Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Morning Granville Shirt

This post feels like it has been a long time in the making. Do you remember when you helped me decide that Sewaholic's Granville shirt would form the basis of my sew before work experiment? Here it is, after 22 days of stitching, in all its glory.

Granville shirt

You were right: a shirt is the perfect project to stitch when you have limited time as it breaks down into small enough steps. I often completed a couple of steps during the morning. I posted my progress on Instagram each morning and if you missed it you can catch up by visiting my feed. I have to come clean though and say I didn't complete this solely in the mornings before work. As I had very limited silk to work with, I checked I could get the pieces out of the fabric and also reduced the sleeve length in the evenings. Messing up these steps would have made the project impossible! Like many others, I had to reduce the length of the sleeves. I think I took off 7cm. I also pretreated the fabric and unpicked a few seams in daylight to reduce the possibility of snagging the fabric. Still, all of the actual stitching took place between 6.15-7am.

Granville

This is shirt is made from handmade Thai silk which Debbie sent me in the Spring Swap last year. I fell in love with it as soon as I opened it. The purple is amazingly vibrant and the floral print was one that I could actually see myself wearing regularly. It sat in my stash for so long because it measured 97cm wide and 2.3m long. The inside cuffs, inside collar stand and lower collar are from some random black fabric I was given as part of a fabric haul. I think it is a polyester. I wouldn't use it for an actual item but it works for the shirt as it complements the drape and weight of the silk. 

Granville

Given the hour of sewing, stabilising the silk was vital. After seeing how gelatine had changed the hand of one of Hannah's silk blouses, I decided to give it a go. It worked beautifully. The silk became crisp, lost its slippery nature and was like a cotton lawn. This made stitching flat felled seams so much easier. It also slowed the fraying. The gelatine came out very easily at the end and hasn't damaged the silk in any way - it has regained its drape, soft hand and it feels amazing to wear. If you want to know more about using gelatine, check out Hannah's post. I will definitely be using this technique again. 

Granviille upclose

This is the first time I have made a shirt and I found the process to be rather satisfying. There is a lot of precision sewing but I got through that by going at a slower pace. My stitching isn't perfect in many places, especially the sleeve plackets and the collar stand but I doubt anyone will notice. I found the sleeve plackets the trickiest part. Getting a clean point while turning under a small amount of fabric is fiddly. I chose to baste the point in place before stitching the placket to the sleeve. It worked reasonably well and didn't get in the way of adding the placket. We all know that pressing can take a make to the next level and this has never been more true than when making a shirt. I found it fascinating to see the difference. Here's a goofy picture of me but one that shows off the shirt well. 

Granville

While this make is no where near perfect, I do love it. It is a great feeling to have a shirt that fits well, is comfortable all day and is worry free - there's no gaping here! While this shirt was made to go with black trousers or a skirt for the office, I think it works well with jeans. I'm seriously tempted to make several more of these for the office and more casually. Will there be another sewing before work challenge, I hear you ask? Not just yet. This isn't because I don't have the energy or the project but because I am about to start a mindfulness course which will take up the spare time I have in the mornings. 

26 comments:

  1. It's such a good idea - well done you! The fabric is lovely - I really like the sheen. I am using time before work to try and keep up to date with Instgram and blogposts bit it's proving to be quite a battle during MMM15,

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    1. Thank you! You're using the time well and I bet there is so much inspiration in your feeds at hte moment.

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  2. You did a great job and proved that the morning 45 minutes can be very productive whatever you choose to do with it.

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    1. Thank you. It's amazing how far you can get with a little planning and focus for short periods of time.

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  3. I really loved watching your progress on IG over the last few weeks. Your shirt came out beautifully!

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    1. Thanks, Gail. It was worth taking all that time.

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  4. I love this, the colour and pattern are gorgeous!
    I'm hoping this is one of those patterns that will be a TNT as I have similar plans, some patterned ones and some solid wardrobe building blocks. Just need to actually sort out a sewing space I guess!
    And it looks great with your jeans, it'd be a shame to only wear it to work!

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    1. Thanks Vicki Kate. I think this pattern has all the hallmarks of a TNT so hopefully it will work for you. I'm planning another version for home - perhaps also in silk!

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  5. There is nothing I do not love about this blouse Claire - gorgeous colour, material, pattern and most of all it looks absolutely stunning on you. Thanks to your blogging, instagramming and fb posts you have inspired me get out my sewing machine and make myself a dress and I'm over the moon with it. You are a star Claire!

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    1. Ah, that's such a sweet thing to say! I loved your dress. Hopefully we'll see another from you?

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  6. This looks great, and the colour is gorgeous! Beautiful shirt.

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  7. It's so lovely claire - what beautiful fabric! Well done on using your time before work so wisely!

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    1. Thanks, Jo. It's amazing what early morning can achieve.

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  10. Oh my! You look so *stunning*! The colour definitely suits you, I think you should wear this deep shade of purple more often. It is impressive to see the difference gelatine makes; if I ever decide to make something with silk, I will surely give that technique a try.

    Also, what a great idea to show that it is possible to make time for sewing on a daily basis. I am not a morning person, but I may even be tempted to try and sneak one or two steps before going to work, especially now that the mornings are much lighter. Mind you, I do confess that I sometimes knit a couple of rows after breakfast, as it is easy to pick up and then put away, but maybe I could expand my morning craftiness into sewing =)

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    1. Thank you! I'll be on the look out for more fabric in this shade of purple that's for sure. Give the morning crafting a go - you might just find it works for you!

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  11. Wow-sers!!! This is amazing! I've been following your progress on instagram, and it's lovely to see the finished shirt. I wish I could be coherent enough to sew at that time of the morning. It's all I can do to put the cereal and milk in a bowl in the right order!

    The fabric is absolutely beautiful, and the collar looks great. I'm glad the gelatin trick worked out, I've had success with it too. Will you be doing any more early morning sewing?

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    1. Thanks, Lynne! Early morning sewing will hopefully make a return but it won't be for a few months unfortunately. I loved having that winning feeling before even leaving for the office.

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  12. Congratulations on winning your challenge :) your shirts is so beautiful and I can't believe that you managed to sew it in the mornings ;) I would have messed up a lot but yours looks so perfect! I've tried the gelatin bath yesterday with my wedding dress silk. The silk came out a crumpled mess but I managed to iron out the creases again.

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    1. Thanks! I had to unpick a fair amount though. You really need to be awake to edge stitch! Pleased to hear the creases came out of your silk. I hope the gelatine makes it easier to work with.

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  14. It looks brilliant! Congrats on the sneaky morning sewing. Seems to have worked a treat!

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