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.
Once 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.
I used my new Gingher appliqué scissors to trim down the hems. They worked great! I’m happy to have them in my arsenal.
Uno isn’t really a clothes pup but he does like a comfy sweater in the winter time. And now we match!