Grainline Studio Hadley Tops by Ella

When Grainline Studio first released the Hadley top, I got excited. More structure and interest than a typical camisole or shift top and a versatility around the necklines and sleeve combinations. I promptly bought the pattern but then other shiny new patterns got released and the Hadley got pushed to the back of the pile. So many patterns - so little time! However I've finally got around to making this pattern and I certainly think it's worth spending time on this top.

I spotted the Meriwether cotton fabric when Harriet first listed it on the site. The little flowers remind me of Rifle Paper Co illustrations and the colours of lilac, turquoise, pink and orange just pop. It's a happy colourful fabric that a screenshot doesn't do it justice. I almost made a pleated skirt or shirt dress but finally rediscovered the Hadley - my first make on this year's Make Nine.

As there are seams down the front and back on this pattern, there is opportunity for some serious pattern Tetris for those who like to maximise their fabric investment. However there are also some wide facings which can increase the fabric required unless you want to do a contrast one like I did around the neckline.

Construction is straightforward, with Grainline studio's instructions excellent as usual, but it's the details on this top that make it, such as the top stitching either side of the centre seam and the hem facing. I made the US size 10, didn't need to make any adjustments to the fit, and was really pleased by the way it turned out.  It goes well with denim and is perfect for layering (layering being a must at this time of year!).

You know when you really like a pattern if you want to make another one straight away. I was keen to try more of a drapey fabric and include sleeves on my second version. I opted for some genuine Rifle Paper Co fabric this time, using Monstera cotton lawn/rayon mix. It's so soft and luxurious, I could wear it everyday. I stuck to the v neck option and plain back option but love the fact there is a further variation with a pleat in the back and round neck. It has endless possibilities and is sure to become a staple.

One detail, which I was particularly pleased about, was using the pretty selvedge instead of the neckline facing pattern provided.  I sewed it on like a facing but decided to reinforce it and stop it curling by adding a thin strip of iron on hemming tape. It worked a treat!!

The Hadley top, which is now available in the Sew Me Sunshine pattern shop, could be made from lots of different fabrics- from cotton lawn to viscose or crepe. My choice would be the new beautiful See You At Six rayons, especially the pastel cracks or the pink lines.

What fabric would you use to make a happy Hadley top?

Happy sewing, Sewistella x


  • I love how completely different they look with or without sleeves! Love it!!

  • These are both so GORGEOUS!! I love the idea of using a selvage as a facing too – very creative!

  • Ella these are gorgeous xx

  • I love it Ella! It’s so good to know about the patter tetris. That’s always a winner for me! It looks a great staple on you. I’m going to go and take a look now. ☺


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