MADE: Grainline Willow Tank with a Border

Posted on May 23, 2016 by Jennifer Swartzwelder | 3 comments

I made another Willow! The new tank pattern from Grainline Studio has a straight hemline. I thought that would be pretty great for a border print and Alison Glass's Handcrafted fabrics are a great weight for a summer top. I wear a lot of black, grays, and muted colors, but I do kind of have a thing for mustard-y yellows mixed with pinks, so this print was a different, yet easy choice for me.

Grainline Studio Willow Tank in border print fabric - Spool Fabric Shop | Pittsburgh

So what to do about the hem? I quite like the wide hem as designed in the pattern, but the print on this particular fabric continued so close to the selvedge and the selvedge itself is so lightweight, that I decided to just go ahead and eliminate the hem altogether. On a top that widens toward the hem, the "straight" hemline will actually have a bit of a curve to it, so if you decide to go this route, just make sure that your side seams don't come down at too steep of an angle, creating too much of a point on your sides. So easy!

Grainline Studio Willow Tank in border print fabric - Spool Fabric Shop | Pittsburgh

I'm really loving the shape and fit of the Willow! After wearing this top, I do plan to go back and adjust the front of my armscye as I found I need a little more room for movement there - a fit issue I've had with other patterns as well, so no big surprise there.

Pattern: Willow Tank Dress from Grainline Studio

Fabric: Handcrafted 2 - Petal in Gold

Size: 10

Alterations:  Eliminated the hem to maximize the fabric border

If you're feeling inspired by the border print, here are some other border print fabrics to consider. Just remember to check to see if the fabric has the border on one or both sides and plan to adjust your cutting layout - in my case, I did not need to buy any more fabric than was indicated on the pattern.

Posted in Grainline Studio, Made, Pattern Review, Tops, Womens' Clothes

MADE: Willow Tank Dress from Grainline Studio

Posted on May 20, 2016 by Jennifer Swartzwelder | 3 comments

I've done the Wiksten Tank (and dress), the Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank (pattern now retired), and now comes the Willow Tank Dress from Grainline Studio. I'm game!

Grainline Studio Willow Tank Dress - Spool Fabric Shop | Pittsburgh

But honest first thoughts upon seeing the new pattern release included some concern about about that seam/pleat near my hips. Is that really a good idea for my more pear-shaped figure? And what about the side seam pockets that I like to add to all things? And then I got my hands on the actual pattern and my skepticism eased up. Here's why...

Grainline Willow Tank Dress Black Gingham and Linen - Spool Fabric Shop | Pittsburgh

This two piece, pleated design has some great benefits! Obviously, you can do some color blocking or mix patterns and solids like I did with this version. And the straight hemline makes it a really fantastic choice for a border print (very soon, friends). In terms of pattern pieces, how much does it rock that I don't have to trace out the same piece twice in order to make both the tank and the dress? So much.

Grainline Studio Willow Tank Dress - Spool Fabric Shop | Pittsburgh

I settled on this this 1" black and white gingham for the top and black linen for the skirt. No adjustments to the bodice and just a bit of width added to the skirt for more ease. I wanted to add a little length overall and after finding that the existing length of the bodice would hit above my widest point (a good thing), I chose to add my length to the skirt in order to keep it that way.

Grainline Studio Willow Tank Dress - Spool Fabric Shop | Pittsburgh

So how do I like it? You guys...this dress is like a new kind of secret pajamas! I feel like I put together a kicky outfit with a top and skirt, but it's really this comfy, swing-y shift dress that is bound to keep me cool this summer. The weightier linen works so well here. I also think I'm going to love the higher neckline - no bra-peeking issues like I tend to have with the lower neckline tanks. Now, if the weather would just warm up in time for me to actually bare my legs for an entire day...

Pattern: Willow Tank Dress from Grainline Studio

Fabric: Carolina 1" Gingham in black and black linen

Size: 10

Alterations:  Added 1 1/2" to skirt length


Posted in Dresses, Grainline Studio, Made, Womens' Clothes

MADE: 3/4 Sleeve Colette Wren Dress

Posted on May 16, 2016 by Michelle Lancet | 2 comments

Yes, another black dress. I might be going through a phase and I'm not sorry one bit!  As Jen mentioned when she shared her Wren, I am finally able to to share my own after a long stint in the Unfinished Sewing Pile.

