New Year, new garment—finally! But before I get into that, I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year, especially as we settle back into our desks at work and our single-digit weather here in Chicago. You’re not alone if you’re feeling a little blue, but luckily there are two simple solutions to combat your inner Debbie this winter:
1). Exercise. Seriously, get a sweat going for 30 minutes a few times a week and there is a 100% chance you will feel better and sleep like a baby.
2). Find a hobby (and stick with it.)
I rode the post-college emotional roller coaster pretty hard my first year after graduating, coming up just short of an existential crisis but with plenty of anxiety to go around. Learning how to sew was probably the number one factor in pulling me out of that funk. Any hobby will do, but sewing is great since you can tangibly mark your progress and actually get everyday use out of what you make.
So come this lazy, grim weekend, still feeling the after-effects of hosting a New Year’s Eve party, I turned once again to my sewing machine. I’d been neglecting it for the past several weeks, but with an afternoon free and Grainline Studio’s Linden Sweatshirt pattern at the ready, I got back to work.
Like most reviews state, this top comes together very quickly, even without a serger. I sewed this up on my sewing machine (size 8 at the bust, graded down to a 6 at the hip) with a ballpoint needle and stretch stitch. The fabric is a sweatshirt fleece from Fabric.com. The one issue I had in construction was with the neckband: my initial band was way too short. This probably has to do with the lack of stretch in my material. I’m pretty sure the listing stated that my material has 40% mechanical stretch; the pattern calls for materials with at least 20% of stretch (or ribbing, which is typically very stretchy and pliable). I guess mechanical stretch and regular stretch are two totally different measurements? If you have insight into this topic, please let me know in the comments!
I tried to eyeball a longer neckband, and then stupidly sewed that on without basting to test it first. Holy mother of god did that leave me with the most insane-looking funnel neck. I ended up cutting that off entirely while trying to preserve the original neckline as best I could. The finished neckband you see is some stretchy heather jersey leftover from my Hudson Pants, and I actually really like the look of the dark gray against the muted red. The neck doesn’t lie 100% flat, but it’s an immense improvement over my funnel monstrosity.
I was a little worried about the cuffs and hem band also being too short, but those came together in a snap. I added about 1″ to the sleeves and body, but I think next time I’ll add 1.5″ to the sleeves and 2″ to the body for comfort. It probably turned out a little shorter than anticipated since my seam allowance was more like 5/8″ instead of the 1/4″ called for in the pattern. My machine was not liking that narrow seam allowance on fleece, and it angrily gnawed it up until I surrendered to a wider allowance.
So far, I love this pattern. I wore the sweatshirt out the first night I finished it, and Marc even said, “It looks like you bought that.” Yes! I’ll take that compliment when it comes to handmade basics. I already have plans to sew this up for a friend as a very belated Christmas gift, and I’ll probably sew another one up for myself soon. Have you tried this pattern yet? Any thoughts on fabric choice or finishing?