Linen fabric is what I love to wear in the Summer if I can get it. Minerva now offers a core range of mill washed linen fabric so I order quite a bit this time to test it out on two patterns.😀
This review is about how I’ve used it for Pauline Alice patterns Xerea dress. Xerea was one of the first patterns Pauline launched when she started her patterns. I’ve used this pattern a couple of times when it was first launched and I loved wearing this dress in the Summer.
Any new sewist would be interested in a pattern that has no closures right? This is one of those patterns that has no need to sew in zippers or stitch on buttons and those pesky buttonholes. I love a good closure and am still surprised at how fun and quick it is to make a dress with none of these features.
It comes down to the design of this dress that makes it a great pattern for new sewists.🤓
Back to the Linen fabric…
Locally I can buy light weight linen fabric. The colour range is really limited. The type of linen fabric available locally is also limited.
Minerva’s range has 26 colours to choose from. That’s a lot of choice and if you love linen, this is the spot to get that colour you have your heart set on.
The colour I’ve used is pastel green. You can see the green in the sunlight but in room lighting, this colour looks like pastel blue. This could be because my eyes are slowly not seeing all the colours of the rainbow as I age but whatever the colour, I like it.
I had an unfinished version of the Xerea that I recently completed and then wore that version to dinner. The fit was fine but I wanted more room to relax and not feel too hot and humid.
On this version I added 8 cm to the body width and 3 cm on the sleeve width. This has given my dress more room and less shaping and it’s really comfy to wear. I’ll see how I go wearing it out and about before I add any further shaping to the princess seams.
Any further waist shaping may mean I need to add a zipper in the side seam.
Right now I’m really happy with this dress.
Now for the fabric. You know how linen crushes easily? Would you believe this fabric does crush but doesn’t show it too much on this dress. The fabric irons out really easily.
Finishing this fabric took some thinking and I decided on overlocking the seam edges but with a 3thread stitch and not 4 threads. 4 thread stitching adds more weight to the fabric. I don’t need additional weight to this dress.
Also when you iron this fabric make sure you use an ironing cloth to avoid adding shine to the fabric. I use a tailors ham to iron the seams open. Firstly ironing the seams closed on the wrong side of the fabric. Then I iron the seams open on the wrong side of the fabric. Lastly I iron the seams on the right side of the fabric using an ironing cloth and tailors ham.
When I initially sew each seam, I will press the seam open with the heat of my fingers to check my work before I iron the seam. That was I can easily unpick the seam and resew it correctly. The threads can be unpicked and pulled out easily at this stage.
Hopefully these sewing tips will help you manage sewing this linen fabric in a future project that you have in mind.