These are the last of the fancy photos from our trip, and probably my favorite batch too! Next week it’s back to Professor Boyfriend’s phone camera and the occasional abandoned power plant.
Luckily, a denim shirt is at home anywhere. This is my accidental take on the outfits Samantha from Bewitched wears to do housework, but with less witchcraft and Endora but luckily also less Darrin. I digress.
This pattern is the Sewaholic Granville. I think Sewaholic patterns are aging well despite no new designs for several years. I’ve got half an eye on the Cypress cape, too. I sewed a size 10 Granville in my pre-spreadsheet era, which was technically perfect at the time; it still fits, but it isn’t my preferred fit, so I retraced the pattern in a size 12. I also modified the body of the pattern for a more relaxed shape.
The yoke, sleeves, pockets, and collar are unaffected. On the front, I temporarily held the dart closed, then traced the side seam from the Grainline Archer (a shirt I want to love but that doesn’t seem to love me back).
On the back, I merged the three princess-seamed panels into one, but without removing the seam allowances. Where the pattern pieces “kissed” I marked the center of my new pleats, each 5/8th of an inch deep. After folding the pleats (the direction is dealer’s choice; I overlapped towards center back) the width of the back panel will again match the width of the yoke.
I also traced the Archer side seams here. I didn’t make any changes to the hem curve.
As you can see the pleated back adds considerable ease and makes the shirt really comfortable and casual. There’s no reason you can’t wear business denim if you want to, but this suits me and my needs much better!
Everything is French seamed – even the armscyes, which isn’t exactly my idea of fun but it’s better than flat-felling in the round – and it’s tidy, and gladdens the heart of woman. This actually inspired me to try French seaming the sleeves on Professor Boyfriend’s shirts, too, and I like the result! Not only is there no potentially wobbly topstitching, but the seam, with its four layers of fabric, is also supportive. It helps the sleeve hang nicely with a little extra ‘bounce’ from the shoulder.
I should have chosen one topstitching distance and stuck with it, but instead the collar and pocket flaps are stitched at ¼” and everything else is more like 1/8th or 1/16th. That’s a pretty fiddly complaint though.
When I first read reviews of this pattern, a lot of people mentioned the sleeves were too long. That wasn’t my experience of the size 10. The size 12, however…
Oh dear. The good news is that I like my sleeves cuffed, and all this extra length means I can get a neat smooth cuff below my elbow, which is my favorite length anyway!
You can see how crisply it folds – the fabric also wrinkles some, but this was worn all day, straight out of my suitcase, before these pictures were taken, and I don’t look too disreputable.
The picture above shows the color pretty accurately, a cornflower blue that makes it easy to wear double-denim. And if you’ll excuse my preening, I did a dang fine job ordering thread online to match! This is from Mood, and their suggested thread would have been too light. Victory dance!
By the way, this is hemp fabric, not cotton. It’s a strong, soft, sustainable fiber – what a dreamboat! It was easy to press and mark, but it definitely felt ‘harsher’ than cotton denim while I was cutting and sewing it. It’s not for dull scissors. The fabric feels totally soft to the touch, though, so harsh isn’t exactly the right word – fibrous maybe? Tough? It is smoother than I expected. I don’t know if I’m going to get that beautiful denim fading on the seams. I hope I do! I still want a toothier denim shirt, so this one might get a sibling.
The buttons, as many of my buttons have been lately, were fished from a Tub-O-Buttons at work! Also described as ‘button hash’ (delicious). The kids sort out the fun, sparkly, colorful, interesting buttons, and I swoop in and use the leftovers. So far no student has been like ‘THAT THREE-EIGHTHS-OF-AN-INCH OFF-WHITE TWO-HOLE BUTTON WAS MY BIRTHRIGHT’ so I don’t think I’m taking too much advantage. 😀
Final thoughts: I’ve wanted a denim shirt for a while and this does NOT disappoint. The color goes well with indigo jeans and my recent surplus of fox-colored pants. I love the sized-up and modified Granville pattern. This is the kind of deeply practical basic I like best! I think I’m going to wear this shirt for years, especially since hemp is supposed to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.
Oh, and what’s in the mug? English Breakfast tea at the beginning, and nothing by the end! I do my own stunts (when the stunt is drinking tea).
Pattern: Sewaholic Granville
Pattern cost: NA
Size: 12, with modifications
Supplies: 2 yards of Light Blue 6 oz. Hemp Denim, $27.98, Mood; thread, $3.91, Mood; buttons from stash (kinda ^^)
Total time: 9.25 hours
Total cost: $31.89