OneYearOneOutfit – Linen on the Lawn


10 metres of Irish linen in its natural state – a sort of brownish grey. It’s meant for historical re-enactors but I no reason why it shouldn’t become one of the staples of my OneYearOneOutfit project along with the Welsh wool fabric.


It was a beautiful sunny day here yesterday and I used the resulting hot water to wash 2.5 metres. I don’t know if it has shrunk but I cut plenty anyway – just in case.

Drying on the lawn. I saw a 1930s advertisement offering Irish grass bleached linen – I thought I’d start mine off that way. It’s already lighter than it was.
I don’t know how long linen was bleached that way to get it white, but how did they keep off stray dogs & cats? Or wildlife? Did someone sit with it. I told my dogs to keep away but both sneaked out to sit on it….
Anyway, it’s ready for the next stage: I’d like that to be soaking the fabric in milk mordant but I’m not sure I have any vessel big enough to hold it apart from occupying the utility room sink with smelly gone off milk for days. I am considering garment dyeing instead.
And what am I making?
The Curlew top from Merchant & Mills Workbook (Photograph Merchant & Mills). Bias cut and no fastenings. The version above has a lining but I don’t plan to do that.
I think it will work well with my 1930s style Welsh wool skirt.

Why aren’t I working on the skirt? I would except that this one is already a bit too big as I continue my training for the Lake Vyrnwy Half marathon in September. It seems that only the bottom half of me is getting thinner so a top is probably safe to make.

I can get into clothes that I’d put on the “to be cut up” pile – more on what I’ve done in a future post.




Filed under #1year1outfit, Clothes, dressmaking, dyeing, sewing, textiles

24 responses to “OneYearOneOutfit – Linen on the Lawn

  1. piecefulwendy

    It will be fun to see how the top comes out. Good for you on the plans to run the half marathon! I know the training for that is hard work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pao

    Luv your linen on the lawn, with or without grass stains. Now what color are you dyeing it? Difficult to sew while your losing weight so quickly, and gaining more clothes to wear at the same time. Poor you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on losing the weight, Norma! I’m very happy for you. Tell me, was the aim of putting the linen on the lawn to get a mixed result? Were there supposed to be green patches from the grass?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, there aren’t any green patches on it. I did wonder about that. I need to find out about the science behind it but I think the chlorphyl in the grass had some extra bleaching powers. Not sure about that but it is lighter than when it started.
      It’s sure to be patchy when I’ve finished dyeing it & I don’t mind that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think you got that right, about the chlorphyl! Did you know this was a very popular ingredient in toothpaste and skin creams in the 1950s? I see such ads in my vintage issues of “True Story” magazine.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah ha that’s interesting. I thought there must be something in it.
        Another excitement : a friend gave me some wool she’s spun to see whether it’ll be any good for sewing my wool skirt. If it is she’s going to do some more. Exciting!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow am I impressed–big time. Truly DIY to the core–with a little help from your friends. This project has me thinking about New York State and City. We enjoy so many imported items but I am at a loss to know if we would produce everything locally to make a garment. Not that I can take on another project but just thinking on how many things are no longer made locally. Our garment center is a fading shadow of what it used to be and I don’t know of many textile mills or thread companies in this state anymore.


      • It would be interesting to find out. I’ve been doing lots of research here and to be honest am suprised at what still exists. I’d like there to be more but at least it’s not completely hopeless.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. P.S. Lining a bias garment would be soooooo tricky. I agree you should just make the top w/o the lining.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha, there’s no way I’d be able to lay out some fabric like that and not have our cat make a bed of it! It certainly looks like beautiful material and I love the top you plan to make with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the’s so cool to wear too. The top is nice. I don’t think you need to line it. You could always wear a camisole of something underneath. So jealous–you got handspun wool–WOW! Good luck on the half marathon. Be sure to post pics.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, what an interesting technique to bleach it. My old cat would’ve been straight on that if he’d had the chance. He used to love sitting on my pattern pieces which really irritated me as they’d get all wrinkled and I’d have to iron them to get them flat before I cut them out in fabric! x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Like your bleaching technique – good luck with the sour milk, sounds really nasty and smelly. You are very dedicated with your training for the half marathon with three months to go, I’m impressed!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. pao

    I don’t know if this went through, so I’m trying again. There’s an ebay seller that has vintage patterns for a reasonable price that ships worldwide. Here’s a link to a 30’s pattern, but there’s plenty more from all eras.


  10. I am loving this linen! So lucky to have it locally produced. I am looking forward to seeing the final garment. And a wool skirt? Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The linen is gorgeous!! you are so fortunate to have fabric produced locally to you. I’m excited to see what you make with it šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: #OneYearOneOutfit Progress | She Sews You Know

  13. Pingback: A glimpse of my knittingĀ  | She Sews You Know

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