Wrinkled On Purpose: Pale Pink Linen Dress

I liked the Bleuet Dress so much, I made it again! (First version here.) I often intend to sew things up again and again, but it doesn’t always fit into the rest of my sewing plans. There are too many new things I want to make usually. This time, I knew I liked the dress but wanted to tweak a few of the details to make it even better for me.

Here it is in a lovely pale pink linen. Simple and summery! The linen is from Blackbird Fabrics, called Washed Italian Linen. (I still prewashed it again before sewing even though it’s called washed linen.) Most of you voted to sew the linen next in the comments of the last post, and I agree, it’s a beautiful choice!

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Changes for Bleuet #2: I skipped the bow, and I reduced the flare on each princess seam panel by 1cm each side, except for the two back seams which I reduced by 1cm total.

Skipping the bow means it works with a belt and without. Here’s a quick in-the-mirror look at the belted option:

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I serged my seams, testing it on scrap to ensure it wouldn’t show through the light-coloured linen. I did edgestitch the princess seams, which the pattern instructs you to do and I didn’t do the first time around.

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To add a tiny bit of extra length, I sewed the hem facing with a 1/4″ (6mm) seam allowance. On the hem I did a double topstitched hem, since it was going to show anyways I made it into a design feature. I also stopped at the button band instead of sewing across it, and that looks cleaner to me.

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Tips to add: Mark both the starting and ending points of your buttonholes when there’s this many. There are so many buttonholes so close together than they need to look evenly spaced or it’ll be obvious and look sloppy.

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I marked them with a Frixion pen, it looks like a gel ink pen but disappears when you iron it!

The buttonband is a nice size for my buttonhole foot. It’s easy to centre the foot over the band and the buttonholes end up in the middle like they should. (Side note: I love this super plain buttonhole foot for my Pfaff. I do my buttonholes the most manual way, pressing a button to tell it when to stop and turn around, and then pressing the button at the end to stop and sew the final bartack. I like the control it gives me.)

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I didn’t interface the buttonbands, but in the linen that might have been a good idea so they don’t open up like little mouths.

My armhole binding is especially nice in the linen. I sewed it on with a 1/2″ seam allowance instead of 5/8″, making it slightly wider, which turned out well.

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Collar looks nice, too. Any project is easier to sew the second time around. You’re focused on fine-tuning the details and improving your skills from the first version.

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I wanted to show the detail photos when it was freshly pressed, because after ten minutes sitting down it’s all wrinkled! Also, in these photos, I’m wearing a slip that has seams and it shows through the linen. It’s a fine balance – the linen on its own is a bit lightweight and sheer, but with a slip there’s another set of seams and edges to show through and then you lose the coolness of wearing only linen.

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Okay. Also, you can see that the collar has a mind of its own. One side wants to lift up. Linen has natural spring and resilience, and that spring and body is making one side jump up and not sit flat. (If it’s only visible to me, then I’ll tell you it’s the side where my hair is.)

The pink colour is a beautiful soft neutral. I want to wear things like this, soft and muted, but I don’t often buy fabric like that. Prints and brights are what I gravitate to. I think that’s changing. (Part of that is the purple hair. It looks better with solids, greys and blacks, and I’ve shifted my wardrobe to match.)

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Some side and back views. It’s shapely through the back, without too much flare at the hem. Taking out the extra flare at the hem was a good idea for this fabric. It’s still A-line and doesn’t cling. and it looks more natural than having so much extra ease and volume.

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The princess seams through the back bodice ripple a little, and I think that’s from serging the seam allowances. For a flatter look I could have flat-felled the seams instead of serging, or mock flat-felled them, or sewed French seams although I think flatter is better.

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Serious wrinkles. I forgot about them when editing the previous photos but wow can you see them here! It’s kind of cool that wrinkles are acceptable in linen. I really want my clothing to look crisp and smooth, but you just can’t fight the nature of linen.

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This is a dress you have to iron every time you wear it. I’m okay with that.

What I’d change next time: add interfacing to the button side of the button band. Ensure that the collar lies flat, by cutting the undercollar smaller like in this tutorial.  Find a way to sew smoother, flatter seams in the back bodice, and do the same on the front for consistency. I should also reconsider whether to wear a slip underneath, or find/sew one with less seaming.

