Tag Archives: linen

Simplicity Sewing

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Simplicity Sewing

Purple or Periwinkle

I’ve been on the lookout for the right shade of purple to go with a skirt I’ve had for some time.  I found this interesting piece of embroidered linen that seemed like it would work.  I call it purple, but maybe it is periwinkle… I think periwinkle has more blue in it.

embroidered linen

Either way, it has turned out to be a good choice to go with my skirt.   I picked up a yard for the tunic pattern I’ve been using this summer.  I really like the simplicity of this pattern; I can complete it in an afternoon… no problem!

linen tunic and skirt

I found a piece of purple duppioni silk in my fabric stash to use as bias binding for the neck and armholes.  It’s a good feeling to use up a scrap of something I have on hand.

silk binding

It’s always fun to give a little update to something you’ve had and make it seem fresh and new again.The unstructured look with nothing-to-bind is perfect for staying cool on hot summer days.  I like wearing skirts, but often don’t want to feel “dressed-up.”  This look works for me, because it blends casual easy/no-care (what I jokingly refer to as rag-bag fashion) with the I-made-an-effort-today discipline that I try to adhere to.

summerwear

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Sewing – Linen and Lace

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Sewing – Linen and Lace

I love lace, but I haven’t used it on clothing in so many years I can’t remember when.  For me, lace is much like a sailor collar; there was a time in my twenties when I felt like I’d outgrown them.  My heart still melts for  little boys in sailors collars… and big boys, too, come to think of it, but I can’t imagine wearing one myself… unless possibly in my second childhood somewhere down the line.  🙂  But back to lace, it’s big in fashion this summer and I’ve been seeing it a lot of it in the fabric store.  I’m always amazed how what is put in front of me begins to look good if I see enough of it whether I think I like it or not.

I found it in the short bolt section of the store and asked the salesperson to measure it for me.  She was wearing a black apron and as she held it up to see how much was left on the bolt, I saw it against the black of her apron and was sold.  It popped, as they say!

lace on white underlay

lace with white underlining

compared to lace on blacklace with black underlining

I decided to use the  Mcalls pattern 9278 I’ve used several times this season for the lace tunic and would make another in black for underneath.  I like the idea that I can get use out of the black by itself, but also have it double as a lining for the lace.

Simple and versatile black tunic
simple black linen tunic

I rarely throw things that I’ve made away and I remembered that I had two black linen pieces that might go with this tunic; I searched for a bit, and found hem.  I paired up the shirt and vest with an old Chico’s necklace I’ve had forever and created an interesting layered ensemble that works; again I really like giving new life to old things and making them seem fresh again.linen layered look

And finally, the lace tunic over the black tunic.  I like the look and feel like it’s a good fashion forward look for summer!

Lace tunic

Sewing Classic Summer Apparel

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The Season of Casual Comfort

linen casual wear

I came across an old pattern in my pattern library from 1998.  I remember making the vest and not finishing it, because I didn’t like the fit…or lack of fit is more accurate.   I am always intrigued how something I once didn’t care for can take on a new life and become a new favorite; whoever said fashion is fickle was certainly onto something.  Rediscovery is always a good thing; it means I’m changing and growing and open to new ways of thinking.  I like that!

McCalls pattern

 I began with Mcall pattern 9278.  I used updated constructions methods which I talked about in my last post by eliminating the facing and using French seam applications on all interior seams and sleeves for a streamlined look.  To give support to the buttonhole areas I created small uniform patches and fringed the unfinished edges.
button patches
Behind the fashion button, I sewed a small support button to reduce wear on fabric.  You could also use small beads in a different color to add interest and artsy elegance, especially if you plan to wear the garment open.
button application
The hemline and center front edges were turned under 5/8 inches and stitched.  A bias binding made from the fashion fabric was applied to the sleeve opening and neckline.  I used a linen open weave pattern for the top applying the same constructions techniques.  It was quick and easy very versatile.
finishing detailslinen casual wear

