Review: Sewaholic Granville

Pattern: Sewaholic's Granville
Fabric: 2 yards cotton lawn
Cost: $24

A few months back, I started on a hunt for a new button-front shirt pattern. This has been a huge hole in my wardrobe, and my current collection of ill-fitting shirts has left much to be desired when getting ready for work in the morning. I do have several button-front shirt patterns in my collection - vintage ones, frilly ones, boxy ones - but I wanted something classic with a good fit. As luck would have it, Sewaholic released their Granville at the perfect time, and I used a discount coupon at my local Stonemountain fabric store to scoop up the pattern.

The Granville pattern appealed to me for a few reasons. First off, while the Archer shirt is fun to sew and very popular, the Granville is a more traditional fitted shirt that's better suited for the office. I also like the back princess seams and clean front shaping, which give it just the right shape. And best of all, the Sewaholic patterns are sized for pear shapes, which is ideal for me.

This version is my wearable muslin, made from a sheer pinkish fabric that I decided I didn't quite love after I bought it. For my sizing, I am not quite a perfect Sewaholic pear shape, so I cut a size 4 in the bust, a size 8 in the waist, and a size 2 in the hips. That sizing may sound crazy, but it really only entails cutting a size 4, lessening the curve at the waist so that it is a bit wider, and then bringing it in a tad at the hips. I used my french curve to blend between the sizes.

While button-up shirts can have a lot of steps, I really loved sewing this pattern. It has great instructions with nice techniques, and there's even more information in the sew along if you do follow along. The pattern itself is filled with a lot of great details, like how the yoke attaches at the shoulders to give a nice clean finish. I also made a fairly successful sleeve placket, which has been challenging for me in the past.

Believe it or not, I also had a really fun time doing the collar and stand. This is the part I usually bungle when sewing up collared shirts because I don't have a good technique for matching up the collard stand with the button band. And an error like that is very obvious, as it's right there on the front of the shirt! The instructions for Granville, however, were different than the way I usually sew up the collar, and it gave me a much nicer finish. Of course I did of manage to sew the curve of the collar stand a bit wonky, but I'll chalk that up to it being the first time trying the technique, and I think I know where to be more careful next time.

As with most patterns, I did have a few parts I didn't quite agree with. For the curved hem, you're supposed to fold under 3/4", and then tuck the raw edge in toward the fold. I found this technique to create a more sloppy hem than simply folding the raw edge under twice. It is also very difficult to fold under a wide 3/4" when your hem is so curved, and so starting with a narrower curve would have been more successful.

The sleeves were also muuuch too long. Like, 2 1/2 inches too long. I'm not quite sure how this is the case, as I normally don't have much of an issue with sleeve length. I had already attached the sleeve placket when I discovered this issue, so I decided to just hem the sleeves on this one and that ended up being the perfect length. I often wear my shirts rolled up anyway so this wasn't too big of a deal, but for the next version I will be shortening the sleeves a lot.

The other cutting change that I made was to use cut-on button bands. This is similar to how the pattern instructs you to cut the left side, but you do it for both sides. I do this mostly out of laziness, and it doesn't really bother me to have it folded up this way. However, I did run into a bit of an issue figuring out how much to fold under - while there are notches, it wasn't quite clear exactly what should be folded to what. After some experimentation, I folded the button band under twice at 1 1/8" for the size 4.

To finish the seams I used French seams, and then followed the pattern recommendations to topstitch. I don't always love topstitching, but for this sheer top it helped keep everything in place.

The final fit is nice, but not perfect. The front fits great, with the darts sitting right where they should and no unsightly wrinkles. But the back is a bit tight across the shoulders, and the arms also feel a bit snug, too. There was also the issue of the sleeves being much too long. I went back to my pattern and made the following changes:
  • Add 1/4" to back princess seam to give more room across the back
  • Graded sleeve side seam up one size (to a 6)
  • Graded the hip down to size 0, so the final grading will be 4 at the bust, 8 at the waist and 0 at hip (so much for my pear shape!)
  • Shortened sleeve by 2 1/2 inches - I can't believe it was this long??
  • Shortened hem by 1" at center front grading to size 0 line at the side, and shortened by 2" at center back. This is more of a personal preference for length.
After looking at the pictures, as you do, I'm also thinking I need to adjust the back princess seams around the waist. It looks like there is a bit too much fabric in there. It's a tricky balance because I still want to have plenty of wearing ease, but the fabric bellows out just a bit too much there.

Overall, however, I think this shirt is on it's way to becoming a TNT. I have another, more favorite fabric waiting in the wings, so hopefully the fit adjustments will help. Too bad I waited to make these until I was ready to quit my job and go back to school...


  1. Looks nice! I really like the blush pink color. When I made this shirt earlier in the year I also had to fuss around with the shaping--made the side seams less dramatic of a curve, and removed much of what I added to the sides, from the back princess seams. It's really a fun shirt to make!

  2. This looks really great for your first version! I've made Archer many times, but this winter I'm giving Granville a go for a more fitted silhouette. I'll have to keep in mind the too long sleeves (especially because I wouldn't want to unpick the sleeve placket!!).

  3. Lovely shirt and the fit looks good. The sleeve issue has been mentioned by lots of bloggers!

  4. It looks really nice on you and you have a lovely figure, you have a waist, I'm very rectangular! I have the pattern too but am afraid to make it. Have not made a button up shirt before and am a little scared. My time sewing is very limited and I like fast and easy garments. Will definitely have to try it once the weather cools down here in Houston, it's very hot and long sleeves won't do.

    1. Thanks Sandra! I would say I generally like the fast and easy stuff too - I'm more likely to sew up a quick Scout tee than a wool coat. I did appreciate the construction method for this one, though, and that seemed to make the process easier, although I have been building up my button-front shirt skills so I'm sure that helped. Definitely think about grading between sizes if you're not pear shaped!

  5. Nice! I've been thinking about this pattern lately. I want to make some button up shirts, namely a really great denim one. My shirt making skills are pretty basic so I'm glad to hear you liked the instructions. I love the subtle pink!


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