Friday, 27 September 2013

Liberating the Liberty

Wow - thanks everyone for leaving a comment on the last post about my red jacket. I think that is the most comments I've ever received, except for those times when I made a baby, so I guess that jacket is the third most special thing I've made!

I haven't done much sewing in the last week but I'm finally getting around to blogging a shirt I made a few weeks ago, the last garment I made in my stash busting entry actually. At our very first Sydney sewist's/blogger meet up back in November 2012 I only bought three pieces of fabric - some blueberry ponte and Liberty cotton from Tessuti, and some blue floral cotton voile from The Fabric Store. After making the ponte and cotton voile into dresses (here and here) I am pleased to announce I've finally used the Liberty cotton thus using up all the fabric I bought that day!

I only bought 1.5m of the fabric at the time thinking a blouse would be the best use (and because it's quite expensive) but I hesitated every time I went to use it because it's just so lovely. But then I realised it's only cotton, and I can easily buy more to replace it if I stuff it up so I should just get on with it. So I bit the bullet and made it into a long sleeved button down shirt that I've made several times before:



The print I bought is Liberty Wiltshire, which has been in their classics line since 1971 and was originally designed in 1933. It doesn't seem to be available on Tessuti's online shop but you can buy from Shaukat & Company.

You will laugh when you see the pattern I've used, because frankly it's an ugly 1980s pattern that is rightly OOP and should never be sewn as intended unless you were going to a costume party. But it's a size 6 which is the perfect size for my narrow shoulders and small bust - I just add width from the waist down to make sure it fits over my waist and hips. Ok, are you ready for the pattern reveal?


Yee ha! It's a cowboy inspired shirt which is just plain wrong. You can see I picked up this pattern in an op shop for the princely sum of 20c!! Obviously I made this without the attractive yoke or bow tie and also resisted the urge to add any fringing! I've made this at least 3 times previously that I can remember (pre blogging days), and I still frequently wear one that I made in a textured white cotton so I just knew it would be an easy sew. At some time in the past I actually traced the pattern and made it into a personal block pattern for my go-to shirt pattern.

It has an extra wide cuff that uses three buttons instead of two, which is a nice point of difference to an otherwise standard pattern (ignoring those cowboy points of difference that is):


Although I usually prefer to wear my long sleeved shirts folded up for a more casual look.


And in that fountain of knowledge that is Pinterest I discovered (after taking these photos) that there is a special way to fold up your sleeves so that the cuff is still visible - the J Crew method that apparently is the "perfect way".

I love this shirt - I wish I didn't take so long to take the plunge to make it! I've worn it to work under a boring dark grey suit, I've worn it casually with my green skirt to make it a very colourful combination, as well as the more standard combination of a denim skirt and dark denim jeans. I realy like wearing lightweight long sleeved shirts in summer to keep the sun off my skin, so this has been perfect for a few really hot days we've had recently. And look - I've braved the nosy, quizzical looks of onlookers and took a photo of myself out in public!


Won't be doing that too often though, I felt a bit silly doing it!

Tomorrow is my ASG sewing day - hopefully I can knock over my September Burda project and make up for my lack of productivity this week. I'm itching to make some summery dresses now that our weather has really heated up, you know the usual - so many projects so little time!

79 comments:

  1. Love love your shirt and the cuff tutorial is great. I just made a button up shirt and I, also wear them cuffed but I didn't like the inside of the fabric showing. I will definitely try this cuff.

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    1. Yes it's amazing the things people think up - but it is a good look. Thanks Pinterest & people with too much time on their hands!

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  2. Of all Liberty prints available, this has to be my favorite. Good shirt.

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    1. Thanks Carmen - I do like a lot of their prints but I think this one is especially pretty

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  3. Love this shirt. Just wanted to tell you that your blog is one of my favorites and has inspired me to learn to sew. Just love your outfit choices. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Heather - welcome to sewing. Just don't curse me when it becomes an obsession!

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  4. That shirt is divine. The outdoor light makes your skin glow to radiant perfection.
    Thanks for sharing so much of yourself and your talents. It is motivating and inspiring to see the creativity.

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    1. Thank you - maybe I should take more photos in that spot, I need all the help I can get these days to "glow"!

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  5. It was definitely worth the fabric - your shirt is so pretty, the fit is amazing (just shows you have to look past the ugly envelopes!) and I love those long cuffs.

