Laura from the office has made this Gorgeous Liberty Dress. She’s used the Strawberry Thief fabric from the new 40th classics anniversary collection. It’s the same fabric as Annie’s dress last week. Both are really cute and work really well in this fabric.
I asked Laura about the sewing project. She said “I fell in love with the green, teal and coral colours of this new Strawberry Thief print and just knew it would make a lovely dress! But what kind of dress, I wondered… It had to be a something simple that didn’t take away from the detailed print but I also didn’t want something completely plain. Such tough decisions!
On Instagram I follow lots of vintage clothing sellers (and admittedly drool over all the pretty dresses without buying anything on the daily) and a vintage 1960s Miss Elliette dress caught my eye. It was a plain red party dress but made unique by a thick wine coloured velvet ribbon running around the waist and down the bodice with a bow in the middle. It was as if the dress was a wrapped present and I had never seen anything quite like it! With this beautiful Miss Elliette dress in mind I sourced a teal coloured velvet ribbon that would match the Strawberry Thief fabric and committed to making my own version. With side pockets of course- hurrah!” Laura designed her own pattern using her wonderful dress making skills.
“Originally, the front bodice was cut as one piece on a very deliberately placed fold at the centre front, meaning the velvet ribbon could sit perfectly straight in the gap between the printed birds. However, due to my own pattern making error which resulted in the bodice having a bit of a cowl neck rather than a flat one, this had to change- oh dear! The final dress has a shaped centre front seam and two panels so I still did my best to place the ribbon evenly down the print but it isn’t as perfect as I had hoped. Oh well, fingers crossed I’ll get the pattern making right next time!”
“My top tip for sewing with velvet ribbon would be to pin it in place sparingly. I didn’t realise how easily marked it was, the more I pinned it down and played with it (particularly on the bodice centre front) the more marked it became. Even when sewing the feed dog left faint impressions on the velvet! I handled the velvet ribbon around the waist less and it is far smoother and neater as a result. The more you know!”
Here’s the finished velvet bow detail at the front of the dress. It’s simple yet really beautiful.
Laura loves village life in rural England. This is her at the Beckford Village Book Box – a great way to swap and exchange books.
“I am so looking forward to putting on my pearls and heels to go out for the evening in this dress. I also look forward to the many more occasions I can wear it with a cropped jacket and boots for a more casual day look in this wonderful office :)”