Pattern Review

Oh Linden Sweatshirt, where have you been all my sewing life?

So I am one of the few who didn’t fall for the Grainline Alder dress (I’ve seen many lovely versions on the interwebs — Kelly’s, Mela’s and Lizzy’s just to name a few — but for once I’m still not tempted).

I may not have jumped on the Alder train but I fell HARD for the other new Grainline pattern, the Linden sweatshirt. In fact, I’ve already made 4 Lindens, putting it squarely in my TNT category.

Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline studios sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Oh Linden, how do I love thee.

This pattern release was well-timed for me. Well, actually it was a couple weeks late! As soon as the weather started to cool down I was immediately drawn to all of the amazing hip-length raglan sweatshirts and sweaters that are out this season. I bought … several … before Linden was released and I started making my own!

Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline studios sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Another sweatshirt version. My first one, actually.

Sure I could have tried using a raglan tee pattern as a sweatshirt base like Kelly did with great success. I did actually try that in the spring to no avail. In fact, it was kind of a disaster and it’s already gone in the Goodwill pile. I just found it hard to get the measurements right, the neckline was ridiculously wide and the proportions were all off. No, give me a nice, properly drafted sweatshirt pattern with exactly the ease and shape I want!

I’ve made both views of Linden so far and also combined different aspects from each. This is my perfect cold-weather pattern and I expect to wear my sweater versions all summer for work too.

Linden Sweater from Grainline studios sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Possibly my favorite version so far.
Linden Sweater from Grainline studios sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Short sleeves. This one will be really versatile for work.

The pink hearts and floral versions are both View A with the hem band and cuffs. I love wearing these on weekends and after work with leggings or jeans.

The black prints are both made with sweater knits and are great for the office. This first one is View B with the short sleeves and shorter length. It will definitely work all through the summer too.

The Aztec print combines elements of Views A and B. I omitted the bands like in View B but lengthened the bodice and sleeves to have the same length as View A. I love wearing this one. I think the length and drape make it so flattering.

All of my fabrics are from Wanderlust Fabrics, my new favorite source for knits. (I refrained from buying anything during its Black Friday sale which, believe me took some serious restraint!). The floral and hearts are both French terry. The hearts in particular are soooo soft and I love wearing them!

Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline studios sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Cuddly hearts.

The other two are sweater knits so they’re a little thinner and have amazing drape. The ribbing for all four is from an Etsy shop called Stylish Fabrics. This shop carries sweater knit ribbing, which I like so much better than the cotton ribbing I’ve used in the past. At least for this sort of garment.

Linden gets two wholehearted thumbs up from me!

Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline studios sewn by Katie @ www.creative-counselor.com
Linden Sweatshirt.

Pattern: Linden sweatshirt from Grainline Studios.

Size: 4.

Fabric: Main fabrics are all from Wanderlust Fabrics. The ribbing is from Stylish Fabrics.

Difficulty: Knit beginner.  This would be a great intro to sewing with knits and even a good first project. The drafting is top-notch, the fit is forgiving and construction is easy.

Techniques required: Sewing knits, hemming knits, sewing bands.

Similar patterns: Papercut Patterns SJ Tee; Papercut Patterns Undercover Hoodie; Hey June Lane Raglan; Greenstyle Centerfield Raglan; Style Arc Riva Raglan; Jamie Christina Hi Lo Raglan.

Modifications: None. I combined some elements of the two views, as detailed above.

Fit: Perfect. I love how this top fits me. It’s comfy and a perfect fit across the shoulders.

Pattern Format: I have the PDF version of Linden, mostly because I was so anxious to start making sweatshirts that I didn’t want to wait for the printed pattern to be released. I actually made my first ones before the printed pattern came out so that wasn’t a completely ridiculous urge. However, given my druthers, I will pretty much always choose printed patterns. This pattern is available in both.

Pros:

  • Great fit, and really flattering design.
  • Raglans look good on pretty much everyone.
  • Easy construction. Even a knits beginner should be able to handle this top.
  • The entire top can be sewn on the serger. That makes it seriously fast.
  • Plenty of options for color-blocking, which would be a great way to use up smaller knit pieces.
  • Even if you already have a good raglan t-shirt pattern, I still think this pattern is worth the money. The fit on a sweatshirt is looser in certain areas than a t-shirt and I found it more challenging than I expected to get a sweatshirt fit from a raglan t-shirt pattern.

