indie pattern update & a linty life lesson

thanks to Folkwear owner Kate Mathews for photo permission!

thanks to Folkwear owner Kate Mathews for photo permission!

Speaking of ease, it’s accidental that I’m using Folkwear’s Metro Middy Blouse as my indie pattern, but fortuitous because there’s so much ease in this style, and it’s easy to see.  If you look closely at the piccies on the left, you can see the fullness billowing at the hem lines.

After doing a loose-fitting with the pattern pieces, I decided to use slightly smaller sizing that I’d use for a pattern with less ease. Also shortened the sleeve length a tad. It’s hot & humid just now, which is nasty weather as far as I’m concerned, but have resisted my usual impulse to ‘chop sleeves off now’ by remembering this is to wear in air conditioning.

Am thinking about adding some edging embroidery with this, but can’t visualise details yet.  The pattern includes designs typical of the 20s, but I’m thinking of a different look. But that’s the last step, so onward!

Early one day last week I thought I’d spend an hour either zigzagging or serging the edges of the linen-cotton blend before I started sewing it, and sat down at the machines. Began with the zigzag… tried regular tension, then loosened it up. Still not too pleased, so went to the serger, without changing all threads (which is why some are black instead of white). Neater than the zigzag, I thought, despite mis-matched thread.  Proceeded to unwrap new cones of white thread, preparatory to threading. That’s when the trouble started.

There were loose threads sticking out of the bottom of one cone. No way could I have ripped them when taking off the wrapping. I was super extra special careful.  Rats. Serging temporarily not an option.

Being in the mood to do something, I went back to zigzagging edges, until I got to the small curved back neck facing. There, the machine started chewing instead of stitching.  After it did it several times I checked the bobbin, then decided to see if there were any stray threads stuck somewhere.

No threads.  Just gobs of lint, as in never seen so much this side of terry cloth.  AGH — panic stations!  This machine was just serviced!  What did I do???   After I calmed down, which took dark chocolate & leaving the scene of the crime to faff about a bit, I remembered all the lint that came off the fabric during the wash & dry cycle.  I’d laundered it a second time, I lost respect for the fabric… but also in my judgment, for thinking the fabric was ok to use. But there was also a teeny, niggly thought that I might not have cleaned the machine after my last project…

Finally, I decided to just go ahead and sew, thinking this would be an expensive & unplanned muslin (term for trial garment usually made out of inexpensive fabric for fitting purposes, not for wearing). Following Folkwear’s easy-to-read directions, the back & fronts came together quickly, as did gathering the sleeve tops & seams.

Then came the crucial moment: Before I could sew further, I needed to get shoulder & side seam edges finished in whichever method I was going to use. Postponing a decision, I reached for the iron to press those seams flat, and have a think.

I realized I hadn’t enjoyed working with the fabric after I started feeling I was ‘wasting’ my time with inferior fabric. After more thought, I realized finally admitted I’d made that entire Burda blouse, but hadn’t brushed the bobbin case before starting this project.  Uh-oh.  User error. wagging finger, apologies to fabric, hang head in shame.

pressed shell awaiting sleeves

pressed shell awaiting sleeves

The fabric did iron nicely, so am beginning to think better of this project.  It  also reminded  me of a RTW linen/cotton blouse I’ve had for years. That started out feeling heavy & slightly too fuzzy for hot weather wear.  After seasons of laundering, it’s just fine. Maybe I should start throwing this in with every wash load …

What do you think?!

a gathered sleeve awaits being sewn into blouse

a gathered sleeve pinned into arm hole awaits being sewn into blouse


2 thoughts on “indie pattern update & a linty life lesson

  1. Karen Lee Petterson Gatto

    This is often the way with linen, D. The more you wash it the soft and more supple and pliable it becomes. So you may be onto something, toss it in with your lights when you wash and you will soon have it soft and comfortable in no time. BTW, LOVE your choice of patterns for this fabric. Cannot wait to see the finished product. K

    1. CurlsnSkirls Post author

      Thank you, Miss Karen! Had heard linen got softer with washing, but didn’t know linen would have so much fuzz. You? Glad you like the pattern. D’el


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