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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Liberty Lawn and a new Summer Dress

Typical: I decide to make a Summer dress, and almost immediately, the sun hides behind a big fat grey cloud! Well, the forecast may be for wind, rain, and a drop in temperature, but I'm damn well going to make that dress–although I'll probably end up wearing it with tights and boots.

I'll be making the Bebe dress by Serendipity, which has (to my mind) a beautiful shape: flattering, and modest but not too stuffy either. As much as I love Colette patterns (and the trend for retro styling in general), I sometimes feel they are a little too cute and girly, best suited to those with racing snake hips and no more than a B cup bust. I also think there comes a point in a woman's wardrobe (round about the age of 35, depending on shape and size) when you have to ask yourself 'will I look like Bette Davis in Who Killed Baby Jane, if I wear polka dots/Peter Pan collars/Mary Jane shoes/hairbands? In my case, the answer is a resounding "YES", although I have to admit to owning two Peter Pan collar tops, but they are very grown up, very sombre, very navy blue.

Does it suit me?
Back to the dress: I'll be making the longer version with puffy sleeves. My colour palette will be predictably restrained–all those clashing prints are a bit too 'court jester' for me, and I really don't understand the appeal of making a dress from quilting cottons. For the skirt and bodice I'm using a chambray, while for the sleeves and under bust trim, I'll use this Liberty Lawn, which I've completely fallen in love with. Liberty Lawn is something of a revelation to me, I've read plenty of blogs where others extoll its virtues–softness, lightness, a luxurious touch and fabulous drape–but I simply wasn't attracted to it. But this fabric is a total winner: it doesn't scream 'Liberty' print, it just suggests a subtle, almost batik pattern to me.

I haven't put scissors to cloth yet, so would love to know what you think. Will I run the risk of looking as if I've raided an overgrown child's wardrobe, or is this, as I hope, a dress for a grown woman?



  1. It's a very feminine dress; it makes me think of all those Jane Austen films with the empire dresses. This shape can look good on any age but it requires soft 'trimmings', hairstyle, a necklace and neat shoes, in MY opinion.
    Lawn is a fantastic type of fabric, some Liberty prints are great others scream LIBERTY. The one you have found is new to me and stunning.
    Go for it!

  2. I like the dress pattern; sweet, but not sickly, youthful but not mutton. And I still think you'd look fab in the roses print. A plain top and rosy skirt?


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