Palate Cleansing Projects and a Linden Sweatshirt

Dear Readers, it is March. This part of Canada has just slogged through one of the coldest Februaries in living memory, which makes the Marchness feel like something worth celebrating. March is practically spring! At least it’s not February.


So here I am, celebrating March in all of its slightly-less-wintery glory, in my new Linden. Yes, it is actually snowing in these pictures.

I’ve read a lot of sewing blogs and talked to a lot of sewers who speak of the palate cleansing project–a small, quick make tackled after something long and drawn-out, just to get the creative juices flowing again. And for about forty-five minutes about a week ago, I thought I might be the only one to ever resort to mid-project palate cleansers.

You know … when that long, drawn-out, detailed sewing project is just taking so much longer than you thought, or it hits a road block you’re not sure how to solve, or you know how to solve it and you just can’t face it right now. Then I say to myself, Self, fuck it! Make something that’ll take 3 hours tops. Wear it tomorrow.

The sweatshirt also has a side. Here it is.
The sweatshirt also has a side. Here it is.

I ran into such a roadblock on my second blazer.

Self, I said that Monday, fuck it: make yourself a sweatshirt with that textured cobalt blue knit fabric you’ve had for months now. It’s freezing cold and you need another warm shirt that does not feel like wearing splinters. (Those of you who can’t wear wool will understand.)

So cold this winter, Dear Readers. Last year was bad for storms but this year is much worse for cold. It’s gotten to the point where no one is even talking about the weather because we just can’t stand it. Do you know what it takes for Canadians to stop talking about the weather?

Come on, sun! Melt that snow!


So, I made a Linden. In textured cobalt blue knit. It’s not the most glamourous project I’ve ever made, but it is warm and comfortable, and including cutting time I made it in about an afternoon.

The Linden pattern was on sale at Needlework, which made the perfect rationalization for buying it. I even already had my serger set up with wooly nylon thread in the loopers and cobalt blue in the left needle after making Frances a sweatshirt from the same fabric.

From pattern tracing to finishing, it took me an afternoon.

If you’ve ever made a raglan shirt before, you won’t even need to refer to the instructions. It’s incredibly straightforward, and I found the fit pretty much perfect, once I sized down. The back is a bit baggy for my tastes, but it is a sweatshirt, so big deal.

Here Is The Back
Here Is The Back

This is mostly a size 10. I took about two inches off the sleeves (of course) and off the middle of the back (so the band was sewn at the regular hem in the front, and tapered off quite a bit to the back; because if you are a woman of a Certain Bra Size, the fronts of your shirts will be higher than the backs without any of this high-low hem nonsense). I also tapered to the depth of the size 8 neckline, as I thought the neckline on the 10 was a bit wide. (Just drew a new line from the notches in the armscye to the point on the size 8 neckline that is directly agove the size 10, and drew a new line, so it would be just a smidge narrower.)

And it worked! It’s comfy, it fits, my bra straps don’t show, and it’s warm. The fabric is a bit scratchy, which I don’t understand, and it’s already pilling–I haven’t even washed it yet. !! But it is cold enough that I DON’T CARE.

Even better, while I was making it, I thought up something that I think will solve my fitting issues on the leather pencil skirt. So the blazer may continue to take a back seat in the real world while it percolates in my subconscious, with a magical solution to present itself at some future time.

But Google has informed me that mid-project palate cleansing is anything but rare, and while doing a search I found a bunch of fun links on palate-cleansing work in fields as diverse as graphic design, knitting, reading and writing fiction. Just as a taste–

UX Design
Project Management (I think)
Writing Novels

It sounds so much better than “procrastinating,” eh?

6 thoughts on “Palate Cleansing Projects and a Linden Sweatshirt

  1. Uh-oh. You sized down? And, I just looked at finished garment measurements. Someone is going to be tracing two sizes down this evening. (I’ve got a Linden scheduled three projects down the line.) Anyway!

    That shade of blue is so fantastic against the snow (and your hair, but the snow). I’m a big believer in palate cleansers. Though, I am deathly afraid of making buttonholes, hems, and armhole bindings on silk, so that’s usually when I cleanse my palate, and jump ship, or so say my three silk shirtwaist dresses awaiting those three elements.

    I am always jealous of Canadian weather, as I am the one American who is nutso crayzo about snow and freezing cold. Bring on the Aquaphor. Though, I imagine you get really tired of digging out your car and swimming through snow to get out of your house. I do hope that your blazer and leather pencil skirt go well. Those are the sorts of projects I live for seeing (and shamelessly copying), so I wait patiently for the results.

    1. Yeah, I sized down. And as you can see it is in no risk of being too snug. I think two sizes down will be perfectly safe.

      I mostly get tired of shovelling and of 1.5 hr commutes. But hey, I can put all of our leftover snow in that fabric envelope and send it your way, if you’d like. 😉 I am so ready for it all to be gone.

      Thanks. 🙂 Another leather skirt muslin is on the list for this weekend. Wish me luck!

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