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Grainline Studio’s Hemlock Tee – A Pattern Review

Grainline Hemlock Tee Pattern

I’m back! At 2 months postpartum and with a 2.5 year old running around, my free time to sew is limited. I’ve been itching to make myself something now that I am not enormously pregnant, so I took the opportunity to try out the free Hemlock Tee pattern from Grainline Studio. I used the Scout Tee pattern for an upcycle last year, and really liked it.

The last time I sewed something for myself and went outside like a yo-yo to take selfies was this leopard Union St. Tee, so I’m a little out of practice. A second child has changed my body physically, which I expected, but also changed my style. I think after my son was born I was still in the habit of buying clothes for how I used to dress, working in a casual office. After two years of staying at home, I have a pretty good handle on what I actually wear and enjoy. I am trying to avoid buying “fast fashion” (more details in this post) and am slowly trying to sew a handmade wardrobe I truly love.

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Free Women's Shirt Sewing Pattern

I made three very different versions, so I’ll give you the general run-down here and then the specifics underneath each set of photos. I’m about 15 pounds heavier than my “normal” still; we will see how these fit once I’ve lost that weight. Or maybe I won’t. But then I’d have to start sewing new jeans, and that sounds like a lot of work.  I decided to start including my measurements with pattern reviews, after someone emailed me to ask! Also, I’m wearing these jeggings* instead of “real pants” (gasp!), and my new favorite summer shoes*.

Pattern: Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studios (pattern tutorial here)

My Measurements at time of making: 38″ -30″ – 38″

Price & Sizing: Free! One size.

What I might do if I make it again:

Jen has a tutorial for her Linden pattern showing a split hem – I think it would look great on the Hemlock too! I think color blocking, a pocket, a shirt-tail hem, a high/low hem, would all look fabulous. I’ll definitely be making more, but sticking to drapier fabrics.

Overall thoughts on the pattern:

It’s great! Super easy to put together and obviously lots of room for creativity. I love the neckline’s shape and curve.

Other versions I found online:

Striped Grainline Hemlock Front

First up is my grey,white, and pink striped version.

Pink and white Grainline Hemlock

Baggy PDF Sewing Pattern

Fabric I used: The stripes are a thin knit from Hancock Fabric’s flat folds. I’m not sure if it was printed off-grain or what, but it drove me mad trying to get the pieces cut out evenly. The pink is organic raspberry interlock knit from Fabric.com — be sure to set up an Ebates account* if you order any, and get cash back! I also used the pink for my Julia cardigan.

Changes I made: I shortened the sleeves, shortened the hem out of necessity, and added sleeve and hem bands.

Overall thoughts on the garment: This is super comfortable and feels like a sweatshirt without being bulky. This was the first version I made, and I’m not sure I’d make another with the baggier sleeves. I love the look on others, and will wear this because it’s comfy, but think it swallows me up a little.

Colorful Grainline Hemlock

Next up is a bold striped version without sleeves! As inspired by the lace one linked above at Cut Cut Sew.

Sleeveless Grainline Hemlock

Striped Grainline Hemlock

Fabric I used: This is a thin cotton/poly knit from Jo-Ann Fabrics, that I bought as a remnant. Black bands are scraps from an old Greenstyle Creations top.

Changes I made: I skipped the sleeves, added bands to the hem and arms. I had intended on making this a high/low hem and cut the perfect one…. backwards. I was so frustrated. So the bodice is shorter as a result.

Overall thoughts on the garment: I wish it were longer! I think the striped and length aren’t super flattering. Unsure if I’ll keep this. I used clear elastic to reinforce the shoulder seams, which makes the arm bands pop out a little where it meets so I’d tweak that if I made another sleeveless version.

Drapey PDF Sewing Pattern

Last but not least, my favorite Hemlock.

Green Grainline Hemlock Shirt

Green grainline hemlock

Fabric I used: A drape-y jungle green jersey bought from Hancock’s flat folds.

Changes I made: I think I cut an inch or so off the bottom to even it out, I was using an awkward remnant again and had to work with what I had. I added arm bands and slimmed the sleeves up significantly.

Overall thoughts on the garment: I love this shirt! I was about to give it up when I realized I didn’t have enough fabric left for the arm bands or neckline to have the stretch going correctly. I decided to try and make it work, it turned out fine, and I’m so happy! I definitely prefer the slimmer sleeve on me.


Thought I’d leave without any silly faces? Fear not, if you made it to the end of this post you’re treated to a squinty pirate with a leaf on her head and the look on my face when I realized the neighbors were outside, watching me take my own picture dozens of times in a row. Awkward!


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This Post Has 13 Comments
  1. I actually love the black striped one on you! I think the shape with the shorter sleeves is very flattering, maybe because you are petite and it seems to make you look taller. I do wonder what the neighbors are thinking when I’m running back and forth to the camera taking pictures of myself…fortunately our new house has more land and a more private yard 🙂

    1. I like the shape, I think it’s maybe the fabric that’s throwing me off! We will see if I reach for it in the next few weeks. I’m so jealous of your new space – our backyards all slope so even with a tall privacy fence, everyone can see me smiling for the camera 😛

  2. Your tops all turned out so cute! That looks like a great pattern! I like them all but the striped version is so cute for summer and the green is a great fit too! Thanks so much for linking up to Sew Our Stash!

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