Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Mini Summer Linen Collection

I'm usually very obsessive with knitting.  But with the end of semester last week, I really couldn't help but wanted some instant gratifications.  At the end of a school year, I'd used up all the patience I had and not had.  Instant gratification was all I could think of.  Sewing offered that, so I became obsessed with sewing for coupla weeks.

This past winter was a warm one, so warm that I only wore my down jackets a few times when I normally live in them. The early spring was warm too, so I couldn't wait to work with the linen/linen blend fabric in my closet for summer. As luck would have it, the weather turned cold this past 2 weeks, with snow and rain.   No matter.  I finished a small "collection" of summer wardrobe.

I used pattern I drafted in the past and made modifications to necklines, fits, details, etc.  I made some preliminary designs in my head. A little confession, for someone who teaches drawing, I actually don't often sketch out my designs for knitting or sewing, everything is all about day dreaming in my head. Of course, there were also a lot of modifications and improvisations (in my sewing world, improvisations is mostly a nice word for "winging it".)

I started off with a dress made of dark grey linen, and added some accent fabric to pockets and the pleat at the back.
The neckline came out a bit tight, so I cut a notch for a split neck look.

Then I used the same linen and accent fabric to make a skirt with welt pocket.  
I had a lot of fun with this one, even if it came out a bit too "designy." I made a faux wrap skirt, using gray linen for a curved wrap to show off the contrast color cotton printed fabric. The backside was just gray linen. 

With enough fabric left, I realized I could make a bag, and why not.

After I used up all the gray linen, I switched to the natural color linen blend with wavy pattern cotton for a dress, a top and a skirt.
The dress has a tie at the bottom of V-neck neck band, and accent color fabric were added for the double layered pockets.  

Sadly, against my better judgement, I didn't wash the fabric first before I cut and sew. The dress shortened significantly after I washed it, a tad too short for my taste.  I may go back and add a bad of the same linen fabric to the bottom. But I love the look of the dress. 

Then I made the skirt. I used the fabric sideways for the wavy print to orient the way I wanted. 
This meant less stretch and I did not take that into consideration. It came out very tight around waistband.  The waist band was originally done in the same wavy fabric, I ended up having to cut that off to loosen up the skirt. So I used bias tape to finish off waistline instead a nice thick band.  
This skirt has pockets too. As you can see, I love pockets on clothes.

And I decided I wanted a linen top to go with the skirt.  It's very simple with pintuck detail at the front. I ended up sewing a straight stitch line 1/2" from hem, and made the hem fringed with raw edge. 

I was going to include a pair of pants, but I ran out of fabric. Next time, when I go into town, I'll make sure to get some more of the natural color linen blend for pants, as I really like how it feels.

All in all, I'm fairly happy with the pieces. The only regret is the natural color linen dress is a bit short, it's wearable, but just not exactly the length I'd like it. I do think a band of the same fabric would add a subtle detail and that could solve the problem. 

OK, I think I will start some knitting since I promised myself coupla shawl designs for the summer. 


  1. You amaze me! What a great collection! I bet the too short dress would be adorable over jeans. I wish I could whip up clothes like you from my mind!

  2. Seriously, these pieces are so awesome! I love every single one of them - - especially the details like contrasting fabric and the interesting pockets.

  3. You're very productive indeed. I'm impressed. I loooove your dark grey linen dress (the rest too !).