I’m back from Scotland and, boy, do I have a lot of blogging to catch up on. I’m happy to say that the nuptials went swimmingly and I’ll put a little post up in a couple of days, since there were a couple of crafty type things going on for the wedding – but mostly because of the occasion. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to catch up on blog posts on my reader and there have been so many fantastic makes while I’ve been gone. I’m loving the new patterns from Seamwork, out today I think? and also managed to add to my burgeoning sewing book collection with a few new books and mags.
First things first though, and here is a little post about the Linden sweatshirt I finished at the beginning of May before I left. It’s the grey and white stripy sweatshirt in the pic above, which was taken in London with my brother’s fabulous girlfriend. It was the third and last piece of clothing we made as part of our course at Drygoods Design, and although it was supposed to be the most challenging piece, it actually turned out to be the most straightforward for me. OH! And I got to use a serger!! Cool!
The pattern is the Linden sweatshirt by Grainline Studio – an indie designer whose patterns seem to get rave reviews for their clarity and drafting accuracy – so I was excited to try this. I made View B, but added the ribbing to the sleeves and bottom as in View A for a bit of contrast. I used an extremely soft grey and white striped French terry as the main fabric, which I got from Girl Charlee – the softness has meant it’s bobbled a little since making, but not too much. At any rate, Grainline recommends at least 20% stretch widthways. For the contrast, I used a cheap black rib knit I bought a while back from JoAnn. This was possibly the only slight mistake I made as the two fabrics are really quite different in texture. I suspect that is what has led to the waviness of the rib you can see at the bottom of the sweatshirt, but it’s really no big shakes.
I cut a size 14 as I was aiming for a nice roomy piece of clothing and that is indeed what I ended up with. For this fabric it was perfect; for a thinner knit I would probably go down a size or two.
Construction-wise, it was very straightforward. Since the class teacher was leading us along, I’m not 100% sure we followed exactly the same instructions, but it wouldn’t have been too different. We sewed the raglan arms on first and then sewed the sides together. It was the first time I tried matching stripes and I was pretty darn pleased! Not too shabby, although one side was better than the other. We sewed the main pieces together using a stretch stitch and walking foot on the regular machines. I’ve since used a walking foot for all my knit pieces – it makes life very easy!! My fabric behaved rather well though – I got one tiny pucker on the neckline the whole way through – and I could quickly have fixed it, but yeah, you know, life and all that.
We sewed the neck and cuffs on with the same stretch stitch and then topstitched to keep it neat on the inside. AND, I used a serger! Okay, no big deal for most people, but I was excited to actually try it out. We used it to finish all the seams and it does make life very easy I have to say. I can see how it could speed up your knit projects quite significantly. Having said that, the experienced sewists I’ve happened to speak to about knits in the course of a sewing discussion have all said they prefer sewing knits with a regular machine. I don’t know if that’s a serger backlash or a sewing control thing (over the fabric I mean :)), but I thought it was interesting. Anyway, I’m not crossing it off my Christmas list just yet as I found it quite fun to use and I can imagine it will be useful for Joe’s clothes in particular.
Overall, there’s not too much to say about the Linden apart from the fact that it is exactly what it purports to be. A well-drafted, easy-to-sew sweatshirt that is comfy and not unflattering. I found myself reaching for it on a fairly regular basis on holiday, so that’s a pretty good indication of a wardrobe staple. I am definitely going to make this again. Some of my classmates made the long armed version, which looked really nice, so I’m almost certainly going to give that a try too! A recommended pattern for anyone with a sweatshirt sized gap in their wardrobe.
Bye for now!