Moooaaar Shirts – Sewaholic Granville, a review

Dear readers,

I am showing you 3 shirts in a row. For the sake of diversity, I probably should have broken it up with something else  but it’s not like I’m posting every day (haha, posting everyday !!) so bear with me!

Granville Shirt-2

So yes, third shirt. I thought I was done with them, especially after sewing what I considered my TNT and then Sewaholic released the Granville shirt. Nice pockets + fitted lines + indie pattern company I meant to try = download the very day of the release. Let’s jump right in the review.

First, the PDF. Everything lined up well and I had the impression that efforts were made to spread each piece on a limited number of pages. Nice. I needed size 0 and since this pattern goes up to size 20 (which is awesome), I felt I was using a lot more paper that I would need for my size. I guess you can’t really have it all but maybe it could be an option to spread the size range from 0 to 12 and from 8 to 20 (so that people can still blend between sizes).

My second concern is regarding the V notches, they look too thick/messy on the PDF. The issue is actually more general. Sewaholic patterns are very close to the standards of the Big 4. It makes them an easy entry in the Indie pattern world if you come from a Big 4 sewing background but I haven’t sewn Big 4 in a while. 5/8″ seam allowances and V notches annoy me. A. LOT.

Granville Shirt-5I wanted to try the fit of the pattern out of the printer so I made only one substantial change. I measured my last shirt and shortened the sleeve pattern accordingly… BY 3 1/2 INCHES !! Now, I mentioned several times being aware of my short arms situation. But all the reviews of the Granville pattern I read so far mentioned shortening the sleeves as an alteration. Sewaholic: patterns for pear-shaped ladies with Gibbon arms? (Gibbons are cute though).

I did not use the instructions for the construction. I read them, they were standard and I think that the series of post written by Tasia provides great information if you are into the Coffin’s method. I’m not. If sewing was like being part of a sect, my shirtmaking guru would be Shimazaki. Therefore, I HAD to change ALL the seam allowances : a mixture of 1/4, 3/8 and occasionally 1/2. I could get into details but I don’t know how interesting it is for you, is it? I will say thought that IMO, sewing a collar + stand with 5/8″ makes no sense. Call me clumsy, but I don’t see how you can be precise (without a template, which is a good idea). 1/4″ forever!!

Lastly, the hem allowance is way too big: 3/4″ is hard to fold twice and a final hem of 3/8″looks too wide IMO. I went with the Grainline approach: 1/2 folded twice.

Granville Shirt-4

The construction was smooth and without major challenges. I read other reviews finding the instructions unclear for the sleeve placket but I followed them and I was fine. The amount of ease in the sleeve cap is limited and I managed to set them in flat and sew the side seam afterwards.

Now let’s talk about the final product: I like the shirt, I really do. The small collar is adorable and very modern. The pockets are perfect (size and placement). The shoulders are where they should. However, I probably won’t wear it much, which is a shame considering all the flat-felling and topstitching that went into it. Why? Because the arms are OMG so tight!!! See below for an illustration:

Granville Shirt-1

Yes, that tight. I feel like I’m about to incredible-hulk my shirt every time I brush my hair, put eyeliner or drive… I don’t believe that I have particularly muscular arms for my frame. I do work out but I wear (mostly RTW) shirts probably 6 day/week and this has never been an issue. As much as I would like to tell you that this is my new favorite shirt I can’t, it’s too restrictive. I’m not against some tight clothing but not for woven shirts… Rolling up the sleeves does help a little. Which is good because The Old Man LOVES the shirt.

You may recognize the fabric from my Lekala/Michael Kors dress, it’s the same lightweight denim that looks like linen. Interfacing and buttons are from stash.

Granville Shirt-3

Final verdict: I still like my shirt and I think with some tweaking I could have 2 TNT patterns. One unfitted from the Archer and this one if I want a closer fit. Next version would include : using the sleeves and armholes from size 2, shortening the body above the waist and reducing the flare at the hips. What do you think, would you recommend additional alterations?

