My first Linden sweatshirt (2018 FO-11)

My first Linden sweatshirt (2018 FO-11)

I was trying to figure out how this could be the first garment I’ve made this year, when it’s mid-April already, and then I remembered: blue Bellows. Anyway, here I am crossing the first thing off my Spring Make List, item 3b. This was a bit of a trial run with me and the Linden Sweatshirt pattern, and I promise it’s much less sad and droopy looking on me than it is on the dress form. I’m also still pretty new at sewing knits, and this fabric posed an extra challenge, so I went into the whole thing with a decidedly que sera attitude. It was very quick to make and I’ll get plenty of use out of it, but it’s not my best work.

The fabric is a super gushy, thick pile terry, with a little bit of a surface pattern to it. So there was no chance of finding matching ribbing, but I wasn’t sure how well it would work to use itself either. I also had a pretty small piece of it, all of which is why I opted to use it for view B of the pattern, which has a folded hem at the waist and short sleeves, and only the neckband to worry about, ribbing-wise. My other concern was the neckline itself. Jen Beeman and I have become great friends over the past few years, and agree on just about everything, but necklines are not one of them! I can’t stand a gaping neckhole, and Jen can’t stand anything up around her neck, so I expected that this neck would be larger than I would have drafted it myself. Rather than worrying about it (since I wasn’t sure this was even going to work) I opted to trace off the pattern as is, sew it up, and see how much I might want to adjust the neck on the next one. Sure enough, when I sewed the front, back and sleeves together โ€” this is a straight size 8 โ€” the neck was on the big side for me, but fortunately I had just enough fabric to cut a wider neckband and make up for some of that.

My first Linden sweatshirt (2018 FO-11)

Attaching the band was a job, thanks to the fabric. There was absolutely no chance I was going to get three layers of this fluff under the foot of my serger, so I basted it together on my regular machine โ€” then unpicked the parts where the layers shifted and redid it, congratulating myself that I hadn’t tried that on the serger. Sewing the three layers together caused the top one to fold back on itself at the stitching line. So next I carefully zigzagged all three layers of the seam allowance together, again on my regular machine, and by then they were compressed enough that I could get the whole thing under the serger and finish the edge properly. I still have one spot where the outer layer wasn’t quite caught enough, right at the top of the raglan seen in the photo, and then I did a shoddy job topstitching it. But these are the sorts of things that the average person who sees it on me will never notice!

Then came the hemming. Even with the presser foot pressure off and using a long stitch, sewing the two layers together caused the whole thing to splay a bit, so it’s a little bell-shaped, which is fine with me, honestly. (I added two inches to the length when cutting it, and sewed a wider hem than called for.) But I didn’t want the same splaying to happen at the sleeves, so I just serged the edges and will wear them rolled.

This top has a lot in common with the wool knit version made from Jen’s other pattern โ€” my whole modified Hemlock tee thing. But I’ll try to get pics of me wearing them both for comparison. Apart from one being boiled wool and one cotton jersey, meaning they’re useful at different times of the year, it’s a good demonstration of how much better I look in a raglan than drop-shouldered garment.

Having now sewn this wonderfully quick and simple pattern (just like everyone always told me), I’m excited to make my proper heather grey sweatshirt version.


PREVIOUSLY in FOs: ScandinAndean earflap hat


26 thoughts on “My first Linden sweatshirt (2018 FO-11)

  1. Back in the 90’s there was a company called *Stretch and Sew” which grew to include stores, classes, and a book; it was all about sewing the “new” knitted fabrics that were becoming available to for home sewing. There was book, still easy to find on Amazon, filled with tips and techniques for working with knitted fabric. In those days, sewing at home with a serger was mostly unimaginable, so there was, as I recall, a lot of information on how to deal with just the problems you mention, using only the standard machine which probably had a limited number of stitch options. Besides being possibly useful, you would probably get a kick out of it.

      • I remember my mom taking the stretch and sew course … About 50 years ago! But I still have the steel scissors she bought for it, and have nice memories of the yellow sweatshirt she made for my dad ๐Ÿ’•

    • I took Stretch and Sew classes in the 70s. They were really great. They started you off with a tshirt and added pants and a cardigan, so that you had a complete outfit.

  2. Your Linden sweatshirt looks like a wonderfully comfortable, useful garment! Even though my body type is very different than yours (short/full-figured), I find raglan sleeves way more comfortable and attractive than set-in. I have been terribly disappointed with the trend towards set in or dropped shoulder sleeves in ready to wear! So glad I can sew! Thanks also for your discussions of wardrobe planning. Iโ€™m inspired to clean out and simplify my poor, overstuffed closet!

  3. Love sweatshirts and love this one. The question that pops up immediately for me: can I sew knit fabrics with a regular sewing machine and have success?

    • You definitely can, and the pattern is written for the standard machine. It is definitely faster and tidier (if you’re not working with fabric like this one!) to do it on a serger, but not necessary.

  4. This looks so polished and comfortable! Iโ€™m inspired. As usual! Congratulations and good morning!

  5. “Jen Beeman and I have become great friends over the past few years, and agree on just about everything, but necklines are not one of them! ”

    This made me laugh out loud. Being a details geek myself, I thoroughly understand this kind of conversation. ;-)

  6. It turned out beautifully! I love it, and although I did not (think) I have a sweatshirt in my sewing future, I probably do now. I love the rolled sleeves, honestly. Can’t wait to see it on you… looks great on the hanger, but will look even better with a body inside of it. Good afternoon, and hope you are staying warm!

  7. I like the wider neckband! That stood out to me right away when I looked at it and thought, “This is a Linden?” Great idea! I’m going to take you up on that inspiration since I too find the Linden’s neckline too big for how I like necklines too but DUH, never thought to make the neckband much wider :) Thank you!

  8. I know you were limited in fabric for the neckband but I have seen others make their linden neckbands in a less stretchy knit work by cutting them on the bias…. I think the wider band looks great!

    • Yeah, it’s quite popular to make Lindens out of woven fabrics, in which case you would need to cut the bands on the bias. The nice thing about knits having the stretch built in is that you don’t have to cut on the diagonal, which means you can get away with less fabric in most cases.

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