Tag Archives: transitional

linen #2: different kinds

Why am I still banging on about linen? Because it’s still hot enough to wear it round here: Sunday it’ll be above 80℉/28℃. ‘Nuff said.

Besides, the Southern half of our world is going into Summer. 😎  First, some piccies from my collection.

Puh-lease click a pic so you can read all the captions ’cause you’ll miss words if you’re only hovering.

 

Linen is described by different terms:

  • gauze – light weight, very loose weave, and see-through (think sheer curtains)
  • handkerchief – light colours might be sheer, but generally very good for dresses and blouses; Threads article suggests 2.8 to 3.5 ounces per square yard
  • medium – firm enough for lightweight jackets and trousers, also possibly some home décor; Threads’ article lists 5 to 7 ounces per square yard
  • heavy – think coats, handbags, home décor (including wallpaper!); Threads’ article suggests over 7 ounces per square yard.

Then there are linen blends, which should always be noted if the fabric isn’t 100% linen:

  • linen and cotton
  • linen and rayon
  • linen and wool
  • linen and silk
  • linen and wool and silk, etc.

If you’re getting the idea that all linens are not created equal you’d be spot on.

How to tell the difference between good and not-so good? Know the fabric and the supplier:

  • read the fabric description carefully
  • if in doubt, order a sample piece
  • look at the weave
  • look at the weight (ounces per yard or metre)
  • purchase from a company you’ve learned to trust!

Slubs: What the heck are they and are they good or bad? Neither! You see them in just about any fabric woven from individual fibres of wool, silk, hemp, cotton, etc. It’s the place where each piece has been joined together to form a longer thread, which is then woven into cloth. Obviously, the longer the original pieces, the fewer slubs, but remember that slubs don’t weaken the fabric.

According to the Threads‘ article, “Slubs are more likely to be a sign that the flax fibers were cut shorter in order to process them with equipment designed to process cotton, which is less expensive.”

Visible lint:

  • indicates either the presence of another fibre (such as cotton), or
  • lower quality linen

Ready to run screaming back to easier fabrics?

RESIST! Just an ickle bit more and you’ll feel better. Promise. Think SILK!

Huh? It has slubs too, right? (Silk fibres joined together, just like linen.) Think of the luxurious feel of a heavy silk – the lustre, the smoothness!

Good linen’s the same. But without the slippery factor ~ a-ha and he-he!

 

If you’ve watched the Fabworks video above, you’ll see the examples Dawn gives of linens available from their mill store. And while you don’t see close-ups of weave, seeing how the fabrics handle is very important. Dawn writes the descriptions of fabrics for their online store, and I’ve found them accurate. (Close-ups are on their web site.)

Julianne Bramson, author of the Threads article, suggests Fabrics-Store.com as another good online source. She councils if in doubt, order a minimum amount of the linen, look at the fabric and launder it before making a large purchase.

HUGE thank you’s for getting to The End! (Chocolate, anyone?)

 ❤     ❤     ❤

Next up, after you’ve chosen your linen, you can read how to launder and care for it.

Note that the Threads‘ article referenced here is not available online at this time.

For the record: Nobody mentioned here or elsewhere on this blog contributes anything to me or my blog. My opinions are my own!

Edited to add: linen #1: learning about linen 

linen #3: boring? no way!

 

learning about linen (or, why isn’t it autumn yet?)

(click for complete poem) Illustration of poem

(click for complete poem & painting on wikipedia) Illustration of poem “To Autumn” by John Keats, painted by W. J. Neatby. From “A Day with Keats: With numerous coloured illustrations” by May Clarissa Gillington Byron and illustrations by W. J. Neatby

A lovely bit by John Keats reminded me it’s supposed to be Autumn now.

            SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness!

With all the hurricane problems, I’d forgotten. We had 3 days of cool, dry temperatures whetting my appetite for more.

But it’s hotted up again.   😱

not keen on finishing this but guess i'll give it a go tonight

not keen on finishing this but, to quote Hila (Saturday Night Stitch), “done is better than perfect.” and she’s right.

Which means I’m still very much in summer dresses mode.

Which means those linen plans are still firmly in place. But that’s a good thing.

The current issue of Threads’ magazine has a great article all about linen.

things about linen

  • It’s a cellulose material made from fibre stems of flax, anywhere from 5 to 21 inches in length.
  • More than 30,000 years ago, people were using flax fibres to make linen-like cloth.
  • Egyptians did the first linen manufacturing about 4,000 years ago.
  • It’s highly absorbent, like cotton and rayon, but allows evaporation more quickly than either, thus making it cooler for warm weather clothing.
  • Those qualities also made it ideal for undergarments.
  • It is extremely durable, with a lint-free surface that also resists dust and dirt.
  • Linen is resistant to both insects and the sun which makes it ideal for home décor.
  • It doesn’t stretch, making it ideal for painting canvas and embroidery.
  • Lack of stretch makes it wrinkle more easily.
  • It takes paint and dyes well.
  • It can be damaged by bleach, mildew, and perspiration.
  • Continual creasing in the same places (think folds, hems, etc.) can weaken and break the fibres.
  • Linen is strongest when wet! Best to iron when damp.

And the list goes on!

Plus, the article has ideas about how to handle your linen garment once it’s made, including different ways to dry it to get different effects. And ways to avoid ironing it, if you like that look.

I threw this 100% linen camp shirt (rescued from a Virginia charity shop) into the dryer for 5 minutes when I decided I didn’t want to iron it. (Note that I liberally sprayed it first with water to dampen it. Dry linen gets drier in the dryer, and that’s not good as fibres can break.)

