It looks like the weather should be fairly sunny for the next few days, so I think I’ll try water retting some of the flax that I grew last summer. There is way too much mildew around here, so I don’t like the thought of mildew on my fibers from dew retting. I’d much prefer to process the flax with nasty smelling bacteria. :) At least that way it will have a nice blond color, instead of a gray tint that reminds me of mildew.
My main reference book for flax/linen is Linen from flax seed to woven cloth by Linda Heinrich. It reads like an encyclopedia, with lots of interesting and relevant information.
I also found the free e-book A Guide to Spinning Flax: Linen Spun from Flax Fibers that has information on growing, retting, and spinning flax.
I want to make clothing that fits me perfectly mainly for two reasons: comfort and health. How my clothes look is a secondary concern – I can buy clothes to get a certain look, but not ones that fit. I’m convinced that my poor posture for most of my life was made worse because I was hunching my shoulders and arching my lower back to relieve the pressure points caused by poorly fitting clothes. The feel of custom fitted clothes is unbelievable. Even heavy fabric can feel feather light since the weight is distributed evenly. The first time I wore custom made pants they were so comfortable I kept looking down at my legs to check and make sure I hadn’t left the house in my pajamas. It almost inspires me to write a poem. And I hate poetry.
My current project is making a paper mache half-size dress form, which I’ll be using to teach myself to make my own sewing patterns. I made a page with the half-scale dress form pattern and a tutorial with instructions for making your own half-scale dress form.