Back in November, Drew and I went to California for his friend’s wedding. We bought one way tickets months before, but none back as we figured we would use this time for a vacation. We had no plans, no hotels, no plane home but we were up for an adventure.
We decided to do a small tour of California, starting where the wedding was in Santa Barbara and working our way towards LA, to LAX. At each stop, I had to look up fabric stores. That’s a given, right? Our second stop was in the beautiful town of Ojai where I found this amazing fabric store Cattywampus. I love finding smaller shops because they usually have fabrics you can’t find anywhere else, and they sell curated goods that are usually online only.
Cattywampus has a beautiful location and really fabulous finds. I’ve secretly always wanted a boutique, and over time have wanted a fabric/craft store that held classes (I even found the perfect location that was for sale a few years ago) and this shop is everything I would want.
Their fabric selection isn’t very large, which means they really care about each bolt that’s on the shelf. I had a hard time deciding what to get and walked away with two cuts. (I blame my carry-on suitcase and knowing we would be fabric shopping in LA). One is an adorable hedgehog print that I’m saving for a fun bag lining; the second was this stunning lightweight cotton. I was really drawn to the print and was told it was hand-printed in India- which just made me love it more.
I knew I wanted to make a top out of this print. Something simple, to let the print really shine. I had a few options in mind, including a Lou Box Top and Mandy Boat Tee. Ultimately I chose a new pattern: The Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio. This is a free pattern that I’ve wanted to try for a while, and thought it would be a nice look for this fabric. (Just sign up for Grainline Studio’s Email List for the free pattern!)
The Hemlock Tee is one size, so I did some major alterations to make it fit petite. I didn’t like the neckline, as it was way too wide for my frame. I cut out 1/2″ from the CF on the pattern, meaning 1″ was taken out from the center in total. I probably could have done an extra 1/2″, but didn’t want to cut too far in. I also shortened the pattern 4″, and hemmed an extra 1″, since the pattern is very long. The last alteration was while sewing the sleeves. I only cut 4″ of the sleeve pattern, hemmed the raw edge and folded in until the bodice seam. I saw a few hemlock tee’s with the folded sleeve and loved the look so I had to try it out for myself!
After wearing my Hemlock and taking photos, I can definitely take it in a little bit. I can just hear my mom saying “this does nothing for you!” haha! But I absolutely love the boxy look. My daily uniform is slowly becoming skinny jeans, booties and boxy tops. As soon as I put this top on, I wanted to make a pair of black skinny jeans and a cute cardigan to finish off the look. There’s nothing quite like a motivating make!
My final thoughts on the Hemlock Tee: for a free pattern it’s a great base. I do love the look, and how many hacks there are in the sewing world for this pattern, but for petite figures, this was not a cut & sew. I am however, excited to have another pattern that is great for both knits and wovens and encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already!