As far as we're concerned, no run-down of Spring Tops could possibly leave out one of our favourites, Grainline Studio. Jen Beeman's well drafted patterns and cleverly clean design always give non-fussy and (we think!) eminently wearable clothes. How's that for some introductory fan-girling?!
And, you guessed it, the Willow tank is no exception. It's been doing the rounds since its release during the past American Summer, and now our weather is finally warming up, it's our turn to give it a go. This is a great pattern for first time garment makers. There's a few useful (but not scary) techniques in here, like sewing darts and understitching a bias-facing, but the directions & diagrams are clear and there's a handy glossary at the back. For experienced sewists, it's a nicely drafted, quick sew. Not to mention a good wardrobe basic to thrash.
I made my Willow up in this light/mid-weight cotton denim. Because it's a non directional fabric (and I didn't follow the suggested layout plus I was happy to piece my bindings ), I was able to scrape it out of around a metre of this 150cm wide fabric. Very pleasing! This is one of those garments that seems to work well in a variety of different fabric weights - so far in the shop we've seen Willows in linen, double gauze, and lightweight canvas like this one:
Yep, Willow is a dress as well! This gorgeous version was made from a Nani Iro cotton linen (now sold out) by our lovely friend Amanda (who always hand stitches her hems - honestly, it's a thing of beauty!)
View from the back, making it appear that I have neither arms or legs. Moving on...
The arm and neck binding method Jen uses is to attach the short ends of the bias tape first before attaching the facing to the garment. Because of that ace drafting we keep going on about, it goes in neatly every time. Also, check out that deep hem with no frustrating excess of fabric/annoying bubbling. It's the little things, right?
We find that Grainline patterns seem to be drafted for a reasonably straight up and down kind of body shape. Whilst I'm definitley not lacking in the curve department, I find that they fit me fairly well with no adjustments required so this one was made this in my usual Grainline size (10).
I think I'll be getting a fair bit of wear out of this. This plain denim version has already been in service with a cardigan and beads, but I reckon that this pattern might also be a handy go-to for fabric with a large pattern repeat or one of those fabrics that you love but don't quite know how to use. I'm looking forward to making the dress version next.
Willow is available on our website here.
- Fiona & Jane xx