Colette Wren Black Jersey 3/4 length sleeves - Spool Pittsburgh

Have you ever accidentally taken fabric intended for one project to use on a different project and then have the dreaded moment of realization when you finally get back to the original project? That's the story of my Wren Dress. Let's just say the fabric intended for my long sleeves accidentally made its way into my son's ninja Halloween costume. When did I realize this? When we were sold out of the fabric. Of course! 

This dress sat unfinished for months until the fabric was back in stock and I now regret every moment it wasn't worn! I am now completely in love with this dress. I find it is becoming a dress I reach for regularly. While I love my Cashmerette Appleton wrap dress, the Wren feels a little more comfortable for my daily wear. It's easier for me to pull off a more casual wear of Wren and I like that. My goal is to continue making more wardrobe pieces for myself and it's very telling when a pattern is a winning one when you have to stop yourself from wearing the same dress multiple times in a week. Wren is an easy to wear garment for me, but certainly has plenty of potential to be the most comfortable fancy dress as well! 

Colette Wren Black Jersey 3/4 length sleeves - Spool Pittsburgh

I was nervous about a few things before making Wren.  I feared the gathered skirt option would be too full. It isn't. I worried about using the clear elastic for the gathering of the skirt. In fact, I attempted to use another method first and then reverted back to the recommended method because it really does work best for the large amount of gathering in the skirt portion!  I feared my full bust wouldn't fit into the bodice properly or I'd have a lot of gaping. It all worked out! Oh and the lack of pockets? I didn't even miss them!

Pattern: Colette Wren Dress Version 2 with 3/4 length sleeve add-on

Fabric: Organic Cotton/Bamboo Jersey (available here in black, heather gray, and natural)

Size: 2XL

Alterations:  I used a few inches less of the clear elastic than recommended to make a more snug fit around the waist

Posted in Colette Patterns, Dresses, Knits, Made, Pattern Review, Womens' Clothes

MADE: Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Posted on March 11, 2016 by Michelle Lancet | 4 comments

cashmerette appleton dress | spool pittsburghI was looking for a Go-To Dress. The finished garment is one that I could not love more.

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Posted in Dresses, Made, Pattern Review, Womens' Clothes

MADE: Colette Wren Dress

Posted on February 19, 2016 by Jennifer Swartzwelder | 1 comment

Colette Wren - Spool Pittsburgh

Back in the Fall, I made Version 2 of the Colette Wren dress pattern with short sleeves. Wren is a faux-wrap dress and a rather quick sew. The only real change I made was to eliminate the back seam in the gathered skirt. The fabric is lovely and I am really pleased with how the sleeves fit and how nicely the back lays.

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Posted in Colette Patterns, Dresses, Knits, Made, Pattern Review, Womens' Clothes

MADE: Pilvi Coat

Posted on January 04, 2016 by Jennifer Swartzwelder | 2 comments

Lotta Everyday Style Pilvi Coat - Spool Pittsburgh

I've long been a fan of Lotta's style - not just her fabric and surface design, but her seemingly effortless personal style. Naturally, I was excited to dig into this book - an apparel sewing book with patterns for key pieces to build a versatile wardrobe (and fun accessories as well). It's the type of book that you really should sit down with and look through from front to back to get the whole picture. (Stop by the shop to check out our copy if you haven't already - sale copies should be arriving later this month.)

My first project? The short version of the Pilvi Coat...

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Posted in Lotta Jansdotter, Made, Pattern Review, Womens' Clothes

UNWIND: Coiled Rope Baskets - December 10th

Posted on November 29, 2015 by Jennifer Swartzwelder | 0 comments

Join us for another UNWIND event! In December we're making coiled rope baskets. Super fun and addicting to make, each one is truly unique in size, shape, and color.


coiled rope basket UNWIND event at Spool Pittsburgh

We think these have great gift potential, but totally get it if you just want to make them to sprinkle all over your own house.

Coiled Rope Basket Workshop - Spool Pittsburgh

All materials are included and pre-registration is required. Read the full details and register for the Coiled Rope Basket UNWIND event to reserve your spot. Remember, UNWIND events are 21 and over and you are welcome to BYOB!


Posted in UNWIND

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