Monday, February 9, 2009

Liberty of London

I recently reviewed Libery of London for PatternReview and I got thinking about Liberty of London fabrics (read the review on their website).  

And if you love Liberty, they are now on Facebook: click here to become a fan.

Liberty of London is a fabulous department store in the center of London. You can find many beautiful things at Liberty - from Arts and Crafts furniture to contemporary lighting to luxe linens to needlepoint patterns. Every department is filled to the brim with exquisite, luxurious, sometimes cutting-edge and often hand-crafted items. Their selection of women's accessories is especially unique and impressive. 

The view from the 4th floor at Liberty

If you are a sewer or a knitter you will head straight up to the third floor where you will find the deliciously delicate tana cotton lawn fabrics for which Liberty is famous, and many beautiful yarns and craft materials. Liberty recently opened an online store where you can shop for fabrics, and what's more shop the fabric sales. If shipping seems prohibitive the fabrics are available in the U.S. as well, for instance from PurlSoho. As of this writing you'll get a great deal on the exchange rate if you buy from London.

Here are some ways to use these fabrics:

Liberty fabrics are perfect for adding adorable details to clothes, and as little as half a yard can take you a long way. Here are some ideas from the French magazine Marie-Claire Idees: use Liberty florals as belts, or on collars or pockets or cuffs. Cover buttons or make fabric flowers. Or adorn an edge with a fine binding. Try these details on plain items (a jeans skirt or trench coat) to personalize and add a feminine touch.

"Wiltshire" floral from 1933...

...can trim a bathrobe 
(this example from Celine Dupuy's sewing book, 
reviewed in a previous post)

"Felicite" in delicate colors...

...can add a sweet detail to jeans...

...or make a keepsake pinafore for a little girl.
(this easy and darling pattern from Ottobre magazine)

Updated Arts and Crafts peacock feathers...

...might make wonderful, soft pillowcases. 

Make a pillowcase, then sew yourself a sweet camisole and pajama pants to match (Jalie has good patterns to try).  You could make a men's tie in silk twill (try Burda's Osman tie pattern) or boxer shorts in cotton (again try Jalie).  

If you'd rather create a fabulous dress: 
"Mrs. Robinson" is a work of art

and would look amazing on this HotPatterns Deco Vibe dress. Maybe the Liberty fabric just goes on the detail. But maybe you need the maxi dress. How to stop? In a follow-up post I'll show you the muslin of this dress. 

But how do I choose which print?

HotPatterns "Deco Vibe" dress


patsijean said...

I like all your ideas for using the Liberty prints with one exception. I have tried to use the free Osman Tie Pattern from BurdaStyle (many free or very inexpensive patterns and a plethora of how-to's) and the tie pattern is a poorly drafted bust. I would not recommend it. As a mental challenge I spent over an hour redrafting the pattern to get the crooked pattern straight . I would suggest a book on tie making that will be out shortly at a price of about $15 by David Page Coffin. I have the preliminary pfd and will get the book as soon as it is available. Mr. Coffin tells you how to make your own tie pattern. The method is easy and you will get the size you want.

AMJ said...

Thanks Patsijean for your comments. I will have to get that David Page Coffin book on making ties: any book he writes is bound to offer flawless instructions. Liberty ties are expensive - about $100 with today's exchange rate (and before shipping) - but they are my husband's favorites. I think the Liberty tie can be made for $15. I'll have to dedicate a future post to proving that! -Ann Marie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of your suggestions on uses of Liberty prints for many things! Hopefully this summer I will make a lovely robe/dressing gown out of some tana lawn from my stash.

Have you looked on Ebay for the ties?
There usually are a really great selection of choices, if you don't want to make the ties.