 0 at the hem. The Granville has a very accentuate waist curve and I thought that if I cut an 8 at the bust, it wouldn’t connect smoothly to the size 4 at the waist and look silly instead.
The only adjustment I made before cutting into my fashion fabric, was to eliminate some of the fabric excess at the back, horizontally, where the waist is, because I know I’ve a sway back sort of thing. I’m also conscious of my forward shoulder/head and rounded high back, but I really didn’t know how to alter the back yoke without messing the armhole and sleeves placement so I left these adjustments out. Wrong, very wrong!
Anyhow, I took my time in sewing this shirt. I really tried to do my best on the topstitching and the collar and I think I really did a pretty good job. But, there is always a but. Once the shirt was finished, it didn’t fit properly. All my fault, I didn’t bother making a muslin and I basically sew ‘blindly’ until I was done. The reason? I’ve always avoided garments with sleeves because I know I’ve many problems in the shoulders and bust areas but I don’t really know how to correctly solve them. The main problem here is the fact that I can’t raise my arms without the risk of ripping open the back of the shirt. It also feels fairly uncomfortable. You can see what I mean in the photo below.
Also, my rotated shoulders cause this unflattering pulling at the back of the sleeves and therefore the sleeve hem isn’t parallel to the floor as it should be. I think I need more fabric somewhere towards the front of the sleeve cap. Maybe. Plus, the center sleeve is not aligned with my shoulder line, and it looks like the shirt is falling off my shoulders, towards the back, so I need some more length there. In fact, the yoke front seam is on top of my shoulders, instead of being towards the front where it should be.
At the back, there is still a little excess fabric at the waist and if you look closely you can also see the yoke seam is curving down at the sides. I think this is all fault of the rounded high back. I also know I’ve prominent shoulder blades, which this hearts print camouflage well, so I might need to fix this problem too. I suppose the pulling on the armhole is an effect of all these issues together. But I might be wrong, of course.
Finally, at the front, you can see I might do with some more room on my boobies area. The button is under a slightly pressure and the side pulling from both upper arm and waist, point towards my breasts. Not enough room then. Also the dart is probably slightly too low, but you can barely see it as is lost in this busy print.
I think I know the causes of all these fitting issues, the problem is I’m not sure where to start solving them. Should I go up a size at the bust and see what happens? Should I stay with this size/s and try to create the room I need for all my bumps? Any advice is very much appreciate.
Despite all these problems, I tried to be as accurate as possible in my sewing and I’m very happy with what I’ve done. This is my third collar and by far the best one. Tasia’s instructions are a bit different from what I’ve seen on other patterns and with the help of her blog posts, I was able to sew a very nice collar.
I also nearly got all the hearts matching on the pocket, apart from the side where the dart is, obviously.
The print was screaming for orange accents, so I made sure to cut the inside yoke and collar stand out of some orange poplin. Also, I hemmed the shirt with orange bias binding – I find it easier than folding the hem twice and stitching it in place – and used orange thread for all the topstitching and button holes.
And of course orange buttons!
One last thing, as you can see I’ve gone for short sleeves. I don’t really wear long sleeve garments here, so I’ve just decided how short I wanted them to be, cut the pattern there and added faux rolled up cuffs. I really like the look.
It’s not perfect, but I love this shirt, maybe because of all these hearts, or better because wearing fitted button downs is just so nice. I really want to get this pattern fit me right and to do so I’ve already enrolled a Crafty course on fitting and started on my muslin. I’ll let you know what happens!
Have a sweet Easter Everyone!