Skip to main content Skip to footer

Clothing & Jewelry

Traditional Swedish Linen Shirt, Sewn by Hand

Course Overview

A linen shirt is a vital part of traditional Swedish folk dress for both men and women. It also makes a natural, breathable, and sophisticated contemporary garment worn on its own. Working with guest instructor Johanna Runbäck from the Sätergläntan Institute of Handicraft in Dalarna, Sweden, participants will begin a linen shirt from a pattern modified to their individual needs. Participants will learn a variety of stitches (backstitch, hemstitch, buttonhole stitch, and more), and create a muslin mockup before piecing together the shirt itself. This shirt has been part of the Swedish folk costume tradition for many hundreds of years and is still used in many places. The garment is primarily a women's garment but can be adjusted to suit men as well. The seemingly simple project, which is cut from straight pieces of fabric, presents many opportunities to incorporate details that will challenge and stretch sewers at any level. 

This project will be of interest to anyone wishing to improve their skills in pattern-making and working with linen, and to anyone interested in historical clothing. Some experience with hand and machine sewing is helpful. Given the time constraints, students will likely complete their project at home, but will leave class with a good start and a strong understanding of all the skills needed. Note, a materials fee of approximately $100 depending on fabric choices will be collected during the course. 

Required Tools


  • Paper scissors

  • Fabric cutting scissors

  • Smaller scissors for clipping and trimming

  • Seam ripper

  • Tape measure with metric markings (cm)

  • Tape

  • Hand needles in different lengths and thicknesses.

  • Pin cushion

  • Pins

  • Thimble

  • Beeswax

  • Fabric marking tools (such as pencil, disappearing marker, chalk, wax)

  • Clear plastic ruler (suggest 2” x 18” type used by quilters which cost about $9.00) with metric markings (cm)

  • Spool thread - white and a color-of- your-choice that works on your sewing machine

  • Thread for basting

  • Pens, pencils

  • Notebook

  • Muslin for Mock up  in good quality cotton fabric for sample garments.

  • Sewing machine – If you own a portable sewing machine, please bring it to class. Test it before coming to class to check that it is in working order, and know its basic operations. If you cannot bring one, North House has machines you can use, and you will be given basic instruction for their use. Also bring: Sewing machine needles and bobbins to fit your machine.


Included in materials fee,  so you do NOT need to bring them:

  • Instruction packet

  • Grid pattern paper

  • Mark B Gone washable marker

  • Classroom supplies/Other notions for patterning and sewing


Optional Tools

You are encouraged to also bring along any sewing tools that you enjoy using for hand and machine sewing.

Currently Scheduled Sessions

No sessions currently scheduled for this course.

View more courses in the Clothing & Jewelry category.