Sewing With Linen


Linen Stack by Yorktown Road on Flickr

It’s linen week! See part 1, Know Your Linen, and part 2, Sources for Linen. Images in this post are by Yorktown Road and Six and a Half Stitches.

six and a half stitches - linenpants

From Six and a Half Stitches, on Flickr

Buying: Unless you have bought pre-softened/pre-shrunk fabric, count on 1/8 yard worth of shrinkage.

Pre-washing: If you want your linen to soften up, prewash it, multiple times even. If you want to maintain the crisp texture (good luck there!), you will have to dry clean.

Pressing: Press the fabric when damp on high heat, use a press cloth to prevent scorching. Press on the wrong side of the fabric to hide the shine that pressing tends to leave on linen.

Needles: Universal needles are fine for most weights, 8-12 stitches per inch.


8 Green Lines Pressed by Yorktown Road on Flickr

Other Considerations: Linen ravels easily, so finish those seams.

As you can see from Yorktown Road‘s work, linen takes manipulation techniques (folding, pleating, pintucks, etc.) beautifully. Spray a 50/50 vinegar/water solution to dampen the fold line, then press with your iron.

Sources for this post, and more information:


From Six and a Half Stitches, on Flickr

Flickr Group: Sewing With Linen Lots of inspiration here.

Denver Fabrics: Sewing guidelines

Threads Magazine: Comprehensive article about linen, including interfacings and more advanced garment sewing techniques Blog: post about general sewing techniques with linen


8 line tote by Yorktown Road on Flickr

I know that Japanese craft magazines are also wonderful sources for linen projects and inspiration — can anyone point me to specific titles?


  1. yum! just look at that gorgeous stack of linen. beautiful colors!

  2. Donna says:

    Linen has become my new favorite fabric to work with, I just love it. Cotton Time and Cotton & Paint are two Japanese craft magazines that generally have quite a few projects from linen. A search on for linen brought up these books, the first is called I Love Linen and if you scroll down there are quite a few recommendations to click on and peruse.

  3. Tara says:

    So the crispy linen I bought will soften up in the wash? Good, I’ve been avoiding it because I thought I bought the wrong stuff!