Grainline Studio Lark Tee and Seamwork Margo Circle Skirt

Basic Bitch // Grainline Studio Lark Tee + Seamwork Margo Circle Skirt

Happy New Year folks! How’s 2017 treating you so far? I’ve had a pretty busy one on all fronts really, including sewing! In terms of productivity, in addition to the makes I’m just about to share with you, I’ve already made a Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress which didn’t work out (sadface), a Grainline Studio Hemlock tee which has turned out lovely (happyface) and a Colette Mabel skirt which went OK (…okayface?!).

And I’m determined to keep track of and blog more of my makes this year. We’re off to a decent start with this double whammy of a post! Vlogging is a little tricky at the moment because of the lack of light in the evenings and I often want to be sewing at the weekend rather than recording and editing. Losing subscribers by the minute I’m sure. 😦

Let’s proceed. Well, I seem to be on a bit of a ‘basic bender’ at the moment. My penchant for jazzy fabrics and night-out dresses at the beginning of my dressmaking journey gave way to funky function and has finally reached Basicville. Hence the profanity in the title, I’m sorrynotsorry. But how effing wonderful are basics guys?! Srsly. I know, I know; my face is doing an excellent job of containing my excitement over these beauts: the Grainline Studio Lark tee and the Seamwork Margo circle skirt (the variation available to subscribers). Feast your eyes. I’ll wait here.

Grainline Studio Lark Tee and Seamwork Margo Circle SkirtGrainline Studio Lark TeeGrainline Studio Lark Tee Grainline Studio Lark Tee Grainline Studio Lark TeeGrainline Studio Lark TeeSeamwork Margo Circle SkirtSeamwork Margo Circle Skirt Seamwork Margo Circle Skirt

Welcome back! They’re not perfect (and I’ll get into that) but trust me, if you tried them on, you’d have the heart eyes for them too.


Both fabrics were very nice to work with.

Sizing and cutting
  • Lark | I cut a size 4 with the boat neck (see alterations below) and the long sleeves
  • Margo | I cut a size S in the circle skirt variation
Fitting and alterations


  • Increased the height of the neckline by cutting it at the height of size 12 (which equates to ~5cm (2″) increase)
  • Shortened the sleeves by ~2″
  • Sewn with a 1.5cm (5/8″) seam allowance (compared with the 1/4″ seam allowance in the pattern)
  • After sewing, I brought the side seams in, grading from nothing under the arm, through the waist (max 1.5″) to nothing again at the hips


  • Brought the waist in quite a lot, to the smallest size at least
  • Changed the waistband: as you can see from the pictures, unlike the pattern photos, there isn’t a visible waistband. This was largely because when I was cutting out, I only cut 2 waistband pieces on the fold rather than 4 (I could’ve sworn I did but the things I will do to avoid crawling around on my knees again cutting. I basically hate going back to cutting, I needs to all be done at the same time for me! Anyway…). So, I decided I would just turn it half over and stitch in the ditch to attach it.
  • Shortened the waistband: sadly, I shortened the waistband a little too much and now it’s too tight/pulling the stitching. So I should probably take it off and redo it really.
Pattern instructions

With fairly simple makes like this — again the joy of basics people! — I don’t pay too much attention to the instructions so they seemed fine to me. With Margo, if making the circle skirt variation, you do have to switch between the original version for the waistband instructions and then back to the circle skirt version for the circle skirt instructions. That could be a little annoying for some but since I wasn’t really following the instructions for the waistband, with my going off the reservation as our American friends would say, I didn’t have to flick back too much. And the circle skirt is just two straight side seams.


All seams: Overlocked.
Hems: Margo was hemmed with a twin needle but Lark is zig zag stitched as I broke yet another twin needle as I got to the end of Margo. Sigh.


They’re so comfy and did I mention they’re great basics?! I didn’t think I did. They are. As I mentioned earlier; they’re not perfect but they’re still gonna get a lot of wear, and worn with love.


  • As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there’s a lot of excess fabric in the underarm/bust area, which, to me, makes it look ill-fitting (which thankfllyhas absolutely zero effect and the 100% comfort). I think this is because the armscye is too low for me. So if I were to make it again I would definitely cut a smaller size and also raise the armscye. (If I’ve misdiagnosed that issue, do let me know!)
  • The sleeve was shortened but I think I could add some back in here, although raising the armscye might stop me from wanting to pull the sleeves up, making them look/feel too short! I’d also taper the sleeve at the wrist as it’s a little lose there.
  • I am awfully in love with that high boat neckline! So happy with how it turned out. Not chokey at all either.