Cons:

  • I really don’t have any. Unless you don’t like the styling or think it’s too simple to pay money for, there is nothing bad about this pattern. Every one of Jen’s patterns that I’ve worked with has been absolutely top-notch.

Overall Grade: A.  This is exactly what I wanted this winter and it’s already a TNT. It’s like Jen was reading my mind with Linden. This one gets a wholehearted recommendation from me!

**No freebies here. I paid for everything.

**J took all the photos in this post.  We have some work to do on his photography skills, but overall not bad for a 5-year-old!

0 thoughts on “Oh Linden Sweatshirt, where have you been all my sewing life?

  1. You know, I haven’t bought this one yet since I’ve been happy with the Lane Raglan… I haven’t tried it in a french terry yet, but I have (maybe had?) plans to! So you’re saying it’s a no-go? I’m curious what the fit difference was for you.

    But, these sweatshirts look awesome! LOVE the printed terry. It’s already been super cold here, at least at times, so I’ll definitely be needing warm layers like this!

    1. It certainly could work — Kelly made hers work beautifully. I tried it with the Lane, and I just needed to tweak the pattern more than I was willing to do for a sweatshirt, especially since I could just buy something specifically drafted for that. Since the Lane only has finished waist measurements provided (so annoying, BTW), it was pretty much impossible to gauge how the bust would fit until after I’d made it up. What I realized is that I wanted my sweatshirts to fit well through the shoulders, not be tight in the bust and have extra ease through the waist and hips. When I tried just sizing up in the Lane, the waist and hips were pretty close to how I wanted them, but the shoulders were way too big and the neckline was practically falling off my shoulders.

      You certainly could tweak the pattern to get the fit how you want it, but the Linden is drafted with exactly the ease I wanted in my sweatshirts/sweaters so I figured why bother? It probably makes me a lazy sewist, which I fully admit, but the Grainline drafting is so great and I was more than happy to pay Jen to do the tweaking for me!

      Whatever you decide to do, I definitely recommend making a few sweatshirts — they’re so cozy for the very cold winter we’re supposed to have!

      1. No need to feel lazy, it’s amazing that you squeeze in any sewing time at all! I’ll probably make the call right before slicing into fabric… The wide neckline is a problem with the Lane on non t-shirt fabrics. I want to layer a collared shirt under my heavier ones and it just doesn’t look right. Anyways, thanks for the info!

  2. Okay, I’m sold. I’d been looking at this pattern, but waiting to see some made up. This is exactly why I love sewing blogs! I’m about the same size — is 1 1/2 yards pretty accurate, or might I be able to squeeze one out of less?

    Cute new haircut! (It is new, right?)

    1. Hmmm, if you’re going to make full-length sleeves out of the same fabric, you probably will need the extra 1/2 yard. You probably would need less for the short sleeve version. Or if you color block and do the sleeves in a different fabric, you could easily get the bodice pieces only on one yard.

      And thanks! Yes, the haircut is new (for the blog at least). On a Sunday about 3 weeks ago I decided to chop it and it was gone that Tuesday. I love it!

  3. I love the knits you chose. I was tempted by the floral one. And sadly, I missed out that she was having a Black Friday sale. Probably for the best. I’ve spent my fabric allowance three times over already 🙂

    I cannot wait until this pattern comes in the mail. I’ve had such great luck fitting (no tears!) the Alder dress that I want to make the rest of her patterns. I am in dire need of some shirts, too.

    I was really tempted to skip out on the Linden sweatshirt. I was going to try a raglan top using the Sew U Home Stretch pattern but those would require grading and fitting. And who has time for that!

    I love your haircut, by the way!

    1. Thank you!

      I agree, no time for that! At least not with little ones around when sewing time is limited. There are enough holes in my wardrobe that I’d rather spend my time making wearable garments rather than grading and fitting!

    1. Thanks!

      I am totally a seasonal sewist. I really wish I was better about planning and sewing for the season to come rather than the one I’m in. But there’s no way around it — I like to make clothes I can wear tomorrow and don’t feel the urge to sew winter clothes until it’s cold outside. If this was released during my summer, I probably wouldn’t be tempted either!

  4. Very nice sweatshirts!! I really love the short sleeved one – so elegant! I ordered this pattern last week, so I really appreciate your review. Can’t wait to receive it and start sewing some of these up!

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