Lady Liberty Carline

OMG YOU GUYS I AM SO INTO THIS FABRIC I CAN’T EVEN.

OK, I just had to get that out of my system 🙂 I had actually been trying to hunt down some Liberty Carline for an embarrassingly long time when Roisin recommended a few eBay sellers that might have the goods. Then, not a week later I stumbled across Fabrics Galore and found some purple. Lastly, Liz put her Liberty stash up for sale. So I ended up going from no Carline, to having 8 meters of the stuff in three colours. Today we’re going to chat about the first, which is a poplin. I haven’t always been a big poplin fan, but the Liberty poplin may be my dream fabric – it’s a tiny bit weightier than the lawn, which gives it a little more body and means it isn’t transparent at all. I found it completely lovely to work with.

Today on the blog: a New Look/ Vogue mash up in liberty carline aka the fabric of my dreams #sewing//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I actually finished this little number oh, 7 months ago, which should tell you something about how long my to-blog list is.

To me it was completely obvious what this lovely wanted to be – a princess seamed dress with as full a skirt as I could manage. I used the old faithful New Look 6723 bodice (which I FBA’d ages ago) and the gored circle skirt from Vogue 8998. I had considered using all of Vogue 8998, but I wasn’t 100% happy with the fit in the bodice last time I made it and had no time to play with it so I went with my tried n true.

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(I don’t know why both the lighting and my fringe are bad in this pic 😦 Also! Winter-style)

Through some wonder of dressmaking, the skirt and bodice lined up well lengthwise. The seams along the sides and the princess seams in the bodice and gores of the skirt don’t match at all but I think the print disguises a lot of the issues, so #YOLO. The skirt is truly lovely, if not designed for someone with the amount of hip/bum curve that I have. I like that unlike a traditional circle skirt it’s more fitted through the abdomen and hips before flaring out dramatically which I think is quite flattering. It’s also a bit of a fabric saver which is always nice. I do miss having pockets, but one can’t have everything I suppose.

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On the bodice: I had originally drafted an all-on-one facing because I love the look of them in RTW and thought that an all-in-one would not constantly flip out, which my neck facings ALWAYS do despite understitching and pressing. Unfortunately it all went horribly wrong and was SUPER TIGHT around the top of my bust and front of my shoulders. I suspect I didn’t take into account my FBA properly. In the end I ripped it out and went with bias binding around the neck and armholes, which I always quite like. I used my machine overcast stitch to finish the seams. I do still want to try an all-in-one facing because I love the clean look they give so I’m going to give it another crack next time.

My favourite thing about this dress is how all-seasons it is! it looks cute on it’s own for summer, and for winter I love it with a cardi, tights and the ankle boots I inherited from my mum.

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The Floral Fan Dress

*insert generic comment about my long absence here*

Moving right along, my oldest friend C, got married a few weeks back. I was invited to her hens party in Sydney, with the theme being Happy Housewives. Of course I took this to mean bust out your best Mad Men/mid-century style. After some thought I decided it’d be just the thing to kick me back into sewing. This decided, I was in search of fabric, I wanted something that was pretty and vintagey, but not so much that I wouldn’t be able to wear it on weekends and fun dress casual Fridays at work. I settled on this beautiful pink and floral fan design by Liberty (called Mer Shell).

Shell Mer Pink liberty lawn

I had originally planed on making Burda 7179 but after some thought I decided that all the pleating wouldn’t show off the fabric to its best. So then I swapped to Simplicity 2444, which seems to have been made up by every blogger ever. Having made one, I totally understand why, ill-fitting cover aside it’s adorable and very easy.

For the most part I ignored the instructions. I underlined, rather than using facings (which I hate a little), skipped the pocket and took up the shoulders. I still have a bit of gape at the top of the bodice – having sewn a few projects since this, I would have known how to sort this out but I ignored it. I made the sleeveless version with the cape collar, but made mine removable. I also did a visible zip at the back, which I am pretending is a feature, but really is because I didn’t have an invisible one/thought the top was going to be too small so used minimum fabric sewing it in. I also took about 3 inches off the hem.

All in all I am very pleased by how it turned out – I can see things I could have done better – the zip, mainly, as well as lining the skirt (it’s a tiny bit transparent), as well as the finishing on the inside which I am ashamed of could have done better.

And now to pictures!
(one from the hens – unfortunately I didn’t think to take any good ones, so had to crop one a photographer took and blur out my friend, N’s face)

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(and a few at Floriade, Canberra’s annual festival of flowers)
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Hat: Alannah Hill | Belt: Portmans | Cardi: Jacqui E