Menu
Creative life / Inspiration / Tips & Advice / Tips & Tutorials

How To Sew With Liberty Of London Fabrics

Today you bought some Liberty of London cotton voile. Congratulations! You had some sort of brain aneurysm in the fabric store which resulted in you thinking that $50 a meter was perfectly reasonable. Yes i’ll take two thank you.

You’re probably wondering how you should use your prized possession now that you’ve managed to get it safely home without anyone seeing the receipt. You may be wondering how you could ever cut into something so beautiful. Various scenarios flow through your mind in which you destroy said fabric with your poor cutting or terrible sewing pattern choice.

Never fear. We’re always here to help. Follow our steps and everything will be just fine.

How to sew with Liberty of London Fabrics by Megan Nielsen

Step 1// Leave the fabric to acclimatise to your home. This may take time. I’ve found that some Liberty prints need to settle into my home for many years before i feel they are ready to be cut. Also this will give you ample time to freak out about all the ways you may destroy the fabric when you finally decide to cut into it. It will also give you the opportunity to forget you bought it so it can be a delightful surprise in 5 years time. Score.

Step 2// Choose the right project. Something sensible. You better get yourself a Fashionary and sketch lots of ideas. Obviously you don’t want to waste your precious Liberty by using it in a garment that may get ruined easily – so making some culottes for your messy 7 year old who somehow always ends up in a muddy puddle is perfect.

Step 3// Clean up. I don’t mean prewash (though you really should do that too, unless you are insane). I mean wash your home, your dog your family. Basically anything that may come into contact with your fabric. Do it twice. Peanut butter is the enemy. Also the Nutella has to go.

Step 4// Now that you’re ready to cut, go make yourself a cup of tea. This sh*t is about to get real, tea will fortify you.

Step 5// I lied. You will also need chocolate.

Step 6// Before you do anything make sure that you instagram it. It’s a rule. If you don’t instagram it didn’t happen. It’s important that everyone knows that you value beauty and perfectly crafted fibres over your bank balance. Also you’ll need the support.

Step 7// Breath into a paper bag to prevent hyperventillation. Then cut.

How to sew with Liberty of London Fabrics by Megan Nielsen

Protip: You may need to repeat steps 4-7 multiple times.

Step 8// Make sure you keep the tea, chocolate and paper bag handy as you construct your garment. You will need them all again. About half way through you’ll have a panic attack and question your sanity and sewing pattern choice. You may even start questioning the Liberty, thinking, was this print a good idea?! Don’t be ridiculous. Keep going till you’ve made something that resembles something. Step away from the pile of half completed projects. Next step please.

Step 9// DO NOT LET ANYONE WEAR IT UNTIL YOU HAVE BLOGGED OR INSTAGRAMMED IT!!!!! This is very important. Garment sewing has nothing to do with creating a wardrobe you can actually wear, it’s all about blogging and social media YO. Bad photos? Do it again. Doesn’t matter how many people suffer, we’re talking handmade awesomeness here. If you don’t get a good photo of your finished project you might as well die.

Step 10// Make sure you carefully squirrel away all the fabric scraps. You just KNOW that all those postcard size pieces will be useful one day. You’re sure. You’ll make a quilt or something. You’re great at following through with half finished projects!

Step 11// Do not under any circumstances calculate how much the end garment cost. This bears repeating. Do not. 1m fabric @ $50 + elastic @ $2 + matching thread because duh @ $7 + ballpoint needles @ $4 + 5 hours of my time @ $…. = FRICK. I warned you.

Step 11// Instagram again. Just to be safe.

How to sew with Liberty of London Fabrics by Megan Nielsen


Note 1// The above steps also apply to silk, Nani Iro and anything remotely japanese.

Note 2 // any resemblance this story holds to any of my life experiences or anything i may or may not have recently instagrammed is purely coincidental.

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
46 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rachel
6 years ago

How did you know that I have twelve tabs of liberty of London fabrics open on my computer right now?!?!?!?

Valerie
Valerie
6 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

I am laughing at all the comments.I live near London and I am always in the LIBERTY Flagship store.I can’t tell you how much Tana Lawn I have but I’m working my way through it !
I have even started making dresses for my granddaughters in Tana Lawn.Now they are after pyjama / house trousers for xmas. They can always make them into shorts when they grow.
Just USE your fabric.It feels beautiful next to the skin. Happy sewing to you all

Hélène
Hélène
6 years ago

Hahahaha! This is all so true! I’ve got two great pieces of Liberty bought in their flagship store in London in 2013. I pet them almost everyday!

shereen
shereen
6 years ago
Reply to  Meg

I have one from my mother in law bought at the flagship store as well, I can’t bear to cut into it, and it isn’t even a print I would have bought for myself, I feel you! But the thought of chocolate that near the precious makes me a bit queasy…..

Marie
6 years ago

Haha this is so true!
My fabric is not even that expensive but it’s for my wedding gown and I am totally postponing cutting until the very last minute. Which is some time now…

lisa g
6 years ago

So. Much. Truth. I’ve only ever had one piece of Liberty, and it took me a year to cut into it!

Charlotte
6 years ago

Haha brilliant post! I’m looking forward to seeing the end result

Alex
6 years ago

Brilliant post, but I genuinely don’t get what the fuss is with Liberty fabric. I do get your stress about cutting into any kind of expensive fabric though. That’s why I stick to cheap, reclaimed or non dress-making fabric.

andrea
andrea
6 years ago

Don’t forget to sharpen your scissors!

green231
6 years ago

Absolutely hilarious!!!! And only sewists will understand.

Eena
Eena
6 years ago

Hahaha! That is pretty funny. I’ll tell you what’s even funnier – my kitchen curtains are Liberty lawn. I live near the mill which does most of Liberty’s printing and can get great bargains there.

