Completed – Grainline Moss Skirt in Red Ikat

comments 3
completed / Grainline / Sewing / skirt

Hello everyone.  Sorry I’ve been so absent, there’s just a lot going on in my life right now.  In easily condensed bullet point form:

  • I have a wedding to plan for by May next year.  Thankfully I decided to be posh and hired a planner because…
  • I need to make my wedding dress and two bridesmaids dresses by May next year because I decided this is a good idea.
  • I am moving in December.
  • My contract is ending so I am looking for a new job.

In addition to all that my last 3 sewing projects have all been un-salvageable failures, so it’s really knocked around my blogging motivation.

Anyway I went fabric shopping to cheer up and picked up some lovely medium weight Ikat cotton fabric.  Next thing you know, I had a Moss Skirt in my hands (and a blue Wiksten tank, but that’s for another post).

Red Ikat Grainline Moss Skirt - Front Pattern: Grainline Studio’s Moss Mini Skirt

Size: 2, though my measurements were actually for a size 4.

Fabric: 100% cotton medium weight with a silk/cotton blend underlining.

Red Ikat Grainline Moss Skirt - Back

I made a few modifications to the pattern.  The main one is probably completely omitting the front center seam because I wanted a quick sew and didn’t want to match patterns.  I’m happy with this decision because the mismatched back does annoy me.  I added the zipper to the back center seam so I can get my skirt on.

I also found fit to be a bit of an issue (and still is).  I made a muslin and I found size 4 to gape a lot at the waist, and it fit ok throughout the hips.  I went down a size and it’s now a tad tight around the hips but not awful, but still gaping a bit at the waist especially when I sit down.


I also wanted to make a lining for the dress but didn’t want to add more complexity to the pattern since I already had three failed projects under my belt.  I think a fourth one would’ve turned me off sewing forever!  So I decided to underline for comfort, and I think it’s my newest favourite technique ever.

Overall I’m happy with my Moss, and I think Grainline is now by far my favourite pattern company ever.


Grainline Alder Pattern Hack tutorial – removing the side darts and adding gathers

comment 1
Grainline / patternhacks / Sewing / sewing tutorials / Tutorials

I’ve got a pattern hack tutorial!  Now , I just want to say if you’re one of my readers who has never sewn before, I hope this tutorial doesn’t turn you off trying.  I just went back, looked at it, and realised it looks super daunting.  I hope this tutorial actually inspires you to take it up, because look at how much shit you can do when you make your own clothes!

I’ve already talked about how much I love the Grainline Alder pattern here but if there’s one thing I didn’t like, it’s the darts.  I felt like this dress/shirt was very drapey and floaty in silhouette and the darts just didn’t jive with that.  Since I made the original, I found the darts were way too low for me but it didn’t affect fit at all.  In fact, I often forget they’re there, which made me wonder why they needed to be there in the first place.

The other reason I did that is because I have this favourite sleeveless button up which features lightly gathered shoulder seams.  I wear that shirt almost every day to work and it was getting old.  I knew I had to copy it soon before the original fell apart and I had nothing to wear (NOTHING) and be naked all day, so voila Grainline Alder pattern hack here.

Grainline Alder - dartless version

The general premise of this pattern hack is we’re going to move the side dart up to the shoulder seam and instead of sewing in the darts, we’re just going to gather the front bodice shoulder seam instead.  Now I am not a professionally trained patternmaker or seamstress or anything like that, so I don’t know if what I did was technically sound per se.  I did what felt right, made a muslin and liked the look of it.  With that said, all feedback and tips appreciated so please let me know if you have any feedback.

Step 1: Gather your Supplies

You’ll need a ruler, pen, scissors, some tape/glue, and an assembled Alder bodice front and yoke. The yoke is in pages 28 and 29 of the pdf, the bodice front for version A is on pages 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21.  Stick all your pattern pieces together and cut out a bodice front and yoke.

