All Change

Wow - I can't believe that my last blog post was in early-January!  The past few months have been incredibly busy.  Most of my time has been devoted to my daughter Annabel (who is now almost six months old!) and I've been working on the business from home when I've been able to.  Sadly, the amount of time I've had to work on the business has been scant.  I had a few good weeks in January when Annabel was taking really long naps and going down for them easily (I seem to remember that I had about 6 hours to myself during the day back then!).  However, her daytime sleep patterns soon changed: long naps became 35-minute naps, with much fussing to get her to sleep and to get her back to sleep. This didn't leave much time or energy for getting much done.  


Recent photos of Annabel: she's getting so big!

So, I've had to withdraw myself more and more from the business over the last few months: Annabel definitely comes first.  Isobel has been doing a fantastic job keeping things going: getting your orders in the post, answering emails, posting on social media.  However, due to my lack of time, there hasn't been much activity behind-the-scenes - particularly with regard to ordering new products and getting them on the website.  

With my lease expiring in June, I've been doing a lot of thinking over the last few weeks about what I'd like to do with the business long-term.  It's clear that things can't continue as they are.  During the past few weeks, Annabel has been sleeping a lot better during the day: she's in a more regular routine with 3 long naps each day - and so I now have a bit more 'me' time during the day, and more energy (and desire!) to do things in the evening. However, I still don't have the amount of time that's needed to run the business in its current state.  So, it seemed to me that my options were to put Annabel in a nursery for at least 3 days per week - or re-jig the business (making it smaller, more focused and more manageable) and bring it into my home.  After a lot of thought, I've decided to go with the second option. 

So, there's going to be some big changes around here over the next month!  Firstly, while I have a very decent-sized room to put the business in in our flat, it's definitely not as big as our current studio, so I'm going to need to slightly downsize our fabric collection.  So, there's going to be a big sale - starting now!   I'm mostly trying to get rid of a good number of our rolls of fabric, as I will have limited storage space for rolls.  So, there's lots of good deals to be had on many fantastic fabrics, with savings of up to 45% off!  You can see what's on sale here. If you know of anyone who might be interested in our sale, we'd really appreciate it if you could let them know!


Some of the fabrics which are now on sale.

Secondly, during and after the move, the store will probably close for about a week, to give me time to set things up and restyle the website.  I'll give you details about this closure closer to the time (I'm still working out the dates for the move).

What's 'The Splendid Stitch' going to look like after it reopens?  One of the biggest changes will be that I'm going to start to sew regularly for my blog and my fabric buying will in the future revolve around these makes. This is somewhat similar to my current strategy of bringing in fabrics for our 'featured outfit' posts. The only difference now is that I'm actually going to be using these fabrics myself to sew up a nice, stylish wardrobe!  Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about this!!  So, for example, I'm planning to make some summer dresses over the next few months and am going to be bringing in a number of amazing voiles, challises and jerseys.  I'm also planning to make myself some trendy cropped trousers and will be bringing in some absolutely luscious trouser-weight denims, chambrays and linen-blends from Robert Kaufman.  Overall, I'll bringing in more fabrics than I could possibly use, but they'll all be fabrics that I personally absolutely love and will be geared towards creating a beautiful, modern wardrobe.  

To give you a flavour of what's to come, here are some of the images that are serving as inspiration for my fabric buying and sewing over the next few months:

 

All of these images (which are drawn from recent fashion blog posts and articles) can be found on a new Pinterest board I've set up.  

I'd also love to find out what you'd like to sew.  To facilitate this, I've set up another Pinterest board here where you can pin images of outfits that inspire you.  I'll have a look at this board when I'm planning my fabric buying!  

