Free Tee Review: The Hemlock Tee by Grainline Studio

Are you ready for another free tee review? This time I decided to tackle an indie sewing heavyweight – the Hemlock tee by Grainline studio but can it live up to the hype?

To recap, I am hoping to get through as many of the free tee patterns as possible and let you know what I think of them. For each tee pattern, I review I will look at 4 different aspects of the pattern: the options available (including different looks and size ranges), how easy it is to get hold of the pattern, printing and assembling the pdf, and the instructions/construction. For each of these four categories, I will give the pattern a score out of ten. I will also give a score out of ten for my version of the pattern (including thoughts on the fit and overall impressions). So in total, each tee will get a score out of 50 making it really easy to compare these patterns.

Hemlock is a drop shoulder boxy tee. When I first saw this pattern a few years ago I believe it was one size only and that kind of put me off but since then it has been revamped to include a bigger size range and some lovely modelled pictures.

Options available 7/10

The Hemlock can be made in three different body lengths as well as three different sleeve lengths. Giving a total of 9 possible combinations. There are two different downloads for this pattern one in sizes 0-18 and one for sizes 14-30. I like that there is a big size range and an overlap in the size range of the two files as there is nothing worse than if you are between sizes and want to grade but they are in separate files. Size 0-18 (32-44 inch bust) is drafted for a B cup whilst 14-30 (40-56 inch bust) is drafted for a D cup. So you may need to make different adjustments depending on which size you download.


Getting hold of the pattern 6/10

To get your hands on this one you need to sign up for the Grainline studio newsletter. It will be sent to you in a welcome email once you’ve confirmed your subscription via a link sent to your inbox after you sign up. They say they will send monthly updates and new pattern alerts to you but there is nothing to stop you unsubscribing after you download the pattern.



Printing and assembling the pdf 7/10

There is a separate print file for each size range as well as the instructions in a different file. This makes printing really simple as you just choose the appropriate file for your size range and print the whole thing. In another separate file, there are instructions for printing and assembling so it really does help you every step of the way. You do need to trim the pages but the lines are very clear for lining them up again. The only thing that I found a little confusing when sticking together this pdf is that the pages are numbered rather than given coordinates (eg B3 indicating the second column third row). This means you do need to pay attention to where the pages go when sticking them together by following the plan in the instructions rather than just jumping straight in. When cutting out/tracing your size the sizes are marked as well as the lines being distinct styles.

I had to use my phone as the camera remote for these pictures so that’s why I’m holding it – I promise I’m not checking Instagram (ok maybe I am)!

Instructions and construction 7/10

The instructions are very clear with line-drawn illustrations making it easy to see exactly where stitch lines are placed and how the garment is constructed. There are also some general instructions for sewing with knits which could be useful if you are a little unfamiliar with these fabric types. Unlike some other patterns, there is no information on grading or how to get a good fit with this pattern.

Final Impressions 8/10

I made the top length version with full-length sleeves in size 8. I actually measured a size 12 in the bust and a 6 in the overbust (eek thats a sbig difference!) but due to the boxy style and the loose fit of the finished measurements, I went for something in the middle erring on the smaller side as I don’t often like a very loose fit. I really like the style of this one – the boxy fit is just what I like and I’m so glad I didn’t go for a bigger size. The length is also really good for me. However, the sleeves are super long. I don’t know why I didn’t make 3/4 sleeves as this is my preferred sleeve length but a simple rolled-up cuff fixes that one and I think it adds a nice bit of styling. I made it in a cream and navy jersey from pound fabrics. The wrong side of this fabric had a nice slub texture which I really like so this is actually wrong side out for a more casual look.

Total score 35/50


Thanks for reading this review of the Hemlock Tee. If you want to know how this compares to some of the other free tee patterns out there be sure to check out my other reviews and the full list of free tee patterns available that I hope to conquer over the next few months!

Have you sewn up the HemlockTee? What did you think of it?


p.s. to keep up with my makes as part of this #HSewsFreeTees project you can follow along on Instagram

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