Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Family Reunion Dress and Sewing with Liberty

The children are all on summer holidays since the end of June and there seems to be a lot that I need to catch-up on and post.
I was trying to get sewing a few weeks back and came across a sew-a-long on the Above All Fabric blog.
It was more for the motivation that I sewed along, but the posts about the different pattern steps were also very good.
I was originally planning on using these buttons, but one of the benefits of sewing along is getting others opinions at each stage, so I changed the buttons later.

I considered adding lots of ribbons, but I'm glad I resisted!

I bound all the seams with Liberty binding mostly to satisfy my perfectionist streak, but also there are no scratchy seams, so my daughter will enjoy wearing it.

Sewing interruptions in the middle of the sew-a-long included a Father's Day Tie in Liberty for my husband, made from a free pattern from the Purl Bee blog

and totes made for teachers from the Oliver + S Mother-Daughter Tote Bag which I made bigger. Maybe a 'little' over the top, but this year the boy's teachers seemed to be extra helpful to them and I felt the box of chocolates wouldn't be adequate.
The 5 year old just started school last Sept and initially loved it but started complaining of stomach pains very frequently. After deciding it might be boredom his teacher put together a folder of more advanced activity sheets for him and all the stomach pains stopped. The 11 year olds teacher supported him with a bullying issue and gave a lot of her time preparing the class  for an engineering competition. The 13 year old is moving on to secondary school, and was very attached to one of the assistants in the class, and his teacher also gave a lot of her time preparing the boys for confirmation, tours, and their new school. The teachers were really delighted with these bags, but the only issue is I've set a precedent for next year!
I lined 3 of the bags with Liberty and the blue one is O+S fabric which I won a few months ago.

But back to the dress......... I'm so pleased with how it turned out, especially as there was a lot of fussy-cutting of the fabric to make sure the large and small flowers matched.

The buttons don't photograph very well, but are a lovely pale pink colour, and I'm glad I changed them.I bought them from, another great and very helpful online shop
I dropped my camera taking these and smashed the lens, so there was no chance to take better pictures of the neck details.

Liberty fabric is a real treat to work with, the quality is consistent across each type of fabric, lawn or poplin, and it drapes perfectly for clothes, yet because it's cotton is also perfect for other uses.
All of the Liberty fabrics here, I've bought online from which is an excellent source for these fabrics, and more reasonable than the Liberty online shop, whose shipping is just too expensive. And Sewbox has just started stocking Liberty Needlecord/ corduroy!

I'm not done with sewing Liberty yet. My mother has asked me to sew a blouse for her, so I'm in the middle of adapting a Burda pattern for that at the moment.... Pin It Now!  


  1. The dress is beautiful! Your daughter is so lucky to have a mom who sews her such pretty things. The teacher tote-bags are fab too. Lucky teachers! They sound lovely and deserving though.

    I am sorry you broke your lens :-( I hope getting it fixed won't be too much of an expense/hassle.

  2. Gorgeous!
    Ahhhh,broken cameras,I hope it isn't too expensive to mend.

  3. Karin, thanks, she is lucky, though I also feel lucky in not having to shop for clothes. I wish I had the same confidence in sewing for myself though!
    I'm so disgusted about the camera, that I haven't even priced the fixing of it!

    Nicole, I've just remembered your camera problems :-( My camera is one of those compact types which cost around €130 bought last November, so it hasn't really earned it's keep yet! So I hope it's fixable.
    Meanwhile I have an older one, just missing a lens cover, but otherwise fine

  4. What a lovely dress. And your bags for the teachers are great . I used to be a teacher, before I became a mom, and I would have loved those. Very thoughtful.

  5. Thanks Kathy. And I'm glad you like the bags, they were very straightforward to sew, only the inside pockets took the most time.