Pattern Review Sewing Bee Round 1 & Sewaholic Granville

Hello all,

How are you doing? I am ok. Its been a little while since posting but I have been beavering away. First of all I entered the PR Sewing bee. Round 1 was a fitted blouse and well I  knew I had to make a Sewaholic Granville in paisley print cotton lawn. It did not take me long to make at all since my focus was on an outstanding finish and there was little by way of fancy details. I believe I just squeaked into Round 2 by the skin of my chin. The level and quality of makes was incredible and tbh I didn’t think I would get to Round 2. But somehow I did. Before I go on to talk about Round 2 here is my review :

Sewing Bee Round 1 – Fitted Blouse

Pattern or style used and how it fits the criteria:
I love the Sewaholic Granville shirt. I have made it before and spent a lot of time sorting out the fit but once I nailed it it was well worth all the time and frustration! So when I saw this competition I knew it had to be Granville for me. So Granville is a perfect criteria fit because..well…its awesome. Seriously though its designed for wovens. It has a button closure and a collar. The fantastic shaping is achieved by bust darts, a yoke and two princess seams at the back. The side seams also curve in towards the waist. This combo means it can really follow the body contours. It has set in sleeves.
And I made it using cotton lawn.
(I think I ticked all the boxes phew… step…)
Fabric Used-Material Content and Yardage:
The fabric is a deliciously gorgeous lush cotton lawn (100%) which I purchased at a local market.I bought 1.5m (sorry for the imperial guys I was raised on metric and have never been able to get my head round imperial). I saw the paisley print and it was love..sweet love at first sight. I can squeeze a Granville out of 1.4m by using a different layout to the suggested one. I have also traced out the pattern and reduced the seam allowances to 1/2″.
The fabric has good handle with a good amount of drape not too stiff and not too flowy either. But this babey can hold a crease like no other. It was such a pleasure sewing and ironing it.

Describe your closure:
The closure on the Granville is a simple button band of 1″ extension folded over an interfaced backing. The backing has a seam allowance to tuck under so as to encase raw edges. This is for both sides. I used lightweight interfacing because my fabric is so fine I didn’t want it to stiffen up too much. For the first time I used fray check on the button holes – it was a bit meh for me. It did make it easier to slice the buttonholes open though. Sewed regular buttonholes.

Describe the other components you used (e.g. buttons, collar, sleeve type, trim, pockets, contrast, etc):
For buttons I used some reclaimed buttons from an old Crew Clothing shirt of my hubby’s. I decided to sew them in with the navy so that there would be little contrast between the white buttons with the dark center. The shirt has a stand collar which was fun to sew up. The upper and under collar were interfaced using lightweight interfacing. I trimmed just under 1/8″ from the uninterfaced pieces to get the turn of cloth which produced a very neat collar I am incredibly ridiculously proud of. My collar points are as perfect as I can get them by using a technique I found on a shirt making blog.
I didn’t put pockets because I never use pockets in front of my boobies. Looking after 5 little people means I bend over A LOT and nothing stays in a shirt pocket.
For the cuffs I took a page out of my favourite RTW Uniqlo work shirt cuff and cut the corners to have a nice shape. I love it especially since it means no turning corner points.

Describe the fitting technique(s) you used to achieve shaping:
My fitting issues with the Granville were at the back. Its drafted for the pear shape body type. The front was fine and I didn’t need to do anything with the bust darts. There was a lot of pooling fabric at the back which I got rid of by pinning out a wedge along the center back. I pinned (actually hubby did cause I cant pin my own back Once I was happy with the back I had to do some maths to determine how much needed to be taken out at waist then dividing that equally among the 4 seams (2 side seams and 2 princess seams). Then it was a case of coming in 3/8″ at the waist and tapering to zero at underarm. Downward I reduced the flare of the shirt at the hem to have a more fitted snug the bum kind of look.

Indicate here that you included the photos required – Remember that the required 3 photos MUST be on a live model (although head may be omitted/obscured) and blog links are NOT allowed:
1. Front [Required]:yep!
2. Back [Required]: Roger that!
3. Inside detail [Required]: AB – so – Lu -Tely!
4. [Optional]: mmmm ok then
5. [Optional]:uh huh!
Describe what you like most about this blouse:
I love the way it goes with just about anything! it looks great tucked into a skirt for a more formal look or tucked with jeans for a casual weekend look. Its very comfortable. I can move my arms without restraint because of the yoke design feature. Its a versatile pattern.

Describe your biggest challenge in creating this blouse:
For this particular blouse the biggest challenge was sewing flat felled seams. I had not done completely flat felled seams before and I am very pleased with this outcome. I even did them on the armholes! This is a set in sleeve so it had all the gathering at the sleeve cap to contend with. I trimmed the sleeve side and flat felled over the sleeve ( hope that make sense). The tailors ham came in really handy here because of the curve on the armhole. I probably should have Googled a tutorial but I was in such a good groove making this that I didn’t and just went with the flow. It wasn’t all smooth sailing – I unpicked the first armhole twice before nailing it. I doubt that I will ever make a set in sleeve without flat felled seams again – they are so neat and professional looking. Worth all the hassle.

