New Linden Twist- Knit and Woven with 3/4 Sleeves

Lately I have been on a mission to find more ways to combine knit and woven fabrics into the same garment. With so many amazing knits, rayon challises, crepes and lots more, how could I not want to mix and match them? With a few ready to wear (RTW) items in heavy rotation in my wardrobe and other ideas from various boutiques, I started a new Pinterest board to gather my inspiration and figure out where to start first. Replacing whole pieces with a woven or knit, “blocking” with different fabrics or simply adding woven trim or accents- the possibilities seem endless.

Pinterest Inspiration Board: Knits + Wovens

Pinterest Inspiration Board: Knits + Wovens

I decided to tackle one of my favorite warmer weather pullovers that combines a polyester woven body and a light weight rayon/poly sweater knit for the sleeve and bands. I love this combination of a small geometric print and the soft solid in a raglan style pullover. In looking at pattern options I immediately decided on Grainline Studio’s Linden Sweatshirt. A staple in my wardrobe already, this pattern already had the same kind of look and style as my RTW top- a little slouchy but classic- and will make the perfect jumping off point for my new top.

A favorite RTW garment- ready to assist on a new version.

A favorite RTW garment- ready to assist on a new version.

To get started I traced all of my pattern pieces for my size 8 Linden (View A). I have made this size in the past and know that is fits great. I was not sure what changes needed to be made to accommodate the woven fabric on the front and back so having all the pieces on something that I can tweak/alter was a good place to start. For fabric choices, I picked two similar to those in my RTW top- a soft black sweater knit and a tribal print rayon challis.

This is where having a good fitting RTW reference came in handy-I was able to match up the corresponding pieces and see where there were dramatic differences is size and shape. Lucky for me there was almost no difference in the pattern width- maybe a 1/2″ but for the slouchy look I decided that wasn’t an issue. The biggest differences came in the length- the Linden was an 1″ or so longer. This happens to be my one issue with the RTW top, it is too short, so this is a welcome change and saved me a step from having to lengthen the pieces. With the woven figured out, I went ahead and cut the front and back out!

Next, on to the knit sleeves and bands. My preferred sleeve length is three-quarters which is also the length on my RTW pullover. As it not one of the options in the Linden pattern, I had to do a bit of experimenting to create a new pattern piece. The dilemma was, do I shorten the long sleeve (View A) or lengthen the short sleeve (View B)?

Unaltered Linen Sleeve Pattern Piece

I posed the question to the sewing community on Instagram and got mixed results- although most people said shorten the long sleeve. I decided to start there, shorten the long sleeve. With my RTW reference I knew I wanted the sleeves to be between 18 and 19″ before the cuff.

Determining the Sleeve Length and Altering the Pattern

Determining the Sleeve Length and Altering the Pattern

First, I cut along the Lengthen/Shorten (L/S) for the long version and slid the bottom piece under the top until the sleeve was the correct length. As you can see this difference is quite drastic taking almost 7″ off the sleeve length. I also became concerned about the narrowness of the bottom of the sleeve- perfect for your wrist but probably too small for mid arm.

Results of Shortening the Long Version

Results of Shortening the Long Version

I decided to see what lengthening the short version would look like. Again cutting at the L/S line and moving the pieces apart until the sleeve was the correct length. This was only a difference of about 3″, much less drastic. I slipped an extra piece of pattern paper underneath and taped the pieces in place. I thin filled in the missing lines by lining up my ruler with points from both pieces.

Now how did this change the cuffs? The cuff were originally designed to go at the wrists so the pieces are a bit to short. Again, I called on my RTW version to help estimate the cuff size. It just so happens that the hem band piece was about the perfect size (not cut on the fold of course). It never hurts to experiment with the pieces you have, rather than trying to create all new! I left the real hem band and neck bands alone and decided to see how they work as is. Since the sweatshirt fits normally, I figured this was a safe bet.

Determining the Size of Cuff Pieces

Determining the Size of Cuff Pieces

To test things out I sewed up one half of the garment to make sure I wasn’t completely off base. In the raglan style I attached one sleeve to the woven front and back at the angle. Sewing the woven and knit was surprisingly easy. I did carefully pin everything to make sure the pieces stayed in place. Next I sewed down the sleeve and side seam, turned it right side out and tried it on. I was pleasantly surprised about how well it fit and decided to continue onto the other side.

