Purple Linen Dress

I have been trying to find a cheaper source of linen after making a linen shirt for myself. Spotlight usually sells it at almost $30 per m!!! The dress I wanted to make needed about 1.5m which meant $45 before I have even started work on it. Luckily, while rummaging through the bargain section, I found this linen blend which had only about 2m left, going for a clearance price of $5! Needless to say, I snapped it up :)

The dress looks like simple A-line dress but because of all the details, the most time consuming part was tracing the pattern and transferring all the markings and notches to the fabric. Sewing was pretty quick, especially if you have a pintuck foot for your machine, because it calls for a precise 0.7cm pintuck width. Note the gathers below the pocket. Very interesting feature, one of the reasons why I was so drawn to the dress.

And more pintucking at the back of the dress.

A closeup of the front. Lovely sea shell buttons that I bought for a steal. 12 dozens for a few dollars. As they are natural shell buttons, many of them can’t be used because of chips/natural blemishes. But still a good deal!

The Japanese sewing book I got the pattern from came with some free labels. Gives it the finished look. Makes me feel like printing some of my own labels.

One last shot of the dress from a different angle. See why I love linen? The fabric has “body” which gives the dress some shape. Yet it is not entirely stiff or hard when worn. In fact it will get softer after multiple washes. It’s cool to wear in hot weather too. Unfortunately this pattern is quite “wide” because of the extra allowance for the pin tucking. So I could not squeeze 2 dresses out of the fabric. I need to find more linen to make a second dress. Fabric.com sells them about 15USD at sale price, which is still quite expensive after adding shipping.

Do you know why linen is so expensive? Do you know of any other sources for buying linen online?

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  • Lizzie
    May 20, 2012 - 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful dress! I love to sew with linen. It’s my absolute favorite for all the reasons you stated. I would love to find a source online but haven’t yet. Is I buy linen or linen look fabric it’s usually from a local store when it’s on sale.

    • Cotton Candy
      May 21, 2012 - 9:14 am | Permalink

      Thanks Lizze! Yes I’ve spotted some linen-print cotton fabrics too but never tried sewing with them yet. I guess being cotton it will still behave like cotton, cuz the charm of linen is really in the way it holds itself up without being stiff. Always on the look out for great bargains! :)

  • May 21, 2012 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    Hi there!

    I’m a new visitor and so happy to find someone with similar interests!

    love your other blog too. the book reviews and links to japanese sites with free patterns are so useful! i can just spend an hour drooling at the nice pictures..

    see you around :)


  • Alfa
    May 22, 2012 - 7:47 pm | Permalink

    I am just amaze with the dress, the linen color, everuthing, you are an artist. I wishi some day i could make something so beatiful as your dress. kisses

  • May 23, 2012 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Great job on the beautiully done purple dress!!

    Did you try buying linen from People’s Park 2nd floor? I know there is a shop selling mainly linen fabrics. They have a great choice of colours.

    • Cotton Candy
      May 23, 2012 - 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Hi Cindy! I really have to check out People’s Park soon! Do you by any chance know how much their linen costs? Are they all from Japan? The spotlight linens are from Japan and China, but both priced at 29.95. :(

  • May 23, 2012 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

    They cost much lesser than that. If i am correct, theirs are either from Europe or Japan. Different fabric count. I bought from them before but cannot recall exactly how much i have paid, but definitely not paying for 29.95 for a yard. Will find out the shop unit number if i am there the next time round, pretty soon i think… ;p

  • June 15, 2012 - 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous dress. And gorgeous sewing. I’ve never heard of a pin tuck foot. But now I’m intrigued. Love the colour of this as well.

    • Cotton Candy
      June 18, 2012 - 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jillian, The pin-tucking foot came with my machine. It’s just a foot with an adjustable guide that keeps your seam allowance uniform. It really helps speed things up although it is not an absolute necessity to sewing pin-tucks :)

  • June 26, 2012 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    Hi, really love this purple dress. The linen looks so perfect. Which book did the pattern come from? I am interested in buying my first Japanese Sewing book.

    • Cotton Candy
      June 26, 2012 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Hi Bernadette, the pattern is from this book : まいにち着る女の子服 ISBN number 978-4-529-04700-5.

  • dorothy
    June 11, 2013 - 9:14 pm | Permalink

    hi! check out this etsy store – they are located in seoul so shipping cost isn’t that crazy to singapore…and they have a good selection of fabric/linen.

    • Cotton Candy
      June 11, 2013 - 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the link! I’ve bought from another Korean store on Etsy before too. It’s sad there aren’t so many choices here, but it makes online shopping so much more tempting!

      • dorothy
        June 13, 2013 - 9:48 pm | Permalink

        You’re most welcome! I purchase most of my fabric online because of the lack of selection of quality fabrics in Sgp. Mostly quilting cottons, but I recently started sewing clothes so now I’m hunting for nice apparel fabric that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. I have 2 of the Japanese sewing books in English and intend to try some of the patterns soon. I just bought some floral fabric from Chinatown – the selvedge says Lecien but I’m a little sceptical!

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