For my birthday, I decided to treat myself to a more luxury fabric experience: Linen knit! Italian linen knit, as my fabric store labelled it, because that makes it sound fancier, right?
I don’t know if all linen knits are similar, or if there is a lot of range… but mine is a thin, slightly sheer, slubby knit. It has about 20% horizontal stretch and no vertical stretch. It’s quite drapey, but catches slightly on itself and other fabrics (more than a rayon knit would, for example). It sewed beautifully, even on the coverstitch, though doesn’t really have enough bounce to make a good neckband.
Since the fabric is light and stable, I picked a loose design. You guessed it: The Santa Fe top! (Yes, that’s three in a row. Yes, there are more to come eventually, but I’ll take a break for now!) Part of the reason I keep resewing this pattern is that sometimes I love it, and sometimes I don’t. My two tanks are great; the rayon tee is a winner; an unblogged ITY tee is a fail, and this tee, sadly, is in between!
The main problem here is the neckline. Can you see how there is a box pleat in the back neckline? Without that, it was 80’s off-the-shoulder workout wear. There’s something I don’t love about the sleeves, too – they introduce another fitting challenge, and even after I slashed and spread to add more fabric at the shoulder peak, they still pull.
I pictured this top being so easy breezy on a hot day… but turns out it’s just sheer enough that I feel like I need to wear a camisole underneath. Goodbye, breeze! Hello, fabric sticking to the underlayer! And also – and I should have expected this – the linen wrinkles!
And yet… I’m happy I tried linen knit, and I’ll totally wear this shirt. (My husband told me I look strange in this outfit because these are “his” colours! I also think he isn’t used to me wearing all solids with no prints!) I think I would have been better off making a draped cardigan with this fabric, and maybe I’ll try that sometime.
Have you sewn with or worn linen knit? What pattern would you choose to highlight it’s strengths?