Posts Tagged Liberty of London

The Liberty Constellation Shirt

Warning:  This post contains very slightly derogatory remarks about the name ‘Kevin’.

 

Remember I told you I was making a shirt for Mr. Tialys – using the Liesl & Co. All Day Shirt pattern and some beautiful Liberty of London tana lawn fabric?

Well, it’s done and I’m as chuffed as a chuffed thing  with it.

It was such a pleasure to make this.  The pattern instructions are clear and thorough so the collar went together easily and I only had a slight wobble with the cuffs – even though they were made in the same way as the collar. It also helped that the tana lawn is so lovely to handle and sew.

I took it step by step.  I’ve now tackled faux felled seams again, plus collar stiffener pockets, a two piece sleeve placket and already want to make this pattern again plus, possibly, the ladies’ version.

Here’s Mr. Tialys doing rather a good job of headless modelling.

He’s 6’4″ and quite broad so I made the XL size and didn’t make any adjustments.  The only thing I’d change next time is to do felled seams around the armholes instead of finishing them on the overlocker as I did this time because the inside of the side seams look very professional and I wish I’d done the same with the armhole seams.  Also, there’s a tiny bit of fullness at shoulder level that I could work on next time.  Other than that, he’s very happy with it and took it off to the U.K. to wear to work this week.

I’d been calling this Liberty fabric design ‘Constellation’ but decided to search for the correct name.

It turned out to be Kevin!

 Apologies to anybody (including my cousin) who is called Kevin but it’s one of those names that have fallen out of favour (in Europe at least) and is usually given to characters on T.V. who are definitely not the hero in the plot if you get my drift.  More than that, however, it just seems a very prosaic name for a beautiful design.

This is what Liberty had to say about it on their website.

    Kevin Liberty London fabric was based on the celestial ceiling art in the hallway at Mount Stuart in Scotland. The constellations in the print were hand drawn in white and grey chalks on black paper to create a conversational starry night.

Yes, that’s all very well but were those constellations drawn by somebody called Kevin? I need more information.   In any case, it will always be known to me as ‘the constellation fabric’.

Just a close up of my collar complete with stiffeners – remember I showed you the ones I made using a cut up Liberty store card? – and my sleeve placket and cuff.

Mr. T. is so pleased with it he has asked for another one .

I’m not telling him the fabric design is called Kevin – he need never know.

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Scraphappy Day October – A Close Run Thing

Can the 15th of the month really have come round again?  What with striving to get all my crochet squares done to keep up with the crochet along, and trying to get Mr. Tialys’s shirt finished so that I can start on making stuff for Christmas, it took me a bit bit by surprise.

It’s not as if I’m short of scraps as you can see below.

But I had not transformed anything from either the cotton fabric  or jersey scrap bins nor even the selvedge bin this month.

I hate to disappoint however.

Remember the shirt I’m making for Mr. Tialys out of Liberty of London tana lawn?

Well it has nifty little pockets in the collar for stiffeners – you know those little plastic doodahs that slide in and keep the collar of a more formal shirt  looking neat.

Like so

I was chuffed to bits with those little bits of tailoring – the thread is such a good match you can’t even tell those little diagonal slots are there at the end of the collar but I’m going to show you anyway.

So, instead of using ordinary plastic I wanted to make these collar stiffeners a bit different so that they would be instantly recognisable by Mr. T. as belonging to this particular shirt.

I searched the house hoping to find an old plastic folder the girls might have used for school as I often used to buy them ones with patterns on – spoilt rotten they were  – but I had no luck.  Then I caught sight of a store fidelity card in my daughter’s room which was made of nice thick plastic as used in credit cards and the like.  So, I had a lightbulb moment.

I had a look in my purse and, yes, I still had it.

I don’t have much occasion to shop in the actual Liberty store in London at the moment and I have Liberty fabrics galore in my stash so can’t think I’ll be using it any time soon even if it’s still valid.

So, the answer was obvious

I managed to cut them around the Liberty name and the crest for this shirt and still have some of the card left to use for future shirts – and there will be some because, strangely, I really love making them.

So, no fabric scraps used this month and the jury is probably still out as to whether an unused store card counts as scrap but you can’t say I didn’t try.

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate (first name on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn(me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

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Stitching Santa 2017 – The Sewing One – On Its Way

Hopefully, my parcel for my sewing partner in Sheila at Sewchet’s Stitching Santa will be arriving any day – I hope she isn’t tempted to peek before the big day.

This enamel pin is what I bought with my budget.

This little drawstring bag with I made with some cute Mabel Lucie Atwell fabric contains some little gifts.

Like these buttons….

…..and this sew on purse clasp…..

and a few little charms …..

The pinchushion whale made her way in there but I did take the pins out in case of postal difficulties.