Sewing with Vintage Buttons Something Old, Something New

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Something Old, Something New

A Vintage Button Adds Interest

Navy Linen Jacket and Slacks

Earlier this week I finished up another linen jacket over the same Kwik Sew pattern I used recently.  It’s plain and simple with a nice clean look.  To add some interest I found a special vintage button in my button stash that went perfectly and added a good bit of interest.  Years ago my Great Aunt Squeak (yes, that’s what we called her) gave me her rather large button collection.  I remember thinking it was a great gift at the time and I have used many of her buttons on various garments over the many years her collection has been in my care.  This particular button was a one of a kind and just the right size and color for the buttonhole and I imagine that Squeak would be happy to see that it is in use again.vintage buttonI am not a fan of pull-on pants; I don’t really know anyone who is.  When it comes to casual unlined linen pants, I put vanity aside  both because this style is easy to make, comfortable to wear and doesn’t need to be ironed if you don’t mind the wash and wear look that is so popular here in the northwest.  To go with my new jacket, I found a nice putty colored linen for coordinating pants.   To provide detail, I created a slit at the bottom side seam and added top stitching.  All in all not a bad look.

pant detail

Sewing with Linen

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A New Jacket For Springtime

jacket front view

Generally I don’t use Kwick Sew patterns much, not for any particular reason, I just am not that familiar with them.  Earlier this week while at the pattern counter in my local fabric store a helpful clerk  thrust the latest Kwik Sew book into my hands and was insistent that I look, so I did.  I don’t know if this is a new pattern or an older one, but I liked the look of and am happy to say it’s a breeze to sew with.  It couldn’t have been easier to put together and it fits nicely.

jacket pattern

The fabric you see is the photo is a great piece of linen I bought four or five years ago.  At the same time, I also purchased a yard of the striped fabric not knowing exactly how I would use it, but it picked up the colors in the main fabric well and I figured it would come in handy.

 I’m not a huge fan of the deep angled line on the front opening, so I adjusted that to be more traditional.  I also decided to apply simplified techniques I learned when sewing with Vogue American Designer, Adri.  For those of you who may not know of her, she uses simple elegant finishing techniques that are perfect for unlined linen garments.  I eliminated the two front facings in favor of the bias bound edge and used French seaming techniques for all the seam to add to the clean look of the interior.

French seam finishes

I removed 5/8 inch seam allowance (except for the hemline) around the entire jacked and applied the bias binding made from the striped fabric around the raw edges mitering at the corners.

bias binding

Because I eliminated the facing I had to add some stabilizer for the button and that was done by sewing a small interfaced square to the inside of the left side of the jacket front.

stabilizer for button

I was pleasantly surprised by how compatible the pattern was to the fabric.  They both have a bit of an Asian feel and I hadn’t really noticed that about the pattern until it was completed.  I’m thinking maybe I’ll make another in solid black.  

jacket back view

Sewing With Fine Fabrics

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Completing my fuchsia linen dress has inspired me to make another one in black. With that in mind I decided to visit one of my favorite fabric places for apparel fabric, Mill End Store.  Mill End claims to have the largest display of fabric in America and between their Beaverton and Milwaukie stores, I can believe that may just be true.  Mill End really is an incredible textile resource; I’ve spent many happy hours perusing their beautiful fabrics, trims and notions.  If you ever visit Portland, it’s a definite go to place for fine fabric aficionados.

So, off to the store to see what I could find.  These are a few of the options I was presented with.

               

OMG, look at this trim!                                                                 And more trims!

     

I adored the black and white trim and started visualizing how I could use it, but stopped short remembering that I was going to be making a little black dress which implies simplicity, elegance and restraint.  Argh, I resisted temptation and walked past the gorgeous trims counter.

After enjoying a quick look around to see what was new, I selected a medium weight black linen and rayon lining which Maureen graciously cut for me.

     

I picked up an invisible zipper, some black thread and headed for the register.   Success!

Now all I have to do is find the time to make it.