It’s time again for the Sewlong Summer Blog Tour, and usually I’m racing to complete couple new blouses or skirts to punch up my professional wardrobe for back to school.
This year, I’m off on maternity leave, so I’m working on a baby-friendly-but-stylish fall/winter capsule. My plan was to make mostly easy-to-wear tops I could wear over skinny jeans or leggings and a dress that would get me through the holiday season. To get my post-baby sew-jo back, I decided to start with the quickest projects and move through to the more complicated ones as fall progressed.
Cue the Linden sweatshirt. I know that everyone and their dog has made about a thousand Lindens and that I’m super late to the party, but I’m going to sing its praises anyway. This top is super easy to make (I whipped out five in less than a month), super versatile (oooh the layering possibilities!), and a super scrap-buster (more on that to come).
My fall palette consists of grey, navy and off-white (as is my usual), with punches of candy-apple red and mustard yellow and a good amount of dots and plaid. I planned to make a few Lindens and ended up making a zillion (or five) as I realized that I could use scraps of jersey I’d been hanging on to forever.
I didn’t expect to like my first Linden. I didn’t make a muslin, so I threw together a tester with red and grey fabric left over from a babywearing hoodie I made my husband. While it did require some sizing tweaks, but was wearable, so I did. Immediately. And often.
My second and third Lindens were made together as they both had pieces cut from the same black fabric and would be serged in black. Number two was made out of a cute bicycle print jersey I picked up in my travels through Germany last summer and is a top I’ve been waiting so long to make.
Number three was a total afterthought which isn’t technically part of the capsule (what, mint and mustard yellow don’t work together!?) and made of scraps from a maternity top I made this winter. I had one of those chunks of fabric with no straight edges but couldn’t bear to part with because it was too big to throw away and by some miracle was able to squish a shirt front onto it. Naturally, it had to have elbow patches. I also found some black ribbing scraps so I fee this top is different enough from the bikes even though the are, like, 90 per cent the same shirt.
Numbers 4 and 5 were somewhat more complicated. Since batching the other two tops worked so well, I decided to go ahead and sew these two together, too.
Number 4 was intended to salvage fabric from a failed top I attempted this spring and use up something I found in a remnant bin. Cutting out the pieces took some creativity, but there’s a blog post coming about that later. I made up View B and, while I am not a cropped, short-sleeved sweatshirt type, I’m excited to try layering this over the two blouses I plan to tackle next.
Number 5 was meant to be a longer sweatshirt dress made out of fabric that my husband gave to me for our anniversary last fall (year two is cotton). When I tried it on, I realized the fabric bunched funny around my waist so I just lobbed it off and made it a regular-length Linden.
So far, I’ve been wearing my Lindens on repeat every chance I get (read: any day cooler than 25 degrees.) This pattern totally fulfilled the cool, easy sweater-shaped hole in my wardrobe. I’m super excited to get started on phase two (a couple Archers) so I can start some layering! Bring on fall!
Suffice to say that Linden is my new favourite pattern – it’s easy to make, to wear and is easily the cheapest top I’ve ever cobbled together with leftovers. Linden is the basic top you need in your wardrobe today!
If you’re interested in how other #sewcialists say “sew long” to summer, check out these links: