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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
I finished the waistband on the culottes with bias binding.
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!
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.