Tuesday, October 23

Grainline Studio Farrow Dress: Fitting

I am all about loose, shapeless, comfy things, but there is fine line between easy breezy and circus tent. The Farrow Dress, from Grainline Studio looks fabulous on a lot of people, but on me it was very much leaning to the tent direction. I made my first one a year ago and loved the idea of it but would only wear it with cardigans or coatigans over it to contain its volume. Eventually I got smart enough to modify it to make it fit me better, and it worked so well that I have since made another and I have plans and fabric for one more. So what did I do? Well like all my hacks (this isn't even a hack, just a resizing) it was super duper easy. Lets get into it.

Per the instructions, I used the size chart to determine my size based off my bust. I know a lot of people who find Grainline patterns way too big when sizing off the bust because of shoulder issues, but that works well for me. So I made a size 12, (according to my pre-pregancy bust measurement) for my shoulders and bust and then quickly graded in on the pattern to a size 6 at the waist and keep that size all the way to the hem. You have to be careful because you need a smooth line so you don't end up with a wonky side seam. A French curve ruler works great for this but you don't need one.

Also because of the very geometric shape of the pattern pieces which help form these glorious deep angled pockets, it can look really confusing to resize it. I recommend laying the pattern pieces for  top of the dress and the bottom of the dress on top of each other, right sides facing, then fold the bottom skirt piece down aligning the pocket line, which will make your pattern pieces look like a dress. Then draw your new pattern line and trim from there. Then you'll have your new pattern pieces. For the pockets I just used my regular size 12 pocket guide lines but you could change those as well if you want.
Then there are the alterations I do on patterns all the time - a broad back adjustment so I have more movement in my arms, and adding length. I like things to be knee length so on this dress I added 2 inches below the pockets, and one at the hem line. Unless you have a super long torso, you don't want to add in the bodice because it will drop your pockets really low. This dress has a shorter hem in front, but only slightly. Mine is little more dramatic because of my (at the time I took these photos) 22 week bump.

Other changes I made just because I wanted to: I finished the neck line in bias tape because I typically despise facings and I left out the keyhole opening in the back because I don't need it to get it on. It is a little small in the head area now so on my next one I might add it back in. I also shortened the sleeve because this pattern comes with only sleeveless or long sleeve options and I like a sleeve but a shorter one so that I can wear this dress in more seasons and easily layer it in cooler months.

And thats it!
Have you sewn a Farrow dress? Do you make it as is or make special mods too? Or do you have a different favorite woven swing dress that works perfectly on you?
Let me know and show me on instagram!


  1. Oh I felt like a tent too! I am definitely size 8 on top, I graded to size 4 on the bottom, and it still hung out so big. I am not the only person with this problem! I love the dress on everyone else I will try your way if modifying the pattern, thabks!

  2. I decided, after many decades, to start sewing dresses for myself again. I don't have a classic woman's figure - I have a large waist with thin arms and legs - so I was very excited to see the Farrow Dress pattern. Thank you so very much for all your suggestions. Once I find my correct size I am sure I will make more than one of these dresses! I like the shorter sleeves, which is what I prefer. Looks very nice. Janet

  3. So helpful! Thank you! About to start my first farrow dress now.


Go ahead, you know you want to...