21 thoughts on “Moooaaar Shirts – Sewaholic Granville, a review

  1. Rebecca February 11, 2015 / 2:54 am

    Great looking shirt! I just did my muslin and totally agree with you on the sleeves, they are way too long and narrow. I too have not run into this problem before.

    So, looking carefully at your pics, I wouldn’t touch the front length, but I would pin out a 1/2 to 1″ tuck in the back above your waist tapering to nothing at the side seams. It looks like there is just a bit too much fabric there. You also have a bit of gaping right below your bust, you may need more room there. All that being said, your shirt fits you way better than most people in their RTW shirts!

    • Sewing Tidbits February 11, 2015 / 2:58 am

      Thank you so much Rebecca for your input! I may run a muslin to see which way works the best for the back pooling. I’m relieved to hear you have the same assessment of the sleeves. It’s not just my arms!! For the front gaping, I want to see if more ease for motion in the sleeves help.

  2. Sarah - Fabric Tragic February 11, 2015 / 3:10 am

    Hey there, thanks for your review. I’ve just finished my own version and will be reviewing soon. I’m bigger than you, so did a size 8 shoulders/bust and 10 waist and hips. I too found the sleeves too long, but as I mostly wear sleeves rolled I’m not stressed in this version. I’m not a true pear so I’ll be toning down the hip flare too. I don’t find the sleeves tight (size 8 sleeves)….I obviously stuffed up my sleeve cuffs as I had too much sleeve for cuff so ended up making a little pleat near the placket. I’m not thrilled with my collar stand, used a different method to what I’ve done in the past. Would love to know what technique you use for collar stand attachment (sorry if you’ve mentioned this in a previous post). I think next version I’ll size up to a 10 all over, as I have no need for such a fitted shirt…. I’m really happy with it as a first go. I’m fascinated by why you think bigger seam allowances result in a higher margin of error…….

    • Sewing Tidbits February 11, 2015 / 3:29 am

      Hey Sarah, thanks for stopping by! I hope to see your version soon! Unfortunately I don’t have a magic way to do the collar. I tried several fancy tips and failed entirely so I’m back to a very ordinary way… But I would agree that this collar stand was tricky and a bit too narrow IMO. But I like the final collar so much that I’m tempted not to change it… On narrower SA and precision, I think they’re really key to precision when sewing curves such as the collar band. For the rest I refer you to my other Guru (http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/the-rules-on-seam-allowances/), I’m not a very faithful sect member…

      • Sarah - Fabric Tragic February 11, 2015 / 4:02 am

        Thanks for the reply, will trim down my next version and see where it leads me!

  3. Thimberlina February 11, 2015 / 4:30 am

    Your shirt looks fab, gutted for you about the sleeves…..all that effort!
    How about removing them and have a sleeveless version for summer?
    Good luck with take 2 😃

    • Sewing Tidbits February 12, 2015 / 3:03 am

      Thanks Ali! I thought about removing the sleeves but then I’m not really a sleeveless shirt person these days… Even though I live in summertime all year round!!

  4. petite josette February 11, 2015 / 4:29 pm

    I usually have to add at least a couple of inches to any sleeve I make, so this sounds quite interesting to me! (Yes I have Gibbon arms :P). This shirt looks really good on you, it’s a shame the sleeves are too tight. You can’t really tell when your arms are down, but there’s nothing worse than an uncomfotable garment… I also have a TnT shirt pattern but when I saw this one, I was intrigued…maybe I’ll give it a try some day. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sewing Tidbits February 12, 2015 / 3:06 am

      Thank you for stopping by Josette! I hope I did not offend anyone with the Gibbons arms… It’s funny how as seamstresses we spend all this time developing TNT patterns and then jump to the new release!
      PS: I love your faux-fur vest! And your styling is perfect!

