Lovely Liberty Edenham Dress

As promised, here is the second half of Laura’s tale of the Liberty dresses! This time using the lovely Edenham U. If you haven’t read the first half of this delightful story, you can find it here.

“This dress is the second half of a sweet little story about a lovely person that I hope you will enjoy/have enjoyed reading about. If you will remember, I last wrote about a villager named Rose and her amazingly kind, giving and community-minded spirit. After she fell in love with a Liberty dress, I offered to make her one just like it. As she spends so much of her time giving to others, she 100% deserved something in return to show just a fraction of the appreciation and love that is felt for her.”

“I also mentioned her equally as lovely and giving partner, Andy. Andy has lived and worked in the village for most of his life and is likewise a pillar of the community, lending his time to many causes and committees about the village. Truly, they are the power couple to end all power couples! The village would be absolutely lost without them.”

“Well, a few days after the details of the Florence May dress had been decided on between Rose and myself, I was walking past Andy’s garden on my way to somewhere else and waved to him over the rose bushes. Furtively, Andy beckoned me over and quietly let me know he wanted to talk when I was available to do so. Puzzled and intrigued, I promised I’d return. Later that evening, I headed out to Andy’s house as promised and knocked on the door. He opened it with an unexpected look of panic, ‘Rose is here…’ he trailed off quietly as Rose also came to the door to say hello. Uh-huh! If this was supposed to be a secret non-Rose talk, I suspected I knew what this was going to be about! ‘I just came by to ask if Andy would kindly help me identify a strange flower in my garden?’ I said, giving Andy a significant look. Luckily, he caught on fast and soon enough we were both making our way to my garden, loudly talking about flowers. It was, of course, a ploy. Honestly, I’m super surprised at my relatively fast thinking on the flower thing, I’m not known for being very quick witted, haha!”

“Safely absconded in my garden, Andy was able to finally say that he wanted to pay for the dress I was making for Rose. Bless him, that is so very sweet of him for thinking of it, but I immediately protested of course, it was meant to be a gift for a lady who gives so much herself, not at all a commission!!! Rose isn’t even meant to be paying for it at all! In any case, it clearly works for some but I have tried sewing for commission and it just isn’t for me, somehow it just makes sewing infinitely less fun. (I’d be interested to hear if you like or dislike sewing for payment, am I strange not to like it?) Anyway, I continued to protest payment and eventually Andy let slip that was a shame as it would have been for her birthday that was in 10 days time. Oh deary. While a new dress was indeed a brilliant birthday gift idea, even if the Florence May dress was the birthday gift dress, the Liberty fabric Rose had chosen would not even be at Alice Caroline until at least a week after her birthday had already passed. It felt like a tricky spot, I recognised Andy’s desire to gift something lovely to Rose for her birthday, but I definitely didn’t want to be paid for a dress which I also intended to give as a gift. Very tricky indeed… Until my brain cashed in all of its capacity for good ideas for the rest of the year and had a good idea – I could make Rose a second dress, from Andy! Rose had (very luckily) nominated her second favourite fabric as being Edenham U, which, by happy coincidence, was all ready and waiting at Alice Caroline, just begging to be sewn with immediately! It was absolutely perfect and it would all work out for everyone! Well, it would, as long as I jumped onto the sewing machine as soon as possible to make the dress for Andy to give to Rose.”

“Details of the second dress sorted, we were both very pleased with the plan for Rose’s birthday. But before he went back home, we thought he should at least try to identify a flower, in the interests of keeping up the ruse. I pointed out a tall, fuzzy stemmed plant with small blue flowers I genuinely didn’t know the name of for him to identify. He studied it for a bit and declared he didn’t know it either. Oh well, nice try anyway. About 10 minutes after he left, I had a knock on my door. It was Rose kindly identifying the flower for me! Seems like Rose had requested Andy describe it to her, then found it in her flower book, and was just cross referencing the image in the book with the actual flower before delivering me the final verdict (‘Viper’s-bugloss’, for all who are interested, what a tongue-twister of a name). I thanked her with a wide smile and after she left, just had to laugh out loud at it all. Good thing Andy and I did actually look at a flower else we may have been caught out!”

“So onto the dress itself. As Rose had already declared this style as her ideal dress, there was no reason to change the design unnecessarily for her second dress. It is just the same as the first, made using the bodice of the Chloe jumpsuit pattern, which is a free download from here. The trousers section of the pattern obviously hasn’t been used, instead the skirt is made of a rectangle of Tana Lawn® fabric, gathered enough so that it fits the bodice waist. Just the same as the first dress, it has two pockets on the skirt, an invisible zip centre back opening, a boat neckline, princess seams and cute little tie detailing on the sleeves. If you have a style you know and love that works for you, I see no shame in sticking to it! Especially if it leads to one in every Liberty fabric ????. Liberty Tana Lawn® is such a wonderful fabric to sew with and it feels so soft and smooth to touch – a delight to wear I can confirm!”

Edenham U is one of the prints that was in the previous Classic collection, as well as the new one. The whole 2022 Classics Collection comprises approximately 230 fabrics, of which about 85 of them are entirely new colourways of beloved prints, or new prints themselves (like the lovely Queen Hera, which is a slightly altered version of ultimate Liberty Classic peacock print Hera). The remaining 145 or so are prints that have carried on from the previous Classics collection, or were a part of the Classics 40th Anniversary collection. It is so exciting to see new prints and colourways, and at the same time I am so happy that many favourites have endured. As for Rose’s choice, Edenham U features a dark navy background with scattered blooms in peach, pale blue, light pink and red foliage. Seems Rose does like the navy prints with small pops of red best! The other Edenham prints in the new classics are Edenham T, which has a white background, and Edenham V (previously called Edenham C-40) which is mostly a bold red. I would definitely recommend having a browse through the new Classics, who knows what you will discover to love next!”

“I have given Andy the finished dress and he is now on the hunt for an appropriate box to package it in. I hope Rose loves her surprise second dress birthday gift! She definitely deserves to be treated to some Liberty goodness. A very happy birthday, Rose!”

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