I knew I had a weekend on the horizon with no major plans, and that to me always equals a sewing weekend, and I thought that it would be a good opportunity to get my teeth stuck into a slightly more involved sewing project so I snapped up the pattern and got planning!
For the fabric, I chose a white Swiss dot cotton lawn from Fabric Godmother. After all, what could be more classic than a crisp white shirt? Plus because it's a Swiss dot, it's plain and simple but with an added touch of subtle prettiness. The fabric is really soft and feels great to wear, and was a joy to work with. As you can probably tell from the fact that you can sort of see my skirt through the shirt in these photos, it is pretty sheer but wearing a nude-coloured camisole underneath keeps things decent.
When I got down to sewing, almost everything went really smoothly. While you do need to be accurate with any kind of sewing, I think shirtmaking requires an even greater level of precision if you want a nice end result, but other than that there's nothing that's scarily complicated about it. As you'd expect with a Sewaholic pattern, the instructions were clear and easy to follow. As it's an intermediate pattern, they do assume a certain level of knowledge and don't hold your hand and walk you through everything in baby steps, but they have just the right level of detail.
The only bit I found a bit fiddly was the sleeve placket, and that wasn't because the instructions weren't clear but just because you have to press quite small bits of material in a quite exact manner (which I found a little tricky to do without burning my fingers) - but I got there in the end! I'd never sewn a tower placket before so I'm pleased that they turned out neatly.
Another new technique I tried out for the first time here was flat felled seams, which I used for all of the seams on my Granville. I don't know why, but I'd been expecting there to be something really complicated about flat felled seams, but there really isn't! Yes, it does take a bit of extra time but I think it's definitely worth it for the lovely inside finish that you get (I tried to get a photo, but it's really hard to see with the white fabric so you'll just have to take my word for it!). I'm particularly glad that the insides of this shirt look nice, because I think it could make a great cover-up in warm weather worn open over a summer dress with the sleeves rolled up. I'll definitely be testing that theory later in the year anyway. For now, it'll mainly be worn more like this...
The slimmer fit of the Granville means that it's nice for layering without adding too much bulk, which is good because one of my main reasons for making a shirt like this was to be able to wear it under little knitted tank tops (another reason why I don't mind the fabric being slightly sheer). Thankfully for me it looks just like I hoped it would, so mission accomplished!
In terms of size, I made a straight size 14 and it fits well straight out of the packet (part of the reason why I love Sewaholic patterns - they always seem to fit me nicely!). The only thing I might change next time would be the sleeve length. They're pretty much fine as they are, especially when I move my arms, but if I'm just standing with my arms down they do seem a touch long. I suspect this was probably more of an issue for taking blog photos than it will be in daily life so it's all good! I thought it was worth mentioning though because I'm about 5 ft 9, and I don't think I have disproportionately short arms, so some people may need to shorten them.
All in all, I'm really happy with how my Granville turned out, in terms of how it looks but even more so in terms of the finish. I'm so glad I took the time to do the flat felled seams - I was cursing myself for making that decision in the middle of the project when things seemed to be taking ages, but it was definitely worth the extra time and I'd do the same for any possible future Granvilles (although I also want to try out Sewaholic's other new pattern, the Oakridge, so that will probably take precedence over more Granvilles at the moment). If you're thinking of sewing a shirt, I'd definitely recommend the Granville - it's a lovely pattern with great instructions. Give it a go!