These are the new Summer Merchant and Mills linens we have in stock. They were out of stock all Spring and I patiently waited for the wholesale fabrics to be restocked so I could bring these beauties into the shop. It was love at first sight - I love vibrant colors, lush linens, and classic gingham designs.
It's no secret that I love my job and I love to sew with the fabrics that I bring into the shop - let's say it's for "quality assurance" but really I just love the gorgeous fabrics that I bring into the shop so why would I shop for fabrics anywhere else? I try not to cut into fabric that is selling well but I had to make an exception for this gorgeous Festival Linen 🌈
I could not resist - and honestly what is the point of having a fabric shop if I don't let myself take home the gorgeous rainbow check linen of my dreams? I did compromise though and only let myself cut a 1/2 yard to sew with... so I had to get creative with how to work this small cut into a garment.
For context, the Festival Linen is $48 a yard and high-quality European linen is definitely an investment but I grabbed a half yard which is only $24 and I chose a scrap-friendly pattern so I worked in my existing linen scraps and only spent $24 on new fabric for this make.
I made the Weekend Chore Shorts by Matchy Matchy Sewing Club and wow - I am in love with this pattern! If you are unfamiliar with Matchy Matchy Sewing Club, their design aesthetic often combines smaller pieces of fabric than a traditional garment would so you can get creative with how you piece together colors and prints or you can create a monochrome look.
The Weekend Chore Shorts come in 11 sizes and go up to a 67" hip. I made the size Small based on my hip measurement (39") and it felt true to size - it does have a comfortable ease throughout which I love. I don't have much interest in super tailored / fitted garments after having a baby and having so many body changes.
For my size of shorts, the pattern pieces are about 20"x10" and I would have cut a larger piece of Festival Linen had I remembered this - I cut an 18" piece / a half yard - so I had to get creative and I cut all of my inner leg pieces on the cross grain rather than the grainline. This means I cut the pieces perpendicular to the selvedge (the edges that don't fray) and it's still a safe choice but cutting on the grainline (parallel to the selvedge /edges that don't fray) is usually the best choice.
I ran low on fabric after cutting my main shorts pieces so I got creative and decided to do some fun freestyle quilting for the pocket pieces. I just put shapes together to make strips and attached strips to each other. I tried to match up corners and be precise on some of them and on others I wanted a more wonky / artsy vibe. I have no quilting experience so I just winged it and had a blast!
The lavender linen I used is from an old Peppermint Loungewear pair of pants that I made that I wore to pieces and I upcycled what was left into the shorts - I even used a piece with a big seam in the middle that is hidden by a pocket. This pattern is great for using unusual and small pieces. The clay linen was leftover from a jumpsuit I made for my sister in law. Both linens originally came from The Fabric Store in New Zealand.
The backside of the quilting / pieced fabric was a hot mess of frayable edges so I found some old deadstock silk satin in my stash and backed the pockets with it and then added some decorative quilting stitches over the designs to secure everything together.
These are my finished Weekend Chore Shorts featuring Festival Linen and the linen scraps I had in my stash - again I only used a half yard of Festival Linen which costs about $24 and the rest I upcycled and found in my scrap bin.
A closer look at the front. I put the lavender linen on the front side pieces and used Festival linen for the inner front and back pieces to have some symmetry.
I used the clay linen scraps for the back side pieces and again that Festival linen for the inner leg pieces.
Here are the side views to show how these fun freestyle quilted party pockets come together. I love how the quilted pockets tie all of the colors together and I love how the Festival Linen breaks up the quilt blocks.
P.S. I am wearing a RTW top by the brand Lush, found at a local store called Gilt + Gossamer but I am going to share how to make your own DIY version soon - a tie front top hack using the Ogden Cami pattern by True Bias :)
What would you make with Festival Linen? 🌈