Step 2: Extending the Yoke

We’ll be making the shoulder bit of the yoke longer so it extends to the front more.  As you can see in the photo, this version of the Alder doesn’t have a shoulder seam that sits on the shoulder.


Firstly, draw a line about 4.5cm perpendicular to the shoulder seam on your front bodice, then chop this off.  This chopped off bit will be attached as an extension to your yoke piece.  You’ll need to add a seam allowance to the bodice shoulder seam and the yoke shoulder seam later.  I wrote them down on the pattern pieces so I don’t forget to add them later.

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Now you want to attach your extension that you chopped off the front bodice to your yoke piece.  You want to overlap these two pieces when you attach them by the seam allowance (1.5cm).

So, mark a 1.5cm seam allowance in on the extension piece at the shoulder seam and tape the yoke to the extension piece, matching at the neckline.  It’s important that the neckline is flush between the two pieces.

Now add the 1.5 seam allowance to your new shoulder seam the extension piece.  I pasted an extra piece of orange paper underneath.

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Now just cut off the scraggly bits off the sides into a nice curve, and you’ve got yourself your new yoke piece.

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 Step 3: Moving the Dart on the Bodice

Draw a line right through the middle of the dart to the dart point.  Then, draw a line from the middle of the shoulder seam to the dart point. Cut right through the middle of the dart to just before the dart point.  Then, cut through the line from the middle of the shoulder seam to just before the dart point.

Close the dart as if you were sewing it and tape/glue this down closed. Now move the new dart at the shoulder open so the pattern lays flat.  Essentially you’re just moving the dart somewhere else, this time from the side seam to the shoulder seam.

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Tape a piece of paper under your new dart.  Draw a line from the neck point to the shoulder – this line will be your new shoulder seam.  This seam needs a seam allowance though, so draw one in.

The last picture shows the completed modified front bodice pattern.  This modified bodice will have a front bodice seam longer than the yoke seam.  

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Sewing instructions:

Easy peasy.  When attaching the front bodice to the yoke, gently gather the front shoulder seam to fit the yoke shoulder seam and sew together.  

Some notes:

I know the picture I used at the top shows a short Alder shirt version.  All I did was chop off the bottom of the Alder.  Make sure you smooth your hem out when you do this.

This modification of the Alder doesn’t change how much room the Alder allowed for bust in the first place, rather all I did was move the room around.  Therefore, if you originally had issues with the Alder being too roomy or too small for your bust, it’s probably best to do that adjustment first before proceeding with this pattern hack.

Closing notes:

This is my first sewing tutorial so any feedback/thoughts are super duper appreciated!  Let me know how I went, I had great fun making this and I hope to make more in the future.


Stuff I didn’t think I could do

comments 6
Gardening / Knitting


I’m knitting!

Knitting is a big deal for me because I’ve been trying to do it since I was 16 and I keep failing at it.  I fail to finish projects and I fail to understand written patterns.  I even wondered if I could honestly just be some rare breed of human on earth who could not knit.

Well, turns out, about ten years later, I figured out I can knit.  It just takes a bit of patience (not my strong point) and a bit of forgiveness for small mistakes (NOT MY STRONG POINT).


I’m determined to finish this throw (using very fine 4ply yarn which means I have ten million rows to go) ASAP because a) I don’t want yet another unfinished knitting project and b) I’m slightly over the colour combo I chose for it which is another reason why stuff ends up unfinished.  That’s why I’ve been pretty much absent from blogging.  I don’t have time to blog!  I work, then knit.



I’m also gardening, which is another thing I didn’t think I could do.  Although, I’m still not sure I can because I am pretty sure I’ve accidentally killed my basil.  And my nasturtiums aren’t exactly thriving (websites say they literally thrive on neglect!!).  This is a work in progress…









A very summery Alder Shirtdress

comments 23
dresses / Grainline / Sewing / Sewing Patterns

Finally, completed sewing posts!

