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:
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:
I decided to do a contrast piping (just regular Wright’s) on the front pocket seam to make that seamline pop:
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:
Here’s the back center seam, where you can probably already see a tiny bit of pilling:
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!