It's been nearly a year since Grainline released their free pattern for the Hemlock Tee and I just made my first one. I was so impressed with the pattern that I decided to write a review for it.
Full disclosure: I've made several downloadable patterns from various independent pattern makers and aside from one bit of user error (more on that below), the Hemlock Tee has got to be one of the most well-drafted patterns I have ever made.
I downloaded the pattern here and printed it out on my new printer. I was lazy and didn't print the test sheet first. When I measured the 3" square, it was more like 2.875" square. I nearly chucked it and reprinted (wasteful!). In fact, I did bin the paper and then pulled it right back out when I remembered that the pattern is meant to be over-sized. I figured the worst that happens is it's a touch more fitted, and you know what? It worked out better than I could have hoped for. The end result is a nice slouchy tee shirt that is comfortable and not sloppy.
I had some fuchsia and orange striped tissue tee fabric in my stash that I used (again, figuring no great loss if it didn't work). I bought it off fabric.com and it was a lot brighter than expected so it's languished while I was looking for the right project. The fabric was made for this pattern. I matched up the stripes and in a case of serendipity, when my arms are at my sides, the stripes line up beautifully from the body to the sleeves. I couldn't have planned it better.
Now to the pattern itself. There are three main pieces to cut out (back, front and sleeve) and then you draft your own neck band separately. I sewed the shoulders together and then inserted the neckband (twice, I might add, since I initially put it in backwards, le sigh). There is no armhole curve per se, just a notch where the sleeve ends. I wasn't sure how that would go, but everything lined up beautifully. Once I sewed the sleeves to the body, I stitched both side seams/underarms closed and checked the fit. I breathed a sigh of relief at this point. Next, I turned up the hems for the body and sleeves, zig zagged them and that was it! Finished top. I finished it last night and wore it out today. It's comfortable, cute and I will be making more.