This cool, absorbent, and airy fabric comes in various weights and shades and is fairly easy to work with if you follow a few recommended tips and avoid its biggest downfall which is that it wrinkles easily and tends to unravel at the edges if not sewn correctly.
You can avoid problems with your projects by preparing and sewing your linen the right way.
Pre-Wash Before You Begin
Start out by pre-washing linen fabric so it has a chance to shrink before you cut out pattern pieces and stitch them together with your sewing machine.
This is especially important if you are working with a linen/cotton blend that wrinkles less but does shrink similarly to cotton.
Mark Your Pattern Pieces
Because it’s such a smooth, lightweight fabric, it’s easy to mark pattern pieces on linen using pattern tracing paper and a tracing wheel or tailor’s chalk in white on the wrong side.
Avoid making any marks on the right side of the fabric as well as marking with colored chalk or tracing paper, wax-based pencils, or marking pens as they can bleed through and show on the right side of this finer fabric.
Mark the right side of your fabric with a safety pin so there’s no second-guessing; linen can look very similar on the right and wrong sides.
Losing track of that could leave you with an unpleasant surprise if you get your garment all put together, then realize the wrong side is on the outside instead of the inside of the project, especially if it is a garment.
Linen can withstand being pressed with a hotter iron if the fabric is moistened, so iron on top it with a damp cloth or using the steam setting for best results.
Press after pre-washing so it’s smooth and flat to work with, then press the finished garment right after washing to keep it looking sharp.
Use Interfacing with Linen
Lighter weight linens will require interfacing to add some stiffness and stability for sewing with your Janome MC9900 and to hold their shape for wearing as well.
An iron-on type of interfacing is a better choice, so choose a type that will match the weight of linen to give it the desired amount of support.
Sewing Linen Fabric
Linen is best sewn using a regular polyester thread with a size 70 needle for lighter-weight fabric and up to a size 90 for thicker linen.
Adjust stitch length according to the fabric thickness starting at 2mm and increasing as necessary.
Finish Seams to Prevent Unraveling
When stitching linen with your sewing machine, take care to make a secure seam with a good finish so it does not unravel.
If possible, serge your seams and use attractive top stitching or double stitching to lend additional security.
You can also use other seam finishes that will enclose or secure the seam allowance or pink the fabric edges to reduce the chance the seams unraveling.
Classy, Classic Linen Gives Great Results
Although linen might be a little more challenging to sew on your Janome MC9900 than cotton fabric, it is a great fabric for all types of clothing, accessories, and even some home decor items.
The most important detail when using this fabric with your sewing machine is making neat, secure seams so your garments stay together!