A handmade needle case made with lovely Liberty, some 10 inch squares of their tana lawn cut from my stash and a fat quarter(ish) of the blue and red one all in a luscious Liberty bag.

I hope she enjoys her Christmas surprise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Liberty Sale? Well, I Had A Good Excuse.

All the blocks are now finished for my Liberty Hatbox Wallhanging and I have the fabric for the backing, the sashing and the quilting can begin.

This bright one was a bone of contention as I didn’t feel it went with the rest of the blocks although lots of you did.

I made another one to try it out.  The hatbox fabric is a Liberty of London tana lawn which has a musical ‘Hello Kitty’ theme and I’ve been looking for an excuse to use it.

I don’t actually prefer this block to the other one but I think it fits in with the others better.

Here’s the first trial layout which includes the bright one.

and here’s the second that includes the Hello Kitty one.


What do you think?  The jury’s still out and I haven’t joined anything together yet.

I chose this fabric from a local shop for the backing.  I was going to do it using scraps or just any old thing but, in the end, I wanted something I liked because even if you won’t be able to see it I will know it’s there.

You can just make out the simple machine quilting I’ve done – it has to be simple machine quilting otherwise I can’t do it 🙂 .

Here’s a front view of the one and half blocks I’ve quilted so far – well I’ve quilted two blocks really but couldn’t get two complete ones in the photo and still show the quilting.  Still, you get my drift.

I’ve just echoed the lines of the hatbox and done some widely spaced horizontal lines across the background.

Now for the sashing.  It just so happened that Liberty of London had a sale on and they had what I think might be the perfect tana lawn to use to represent something that looks like the grain of wooden shelving or some sort of compartments separating the hatboxes.  It was reduced  to £9 per metre from £22.50 which is cheap enough for any old fabric, let alone Liberty tana lawn.  I think it would make a really nice man’s shirt too.  (I think they’ve still got some fabrics in the sale at that price here.)

What do you reckon?

I might have added the Liberty shop money box to my basket at the same time.  Oops!

Ooh, and a tea-towel.

I might make it into a cushion – or a beach bag.

Only ten hatboxes left to quilt for my wallhanging and now Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia has completed all the hatbox blocks she needs for the quilt she’s making with hers so she can begin thinking about quilting and assembly now too.

Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts.

 

 

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A Quilt Question

I’ve pieced a top using some strips of Liberty fabric that I bought on a visit to the Liberty store a year or so ago.  They came in a pack under the ‘Worn and Washed’ label like this.

Liberty Worn & Washed Pack

I’ve made a quilt using Worn and Washed fabrics before.  They are good for making quilts you want to look as if they have already had a bit of a life and, when used with cotton batting, and washed to shrink just a little, they can look a bit vintage.  Here is one I made with a bundle of those fabrics a few years ago – actually, thinking about it, probably around 11 years ago now, eek!.

Worn and Washed Quilt

Not a great picture – I find it really hard to photograph quilts properly – plus we are having a very grey day today – but you get the idea – it already looks as if my grandmother might have made it (which would make it very old indeed and also very unlikely as my grandmother never sewed a thing in her life as far as I know!)

Anyway, the lady behind Worn and Washed which you can read about here, has a link with Liberty now and you can buy some of her bundles there.  Otherwise, for non Liberty bundles, I think it is best to buy from the shows she attends as it is best to see and feel the fabrics which, by their nature, are quite individual.

This is the quilt top I have made with my pack – I’ve kept it very simple to highlight the fabrics and it will be backed with a silvery grey plain cotton.  I took it into the fabric shop with me to match it with a plain for the back and the staff were stroking it because it is sooo soft and smooth, being tana lawn and also having had a bit of a wash I suppose.  If you click on the photo it will allow you to zoom in a couple of times so you can see the fabrics better.  I love the poppies and the sweeties at the bottom.

LibertyWornandWashedQuiltTop

 

My question for other quilters is how do you think I should quilt this?  I have a roll of Hobbs cotton batting and that needs to be quilted with no more than a 2 inch gap so I won’t be doing it by hand.  The back is plain so parallel lines across the width would look boring.  Also any bad stitches would be very obvious!  I’m not very good with free motion quilting.  Would diagonals work?  Any ideas?

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Taking Liberties with Coco

Liberty Coco Dress

Yes, it’s another Coco dress .  Sorry to be boring but these have no buttons, no zips, many variations, are comfortable and quick and fun to make so how can it be wrong?

This time I used some Liberty of London jersey that I had bought to make a little girl’s dress but was tempted by the way it went with the black ponte roma jersey and made an executive decision.