  5. michelle February 11, 2015 / 4:56 pm

    I can see what you mean about the sleeves. It’s too bad, really, because the shirt looks to fit beautifully everywhere else. I wonder if it might be possible to bump the sleeve up a size without too much difficulty. Thanks for the break down! I love a pattern review that shows both sides of the coin. It’s incredibly helpful.

    • Sewing Tidbits February 12, 2015 / 3:07 am

      Hey Michelle! Bumping up one size should be fine as long as I do it too for the armhole (I think). Glad the review was helpful!

  6. Betsy February 11, 2015 / 5:55 pm

    I’m glad you posted this because I was wondering how this works out for petites. I’m looking to do some selfish sewing soon and this is at the top of my list!
    Blouses are tough- especially if you want a slim fit. Regardless of your cup size, a slim woven blouse without a bust dart limits range of motion and can make the sleeve appear tighter than it actually is. I will be adding the bust dart.
    I am totally with you on the seam allowances. I feel a little faint when I see 5/8″ around small curves and necklines.

    • Sewing Tidbits February 12, 2015 / 3:15 am

      Glad it was useful Betsy! I believe this pattern definitely needs “petiting” for sleeve length and body (between armhole and waist because the armhole is snug) which is probably where my pooling at the back comes from.
      You will be interested to know that this pattern DOES have a dart and still it is restrictive.
      I totally understand your faint about 5/8″ SA, it makes no sense…

      • Betsy February 12, 2015 / 6:11 pm

        Glad to know it has a dart (I thought someone said it was without, but I guess I was imagining things)! Ok, definitely fixing the bicep then🙂

  7. Sasha February 11, 2015 / 9:56 pm

    Love the look of this shirt … the fit seems perfect from the pictures – too bad the sleeves are not very confortable to wear. Very thorough review I enjoyed very much reading it you clearly have the skills/technical knowledge to adopt a more critical approach. About the sleeves: is it the too small bicep girth or the shape/orientation of the armhole or the back width? Why do you think the best fix for the sleeve problem yould be going up a size – I always thought higher armhole better movement ?-)
    I love the collar – I would buy this pattern just for the collar😉

    • Sewing Tidbits February 12, 2015 / 3:11 am

      Thank you Sasha! About the sleeves, very good point. I think it’s actually a combination of both. The back width and the biceps feel tight. You’re right I will add back ease to help with movement and still bump up one size for the sleeve to fit my apparently-impressive-biceps! I would totally buy patterns for collars too! And the more I see and wear this one, the more I like it!

  8. CGCouture February 12, 2015 / 1:28 am

    Well, your review helped me realize that I’m not buying this pattern–or at least not until I somehow acquire enough drafting skills to make my own sleeve block. I’m she-hulking out of even Big4 sleeves with all their ease, and one can only pivot/slide so much.

    I can see why the Old Man would like it though, it looks fantastic on you! Shame about those sleeves though…

    • Sewing Tidbits February 12, 2015 / 3:16 am

      OOOh she-hulking is the perfect verb I was looking for, thanks!! I’m happy the review was helpful!

  9. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) February 12, 2015 / 4:32 pm

    that color looks so pretty on you and I imagine it feels great to wear. Strange about the arms on that pattern – I think design was meant to be very slim fit but that is too much. Also I think the collar is a bit small and out of proportion on a button up shirt. Just my preference on style. If it were mine I would make it sleeveless and then wear all the time🙂

    • Sewing Tidbits February 13, 2015 / 11:48 pm

      Thank you Beth! For some reason I always feel that sleeveless shirts make me look even narrower in the upperbody than I already am. But maybe it’s time to change my mind!!

  10. runningcuzican February 13, 2015 / 11:36 pm

    I just made a muslin of this in a size 2 and oh my lord the sleeves are crazy crazy too tight. I have slim arms and never have a problem with too tight of sleeves. I had zero ease in my forearm and lowe rbicep with bending my elbow. It is too bad your’s is unwearable, it looks like really nice fabric and such a nice color.

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