I hope you are well. For this month's post, I decided to make something out of linen. When I saw this shade of green linen online, I thought it would be a perfect choice for the summer. I must admit that I wasn't 100% confident with my choice of fabric, because I was super concerned about the wrinkle factor and how my ultimate garment would look. I wanted to do a really classic button down dress and thought McCall's M7623, View A would accomplish the look I had in mind.
Prior to cutting my fabric, I read an article on Craftsy related to how to pre-treat your fabric. For linen, it said to wash the fabric and finished garment in hot water and dry it in a hot dryer. It said that it would soften the garment up. After washing the fabric, I did notice that it softened up a lot and completely lost the stiff feeling. I have a habit of emptying out the lint trap in my dryer very often and had done so prior to placing my fabric in. After the fabric was dry, I was super surprised at the amount of lint that accumulated in the lint trap afterwards. However, I did not find this fabric linty to work with at all.
So let's talk about the pattern. Usually, I look beyond the pattern cover and look at the potential for what the pattern could be. Besides the sleeves on the pattern, I really thought M7623 would accomplish the classic button down dress I was going for, something similar to dresses my mom wore back in the day. Unfortunately, this combo of pattern, fabric mixes, and fit missed the mark completely. Instead I feel that I achieved more of an old school airline stewardess look, LOL.
I modified the sleeves to create more of a puff sleeve, by cutting the short sleeve pattern piece in the largest size and gathering it around the cap and lower half of the sleeve. I used the cuff for the long sleeve and copied the split from the long sleeve pattern piece onto the shorter sleeve. I considered using grommets and faux leather strips to lace up the side of the sleeve, but since I saw the dress going in the wrong direction I made buttonholes instead of investing the time in installing the grommets. I laced the faux leather strip along the buttonholes.
I made the waistband with faux leather and used black 3/4 inch buttons to add contrast.
Since there was not more I could do to improve my dress, I decided not to take it any further and left off the collar.
I know that linen is a great fabric to wear in the summer, but I felt extremely stressed out by the wrinkles, like seriously! I do not even buy ready-to-wear 100% linen clothing, linen blends yes, especially linen blend tee shirts from Gap (a little less wrinkling). However, I really wanted to see what it was like to sew with 100% linen. I don't have a steamer, but I found starch to be my friend when pressing this fabric. I also learned that you have to be very mindful of the fraying factor with linen. As a matter of fact, I serged the cut edges of the fabric, before I placed it into the washing machine.
So everything is not always going to be a winner, and this look was not. In retrospect, I would have selected a completely different pattern, something more casual to use this fabric for, however, that is what sewing is about trial and error. Nevertheless, I will still proudly wear my dress to work!