Liberty CoCo Dress (2)

I changed the original pattern just slightly for this version by cutting the sleeves a little slimmer and the neck a little scoopier (new word) and actually traced the relevant bits of the Lady Skater Dress pattern to make those alterations.  Because I used my overlocker to sew the side seams, they were 3/8 inch instead of the  5/8 inch allowed in the pattern so, as it was a little spacious, I just overlocked the seams again,  with that clever machine just cutting off the excess as it went.

Liberty CoCo  Dress(3)

I used the twin needle to finish round the neck, the sleeves and the hem and, the only problem with colour blocking these dresses, this involved numerous changes of bobbins, two reels of thread, etc.  I did however, find it all too much of a chore to change the overlocker threads so I’m afraid, should you peek inside, you will only see dark grey.  Ask me if I care.

Liberty CoCo Dress (4)

I lengthened the hem by 3 inches as usual because the creator of this dress pattern  – Tilly and the Buttons – is about 100 years younger than me and can still reveal her knees with impunity.

This is now my 5th Coco dress.  I only count it as my 3rd however as one was made for  Mlle. Tialys the Younger and another was stolen  appropriated by the Mlle. T. the Elder.    I made this with 3/4 length sleeves as the summer – such as it was –  is drawing to a close and it might get a bit nippier soon.

I also have a Deer and Doe Reglisse dress on a hanger – just waiting for some elastic and some bias binding to finish it off but the only available shop was closed yesterday and today so I couldn’t finish it on time to post about it.

I don’t know how many more Cocos I will make – I really like the funnel neck one I did and will probably make another for this autumn/winter but I will soon run out of titles which play on the ‘Coco’ theme and that might be the time to stop or at least stop blogging about them.

Sorry for the uncharacteristic ‘photos of me’ heavy post – I was going to put the dress on a mannequin but I tried it on, saw the camera, hung it round my daughter’s neck and ‘voila’.  I was just in that sort of mood today.

LIberty Coco Dress Tialys

Even though it looks like I have my very own sword of Damocles dangling over my head it is, in fact, only a wind chime.

(must re-press that hem)

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Posh Oilcloth – Who Knew (and why didn’t you tell me)?

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

liberty oilcloth 2]

looks a bit like Liberty

and this

liberty oilcloth 1

I’m sure that’s a Liberty design

and this

liberty oilcloth3

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.

DSC_0004

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.

Toile for Reglisse Hack

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.

Bargain Fabric

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.

Coco Top Minnie Mouse Style

 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!

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Just One Sorbetto?

Remember this Liberty fabric I bought at the recent Knitting and Stitching Exhibition?

tana_lawn_matilda_tulip_03633162d_s13_lrg

Well, I didn’t really have any plans for it when I bought it but a friend of mine was looking for a pattern to make a simple top with some silky fabric she has and I remembered the Sorbetto top by Colette patterns which I had downloaded but never made up.  So, I thought it would also suit the tana lawn quite well.

Here’s me getting ready with the remote.  I am also testing out my daylight lamp as a photography aid.  My house is not very good for letting in natural light as it is very old and designed for keeping the heat out.  However,  I need to photograph some little people’s clothes for my shop and I am not satisfied with my results so far so I am experimenting.

Sorbetto Top

The Sorbetto pattern is a free download which you can find here.  It is actually for a sleeveless top but I found a pattern hack here and added some little sleeves.

Colette Sorbetto in Liberty Tana Lawn

I seem to be looking unbearably smug in this photograph but that might be because I made my own bias binding to go around the neck and I also used it for the sleeves. Get me!

Biais Binding

 So chuffed was I with it, I had to actually photograph it on its own.  I take my pleasures where I find them these days!

BIAIS BINDING TOOl

The gadget you need is this Clover bias binding maker which didn’t come with any instructions.  I followed this video tutorial by The Little Tailoress where you have the added bonus of somebody looking adorable in a pink floral Liberty dress but you can’t hate her for it as she seems so nice.

Liberty Matilda Tulip Sorbetto

This little top is very simple to make.  I have seen claims of making it in 45 minutes from beginning to end.  Hmmm.  Maybe if you don’t add sleeves or make your own bias binding.  Maybe if your bobbin doesn’t run out and the postman doesn’t knock on the door.  Maybe if you don’t have to stop for a wee and a cup of tea halfway through.  Or is that just me?  Anyway, it is quick and you could probably squeeze one out of a metre of fabric if you mess with the layout and it is a very handy top for summer.  I will definitely be making more.

 

 

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Little Liberties

Regular readers will know I love Liberty fabric and use it whenever I can but, there comes a time, and my time came a while ago, when a pastel pink floral Liberty print dress will not look good on you.  I would put the limit at, maybe, 25 years old but you may differ.  It is possible I believe, and hope as I have done it,  to make blouses and other tops with a ditsy, floral Liberty print and get away with it but, dresses, no. **

I have lined bunny ears with it, made coin purses and fabric storage baskets but I wanted more from my Liberty stash.

