[Alternate titles: “When You Gamble And Lose,” “After This Long You’d Think I’d Know Better,” and “Internet, Look At Me Point To My Chest.”]

This is the Grainline Studio Willow Tank I put on my 2018 Make Nine List to fill the hole of “easy summer tops that aren’t boring t-shirts or overly-revealing tanks.” It looked perfect on paper, clean-lined and high-necked, and because I’ve had such success with Grainline patterns in the past I broke right into the good fabric (some heavy linen I indigo dyed last year).

You know what’s coming….

In this case, it’s bust darts that are nearly two inches too low for my actual bust, leading to gaping armholes and overall bad fit.

“WTF, Grainline?” I muttered, more than once. How have I made several perfectly fitting Archer shirts, Linden sweatshirts, and a Tamarack jacket from the same company and had no issues? Turns out, none of those had bust darts. Before I broke into the good fabric, I did look for reviews online that mentioned any red flags–but everything I saw raved about the pattern so I thought I was ok. It wasn’t until it was done that I found this review from IndieSew, who mentions casually that she raised the darts by 1 3/8″ and, “This is a normal adjustment for me on all Grainline patterns.” SIGH.

I guess when I’m wearing it it’s not really obvious there are fit issues–the low darts just add a weird “bubble” element to the A-line shape. But it could be so much better. 

Like performing Mozart, sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to get right.