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    1. Thanks Gabrielle - I can't think why I gave this ugly pattern a try in the first place but I'm glad I did!

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  6. I love reinventing (seemingly) ugly vintage patterns!! Beautiful shirt!

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    1. Thanks! It didn't take much to reinvent this one - just the less is more motto really...

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  7. Lovely shirt! I think that is one of the prettiest Liberty prints that I have seen. It looks like you'll be getting a lot of great wear of this.

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    1. Yes I'll definitely be wearing it lots to get the cost per wear down - that Liberty fabric is beautiful but so expensive!

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  8. Wow, I love the fabric. Well done on the shirt - I'd never have guessed it came from a 1980's western shirt pattern! I've been itching to get some Liberty and you've inspired me to get serious about hunting some down!

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    1. Thanks Corinne. I'm tempted to get some more Liberty too and make a few more for myself

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  9. Gorgeous shirt. Love that print.

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  10. Love it! The fabric is gorgeous, and I'm sure this will be a part of your wardrobe for a long time, well done!

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    1. Thanks Katie. I think it's pretty timeless so it should be a resident of my wardrobe for a while

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  11. Beautiful shirt! and I looooooooooove the fabric.

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  12. Oh I love this shirt. The fabric is, of course, divine. And the construction is perfection. You look fabulous.

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  13. Very pretty blouse, I like the 3-button cuffs. Amazing your shirt came from that pattern!

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    1. I know! It's like the pattern is the ugly duckling but the shirt is the swan

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  14. Oh I love this shirt and that pattern is the bomb! Can I borrow it? I think you are totally writing off that stylish yoke design. It would look awesome with some nice frilly trim. Have fun sewing today. I wish I could join you, but I've managed to convince my husband to not work ALL weekend. Something he hasn't done for months, so I need to get us out of the house so he doesn't find more constructing or renovating to do.

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    1. You can borrow the pattern only if you promise to wear the frilly cowgirl version to our next Sydney sewist's meet up!

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  15. This looks soooooo pretty on you! What a perfect print for your coloring! I love a tailored long sleeve button up too, but they are kind of a pain to make - lots of boring bits.

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    1. I agree - dresses are quicker and more fun but sometimes we need to do the necessary sewing....

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  16. Wow, you look so good in that colour! That shirt is a perfect fit - I am not surprised that you've traced the pattern out as a go-to. And it's a good reminder to look past pattern envelopes and check out the line drawings!

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    1. Thanks Lara. It's amazing how many current patterns have fugly photos on them too so you definitely have to always look at the line drawings

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  17. That shirt and fabric are just the perfect choice for your shape and colouring. You have done a fantastic job on the shirt. I still can't believe that your wonderful shirt was made from that pattern ;-)

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    1. I knew I had to share the pattern - no one would have believed how ugly it was if I didn't.....

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  18. This is pretty freaking gorgeous! I wish my sewing was good enough to make this with liberty!

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    1. Thanks Amy. I've stuffed up my share of beautiful fabrics in the past, so I'm relieved this turned out well!

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  19. Love that blouse! Who cares about the pattern - it looks like it has just enough blousing without overwhelming you. And that print is fantastic too. Nice!

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  20. Gorgeous shirt, it has a great collar! I have found a few really great 70s/80s shirt patterns recently which are perfect for Liberty, I have been holding off cutting into it, but you are right it is only cotton.

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    1. Thanks Kate. The collar is a little bigger than usual (but not for the 70s I guess!) but I do quite like a statement collar.

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  21. What a beautiful blouse! It's the perfect use for your Liberty. And bravo for using Too Good to Use. Despite my huge stash that I probably couldn't sew up in my lifetime, I get paralyzed over those special pieces.

    I missed your red jacket while I was on vacation but Bravo!!! I love it. I liked the pattern in the magazine and now I want it even more. I am drawn to the tuxedo version for no reason, as I do not have a tuxedo lifestyle. But maybe I could come up with something...

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    1. Thanks - if only there weren't many more Too Good to Use pieces still in the stash.... I don't think I have a tuxedo lifestyle either, maybe I'm an aspirational sewist!

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  22. You couldn't find a great shirt like this retail in Sydney without it costing a bomb.
    The detailing is so pretty too.

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    1. Thanks Maria. I did feel a bit smug seeing the pricey Liberty shirts in Sportscraft and thinking mine is as good (maybe better) than theirs!