More notes on this pattern here, in my post about the first version.

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34 Responses to Wrinkled On Purpose: Pale Pink Linen Dress

  1. Liz July 27, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    This looks lovely, and I like the muted colour on you, very classic. If you have jumped on the McCalls 6696 bandwagon (and if not, it’s a lovely pattern for pear shapes!) then it includes a slip that might be perfect for this, bias cut so the only seams are sides and then the straps, which should lie over a bra and therefore minimise any lines. I’m planning to make it in a drapey viscose or silk if I can find a reasonably priced nude colour, and hopefully that will keep it lovely and cool.

    • Tasia July 27, 2015 at 9:20 am #

      Thanks Liz! I love the colour as well. It’s so pretty and easy to wear. I have not tried McCalls 6696 but it looks like a great versatile pattern! Smart to include a slip pattern, too. The one I’m wearing has both seams and darts, so not suitable for thin fabrics. (It was the right length and a light colour and I didn’t realize the seamlines were so visible until I saw the photos.. the camera does not lie!)

  2. Heather July 27, 2015 at 9:47 am #

    I love the look of this soft pink linen – I have some that I plan on making into a sleeveless Granville and I hope it looks half as lovely as this does!

    • Tasia July 27, 2015 at 11:51 am #

      I bet it will! It would make a lovely sleeveless Granville. The linen is nice to sew with and makes a beautifully crisp collar!

  3. nothy lane July 27, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    I love the dress on you Tasia and thanks for posting that Blackbird Fabrics is where you got the beautiful fabric. I want to buy some…also, I love your hair! The purple ends are so nice.

    • Tasia July 27, 2015 at 11:51 am #

      Thanks! I’m loving the new look, it’s fun to do something different. Thanks for the nice thoughts on the dress!

  4. Jeanette July 27, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    I compliment you on the finishing touches – Very professional!! Keep up the great work!

    • Tasia July 27, 2015 at 11:50 am #

      Thank you! It’s easier the second time you sew a pattern. After the first one’s done, I think of things after the fact that I would have changed – and get an opportunity to do so!

  5. Dale Odberg July 27, 2015 at 10:25 am #

    Stunning! Clever that you stopped sewing at the button band, very couture.

    • Tasia July 27, 2015 at 11:48 am #

      Thanks! If I were to do it again I’d do it the same way, it looks better to me than sewing into the button band.

  6. Michelle July 27, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    Tasia,

    Love this dress. I would love to see your closet. It must be huge with all your great clothes. Post idea maybe?

    • Tasia July 27, 2015 at 11:47 am #

      Thank you! My closet is not really that big. Things wear out, personal tastes change and weight fluctuates over the years, so it’s not as jam-packed as it might seem. Plus we’re in a small apartment so I’m selective of what stays around. (The majority of pattern samples stay as pattern samples, not personal wardrobe items. Occasionally one will come home with me if it’s in my size, but for the most part they are needed for work purposes.) I can’t see myself posting a photo of my closet, but I like the idea of showing a handmade wardrobe round-up or something like that!

  7. Nayla July 27, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    Oh wow! I really love it! I love the soft pink wrinkly linen. Makes it look cool and casual and yet still feminine. Thank you for sharing. I’ve had this pattern in my queue for a long time and I even have fabric dedicated to it. I hope mine turns out half as pretty as yours :)

    • Tasia July 27, 2015 at 11:37 am #

      Thank you! I love it too. It’s cool to be able to walk around wrinkly and have it be reasonably acceptable. :) Hope you enjoy sewing your own Bleuet!

  8. Jenny July 27, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    I was wondering, did you buy your buttonhole foot as an extra or did it come with your machine?

    • Tasia July 27, 2015 at 11:36 am #

      It came with the machine, not extra! It’s labelled as 5M if that helps.

  9. Diane July 27, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

    Perfect!! Thank you for sharing. I absolutely love linen — especially when it looks that naturally wrinkled. Why would you make something in linen if you aren’t willing to deal with wrinkles? What stitch length and width did you use for the top stitching on this garment? Very nice!!!!

    • Tasia July 28, 2015 at 9:02 am #

      I used the standard 2.5 stitch length for all the topstitching, I didn’t change the settings from topstitching to regular stitching. And thank you! The natural wrinkles are what linen is all about. Otherwise you’re fighting with your clothing, and spending a lot of time in front of the iron.

