Friday, 3 April 2015

Completed: Metallic Gold Linden Sweatshirt

I'm posting out of order here, but this sweatshirt got so much love on IG this morning that I thought I'd better prioritise it. This is my new favourite top. I love it so, so, so much. It's not very often that my mental image of how something will look matches the reality. I'm usually disappointed by something. Not this time.

Let's start with the fabric since that's what this sweatshirt is all about. I was browsing the web, Etsy in particular, for French terry for a different project, when I stumbled across this metallic foil french terry in gold and grey from Miss Matatabi (she also has a few other metallic French terrys (terries?)). It was a no brainer, as my Dad would say. I instantly knew what I wanted to make - a Grainline Linden Sweatshirt, with the metallic on the front bodice and the rest in plain grey marl. I quickly double checked to make sure the front bodice would fit into half a metre - in a size 4 it does, just - and placed the order.  I then spent quite a bit of time scouring the internet for a suitable plain grey marl french terry, before finding one from a different Japanese Etsy seller, Nuttafabric. It seems to have sold out, but it's cotton with quite a bit of stretch. I also notice Miss Matatabi has a plain grey marl, so I'm going to assume that I did check that first, and that it's been recently added...

French terry, in case you are unsure, is like normal sweatshirt fabric on the right side, with a loop back, a bit like towelling on the back. It's lovely and soft and quite drapey, but thinner than fleecey sweatshirting and as a result, not overly warm - at least the stuff I bought isn't. I struggled to find any in the UK, hence buying from Japan, but I have since discovered that if you search for "loop back", or simply "sweatshirt fabric" you are more likely to have success - if you search for the latter, double check whether it is fleece back or loop back. Perhaps "French Terry" is an American term?

Before cutting out, I did have a bit of a change of mind and briefly considered making both the front and back bodice in the metallic fabric. I put the question out to IG but the overwhelming response was in favour of my initial plan, which was good because I probably would have done that anyway. I couldn't really picture it with a metallic back, and I think I made the right choice. Plus, I know the gold foil will eventually fade/wear away, so this means I can always make another! :) On that subject, I thought I would take care not to wash this too often, to ensure the foil lasts as long as possible. Best laid plans and all that: so far today it has had banana mashed into it and it has been peed on - both after these photos were taken, luckily for you!

I've made the Linden before, but this time I made the following changes:

  • Retraced the pattern pieces, this time extending the seam allowance to 1/2". The pattern includes a 1/4" SA which I just found tricky to manage on my last version, particularly as I sewed both that version and this on my sewing machine. Adding the extra SA definitely helped on this one, and where necessary (e.g. on the neck, wrist and hem bands) I just trimmed them back to 1/4" to reduce bulk.
  • To counter the gaping on the neckline on my previous version, I pinched out a dart on either side. Each dart was about 3cm in width and about 6cm in length. They could do with some finessing as they are not perfectly aligned, but this has made a vast improvement to the fit on the neck. For future versions, I may take the excess out of the raglan sleeve seam, but I quite like the look of the darts on this version. Plus I've seen similar on RTW so it feels OK to have done it!
  • Despite the reduction in the neckline circumference, I didn't reduce the length of the neck band. I used the Maria Denmark Kimono tee instructions to measure a new neckband... which strangely turned out to be larger than the original Linden neckband pattern piece. Hmmmm. So I just used the same Linden pattern piece and it seems to fit perfectly well. Not sure I really understand, so I'm just going with it.
  • I used self fabric for the neck, hem and wrist bands. I did cut them out in the same ribbing I used last time (I have a lot leftover), but it just didn't feel right to use them for this version. I vastly prefer the look of the self fabric, particularly at the neck.
  • Top stitched both the neckband and the raglan seam allowances with a twin needle.

The make itself was nice and easy, but the fabric was a little tricky. The cut edges curled badly, which made keeping to seam allowances very difficult, particularly when attaching the neck/wrist/hem band, where I had 3 layers, curling in different directions, which I was trying to straighten out while stretching the band to fit the fabric and keeping an eye on the SA. I could have done with a couple of pairs of extra hands to tell the truth. I ended up basting the neck and hem band on first. The neck and wrist bands are quite neat but the hem band is a bit of a mess with very inconsistant seam allowances. By then though, I was sewing tired. Always a bad idea. The fabric also frayed - unusual for a knit - so all seams are overlocked.

But, hem band aside, I am delighted with this sweatshirt. Absolutely love it. I love that it's casual but a bit more special. Even just wearing it as I am in these photos with jeans and converse, it makes me feel a bit more cool. I can wear a long sleeved tee(s) underneath it right now, but it will be wearable right through spring and into summer with just a cami underneath. Be prepared to see this in high rotation throughout Me Made May!

Hooray for metallic sweatshirts!!!

Shoulder dart. Also seam on neck band doesn't *quite* match up!
Top stitching

Finally, when I asked P to take photos of me outside for this post, he refused. Apparently everyone looks at him when he takes photos of me!! I would have thought they'd probably be looking at me, wondering why I'm having my photo taken, but anyway. So, it was back to me taking "self portraits" in the livingroom. Until, that is, he decided to join in...

Next up: a lesson in why you should always prewash...



  1. Love it! That fabric is gorgeous.

  2. Great sweatshirt, very useful post and notes thankyou! and also those out-takes at the end are just lovely.

  3. A perfect make. Really love the bit of glam at the front. Always good when you truly love a make.

  4. You two are so cute! I love your sweatshirt - now I want one!

  5. I LOVE this! Honestly, sweatshirts don't come any more perfect than this! What a thrill it is when the finished project lives up to the plans :D All your alterations worked beautifully, but I really like the shoulder darts. Must remember that trick! Gorgeous pics of the two of you too :)

  6. Miss matabi has amazing fabrics ... I have to hide my card lol great linden

  7. Just spotted from your MMM post that you'd made this up! remember seeing the fabric on Instagram. You were right, it was the better plan :)


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