Thursday, 29 January 2015

Completed: Quilted Linden

This is one of those happy times where the visualisation and the realisation align perfectly!

 There are a number of sweatshirt patterns around at the moment and it took me a while to decide which to buy: Linden? White Russian? Enid? They do all differ, and I may at some point buy another but this time it was the Linden that won out. Not sure why - I think maybe the relaxed shape was more what I was after, plus I have a good track record with Grainline patterns #grainlinefangirl.

This was one of these garments where I knew in advance what I wanted to do - grey marl, with a quilted front. I bought the grey marl sweatshirt fabric in The Cloth Shop at a recent blogger meet up (I never wrote about it but you can read about it here and here). It's polyester - I know! Again! Danielle will never believe it. It might have something else in there - elastane or something - but I really can't remember. The Cloth Shop doesn't sell ribbing, so I consulted the list published by Jen. It was actually harder than I expected to find a grey marl ribbing, at a reasonable price. I didn't want to pay more for the ribbing than the main fabric!

In the end, I decided that rather than go with a close match that wasn't quite right, I'd go for a bit of a contrast. I then decided to pick up the contrast colour in the quilting - inspired by Jennifer's Enid (I really, REALLY want that fabric!), so I ordered this from Plush Addict, and used their colour matching service to order a co-ordinating thread. I was impressed by the speedy service from Plush Addict, including a free sweetie, but... I wasn't impressed with their thread choice. To be fair, the ribbing is a melange so has various colours in it, but I wouldn't have chosen the thread myself. To my mind it didn't match. I could have sent it back, but it seemed a bit churlish for the sake of £1.40 or whatever. I'm sure I'll use it eventually. When I bought the main fabric back in November I bought 2 reels of co-ordinating thread, unsure how much I'd use when quilting, and at that time I was planning to match the quilting thread to the fabric. So, I then had to go back to The Cloth Shop to buy a fourth reel of thread to match the ribbing!!! So, yeah, I spent around £6 on thread for this project...

Good job, I like it! The garment went together really easily and quickly. The main garment consists of just 3 pieces: front, back and sleeve, and there are then 3 further ribbing pattern pieces. Fewer if you make the t-shirt view. And yay for raglan sleeves - no sleeves to set in!!! I have sewn a raglan pattern once before, and I seem to remember the sleeves being a nightmare. Not so this time, they went in beautifully. I took care to ensure the seams all matched at the underarm.

Underarm seam
But I am jumping ahead. I quilted the front bodice piece after cutting it out but before sewing the garment together. I stay stitched the neckline and raglan edge before I started, to stop any stretching out from handling. Using a scrap of fabric I did a few practice runs to get a grid size and stitch length I liked. I then drew the grid, using disappearing marker pen, and sewed along the lines. The ink disappeared quite quickly, so I drew 2 or 3 lines at a time and sewed them, drew another 3, and so on. I didn't think about placement, but by happy coincidence, the "diamonds" have ended up more or less centred. Win!

The garment was constructed on my sewing machine, using the lightening bolt zigzag. I left the edges raw, apart from the seams attaching the ribbing, which I overlocked. I am still nervous about using the overlocker to actually hold something together, plus my overlocker doesn't appear to have any seam allowance markings. Speaking of seam allowance, it's only 1/4 inch on this pattern - something to bear in mind when you are marking your notches, if like me, you snip into the SA. I had to make my SA a little wider in places to accommodate my slightly overgenerous snips! I twin needled the neckline, as suggested in the pattern. My stretch twin needle is quite narrow, and wouldn't straddle the seam, so I sewed with the right needle "stitching in the ditch" and the left holding the seam allowance down. It's a little wobbly in places but fine. I think a wider set twin needle would give it a more professional look, though. 

I do have a couple of small fit issues. The neckline stands proud on my shoulders. It looks like it's been stretched out, but it was like this before I added the ribbing. I actually thought the ribbing would pull it in, but it obviously hasn't, and instead I now have some weird "bubbling" where the fleece wants to stick up, but the ribbing pulls it back down again. There also seems to be fabric pooling just beside underarm at the back. I've not overly sure how to fix either of these problems, so if you have any ideas feel free to jump in. I'm wondering if I can fix the neckline simply by increasing the seam allowance just at the top of each of the raglans, thus reducing the neckline circumference?

*ETA* - I have just discovered that both Laney and Sew Charleston increased the SA to reduce gaping at the neckline, so definitely worth a try for the next one!

Neckline "bubbling"

Excess fabric pooling at the underarm.
I'm really happy with the finished garment! As I said, it is pretty much exactly as I imagined. I love the wide neckline, which I think is more flattering than the usual crew neck. The fit is relaxed but not overly so. The contrast ribbing works well, and while the quilting is a bit more subtle than I expected, I think it works really well. And it's so cosy and snuggly!!! Perfect for the miserable weather we've been having recently.



  1. Very nice! I like how you quilted it. I never thought of doing that.

  2. Excuse the idiotic question (my not so little darlings decided to get up at 4am, play tig outside my room at 5am and then fight at 6am, so my brain is a bit mushy today), but is your quilting just lines of normal stitching over one layer of sweatshirt fabric? So, a kind of mock quilt top stitching.

    1. Yep, exactly that. Probably cheating to call it quilting, really, but I didn't know what else to call it. Clearly I am not a quilter!! :) I did consider padding it somehow, but the fabric is thick and really warm as is. I used a straight stitch, but increased the stitch length to 3.5.

      Oh, jeez, 4am?!!! I feel for you!

  3. Looks great, I love your quilting, I would never get the lines straight!

    1. They are straight enough! Although far from perfect!!!

  4. Love this. If I could sew I'd make a few in different colours.
    One for small boy , too?

  5. It's lovely. Your quilting is perfect and I love the contrast ribbing. A happy win!

  6. This is so great! The quilting on the front really makes it something special. I must add this pattern to the winter sewing list. You're making polyester look mighty fine, you are!

    1. You could always buy it now and make the t shirt version!!! Enable enable. Thanks. I do love the quilting. X

  7. I love this! I'm seeing so many lovely versions of this pattern popping up. I think the contrast ribbing looks really good.

  8. The quilting lifts this from a simple sweatshirt to a fabulous top. I love it.


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