The London-Delft Dress

I’ve been following The Sew Weekly closely for the last few months.  I haven’t joined it (I can’t sew something every week and I’m not sure how it all works anyway) but I really like the idea of the weekly themes.  They’ve been making me think more creatively about my projects and their back stories, but not enough for me to actually finish anything coordinated with the themes… But this week I finally finished something that does fit in with a theme! And it’s only a day late!

Fabric: Lillian’s Berries Tana Lawn from Liberty of London, bodice and skirt lined with white cotton voile.

Pattern: BurdaStyle 02/2011 #104

I remember when I was growing up hearing ‘Liberty’ fabric mentioned, and my Mum had a few pieces in the cupboard which I knew I wasn’t allowed to use, but I don’t think I really understood what made it special.  Then when I was studying in Denmark we finally managed to make it to London for a few days and I saw the Liberty shop marked on the map and decided to check it out.  I think during the 5 day trip I managed to drag us back another 2 times, and I’ve basically been obsessed since then.  The fabric was all so beautiful but rather pricey, so I decided I could get enough for one dress as a special London souvenir.  Given how much it costs elsewhere, as I’ve since discovered, I wish I’d bought more!

I was really torn on which fabric to choose and I didn’t have a particular project in mind.  Eventually I settled on this one because the simple blue and white colour scheme reminded me of Delft tiles.  I’d spent a very pleasant afternoon in Delft a few years before and had been a Vermeer/Girl with a Pearl Earring fan for a few years before that.  I also bought a Delft tile cross stitch pattern at Liberty the same day.  I don’t know why my mind was making the connection that day but anyway, it was.  Once I finished the dress I felt it just needed a little something to accent it a bit so I got some matching blue grosgrain ribbon, which I think turned out beautifully.

As for the pattern: I’ve made this pattern twice before (more on that later) and each time I’ve got the fit a little better, so hopefully it’s pretty good on this one! As in the last version I didn’t cut the bodice on the cross as recommended because it takes more fabric.  I think it’s fine like this.  I added a lining to the skirt, just a rectangle but less gathered than the main skirt.  The skirt itself uses more fabric than the pattern recommends – Liberty fabric comes about 135cm wide so I used the whole width. The ribbon sash sits just above the waist seam and I added a little double bow for some subtle girliness (in case this dress needed to be more girly).

I decided to use this pattern because it’s fairly classic –  it can be casual or dressy and hopefully I won’t hate it in 10 years time.  Also the skirt pieces are just big rectangles, so if I do I can always pull it apart!

Then last night I thought of a really good way to do a dress representing Canberra, my home city.  But I’ll have to order the fabric.  Oh well, that’s another project…

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One Response to The London-Delft Dress

  1. […] was my first attempt at this pattern (later used in the London-Delft dress) which I made last year.  I cut a size 40 but I think I should’ve cut a 38 – I took it […]

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