Alder Shirtdress - Blue Floral King-Size_Homer_Promo_Picture_2

Who wore it better?

I had been lusting over Grainline Studio’s Alder Shirtdress pattern since Jen was posting sneaky peaks on instagram ages ago.  I love a good sleeveless shirtdress and this dress was right up my alley.  I’ve already made two Alders now, and I’ve cut out two more for sewing.  So I hope you’re all ready for a lot of Alders on this blog.

Pattern: Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studio.

Version: view A.

Size: 0

Fabric: 100% rayon with really lovely drape.  It’s a print that I never would’ve thought I’d like, but here we are and I love it. Even if it does look uncannily like Homer’s muumuu.

Thoughts: I think ideally I need to tweak the armholes a bit because they reeeeaaally accentuate my armpit flab.  And I really struggle with massive shoulders and I feel like this dress just really makes them somehow look even larger.  Also I do not understand the darts at all because they hit about 3cm below my bust so they’re sort of adding volume to nowhere.  I don’t know whether I just have extremely perky bust or if I completely marked them and sewn them wrong, but it seems weird.

With that said, this dress is so comfortable that none of the negatives bother me at all.  I don’t know, when I wear it I feel like it’s very flattering and I feel fantastic and that’s really the most important thing right?  I really only noticed the massive shoulder problem from looking at these photos.

Miscellaneous construction details: This was a quick sew for me.  I decided to overlock and turn under the armholes instead of using bias tape or any other binding.  I’ve noticed that owning an overlocker has really ruined me for tedious tasks.  I spent all my time hating life while pinning bias binding on my other Alder that I decided to just overlock and turn under.  I am happy with the finish, but I feel like I’m not sewing ‘right’.

I also chopped off about 2cm off the length of the dress.  I feel like the bottom shots make it look kind of naaaughty like I’m seriously just wearing a long shirt, but honestly my legs are actually as short as heck and the dress hits comfortably  just above knee.


Overall I really do love this pattern to death.  When summer comes (it is actually dead in the middle of Winter where I live) I will just be living in Alders.

Still cleaning like crazy

comments 6
Beauty / Life / makeup

Ugh work has been so super, super stressful lately.  Home life isn’t much better with family drama, so it’s a rock and a hard place for me these days.
Because of this, I haven’t been sewing much.  When I sew, I think a lot, and it makes me dwell on a lot of unhappiness and it often just makes me feel worse.  So I’ve just been cleaning a lot again because I find cleaning cathartic.
I’m selling a lot of what I’ve cleaned out at the Suitcase Rummage for moving out.

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I’ve changed a lot in the past few years.  I used to gravitate towards cutesy Japanese things but now I realised I like them, but I don’t want to deck my whole house out in it.  I’m more into a minimalist style these days.  Same with clothes and fabric prints – I’m just not into anything outside of basic shapes and colours.  I’ve hoarded some of this gorgeous stuff for the past few years and I’ve decided it just needs to go to a more loving home and put into better use than what I’ve been doing.


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In some happier pictures from my Instagram:

1.  I considered selling my Snoopy tees but I just couldn’t do it.  I love Snoopy too much!  I sleep in a lot of tank tops, so I’ve been refashioning these tees into sleeping tanks.

2. Sunday is now Macaron Sunday where my partner and I try three new flavours of macaron from Passion Tree.

3. I bought these lip/cheek tints a few weeks ago and I’m loving them.  The two Skinfood Tomato Jelly Tints leave a fresh flush on my cheeks but the two shades (berry and cherry) are very similar when on, so there’s no point owning both.  They also don’t do great as lip tints.  The Aritaum Lollipop Tint is fantastic as both, and not as purple as the packaging suggests.  Holika Holika’s Aqua Petit Jelly CC tintbar is a great tinted lipbalm type product.

4. This mini dollhouse made me swoon.  I want my house to look like this.