My love for linen dresses hasn’t stopped. But since our big move from Los Angeles, CA to Raleigh, NC the budget for them has. Luckily I purchased a great drop shoulder linen top a year ago that I created a pattern from.
With this pattern I’ve made a top and two dresses so far. One of the dresses is in my spring/summer capsule, yet the dress I’m sharing today is for fall/winter. Today I wanted to share a bit of the process for making this latest dress.
I purchased heavy weight blue linen fabric from my local Joann Fabrics over the summer. Before beginning this project, I prewashed the fabric. Although this pattern was created from a top, I extend the length to make it a dress. This loose fitting pattern is easy to make adjustments with.
- Here you see a glimpse of my pattern which I traced on a grocery bag. I extend the length of the dress from the armpit down to the end of the fabric. I placed the sleeve pattern piece on the fold of additional fabric before cutting although not shown. Even though I’m using the same pattern piece for the front and back, I lower the neckline in the front with a higher neckline for the back.
- After cutting the front and back panels of the dress, I sewed the shoulders of the dress together.
- Here is just another view of the dress so far.
- After the sleeves are cut on the fabric fold, I sew them on.
- Drop shoulder sleeves are an extremely easy three step process. I always start with the shoulder seam, then sew on the sleeve, then do one long stitch to close the sleeve down to the hem of the garment.
- Here the sleeve and side seam is complete.
- Now the only thing left to do is finish off the neckline, sleeve hem, and skirt hem of the garment. I use a strip of fabric to create bias tape to have a polished neckline. I’m still working on mastering my DIY bias tape and neckline finish skills.
- Finally the dress is done!
I can never rave enough about linen. It can be dressed up or down pretty easily, has a timeless appeal, and never looks overdone. I’ve noticed that oversized linen dresses are cinched in beautifully with a belt, and even more comfortable on the days when that is a priority. I love that medium to heavy weight linen can look chic and modest in a loose fit because of how well it drapes.
Since working with linen, I’ve learned to enjoy the look of French seams. I prefer the look and stability of French seams despite the extra effort. There are tons of tutorials online on how to create them. I’ve used French seams with every linen piece I’ve made so far.
Now that this dress is complete, I’m thinking of making a belt to compliment it as well as a long skirt with the remaining fabric. I’m still a novice when it comes to sewing, yet with each project there is always more improvement. I’d love to learn how to create a button placket for some of these designs. Maybe by next year I’ll have it figured out.
And yes heavy weight linen is surprisingly warm for the fall and winter. I’ll share my tips on how I wear linen during the fall/winter soon.
Images by Dawn Michelle