So, that's what's going to be happening to our fabric collection. In order to streamline the business and make it more manageable, I'm also going to make some further changes:

  • I'm going to decrease the number of fabric suppliers I work with.  In the past, I've bought from 24 suppliers (yikes!) and that's just too many: it makes shopping, reordering and doing payments very time-consuming.  So, I'm going to hone in on some of my more favourite and reliable suppliers.  To this end, I'm also probably going to carry fewer pattern companies.  
  • I'm going to make our social media contributions more focused: Instagram and Facebook will be where I'll primarily be hanging out.  
  • I'm (reluctantly) going to be discontinuing our 'sewing schools' program (we currently supply kits to students at a number of sewing schools).  I absolutely love doing this, but it is really time-consuming and I just don't have the time now.
  • I'm going to change the way we do samples.  As many of you will know, you can get samples of all of our fabrics for 20 p each and I include two free samples with every order.  I've absolutely loved both policies, as I think it should be easy and cheap to get samples of fabrics you're interested in - and I love picking out personalised samples for each order.  However, the cheapness of the samples means that we often get very large sample orders which take a really long time to put together (sometimes 20-30 samples at a time!) and picking out and preparing personalised samples for each order also takes up a lot of time.  So, I'm thinking of marginally bumping up the cost of the individual samples (maybe to 50 p - to better account for the time it takes to put together sample orders) and maybe including standardised free samples with each order (so, maybe two samples of some new fabrics that have just come in).  If you think I'm making a big mistake in changing this, please do let me know!  I've put together an online form for you to give me your input on the changes I'm making to the business.  If you have some thoughts or suggestions, please do fill it out here!  

 

So, there's going to be some big changes taking place here over the next month or so! I'm pretty excited about this impending transformation of the business, and I hope that these changes excite you too and that you'll all join me in this second leg of 'The Splendid Stitch's' journey!  You'll be able to see what's coming in and what I'm making by following this blog, signing up to our newsletter, and/or following us on Instagram or Facebook.

Finally (yes, there's one more piece of big news!), I am really sad to announce that Isobel is leaving!  She was recently promoted at her main job and is now unable to fit in the 10 hours a week that she currently does for us.  I was really excited to hear about her promotion - but so sad to hear that she'd have to leave.  She's done such a fantastic job over the last few months and I'll miss her a lot! 

Fortunately, I've found a really superb replacement who will be starting next week.  I'll give you more news on that soon.  I think that's enough announcements for one day!  :-)

To see what's on sale, click here.

To give me feedback on the proposed changes (which I'd love to receive - good and bad!), click here.

 

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May 13, 2017 by Amy Lloyd
Tags: News

I'm Back!

I'm super excited to introduce you to the newest member of The Splendid Stitch's team!  Meet baby Annabel:

 

She's now almost two months old, and is smiling and cooing - and just so much fun.  As she's now into a bit more of a settled routine, I've returned to work.  And by that, I mean that I'm doing some work from home during her naps.  :-)  It's definitely nice to have something else to occupy my mind - and keep me busy - while she's sleeping!  She'll likely go to a local nursery on a part-time basis when she's a little older.  However, I'm going to try to keep her by my side for as long as possible.  

   

 

While I've been away, Isobel has been expertly taking care of things.  She's going to continue packing all the orders, doing the customer service, and posting on social media now that I'm back.  

I had hoped to post more new outfits on the blog while I was away, but I'm afraid that I was overly optimistic about what I could accomplish in those early weeks after giving birth: the first few weeks were quite a challenge!  LOL  I'm sure that most of you who have children saw that coming!  :-)  The outfit posts will be resuming very soon - but in a slightly different format.  Isobel and I have been cooking up something really exciting, and I can't wait to show it to you.  Keep your eyes peeled: I'll be revealing all on the blog shortly!  Also keep your eyes peeled for new products: I've been ordering like crazy over the last few days and some really lovely new fabrics and sewing patterns are going to start appearing on the website very soon!

 

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January 10, 2017 by Amy Lloyd
Tags: News

Luscious Velvet Dresses

This week's featured outfit is straight off the Autumn/Winter 2016 catwalks.  Velvet was a big trend and a number of beautiful velvet dresses were featured in some of the collections, including:

 Images all from Autumn/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear collections, as featured on Vogue.co.uk: Prada, Prada, Fendi, Emporio ArmaniPreen by Thornton Bregazzi

 

This week's featured outfit draws inspiration from these dresses.  I've paired Named's Olivia wrap dress with two of our knit velvets: a luscious black one and a rich burgundy one.  They're both really lovely!  As they're from different suppliers, they're not identical.  Comparing the two, the burgundy velvet is stretchier than the black one, while the black one is heavier and has a deeper pile.  I've tried my best to photograph them.  I should warn you, though, that velvet is very difficult to photograph: you really need to get samples of these fabrics to really appreciate them! 