  10. Jane July 27, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful – and perfect with your hair (love!).

    • Tasia July 28, 2015 at 9:02 am #

      Thank you! :)

  11. Holly July 27, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

    I’m going to guess the crazy hot and sunny Vancouver weather we’ve been having is what’s causing you to look angry in all these photos :) (sun in your face) At first I thought it was someone different in the pictures without your smile and the hair is so different, it looks great, a nice change.

    I have about 20 meters of linen kicking around I need to sew up so this Post gave me the motivation, beautiful dress, and I love the colour too!

    • Tasia July 28, 2015 at 9:24 am #

      Ha, I know right? I look angry but I swear it’s just the sun in my eyes. I thought about cropping out my face but left it in otherwise it would be all headless shots. :)
      Now is the perfect time to sew with linen! It’s cool in summer and I have a feeling we’ll have a nice long summer here in Vancouver.

  12. Nathalie July 28, 2015 at 12:19 am #

    I actually like the wrinkled look, and the soft pink is beautiful.

    • Tasia July 28, 2015 at 9:27 am #

      I love this colour so much. It’s the sort of colour I’d admire in ready to wear clothing although I tend to choose brighter colours in fabric.

  13. Sophie-Lee July 28, 2015 at 12:48 am #

    I love linen, and part of that is how lived-in it looks when you’re wearing it. Like you I don’t tend to pick muted colours like this – my assumption is that they won’t look good on me but actually I have no idea!

    • Tasia July 28, 2015 at 9:30 am #

      Love the lived-in look! And this is after ten minutes of wear, it’s much more wrinkled at the end of a full day. I don’t usually choose muted colours either although I love how they look on other people. Try on different colours in ready to wear, or wrap fabric around yourself at the fabric store! I’m often surprised what colours look good on me, sometimes it’s ones that I used to put firmly in the ‘NO’ category. I’ve heard that colouring and skin can change over time, maybe that’s part of it.

  14. Carol in Denver July 28, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

    Your stitching is impeccable and the detail of stopping hem top stitching at the button brand is so effective; I love such details!

    It occurred to me that the collar may have lain flat on both sides if it had been sewn from center back to front on both sides, aka directional stitching. If you try it, it would be interesting to see in a photo.

    • Tasia July 29, 2015 at 11:18 am #

      Another good tip! I think it’s too much fabric on the undercollar side, but that could be contributing as well. I didn’t sew from centre back on both sides on this version.

  15. Karen July 29, 2015 at 4:33 am #

    Just a thought, if you really need/want to wear a slip underneath it might be worth buying some of the handkerchief weight linen or cotton and sewing a simple one yourself. That way you get all the benefits of the linen or cotton no matter what outfit you are wearing over it. I have a maxi slip in a lightweight cotton that I wear all the time and swear by.

    • Tasia July 29, 2015 at 11:15 am #

      That’s a good idea – then it’s exactly the right length for the dress, and in a material that works with the linen! Thanks for the suggestion.

  16. francesca July 30, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    Gorgeous dress, beautiful colour. Linen wrinkles are called rich lady wrinkles; (. Personally I love them and mostly wear linen when it’s hot. I made myself a slip from very fine silk and another from very fine cotton, to wear under slightly see-through stuff. Bias cut is good, less seams.
    Your mods are brilliant too. Thanks for the tips!

    • Tasia August 4, 2015 at 9:38 am #

      I love the idea of a fine silk slip – sounds so luxurious! I’ll have to do that. It’s hard to find that sort of slip in stores, good thing we can sew!

  17. Edythe Olson August 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    I love this dress. I love all your patterns. Alas, my shape is the complete opposite, my hips are on the top, my boobs are at the bottom. :) But this pale pink and the buttons, I got envy going on. Shirt dresses never fit. I’m tempted to purchase the pattern anyway and make the adjustments necessary. I do have an instructor that could help me…… continued babble.

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  1. Weekly Windup #1 | Helen's ClosetHelen's Closet - July 29, 2015

    […] Tasia made another Bluet dress, and she made bravely made it in linen!  It looks amazing, I seriously gotta try this pattern.  I haven’t made any Deer & Doe patterns yet, mainly because it’s impossible to pick one! […]