  • Initially I thought the sizing of Margo might potentially be a little off as it was so big when I first tried it on. But I think I now realise it’s not designed to sit on your waist, but below it. I was fitting it based on wanting it to sit on my waist.
  • Omitted the pockets.
  • The only real problem is the waistband and that’s all my fault!
  • Whilst I have shorter skirts, and am thus tempted to take some more length off (or go for a deeper hem), this length is probably ideal.
Working on…

My Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak from my #2017MakeNine list. She is taking an age to cut out, what with main fabric, three different interlining/underlining fabrics and interfacing! But I’ll be ready to get sewing this weekend. I do now have fabric for the Simplicity 7006 dungaree dress and Deer and Doe Cardamome dress so they’ll be next. With the Colette Mabel skirt under my belt (soon to be on the blog I hope), I’m already one down with 8 to go! Excited is not the word.

What are you working on? Do you love a good basic?


13 thoughts on “Basic Bitch // Grainline Studio Lark Tee + Seamwork Margo Circle Skirt

  1. Lovely makes and they look great together. I found the Lark to be very much on the large side so ended up taking it in a LOT. Had the same ‘problem’ with the armscye as well. Although still use it loads. And am also working on my Kelly anorak! And yes, it is taking forever… I decided to make a toile, and I bloody hate all the cutting and stuff so am dragging it out quite a bit. Worth it though in the end to get a good fit. Also decided to underline mine. Looking forward to seeing your finished one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ingrid! Yes, I will still use the Lark pattern a lot, so comfy! Ooh how’s your Kelly coming along now? I have the front and back sewn together and pockets on. Sadly I’m away this weekend otherwise I think I’d be about to finish her. Looking forward to seeing yours too!


  2. Yep basics are great and certainly get worn the most. I reckon the Lark looks fine as it is I think when there are no bust darts unless a top is really tight you will probably get a bit of looseness there = comfort! Currently working on New look K6145 a simple shift dress with sleeves but adding frayed trim to give it a LK bennet look, inspired by Stitched up by Samantha, basically a £250 dress that will cost me £3, I love sewing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thanks Sam! Good point about the darts and if it doesn’t look *too* bad then that’s alright. I LOVE when you can recreate a RTW item for a fraction of the price. And this sounds like a great one, hopefully get to see the finished make? Are you on Instagram or anything?


  3. Basics are definitely the way to go. I love the fact that no one even guesses they are hand made. If I wear a dress in funky prints then I get asked if I made it but wear a simple Agnes top and a pair of ultimate trousers and no even asks (but I have that sense of contentment that I made my whole outfit). I have a black stretch denim ultimate trousers in the offing, plus a knit toaster jumper and my second nettie bodysuit!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Jenny! You’re totally right about people never guessing that basics might be handmade, especially if people you know are familiar with the fact you make your own clothes. Ooh I really want to make a Nettie (I love Heather Lou’s Patterns!) but am trying resist buying anymore patterns at the moment (although might by the Sew Your Dream Jeans course), if you’re making a second, am I right to think you’d recommend it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love my nettie. It’s so comfortable and I like the features like the low back and various neckline. I have some white and black spotty jersey in my stash that I might use if it has enough stretch.


  4. That Grainline top pattern had past me by, and it’s lovely. It reminds me of Jennifer Lauren’s Gable Top, which I have. There’s a lot to be said for making basics, they are a necessary thing, and it’s a lot better to have them when they are made perfectly for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lynne! It had originally passed me by too until a friend recommended it. Yes, it is like the Gable Top which I really liked the look of but was hoping I could modify something already in my stash to achieve a similar neckline. You’re totally right and I’m definitely going to be making more basics!


  5. I’m came here, cause haven’t seen a video in while. I enjoyed seeing and reading your blog post. The shirt is my favorite.


  6. […] I’ve seen so many great versions, like lladybird Lauren’s version, Georgia of Ginger Stitch’s waxed version and all of those in Heather Lou’s round up. A good number of them — including those linked — have been in the green colour palette so I feel like a little bit of a copy cat but if it’s not broke, eh? OK, picture time! Here, I’m wearing my Closest Case Patterns Ginger Jeans and a Grainline Studio Lark Tee. […]


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