FO: Linden Sweatshirt (with biker’esque quilting hack)

I am VERY late on the Linden bandwagon I know. But up until I swapped out my serger for a more powerful one at Christmas (Santa did good!) my old serger couldn’t cope with thicker fabric and I really didn’t fancy sewing this on my standard machine. So this was one of the first things I made on my new serger. (A Brother 4234D in case you were wondering!) It’s taken a while to get this post up because I’ve really struggled to get decent pics. It’s black for a start. It’s winter for seconds and the details of the quilting hack are quite subtle from a distance. So these are the best of the bunch, but hopefully you can get the gist from these pics. I mean you all know what a Linden looks like by now, lol! So it’s the deets of the hack I’m focusing on here…LINDEN BIKER QUILTED SWEATSHIRT

I opted for  View B, lengthened by 1″ with the sleeves from View A. Fabric is a black cotton jersey sweatshirting from Girl Charlee with a supersoft fleece backing. Super easy to sew and lovely and soft.  This Licorice colourway is a teeny bit of a fluff magnet which for day to day wear I can live with, but involved alot of masking tape to get it ship shape for photographing, lol 🙂 But there’s loads more colours if that’s likely to bug you. Doesn’t bother me too much.LINDEN BIKER QUILTED SWEATSHIRT

But the crux of this post is the quilting detail I applied in bands to the cuffs and hem. I mean. A black sweatshirt. That’s a bit minimal even for me! I wanted to elevate it in some way and give it a bit of personality and edge and I think this works beautifully in that respect; and also in the sense that it’s extra warm in those areas due to the double thickness of fabric I used for the quilting element. I’m so pleased with the overall effect. The bands are reminiscent of the detailing on biker jackets and inspired by the proliferation of quilted detailing emerging all over the interwebs…LINDEN BIKER QUILTED SWEATSHIRT

For the neckline I opted for my favourite deconstructed “finish”. It has been through the wash several times at the point this pic was taken (I wear it alot!) and the raw edge of the neckband has “roughed up” just the way I like it. The raw edge of this fabric does fray ever so slightly if left unfinished. Which is worth bearing in mind if you like a clean finish inside your garments, then it’s definitely a candidate for the serger.

I also raised/narrowed the neckline on the pattern. The necklines on this and the Hemlock pattern are marginally too wide for me as I’m not a fan of things hanging off my shoulders or revealing my bra straps. It’s an easy fix if you have the same issue. (See previous post).LINDEN BIKER QUILTED SWEATSHIRT

So. Onto the quilting part! The fabric is was not quite thick enough for quilting lines to be as prominent as I had in mind. So I created super wide facings for the cuffs and hem band to add body and “puff” for the quilting element. First step, before any construction begins, is to quilt the cuffs. I first measured how deep I wanted my quilted section to be then transferred this to my paper pattern….LINDEN BIKER QUILTED SWEATSHIRT

Marked out the entire section on my pattern…LINDEN BIKER QUILTED SWEATSHIRT

Then traced that off as a separate pattern piece…. For the cuffs I had to apply the facing and quilt the cuffs BEFORE construction (ie while they were still flat) as the cuff circumference was too narrow once constructed, to fit around the free arm on my sewing machine.LINDEN BIKER QUILTED SWEATSHIRT

For the hem band I aligned the front and back pattern pieces at the side seams, overlapping the seam allowances; and did exactly the same thing. Note:  THIS piece though, (once marked out and traced off) will need seam allowance added at one side then be cut on the fold. Once the cuffs are quilted I constructed everything as normal until I had just the hem left to do…LINDEN BIKER QUILTED SWEATSHIRT

For the hem facing band, once cut from the fabric, join the two ends to create a loop and then apply to the hem as a facing, turning to the inside. You can see here I’ve rolled the seam along the edge slightly to the inside…then simply quilt in paralell lines (or crazy random ones if you like!).LINDEN BIKER QUILTED SWEATSHIRT

Here’s a better angle to show the quilting on the cuffs (and some masking tape in the background for defluffing, lol  😉LINDEN BIKER QUILTED SWEATSHIRT

I’m definitely feeling the Linden love and can absolutely see why it’s SUCH a popular pattern.  Quick, easy, comfy.  I can see me making a few of these! I’ve also come to realise that I’m not necessarily “pattern averse”. I’m just not a lover of print. I like pattern and texture and interest on my clothes and am really feeling inspired to explore fabric manipulation, texture and embellishment further this year; as a means of adding this interest to my makes in a really subtle way. I usually opt for plain fabrics, but even I can find those a bit dull at times. So quilting is obviously one good way of adding a little subtle interest. I think this year, I’m going to look at ways of adding interest to my favoured simple silouhettes and plain fabrics, with construction, design and textural details; and see where that leads. What about you? Are you plain? Pattern? Or like me….a little somewhere in between?


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  1. Fabric Tragic February 2, 2016

    This is super clever! Such a simple thing to do but very effective and chic!

    • Portia Lawrie February 2, 2016

      I love simple 🙂 thanks so much 🙂

  2. jeanie February 2, 2016

    Beautiful! I will be looking for a project to add this kind of detail to.

  3. diana February 2, 2016

    very nice! totally going to copy you:)

  4. Mary February 2, 2016

    That is nice. What pattern did you use?

  5. Mark February 2, 2016

    I agree with Fabric Tragic, really clever and effective! Makes our softy sweatshirt look like a rough tough biker’s jacket (but way more stylish!) Love it!

  6. Yvette Chilcott February 2, 2016

    I love the quilting detail, thanks for sharing!

  7. Colleen Flanigan February 2, 2016

    I prefer simple and classic lines and absolutely love this! I am so looking forward to your upcoming inspirations! Thank you!

    • Portia Lawrie February 2, 2016

      Aw, thanks Colleen! Gonna have a play over the next few months I think!

  8. R February 2, 2016

    ohh, what a great idea

  9. Joyce February 2, 2016

    I love your take on this. And certainly will give it a go. One question, did the quilting lines bring the width in at all??
    I’ve been thinking a similar thing regarding prints, but a twist to a block colour is what I’ve been wanting to explore.

    • Portia Lawrie February 2, 2016

      Not particularly Joyce. Just a bit thicker/warmer . Px

  10. Jen February 3, 2016

    This is beautiful. Love the quilting…

    • Portia Lawrie February 3, 2016

      Thank Jen! Really pleased with the outcome!

  11. Thelma Gardner February 5, 2016

    I resewed over the quilted lines on my bought dressing gownyoke using a multi-coloured thread and a narrow zigzag stitch ………. I think it looks faniastic ……………….

    • Portia Lawrie February 5, 2016

      Like it!!

  12. Jen February 16, 2016

    Love this! I have some black sweatshirting and this would be an ideal thing to do with it! Thank you for the idea! Jen PS not the same Jen as your previous commenter ; )


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