a NY-Lon FO: 1930s sundress in liberty

confession:  most of my NY-Lon fabric haul is already cut out and in various stages of assembly.


but this is my first finished, worn and photographed make out of the haul.  the fabric is liberty of london Lanthe which i scored at our (second) trip to Shaukat, an amazing little spot in the old brompton road that specializes in liberty remnants.  they actually have more fabric in stock than liberty, in more colorways and content types, and i fearlessly splurged on varieties in silk/wool, silk/cotton, and the classic tana lawn.  in fact, while we’re talking about our trip to shaukat and the subject of aggressive persuasion, i sweet-talked vicki into snagging some of this print as well – she went for a classic colorway in multiple shades of blue.


also true:  vicki went straight to a bolt of wool/silk and looked at me and said, “this is so you.”  and then i held up my cut pile to reveal the yardage (meterage?) i had already set aside for purchase.

i felt that the art deco and vintage feel of this print demanded an appropriately period garment and i went straight to the 1930s part of my pattern stash.

only, i really don’t enjoy that style of waistline.  it’s difficult to sew (for me) and i don’t find it particularly flattering.  for me, the appeal was about the great skirt detail, the low back with straps, and the collar.  to me those all screamed 1930s but in a way that could still be modern and fun.


so i paired it up with simplicity 1755, a raglan number from the leanne marshall pattern collaboration.  it’s been a winner for me in the past and i felt confident that i could blend the more modern bodice front with all of the elements that attracted me to the vintage piece.  i especially love the gathers along the shoulder line instead of a dart – i thought a dart would too obviously deviate from the vintage feel.


only don’t ask me how many times i pleated and re-pleated the fashion fabric, lining fabric, collar fabric and straps in a quest to get a neat, clean all-in-one finish.  i swear part of my brain has deserted me.


i am extremely satisfied with the curve of the back bodice and the way the straps lay across my back.  there was some tweaking there but in the end a good result.


my collar leaves a bit to be desired but mostly in the realm of “only another sewist would ever know”.


best of all, it looks perfect with my papercut copelia.  my office life demands top layers and i don’t enjoy sitting in a blazer all day.  instant answer.








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38 Responses to a NY-Lon FO: 1930s sundress in liberty

  1. LLADYBIRD says:

    Ummm I love everything about this – especially those SHOES! Are those cats?? Dear god, I want.

  2. Wow, great print mixing! Love your tights/belt combo too 🙂

  3. Carolyn says:

    What a great dress! I love it with the cardigan…and the matching of fabrics are so you!

    • puu says:

      thank you! i know that you are a woman who appreciates the importance of the right cardi over a garment for that office life…

  4. that is so cute! i love that you took classic liberty print and made something of the period but also modern at the same time!

  5. Clio says:

    Awesome job with the polka dots and purple! And big yes to this style on you!

    Aggressive encouragement – Rachel has traced off her pattern for me, so there’s no going back now…. 🙂

  6. Fooniks says:

    This is absolutely delightful and the print is simply awesome. And those shoes! I think you have set the bar for me for how awesome shoes should be. Basically you ruined simple shoes for me. Sigh

  7. Lisette says:

    It looks amazing. You were made for the 30s! I want to steal those tights, they are so cute.

    • puu says:

      30s are definitely one of my favorite eras – great mixture of detail and simplicity; feminine but not girly; slim and elongating. and i think it is one of the few eras that has not been re-interpreted (i.e., 70s has a lot of 40s influence, etc) so it is ripe for playing!

  8. David says:

    The dress is really gorgeous and you wear it beautifully

  9. Jessicathecat says:

    Very very cute. I love to read your blog; in another life, I will have the situation to wear things like you do!!!

  10. Pips says:

    Your dress looks amazing! You’ve done a fabulous job!

  11. Flippin’ fantastic! Kitten shoes! Dots! Purple!

  12. CarmencitaB says:

    I love love love this and I think I have something for you, more enabling, if you would care to write me… where can I find your e-mail? Love, C

  13. Heather Lou says:

    LOOOVVEEEE THIS! SO gorgeouas – the mix of patterns is spot on (literally, haha)

  14. foamofdays says:

    Love the dress! The liberty fabric, the combination of it with polka dot, the vintage-modern pattern – everything is a win! And it suits you so well!

  15. gingermakes says:

    What a great print! This is so you!!!

  16. So you and so inpiring…. The details everything. By changing the waistband you really made it modern.

  17. poppykettle says:

    Oh Liberty, always so easy on the eye! I seriously love Shaukat, they’re online store is pretty good, but I hadn’t realised they had a bricks and mortar version! loving the lines at the back, and that you’ve omitted the raglan sleeves. You look great!

  18. LOVE IT! such a great choice for this fabric.

  19. oonaballoona says:

    that l’il hemline is the freakin cutest. and you were totally right on the wrap choice!

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