A Love Affair with Linen
I'm not sure when my love affair with linen began. It certainly wasn't in my childhood - having been a child of the 70s and 80s when all fibres man-made ruled the roost. I think my first memory of lusting after this natural beauty was when I first discovered Hobbs. Some of the wealthier girls at 6th form shopped there and one summer they had a collection of simple linen shift dresses in lots of stunning natural shades. Window shopping turned into 'trying on' and then 'saving up'! I can remember buying a flax coloured linen shift dress and the following year when I started work, a linen magenta trouser suit with a longline nerhu collar jacket (I LOVED this suit!) I wish I still had these first pieces...
I love the way that linen feels - if a fabric could be good for you (like a green smoothie!) then it would be linen. It allows me to breathe and waft about with an excuse for looking slightly crumpled!
I've been on a bit of a linen garment making frenzy in the last few months. It started with a couple of shirts for my Rick with some beautiful linen purchased on holiday in Seville. The fabric is fine and drapey but the price was on the high side (but I was on holiday, so reason went out the window!). Then I started to feel a bit envious of his lovely shirts and purchased some linen just for me! I went to Cresent Trading in East London (sadly no online shop) and got some a-maz-ing linen for the a-maz-ing price of £8 per metre. It is every bit as good as the fabric I got in Seville (and a 1/3 of the price). I bought 2m of navy and 1.5m of white (because this was all that was left on the roll). From this I have produced a navy linen shift dress (Camber pattern from Merchant and Mills - a real favourite of mine), with Sashiko embroidery on the hem, a pair of navy linen shorts, a white top (Camber pattern again - I told you it was a favourite) and a strappy, asymetrical top (the Gyo Pattern from Merchant and Mills). 4 wonderful items for a total of £28 (eat your heart out The White Company!) - plus the joy I get from making them. Now that's like having a green smoothie every day!
Would you like to try sewing with linen? I run classes for all of these items and all are beginner friendly- so please do get in touch if you would like to learn to sew. I am also planning to run a Sashiko coffee morning - so let me know if this would be of interest.