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Triple-Layered Linen Dress


This month’s make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger’s Network is an interesting one. I started off with a commercial pattern but had to drastically alter it after I realised that the white fabric revealed my underwear!

Click on the link below to read all about it: –

Triple-layered linen dress


Fuschia Linen Tunic Dress

Well that’s it, all my lovely linen used up and made into loose Summer garments which have been perfect in this recent spell of hot weather.

Remember these citrus shades I bought from Calico Laine?


I made a sleeveless dress from the “Pool Blue” and self drafted a tunic from the “Leaf Green” (Don’t you just love the descriptive colours?)

Linen dresses

I wanted something along the same lines for the fuschia linen, another loose fitting, easy-to-wear item that would be a delight to wander around in on even the hottest day.

In the end I decided to make a dress based mainly on the tunic but, this time, with sleeves, albeit short ones.


This is what I came up with for the pockets, the lines marking the placement for an inverted pleat.


I used a combination of flat fell seams and French seams for the construction.

P1050876 P1050875

Narrow hems were made throughout, so no need for facings.


I really liked the details in the tunic so I applied them to this dress as well.

The parallel pleats on the front and back which draw the centre upwards and allow the edges to hang lower in an interesting shape….


…the exterior pleats on the back which add shape as an alternative to darts…


….and the inverted centre front pleat adorned with two coconut shell buttons.


I added two pockets this time, in a slightly different style….


…and this is the finished article!





The sides are split to mid thigh level which lets the breeze in to keep me nice and cool!


I can also wear linen trousers underneath for a different look (or if it gets cooler).



Very casual, comfortable and cool – three reasons why I LOVE linen!



Self-Drafted Linen Tunic

You may remember that a few weeks ago I showed you some brightly coloured linen that I bought from Calico Laine.


I made this Vogue designer Summer dress from the ‘Pool Blue’ and blogged about it here.


The gorgeous ‘Leaf Green’ was destined to become a tunic top of sorts, but I couldn’t find an off the shelf pattern that I liked enough so I decided to draft my own.

I had several features in mind from other tops I own that I wanted to incorporate, so I played around awhile until I came up with this: –

A one-piece front with a centre front pleat and two horizontal partial pleats running parallel to the hem.


The back was also to be one-piece and would have some added shape in the form of external darts.

It was also to be shorter than the front and there would be slits on both sides.


This is the finished tunic which, from the creases, you can see has been worn quite a bit already.


The inverted centre front pleat was reinforced with a line of top stitching….


…and a couple of coconut shell buttons.


The parallel pleats at the bottom were designed to lift the tunic in the middle leaving the sides to drape lower.

To acheive the desired effect, the pleats were only partial and I only sewed between the pins as shown below.



I like the darts from the dress I made but was happier after securing them flat against the back, so I did the same with this tunic.


Much better!


French seams and narrow hems were used throughout.


The front pleats hang exactly as envisioned….


…and I added a gathered pocket at the last minute, matching the style with a pleat and another coconut shell button.


It’s a little bit stiff at the moment but will soften after the first wash.

I love it – the perfect loose, linen tunic to throw on over a pair of comfy linen trousers and mess around in the garden.

So cool and easy to wear and a lovely cheerful shade of lime green!


I could have brushed my hair for the photo though – I look like a tree with a bird’s nest on the top:)


Vogue Designer Linen Sun Dress

Forgive me, Bloggers, for I have sinned – it’s been a week since my last blog post….but with good reason.

My ‘phone died.


It is an ex-phone.

I had faithfully recorded images of my week for #sundaysevens (including some lovely Spanish sunsets) but could not share them with you…yet. It is in the gadget hospital as we speak so, hopefully, the techy bloke will work his magic and retrieve some of the lost photos for a later post.

As you know, we recently hopped over to Andalucia in Spain for a couple of weeks to stay with my Auntie and her partner.

This is Auntie, looking very glamorous and stylish. Not your average ex-pat, I think you’ll agree.

Boy, do I hope I’ve inherited her genes – hardly a grey hair in sight and she’s seventy-six this year!

Auntie Mary

Auntie wears a lot of linen.

With temperatures well into the high thirties in the height of Summer, it’s the coolest and most comfortable fabric to wear, after all, you can’t walk around naked all the time, can you?

Having long admired this style of clothing, I persuaded Auntie to take me to the Tuesday market in Albox (photo amongst the many lost in the depths of my iPhone) to buy something similar in an effort to keep cool in the blistering heat.

Apparently, it was a balmy 26°C and pleasantly cool for the locals.

I was sweating my t**ts off.

You’re talking to someone who gets the shorts and flip-flops out as soon as the thermometer reaches double figures for seven days in a row:)

The Boys stayed at home frolicking in the pool for the morning whilst we spent a blissful few hours wandering around the market, stopping occasionally for Tapas and the odd chilled beer.

