An Ode to Stripy Tops (or the Grainline Appreciation Post)

A while ago I realised that I had a wardrobe full of colourful handmade dresses, but nowhere near enough casual tops. I knew that I wanted to wear more handmade while off-duty too, so I’ve been on the look-out for good quality cotton jersey that would indulge my love of stripes. I’d had my eye on the Grainline Studio Linden sweatshirt since it was launched last year, but it had fallen down my to-sew list. As a warm-up I decided to sew up the free Hemlock Tee first so I could work out the sizing.  The Hemlock is free to Grainline subscribers, and I know it’s been hugely popular. The most recent contender for Hemlock I most want to steal was this beauty by Birgitte of Indigo Orchid. Birgitte did warn me that once I’d made one Hemlock I’d be addicted. She was right!

So here she is: the latest addition to my usual off-duty wardrobe of skinnies, flats and stripy tops. My other handmade favourite stripes have been my Tilly Coco and Bluegingerdoll Bonnie. A new stripy top was long-overdue. I love the dropped shoulders and casual but modern fit. I think it looks just a little bit more chic than a pyjama top, but that’s how it feels to wear. I shortened the bodice by several inches.

I am so happy with it that I can’t bear to take it off. The only improvement I would make next time would be to reduce the neckline a little. I had to cut a longer piece of binding for this top, resulting in quite a wide neck (although a cracking binding, if I do say so myself!). Next time I will cut two back bodices to create a boat neck as this one is on the verge of being too wide.

So after a happy experience with the Hemlock, I launched right into the Linden. I especially loved the casual raglan sleeves on this pattern, and used a grey striped French terry to enhance the raglan style. Again, it came out the right side of slouchy.

 Check out my raglan stripe-matching! I constructed both tops on the overlocker, using my new walking foot to topstitch the neckline bands down.  I wondered about the fit as the Grainline promotional photos always look quite baggy, but I am over the moon with both, just as I was with my Grainline Archer shirt. Grainline patterns seem to be perfectly proportioned to be modern and classic.  I had thought a sweatshirt was unnecessary in this climate, but the tyrants of air conditioning keep me permanently chilly indoors. Just like the Hemlock, I can quite bear to take this off to wash it!

I’m back on the balcony for this post. The quest for better blog photos in confined spaces continues. My photographer-husband has a new strategy: muttering insults at me and my modelling technique under his breath never fails to make me laugh!

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