Practically perfect in every way
It wasn’t really until I started sewing that I learned to love linen. Prior to that my experience of linen was thin, crispy fabric, that looked impossibly creased two minutes after coming off the ironing board, and felt uncomfortably rough and crunchy against my skin.
Once I started sewing I learned why it’s one of those fabrics that people rhapsodise about. Good quality linen – that is the kind of linen you don’t usually find in mass-produced fashion – crumples rather than creases, is breathable without being sheer, and gets softer every time you wear it.
I sew with linen all the time now, and it’s become one of my favourite textiles to work with and wear. Outside a few brands like Eva’s Sunday and Eva Cassis I still struggle to find quality linen pieces in my size (and I’m close to the top end of both size charts).
One linen brand that’s been on my radar is Not Perfect Linen, who I’ve been following on Etsy for years, but whose range – I assumed – didn’t actually come in my size. Imagine my surprise when they recently got in touch to see if I was interested in reviewing a few pieces from their enormously comprehensive collection.
Based in Lithuania, this family run brand is focussed on producing sustainable, ethical linen wardrobe pieces for every body. Working exclusively in Oeko-tex certified textiles, and with almost every item made to order, they’re a slow fashion brand that combines almost endless choice (each style is available in huge range of colours and weights) with custom-sizing.
This is the Boyfriend linen pants in ‘heavy salamander’, a tapered-leg pair of trousers with a pleat front and elastic waistband back. I was pleasantly surprised that though the fit was snug around my wide calves at first the fabric loosened up comfortably. They fit well everywhere else, even around my full tummy and flat bum (which is virtually unheard of with ready-to-wear clothing)! The fabric’s a soft textured linen, and after multiple wears there’s a modicum of pilling where my thighs rub together, but otherwise they still look brand new. I have not touched them with an iron!
I’m wearing them with the Leaf cropped linen top in natural, and it’s a terrific piece for this crazy in-between weather Melbourne’s been treating us to. The top had a deep box pleat at the back, making it flow beautifully, and the cropped front makes it ideal to French tuck.
I also received this lovely snap-front linen skirt, which is called the Marseille. The snaps are secure, but fully functional, and the skirt has a comfortable elasticised waist and deep pockets.
The ordering process was easy enough, though if you’re outside their listed size range, or if there’s things you want to tweak, like hem length or pockets or sleeves, you need to leave a note with your measurements or requested adjustments in the box provided during check out. They offer three customisations for each garment free of charge:
- Customize your item to your own measurements.
- Take off or add extra inches (up to 7.9 in/ 20 cm) to the garment length (torso, waistline etc.).
- Take off or add extra inches to the sleeve length.
- Take off, add or change buttons/snaps.
- Make changes to the neckline/collar.
- Add or remove pockets.
- Adjust armholes.
- Adjust hem allowance.
- Add belts or ties to the garment.
Plus, they offer free shipping worldwide for orders over $331AUD, and they’re currently running a promotion to save 20% off some of their discontinued linens.
Because each item is made to order (except the ready-to-ship capsule collection, 2isenough) production takes around the 4-5 week mark, but it was definitely worth the wait. When my order arrived it was packaged beautifully, with a little note about the history of Not Perfect Linen, care instructions, and a bundle of linen samples to make it easier (or harder!) to choose fabrics for my next order.