I came back with a dress, one top, two tunics and two pairs of trousers, all Italian and made in 100% linen for €108, which is about £78!

The remainder of our holiday was enjoyed in cool, linen comfort and I vowed to make more things in this magical fabric on our return to England.

The wonders of online shopping resulted in this little lot being delivered within a few days of arriving home.


I chose this fabric from Calico Laine, a blend of 55% linen and 45% cotton, in three shades, ‘Leaf’, ‘Fuchsia’ and ‘Pool Blue’.

As I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to actually make yet, I bought three metres of each which would be plenty for any single garment.

At £8.99 per metre, it is much cheaper than pure linen with the added bonus that it shouldn’t crease quite as much.

Look at that lovely loose weave – fabulous texture!


After having a mooch around online, I settled on this pattern by Lynn Mizono for Vogue.


I love Vogue patterns, especially the ‘Designer’ range, as you’re always guaranteed to find something a bit different to the norm, which I like.

Whilst linen wasn’t on the list of suggested fabrics, silk dupioni was and, as they are similar in weight and characteristics, I knew it would be perfect for this design.

Described as a “very loose fitting pullover dress……with three adjustable lengths”, it seemed ideal for the look I was after – something cool and comfortable to move around easily in, yet still stylish enough to make it look as if I’ve made an effort when clearly I haven’t.


Then I realised I’d made a silly mistake – I’d ordered a size 14 forgetting that the US equivalent is a size 18!

I added a couple of inches to the bustline and lowered the shoulder seams by half an inch – problem solved.

Construction was simple – just two pattern pieces; a front and a back.

French seams were used throughout, making the seams nice and tidy with absolutely NO chance of fraying – a real problem with linen.


Narrow hems finished off the neck and armhole edges beautifully.


This finish can be tricky in other fabrics but, with linen, it’s very easy as the loose weave makes for a flexible fabric.

I didn’t even bother pressing under the seam allowance first, just folded and pushed under the raw edge with my fingernail as I went.


The instructions called for two buttonholes in the front pleats for the cord to pass through, but I replaced these with eyelets as I thought they would look neater and place less stress on the linen.


I only had a lime green cord stop left over from the pack purchased when making this crocheted back pack.

Hmmm…..I’m not sure whether to change if for a brown one.


There were a couple of things I wasn’t happy with – the armholes gaped a little so I added a dart each side for a better fit.


The back pleats are left ‘hanging’ according to the instructions.


I’m wondering if they would look better stitched flat against the body.


Overall, though, the finished dress is just as I pictured it.

An interesting shape, casual but quite stylish.



I bought these gorgeous clogs in another Spanish market a few years ago.


The perfect shade of turquoise that matches exactly!



Of course, I forgot to put them on for the obligatory selfie….


It’s pretty versatile, too – I reckon it could be dressed up for the evening with those clogs, a statement necklace and an up-do, or teamed with flip-flops, floppy hat and shades for a day at the beach (perish the thought – I hate sand!).

Right, now to catch up on all your blog posts that I’ve missed since the ‘phone died.

Better settle down and get comfy with a G&T – could be here a while….:)


Love Sewing Magazine – Matilda Everyday Tunic

Almost as soon as the latest issue of ‘Love Sewing’ magazine landed on my doorstep, I knew I was going to make the ‘Matilda’ Everyday Tunic with the free pattern (included).

Matilda Tunic

It looks like just the thing to pull on in the morning without having to worry about whether I’m having a fat(ter) day:)

Of course, I chose something a bit more eye-catching than the boring neutral denim – well, I do like a bit of Lime Green and Orange!


Due to the busy fabric and the fact that many of the design features wouldn’t work, I actually made huge alterations to the pattern but kept the basic shape: –

  • Re-cut the pattern into one piece for both the front and back
  • Cut the front neck a little lower
  • Lost the pockets altogether
  • Shortened the sleeves
  • Moved the rouleau closure to the front neck
  • Bound the hem with matching orange bias binding

After this photo was taken I took the side seams in by another four inches as I realise my body looks quite ‘square’ – it was just too big at the waist.

Although it is a very simple shape, there is some shaping in the form of side bust darts.

Darts can be tricky so do them carefully to make sure they lie flat and don’t pucker at the point.

Matilda Tunic bust darts

The design called for a single rouleau button loop at the back neck.

I rarely wear my hair up so this little detail would have been hidden under my hair, so I recreated it at the front neck instead.


I used my trusty overlocker to finish all the raw edges and side seams…


….and a flat fell seam for the shoulder seams.

I just love how neat this type of seam looks and feels!


I was about to turn up a plain hem when I remembered some bright orange bias binding left over from a previous project. It lends the perfect designer touch to lift the tunic out of the ordinary.


What do you think? It certainly shouts “Summer is coming” to me!