Pattern Review: Linden Sweatshirt

I love to wear knits but I’m highly uncomfortable sewing with them. When I didn’t have a functional overlocker my reticence to work with knits made more sense. But now, why do knits give me the heebie jeebies? If I can make corsets and bustle dresses, really a knit shift should be within my technical reach. Last year I gave a 70s knit dress a try. It turned out ok, if large. It wasn’t super scary and I didn’t destroy really precious fabric. I decided one of my sewing goals for 2016 would be to experiment more knits and maybe to even get over my fear of them.

So my first big knit experiment of 2016 was with Grainline Studios Linden Sweatshirt. It seems to be a bit of an indie pattern superstar. I liked it because it has raglan sleeves and a short sleeve version that has a bit of a retro vibe. I got really lucky and found a piece of Liberty Linford Fleece at our local weirdo fabric outlet. $4 or 5 bucks for 1.5 yard (or so) of $35 a yard fabric. Yes, please! I had no idea what I would do with it at the time but I couldn’t pass it up. Since I didn’t have that much, I decided to use it to test this pattern. I had to buy some other fabric for the sleeves. After much local searching I finally found some navy sweatshirt fleece. It was crazy hard to find. Everything was polar fleece. Icky!


The Grainline patterns are nicely put together and packaged. I made View B. The instructions were clear except for one part. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to stretch the neckband to fit or ease it. I’m pretty sure I was supposed to stretch it but that’s not what I did. It left me with a few little gathers but I covered them up with topstitching. It went together really quickly. It probably took me 2.5 hours total including cutting it out.


While I’m pleased with how the Linden came out, and I wore it running errands today, there are some things I would change on the next make. First, generally, it’s too large. I’m not really sure how much smaller I would want to it or if I would feel differently if I was using a lighter, more drapey knit. The pattern assumes you will be using an overlocker so it only allows for a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Rather than cutting a smaller size, I think I would take a larger seam allowance. If that doesn’t get me the look I want, then I would go down a size. Second, I’d use a different topstitch / hem stitch. The zig zag I used looks a bit too homemade for my taste.

FullSizeRender.jpgOnce again, I was left with a decent sized, yet too small, piece of Liberty fabric. I decided to make a matching sweatshirt for my pup Uno because I’m that kind of goof! I used a free downloadable pattern from Mimi and Tara. They have several downloadable pdfs to cover a myriad of dog sizes. Being a dachshund, Uno is kind of tricky to fit. I opted for the size large which was the right length but too big. (A theme, I guess!) If I decide to make him another I’d probably download the medium and put the two sizes together.

IMG_9542I used my new Gingher appliqué scissors to trim down the hems. They worked great! I’m happy to have them in my arsenal.

IMG_9546Uno isn’t really a clothes pup but he does like a comfy sweater in the winter time. And now we match!


First make of 2016

New year, new energy. Or maybe I was just getting itchy to make something. I had to put my sewing and machine away in preparation for Christmas. Man, did that make me antsy! Really, I’m still finishing things up from 2015 as my first sewing project of 2016 is a belated 2015 Christmas present.

After I had put everything away until after Christmas, Facebook reminded me that I made my uncle a hawaiian shirt as his gift for Christmas 2009.

hawaiian 2010

As I hadn’t actually yet managed to get Uncle Ronnie a 2015 present, I thought that maybe, after six years, it was time that I make him another shirt! Of course, Facebook reminded me this when it was basically impossible to do before the holiday. But Uncle Ronnie won’t mind too much, I think. Also, he’s not a social media guy, so I can still post this before I mail it off.

I used the same pattern for both shirts, Simplicity 3852. It’s not a particular difficult pattern although I always feel like the collar assembly is kind of wonky.

hawaiian 2016

The fabric is disco (I assume) Michael Miller. It’s actually a really lovely cotton. I’m tempted to see if the shop has more to stash away for a future dress.

I used some of my many sewing Christmas gifts including my Gingher spring loaded shears from my inlaws. And this tower of badassery, courtesy of Mom, provided me with the perfect shade of purplish-brown thread. thread

That’s 80 spools! Now I’ll always have some color close to whatever I’m sewing — even if I have to get more later. I love just giving it a spin. So decadent, yet useful!

Beyond the burst of sewing, I’ve been enjoying a stretch of quiet time with the dog and the husband. I get that a lot with the dog, with the husband not so much. We’ve kind of just been chilling like this…

bear head

best paw friends.jpg