In this post I have collected 5 fun sewing projects using our own (Madeleine Wideland Designs) linen fabrics. First of all, I want to share how versatile linen fabric is and that if you want to think and create sustainably, linen is the perfect material. Feel free to read more about linen and the linen fabric's properties and you will soon be convinced!
There have just been elections in Sweden and it feels good that the election campaign is over and that something else can take the focus for a while. I hope that it will not be too difficult a time for us going forward, but that we can feel confident and a little calm. For me, creating in different ways is always a way of relating to life and the outside world. I need to create to feel good and sort of put things in place. I also think that we need to continue to furnish our homes with nice and functional furnishings. During the first year of the pandemic, there were many of us who suddenly found ourselves at home all the time and for many it is still that way, voluntarily or involuntarily. It is becoming increasingly important that we feel comfortable at home and that what we decorate with should measure up - both visually and in terms of quality.
Sewing and creating in fabric feels like a direct link back to the time when my foremothers created both everyday objects and beautiful textile art, without even being aware that this is what they were doing. I have so many amazing items that I inherited - embroidered cloths, lace, sheets, towels and much more that could go under the heading of Wasted Woman Power. More on this horrible expression later. In any case, over the years I have gained an increasing respect for the work of these women and the urge to create beautiful design, produce textiles and sew has grown stronger and stronger.
The fingers itch
Since I have my studio with about a hundred meters of fabric directly adjacent to my home, you might think that I sit and sew and am generally creative all day. However, having your own company means a lot more than being creative and creating new products. In last week's blog I told you that I spent most of the summer building a new, better webshop and that is many hours in front of the computer. But sometimes my fingers itch a little too much and I just have to test one or another idea I get.
As I said, I have a lot of nice fabrics in my webshop and it's so much fun - and inspiring - to see what my customers do with the textiles, so now I thought I'd share some sewing projects I've done myself and hope it will inspire that YOU want to try!
My fabrics are all in the finest 100% linen, 245 grams, which is a relatively heavy linen intended for interior products. It is printed in Borås according to ÖKO-tex standard 100 and this means that the pigments are water-based and non-toxic. The print is fixed on top of the fabric and the pigment is therefore not absorbed into the threads as if you dyed the fabric. Please read more about how we work and how our way of producing sustainably works.
A digitally printed linen is not primarily suitable for furniture or clothing because it involves a wear and tear that interior products are not exposed to. But, for example, dressing a headboard for a bed works perfectly because it is not exposed to wear and tear like, say, an upholstered chair does.
Let's do this!
Removable upholstery for headboard
As you know, if you've followed me for a while, my mom is my sewing mentor and she knows so much that it would be weird not to have her help. We measured and counted, cut and tried and came to the conclusion that it needed to be spliced in one place as the fabric is 150 cm wide. The cover really only consists of front and back pieces with a strip in the middle with the same width as the depth of the headboard and then we just tucked the edge into the joint between the headboard and the bed. In this way, it can be easily removed if you want to wash it - or why not exchange it for another according to mood and season! 😄 I chose the fabric Dotty grey , a mild gray fabric with white, slightly irregular dots, because I like a restful tone in the bedroom.
For that, I have sewn slightly larger cushion covers, 65x65 cm, because I already had the cushions, in Gloria gray . In front of them I have placed 40x50 cushions in Ella gray and in front of them even smaller cushions in Lilly grey .
Small makeup bag
The next great product is entirely thanks to my mother. A nice little toiletry bag that I now use daily for my make-up items!
We found the pattern online and it is, of course, much trickier than a headboard. It might not be the first sewing project you should take on if you've never sewn before, but with a little practice, you can do it too! The fabric is Ella green and the toiletry bag is lined with a plain cotton fabric. The advantage of a slightly smaller product is that it is perfect for using leftover fabrics from other projects. Why not patch together several small pieces that match?
Even these lovely little lampshades are my mother's work. We went to a flea market and found the skeletons themselves and then we used scraps, needle and thread and some textile glue. Here I would like to advise that textile glue is easy to use, but first try what color the glue becomes when it dries. It's not so fun when it yellows against the beautiful fabric...
My favorite chair at home is this wicker chair from Ikea. I first had it as a desk chair, but then it had to be moved out to the kitchen and I got another one. I have always liked small dining places with a cozy feeling, that you can sit for a long time in a comfortable chair that feels like an armchair, eat a long breakfast and read or together with someone nice (or in my case, Musse the cat who likes to keep me company and everything is trying to get at my breakfast egg).
I thought the chairs would be nice with checkered cushions to complement the kitchen curtain in Lilly blue. I also came up with it myself - a variant of an elevator curtain that you roll up and down as needed and tie up with strings or "tampers" of the same fabric.
I chose Brigitte blue and sewed two super simple chair cushions that I stuffed with foam left over from making two large fabric covered bulletin boards for the studio.
I really like the contrast between the braided natural material in the chair and the somewhat strict checkered fabric, and the linen fabric works great for chair cushions, it doesn't show that they have been used! So even if the fabrics are not primarily intended for furniture, they work well, especially if you choose something with a light base color. It is more sensitive with a dark base color because the abrasion is on the print instead of the fabric itself.
Blouse with raglan sleeves
Even though autumn is now here, I couldn't resist trying to sew a simple blouse in Lilly pink . I stumbled upon a very simple pattern at sewdifferent and since I was curious about how my linen would feel in a garment, I got started! This time I cast off all the edges and washed the fabric first. The linen shrinks slightly in the wash and becomes softer, so it was a must when sewing clothes. I printed out the pattern on some A3 paper, taped it together and cut it out. Then it was actually super easy to sew the blouse! The raglan sleeve doesn't require much fitting and I like the simple design which I also think goes well with floral fabric. Then it won't be too cute, either.
Here's how it turned out and I've already worn the blouse with a pair of wide black suit pants and white sneakers. I will definitely use the pattern for more garments, and it is easy to e.g. make the sleeve longer or extend the whole garment into a dress.
A little bonus here: I tried sewing a brick orange piping on a round cushion cover in Dotty green - I think it turned out gorgeous and now I'm going to sew round cushion covers for more flea market finds!
The sum of the do-it-yourself projects is that my fine linen fabrics work perfectly for other things than cushion covers! The only thing you should keep in mind is that if what you want to create is something that requires a lot of washing, for example placemats, then it is smart to choose a light base color that can withstand machine washing. The darker colors should be dry-cleaned, and you may not want to do that for tabletops in particular.
The fabrics are wonderful to handle and that is something that is usually appreciated by DIYers. It doesn't slide off and you don't have to pinch yourself to death or stroke unnecessarily.
Soon it's Christmas...
It's not long before it's time to start thinking about Christmas presents (I know, it's crazy) and there's nothing more fun - or better - than giving away gifts you've made yourself. As all MWD's fabrics are sustainably produced, with timeless patterns and colors to also last a long time in a home, it is a wise investment for both the environment and the wallet.
Since we are all affected by tougher times and it really is now more important than ever that we consume sustainably - quality before quantity - we are giving all customers a 15% discount on the entire range during the weekend of September 16-18. You just need to jump over to the shop and shop and you will get the discount when you check out at the checkout!
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In the next article I will write about female entrepreneurship, how it differs from the traditional and how a "feminine" approach to entrepreneurship can open the door to a different kind of life. A calmer, more value-driven and sustainable life.
All the best,