 

Being knits, these two velvets can be used for most patterns designed for jersey (although it's better to stick to simple designs).  Drawing on the inspiration images (which show a number of wrap dresses), I've chosen Named's Olivia wrap dress - a classic, fitted wrap dress.  It should work well with the velvet, as there aren't very many seams and there are no darts.  The waist is cinched in with elastic.

 

Won't Olivia look lovely in a luxurious velvet?!  This dress would be great for dressy events through the festive season: beautiful, understated elegance.  :-)

Finally, I just wanted to point out the fantastic embroidery and applique in some of the inspiration images.  

From left to right: Prada, Fendi

I was a bit perplexed as to how one would execute this on a stretch velvet (particularly the embroidery), so I did some research.  Here's some great resources I found on the web, for those of you who may be considering giving this a go!

  

Further Details

Named Olivia Wrap Dress
£13 
Sizes: 32-50
Level: average
Reviews: 2 reviews on PatternReview.com; both are positive

 

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November 22, 2016 by Amy Lloyd

Not Jeans: Trousers in Denim and Chambray

Baby-watch continues here.  My husband is bringing home curry and pineapple for dinner tonight, so hopefully things will get started soon!

This week's featured outfit is Burda 6573 - a really lovely trousers pattern.  Here's the images that inspired the outfit:

Images from: Atlantic-Pacific; The Fashion Guitar; Not Dressed as Lamb; Cupcakes and Cashmere; Nicolette MasonCupcakes and Cashmere.

 

6573 is a great new pattern from Burda.  Here's what it looks like:

 

I absolutely love the design of this pattern - particularly the details at the waist, with the partial waistband at the front and the fitted darts at the back.  The optional buttons are also great - as are the trendy length options (both wide floor-length and cropped trousers are in right now).  

As for fabrics, drawing inspiration from the images above, I've selected a medium-weight chambray from Robert Kaufman and our navy crosshatch denim.  They're both really lovely fabrics (as you can see in the photos below - they both have really interesting, characterful weaves).  In terms of weight, they're both a great weight for trousers, with the denim being slightly heavier than the chambray.  They also both have lots of body, but soften slightly when laundered (I've laundered samples of both).  

The top fabric is the chambray and the bottom fabric is the denim.

 

As for what you can pair with chambray/denim trousers, the world is your oyster here!  They're basically a more dressy version of jeans - and we all know how versatile jeans are when it comes to choosing tops.  :-)  I love the pretty blouses/shirts and knit tops that the bloggers have paired (all neatly tucked in) with their trousers.  I also couldn't help but notice that most of the bloggers have chosen a white top.  White looks so great with denim, don't you think?  A very crisp and clean look.

 

Finally, I should also point out that we also have a few other patterns that would work with these fabrics and this trend.  First, there's Pauline Alice's Sorell trousers

 

Burda 6812 is another great option:

 

Finally, Vogue's versatile but now sadly-out-of-print 2532 pattern would also work well (we've still got a few copies!):

 

Further Details

Burda 6573
£5.85 (£5.27 until 25 November!)
Sizes: 6-18
Level: easy
Reviews: no reviews on PatternReview.com
Similar Patterns: Pauline Alice's Sorell trousersBurda 6812Vogue 2532

 

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November 17, 2016 by Amy Lloyd

Pretty Pleated Skirts - Plus Introducing Isobel!

I'm back!  My apologies for my lack of blog posts over the last two months.  Things have been super busy here, as I've been preparing for my upcoming maternity leave and hiring and training a new employee.  Something had to give - and, unfortunately, writing blog posts was it.  I know a lot of you like my featured outfit posts (and have missed them over the last few weeks), so you'll be happy to hear that I have quite a few in the pipeline at the moment!  I'm going to be bulk writing them over the next week, so there should hopefully be a steady flow of them while I'm on maternity leave (which will probably start in the next two weeks or so).

