Monday, July 13, 2015

Grainline Hemlock vs Linden

First of all, this post wouldn't have happened without inspiration from one of our fab customers, who was buying the grey colourway of the pink French Terry (find both here) to make the Grainline Hemlock tee. I totally stole her idea. Sorry/thanks!!

Left: Linden. Right: Hemlock.
The Grainline Linden Sweatshirt pattern has been a big seller for us lately, and it's no surprise. In the Grainline style, it's a well-drafted pattern for a wardrobe staple. We ordered a whole bunch of French Terry fabrics with the Linden specifically in mind. The minute they arrived Fiona and I were both cutting, pre-washing and whipping up a Linden each, both of which have been in heavy rotation for casual winter wear ever since. (This is mine after a lot of wash & wear.)
And in action at the shop:

I added a kangaroo pocket because I had a similar RTW top with one that I'd pretty much 'worn to death'. (The pocket openings are stabilised with a small strip of fusible interfacing before turning and top-stitching, and the bottom edge of the pocket is stitched into the seam of the waistband.) Apart from that what you see here is a straight Size 12. Many people have commented on the sleeves being rather long on this pattern. I guess they do look a bit long but I have to admit I love a snuggly long sleeve in this kind of garment, so I can shake the cuffs down over my hands when I want the extra warmth.

The Hemlock Tee is a free pattern released by Grainline almost two years ago. It's a boxy, drop-shoulder style as opposed to the raglan-sleeved Linden. The sleeves and bottom are simply turned and hemmed, in contrast to the Linden's bands. At twenty A4 pages, just three pattern pieces, single size (and free), the Hemlock is within the limits of my pdf printing-and-taping tolerance! And it seemed the perfect match for the new lightweight Japanese Rose Marle French Terry that arrived in the shop last week.

For such a simple pattern, I learnt a couple of things. We can always rely on a Grainline pattern for learning nifty things!

First up, not really a technique, but just seeing how this shape of sleeve attaches to the body. There's no 'armscye' as such. You just pin it on until the sleeve finishes.

Secondly, a very clever way to tame curly and/or delicate knits and achieve a neat finish on the neck band (found in Jen's tutorial here). Briefly, you create a neck band a little wider than you require, press in half and overlock the edges together to make a neat band. Use tape on the overlocker bed to guide the band width on the left. Join the ends.

Then pin around the neckline, and overlock just inside the first line of overlocking so that's all trimmed off. Sorry the lighting is all over the place in this post. The weather is unkind and on top of that, Blogger just seems to dull everything down.
Also, Jen just marks the quarters of the neckline and band with pins rather than notches or chalk/marker. I mean, how simple is that? Why have I been messing around with anything else all this time?
The result is the neatest, most even neck band I've ever applied.
 And Hemlock in action:
Awkward hitched up side thing: when your kids take the photos, they don't think to mention things like this.
Both these French Terry fabrics are made in Japan and 100% cotton, and have been a delight to work with and wear. Amazingly for a red fabric, there was zero colour bleed in the pre-wash and the colour has continued to hold up strongly since. (Sorry red colourway sold out but it's available in Wattle, Lagoon, Cream Marle and Grey Marle.)

Two different styles, two great patterns.

I actually think the Hemlock is more my groove, mostly because the dropped shoulder is more flattering than the raglan sleeve to my narrow, sloping shoulders. I'm thinking it would also be great in a merino wool....

Are you more Hemlock, or Linden, or both?

- Jane & Fiona xx


  1. They both look good on you Jane - I think the light pink hemlock wins (but ever so slightly) :)

    I have several hemlocks - with sleeves and without and one Linden. I must say that I love them both - can't choose. That pink terry is gorgeous - you don't know how tempted I was in the shop the other day!

    1. Thanks Carolyn! Yes I did think that a sleeveless Hemlock might be a bit like a sleeveless Box Dress/top - kind of a little cut-on sleeve. Good to know it works!


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