What do you think about the effect? It’s very soft and no Fabric Police accost me when I wear it in public. He-he!

Edited to add: linen #2: different weights 
linen #3: boring? no way!

this ‘n that

yes? no? might be a good combo??

yes? no? might be good linen combos??

Gray (ey?) Friday over here, and as we’ve had sunshine for endless days, but no rain, let’s hope we get some liquid to refresh the landscape.

Just have a couple minutes but wanted to get these bits of info out, in case anyone wants to try getting some fabric from Paron’s before they close Sunday.

W-H-A-A-A-T???

Yep. That glorious store in NYC’s old garment district is closing. Read Peter‘s post, which I just read (thank you for sending, Robyn!)

Another disappointment: BBC has lost The Great British Bake Off ~ it’s going to another channel. But we in the U.S. should still see 2-3 seasons of the original, as we’re sooo far behind.

Can’t end a Friday post on such a downer…

So, let’s add

C-O-L-OR:

Autumn’s Pantone’s Fashion Color Report is out:

“A Unity of Strength, Confidence, and Complexity”

In my order of must-have-some, from first to last:

Potter’s Clay (where can I get lipstick that colour???)

Spicy Mustard

Aurora Red

Riverside (blue)

(And when will it finally get cool here? 😲)

(Edited to replace numbers that wouldn’t centre with dots that will, at least in Preview mode. Grr.)

(No. Those don’t either. Double GRRRRRR)

a sewing tale: the path to morris

path

in sewing, the path to completion is sometimes a long & windy road

No, it isn’t a town somewhere. It’s a jacket pattern, from Grainline.

When it was first published last year there were lots of wonderful versions online, including this, and this.

Nice, I thought, very nice! But what fabric to use? That was the question, because I was living in a fabric-free zone, and very leery of online ordering any knit I couldn’t handle before purchasing.

Then Jen, Grainline’s designer, featured this version on her site, and the fabric was still available from Mood in NYC. After that  perfect recommendation, I ordered some.

Then it sat and aged a bit whilst I thought about it, as one sometimes does. . . you, know, to consider all one’s options.

this denim skirt, remember? click the pic for original post

And realized I should do a toile before cutting into the gorgeous green.

And wondered if I really wanted a jacket. The fabric would make a perfect….. (insert favourite style).

Then I watched a marathon of Stacy London & Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear, and noted how much jackets/blazers added to one’s wardrobe.

That did it. I remembered some heavy stretch denim used for a long winter skirt several seasons ago. There was plenty left over. It’s heavy, but it passed the stretch test. Besides, it was for a toile that, if wearable, might go well with my denim skirt (right).

Then I moved house and put everything on hold.

Fast forward to a completed jacket, and end of this path.

Thank you for walking along with me, and special thanks to my patient prodder, who knows who she is. . . . .

Changes included:

  • lengthening the sleeves (I don’t like 3/4 length)
  • no interfacing used (fabric was heavy enough; boy, did that take a while to decide)
  • I stitched in the ditch behind the collar (to anchor the facing)
  • sleeve hem facings were both short, which might have been caused when I cut the sleeve longer (but didn’t actually widen the sleeves)
  • couldn’t decide how to finish seam edges (tried overlocking in contrasting white but couldn’t decide, so haven’t done them all)

And that’s all I can remember at present. Am basically opposed to front facings not sewn down (they flap), but there’s no way this heavy denim is going to be hand-stitched in place. Am keeping my fingers crossed.

Hope everyone has a restful weekend planned!

 

Also submitted for the 52 week photo challenge.

top o’ the morning!

Not exactly the right colour for St. Patrick’s Day, but I was delighted a few days ago to get this out, washed, and finally wearable, albeit just around the house.

Bought at a charity shop several years ago, it bleeds profusely in the wash, and is probably an older rayon, but it’s a nice rayon that can be worn loosely over other things, and is great for around the house.

The only “but” is the silly pocket someone stuck on the front. It’s so heavy it pulls everything out of line. Short of doing a lot of tricky unpicking, which I’m disinclined to do, it isn’t too fixable. What do you all think, Lovely & Discerning Fellow Sewers???

Only thing I can think of is to cut off the pocket bag and straight stitch around that opening, making it more of a design element. I hope.

What else did I do to this? Free-cut off a badly ripped cuff on one side, leaving the cutout areas where the closing used to be, and rounded off the bottom hem. Nothing bears too close scrutiny, so it’s definitely not for “special” wear! It’s good to have one less thing on the mend pile, and another topper in the closet.

Brody & CadburyAs you can see, I found a bit of Cadbury from across the pond  at Target,  as suggested by transplant Natalie, of Sunday Sevens.

Can’t say how true the flavour is to the ‘real” version, but can say it’s definitely much creamier than any U.S. chocolate I ever ate. Wish they’d had other varieties to try.

Just as I get this topper wearable again, record-breaking high temps arrive.  Did I ever mention how much I don’t like heat & humidity? Oh. Harumph.

sewing room curtain

curtain & matching table topper

A good reason for lying (laying?) low, and not doing much until after nightfall.  But the second Brody mystery came in, so I can be “passively active.”

Considering all the ironing I did before it got so hot I can be lazy & still feel virtuous.   hehehehee!

When I sew up a curtain, I prefer as simple a style as possible, and today’s newly hung version is no exception. Unlined at the moment, it will probably get lining, and might even be hung by clip-on rings. Will decide after living with this a bit.

I keep curtains for years, and sometimes re-use them for different things. The simpler the style, the easier it is to re-use elsewhere. After all, a stored curtain is stashed fabric. 😉