Yippee skippy, I have another new dress! And I made it from some yummy Liberty fabric!

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Look at me, cutting into yet another one of my coveted lengths of Liberty Tana lawn.  Every time I start a project with this fabric, I feel like I should have a ceremony before the first cut with the scissors.  Not only is this fabric expensive, it has the nicest hand of any cotton I have ever sewn.

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This picture is a little fuzzy. I may have to fire my photographer.

For this dress, I chose a pattern by Serendipity Studio called the Marilyn dress.  The Serendipity patterns seem to be sized for what I will call, um, relatively flat-chested bodies.  There is also a note on the back of this pattern that reads, “the length of the skirt will suit up to 5’4″ in height.”  Oops, I just found that note.

I took one look at the bodice front and knew it would need some adjustment.  I re-drew the bodice, adding a generous amount of space to cover my not-flat-chested self.  Here are the before and after shots of the front bodice.

Here is the tissue pattern next to the redrafted pattern I used.
Here is the tissue pattern next to the redrafted pattern I used.
The original laid over the new pattern piece.  To cover everything that needs to stay inside the bodice, I added width and length to the pattern piece.
The original laid over the new pattern piece. To cover everything that needs to stay inside the bodice, I added width and length to the pattern piece.
You can see it took multiple tries to add enough fabric to cover...
You can see it took multiple tries to add enough fabric to cover…

I love the back v-neckline and the invisible zipper.  I have a major supply of invisible zippers, so it’s easy to slap one in the garments I make.  One of the wonderful things about invisible zippers is that it pretty much doesn’t matter what color the zipper is.  If inserted correctly, the only part that shows is the zipper pull.  The zip in this dress is kelly green.

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The Liberty lawn fabric is so soft and drapey.  Now this is a good quality in a dress, in my opinion.  However, that means that the hem of the dress hangs without any oomph.  To plump out my hem, to get it to have some body, I decided to add some ban-roll interfacing.  Ban-roll is a product that is typically used for interfacing waistbands.  It comes in different widths. IMG_0917

I measured and pressed my hem.  Then I added the ban-roll, snugging it against the pressed hem.  I basted it to the hem, then folded the excess hem over the interfacing. IMG_0918

I pinned my hem into place, then used the blind hem foot and stitch on my machine.  Because that’s how I roll.  I will freely admit that the idea of hand sewing a hem makes me want to heave.

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I love my new dress.  It will be a great garment for the hot and sweaty weather here.  Would I make it again?  No.  While I like the shape of the dress and it’s components, the pattern is obviously sized all over for a petite figure.  My bad for not measuring the length of the bodice, waistband and skirt before cutting.  Lesson learned.

The most excellent adventure recap, session one: Liberty of London, Tana Lawn heaven!

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Aloha friends!  I survived our great European adventure.  Now I shall taunt you with some of the spoils of my travels.  For all cotton fabric lovers out there, you need hear only one word…Liberty.

You don’t have to hang out long in the fabric-obsessed world to hear about Tana Lawn fabrics from Liberty of London.  The finest cotton I’ve ever laid my hands upon, it is somewhat rare and always expensive in the US.  The prints are iconic in the UK, classic and beloved.

When planning our European trip that included London, you KNOW that a long stop at Liberty was on my must-do list.  Right up there with Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.

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The gates at Buckingham Palace. I’ve got about 4 layers of clothing on in this picture. Kinda cold for a Kauai-dweller. Check out my wee little guard friend in the background.

Oops!  Off on a tangent.  Anyhoo…we found the Liberty store, and a special feeling came over me.  A feeling like I had returned to my homeland.  Thankfully, they had wifi, so the Mr. plopped into the comfy husband chair and I meandered.  I touched every piece of fabric in their incredible fabric and haberdashery department.

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And then I bought some fabric.  This is going to make an amazing dress.  By now I had also gained a co-conspirator, Koh Chow.  We meandered together.  Koh Chow would take each fabric, lay it out on the cutting table, and fold it in an origami-type fashion to visualize the type of garment I wanted to make.  My new BFF.

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Then I bought some more fabric.  You know that if you have 3 meters of fabric you can make anything.  AND have pieces left over for quilting.  Just sayin.’

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Koh Chow folded this into a blouse.  I don’t usually go for delicate, but holy cow this is pretty!

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I wanted to make sure the haberdashery department got a fair shake.  So I bought some pre-made bias tape, a little bag kit, a fabric roll…

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Fabric for another dress, charm squares…

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They even have pretty shopping bags.  I was in heaven.  The Mr. was on the internet.  Koh Chow had a good sales day.  All was right with the world.

We got into London on the morning that the new little Royal was born.  While we were at Buckingham Palace, they put up the birth announcement.

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We were among the first to see it, and it was only up for about 3-4 hours.  It was so cool to be there for a historical event!  And I’m an Anglophile, so anything Britishy or Royally is right up my alley.

I also managed to buy some smaller pieces of Liberty fabrics at a few other little shops into which I wandered in Ireland.

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It’s nice to be back, I hope some of you missed me.  My sewing room beckons, as does a new little friend in my life…