Eena
Eena
6 years ago
Reply to  Meg

Not a huge temptation really, when I can buy it any time I like at around £8/m. Are you feeling jealous? lol!
The latest designs aren’t for sale; they’re securely locked away for a couple of seasons at least – but I prefer the classics anyway. What they have for sale depends on what’s been printed recently, and any errors, over-production or failed orders. The company also prints other very high-end fabrics, though, so there’s always something to be tempted by when I visit.

Justine
6 years ago

Love this post – saved for future reference ?

Linda
Linda
6 years ago

I read tHis earlier in the day but loved it so much, I had to come back and comment! The one and only time I have used Liberty was a shirt for my beloved Mum- that made it easier, as it wasn’t for me!

Beckyjopdx
6 years ago

OMG yes! This is how I end up with this stuff in my online carts and close the tab before I can hit “Buy!” I’m too chickensh**!

Pilar
6 years ago

Hi Megan! You couldn’t have put it better! I had a metre of Liberty jersey in my stash for about a year and a half and one day I just decided to chance it and make one of your Erin maternity skirts and the result was just glorious! I’m glad I waited until I felt the need to use it. No it is my favourite maternity garment!
I still have another metre of Liberty silk and some Nani Iro double gauze awaiting for a project, hopefully I will find the right ones some day!
So what did you make out of that gorgeous fabric?
Thanks for such a wonderful post!

Bianca
6 years ago

Hahaha Yes to all of this! Great post – I can totally relate!! :)

tinygoldenpins
tinygoldenpins
6 years ago

So funny and so very true. If I ever get around to making my Liberty of London quilt, I have enough wadders for two or three. Yep. I’ve made a mess out of clothes sewing with Liberty….today I’m going to make a muslin for a dress I want to make out of Liberty…..silk. I CAN NOT MESS THIS ONE UP!

Heather Gibson
6 years ago

I love this post- and so aptly timed as I am in London at the moment!

Helenanne Judisch
Helenanne Judisch
6 years ago

Did you have a hidden camera pointed at my cutting table when I was cutting the piece of West African Batik fabric that miraculously found it’s way to my stash? Though the purchase price per yard/meter is not the same, once you factor in passport, visa, shots at travel clinic, round trip airfare… lets just say the Liberty can look like a bargain fabric.

Cinderellis
6 years ago

YES. To all of it. Especially to the Liberty Silk sitting in my stash (don’t worry, I didn’t get it full price. £45/m? Even I care about my bank balance too much to pay that. I have a dealer who gets me the good stuff for £12.50/m)

Alli
6 years ago

pwahahaha! This is hilarious! :D

Melissa
Melissa
6 years ago

Ha ha ha – spot on! I have two yards in the closet that is still acclimatizing to the home. I go in and check on it every couple weeks. And will be instagramming the hell out of it when I finally get the guts to cut it :)

Nathalie
6 years ago

haha! This is so funny but I can’t really relate to it, oeps! I never bought liberty and I made my only silk dress under a lot of time pressure.

Helen
6 years ago

Hilarious and so, so true. This is basically me right now with a silk shirt I want to refashion. And yep, I’ve already instagrammed the fabric. :)

Valerie
Valerie
6 years ago

I should have put my reply at the bottom.Not at the top.I’m bleary eyed from staying up too late to sew !

Angela
Angela
6 years ago

Wonderful post! I’m lucky enough to get surprise Liberty parcels in the post courtesy of a very sweet husband. I got over the fear ages ago and wear something Liberty almost every day.

SophieBernina
SophieBernina
6 years ago

Love your post! Earlier this week I took the plunge and sewed a top using some of my liberty stash – the first time I have used any of it.
Your post has made me smile and giggle – such a good start to the day.
Thank you!

labistrake
6 years ago

Excellent ! And so true !! My advice : practice, practice and practice again ;-)

gingermakes
6 years ago

Oh my, I’m laughing so much over here! I have a meter of Liberty lawn that’s been aging in my stash since 2011… not sure if I’ll ever get the courage to cut into it! It nearly gave me a stroke to use Liberty silk twill, a cherished gift from another blogger, in my bomber jacket, but in the end I’m glad I did. But I bought the meter of lawn in the London store and it’s so sentimental that I’m terrified to use it!

joeneferdesigns
6 years ago

Not sure I should admit this but I have some Liberty Lawn waiting to be cut up that was originally a skirt with a shirred waistband. It was one of those ones that was a type of kit. You had to sew together the only seam and then hem it. I wore it all through the 1980s and I still can’t bring myself to cut it to make a quilt.

KatieGariepy
6 years ago

This is ALL too true. I have liberty fabrics sitting in a bin right now because I am terrified to cut them up. And usually I just make small projects because I’m too scared to commit to something huge! This really applies to any fabric that I spent a lot on and don’t have a lot of. More power to you, would love to see what you created.

http://blog.katiegariepy.com

Helene
6 years ago

This is hilarious! I pissed myself laughing! And so spot-on true! Which is what makes it so funny. I may or may not also have been there, and if you looked in my fabric wardrobe (notice I didn’t say “box”, it’s wa-a-a-a-ay past that!) you may or may not see veritable stacks of Liberty, carefully segregated from all other things fabric, and you’d notice that they’re not quite ready to come out to play just yet. Possibly one more summer needs to pass before they’re fully acclimatized to my house. Love you, H

Kathryn
Kathryn
3 years ago

I laughed out loud. Great post!

Hannah Bnana
Hannah Bnana
3 years ago

This is the funniest post! I just picked up 2m of liberty for $4 at the op shop and I’m still scared to cut it!

Mrs Anne Daniel
Mrs Anne Daniel
1 year ago

Me to a T :)