Laura has made this gorgeous vintage Liberty dress using one of the fabrics from the SS22 collection – Sleeping Beauty B.
Laura tells us about the make: “The combination of pinky-purple colours and the contrasting black trim was directly inspired by an amazing 1910s Edwardian dress I scroll-stumbled across. Thank you Instagram vintage sellers for always being a source of creative inspiration and extreme envy! Rarely can I afford the vintage clothes they sell, therefore re-creating some of their beauty (well, attempting to, anyway) will just have to keep me going for the foreseeable. The original dress featured candy pink/purple/orange striped fabric, a black lace up front, matching thin black lace trim on hem and sleeves, AND a matching bonnet! I mean, never will I be wearing a matching bonnet (I cite a lack of both confidence and hat-appropriate hair as my reasons) but I can certainly appreciate that it exists and that someone else will rock it.”
“The fabric is Sleeping Beauty from Liberty’s new SS22 collection ‘The Wonderful Fantastical’ and comes in three colourways. A colourway is mostly blues with a hint of olive and grey, C is a brighter blue and features bold green, pink, orange and yellow leaves and flowers. B, my chosen colourway, is dusty purple with pink, orange and blue accents. It is such a sweet print, with larger swirling foliage, small flowers, stars and tiny patterns in its background. There is something William Morris about it at first glance, only when you look closer at the background details does it reveal itself to be rather contemporary. It is rare I love more than one colourway of the same print quite so much and yet I do love all of the Sleeping Beauty’s Liberty have made here. Had I not seen that Edwardian dress I would not have reached for this particular colourway. It is amazing what seeing a good example can do for widening ones self-imposed colour limitations!”
“The drop shoulder/big sleeve combination is super comfy to wear so I decided to go with that again. The Edwardian dress also had large sleeves so I definitely wanted to reference that. Moving into spring, jumpers and coats will be worn less often so the silky soft and light Tana Lawn® sleeves will be free to billow about as they please. The waistline is high and elasticated to help bring the bodice into the body, lending some shape. Usually I’d use waist ties sewn into the side seams or a separate fabric belt to do this but I was very keen for the waist to have a lace trim so switched it up a bit. Oddly, for a lighter coloured Tana Lawn® fabric, the dress has no lining. Normally I’d recommend all white-based, light coloured Tana Lawn® be lined however here I felt the print was busy enough to obscure anything that may be seen through it. I usually test this by holding the fabric on top of a boldly patterned fabric, or even some text on paper, and looking at what comes through to the front of the fabric in various lights. Sleeping Beauty in this colourway passed this test so no lining it was – hurrah for less fabric used and less time taken to cut and sew!”
“Having only white and cream lace in my collection I made a special trip to the craft store to source the black lace. They only had one type that was narrow enough and there wasn’t quiiiiite as much on the roll as I’d have liked, so I had to scale back my lace trim ambitions a wee bit. Having cut out the required fabric pieces to make the dress in advance, I then sewed the whole dress together in an afternoon and was absolutely itching to call it done for personal record-worthy speed reasons alone… but I just couldn’t. It was missing something to be truly complete and most irritatingly, I had nothing to hand that would suit. I hope that as you are, presumably, a sewer, you too can relate to this particular kind of frustration. I think it has to happen to us at least once a year, just to test our creative stamina and flexibility. Had I more lace I’d have put it around the neckline, but with only 5cm leftover that wasn’t going to work. A collar maybe? Holding a collar up to the neckline that felt better and more like the thing it needed however again, having only various white and cream collars in my collection (and neither black fabric dye nor the desire to make that sort of mess) they weren’t quite right either. No, it would have to be a ready-made black lace collar and I’d have to do the whole search the internet, order and wait thing. SO in reality, the collar took me like 5 days to finally find on ebay and choose (turns out black collars are far less prevalent than white and cream ones!) and it took another 11 days to arrive despite the seller being in the same country (remember when that was super fast for online shops in 2009??? Those were the days) so in the end the dress took over 2 weeks to be completed. However, I do think it was worth the wait! So, complete dress I’m happy with: 1, personal record: 0. A good outcome, all in all!”
“Wearing this Liberty dress come spring, I’ll be in the garden with a good book in hand, sipping tea from the pastel pink and gold rimmed teacup as the smell of hyacinths wafts over with the breeze (‘What do you mean, “Did I purposefully match my teacup to my dress?” Honestly, what sort of person do you think I am!’ 😉 ) Maybe, somewhere, the lucky person who did end up buying that original 1910s dress will be doing the very same thing. Only, with the bonnet, of course. A girl can dream!”