The Grainline Morris Blazer


I’ve been meaning to blog this for a while, I made it over a month ago but got caught up in Me Made May and other projects. It’s the new pattern from Grainline, a slouchy cropped jacket made for fabric with a slight stretch. One of my new year’s resolutions was not to jump on every shiny new pattern that gets released, I’ve been so good. I think I lasted three days before I succumbed, it was Hila’s at Saturday Night stitch which finally pushed me over the edge. I had problems downloading the pattern, purely down to my computer playing silly buggers. I got in touch with Jen and she got back to me and sorted it out in less than half an hour, so impressed with her customer service.


I thought I’d start with a wearable muslin so bought a couple of metres of Ponte from my usual Ponte dealer. It was described as ‘Airforce Blue’ but I think it’s verging on ‘School uniform blue’! The PDF fitted together perfectly and was very quick to cut out. I made my usual Grainline adjustments; cutting a size 12, shortening the body by two inches and the sleeves by three inches.  I used a metre and a half of fabric.

The instructions were excellent, the only problem I had was figuring out which way up the back facing went in. It was one of those moments where the more I think about things the more complex they get. I spent a good fifteen minutes, inverting it, holding it up to the bottom of the jacket before I finally committed, luckily it was right (and glaringly obvious!) I used my overlocker to sew the side and back seams and finish off the armholes, the rest was sewn on my normal machine.  I cut two pieces of interfacing, one for the lapels and also one for the front part of the jacket.  A couple of people had had problems with the jacket bagging out at the bottom front.  Interfacing both parts has given both layers the same stability and seems to have helped.



I really enjoyed making this, it was one of those projects where I could just happily poddle along. I think it makes a big difference when things are drafted well and everything fits together perfectly. It’s definitely an ideal do in a day project.




I’m going to make a few changes to my next one, the fit is perfect around the shoulders but I think I need to grade up a size over the bust and waist. I’ll keep the original length, I was a little apprehensive about it being too long but I think taking those two inches out has left it a little too cropped. I’m stumbling a bit with the fabric for the next one though, ideally I’d like to try a stretch cotton sateen but the only fabric I have in my stash is sky blue with orange flowers! I have in my head the fabric I’m looking for, black or navy with delicate oriental flowers. I haven’t found it yet but I’ll keep searching.   It’s highly likely that I’ll get distracted though and end up with giant multi coloured cabbage roses!

Plaid Grainline Archer Shirt

I have been sewing far too much icing recently and not enough cake. I love dresses and skirts but as I work on a horticultural project they are not very practical for day to day.  Looking for inspiration for the summer stashbust I came across this woven plaid. I’d bought 2 metres with a view to making an Archer shirt but then found out that the pattern needed 2 ½ metres and so it was put on the back burner. I later bought 3 metres of another plaid to make my first Archer, figuring I would need extra fabric to match the checks. When it came to cutting out however, I found I could squeeze it out of 2 metres and so my original Archer plan would work after all.

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My first Archer

I had been meaning to sew my other Archer for a while but it kept getting bumped down the list in favour of Summer sewing. It feels a bit weird sewing a thick shirt in summer but I’m thinking ahead to Autumn which unfortunately is just around the corner. We’re also off to Anglesey next week which can be a little breezy so the Archer will be the perfect cover-up.

I was a little apprehensive when I made my first Archer, although I had done cuffs, collars and plackets before I had never done a collar stand. I Looked at one of OH’s shirts and just couldn’t figure out how it was all attached. Encouraged by all the wonderful Archer’s on the blogesphere I decided to put my faith in Grainline designer Jen’s  sewalong and take it a step at a time.

I cut a size 14 and took a good 4 inches of the length of the arms (I have stumpy arms) and an inch and a half off the body.   It took a while to cut out because I wanted to make sure the checks matched.   The tutorial was a lifesaver, I don’t think I would have managed it with the instructions alone. There are a lot of little steps along the way and I found it a great project to keep chipping away at. I was amazed at how well the pattern was drafted and how everything fitted together so well. There is a fantastic ‘burrito’ way of attaching the yoke that is just genius! My only stumbling block did turn out to be the collar stand. There is a video on the tutorial and I must have watched it twenty times before I managed a vague grasp of how to do it. When it came to sewing my second Archer I followed Andrea’s of Four Square Walls brilliant tutorial of an alternative way to attach a collar stand which was brilliant, I’d highly recommend it if you need to attach a collar.  The whole make was a lot easier the second time around and all came together without a hitch. I finished it with some simple brass buttons which area good size and weight for such a substantial shirt. I am particularly pleased with the pattern matching and I’ve even managed to get the yoke centred this time around!