Technically, I've sort-of started my maternity leave, as I'm now largely doing light desk-work from home (I absolutely love working, so I'm likely going to continue doing so until my contractions start; watching TV or doing housework holds very little appeal!). My maternity leave has been made possible by the fact The Splendid Stitch now has its first employee - yay!  You may recall that I put out a job ad in early-September.  I ended up getting around 150 applications!  I managed to narrow them down to a long-list of 18 and a short-list of 6.  4 were eventually interviewed and 1 was hired.  I'm so incredibly excited to introduce you to Isobel:

We had fun taking a few photos yesterday of the two of us for using on The Splendid Stitch's social media profiles.  What you don't know is that I am actually standing on 5 Vogue and McCall's pattern books - because Isobel is quite a bit taller than me!   LOL  Oh yeah - I should probably point out that I'm the puffy, pregnant-looking one on the left and Isobel is the taller, leaner figure on the right!

 

Isobel is going to be packing all the orders from this point forward (during my maternity leave and beyond) - as well as answering customer emails and doing some posting on social media.  She's a professional artist - and sews in her spare time!  She learned to sew a few years ago and hasn't looked back since.  So, you'll be seeing her creations popping up on on our social media feeds and our blog over the coming months.  :-)  Here's a dress she made recently for a wedding using a Burda pattern and some silk dupioni - so, so pretty!  

Isobel's picked up everything extremely quickly and I'm confident I'm leaving The Splendid Stitch in a capable pair of hands while I'm away during my maternity leave (which will stretch to mid-January - after that, I'll come back part-time).    

So, that's the big news.  :-)  Now, onto the featured outfit: a pleated skirt!  Here's the images that inspired the outfit:

 

 

 Images from: Prada's Autumn/Winter 2016 Ready-to-Wear Collection; Pink PeoniesKendi Everyday; Atlantic-Pacific; Gal Meets GlamPrada's Autumn/Winter 2016 Ready-to-Wear Collection

 

The pattern I've chosen is McCall's 6706.  It's a pattern for a simple pleated skirt with a waistband.  As for variations, there are two lengths to choose from, as well as options for striped colour-blocking and for doing a shaped back hem.  There's also pattern pieces for a petticoat, if you're after a fuller-looking skirt.

As for fabrics, this pattern works well with both shirting-weight cotton broadcloths and poplins, as well as fabrics with more body like cotton sateen and silk shantung.  Based on the inspiration photos, I've chosen some of our cotton broadcloths from Art Gallery Fabrics (all three of which are new!) and some of our cotton sateens.  

First, here's the three AGF broadcloths I've chosen: 'Bees and Bits Mellow', 'Pure Elements London Red' and 'Pandagarden Naptime'.

As I've mentioned before on the blog, the quality of these AGF broadcloths is just fantastic.  I absolutely love the new prints!  The bee print is both fun and daintily pretty.  Here's a closer look at the bees:

The panda print is ah-mah-zing.  I could see it being a really great dress too.  :-)  You'll get a good view of the print by looking at the mock-ups below (which are to scale): 

As for the cotton sateens I've chosen, here they are: our Leonore sateen in red and white, and our purple floral sateen.  As sateen is heavier than broadcloth, it would make for a fuller, more structured skirt; the broadcloth would make for a lighter, swishier skirt. 

Here's what the fabrics look like mocked-up (again, to scale):

Oh, how I'd love to have a waist so I can make and wear skirts like these!  Hopefully in a few weeks' time.  :-)

As for how to style these skirts, I love how Kendi has styled hers with a simple black camisole (a plain blouse or t-shirt would also look great).  Doesn't it also look great with a shirt?!  I particularly love the white skirt / chambray shirt combo sported by Rach ('Pink Peonies').  If you wanted to recreate this look, our Robert Kaufman light blue chambray (maybe with Grainline Studio's Archer shirt?) would be perfect.

 

Further Details

McCall's 6706
£8.75 (£7.88 until 18 November!)
Sizes: 6-22
Level: easy
Reviews: 32 reviews on PatternReview.com; 87% give the pattern a positive rating 
Similar Patterns: Colette Zinnia; Liesl + Co. Everyday Skirt

 

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November 10, 2016 by Amy Lloyd

Now Hiring!

