Split-Hem Linden

linden sweatshirt view B grainline studio

I’m a sucker for stripes. Breton, mariner, rugby, those effortlessly cool black-and-white “French” stripes—my closet has ’em all. But this stripe, this perfectly hued olive-and-cream french terry from Girl Charlee has won me over. Sure, the french-terry loops shed A LOT, but the top side is weighty yet soft to the touch. And those colors! So fresh and crisp next to each other.

In the words of George Costanza, I would drape myself in this french terry if it were socially acceptable. And I might just be able to do that, since this particular fabric is sold in 72″ widths. Hopefully the leftovers will become a pair of Hudson Pants (or Hudson shorts).

split-hem linden sweatshirt grainline studio
Somewhat successful attempt at stripe-matching

The first garment birthed from this wonder-fabric is view B of the Linden Sweatshirt. This is the fourth Linden I’ve made (some for me, some for my girlfriends), so obviously I dig the pattern. I cut out a 4 rather than an 8, since my first sweatshirt is pretty roomy. I forgot to add extra length on top of the 1″ I’d originally lengthened the pattern, so view B was looking reaaaaal short. Luckily Jen of Grainline Studio recently published a tutorial on how to make a split-hem Linden—perfect timing as I’d been drooling over some gorgeous split hems on RTW shirts and needed to add some length to my shirt.

linden sweatshirt view B grainline studio split hem

I’ve never sewn a split hem before, but this one was really easy. Instead of creating one circular band, you sew the ends of each band shut, pin them to the front and back, and then sew them on as if they were one continuous band. For extra security, I backtacked a few times at the connection spot. I took a gamble by cutting the bands vertically, and I’m really happy with the overall look.

linden sweatshirt view B grainline studio split hem

With my first Linden, I made the mistake of trying to use self sweatshirt fabric for the neckband. What. A. Disaster. It didn’t stretch nearly as much as it needed to, resulting in me cutting it off and replacing it with a much stretchier jersey from my stash. This time, I used some olive green cotton-modal-lycra fabric leftover from a skirt I made this past winter, and the neckband went in with nary a hitch. I used a twin needle to anchor the neckband and finish the sleeves.

In classic Dani fashion (as my bf likes to say), I splashed orange soup onto my shirt the first night I wore it out. Nothing a little Zout can’t fix, tho! What’s the point of sewing clothes for yourself if you can’t be a slob in them, amirite!?

Linden Sweatshirt

linden sweatshirt

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.

linden sweatshirt

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!

linden sweatshirt

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.

linden sweatshirt

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?