So, as I long ago left the age of 25 behind, I decided to make teeny tiny dresses in order to indulge my addiction.

Here are a few I’ve finished or semi-finished.

Little Liberty dresses

Actually, that last one in red and white is Tilda fabric but you get my drift.

I have even been using Liberty of London cotton jersey to make miniature skater dresses like my Lady one.  It’s a good use  of my new overlocker and I still can’t get over how the seams look so professional when done on a proper serger.  The cotton jersey is gorgeous but it is quite difficult to find, especially in prints that are suitable for very little girls.  These ones were from Sewbox who have quite a good range of Liberty fabrics at reasonable prices.

Liberty of London Baby Dress

This one is teeny, for 0-3 months, it makes me feel quite broody although that’s something else I have passed the limit for.  Perhaps the dogs would like a dress.  Somebody stop me!

** I must here mention a notable exception because there is a blog I follow ‘The Little Tailoress’ and she made a ditsy, pink, floral Liberty dress and looks damn gorgeous in it.  She is, however, probably only 25 or very near to it anyway.  You can see it here.

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Proud

Back in France after my week-long visit to the U.K., still in shock as I didn’t have to take a jacket – no, not even a cardie.  Baking in a heatwave, the Brits watched the tarmac melting, their children getting severe sunburn and old ladies getting stuck in deckchairs until, inevitably, it all got too much, there was a storm and the rain and wind returned.  Oh, and a new prince was born.

As predicted, I went to Brighton but didn’t have time to go on the pier this time so, instead, I bought some cards from a lovely photographer lady, Ruth Thomas, who was selling them in the market.  This one is my favourite and, although I sort of suspect the bright white light is a photography no, no, I like the way it seems to emanate from the old, destroyed Pier and shines through the deck chair canvas.deckchairsonBrightonPierThe rest of the photos are mine and, because I was on a budget airline and too mean to pay for a suitcase,  I only had room to take my teeny,  trusty old compact camera so, sorry for the dodgy quality.

I went to Liberty in Regent Street CIMG0315which is gorgeous inside and out

CIMG0318I couldn’t decide which fabric to buy so bought a bundle of coordinating tana lawn to make into a small, simple quilt – when I get a minute.

I went to an antiques fair and, as you do,  bought an enormous vintage butcher’s hanging scale which can weigh items up to 200 lbs and is itself so heavy I don’t know how I’m going to get it back to France – hence the lack of photographic evidence!   It has made its way as far as Mr. Tialys’ appartment as I thought he’d be able to bring it back in his cabin bag but he pointed out that Security might have a problem with the huge metal hook suspended beneath the scale.  Who knew?   Inexplicably, I also bought some vintage wooden crates which I have left at my parents’ house and is where they will probably stay until somebody decides to chop them up for kindling.  I do this kind of impractical shopping sometimes – I get carried away in the moment and, if Mr. Tialys is not there to talk sense, which he wasn’t on this occasion, I end up with all sorts of things and then have to  organise a courrier delivery.

I had arranged to meet my sister-in-law near London Bridge  for drinks and dinner but went early to indulge in a bit of culture.   I always find certain exhibits at the Tate Modern good for a laugh  and there is a lovely view across the Thames from one of the balconies where you can go for some respite from the innovations in art or, if you are so inclined, and many were, a quick ciggie.

CIMG0323I had a traditional English cream tea (Oh, how I miss real cream) in, bizarrely, a tea shop just off Carnaby Street where I took a break from spooning clotted cream and strawberry jam onto warm scones to surreptitiously snap this framed French magazine as I have some of these in my vintage shop and wanted to demonstrate how good they look framed up.

CIMG0319

What, I hear you ask, is the meaning of the title of this post.  Am I proud to be British, proud of that rather good photo of the Thames even though I only had my compact, or proud of my vintage finds?  Well yes, all of those things but mostly I am  proud of my Mum.   Now 80 herself , although for gawd’s sake don’t tell her I told you, she was nominated for a voluntary carers’ award for visiting a housebound elderly lady every week – almost without fail – for the past ten years .  She wasn’t going to attend the ceremony as she is far too shy and modest but, as I said I’d go with her, she agreed to go.  She received a framed certificate from the Lady Mayor and afterwards we had a traditional English tea (another one!!) in lovely gardens in the sunshine.

Mum's AwardMy caring Mum.

When I got home I had over 350 emails to sort out – who are all these people who have my email address? – and Madamoiselle Tialys the elder has truly caught the dressmaking bug and was waiting for some help finishing a skirt she had started so I haven’t actually finished anything myself for a couple of weeks.  Still, plenty of mother daughter bonding going on while she is home from university for the summer so I’m not complaining just explaining the lack of  ‘tadaa’ moments in this post.  Maybe next time.

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