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!

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The perfect airplane dress

I’ve been traveling a lot lately (including a few long intercontinental flights) and I wanted a soft knit dress that would let me sleep comfortably in the seat and let me feel like myself walking through the terminal. (Yes, I know, I could just wear yoga pants on the plane like 99.99% of humanity but I don’t really feel like *myself* in yoga pants, unless I am actually Doing Yoga.)

I even considered—gasp!—buying RTW, but I could not find a knit dress that was longer than knee length, heavier than t-shirt weight, or HAD POCKETS. And we all know that pockets are NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Enter the Grainline Farrow.

Grainline Farrow in sweatshirt knit

So I made this up in a cotton/poly sweatshirt fabric (slight stretch and fleece-backed!) and it is really, really comfortable. I did some altering—I cut a 10, but used the size 0 neckline cutting line for more of a scoop. I cut the pocket backing out of a lighter-weight fabric, instead of cutting the skirt front and pocket backing as one. Since the whole point of pocket seam lines is to put piping in them, I really wanted a seam there and not a fold. (Also, if you cut the pocket backing separately, you can get away with less yardage of your main fabric.)

I deepened the pockets (no surprise), lengthened the skirt slightly, and shortened the sleeves. I faced the hem instead of turning it up, but did not face the sleeves or the neckline (I used knit bias binding instead). I even used a double-needle for the bias binding, which I’ve never done before (in 30+ years of sewing). Verdict: it was easy, I’d do it again.

The pockets are a bit droopy here (I was carrying a LOT in them) so next time I think I will add a little elastic to that seam to help keep them from gapping. Also, you can’t see in these pics, but it has a little bit of shaped high-low hem that dips lower in back. (Some people hate high-low hems, so I figured I’d point that out.)

The above picture was actually taken on day 2 of wearing this dress—it was so comfortable on the flight over that I washed it in the hotel room so I could wear it again on the way back!

This dress was SUPER simple to make, so I decided to make two—the version below is also in fleece-backed sweatshirt knit. This is a heavier knit so it was actually a bit warm! This also had less stretch than the other version, so I ended up taking the sleeves out and cheating on the seam allowances so that I could move my arms. (If I make this again in a less-stretchy fabric I will cut a 12 or even a 14 in the sleeves.)

Grainline Farrow with collar

So as not to have TWO nearly-identical gray fleece dresses, I decided to add a collar to version 2; it’s a single layer collar finished with bias binding.

I have already planned two more of these (including one in Liberty Linford fleece). It’s just a really comfortable, well-drafted pattern that goes together quickly and has excellent pockets—what more could you want?