Sewing · Shirts

Sewaholic – Granville Shirt

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I also nearly got all the hearts matching on the pocket, apart from the side where the dart is, obviously.

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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.

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And of course orange buttons!

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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.

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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!

25 thoughts on “Sewaholic – Granville Shirt

  1. I love your buttons! I have the same problems fitting the back as you do. I have always avoided this type of shirt because if it fits in the body, I feel like I am going to bust out at the shoulders. I started adding 1 cm to the back of the sleeve cap and to the back of the bodice armice. Sort of like this (http://seamstresserin.com/wedding-jacket-chronicle-part-3-fitting-revelation-muslin-fitting-2/) but I only and material to the back of the cap. As for the front, if you like where the shoulders fall and don’t eat more ease, maybe a full bust adjustment? I have been very drawn to the pattern but have been waiting to hear feed back from more non-pear women. Thank you.

  2. First of all you did a good job sewing this shirt. Don’t place all the blame for your fitting problems with your inexperience. I have made this pattern (I am a pear shape) It has major fitting problems for most people. As you said it has way too much ease.The arms are too skinny and the picture of the model is not realistic. I think she has a great big safety pin at the back holding in the excess. I hate the Granville and I think no one has been brave enough to say so.

    1. Hi Jenny! I agree with you, the few Granville reviews I’ve read online, Certainly don’t highlight the fit of this shirt, but as I said, every person has a different shape so adjustments are always necessary. I’m a self-thaugh sewer and often I wish I knew how to solve the fitting issues I have without having to sew all the muslins. But I guess, it’s how you learn.

  3. I have the ” Fit For Real People” book by Palmer Pletch. I also did a weekend fitting course.in association with the book. The course wasn’t strictly necessary but a lot of fun. This book has been invaluable. It teaches you to tissue fit and then split the pattern and add tissue (or subtract)
    .I usually make the same alterations every time. They are only small but make a world of difference. I do a forward shoulder and a high round back as well as a small full bust alteration and a full arm. It sounds like a lot of trouble but you only have to do it once. When I get lazy and just take in the side seams I always regret it
    Pattern tissue is surprisingly strong. I thought it would tear to shreds when pinned to your body but once the curves are re-enforced with magic tape they can take quite a bit of rough treatment.
    Hope this helps.
    I have to say I enjoy your blog and I like the things you make. It’s a great hobby and I feel like I will be learning new things for the rest of my life.

    1. I’ve that book too and I find it very useful. The problem with this shirt is that I’ve basically never sewn a garment with sleeve and I’m probably overwhelmed by all the adjustments needed. Fit for Real People is great, but sometimes I get lost and the more I read it, the more uncertain I am about where and how to make changes. I need to take it easy and just try the modifications on the muslin one by one and see what happens. A class with a pro would be awesome too!
      I’m happy you like my blog and my makes, I hope you come back reading it!

  4. Carly your sewing is beautiful! That top stitching is perfection. The shirt is adorable, despite you fitting issues, which are not super noticeable unless you are looking for them. I hope you can still wear it, it is so cute!
    I have taken many courses from craftsy.com, which includes the Custom Fit Neck, Back and Shoulders. I found it very helpful as I have forward rotating shoulders, which I had no idea until I watched the class. I don’t recall anything on sleeves, but I would take a look at the classes they do offer as they are pretty great. Did you consider doing an FBA to make up for sizing down in the bust?
    I love the Sewaholic patterns, but I have to admit out of laziness I have not tried many because I am also 3 sizes, but this shirt really makes me want to try this pattern.

    1. Hi Kat! I really love this shirt too, but unfortunately is too uncomfortable to wear so I think my sister will receive a present very soon. Lucky her!
      I took the Crafty class Sew the perfect fit by Lynda Maynard and it is very good. She shows a way to make more room at the underarm which I’ll probably use to see if the sleeve fit improves, a sort of built
      in gusset. She also shows how to create more room for the bust, but it looks slightly different from a regular FBA, I’ll give that a try too. The course is great even if you’re supposed to have someone helping you with the fitting. I use photos instead ;)
      I think the lines of this shirt are great and I really hope I can sort the fittting issues out. Once I’ve done that, I’ll make one for every day of the week!

