I’m not new to a memade wardrobe, but I gave up sewing clothes in my  20’s. Making the Grainline Studio Hemlock tee has me started me back on the adventure of making my own wardrobe.

I started sewing doll clothes by hand when I was 5. My mom helped me sew my first quilt at 9. I was made my own clothes in high school, including my prom dress. I worked part time at a fabric store during university. I sewed the 2 piece suit I wore for my first day of my accounting career.

I started buying clothes in my 20’s due to an increased interest in fashion trends, projects not turning out as planned and not prioritizing sewing time. My sewing projects for the past decade have been mainly costumes and quilts.

Last month at the local thrift store searching for wool sweaters to felt, I discovered large quantities of uncut fabrics in the bedding section, including 1.5 meters of black and white stripe knit for $5 and 3 meters of wool pinstripe suiting for $10.

It was a life changing moment.

I’ve started practicing slow fashion, buying garments for quality and longevity from producers that pay fair wages and have lower carbon footprints. The selection of local retailers is limited, and after a poor online buying experience, I was ready to try sewing clothing again.

The universe agreed.

Scanning through blogs I found Jenny Stitched’s review of the Grainline Studio Hemlock tee in an almost identical striped knit. It was exactly the shirt I had envisioned when I found the fabric! And even better, the pattern is free when you sign up for the newsletter.

The pattern was easy to follow, it took me about 2 hours to make and fit perfectly! More importantly, it matched the vision that was in my head!


Such an empowering feeling to make your own clothes! I’m committed to making more.

This was my first experience with a pattern by an independent designer and between the fit, the extra tips in the pattern and the quality of the illustrations, I’m eager to try more.  I learned the lightning stitch (number 4) on my machine is for knits!


A perfect topstitch for a shirt to not look homemade.

Look at that stripe matching! Yes, feeling pretty proud of myself. There is a hack for making a split hem which I think I will try on my next version.


I’ve had 2 friends try it on and can say it does fit different shapes well for a one-sized pattern. My one friend is well endowed and would add a couple of inches in length and an inch of width to make it loose fitting, but it did fit in a comfortable manner.

Shortly after finishing this shirt, I saw a post for Blue Bird Fabrics #SewMyStyle, a project to sew 12 garments in 12 months to raise awareness about the slow fashion movement and about encouraging women to take up sewing. I’ve signed up to keep the momentum to build a wardrobe made by me and to try more patterns by independent designers.