Liberty of London Summer Challenge : Project 4
Stylish Dress Book 2 : Dress “S” in ‘My Little Star’ Tana Lawn Cotton

After warming up with a few smaller projects, I finally bit the bullet and REALLY cut into some Liberty of London fabric to make a piece of clothing.

When I chose the ‘My Little Star’ print, I thought it was really bold and a bit crazy. In reality, it’s a totally soft and muted yet still slightly rock and roll.

I had picked out Dress “S” when I first got Stylish Dress Book 2. The square gathered neckline and wide gathered sleeves had me at first glance. The pattern calls for a contrasting fabric in jersey for the sleeves and another fabric for the neckline. I decided the star print would shine better on its own.

The dress came together pretty quickly once I got going. When it was done, it was a bit too loose for my liking. One of the characteristics of these smock dresses is that they are rather loose fitting. On one hand this usually means the patterns are more forgiving with fit and very comfortable to wear. On the other hand, sometimes they are too unshapely. I thought perhaps just taking in the side seams a bit might make the fit more flattering. It wasn’t enough.

This is where magical shirring comes to the rescue once again. I can not sing the praises of shirring enough. It is such a simple technique that gives maximum result every time. I had not yet tried shirring around a waistline, but had seen it many times.

I decided to space my shirring lines a 1/2″ apart and wound up doing four lines of shirring. It turned out perfectly. The shirring around the waist seems to echo the wide gathered elastic sleeves and neckline. It has totally transformed the dress and I think for me, it is much improved.

I can’t say enough about how much I’m enjoying working with the Liberty prints. They are lovely to handle and sew with. Plus, wearing them is dreamy! The tana lawn cotton has a super high thread count that makes the fabric very durable, smooth and almost silky. I’ve also never seen such amazing detailed printing on fabric.

We’re going to a wedding in a couple weeks, so I’m trying to design a dress using this print. I’ve already been warned that I’m not to be trying to sew up the dress as we’re driving to the wedding, so I need to get cracking. At least we all know that I’ve got several dresses in my closet to fall back on if I can’t get it together in time.

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