Thursday, 28 July 2011

Liberty Time in London

Yesterday afternoon I managed to bag myself a spot of half-day holiday time and got to meet up with the delightful Elizabeth from SEWN.

Elizabeth is over from New York in the UK for a holiday, and she suggested a meet-up of sewers at Liberty's of London.

We met up at 2pm outside the ornate entrance (a beautiful display of flowers outside by their in-house florists greeted us). In all on the shopping expedition we had Elizabeth, myself, Catherine (sorry I don't have a link for your blog yet Catherine!), Helen and Eugenia

We spent a fun time inside the hallowed halls eyeballing the softest Tana Lawn cottons - and surprised by the costly, yet prettily packaged tiny packets of ribbons and trims (treats for the magpie-like shoppers no doubt). £19.95 for a felt needle book - "Thanks but no thanks" from me! They had the cutest looking little plastic jars of buttons in colour-groups, but for £6.50 a jar I'd end up never using them, so back on the table they stayed.

But, what I did spot was the remnants display! Now, usually the Tana Lawn retails for £21.00 GBP per metre (approx. $34 USD), but in this display they sold 1 metre length pieces for £11.95 each (approx. $19.50), so a 43% saving (yay!). Catherine helped me to measure the width of the piece that caught my eye (we realised the display tables of books, and trinkets all have the old-fashioned metal rulers inlaid into their front edges - v. helpful LOL!) and at 150cm/59" I realised it would be big enough for a simple shell top (Sorbetto?), and maybe I'd think of added a short cap sleeve to it too :)

03 - Liberty Tana Lawn, Cotton Fabric (Shoes Print)
Shoe Print - Tana Lawn Cotton fabric by Liberty's

Note: if you buy remnants you get the plastic carrier bag - so if you covet one of Liberty's posh thick paper carrier, and having your beautiful purchase wrapped and folded delicately in tissue with fancy stickers, you best of paying the extra for the full-price stuff (hehe!). Needless to say I got the plastic bag LOL!

Next, we headed of slightly westwards to hit Berwick Street. Where our first stop was No. 47 'The Cloth House'. (Check out the videos of the store on their website: Here I grabbed 30cm of a red cotton/lycra poplin fabric for £2.61 (cheaper than buying a whole metre for £8.95 GBP/$14.60 USD!). The shaed of red is like a slightly softer, more muted tomato red and it perfectly matches the red of on my Liberty shoes print! The red will be the Peter Pan collar methinks!

04 - Liberty Fabric and Matching Red Cotton-Lycra from The Cloth House

We also stopped to rummage around and touch 'n' play the fabrics at Borovicks, and The Berwick Street Cloth Shop - there were lots of very soft faux-furs around, and some crazy ruffles sewn onto yards of fabric fab. Plus a very sparkly, very colourful faux-jewelled number in the window which would've done Dame Shirley Bassey very proud (sorry I forgot to take a pic) ! We also quickly nipped into the haberdashers Kleins, were I picked up 1 metre of some beigey-skintone elastic for 90p.

With tired feet we sloped off to The Kings Arms pub on Poland Street, and we commandeered the whole of the 1st floor to ourselves (we were the only ladies in there, it being according to Google a pub popular with "*bears". Here we were joined by Karen and Melissa. After a few drinks and a lovely long time to chat, with much laughter and smiles all around we had to break up our merry band - parting is such sweet sorrow indeed! Ladies it was fab to meet you all, I wish these kind of meet-ups were every week (or even month!).

I shall leave you with a sneek peek of my newest creation that I wore yesterday - hot off my sewing table... (more pics and a dedicated post on the weekend).

Sorbetto Top - Back, 02

*If you don't know - don't ask me what this means (!) Okay you twisted my arm... bears are grown-up men, they often sport beards 'n' tash's (and I'm given to understand a goodly covering of fuzzy-fur about the rest of their person's) and let's just say that when these bears go out to "play in the woods today" - they don't invite the little girls to join them for toys 'n' games (it being a boy-bear-only kinda thing if you get my drift).


  1. Sigh. I have always wanted to go to Liberty of London! I need a UK vacation!

  2. Hi Claire. It was such a fun meet up! I loved your gorgeous top - the back design was brilliant and your binding was superb. I am so looking forward to seeing your lovely new fabrics made up. Keep in touch xxx

  3. I'm really jealous of the beautiful reunion and the time spent in the fun! Your country is a range of possibilities for sewing, Wow! Love your garment!

  4. I love L of L fabric. I'm always buying it up off eBay whenever something strikes my fancy. And I love Love LOVE your shoe print!


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