I've got some exciting news: I'm looking for my first employee!  I finished putting together the job ad yesterday morning and it went up on the website last night.  If you know how to sew, live in Glasgow, and are looking for part-time work (or know someone who lives in Glasgow who might be interested in this position), then please do check out the ad here.  

Essentially, I'm looking for someone who can pack orders, do some social media, and answer customer emails and phone calls.  The position will start on 10 October and it will be a permanent one.  

I'm so extremely excited about this.  I've been working on my own for ages now and it will be so nice to have someone else in the company.  The workload has been pretty extreme over the past few months and it will be nice to have some of it lifted.  Plus, two heads are definitely better than one: it will be lovely to have someone to brainstorm with and bounce ideas off of!  :-)

September 06, 2016 by Amy Lloyd
Tags: News

One Last Summer Dress

I've been analysing the Autumn/Winter collections this week - lots of velvet, tweed, and gorgeous rich colours.  However, it's not Autumn yet!  So, I thought I'd feature one last summer dress.  :-)  This time, it's Vogue 9100.

Here's the images that inspired this outfit:

Images from top to bottom from: Kendi Everyday; Gal Meets Glam; Dolce & Gabbana's Spring/Summer 2016 collection, as shown on Vogue.co.uk; Atlantic-Pacific

 

Vogue 9100 is a great summer dress pattern.  It's sleeveless and has a close-fitting, lined, princess-seamed bodice (with separate pattern pieces for different cup sizes!).  There are two length options for the skirt (knee-length and midi) and pocket aficionados will be happy to hear that the skirt has pockets.  :-)

 

 

As for fabrics, it can be made in both lighter-weight cotton broadcloths and heavier-weight cotton sateens and silk shantungs.  Here's what I've selected:

 

The first two fabrics are new cotton sateens - our red and cream floral sateen and our blue floral sateen.  The third fabric is a new lightweight floral cotton poplin, while the last fabric is a new navy chambray by Robert Kaufman (which we've also got in a light blue colourway).  

Here's what the prints would look like made up:  

Further Details

Vogue 9100
£12 (£10.80 for the next week!)
Sizes: 6-22
Level: very easy
Reviews: 8 reviews on PatternReview.com; 88% give the review a positive rating 

 

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August 23, 2016 by Amy Lloyd

Shoulders on Show

Off-the-shoulder tops have been popular for a while now and this week we're featuring two patterns for sewing this trend: McCall's 6558 and McCall's 7163!  

Before getting to the patterns, here's the images that inspired this week's outfit:

Images from top to bottom from: Kendi Everyday; Atlantic-Pacific; Cupcakes and Cashmere; Curvy Girl Chic

 

The two featured patterns are both easy-to-sew patterns by McCall's.  Let's look at 7163 first.  It's a loose-fitting, off-the-shoulder top which has a number of different options with regards to the sleeves and length (see the image below).  You also have the option of cinching in the waist with elastic or leaving the top loose.  I actually featured this pattern last autumn (you can see the outfit here).  

Our other featured pattern is 6558.  It includes numerous variations: so many that I won't describe them all!  The view that is of interest here is view A: a sleeveless, off-the-shoulder top with a big flounce and an elasticated waist.  

There is one other variation of note for 6558 that I'd like to mention, though: view B, which is a dress option of view A.

 

Nice, huh?!  Kendi Everyday featured a similar (shorter) dress recently that I really liked:

 

Ok - so that's the patterns.  They're both quite similar, except that 7163 has sleeves and 6558 has a flounce (and a dress option).  Both are quick-and-easy makes (McCall's claims that you can sew 6558 in under 1 hour!), and so they're great patterns for beginners and for more experienced sewers looking for a quick sewing fix.  

Turning now to fabrics, drawing on the inspiration images, I've recommended some of our crepes, batistes, jerseys and broadcloths (only 6558 can be made in jersey).  

First, here's our lightweight Isobel crepe in black, cream and light pink:

 

Our batistes by Atelier Brunette would also work well with these patterns.  Here's Sparkle Powder Gold and Bye Bye Birdie Blue Jean.  Sandwiched in between these two fabrics is one of our new chambrays by Robert Kaufman

 

 

Next, here's our solid-coloured AGF 'pure elements' broadcloths in snow (white), caviar (black) and tranquil waters (light blue):

 

 

Finally, 6558 can be made in jersey.  Here's our light pink and black Aurele jersey, and our white Rosalie jersey.  

