I was recently on a quest to see if I could buy 20 metres of oilcloth fabric for a ridiculously cheap price as I need to cover 10 x 2 metre length tables for a charity event and didn’t want to use paper cloths. Being in France, where the oilcloth tablecloth is king I have plenty of choice. However, none of it is cheap enough for me to buy 20 metres of it. However, when I was searching the internet for the elusive 2 euro per metre repellent (in a good way) stuff, I came across this
looks a bit like Liberty
I’m sure that’s a Liberty design
Liberty of London make oilcloth fabric? Why was I not informed?
Obviously not for the fundraiser, but I was suddenly determined to have 2 metres for my summer dining room (which is what I, rather grandly, call my conservatory – a room full of hibernating plants and hopeful cats during the winter months).
It must be easy to get in the U.K., I thought, considering Liberty of London is there but no mention of it on their site and nowhere to be found in any of the U.K. shops or none that I could find.
The only place I can find it is here in France and it is 34 euros a metre!! So my tablecloth would be 74 euros (after shipping) which is nearing 100 U.S. dollars (I’m kind and did the calculation for you so that you could join in my shock). What happens? Does somebody in France buy up tana lawn and render it plasticised in some underground factory? Does Liberty of London know? Why don’t they sell it themselves?
For the moment at least, my own table will be covered with this which was 6.99 euros a metre.
On the sewing front, I decided to do a pattern hack of Deer and Doe’s Reglisse dress pattern to make a blouse and, such is the charm of The Little Tailoress on her blog and in her tutorials, I decided to do it without even owning a copy of the pattern in the first place. Anyway, pattern ordered (hooray, they are French and, a rarity for sure, the shipping within France was free – other French companies please take note!), I decided that, as I like the dress too, I would do a toile to make sure my selected size fits and then I’d make both blouse and dress. On my quest to find cheap oilcloth, I went to my local market and although they didn’t have anything suitable of the oiled variety, I did find a stall selling all things middle eastern, lamps and dried beans and spices and….. fabric. Some of it looked okay and so I asked the price. It was 1 euro a metre. Now, I don’t know how many people are working for barely anything in a factory somewhere producing this stuff and I could probably contribute a fair amount to the National Grid judging by the amount of crackling electricity I generate each time I move but, you have to admit, it is hard to resist such a bargain. (In my defence, this pattern takes a lot of fabric as the bodice section is cut on the bias and that collar/pussy bow combo is fabric thirsty too). So, I made the toile, it is the right size and I like the shape and I will make it in some Liberty tana lawn (if I can forgive them for their secret stash of oilcloth) but this toile is wearable and Mlle Tialys the younger has bagged it as the fabric has an oriental (as well as electric) feel to it which she likes. She won’t model, so here it is on one of my lovely vintage Stockman mannequins.
Here is some more 1 euro fabric which, as you can see, I couldn’t just leave there. These feel like a poly cotton and are missing the frisson of static. The purple one is for my sewing buddy who loves all things purple. The navy one with slightly deformed spots would make a good dress for me.
Speaking of my sewing buddy, even though she has been sewing her own clothes for years, I had to show her how easy it is to sew with knits the other day. Lots of people seem to be wary of knit fabrics but it is actually very easy and there is no fraying and usually no need for zips, buttons or other fiddly bits and pieces. I took a piece of spotty interlock jersey fabric round to her house – cunningly already cut in the shape of a Coco top – and made her sew up the seams on her overlocker. Then I bought it home to do the hems and, voila, a top that reminds me so much of Minnie Mouse I will probably never be able to wear it and so will offer it to one of the Madamoiselles.
Back to the fund raising event and the 1 euro fabric. I am thinking that I might, at that price, buy 20 metres of it to cover the tables. He might even give me a discount!