The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Good morning ladies!


I had some questions about...well, sewing with linen and decided to come to favorite ladies to ask! I'm working on my first ever garment made for me (pictures will come, I promise!) and when it came down to the wire, it wound up being a light weight, charcoal linen skirt with godets.  Learning from you all, I made a muslin first and thank goodness I did. Definitely need modifications, including a zipper to get it over my wide hips, and a length adjustment....


This will be my first time playing with linen, and I love it, how it feels, how easy it is to work with. What I don't love is how it ravels, seemingly without provocation before my very eyes. I took care of that by using pinking shears, but as I thought about it, I really don't know how to finish the seams. I don't really like the way pinking looks and I don't own a serger. So if you have a light weight fabric that likes to disappear by threads, what do you do to keep your seams pretty and in tact?


Thanks for any help! You are amazing!





Views: 3140

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I sewed a linen dress on my old mashine with a zig-zag-stich, but I had to do it twice to keep the linen from fraying.

It works but it doesn't look very neat.

Another posibillity is to cast the seams in biastape, I did this with a seersucker dress I made for my mum (because she is very picky about that sort of thing :-)). This works very well with straigt seams.

Good luck and happy sewing, I'm sure it won't be the last thing you sew for yourself !

french seams could be the way to go.... a tad tricky with godets... but it'll be a nice finish that'll hold up.

French seams would be nice and clean--if you haven't already sewn up the seams of the skirt, of course.  For fabrics that are very inclined to fray (like the silk/wool basketweave I'm working with now, which is a royal pain in the ass), I usually set my zigzag stitch to a short stitch length and run over the edges of the seams.  That usually catches them pretty well and is less involved and fussy than bias tape--though not even slightly attractive.

Definitely zigzag the edges (or an overcast stitch if your machine has it).  I adore linen, but the fray strings drive me nuts.  What I do with linen I buy:

Finish raw edges on piece, then wash and dry three times on hottest settings.  Not only does this get all the shrink out, but even the wrinkles will be softer.


Cut with pinking blade in rotary for construction.  Finish each seam as I go so I don't miss one!  When possible, I flat-fell instead of french seam.  If neither is practical, then it's either zz or overcast stitch the edges.


When I launder the finished garment, it's medium wash with medium heat dry, then pull it out as soon as the dryer buzzes, give it a shake-snap, then hang it up.


So far this has worked well with me.

Thanks for all the tips!


Wish I had asked before I had gotten started. First thing I do when I get my fabric home is wash it....I'll let you all guess how well that worked with linen *grin*


However, I think I will follow your advice and zigzag the edges and get the linen washed a few more times. I definitely don't have room for much shrinking! I guess if enough fabric has raveled away I can get replacement fabric for the godets in a contrast or a print...*ponder* We'll see how it goes. Thanks again, so much! I'll practice both the flat felled and the french seams on my muslin to see which works best with the godets. They sure make things harder, but so pretty!

I completely agree with French seams and also flat felled seams. But when all else fails pinking sheers work too. Zig zag is a great way to go too!
I would be very careful about washing a new linen garment excessively, as its chemical structure causes it to shed colour very easily.  It will develop softer wrinkles over time.

Hi Lyrissa, 


I'm also sewing with linen right now.  It's my first time sewing with it and I'm too learning how quick it frays.

I plan on using a "clean finish" on mine.  It takes a bit longer, but I love how, well, clean it looks :)


Here's a link with a picture and instructions:


clean finish seam

Overlocker is great ifyou can afford  otherwise zigzag sticht will do !


I also love linen


© 2024   Created by Mena Trott.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service