Linden Cinched Waist Pattern Hack

Linden Cinched Waist Pattern Hack

If you’ve taken our Intro to Knits: Linden Shirt class, you know how easy the raglan pattern is to construct and if you are like me, you’ve probably made at least a half dozen long sleeve versions! But, now that Spring has sprung, it’s time to cut our sleeves and shake things up a bit!

By adding a simple casing and drawstring to the waistline of the shirt, you can achieve a whole new look! A little variety goes a long way with this pattern.


  • Here’s what you’ll need: Linden Pattern from Grainline Studios
  • Knit Fabric (my favorite for this is Cotton Lycra)
  • Twill Tape (I’m using 3/8” wide)
  • Wash Away Wonder Tape
  • Basic sewing tools and a sewing machine


The great thing about the Linden Top is you can sew the entire thing on a sewing machine. Sergers can certainly be used, but for this hack, all you’ll need is a good old, regular sewing machine!


Start by constructing the shirt as the pattern suggests in Steps 1-3 (attaching the sleeve fronts to the front bodice on both sides, and then attaching the sleeve backs to the back bodice on both sides). After doing so, you’ll be able to put it on over your head and the side seams will be unsewn.


Next, stand in front of a mirror with the shirt on. Use a straight pin or fabric marking pen to mark your natural waist is (this measurement is usually about 1” above the navel). I marked mine along the center front with a single pin.


Now, measure up to that mark from the bottom of the shirt. Then mark the same measurement in a horizontal line along the wrong side of the front bodice, and then do the same thing for the wrong side of the back bodice. This is the line will be where the casing will be sewn.


Take the shirt off and lay it inside out on a flat surface. Next, sew the side seam from the sleeve hem to the bottom hem on ONLY ONE SIDE of the shirt.


Next, form the casing for the drawstring by cutting a strip of fabric 1.25” tall by the width of the shirt currently sewn. After you cut this strip, iron the long edges in ¼” so they meet along the middle of the strip as pictured.


Now, I’d like to introduce you to your new best friend: Wash Away Wonder Tape! This stuff is amazing for all sorts of sewing projects because it temporarily holds fabric in place but won’t gum up your needle (hemming and installing zippers are what I mainly use it for). This tape is ¼” wide, double-sided and washes away the first time you wash your garment!

Apply one strip of Wash Away Wonder Tape along each of the long ends you just ironed towards the center. Now center the casing over the waist line you marked and press the casing on. If you don’t have Wonder Tape, you can also use pins – though you’ll need a lot of them.


Next, edge stitch along the long edges of the casing. Hint: the bobbin thread will show on the outside of the shirt, so make sure your thread matches your fabric!

Attach a safety pin to a length of twill tape. I purchased a 5-yard piece of twill tape and did not cut the length until I finished the whole project.

Feed the twill tape through the casing from one end to the other.


Lay the shirt flat again, inside out, and sew up the other side seam from the sleeve hem to the casing and backstitch when you start and stop. DO NOT SEW OVER THE CASING! Start again just below the casing and continue to the shirt hem. Hint: If you used a Serger to construct the previous steps, this step needs to be done with a sewing machine (.


Finish up by following the pattern instructions for hemming the sleeves and bottom band and installing the neckband.


Adjust the twill tape to the desired length, cut the edges with pinking shears, and tie it at the waist. 

Voila! Now you have a whole new look for your favorite Linden Shirt!