As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I wanted to make it up in a double faced linen I had been eyeing up on the Merchant and Mills website for some time. When the fabric arrived it was lovely, a soft, loose weave linen just like in the picture. Being good, I put it in the washing machine straight away, all on its own, 30C, gentle wash , line dried and it rewarded me by becoming as stiff as a board and all wonky grain wise. I had to dampen the fabric and pin it out as if I was blocking knitting to get it straight again, it was still really stiff though.
I hadn’t appreciated quite how linear the pattern on the fabric is and found it really hard to get the pattern to match on the pockets because despite the fabric being so stiff its a really loose weave and any handling pulled the weave out of alignment again. And it frays, very easily. In fact I would say that this linen is the most difficult fabric I have worked with, even worse that the viscose velvet and that’s saying a lot.
I couldn’t decide which face of the fabric I wanted to use for the large areas and which for the small so in the end I did the front and back in different colours, getting the best of both worlds.
By the time I started sewing I was getting the measure of the fabric and took great care with my pivot at the collar join which I am really pleased with.
I was also careful enough to get the armhole facing colours matching too…
The dress is fully lined with a chocolate brown silk crepe de chine which was a breeze to sew after the linen although it did take a few attempts to attach it properly at the neckline because with the collar in between the front and the lining it was really difficult to see what was happening where, but got there in the end.
I then left the dress to hang for 3 days before hemming which I did by making a bias strip and attaching that to the bottom hem to give extra weight.
The dress has turned out pretty much as I wanted, a crumpled look linen shift. The only thing that is annoying me is that despite my efforts to line up the weave on the pockets
The pockets seem to have ‘dropped’ leaving this bagging effect
Not quite sure what, if anything, to do about that.