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A classic Linden Sweatshirt

I’m quite enjoying sewing through my stash at the moment, are you doing the same? If I’m honest, I just can’t afford new fabric at the moment, luckily I have a quite a few fabrics that will keep me going for a while.

One fabric that has been knocking around in my cupboard for a year or two is this wonderful lilac and brown wide striped knit. As with quite a few things that I have been sewing lately, this too was a great find from a fabric swap. I *think* I might have picked it up at the Sewing Weekender. Thank you to whoever donated it! The moment I saw it I always intended it to be a Linden.

The Linden Sweatshirt  from Grainline Studio is a classic pattern that most of us will be familiar with. I have made a couple of versions in the past which I wear a great deal around the house, and as they are on their last legs I thought it was about time that I made another. Also I don’t think I have ever written a blog post on this great pattern, so it’s about time.

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This image is from http://www.grainlinestudio.com

For those unfamiliar the pattern gives you the choice of two versions. View A is a classic sweatshirt with long sleeves and ribbing at the neckline, cuffs and hem. View B is slightly shorter in the body, it has short sleeves too and only requires ribbing at the neckband.

I made view A and didn’t use ribbing as I didn’t have any in my stash that was the right colour, so just went right ahead and used the main fabric as it had a nice amount of stretch in it. Due to the width of the stripes I was able to ‘fussy cut’ these pieces to make sure they were all solid brown.

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Talking about stripes, although the long side/arm seams are easy to stripe match, the curved shape of the sleeve head means that stripes along the armhole seam won’t often match. On this seam I always try to match at least one of the most prominent stripes and let the rest do what they want! In the case of my sweatshirt, I chose to match up one of the brown stripes. As it has turned out, that brown stripe is matched up perfectly along the bottom edge of the stripe, leaving a ‘step’ in the matching along the top edge. On reflection I perhaps should have matched up the top edge of the stripe for it to look a little better, but not to worry, I’m not going to lose sleep over it! What is your opinion on  pattern matching guys? ‘Team perfection’ or ‘Team whatever’?

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On a plus note, the back arm seams match wonderfully!! Ha! Maybe I should wear it backwards!

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The neckline is a soft scoop, and is a little wider than a lot of my rtw sweatshirts. I like the fit, but I have heard others mention that the neck opening is too wide for their liking.

I left the length of the sleeves as they were – which is something that I rarely do, as my arms aren’t very long. I like this length of sleeve on a cosy sweatshirt, and I also like the sleeve width – not too tight, not too loose.

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Lilac is still such a hot colour, and whilst it isn’t a shade that everybody can wear, I feel that the brown stripes are so complimentary. How could I not accessorize this top with my original lilac scissors necklace, available in my shop.

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So whilst it’s great to talk about all the new and exciting patterns out there, it’s also good to re-visit the oldies but goldies like this. Classic wardrobe staples that you can go back to time and time again are great aren’t they?

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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The Day Dress from The Avid Seamstress

It’s been two or three years since I sewed my first Day Dress, and just recently when I was trying to decide on what dress I wanted to make to attend the Sewisfaction Big Summer Stitch Up sewing event, I came across this pattern, and thought it was about time that I gave it another go.

I have made several of The Avid Seamstress sewing patterns before, and they are an absolute joy. The instructions are always so beautifully written, any sewing terms are clearly explained and the whole process of sewing one of these patterns is such a great experience.

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I made view C – but I love the look of view B (with the buttons) too.

Because the bodice is quite fitted on this dress, I went for a stretch cotton twill, as I wanted it to fit snugly, but still be wonderfully comfortable at the same time. This Ellie Stretch Twill from Sewisfaction was perfect. I just cannot resist a pretty floral fabric. It looks like it is out of stock now, but if you follow my link, there is the opportunity to join a waitlist to be notified if it comes back into stock. Because of the stretch, I also sized down one size, and this worked out great.

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The cotton reel brooch is available in my shop x

When I tried on my original version, to check the fit, I noticed that the back neckline was gaping a little bit on me – something that I often find – I corrected this with a 1″ adjustment which I marked on the pattern piece before cutting out. I’m not sure what the technical name for this adjustment is (I’m calling it ‘a gaping back neck adjustment’), but basically it means cutting a straight line from the middle of the neckline on the back bodice piece, almost all the way down to the waistline, then cutting along that line and bringing it in and overlapping it at he neckline by the required amount (in my case 1″), and taping it in place. This really works for me. Don’t forget that you will need to cut a new back neckline facing piece now as the original one obviously won’t fit any more. I simply traced my own piece by placing some pattern tracing paper over the newly adjusted back bodice neckline.

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Of course pockets are a wonderful part of this dress, and I chose to make them using some silky lining fabric that I had in my stash, just to keep any bulk at bay.

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The back of the dress is fastened/unfastened with an invisible zip. Everything lined up wonderfully, and I really like the gentle gathers in the skirt – not too many, not too few! I must admit I gathered the skirt in the usual way, rather than use elastic as per the instructions, and this worked equally well.

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The length of the skirt is spot on for me. It just hits the knee, and this is as per the pattern with the hem overlocked and using just the teeniest tiniest hem I possibly could. You might want to think about your skirt length though if you are much taller or shorter than me – I am 5’2″.

I am over the moon with how the dress has turned out. It fits me much better than my original version that I made all that time ago, partly because of that gaping back neck adjustment and partly because I sized down. My love for The Day Dress has returned BIG TIME, I don’t think it will be too long before I make another – I love the look of the version with the buttons down the front.

The finishing touch is this cute new label which I purchased from Pink Coat Club recently. A perfect addition to any handmade garment if you are a kitty Mum like me.

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Today’s blog pics were taken in Leicester Botanical Gardens. Such a pretty tucked away treasure, and certainly somewhere we will return to again.

Take care, and I’ll be back again soon,

Kathy x

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