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May 23, 2006

everything linen

coincidentally, my knitting and sewing projects consist exclusively linen at the moment, a silent welcome for my first summer in georgia.


i'm so loving this cornflower tunic (pattern from rebecca 29). doubling the thin linen thread really makes the stitch less hollow yet the drape of linen still shows through beautifully. i quite enjoy working on plain stockinette, so soothing and mindless! the only worry i have right now is if the hem would be wide enough for the dress to be a little floaty. also, when i cast on the stitches, i had only this teeny bit of yarn left which was not enough to do a solid darning. this little piece of yarn keeps poking out... oh well. i'll worry about this later.

so the sewalong community has just announced the next project: a top! just so happens that i already had a cute pattern in my stash. more on that later. now, i want to show you the bag i made for the sewalong.


hmm... it did not work out well for me. i was not getting the amy butler magic. my intown bag was sadly transformed into a linen hanging pocket for our take out menus. it was probably too excessive for such purpose but i hate throwing something i made away, especially with the most beautiful linen fabric!

what went wrong? well, i have just one word: interfacings. i read from others' comments that this pattern did not involve any interfacings, so lining the fabric would provide some shape, which i like for bags. however, i decided to use the stiffest interfacings... hence, when i needed to turn the whole thing inside out, it was almost impossible. so, i couldn't even top stitch properly. so sad. but it was a good lesson and now i have the posh-est take out menu holders so i can't really complain.

there will be another intown bag, soon, i promise!

speaking of home improvement, my sewing ego had extended to making some linen table napkins. i went by the store to get some matching color, 100% linen fabric to make napkins and cocktail napkins per williams-sonoma standard. boy, was that a touch job. sewing squares were much more labor-intensive that i thought. it involves:

dinner napkins in the making

washing the fabric
ironing linen fabric (which was difficult as it was really wrinkle after washing)
squaring off the fabric
drawing the cut lines
drawing the seam lines and fold lines
cutting carefully
pinning, folding and ironing along the seam and fold lines
sewing the lines and mitered corners

honestly, it was really exhausting! i made two dinner and four cocktail napkins this weekend and still had some more to make in order to complete a set. but it really was worthwhile. look just how much more sophisticated a glass of water now looks on my 100% handmade, tailored cut cocktail napkin.

tailored made napkins make water tastes better

for the first time, i told my husband to wipe his mouth on my FO project. and don't worry to stain it with red wine or spaghetti sauce. it was made to wipe off dirt.


That linen yarn is so lovely. I have been meaning to make a linen top ever since I saw pictures of your honeymoon cami last summer, but I haven't yet gotten around to it. I'm hopeful this will be a nice long summer and I'll get a chance.

The color of your cornflower tunic is so gorgeous, such a lovely shade of blue. Your menu bag is cute!

Very professional! Use them proudly!

I am sorry your Amy Butler bag did not work out as planned! it looks great as a menu holder :-) and the linen napkins are so elegant, great job!

Look at you go! So many things made, and so very elegant! Your linen top looks really cool, I love the cornflower blue. And I love your napkins and bag. Linen irons better when it's damp, so you can iron it without putting it in the dryer. If it's already dry, then sprinkle with water and let it sit for half an hour to get softer. Much easier, I promise. Listen to me, I am like the laundry queen! :)

I love the color of your linen tunic. I know it will be fabulous on you. And those napkins look great. Isn't it wonderful to make useful things?

It took me a minute to locate your bag - great re-use of a sewed item! The blue of your linen top is beautiful. Those napkins are great too - you are on a roll!

Exquisite linens, both sweater and table ones. I had used the stiffest fusible interfacing for my recent high tea bag too and turning out the little corners was tough, but I had read a tip from another book - to use a very narrow seam for the interfacing - 1/8" outside the sewing line, that way the seam will not end up being too bulky. Better luck on the next bag!

so you will take custom napkin orders very soon, then? ;-)

hurry up with the tunic, won't you - i wanna see it finished! the colour is so beautiful and i think it's going to be a winner.

Ah, linen.

How are you finding Rebecca? I knit one of their patterns several years ago. I enjoy Rebecca but have trouble finding the yarns, and for the longest time I had trouble making substitutions for them. Maybe I should try again.

Anyway, swank take-out menu holder! At first I was going to say, "Gee, your bag looks suspiciously like a baker's rack." But then I read on. ;)

Linen napkins. I have a serger with a rolled hem feature. I guess I'll be using that. :D

It's too bad about the bag, but you did a great job with the linen! As for the napkins, they are far too pretty to stain them with wine or spaghetti sauce!

Your cornflower tunic is looking great! I love the colour. I've been thinking of trying something in linen...

I really like your blog, you make some great stuff both knitted and sewn. I wanted to know, that baker's rack in the picture, is it the one from Target? We're planning to buy one for our kitchen. Thanks a lot! And continue the good work!

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