It is finished! My deliciously Spooky Granville shirt is finally ready to be worn. Unfortunately, the weather is getting warmer by the day, so it will be a few months before I can debut my creation. All the better; this is a perfect garment for the colder Fall months—and an even more perfect one for Halloween!
If you’ve ever considered sewing a button-up shirt, the Granville is a great pattern. It is well-drafted, the instructions are well-written, and the Sewaholic sewalong covers the most complicated steps. It may look complicated, even scary, but with patience and a little help from Internet friends (me, me, me!), you can sew your own Granville.
Once the plackets were done and the sleeves sewn, it was time to sew the cuffs. The cuffs came together easily, but I had to spend some time figuring out where to place the buttonholes and buttons. I found this amazing YouTube tutorial explaining in detail how to determine where to place the buttonhole and its corresponding button. There is a lot of Math that includes fractions; I am glad I paid attention to this lesson in class.
Buttonholes and Buttons
I followed the instructions from Sewaholic’s sewalong and used my Simflex to mark where to place the buttons. I love this tool! It allows me to mark where my buttonholes will go without tons of Math. It saves a ton of time!
To get the placement of the collar button, I used another video in the same super useful YouTube tutorial that I used for the cuff buttonhole. But even with the video, I made a booboo: Instead of sewing this buttonhole horizontally, I did it vertically. The buttonhole was too close to the edge of the collar, and my machine was having trouble with the chunky edge. When I moved the garment and tried a vertical buttonhole… success! Breaking rules can pay off sometimes.
The best pearl of knowledge I got from the sewalong is how to prevent The Gaping—you know, that opening that provides an unobstructed view of your bra. The trick? Forget about the pattern placement of the buttons. Wear your shirt, and place a pin exactly where the gaping would happen. Mark this spot. This is where one of your buttons will go. Then, mark all the other buttonholes based on this one (this is where the Simflex makes life much easier).
I used Fray Check to prevent the buttonholes from fraying. I use a small amount on the right and wrong sides of the buttonhole opening. I don’t have a buttonhole cutter, so I use a little trick: I place a pin perpendicular to the top and bottom of the buttonhole. Then, very gently, I use a seam ripper to cut the buttonhole open. The pin prevents the seam ripper from cutting too far.
Once the buttonholes were finished, I marked the placement of the buttons. I hand sewed all the buttons and tried the shirt on again. After unpicking and resewing a couple of buttons to make sure that the side with the buttonholes matched the side with the buttons perfectly at the hem, it was time to finish the shirt. I hand sewed the hem because at certain points, the hem had extra fullness that I had to fidget with.
The Granville Shirt
After embarking on this shirt-making challenge and making it to the other side, I am beyond happy with the result. I cannot wait for the weather to get cooler so that I can parade my spooky Granville around.