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  23. Ok, this is gorgeous on you. I've seen so many fabulous Liberty shirts around and this is definitely one of my faves.

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  24. Amazing blouse and it looks perfect, so glad you made it up and that pattern is priceless.

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  25. That is a beautiful shirt, and the fit is perfect on you! I really like the wide cuffs. Great job in seeing past the images on that old pattern!!

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    1. Thanks Kelly (love your signature name by the way!)

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  26. Yes this blouse is so pretty! The print colors are so flattering to your complexion as Amanda stated.

    Karen

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    1. Thanks Karen. On the weekend I was just talking with my sewing friends about how I pick fabric purely for whether I like it without thinking whether it will suit, so it's pure good luck the colour is flattering!

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  27. Didn't get a chance to comment yesterday before the ASG class. This is fabulous. Very fresh and feminine. Thanks so much for the restraint with the fringing and yoke and tie. Gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks Bev - I did have to try hard to restrain myself from that fringing and contrast yoke

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  28. cute! or maybe beautiful would be better! love it but omgroflol! that pattern you used! oh you're a brave soul! cant evenbegin to believe that horrendous thing turned into that lovely top you have on!

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    1. Thanks Rebecca. I don't even know why I bought such a horrendous pattern in the first place or what made me think of even giving it a chance, but I'm glad I did

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  29. I love the fabric you chose! It's a great shirt to liven up the grey suit. *^v^*

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    1. Thank you. It's definitely the right thing to wear with a grey suit so that I don't fade into the upholstery!

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  30. This is gorgeous! I absolutely love it. Those cuffs, your pairing it with jeans...everything is perfect! I can't believe it came from that pattern. You always have to look beyond the cover!

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    1. Thanks Silvia - I think all of my Burda sewing has trained me to look beyond the photos and crazy styling to see the lines of a pattern instead

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  31. Hey, we're twins!! I have a button-down cuffed shirt in this exact fabric. Except I acquired mine from eBay pre-sewing days (I think it was a Herringbone shirt, from memory). I'm loving your version! So crisp. And yes, sometimes a pattern sleeve leaves a LOT to be desired... I often have to keep in mind that it's the design lines that are important, not the outdated photos! The shirt looks great :)

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    1. Thanks Melanie. I love Herrringbone, so I'm pleased that I subsconsciously copy-catted their design!

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  32. Oh my! This shirt looks so good on you. It suits your complexion and is bright and lovely. I too have a sacred 1.6m piece of this in my stash. I bought it to make a blouse but am yet to come across the "perfect" pattern. I should take your advice and just go for it!!

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    1. Thanks Leith, yes you definitely should go for it. I see you made a Liberty nightie recently - that's pretty swish for nightwear/house wear!

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  33. Your shirt has only added to the beauty of an already beautiful fabric. If you are a floral kinda gal you can't go past Liberty!! Congratulations.

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    1. Funnily enough I'm not usually a floral kind of person, but this fabric was just so pretty

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  34. The pattern illustrations are a bit scary, but at the end of the day a shirt is a shirt. Yours looks so professional and it is great you got to use the lovely Liberty fabric in something you can wear over and over again.

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    1. true, it is a fairly basic shirt that some designer tried to make very, very wrong!

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  35. So beautiful, I love the fabric!

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  36. Your shirt is beautiful :)

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  37. Liberty would have to be my very favourite fabric to sew with, so it is a pleasure to see your beautiful blouse/shirt and to see how well you have sewn it. I particularly like this fabric design and I know you will never tire of this shirt. I keep all my Liberty scraps, no matter how small because for me they are too precious to throw away.

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    1. Yes I'm holding onto the scraps trying really hard to think of the best way to use them!

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  38. I love this bright print - it makes me smile especially with these colours of fall. It looks very not-boring and makes me forget that after all it's just a plain shirt. Looks superb.

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  39. I'm late to comment but this shirt is sooooooo lovely! And it doesn't matter at all how old the pattern is, especially if the pattern pieces are good. I know what you mean about the pictures in public, I'm so thrilled that the area around my home is well landscaped so I don't have to venture out to take pics because I'm uncomfortable too with everyone looking at me!

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  40. Liberty shirts are the new must have! Your cuff is amazing - too perfect to fold away. I must look up the 'J Crew' method myself.

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