Grainline Hemlock: the perfect free pattern for gift-giving!

Everyone loves a free pattern, and the Grainline Hemlock t-shirt is a classic! For years it was available to newsletter subscribers in sizes 0-18, but now it has been redrafted for sizes 14-30. With such inclusive sizing and a forgiving fit, I think it’s the perfect pattern to sew for others this Christmas!


I couldn’t wait to try it out, and I had the perfect fabrics from Cali waiting in my stash. You may have noticed that several of us on the blog team has used this modal pencil stripe in the past few months, and that’s because it’s just so good! Soft and drapey, easy to sew, and in lots of colours: red, taupe, gray, navy and mustard are all in stock right now!

When I try a pattern with extended sizing, I’m always curious to see if they changed the actual draft and proportions (good) or just evenly graded the straight-sized version even larger (bad). As you can see with the image below, Grainline took time to do it properly!

Can you see how the armscye, shoulder angle and sleeve are all significantly different in the Size 14-20 version? That’s a good indication that it has been redrafted for a larger cup size, as promised. It should result in the curvy and straight sized patterns giving the same look but on different figures!

hemlock 1

Here’s how mine turned out – well, sort of! I took the sleeves and side seam in 3/4″ after I first tried it on, because it was VERY boxy. I like the sleeves to be snug with this style of top, and if you do too, I’d consider sizing down. That said, I’ve been very happy wearing this t-shirt all fall!

So much so, that I used it for winter too!

This version is a gorgeous watercolour double-brushed poly which has just a few metres left in stock! I loved how it matched these RTW plaid pj pants, so I made myself some Christmas pyjamas.

Tips for sewing the Hemlock as a gift:

  • The boxy style offers a forgiving fit, and can be worn snug, loose, or in between. If you are sewing without knowing the person’s exact measurements, I’d suggest using their RTW size or comparing to your own size and going up or down accordingly! When in doubt, sew it big and offer to take it in.
  • This pattern suits a fabric with some drape, I think. Rayon, bamboo, and double-brushed poly are all perfect. A cotton lycra might be too stiff.
  • Let them interpret it as day wear or pyjamas, or both! It’s perfect either way.
  • It is a very quick project to print, tape and sew, so why not make a cute matching set for the families in your life?

Happy sewing, everyone! And here’s to those quick and cheerful projects like this t-shirt that still gift the gift of handmade love.

Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow

Hi! My name is Gillian, and I love to sew! I blog at and I run the Sewcialists.

I’ve enjoyed sewing since I was a kid, but when I started sewing clothes in 2012, it became a bit of an obsession. I’m all about wearable, comfy everyday clothes – and my wardrobe is overflowing! I’ve pulled all the colours that I love wearing into my personal colour palette, which keeps me inspired and my fabric shopping on track. I’ve ordered from Cali Fabric for years, and I’m so excited to be able to join their blogger team!

I live in Ontario (Canada) with my nerdy and awesome husband and our two cats. I’m a teacher by day, and fabric hoarder by night!

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1 thought on “Grainline Hemlock: the perfect free pattern for gift-giving!”

  1. Thanks for blogging about the Hemlock. I don’t always read newsletters, so I missed the re-release, but was able to search through my inbox and download it. I find it strange though, that the 14-30 is supposedly drafted for a larger cup size, but the sizes that overlap with the standard sizing show the same exact body measurements. I would think that if it’s drafted for a larger cup size, the body measurements would reflect that. I get that this a loose fitting boxy shirt, but presumably Grainline will use these body measurements for all of their patterns now?

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