Linden sweatshirt by Grainline Studios

Some time ago whilst scrolling through social media I came across the Linden sweatshirt by Grainline Studios.

I thought it was going to be difficult sewing with jersey and stretch fabrics so avoided it. Then last year after speaking with other sewers that had made it, I bit the bullet and purchased the pattern. I got it as part of a kit from Guthrie and Ghani at the knitting and Stitching show in London. They tend to only do the kits at shows so I thought why not?

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The fabric in the kit was too nice to cut straight into, so I used some jersey fabric I purchased from the Birmingham Rag market.

This was a baptism of fire in my sewing journey and being dyslexic. I didn’t read the pattern properly and only cut out one piece for the hemband. I couldn’t workout why the whole sweatshirt wouldn’t fit until I re-read the pattern. So I unpicked this toile quite a few times. Unpicking was horrible as I had been using a zigzag stitch, which is recommended when sewing with stretch fabric.

I finally made the sweatshirt look like a wearable garment, but I still wasn’t ready to cut the fabric from the kit.

Instead, I used more fabric purchased from the Birmingham Rag market.

I used my overlocker on my second Linden attempt. This gave the opportunity to tidy the inside of the garment. I struggled with the neckband on both attempts, so started researching what others had done. The majority had made the neckband longer, either sizing up by one or adding 1.5cm.

Another visit to Guthrie and Ghani brought some purchases of their cosy colours bolt ends. I thought there would be enough to make a two tone version but not quite. I got creative and asked some dear friends for help. This was all I needed to start sewing my ‘sunshine’ sweatshirt.

I am so pleased with this sweatshirt and have received lots of positive feedback online and in person.

Full of confidence I was ready to cut the fabric from the kit. Then disaster strikes! I broke my thumb shielding my face from a ball whilst officiating a basketball game. Gutted was an understatement, as I couldn’t sew for just over six weeks.

I have been lucky and my thumb healed really well. So I thought I’d just go for it and cut into the kit fabric.

I didn’t feel this fabric needed the insides overlocking or a zigzag stitch, so I didn’t bother. All of a sudden I now have 4 Linden sweatshirts.

I find this pattern doesn’t use up much fabric so I cut the body from the scraps of another project to start Linden sweatshirt number five.

This latest sweatshirt has been made from scraps in my fabric stash. I am really happy with how it has turned out.

If any novice or nervous sewers are thinking about making this pattern, just do it. It’s a great pattern to introduce you stretch and jersey fabric.

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Birmingham Online Seller Meetup 

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After my listing some of my stock on Ebay and not doing very well at all, I decided I need to do some research.

I got some really honest feedback from my previous post about Ebay.  Also the realisation that the amount of items I have to sell at any one time makes me a very little fish in huge pond.  For some time I have participated in online networking hours across the West Midlands.

A week last Sunday I came across an online sellers meetup event in Birmingham via #BrumHour.  I headed over to eventbrite and signed up.  The event was free and so had nothing to lose.

The weather in the evening was very different and I did think about going home to be dry and warm.  There was an opportunity to network before the presentations.  First was Abdullah from Plentymarkets and then Prabhat from Online Seller UK who organised the event.

Another realisation I made was I don’t know much about online retail.  I spoke with a guy who does drop shipping and yes I did Google it when I got home.  I spoke to another man who sold headscarves and a couple who sell body stickers. I did speak to some other people and I was prepared with my business cards.  I was able to pull up some of my product shots and got some nice feedback.  I was also asked by a lady who does video production how do I manage what I do alongside my day job?  I don’t know!  I think if you enjoy what are doing, you will make time.

I learnt a lot about selling on Ebay and Amazon and at this point in time they are not selling platforms for me. I will revisit them in the future. For now I will go into the sunset with my 105mm lens to take more photos.

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