This is the second Traveler Dress I have made. The Lisette pattern (Leisl Gibson‘s grown-up line) is so well written and easy to follow that I was confident enough to use Liberty Tana Lawn. Just like with her Oliver and S patterns, Leisl adds lots of tips and tricks to help you make a really polished garment. I was nervous about making something with a collar, but I went slowly and carefully read the directions and ta-da!
I am already thinking about making a chambray version!
Before she left for camp, my daughter suggested that her Bunny needed a new summer dress, and that Bunny would probably like this Liberty print–Hot Pink Wiltshire (gorgeous!).I guess Bunny and Betty have excellent taste in fabric. For the dress, I made a paper pattern from Bunny’s existing dress. I machine stitched the side seams and serged the edges, then hand sewed the hem, neck and armholes using a blanket stitch. A perfect fit!
Piglet is her other sleeping pal, so I thought he deserved something, too. This little backpack was really fun to make. I had a rough idea of how to make it, but made it up as I went along. I am seriously spatially challenged (never ask me for directions) so sewing the flap, straps and lining to the exterior in the correct orientation took a few tries–but it’s good to exercise my brain, right? I wish I had placed the straps closer together at the top for a better fit, but otherwise it’s pretty awesome. I got completely carried away and put some salt water taffy and a welcome home note in the backpack for Betty to find on her return from camp. Aww!
Besides needing a distraction from missing my kiddo, I am also procrastinating a little. I bought three yards (!) of Liberty (Betsy Blue) to make a Lisette Traveler Dress. I made one version of the dress last year, so I know the pattern is not beyond my skill level, but I need to work up the courage to cut into this lovely fabric. I got some delightful encouragement from Florence at Flossie Teacakes, who very kindly replied to my question about prewashing fabric for dressmaking. Florence is a seamstress extrordinaire, a charming writer, and a Liberty expert so it was a real treat to correspond with her. The answer, by the way, is an emphatic yes.
Sometimes I wonder about saving odds and ends–will I ever use the strips of batting left over from a quilt? As a former New Yorker I am vigilant about clutter, if I don’t wear something for a full year out it goes. But having a stash of odds and ends is great when you want to make something right away and without a lot of thinking. Some of the best meals are made from what you have on hand–and projects made from leftovers can have that same sort of creativity from necessity. These coasters were made entirely from things left over–Essex linen from a skirt and a hat, Liberty Tana Lawn from the same hat, and those strips of batting. They were also really easy to make–a very basic log cabin on the front, a 4.5 inch square of red Essex on the back, and a 4.5 inch square of batting stitched in between. I consulted Denyse Schmidt’s Quilts for the basic technique, and about an hour later I had some pretty coasters ready for ice cold summer drinks.