 

 

The fabric you choose will dramatically impact the look you'll get: crepe and jersey are very drapey, while broadcloth and batiste have more body.

As for styling an off-the-shoulder top, all four fashion bloggers have paired theirs with jeans (of all types) or shorts.  I particularly love the looks with cropped jeans and strappy sandals.  Also, doesn't a bandana round the neck look great?!

 

Further Details

McCall's 7163
£8.75 (£7.88 for the next week!)
Sizes: 4-26
Level: easy
Reviews: 1 review on PatternReview.com; it's positive

McCall's 6558
£8.75 (£7.88 for the next week!)
Sizes: 8-24
Level: easy
Reviews: 16 reviews on PatternReview.com; 94% are positive!

 

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August 03, 2016 by Amy Lloyd

Pretty Summer Dresses

It's a beautiful summer day in Glasgow today - sunny and only moderately hot (21 degrees C).  Welcome relief after the storms of yesterday and the sweltering heat on Tuesday!  

Some beautiful new fabrics and patterns have been arriving here over the last few weeks - and more will be arriving very soon.  Yesterday, I uploaded some new patterns by McCall's and Vogue, including a number of lovely dresses:

 

One of these patterns is this week's featured outfit: Vogue 8998.  Here's the images that inspired this week's outfit:

Images from top to bottom from: Tanesha Awasthi, Gal Meets Glam, Tanesha Awasthi, My Curves and Curls.

 

Vogue 8998 is one of those Big 4 patterns which, I think, is slightly let down by the styling of the sample garment.  With its horsehair-stiffened hem and shiny, taffeta fabric, it feels a little 90s-party-dress to me!  

 

However, when you look at the line drawings, you see that it's just a nice summer dress:

 

This is a well-reviewed pattern: there are 14 reviews on PatternReview.com and all of the reviews give the pattern a positive rating!   There are lots of pretty examples of this dress across the sewing blogosphere.  Here are some of my favourites:

Images from left to right: Sew Manju; The Long and Winding BobbinDolly ClackettLlanoGirl

 

In terms of features, as you'll have seen in the line drawings, there are a few options.  You can make it sleeveless or with small cap sleeves.  There are also two skirts to choose from - flared or gathered - and there is the option for a skirt overlay.  Finally, there is a view with a backwards pointed collar.  So, you can get a variety of different looks from this one pattern!

Now, turning to fabrics, drawing on the inspiration images, here are my fabric recommendations - all cottons:

From top to bottom: AGF Mother's Garden Light Cotton Broadcloth (new!); Sabine White on Navy Large Polkadots Poplin

 

From top to bottom: AGF Shore Remains Algae Cotton Broadcloth; Spencer White Pinpoint Shirting

 

As I've mentioned before, the quality of the AGF broadcloths (and the Sabine poplins) is really fantastic, as you can see in the photo below.  The pinpoint shirting is a great weight - not see-through and with a really nice texture.

Through the wonders of Photoshop, here's what the prints look like to scale.  So pretty!

 

As for styling this kind of dress, I love the dress-up look by Tanesha (with stiletto pumps) and the dress-down look by Assa (with flat sandals).  With dresses, I'm usually drawn to prints, but Assa's look displays the versatility of dresses in solid colours: you can dress them up with a beautiful, statement jacket/cardigan or (not shown here!) colourful accessories.  

 

Further Details

Vogue 8998
£13 (£11.70 for the next week!)
Sizes: 6-22
Level: easy
Reviews: 14 reviews on PatternReview.com; all of the reviews give the pattern a positive rating
Similar patterns: Vogue 9075; By Hand London Kim; Vogue 9100 (new!)

 

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July 21, 2016 by Amy Lloyd

Sweatshirts!

Right - I think it's high time that I did another featured outfit!  I've been waiting for all the new fabrics to arrive - and they've finally started arriving this week.  Lots more are due to come in the next two weeks - and I've got loads of outfit posts planned for the next few months.  I can't wait to show you them!

