Make Your Own Basics: The sweatshirt

Make Your Own Basics: The sweatshirt

In addition to a hard-working knitted pullover, any well-rounded wardrobe needs a trusty sweatshirt. It doesn’t get much more basic than that! In my mind, a true and classic sweatshirt is raglan-sleeved, like the Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt pictured at top and bottom left. But that nasty, beat-up, cut-off old sweatshirt I can’t let go of happens to have set-in sleeves, so I’m also offering up Named’s Sloane Sweatshirt (bottom right) as an alternative. Both come highly recommended by sewers I trust, and I foresee making one of each. But I also love the cropped, short-sleeved Linden option as a year-round garment. Sweatshirts for every season and occasion, I say!

(Please note, with regard to this series: I am by no means suggesting any of the patterns I recommend are the only ones that fit the bill — only that they’re the ones I consider leading contenders and great examples of the form. By all means, leave your alternate suggestions and links in the comments!)


PREVIOUSLY in Make Your Own Basics: The pullover (or view the whole series so far)

19 thoughts on “Make Your Own Basics: The sweatshirt

  1. A true sweatshirt is not necessarily raglan-sleeved. I fail to understand raglan….it looks good on broad-shouldered women, period. If you look at women from the back, the raglan helps accentuate the hips, and the pear form becomes more obvious.

    • And: often raglan tops are not drafted wide enough to fit women with actual wide shoulders, and the raglan shaping makes the shoulder and upper arm segments narrower than other kinds of shaping. Despite having wide shoulders, I almost never wear raglan-style sleeves because my torso isn’t similarly wide and the effect is unfortunate. :/ Raglans seem to work well for women with large busts….

  2. Love that series. Carmen has a point with raglan, I have a raglan sweatshirt but it feels uncomfortable and draws attention to my chest (maybe it is a bit too small too). I’d love to try the set-in sleeves version. Purl Bee also has a lovely linen sweatshirt pattern for a knitted version.

  3. I’m not much of a sweatshirt wearer. I think it’s because they tend to be crew necked, and I don’t wear crew neck anything. I’m a v-neck or boat neck person. With broad shoulders, I feel like a crew neck makes me look like a line-backer. (Whatever that is. I just know it’s a football reference.) I also don’t tend to love the ribbed bottom, so that red version of the Linden would more fit my needs. I would love a boxy sweatshirt. I’ve loved some of the big over-sized/knee length sweatshirts that I’ve seen on Pinterest from time to time. However, I DO LOVE the material of a sweatshirt, and I just realized that I wore my ex-husband’s old beat up sweatshirt all weekend!

  4. I also love the red Linden, no binding bottom band. I have cut off the band of old sweat shirts that are otherwise comfy. I have broad shoulders and I think the raglan style also makes me feel like a linebacker or weight lifter.

  5. Make Your Own Basics is a great series! The Linden is next on my list, I even have the pattern printed out and awaiting an appropriate quantity of sellotape. Which brings me to a question: does anyone know of good sources of sweatshirt fabric, ribbed cuff fabric or a good jersey? I always find (in the UK at least) that sourcing crazy-print quilting-weight fabric is ridiculously easy; fabric for some nice neutral, easy-to-wear basics, not so simple it seems.

  6. I love sweatshirts! But I don’t want the bottom ribbing. Haven’t been sewing my own clothes in so long I totally spaced on sewing up a sweatshirt for myself, my way. Beautiful, straightforward patterns.

  7. I don’t usually do sweatshirts–I have a couple of cotton sweaters that fill that niche. But I do like the red Linden without the bottom band.

  8. I have made the Linden using the same fabric for the bottom band and the cuffs. I could not have been more pleased and it only took a few hours. Do not understand this big concern about raglan-sleeves and consider myself a very critical person. Will have to take a further look. I do not usually like a crew necked top but this is wide enough that it looks great.

    • If you’re at all a narrow- or slope-shouldered person, raglan shaping really accentuates that. And if the seams on the front aren’t placed very carefully, they tend to outline the bust in a way that’s often not flattering.

  9. I have the Linden pattern and some wool fabric I scored as a remnant at a local shop! I am wondering about leaving off the bottom cuff (I can’t stand when tops come in at the bottom like that) but leaving the length longer because cropped isn’t my style either! I knows what I likes, I guess :)

  10. My favorite sweatshirt has a shawl collar… so if you hate the crew neck, that is a great option. I also like the idea of set in sleeves and no band on the bottom. May design my own pattern with these ideas!

    • My favorite sweatshirt is a 1/4 zip, but a shawl color sounds nice too. I will have to experiment with that.

  11. After all these comments I will definetly have to try to sew a raglan seawtshir and see for myself. I have recently made the Astoria pattern from Seamwork, which was very easy, and I have been using it a lot.

  12. I’ve been wanting to make a Linden sweatshirt for a while but haven’t been able to find a fabric that I’m excited about. (OK, I’m shopping at JoAnne’s … Therein lies the problem…) Any ideas of good places to find quality guilt-free traditional sweatshirt-like fabric?? I love this series so much! Absolutely perfect for a beginner like me 😀

  13. I love the Sloane sweatshirt so much I made 4 in the past month -evaluating my wardrobe showed massive hole where pullovers should be.Made them in black, heathered grey, army green, and a short sleeved version in army green too. found the sleeves a tad short so I lengthened them by an inch or two. I love having them to just throw together with any bottom and instantly feel more polished yet comfortable while lugging the kids about

  14. Pingback: Make Your Own Basics: The V-neck cardigan | Fringe Association

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