Liberty Prints for my girls

There are 2 fabrics that say “England” to me. One is tweed, and the other is Liberty prints. I’ve always admired Liberty prints, but somehow could not picture them on me, but I figured that they would look awfully cute on my daughters. And indeed they do. I went to this store (, where they have lots and lots of Liberty remnants. I managed to find 3 that coordinate nicely, and some metallic-embroidered velvet to tart things up enough to suit my 3-year-old’s taste.

As I was working on these dresses, Carolyn posted this about how organized she is with her sewing. This made me think about my sewing process, which I’ve never really analyzed before. I am horrifyingly disorganized. For these dresses, I drafted a couple of pattern pieces, cut them out of the fashion fabric, sewed them together, drafted the next pattern piece I would need, sewed it on, etc. I’d never recommend that anyone sew that way, but it seems to work for me. I’d certainly finish my projects more quickly with a more methodical approach, but I continually remind myself that my kids will not go naked if I don’t finish this project quickly.

Ann on Stitcher’s Guild had the experience of buying a Liberty print that was printed off-grain, so I was warned about this possibility. I was not overly surprised when one of the prints I bought was printed slightly off-grain as well. It only mattered for the skirt of the smaller dress, and I chose to follow the print rather than follow the grain. It should hang OK, esp since it’s a very full skirt and very short.

I’m wondering about the wisdom of using couture techniques for childrens wear. There is a LOT of fabric on Josephine’s little body. The strips are pieced together, then underlined and lined. The skirt is very full and 2 layers. The sleeves are just one layer. I was a little worried that she would be unable to support all that fabric without falling over.

I thought I had bought way too much fabric for this project, but of course it ended up being just enough. I even wound up having to line Pascale’s skirt with some silk from my stash instead of self-fabric. I wonder if I just keep sewing until I run out of fabric, and if I had bought more or less fabric, it would still have wound up being just the right amount.

And now for something completely different, if you have not seen the movie “The Lives of Others”, rent it. Now. It’s just so amazingly good.

Here are some pics. I actually completed this project several months ago, but did not want to post the photos because the dresses were for the Christmas card photo. I wanted those on my Christmas card list to see the photo first on the card.

This is the Christmas card photo:


One Comment

  1. Posted October 29, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve decided I’m reading your blog straight through, Claudine, having never seen everything you’ve posted. Re: couture techniques on children’s clothing: my daughters danced with two little girls yeeeeeeers ago that were lucky enough to have an Italian-trained grandmother who had worked in couture workrooms. I remember finally having the courage to sneak an inspection of a red linen dress she had made for one of the girls. It was completely underlined with cotton voile with a lot of hand detailing. I was so impressed. I wanted every dress I ever made for my girls to have that couture quality, just for the art of it.

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