Liberty Print, no flowers

Very occasionally I snap up a Liberty print when the new collection comes out. I’m not so keen on the flowery, traditional designs but sometimes their more abstract or unusual designs are hard to resist.  I would love to be able to afford to buy them in silk satin, however their Tana lawn is way more practical, and ever so slightly more affordable, especially if you buy it from Shaukat. But, really,  I don’t mind splurging on good fabric.

Anyway, this one I bought a year or so ago. I couldn’t resist the colours (purple and green, again!)  and the design is a lovely blend of the natural and the abstract. I bought 2 metres thinking I’d make a shirt for my husband probably. I always think that, but he has way too many shirts already and who am I kidding!   When I decided I needed some new Summer wear a few weeks ago, out it came.

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Actually it’s more indigo than purple and is described as a textured Tulgey wood print created from photographs of trees taken from a forest in Kent. Tulgey wood was created as a specific prop which can be seen in the Disney film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and referenced as an adjective to describe the timber in the book.

‘The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came.’ – Lewis Carroll

You can still buy it, in other colours too from here.

For a pattern, I wanted something contemporary and had earmarked these designs from Burda when their April edition came out.

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Aren’t they  lovely?  The fabric really makes the outfit, but it looks so cool and comfortable. It’s actually separates, but almost looks like a jumpsuit so it’s practical too.  You can wear both items separately, as well as together, for a more co-ordinated look.

I had noticed the top first, and when I looked at the culottes pattern I realised that they had a front yoke detail, which wouldn’t be very flattering on me. Fortunately there was another similar, but simpler design in the same edition.

So how did it turn out?

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I’m really pleased with the results, can you tell?  Maybe I was thinking of the Jabberwock when this one was taken!? The day I took the photos was absolutely freezing, and I think you can see the hint of “can’t wait to get back in the house” in my eyes.   I just had to do the splits, though,  to show you that yes, they are definitely culottes.

Also, I’m growing my hair colour out and it’s really starting to show now. I’m actually quite grey at the front, but I’ve decided not to dye it any longer as the roots always seem to need retouching and I hate having it done. Most people I tell says my hair is lovely as it is, and I shouldn’t do it. I’m going to persevere though.

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Making them up was very straightforward. I didn’t really need to follow the instructions.  Also I was dreading fitting the culottes, so did a toile, which fitted almost perfectly first time. I guess as they’re quite loose the fit is pretty forgiving. I did alter the front pleats though by converting the one large pleat in the front to two smaller ones to distribute the fullness more attractively. I also moved them more to the side nearer my hip. The fit in the back was spot on, apart from a small swayback adjustment.

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The deep v at the back on the top is just right. Not too deep that your bra straps show either. The fabric pooling at the back I was happy to accept. The tana lawn is probably a bit firm for the pattern (it recommends crepe or linen) and the design is unfitted anyway.  If I do it again I’ll probably let it out at the side seams around the hip just a tiny bit.

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I finished the waistband on the culottes with bias binding.

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The top is very simple with cut on sleeves and I like the keyhole front.  Again, no bra showing, yay.  It’s finished with facings and I just topstitched the sleeve and bottom hems as the fabric hides the stitches well.  Instructions were typical Burda, i.e. very sparse, but it was easy to work out. It has just 2 bust darts for shaping so overall is pretty loose, just perfect for Summer.

Did I say earlier I’m not so keen on flowery fabric. So, I bought 2 metres of this last week, ha!

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It’s a lovely soft cotton, and the quality is just gorgeous. It’s already cut out. Hope it works out and I can show you what I did with it.

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All dressed up…..

and nowhere to go. Well, not quite yet, anyway, but I’m definitely working on that bit.

So, the suit is made! Hope you’re all not bored by it yet, it’s taken a while, and I’m at the stage just now where I’m just a little bit exhausted by it all and glad it’s all over and wondering when I’m actually going to wear it and why, exactly, I wanted to make a pure wool suit for myself when I don’t get the opportunity much to dress up these days.

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But really, I’m pretty happy with it and I’m sure it will fill a hole in my wardrobe too. It’s got all the elements I love in a suit, and I love wearing and making suits, and well, that’s enough reason isn’t it?

For once my photography-studying daughter was around too, so I took the opportunity try out a few poses. She told me it was too sunny and she was right so we tried later in the day but it was quite gloomy by then, so you really can’t see the beautiful subtle colour of the fabric, which is a two-toned blue/grey-orange weave. You’ll have to take my word that it’s much prettier in real life.

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I love me a wide lapel and this jacket definitely has that in it’s favour.

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This is the second time I’ve made these trousers from Vogue 1366, which is OOP now. I originally bought it for the shirt pattern but the trousers are well drafted and they have you finish them beautifully.  I also added a half lining for comfort. The vertical seaming I think is really leg lengthening and a flattering look for me.

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The lining adds a pop of colour to a somewhat plain look.

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One of the nice finishing touches on the trousers is applying a binding to finish the inside waistband edge. I don’t know about you, but applying a home-made bias binding to edges seems to involve a lot more ironing and messing about than it should do. Most tutorials have you cut the binding, then iron it in half, then each side ironed in half again. Then when you apply it, you iron it all over again!  So, when I came across this tutorial I had to use it. This method is much simpler and gives a lovely quality result too.

I’m pretty pleased with the trousers but getting the fit right meant making a lot of small adjustments, which I don’t mind doing too much since I have quite a bit of trouble buying RTW for myself.   So, for these (and so I remember next time!) I adjusted for slightly knock-knees, a flat seat,  sway-back and a narrow torso (front to back) The last adjustment was the most awkward, with my well-thumbed Palmer Pletsch pants fitting guide amusingly calling the excess fabric a “crotch bubble.” So now I know!!

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I’m ready for something simple next. Really simple. Like this apron.