A letter to Linen

Dear Linen,

You’re awful purdy in plant form.

Your seeds make tasty bread topping, or, when crushed, useful (and excitingly self-combustible) oil for the handles of my garden tools and as a vehicle for the pigments of my oil paints.

Along with quinine-laced tonic and an astonishing sense of entitlement, you helped Europeans look cool and stay cool while they colonised hot and sticky places.

Your fibres have wrapped mummies, supported great works of art, and dried tears from countless faces. Rich people sleep on sheets made from you. Printed with novelty patterns, you’ve dried many a dish (and flicked many a bare-leg-of-annoying-sibling. YEOUCH!!) You’re famous for being durable and long-lasting.

AND YET, I narrow my eyes at you, Linen, because in garment form, you’ve been nothing but a disappointment to me.

The wrinkling I can live with because my persona is naturally a bit crumpled. But you have proved far less resilient than promised and garments made from you have torn in embarassing places, in embarassing moments. To wit: the loose black linen pants that made me super happy for about a week as I swanned about feeling quite the breezy thing, until two gaping tears appeared in the area most familiar with my bicycle seat.

Then there was this dress.

Black linen New Look 6067

Black linen New Look 6067

Lint-free? My arse. Every time I wear this dress I am covered in tiny bits of linen stubble. It embeds in my layer of sunscreen and makes me look grubby and unwashed. Long-lived? PAH! I’ve sewn up and patched the skirt vent three times and this morning it tore again. And inexplicable pea-sized holes appeared in the side of the skirt too. And laundering has turned it from lightweight to uncomfortably sheer.

Did I do something wrong, Linen? I recall this black dress took a few washes not to reek of cheap dye – could it be that the dye weakened your fibres? Or were these not your finest fibres to start with?

Maybe I should just leave you to those who understand you, like Steph C, Or do some book-learnin’ to catch up. But right now, I’m not sure I can trust you again.

Later, Linen.

Fabric giveaway winners

The draw for the monster fabric giveaway was conducted in a terribly scientifically rigorous manner, under controlled conditions. (The man who owns those hands has a PhD in physics. For reals.)


The cards fell just so:


So I’m delighted to announce that…

1. Sarah B gets the much-coveted piece of minty polka dots, for her Glassons dress rip-off , ahem, respectful replica (that’ll show ’em for shoddy manufacturing standards! YEAH!)

2. The floral chiffon goes to  The Perfect Nose for transformation into a minidress

3. The seersucker splendifery is for lakaribane who expressed obsessive and passionate needfulness for such stuff

4. Sarah will pop the blue poplin into a nifty top

5. Poor, ailing (but wonderfully named) Pigs and Bishops receives the stretch velvet for her troubles

6. Laura will be wearing the two-tone wool

7. Sox will be pencil-skirting the plaid

8. and the wool jersey was born to be a toasty sweater for Amy S!


I’ll be emailing you all to get postal addresses and then watching eagerly to see what gets made. Thanks to everyone who dropped me a line – and now I have a bunch of new sewing blogs to explore!