On one of the two spring days we have had, I wore my new denim dress (Story here) and decided that I would like a few more comfortable, easy dresses for summer. The kind that don't really touch your body other than where they hang from your shoulders.
I've lived in Michigan long enough to know that there will be 90 degree days with 96% humidity at some point in the next few months and those are the days that require a 'no touch' wardrobe. (am I over sharing here?) Anyway, I pulled out the linen box!
I am usually about 3 linen projects in by this time in the year! But between the dreary weather and my clingy bug, I have gotten a slow start on "linen season." I love linen season and always have lots of fun trolling through my collection and deciding which precious pieces will actually get turned into clothing.
Some how when fabric has been 'marinating' for a long time (years in some cases!) it gets more valuable. It's the same yardage every time it comes out of the box, but it takes on a patina and an aura of grandeur that is way out of proportion! Some times I take it all out, fold it neatly, put it all back and go to the fabric store for a piece that hasn't taken on legendary status!
One such storied piece, is a mill-end of Eileen Fisher, bird's eye woven, charcoal grey, 100% linen. (see what I mean about legendary status!?) I can't recall when I got, where it came from, how much I paid for it, but, I have been hoarding this treasure for a very long time, waiting for the perfect project. Obviously there is no such thing as the perfect project so, at some point you just have to say "What the H---!" and cut into the darned thing!
A loose, airy, linen dress made from yummy textured fabric...pretty close to perfect in my book.
I started with my woven T-shirt pattern. I have been using and tweaking this pattern for years (possibly as long as the Eileen Fisher linen has been aging!) It is a great place to start and I know I will be happy with the fit. I lengthened it, added the 'must-have' pockets, draped a funky, asymmetrical collar, played around with the hems and decided one linen just wasn't enough...and there you have it...my 'no touch' summer linen dress.
I used a rustic woven cotton to make the accent pocket facings...one in the waist seam and one in the side seam. I also used the same cotton to face the bottom hem, the sleeve hems and the inside of the collar.
The sleeve and the hem have pleats to create a bit of a 'bubble' look.
The collar was draped after the dress was made. It is cut on the bias to create a soft standing shape.
I was very reluctant to cut into my precious linen and commit to just one version of the many I have imagined over the years. But I am very happy and can't wait for a 90 degree/96% humidity day to give it a test drive!