Friday, 11 March 2011

Spring top: in Lauren Child for Liberty fabric


Hurrah! I've finally got my dressmaking mojo back and made something that I actually want to wear. Admittedly I may have to wait a month or two before it is warm enough, but there's something good about having anticipation hanging in amongst the garments in my wardrobe.

Gently puffed sleeves
The fabric is by Lauren Child for Liberty (you might remember when my husband surprised me with it in January), and what I adore about this fabric is that I think it possesses magical transformative properties. When you see it in close proximity the colours are so incredibly bold and vibrant and remind me of something that I might have worn as a child, but the moment you move a little further away from it, it blends into something more subtle; the colours become less intense and the whole feel of the fabric is very much more grown-up. It's something that didn't reveal itself to me until I'd actually sewn it up into a garment though.


I used my own pattern that I drafted last summer - you can see the original top here - but made a few tweaks to it. I loved the original smocked sleeves, but they did look a little bumpy beneath a cardigan and I like to keep my options open for wearing inclement weather layers. So first I lengthened the sleeves and then to retain some shape I created a small pleat that is caught in the binding of the arm cuff.

Sleeve pleat caught in binding
I have kept the neck opening the same, but lowered the round neckline a little.


And there is still a small pleat at the front, which takes the place of darts by giving a little extra room across the bust.



I'm really pleased with how this top fits as smock tops have a habit of leaving me looking as though I may be expecting babies. Despite the loose fit, I've used the fabric sparingly to avoid it being voluminous: which means that I will probably be safe from anyone offering up their seat on the tube for me if I wear this out. 


Do you see the magical way that the colour becomes so much less intense at a distance? I enjoyed making this top so much that I may make a few up and put them on Etsy at some point to see whether they might sell, perhaps using some other Liberty prints or maybe some of Anna Maria Horner's voiles. (You might also remember that I'd thought about possibly drafting a pattern to sell for this top...that's still a work in progress and more of a long term plan - garment patterns are a whole different thing to producing regular sewing patterns).

Two things of interest while we're on the subject of dressmaking - firstly, have you spotted the prints from the Valori Wells Jenaveve linen collection - they are delectable: so grown-up and yet I also find myself oddly drawn toward the more childish print with the bird on. I have, however, emailed my mother about the white linen with green leaf print, as I'm wondering whether this might be nice for her to wear in the summer. You can see them all on Kate's blog. These linens makes me want to start saying things like how much I love that designers are printing onto so many different substrates now...but I won't, because my husband tells me that I mustn't use words like 'substrates' because he believes it to be a deliberate attempt to bamboozle him with 'fabric-speak' and advises that I must keep my inner geek more properly hidden. So I shall just go and whisper it in a corner. Yippee!

Secondly, Figgy's have announced that they have written a book specifically about making clothes for boys! What a completely wonderful idea - I'm so delighted by this as I can't think of a single book that I've spied that focuses on this: it is a vast arid desert of an area on Amazon and the moment it is released in England I shall be snaffling a copy up. I so hope that it is full of things that my own little boy will like to wear.

Wishing you a deliciously happy Friday,
Florence x

25 comments:

  1. Gorgeous top Florence, I really love the sleeves. You do not look like you are expecting.

    I totally agree about designers using different substrates, and had to hold myself back from emailing Anna Maria Horner and begging her to do some linens. I'm sure she's on the case!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's absolutely lovely, and very flattering. Not a hint of maternity!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kate, don't leave anything to chance. I think an email is a brilliant idea...what if she's not on the case? So many missed wardrobe opportunities...

    Dottycookie - thank you! x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lovely, very flattering.
    Jen
    http://shimistore.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such a lovely shape and I adore the fabric you have chosen. You're so clever, well done! x

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lovely fabric and lovely top. I say don't wait for warmer weather - wear a long-sleeved top under it and a cardigan over.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very cute top! I see what you mean about the fabric looking subtle as you step away from it. I am sure you will enjoy wearing it all summer. It looks like it would go with lots of things.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The shirt looks lovely! I was so pleased to see the announcement of the sewing for boys book, and I'm really hoping there are some things in there for my poor, under-sewed-for boy child.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have the same problems with smock tops but it looks mighty fine- the darts,front and sleeve give a lovely hint of soft tailoring

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lovely top! I would certainly purchase your patterns!

    (And in light of your comment the other day about commercial patterns looking like a potato sack on you...I can relate, so there might be more of a market than you'd imagine for your patterns as-drafted, rather than altered for non-petites. Am I making any sense?)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I reckon smock tops only give you the pregnancy fear if you have worn them when pregnant. Before kids, I don't think it would have crossed my mind. I can't actually remember life before kids though, so I might be wrong!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's lovely Florence, I like the changes you've made to the original pattern (which I also liked). Nice magic fabric effect too! x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Both Lauren Child and Liberty are on my *LOVE* list...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just beautiful! And no maternity wear suspicions at all. (I have the same fear of loose-fitting tops for that very reason).

    I totally agree with the AMH on linen idea - it must happen!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great top, both the pattern and the fabric are absolutely lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  16. That is a great top!! I was surprised when I saw the close up of the fabric. Really does look different from far away. I read your blog all the time but never leave comments. I think it's wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ooh, yes please! I would definitely have a top if you put some on Etsy, especially in that lovely Liberty fabric!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sarah - yes that does make sense - thank you. In the meantime, do try some Japanese Pattern books as they are cut perfectly for more petite builds.

    Miranda - thank you so much for introducing yourself!

    Ana - thank you!

    Thank you for all your lovely comments - they are very much appreciated.

    Florence x

    ReplyDelete
  19. i love your fabric, this dress is really interesting
    ^_^
    Fede

    ReplyDelete
  20. Very beautiful and such a amazing gorgeous top, it is such a fantastic as well as it is very beautiful because of the different substrates.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is gorgeous! Great work.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I really love this top and see what you mean about the magical qualities of the colour and pattern. If you did make this pattern avaialble (please, please) I would definitely buy it!

    ReplyDelete
  23. It looks really, really lovely. That fabric is gorgeous!

    I plan on making a few summer tops, now that I've finally got around to attempting clothes. I'm not sure that I'll get away with not looking like I am expecting, but it's about time that I stopped wearing the same 7 tops in rotation each week...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Lovely! It's a pretty pattern and looks great on you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would definitely buy a pattern for this top! I could probably afford it sooner than I could a made-up version, please think of that. Also in the long run it would save you a lot of time.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...