Maker Guide: Tessuti Helga Linen Shirt

The Helga Shirt is a wonderful, flowy button-down shirt with an option for a short collar or no collar. It’s a great project for when you want to become engrossed in something that gives a big reward for a little extra precision!

Here are some tips and tricks for the Helga:


  • Always prep your linen for cutting properly.  It’s totally worth your time as it creates a much better result and it’s easier to sew! Here’s a video to help you prepare your linen to cut it on-grainPart 1 and Part 2.  Think too about whether you want to wash and dry your fabric before cutting, and prep appropriately - I have tips in my Caring for Linen video.
  • Because you’ll be doing a lot of single-layer staystitching, edgestitching, and other detail work, it’s especially important to make sure the thread tension is balanced on your sewing machine, and that you’re using the best feet and footplates you have for sewing linen!  So check out those videos for sure! For most sewing machines it will also be important to start your stitching lines a little away from the edge of your fabric, so your linen doesn’t get tangled in your footplate.  These quick checks and knowledge will make this a very fun sew.
  • When cutting your pattern, make super sure you have found and marked all of the notches.  On the front and back pieces, at the hem, there are lettered notches.  Make a note of the letters too, as these will help you follow the instructions.
  • Carefully watch the seam allowance lengths advised in the instructions - while Tessuti generally uses a ½ inch seam allowance, they use a variety of allowances in this pattern.  
  • When the instructions ask you to overlock, if you don’t have a serger or an overlock capability on your sewing machine, you can use a zig zag stitch.  I like to use a stitch length of 2 and a stitch width of 2.
  • Pinning the facing to the shirt and sewing it can be a bit intimidating, since you don't have notches for alignment.  Check out my video with a quick tip on sewing the facing on the Helga to help you feel confident and end up with a very professional looking garment!


  • When you cut your pattern, you can ignore the “Vilene Shield” pattern pieces as you’ll be using a special stay tape instead of Vilene ShieldSee the video here for additional info, including how to use your stay tape!  (Note: the stay tape is not necessary for Version B with the collar.)


  • The collar is blockfused -- learn how to blockfuse by following this video.  
  • If you are familiar with blockfusing already -- for this specific interfacing/fabric combo, use 15- 20 seconds press per section, medium-high heat, lots of steam.  Overlap when choosing your next section to press.  Don’t forget to use a presscloth when interfacing.  You can use the acid-free tissue in your kit as a presscloth if desired.

Hope you have a wonderful time making your Helga Shirt!   Keep in mind that we sell Refill Kits of our boxes (no pattern but all the other goodies) if you want to make more than one!  Also please share your experience with us - we are a new business and all feedback is a gift!  Last but not least, share your make on Instagram by tagging #waxwingsewingkit and #tessutipatterns!