Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Liberty Print Dress...

 I made this dress in the run up to Christmas as I wanted something Wintery and a little bit folky to wear to parties and for crisp morning walks in the park. The pattern is New Look's # 6224 and (as you can see from the pattern envelope) I was totally inspired by the photo on the front with regards to my fabric selection! I chose 'Bourton' - a classic paisley Liberty print 100% cotton fabric in the fiery orange, red and blue colourway. This is the first dress I've made in years so I just took my time and did little bits here and there. The Bourton print is very detailed so super forgiving - all my seams and darts are pretty much invisible! Whilst the print is directional, once the fabric is gathered and draped that's all much of a muchness so I didn't worry about matching the pattern on the seams. I'm so pleased with how it turned out!

The neckband and sleeves are finished with bias binding which, now I know how to use it, is my favourite thing! It leaves such a neat, crisp edge and is super easy to manipulate.

For this project, instead of cutting out the paper pattern I bought some very sheer interfacing fabric and made a copy by placing the interfacing over the top of the paper pattern (after ironing it of course!) and tracing the lines with a soft pencil. The lady in John Lewis who sold me the interfacing disapproved of my methods and tried very, very hard to sell me pattern tracing paper instead but as this was only the second or third garment I've ever made, I was happy to throw money at the situation (about £15) and get the interfacing. I found it so much easier to work with when it came to pinning and cutting the fabric as it moves and drapes along with the fabric underneath and grips it nicely.

The pattern has four variations featuring the same bodice and skirt with different sleeves and neckbands. I can definitely see myself making this dress again and again so I'm glad to have a more robust version of the pattern to work from (paper patterns usually prove just too tempting for Toby).

This was my first attempt at inserting an invisible zipper! Pretty cool huh?

The construction of the dress was really straight forward - I found inserting the sleeves the trickiest bit as you have to gather the fabric and then ease it back out to fit the arm hole. I find gathers especially hard - by the time I've spread the fabric out evenly and got it pinned together half way, the gathers at the other end have usually come loose and I have to re-tighten the fabric and re-distribute the folds. And after all of that my sewing machine has a tendency to move the fabric around as it sees fit so it's practically impossible to end up with perfectly even little folds of fabric. But once again, the print here hides a multitude of sins! I French seamed the whole thing which creates a satisfyingly crisp finish. I'm already planning my next project and I think another Liberty print might be on the cards? If you would like to create a Liberty print dress of your own you can take a peek at their new season fabrics online here!


  1. I love the dress and the liberty print you chose. Although I'm more full in the figurethan you I suspect this is a dress pattern that would suit a wide variety of figures so I think I may be heading off to purchase the pattern - and a liberty fabric to go with it, of course.

    1. Thank you! I think you're right, it's a really flattering shape for any figure, if you give it a go do let me know how you get on! I would love to see how it looks in other colours and prints :)


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