Linen is easily one of my favorite textiles. The fabric is nice to work with, it’s soft (and gets softer with each wash), it feels earthy, comes in beautiful colors, I love the visible weave, and it just drapes wonderfully. Yes, it wrinkles easily but that only adds to its charm.
My favorite spot for linen fabrics is a tiny shop in the LA Fabric district called:
Carmel fabrics (on 432 E. 9th street, #1, LA. See more info in my fabric shopping post HERE). I stock up on a few colors every time I’m there, since his 100% linen is only $7/yard, compared to $18/yard at Joanns.
While I prefer 100% linen, linen blends (typically linen/cotton) are also very nice and wrinkle a bit less. Sometimes called Linen-look or Linen-like, they cost about 1/2 the price.
In the past I’ve sewn linen pants for Owen, Owen, Owen and Lucy, and made a white linen shirt dress and Village Frock (all pictured above). So I decided it was time to make something for me.
My pattern came from a cotton H&M shirt I bought two summers ago. I’ve always loved the shirt but it was too broad in the shoulders (and always had to be pinned to my bra straps). But that’s the beauty of sewing…a custom fit! I used one yard of steel blue linen for the shirt and left- over white linen scraps from Lucy’s dress above to create a fitted, breezy linen shirt.
It took a whole lot of pins to get that neck yoke in place but the pinning and exactness were well worth it.
My favorite parts of the shirt are the small gathers in the front chest, the dart in the back,
and the puffed sleeves with back buttons. I’m kind of addicted to making puffed sleeves. One of these days I’ll branch out. You’ll find a tutorial for them HERE on our site.
If you’ve never sewn with linen, I highly recommend it. It’s easy to work with; you’ll probably fall in love too.
Note: linen shrinks easily, so make sure you prewash before starting a project – as should be done with most fabrics. And finer linens are free from slubs and knots in the fabric but I sort of like that look too. More character.
My only problem now….what to wear with the shirt?
I’m a definite jeans girl but the blue shirt clashes with all my pairs. So I’m holding out for a pair of white skinny jeans or a cute white pencil skirt. But I may have to wait till Spring for those….
Have a great Wednesday!