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ArtBarn Team Sew-Along With NEW Japanese Cottons & Linens

All of us in the ArtBarn team have been oohing and aaahing over the latest collection of Japanese cottons and linens. In a spur of the moment sew-along, we each chose a cut of a favorite fabric, then over the past week, whipped up a garment to show our customers. Here are the results with sewing/tweaking notes, pattern photos, line drawings and links.


Beth, our resident Alabama Chanin expert, used a combination of fabrics both hand and machine stitching on this double gauze tunic. The pattern is an ArtBarn favorite, Butterick 5881. Out of the envelope, this pattern is a double layered dress that is joined at the neck and armhole. Our team separates the layers. Here, Beth has used the top layer. The under layer used on its own makes a lovely little shift dress, OR, works as a layering tunic, AND, it works in either a knit or a woven.

  • Used a combination of fabrics
  • The neck and armhole binding is finished by hand
  • Hand top stitching details
  • The bottom photo shows 2 different hand sewn samples. One will become a free hanging pocket, so the dress is still a work in progress.


Carol, our newest ArtBarn team member, (and landscape designer, gardener/farmer) used a double gauze to make a simple shift A-line dress.

  • Wears the dress soft and unpressed
  • Used a soft pink cotton to bind the neck, and pocket edges
  • Used a tried and true self-drafted pattern


Nellie, stellar shipper is a superb sewist who spent 10 seasons in the SF Opera costume shop, keeps amazing us with the garments she sews, especially using remnants and small cuts. Side note: we save end cuts and flawed bits of fabric that are too small or damaged to sell. These get tossed in a box in the bathtub and are up for grabs for anyone who wants them. Nellie works magic with these bibs and bobs, so for this project it was fun to have as much as she needed. PLUS, she sings in a band!

Nellie used Butterick 6283, one of her favorite basic garments which she keeps repeating in both knit and woven fabric, more often as a top or t-shirt. She chose a linen for her tunic.

  • Shortened the dress to tunic length
  • Cut on the cross grain to use the border at the hem
  • Added a welt pocket
  • Added a bound slit at the back hem - this happened as she was sewing, ‘just needed to be there’
  • Construction on the slit is like a sleeve cuff placket


Katherine used Butterick 6325 mostly straight out of the envelope in an airy polka dot linen

  • Used the selvedges wherever possible
  • Sleeve hem uses the selvedge edge
  • Made sure one of the hem pieces ‘had a little selvedge in it’
  • Popped the dots using small rectangular buttons!


Marcy used a linen, adapting the pant from Vogue 9193. This has become one of my go-to patterns, I keep tweaking it and simplifying it, love the controlled softness and the slightly bell shaped hem.

  • For this version, cut on the cross grain to use the border and selvedge at the hem.
  • Shortened the pant so it is a cropped length
  • Tapered out some of the fullness
  • Eliminated the yoke and drop pocket, pleating out some of the fullness in the drop pocket and cutting straight up from the yoke seam.
  • Added a pocket using the selvedge
  • The pocket placement is in the same spot as on the original pattern.
  • One pocket only, two would be too much and too predictable!

Love to see what you make with the Japanese cottons & linens!

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© Marcy Tilton