Tag Archives: Liberty

A daring little Rigel …

In life, I’m the sort of woman who sticks to the edge of the pool while everyone else jumps in and has a crazy time (I’ll slip in at the shallow end hoping no one will notice, I don’t mind getting my hair wet, it’s just the whole water up the nose thing). I love curry as long as it’s very, very, very mild and I won’t let anyone push me round the multi story car park in shopping trolley just in case it tips and I brake my nose. I wouldn’t say I’m boring, I’m just a teeny bit cautious. Ok, a complete chicken. A complete cautious chicken.

With sewing, I’m afraid I’m kind of the same. I seem to stick to what I know and just repeat myself with a bad case of pattern indigestion. Well, it gets a bit tedious being so boring cautious (I’m still talking about sewing here, don’t make me jump in the pool). 

So, you’ll be pleased to know, this time I’ve stretched myself …  

Say hello to my Liberty Rigel Bomber! Yes, yes, I know, this party’s been and gone and I’ve missed the jumping in the pool bit but who’d want to get this little bomber wet anyway? 

I’m sure you know all about this jacket from Papercut Patterns and will have seen the beautiful variations out there in the blogosphere, but to be honest as much as I admired them, I didn’t think I’d be capable of making one. Just the thought of welt pockets … hello? 

I made three practice welt pockets before I snipped through my Liberty Lawn and I’m not going to pretend they were easy. I used brain cells that have been in hibernation since the retakes of 1986. But, and here’s the trick, if you take your time and measure, tack and check over and over and over again, it sort of makes sense. My goodness, this challenging your skills business is so satisfying! So, welt pockets, check. Open ended zip, check. Raglan sleeves, check. Sewing with ribbing, check. Hmmm, what else, ohhh how about a spot of lining? As it’s been noted many times, this pattern doesn’t have a lining and boy, if anything needs hiding, it’s the flappy insides of this jacket. 

I should mention the fabric … The Liberty print is Wiltshire J Tana Lawn and was a Christmas present from Jimmy (from ebay) and the ribbing is navy cuff rib from Backstitch. The lining is an old cotton duvet cover from a charity shop and was so beautifully wrapped in ribbon when I bought it that I didn’t see this hidden bit until I got it home …

Oh the disappointment, but it was only £2 and there was plenty I could still use. The lining wasn’t difficult to construct having read this post for guidance, then I sort of made it up as I went along which was a good challenge.  

I added a little loop to hang it while I was at it. I almost added an inside pocket too and wish I had now, maybe next time. 


 I cut a ‘small’ for my jacket erring on the side of caution (oh damn, and I was doing so well!) when it could have been a little snugger. But, I’m pretty pleased with the fit (room for a cropped cardi?). I also added a little to the length of the sleeves and they are perfect, phew!

I’m in love with this pattern, I’m in love with this fabric and I’m so pleased with my skills reaching a new level. To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely convinced that this jacket is really ‘me’ but, hey, it’s good to test yourself and try new things … Ok, where’s the pool party, I’m jumping in!



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The Sorbetto brought me back …

It’s been an age since I wrote on this blog. I have been utterly useless, a complete misery mops and for no good reason, not really anyway. I think that sometimes things (work, teenagers, the weather) just get a little overwhelming and it’s easy to get lost in it all, the last thing I felt like doing was to be creative and write about it.

But enough, because that silly phase is over and I will keep up this blog, but only when I have the inclination, because creativeness has to happen in it’s own good time.

So, hello Colette and thank you for inspiring me once again! I had read about these patterns on other blogs but their seed was sown in my brain when I spotted them in Liberty‘s. Only since my discovery (ages after everyone else, I’m a bit slow) of the free download of the Sorbetto top did I fall properly in love and a day off work meant I could play and make myself something for Spring.

And what a satisfyingly simple top to assemble it is, I shall be making lots more of these with varying twists I’m sure. I pretty much followed the instructions for this little number to the letter, although it may be a tiny bit too big for me it hangs well and looks quite retro. I made the back in two pieces to save fabric and left a gap at the top for a button fastening which looks nice. I also didn’t hem the bottom as I was worried my tummy might show and hadn’t realised that I might find it a bit short until after I’d cut the fabric (doh!), so I added bias binding here for maximum length. I also added some vintage green buttons and am thinking perhaps a little collar or some short sleeves next time.

Right, must turn off the iron and cook some tea for teens … x

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How to make …

… that Liberty shirt into a pretty summer top.

It didn’t take long and I’m very pleased with the result, in fact I’ve got it on today with some old jeans and a little black cardi. I won’t be able to take off the cardigan though due to to a ‘touch of’ sunburn (ouch!) that I managed to get on a short walk yesterday, the wind tricked me (even though deep down I knew) into a false sense of security. Now I will have strap marks for the entire summer, grrr!

Anyway, down to business. Basically the shirt needs very little alteration. The side seams, the button band and the hem all stay as they are, no need to unpick anything. I ironed it, lay it flat on the floor and cut a curved shape from right under one arm to the other (maybe draw a pattern first to make sure it’s symmetrical). Just be careful to leave a button hole with enough room for a hem at the top. In this picture you’ll see the curve at the top and the original curve of the shirt hem at the bottom.

The back of the shirt is cut straight across from side seam to side seam, nice and simple. Then I made a channel by hemming all round and pressing. Once this was done, I added a bit of old lace I had just a tiny bit under the seam so that it didn’t interfere with threading the elastic through.

Next, take some elastic and measure it round just above the bust. My shirt was two sizes too big for me and so it worked quite well with just the right amount of gathers. I threaded the elastic through the channel with a safety pin and then adjusted it to the right size, then secured with machine stitches. Get the gathers in the right places and put a couple of extra stitches under the arms so they don’t move about too much. Once this was done, I made the straps (maybe you won’t want straps, it looks pretty strapless too) from the sleeves of the shirt. Sew a ‘tube’ inside out, turn out the right way and press. I had to make each one in a couple of pieces with what was left but you’d never know unless you looked really closely. Then I tried on the top and marked with a bit of cotton where the straps would go. It’s good to try it on with a bra, then you can position them over the bra straps.

Finally, I took off the shirt buttons and replaced with these little old Woolies ones that were in my button tin … and Ta Da!

I hope this helps you to embark on a little sewing project too. It’s truly satisfying to make something like this and enjoyable too!

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