What other information would you like to share about this blouse and your process?

I thoroughly enjoyed making this shirt. My focus was on creating a shirt that was as neat on the inside as the outside. I feel like I achieved that and that makes me very happy ;_)

And some picturesGranville 4 Granville 5 Granville Shirt Details interior and exterior Granville Sewaholic Granville 1 Sewaholic Granville 2 Sewaholic Granville 3 Sewaholic Granville

For Round 2 In this round you will add surface embellishments to existing fabric to make a piece of fabric (or fabrics) something truly unique. You will then make a garment out of the fabric(s) that you embellished. Because the embellishment process may take additional time, participants will have TEN days for this round.

Mmmm yeah! I was like WTF!!! Anyho spent all day feeling nonplussed by the challenge because I couldn’t think of what to do aside from dyeing fabric which seems very boring…I am looking into embroidery now. I learnt how to do embroidery a long time ago when I was around 9yrs old at school. I happened to speak with my mum telling her about the challenge when she reminded that I used to be so good at embroidery that I got a 1st in show at the county show a couple of years running. Something I had relegated to the dustbins of my memory for some reason. So the short of it is : I am exploring embroidery and will see where that takes me. I may not feel very excited about this challenge but, by golly I will give it my best shot!

On to other mundane things I have had to deal with sewing wise: this happened yesterday and I was not impressed (that’s putting it mildly):
2015-08-29 21.31.40

I had been wearing it all day and this happened around 6pm in the evening. Luckily I was back home when it happened. Cant be bothered to reinstall an invisible zipper . It will either be a lapped zip or an exposed zip. Jury’s still out on that one. Have you had a wardrobe malfunction too? Has said malfunction been fixed? I really like this skirt and I really ought to fix it as soon as possible but….there are so many things to sew!!! Argh!!! Why did nobody tell me the life of a sewcialist would be so filled with mind boggling dilemmas!

Rant over. Thanks for listening 🙂

….and  for stopping by this little corner of the interwebs.




24 thoughts on “Pattern Review Sewing Bee Round 1 & Sewaholic Granville

  1. Wow, well done you for getting through to round two with your fantastic shirt. I don’t know about this Sewing Bee challenge but it looks like they expect pretty hardcore sewing and not much time to do it in! You’ve piqued my interest and I’m off to check it out now. Good luck with challenge two – rather you than me!


  2. As a fellow sewing bee contestant, I know how great you must feel to make it to Round 2. Yahoo! Congratulations!! I loved seeing your post today, since I share your feelings about round 2. When I got the email saying, you made it and here’s what next, I had a huge sinking feeling. Embellishment? They couldn’t have picked a topic more foreign to me. I thought, why did I sign up for this? But after a good night’s sleep, I’m feeling a little more positive (just slightly). Not sure what I’m going to do though. It make take me all ten days just to get inspired (LOL). It should be interesting seeing what everyone does though, don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats on getting to round 2! Judging by what going on on the discussion forum its going to be very interesting indeed. The things being mentioned on there I have never heard of..feel out of my comfort zone and league with this one. The problem is I want to make something I can actually wear regularly. I got my email today and hopefully a good nights sleeps will change my outlook. Good luck with inspiration hunting! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too! I haven’t heard of half of the things on the list of embellishments that are possible. I had to look most of the terms up on line 🙂 And I’m with you – – I don’t want to make something just for the sake of competition. I want to make something I’ll wear. I guess the good news is, I’ll learn something new! Good luck to you too!


  3. I haven’t heard about this Sewing Bee – well done! I’m not surprised at all that you got through – I LOVE this shirt!! It fits so perfectly.
    I love how you obscured your head in the first pic, haha!
    LOL you’re so lucky you were at home when that zip disaster happened!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on moving forward. How about some sashiko for the embellishment? On the zipper, I just put 3 into my latest dress. The first two broke just after finishing putting them in!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful shirt – your fitting is always so perfect! (And how do you manage to sew (so beautifully) and manage a home and a husband and FIVE little people.) Round 2 sounds like it should be very interesting! Looking forward to the reveal of your embellishments.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great shirt and well done Hila!. I am doing an embroidered blouse at the moment and enjoying it very much. Maybe a little denim skirt with some embroidery. And what a drag about your zip on the birds skirt. Was it a reputable brand? I use cheap ones and also dread this happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cant tell whether it was a cheap one I bought for 27p or an expensive one. Its the first time its happened though so am hoping its a one off.


  7. Your blouse looks great so you have earned your place in round 2. Good luck.
    I have always found concealed zippers to be very strong so I am surprised, and sorry, to see yours. You have to get that skirt wearable again because it is a fabulous print!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your Granville is great! Well done on getting through to round 2, which I’m not at all surprised about. I’ve had a couple of zips break like that and I did fix them in the end, definitely worth it if you really love the skirt!


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