Finished Linen Pullover Styled with Vintage Jewelry

Finished Linen Pullover Styled with Vintage Jewelry

The most time consuming part of this whole process was pinning ALL of the bands in place- all four of them. You now pinning each quarter of both the opening and the band and matching them up- it takes forever especially when you are anxious to get things done! I sewed every seam of this top on my serger and didn’t have to do any finishing work. Amazing and totally worth the extra pinning time!

Loving My New Linden Pullover

Loving My New Linden Pullover

The end results were better than I ever imagined, especially on the first try at a new “experiment”. My new top fits like a dream- just like my RTW version but better. Plus it’s handmade! Paired with an amazing vintage necklace of my grandmother’s and I am set! The only change I might make would be to narrow the bottom of the sleeve just a bit to take a way a bit off the “puckering”. Leave the cuffs the same but decrease the amount of fabric attached to them.

Woven Meets Knit Linden Pullover

Woven Meets Knit Linden Pullover

There are sure to be more of these hybrid Lindens in my future, maybe I’ll try one with French Terry next time? This project has also encouraged me to really go after these knit/woven combo garments- watch for more to come this summer! I’m thinking maybe a new Lane Raglan next…

Michelle

Sewing Meets Knitting: Outfit Along 2016

For those of you that haven’t heard, there is a special sewing event, the Outfit Along, that started June 1st and runs through July! Sewing blogger Lauren of Lladybird and knitwear designer Andi Satterlund have teamed up for the third year to challenge participants to create their own outfit using both their knitting and sewing skills. You can play along just for fun or get your two garments done before July 31st and you might just win one of the amazing prizes they have put together (including a Style Maker Fabrics gift certificate!). Read more of the details HERE.

As part of the Outfit Along, the lovely hosts have selected two official patterns that participants can choose to make during the challenge. Andi designed a special new knit pattern just for the occasion, the Zinone made in Quince’s Sparrow yarn, and will be posting helpful tutorials and other info to help knitters along the way. Lauren will be making Sewaholic’s Hollyburn skirt during the month of June, also posting tips and tricks for the pattern along the way.

Official Outfit Along Patterns

Official Outfit Along Patterns

We had the pleasure of working with Lauren during our Spring Canvas Blog Tour a few months ago and to return the favor we agreed to sponsor the Outfit Along this year. This includes providing a treat for participants, prizes for the winners and a special guest post about fabric (our favorite subject!). We kicked off the Outfit Along on Lauren’s LLadybird blog this past Wednesday with our post on selecting the perfect fabric for your Hollyburn skirt. Read our post HERE and see some of our fabric recommendations paired with a whole range of yummy linen yarns!

A few of our favorite fabric choices paired with Sparrow yarns.

A few of our favorite fabric choices paired with Sparrow yarns.

I was so excited to work with Lauren on this project, I couldn’t help but get in on all the action too! It has been a while since I last knitted and I wasn’t so sure about working with a lace yarn and pattern- let’s just say we haven’t gotten along in the past… I loved the idea of knitting with a linen yarn and I was happy to discover that Quince makes a heavier counterpart to Sparrow called Kestrel! I decided to pair this yarn with Andi’s Vianne cardigan from last year’s Outfit Along and knit it in a soft aqua called Aegean.

Andi's Vianne Cardigan Pattern

I haven’t exactly picked what to sew yet, but I do love how the yarn looks with this navy and aqua rayon challis. I’m thinking maybe a soft tank to wear with my cardigan. I’m also debating about making my own Hollyburn to complete the outfit or maybe go with pair of capris or culottes. What do you think? What fabric should I use?

My Initial Fabric and Yarn Choices.

My Initial Fabric and Yarn Choices.

I’ve been knitting almost every evening to hopefully have my project done in time. So far some pretty good progress has been made- just need to finish up the waist shaping and then onto the sleeves and bands! I love how the feathery design is turning out and that back is going to be stunning!

Knitting Progress So Far

I developed quite the system for keeping all the pattern designs straight. Lots of extra markers and numbered scratch sheets. So far there have only been a couple issues but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a little un-knitting- the knitting version of seam ripping. Wonderful, right? Not so much…

Knitting Notes

Knitting Notes

I’d like to highly encourage all of you to join in on the Outfit Along. Step out of your box a little bit and approach your garment creation from a different vantage point. It has been a lot of fun so far and I can’t wait to see everyone’s creations! I’ll keep you posted on my progress and hopefully share my completed outfit sometime in July.

Happy Stitching (by machine and knitting needles)!

Michelle

P.S. Be sure to watch for a special treat in our OAL guest post HERE.