This week's outfit is for a garment which, at first glance, seems a little un-summery.  However, the weather recently (at least here in Glasgow) hasn't been very warm.  I actually came to work two days ago wearing a top, 2 cardigans and a coat!  So, I think this garment is definitely seasonally-appropriate.  What is it?  Well, you've probably already seen the title of this blog post: this week's featured outfit is a sweatshirt!

Here's the images that inspired the outfit:

Images from top to bottom from: Glam Up Your Lifestyle; Tanesha Awasthi; Glam Up Your Lifestyle; Sincerely Jules; Glam Up Your Lifestyle

 

For the pattern, I've chosen Grainline Studio's Linden sweatshirt.  This is an extremely well-reviewed pattern, with 25 reviews on PatternReview.com (96% of which give the pattern a positive rating!).  It's a versatile pattern, with two options for the length (mid-hip and high-high) and two options for the sleeves (long and short).  You can also make it with ribbing or with self-ribbing.  Finally, Grainline Studio has some great Linden-related tutorials on their blog, including how to apply applique to the front and how to add a split hem.

 

Linden has a relaxed fit.  If you're looking for a more fitted sweatshirt, a great alternative is Named's Sloane sweatshirt.  

 

Turning now to fabrics, I'm pleased to announce that I've recently added two new lines of sweatshirting to our collection that have matching ribbing!!!  They're our Serena French terry and Matilde light sweatshirting.  It is with some trepidation that I must announce that I've reluctantly decided to replace our Steffi line of French terry with our new Serena line.  Judging from your emails and reviews on social media, I know that lots of you loved Steffi - and so did I.  However, it didn't have matching ribbing.  So, when one of my suppliers brought out new lines of French terry and sweatshirting with matching ribbing - and the samples I was sent looked good - I decided to replace Steffi.  Having now seen bolts of Steffi and Serena side-by-side, I can confirm that Serena is just as nice as Steffi.  And who doesn't love matching ribbing!  I hope that you will like this new line, which we've currently got in light pink and light grey marl.  Now that I've confirmed that it's a nice fabric and a good replacement for Steffi, I'll be bringing in new colours over the coming months.  :-)  Sadly, the ribbing doesn't match the marl colours in the range ('marl' fabric is fabric which is made using differently-coloured threads), so only the light pink Serena French terry has a matching ribbing.

From top to bottom: Serena light grey marl French terry; Serena light pink French terry; Steffi red French terry

 

From top to bottom: Serena light pink French terry; Kelly light pink ribbing

 

Alongside Serena is Matilde (which we've got in black - with a matching black ribbing).  

 

Matilde is a light sweatshirting.  What's the difference between French terry and sweatshirting?  Well, they both look the same from the front.  However, it's their reverse side where they differ: French terry has a looped back, while sweatshirting has a fuzzy back.  You can see the differences in the image below:

 

As for their weight, I've labelled both lighter-weight sweatshirting.  This is mainly to alert you to the fact that they are not sweatshirtings that are really, really thick and heavy.  They're a step below this: a lighter weight that you could happily wear year-round.  Comparing the two lines, with its fuzzy back, Matilde is somewhat heavier and warmer than Serena.  

So, that's our two new lines of sweatshirting!  I hope you'll like them.  I'll also be bringing in Matilde in new colours over the coming months.  

Now, before I close this blog post, let's look at some outfit and customisation ideas!  As is ably demonstrated in the inspiration images, sweatshirts look great over skinny jeans/trousers.  Sweatshirts also look great layered - either over a shirt or under a short jacket.  

I love the slouchy look in the first image below: you could make Linden in a larger size to achieve this look.  In terms of customisation, why not add a word or phrase to the front of your sweatshirt (using Grainline's tutorial!) or use a sequin fabric for the body or sleeves (our Lucia black sequinned knit would work really well for this!).

  

Further Details

Grainline Studio's Linden Sweatshirt
£13 (£11.70 for the next week!)
Sizes: 0-18
Level: beginner
Reviews: 25 reviews on PatternReview.com; 96% give the pattern a positive rating

 

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July 08, 2016 by Amy Lloyd