Another Grainline Farrow

I have decided that for Winter 2017-2018 I really want to dress like an overgrown three-year-old in A-line dresses and bright tights, so I’ve made two more Grainline Farrows to help me with this goal. Here’s one of them:
Stripe Grainline Farrow

The fabric is from a German Etsy seller, who seems to have lots and lots of print sweatshirting. It’s medium-weight and lovely and soft on the inside but I’m already starting to notice a little bit of pilling after very little wear; luckily the pattern is so busy that it hides it so far.

Here’s a closer view of the fabric, plus a bit of the neckline finishing:

Grainline Farrow neck finish

I decided to do a contrast piping (just regular Wright’s) on the front pocket seam to make that seamline pop:
Grainline Farrow center seam and piping

Matching this seam is WAY WAY easier if you use Wonder tape and baste UP from just a few inches below the seam. Then you can check to make sure it’s matched before going back and sewing the entire front seam for real.

I didn’t do a great job drafting the hem facing (it’s wobbly in parts) but with double-needle stitching and a non-ravelly fabric all I had to do was trim the excess, and everything turned out fine:
Grainline Farrow hem facing

Here’s the back center seam, where you can probably already see a tiny bit of pilling:

Grainline Farrow back seam

I cut size 10 in the previous versions I made and in fabrics without stretch they were a little tight in the armscye; for this version I cut a 12 at the shoulder, narrowing to a 10 just above the pocketline seam, and that gave me the added ease I was hoping for. (This fabric has virtually no stretch, so it ended up being a good test of the sizing.)

I also made the Grainline Farrow in a sleeveless version in black sweatshirt knit to wear as a jumper, but I’m not very happy with that version—the fabric I found is slightly too shiny and polyestery, and the first time I wore it, with a gray t-shirt and gray leggings, I felt like a postulant in an order of Courrèges-inspired space nuns. (Which is not a BAD feeling, to be sure, but wasn’t really the aesthetic I was going for.)

Once you have the rhythm down this dress is ridiculously easy and quick to sew, even given the piping, bias neckline trim, swapping out for the double needle, etc. etc. The hardest part is finding suitably thick, stable knits! (Recommendations welcome!) If you’re less impatient than I am I highly recommend either shopping in person, or ordering swatches before committing; I have a couple of pieces in my stash right now that I ordered too rashly and will now need to find alternative patterns for … I am going to make a few in woven fabrics (probably flannel) but the knit ones are so comfortable!

4 thoughts on “Another Grainline Farrow

  1. I purchased a rather similar looking dress at lane bryant a few weeks ago to wear to a wedding. Now If I could just learn to sew with a sewing machine, I could make more!


  2. My Facebook memories the other day when I said “Can I just make a wardrobe of nothing but fleece A-line dresses? It’s so easy to work with. My friends said ‘no’. Now I know they weren’t my real friends.

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  3. Hi Erin, I just watched your TED talk. (2007? I was surprised TED went back that far!) I loved it. I feel vindicated in using my made-up words ‘rantrum’ and ‘telempathy.’ As you spoke I wondered where you got your fun dress. So I found your wiki which led me here! You inspired me to get busy with my sewing project languishing on the cutting board. It is a pencil skirt. I think pockets are definitely in order. (Did you see the March Threads magazine? There is an article on out-of-sight pockets.)

    I just announced to my dog, Sailor Moon, ‘Mama’s playing hooky today!’


  4. It IS frustrating to make something with a fabric you love, only to have it pill. Another good reason to buy fabric in person or get a swatch – I’ve read that rubbing the fabric together can indicate if it will pill…not sure how accurate that is, but worth trying.


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