This year, I chose not to make any official goals or plans for my sewing. I often set goals for myself, such as my #2017MakeNine which I shared a bit about at the end of December, and then feel guilty when I change my mind or feel drawn to make something different. I’m an Obliger all the way (any other Gretchen Rubin fans out there?!), and the outer accountability of publicizing goals is a big driving force for me. I didn’t want that accountability to lead me to feel limited or guilty about any of my makes this year, so I haven’t set out a specified guideline of what I will or won’t be making (aside from the items incorporated in the #SewMyStyle2018 project). Despite this, I do have a few things I would like to focus (loosely!) on, including:
- Using fabrics I already have on my shelves.
- Increasing the number of casual / basic pieces in my handmade wardrobe
- Adding my own touches, or “hacks,” to patterns
Another (awesome) new thing happening in my sewing world this year is that you will find me sharing a few blog posts on behalf of Indie Sew every so often! So this month, in partnership with IndieSew, I decided to see how I could incorporate these objectives into the Grainline Linden Sweatshirt. The Linden is a favorite amongst makers – if I remember correctly, it may have gotten the most love back in November for the Sewcialists TNT month! I finally caved, and had to have one (or two!) of my own!
The Linden PDF came together pretty easily. A total of 22 pages to arrange will leave you with 6 pattern pieces, which can be modified and used interchangeably between View A and View B. I fell somewhere between a size 4 and 6 based on my measurements, but after doing a bit of light reading on other Linden makes, I decided to go with a size 4 because I knew that I’d be working with some thinner knit fabrics. I based both of my makes off of View A, though one is modified somewhat, which I’ll detail a bit more below.
I can logically discuss at length all of the sense that muslin-ing a trial garment makes, but I will be the first to admit that I am too eager to make new things to muslin. However, I do occasionally make what I call “wearable muslins.” This really only happens when I want to make two versions of the same thing, but one fabric would be less heart-wrenching if the garment didn’t turn out. This striped Linden is my wearable muslin. It is made entirely of gloriously soft knits from my stash. I purchased both of these fabrics simply because I liked the way they felt, but always envisioned the stripes to become some sort of top with black raglan sleeves. I wanted to dress that idea up a little bit, and decided I’d do so by playing with the sleeve design. I didn’t really take advantage of the 2017 year of the sleeve thing in my handmade garments last year, so I’m just gonna take the liberty of dragging it on it to 2018 with me!
For this piece, I omitted both the cuffs and hem band. I lengthened the top at the lengthen / shorten line by about 1.5 inches, and then turned up the hem and finished it with a twin needle. For the sleeves, I measured around the diameter of the sleeve once it was sewn. I planned to cut two rectangles that were 6” long by twice the diameter of the sleeve wide, but I ran a little short on fabric, so they ended up more like 1.5 times the diameter. I sewed these rectangles into two tubes, and then gathered them up a bit and attached them to the end of the sleeve. To add a little volume and achieve the slightly belled look that I wanted, I attached a piece of thin elastic (roughly measured by stretching it around my wrist in a way that was tight but not uncomfortable) to the seam where the sleeve and bell met. I folded the length up to figure out exactly where I wanted the sleeve to end, ended up cutting about two inches off, and finished with the twin needle.
I feel like adding some detail to the sleeve took this to a bit of a more stylish / less loungy look. I feel super cute when I’m out running errands in this top, but it is also appropriate enough for casual family dinners. The best part is that this knit is incredibly soft, so I’m just wrapped up in a soft wonderful mess of fabric all the time!
Top: handmade by me
Fabric: Knit Remnants from JoAnn
Pattern: Grainline Studios – Linden Sweatshirt, View A with modifications
Now that I’d messed around with some hacks and made sure the fit worked for me, I made a second version in some more prized fabric. I’m a huge fan of pretty much anything Bari J. does – I have dreams of plastering her art on every open wall space throughout my home. In the meantime, I’ll just cover myself in her designs instead.
The Wild Blooms line through Art Gallery fabrics was no exception to my love, and I have been trying to find the best way to bring these fabrics into my wardrobe in a way that I would wear frequently. As I’m trying to bring more casual handmade pieces into my wardrobe, I was thrilled to see that this particular print was available as a knit, and thus this Linden was born!
For this fun floral version, I made no modifications to the pattern at all. The grey fabric was already on my shelves, and had previously been used as trim on some baby onesies. I had just the perfect amount leftover to make sleeves, cuffs, and bands. I feel like a ray of bright sunshine when I’m wearing this sweatshirt! I’m not a big fan of hembands, and I’m still deciding how I feel about this one, so I think in the future I may continue to omit it.
Top: handmade by me
Fabric: Bari J. for Art Gallery Fabrics – Wild Blooms Flower Shower Subtle Knit
Pattern: Grainline Studios – Linden Sweatshirt, View A
I’m definitely on the Linden boat (with all of you other makers out there!) now. This pattern is well written, well laid out, and resulted in two great pieces that I can’t stop wearing. It is perfect straight out of the package, but is also a great canvas for anyone interested in hacking out some new ideas! This would also be a good option for someone who has not sewn with knits before; all the guesswork is taken out of the construction, and all of the pieces including the neckband are included as part of the pattern. It could be made in a range of knits to achieve totally different looks, as well.
If I’ve inspired you to sew up a Linden, check out IndieSew and grab the pattern!
Though the Linden Sweatshirt pattern was provided to me as part of the IndieSew Blogger Team, all opinions expressed are my own, as always!
- XX Elizabeth