I’ve made another version of the Linnet Dress #99. Since I’m not much of a dress person, I crafted another tunic version, this one somewhat shorter than the last one, and without sleeves, so it can be worn as a layering garment with shirts, turtlenecks and leggings. I had some remnants of heavy weight linen that I’d dyed for another project knocking around and so that’s what I used, and decided that the contrasting shade of the selvage was something that I liked so I chose to incorporate it into the design. I’m pleased with this project. This is exactly the sort of basic wardrobe garment that I needed and that prompted my wardrobe sewing adventure in the first place. The simplicity of the pattern lends itself to seemingly endless variations. This is a four pleat version, two in front and two in back, but I’m working on a 10 pleat version with long sleeves in an indigo dyed linen. My linen supply has run dry but I intend to make more of these, one in silk and a couple in some cotton Provencale prints that I have in my fabric stash. With Spring nowhere in sight, I think I might still have enough time to crank out a few more before gardening season is upon us.
Here is the completed garment, using Linnet Dress pattern No. 99, adapted to a tunic length. For such a seemingly simple garment, there’s been quite a learning curve, taking three times longer than I’d expected it to. (And I thought I’d be whipping these things out at a rate of one a day, passing the snowy, winter days, populating my wardrobe with a dozen lovely, well-made, linen tunics in gorgeous colors all hand-dyed by me, and in time to host garden parties this summer). Uhhhh. Time to re-think that one and set more modest goals, I suppose.
I’ve learned a lot from making this garment, and have a much greater respect for even poorly made garments, like this one, for instance.
I altered the pattern somewhat, eliminating the original shawl collar, which ended up looking rather matronly, and shortened the whole thing to tunic length. The next one I make will be for fall and winter, and the plan is to line it for extra warmth and opacity.
We’ll see how that goes. YouTube tutors seem to make entire garments come together, perfectly and professionally in 7.28 minutes, so…….anything is possible..
Hmmm. Operation Japanese Sewing patterns isn’t going as swimmingly as I’d expected. Out of the envelope, what I loved about the uncluttered, clean, minimalist patterns has become a baneful sewing adventure. All that previously admired open space means there’s very little information to guide one in the construction/assembly process; no notches for matching seams, no markings for tailor tacks, no seam allowances. Very minimal, indeed. I guess the Linnet people expect a more practiced sewist to be using their patterns. The written instructions that accompany the patterns are, at first glance, thorough enough, until you actually try following them. They’ve made a good effort but there’s just not enough direction for a beginning sewist, despite the simplicity of the garment silhouettes themselves.
Sigh. Well, on the bright side of things, I’m glad I’m not using wildly expensive or irreplaceable fabric, and, although I hadn’t really planned on any hand sewing, there is some of that involved, and thanks to YouTube and some generous and skillful tailors-sharers, I’m learning some great hand sewing techniques that I’d never known about. I’m also keeping careful notes on the difficulties I encounter and how I’m resolving them so that I don’t have to tread this thorny path again. Lesson #1: Don’t try to adapt our measurement system of inches to metric. Just use the metric system. ( Weren’t we Americans supposed to have converted to the metric system sometime in the seventies of the last century? What happened with that perfectly reasonable idea?)
I’ve started this project with an off-white linen, and sewing linen is somewhat more challenging than the more tightly woven cotton fabrics. The next garment will be a cotton print. But while I’m on the subject, let me say something more about the garment I’m working on; Linnet Dress/Tunic #99. The good news is that there’s very little discernible difference between the ‘right-side’ and the ‘wrong-side’ of the off-white linen fabric that I’m using. That also happens to be the bad news as well. Lacking tailor’s marks or notches, it’s hard to tell what goes where and how in the construction. I’ve taken to sticking blue tape onto the fabric patterns pieces and writing RS (Right Side) and WS (Wrong Side) to keep myself sane-ish.
The first garment ought to be completed by tomorrow, and I’ll post the results here.
24 Years of living at 97 Arden Street. I miss it sometimes.
Snow was cause for celebration. The building superintendent was responsible for shoveling snow.
Delivery. Food, beer, wine, cigarettes. Pick up the phone, it’s there in 15 minutes or less.
Heat. Always abundant, even in the dead of winter. Often too much….those on ground level apartments always had their windows open, we, on the 4th floor (out of 6) often had them open. Watching snow fall in NYC while you’re cocooned in an overheated apartment and having a bottle of wine delivered is one of the great inventions/luxuries of civilization.
Parties. A lot of artists lived in my building. Painters, actors, opera singers, musical theatre people, and we were all friends. Events, like a heavy snowfall, or a power outage or a heat wave, called for a party. (See the delivery notation, above). One phone call and all and sundry descended into someone’s apartment for drinks and impromptu cheese platters accompanied by laughs and jokes and remarks about the weather, and mutterings of guilt-driven empathy for Richie,’The Super’ who was out there doing his job; shoveling 40 feet of snow.
I miss those days and those friends. Cheers to those of you still out there!