  5. What a shame because your shirt is fab! I think you should try a different pattern next time. I’ve give up on sewaholic because they are just the wrong shape for me. I’m just about to try mcCalls 6649 because it comes in 3 cup sizes!

  6. Carly, shame you’re not happy with this shirt ‘cos the pattern, colour and your attention to detail are fab. Can’t help as I don’t sew anymore except I did make a dress once and used the muslin first and it fitted perfectly. I know it seems like more work but if you get a result your happier with it may be worth trying.

    1. Thanks Janice! I thought I would have had less fitting problems with this shirt, that’s why I went ahead and cut straight away into my lovely fabric. But I’m on my first muslin now and hopefully is gonna be ok. I’m definitely a muslin converted ;)

  7. Muslin, muslin, muslin! Particularly on a style you haven’t tried before! I didn’t snag this pattern because I’m not a big collared shirt person. I did grab the Oakridge, though. As soon as I get a chance to run a muslin on it, I’ll be set. I know I’m going to need some alterations and I really want to do a collarless version of it with a little row of ruffles at the neckline.

    1. I’m working on my second muslin now and I hope I finally got it right. I’m doing my best to properly fit the bodice and once I’m done with it, I’ll check the sleeves. Lots of work but after all, I really hope to have a nice TNT shirt pattern!

  8. Hi Carly. Thanks for sharing your fitting woes. I wish I could help but like you I am quite new to this sewing gig. I also fell for the Granville hoom line and sinker. But I am not pear shape. So far I have made 2 muslins with loads of adjustments. My pattern pieces barely resemble the original ones! I am cutting out my third muslin and am keeping my fingers crossed. It is a such a lovely oattern and I think once you nail it it will be worth all the time👊.

    1. Hi Hila! I’m so happy I’m not the only one having so many fitting issues with the Granville. I’ve done loads of adjustments too and I’m going to cut another muslin tonight to check if I got everything right or not. If not, I might look for another pattern. I like solving problems, but I’m surprised by how much work this shirt requires. Good luck with yours! :)

  9. Dear Carly,
    You made a beautiful shirt already . Sorry about all the fitting issues. I know, cause i had them too.

    I bought this pattern specifically because i like a nice fitting button down shirt.
    I had already sown the Archer seven times and was getting tired of the loose fit. So, even though this is a pattern for pear shaped women, i did buy it. A make straight out of the envelope (or email, actually) was too broad in the hips, too small in the bust, too tight in the upper arms, too long sleeves, too long hem. The only good part was the collar! That fit straight away and beautifully.
    I cut a size 8 1/4 in the shoulder, shortened the hem by 3 cm, shortened the sleeve by 2cm, added 1cm to the upper sleeve part, made an FBA and graded down to a size 4 in the hips. (my hips are the same widh as my shoulders, so i usually cut a size 6-8 on patterns and those fit okay most of the time).

    The fit now is pretty acceptable, although i probably still have a bit to take out in the sway back area and think of some way to make the back shoulder fit better I have made it 4 times already and I’m actually happy i did buy the pattern.

    What i mean to say is: don’t give up! You will have to make some (or a lot of) adjustments, but the end result is a very nice shirt.

    1. Hi Annie! I’m so happy I’m not the only one being all over the place with measurements and adjustments! You’re right, the Granville is a really nice fitted shirt, but I reckon at the moment I don’t have enough fitting knowledge to make it right. I know where the problems lie and why, by I’m not able to fix them. I’ve tried my best, but without success unfortunately. I really wish I had someone helping me with the fitting process and walk me thought the whole process, but alas I don’t know anyone around here. Anyhow, I’m now working on a Butterick pattern which fit a bit better out of the envelope and I’m slowly getting there. there are still it’s of adjustment to be made but it looks way better than the Granville I made. I promise, when I get my fitting issues sorted, I’ll go back to the Granville, I just need more knowledge and probably confidence too ;)

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