Done and done: a ruffly Linden

This fabric has a bit of a story. I bought it this summer and was SO excited to use it. It incorporated my fave colours and patterns to wear (grey and off-white stripes and dots) but was also a bit unique (reversible! Whee!). I made it up into a Blackwood cardigan (easily my most worn pattern) which I thought was a recipe for instant success. Somehow it was not.

I didn’t get the fit right in the shoulders and I found the dots and stripes too little for such a large, long garment. I truthfully wore this cardigan maybe twice, which is less than I wear my black Blackwood in a week.

I didn’t worry too much as I had a solid chunk left over and knew I easily had enough for a top (spoiler alert: not so much).

I finally settled on a baggy sweatshirt but knew I needed to use the reversibility of the fabric somehow. Wouldn’t it be a waste of such a neat fabric if I didn’t? I knew I didn’t want to go through the hassle of making a reversible garment again as it was way too fussy with the two layers and wasn’t worth the less-than-amazing results.

Ruffles! I would add ruffles! That would be just the little peek at the striped underside that I would show off. I had been wanting to make something – anything – with a ruffle since probably last fall but never found the project.

So. I bought the new Jarrah sweatshirt pattern from Megan Nielsen, drafted a cute ruffle I would sandwich in the shoulder seam and started pinning pieces to fabric. Except, this fabric is not as wide as I remember. And I don’t have near as much yardage as I thought.

I played with the few pieces involved for close to an hour, even deciding to sacrifice my Blackwood to the cause. For such a big sweater, it doesn’t actually have that much in the way of uninterrupted fabric chunks. Even using the cardigan for parts, I couldn’t make it work.

I left it for a new days and decided to change tack. A Linden would do it! It’s the ultimate scrap-busting pattern! It still took me a good amount of time and the back of my Blackwood to get all the pieces to fit, but I did it.

And am I ever glad I did.

Last week, I wore this top THREE TIMES. In a week! I have learned one very valuable thing about what I like and it’s sweatshirts I can wear to work (I have made many).

This fabric is amazingly soft. I sized up one size to make the sweater extra cozy and added an extra two inches of length to make it just acceptable to wear with leggings on the weekend. The subtle dots and the ruffle with peekaboo stripes make it feel like a little bit more than a sweatshirt. Seriously, this is pretty much my ideal top.

The ruffle is the easiest hack ever and will instantly upgrade any sweatshirt to one you can wear to work/school/a date/wherever you like to feel nice. I made my ruffle 1 1/2 inches wide plus a 1/2 inch seam allowance, meaning I cut a two-inch wide strip. Your strip should be double the length of the seam you’re sandwiching it into (this is my standard for anything gathered – skirts, curtains, etc). Finish one long side with your serger, gather the other and baste onto front pieces. Sew up as normal. Wear it and enjoy!

It looks super cute on the raglan sleeve, but would also look awesome on a drop sleeve or right at the shoulder. Honestly, ruffles work everywhere 🙂

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