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(other half wanted to know why I’m always looking away in photos, it’s because a, that’s my best side and b, in all the photo’s when I’m looking at him you can tell I’m replying to his smart Alec comments!)

I have been living in this shirt since I finished it, my son has also tried to pinch it even though it’s a fair bit too big for him. I might make him one for his birthday in the same size so he can grow into it and when he grows out of it I’ll be able to wear it! I have got another Archer in the pipeline as I’ve got a couple of metres of fine white cotton with tiny daisies printed on it.  It will probably be easier to sew as there will be no checks to match but I probably won’t get around to sewing it until next year as it will definitely be a summer shirt, now it’s all about sewing for the coming season!

Are you still sewing for summer or have you got plans for your Autumn wardrobe?

Macintosh Moss Mini

I had been admiring the Grainline Moss Mini for a while now.  It is the same style as a black moleskin skirt I had in my twenties and wore to death.  I’ve also got a needlecord Fat Face skirt which is a very similar design and which has also been worn to death.  I feel really comfortable in this style of skirt and they suit my shortness so why didn’t I jump on the Moss earlier?  Because I have an irrational fear of the Fly Zipper!  I’ve looked at fly zips in jeans and other RTW trousers and just couldn’t get my head around how it all fits together!  However, after successfully sewing my first Archer Shirt, quickly followed by a couple of scout tee’s and as I was so impressed with these patterns I decided to take the plunge and make a Moss.

I have had this fabric in my stash for nearly a year now and had originally planned to make a Colette Meringue with it, I thought the swirly roses would look good with the scalloped hem.  I think I was never that enthusiastic about it which is why it was still in the stash.  I did have the same fabric in bright reds and pinks which I made up into a shift dress.  It’s more pronounced in the red but I think the swirly flowers look a little like Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s roses (hence the Mackintosh Moss!). Don’t know what it’s made of, it’s got a bit of stretch to it, it’s white on the reverse and the pattern has a one way nap so it feels a bit like velvet.


Cutting out was super speedy, I weighted the pattern pieces down and drew around them in felt tip pen!


I really hate transferring markings so if I can get away with drawing all over the fabric I will, I just use a washable felt tip.  (I’ve even used gel glitter pens on dark fabric)


I then pinned the double layered fabric together and cut it out all in one go!


I also labelled each pattern piece, nothing worse than spending ages trying to figure out what the weird shaped pattern piece is and where it goes!

I cut a size 14, had a quick check that the waistband would actually go around my waist.  The construction was quite straightforward and everything fitted together really well. Then I came to the fly zipper!  There was quite a bit of head scratching but then I found Jen’s front fly zipper tutorial  I still didn’t really understand how it worked but with blind faith I  just followed the instructions step by step and in the end I had my first fly zipper!  I ended up taking an extra 2 cm out of the back yoke and skimmed a further 1 cm off each side seam.  Although the skirt is supposed to sit low below your natural waist I like to keep things a little more contained! Taking these extra bit’s out has made it a bit more fitted around the waist (and less likely to have any muffin top overhang!)

I lined the pockets with some leftover fabric from my picnic blanket skirt, the pockets on this are amazing as the go all the way across to the centre seam, loads of room for all your necessities! A shot of the inside’s:


The finished skirt (crumpled as I had been at my machine all morning!):

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I’m really pleased with how this worked out and would seriously recommend any of Jen’s patterns, they all go together so well. I think this will prove to be a well worn make, I wore it today with bare legs (so brave) but it will also look OK with some black opaque tights so I can carry on wearing it through Autumn and Winter!

I have now also overcome my fly zipper fear!  Now I’ve just got to work on my full bust adjustment (tried it with Rooibos – Disaster!) Is it just me or does anyone else have an irrational sewing fear?