cathryn's dress

Another recent trip to my favourite fabric shop rewarded me with this Liberty Cathryn's tana lawn. Incidentally I'll let you into a little secret; the other day they had a small amount of Burberry fabric (two different weights, the real deal) for £7 per metre, I think. And they send by post. Thought you may be interested. But back to the tana which is an absolute dream to sew but because it is so fine, I lined the body of the dress with cotton voile. It made the process a little longer but definitely worth it as I need have no worries about being caught with the sunlight behind me, if you know what I mean!

The pattern is style 'S' from Stylish Dress Vol 2. I already knew the fit was going to be loose because that's pretty much par for the course with most Japanese patterns but then I saw what Karyn had done with hers. It reminded me how much fun I had last year when I first discovered shirring and was keen to do some more. Nevertheless I made the dress up as per the sewing book and tried it on. It looked, and felt, like I was wearing a nightie so as predicted, out came the shirring elastic. I just left the hem till the end because I knew the shirring would make the dress a little 'shorter'.

Like Karyn I shirred four rows between the bust and the waist but, you know, I really should trust my instincts more because I so very nearly stopped after three just to check all was going to plan. For sure enough once it was done and dusted I regretted not stopping sooner. I also felt that I'd started the shirring a little on the high side so I unpicked that first row, neatened it up and retried the dress. The print is busy enough to forgive the unpicking so the lost row doesn't show and I'm glad I did it, it just didn't feel right before.

After what seems a very long time sewing cushions, it feels good to be back in the clothes making saddle and I'm already deciding on what to do next .. only it also occurs to me I've neglected my knitting for long enough and the warmth of Summer is [supposed to be] coming! Decisions, decisions ..

Have a lovely week x


  1. I really must get to that shop one of these days! That fabric is gorgeous and the dress looks great. The last couple of dresses I made (back in France where I got some super fabrics) went in the bin as they were horrible when finished so I have rather lost my nerve with dressmaking. Must give it another go soon as I can never find dresses I like to buy.

  2. It's beautiful. I have never tried shirring but I am tempted to give it a go now. I have also been meaning to go to Fabrics Galore since the beginning of the year. I can't wait to pick up some bargains and start sewing again (too much crochet in our house!) x

  3. Mmm, this is gorgeous fabric-wise and design-wise. I love the shirred waist - it gives the dress a beautiful line!

  4. Such a beautiuful dress, I love the fabric and the style. You are right to line it too - I know what you mean about the sunlight and voile fabrics...! It looks really lovely on you there, the shirred waist is so flattering.
    Helen x

  5. I do love that dress......and the fabric.

    - I've been eyeing the dress up for a while now, but as you say some shift dresses do come up a tad big - previous experience has left me looking rather then making......that and 'can't be botheredness' too.

    It does look lovely though.

    Nina xxx

    ps. the garden is all the previous occupants efforts - I can't even grow wild (scatter) flowers! N xx

  6. You've chosen the perfect fabric for that dress. Yours looks much prettier than the original. Have you tried wearing the dress with a wide belt over the shirring too? I can't remember if Karyn showed the dress that way or if I saw it somewhere else but it looked rather good.

    Enjoy your week too. T x

  7. Your dress is gorgeous. I love the silhouette and the sleeves, great lines. As always, your fabric choice is perfect. I appreciate you tips re lining the garment - I am waiting for our Liberty sale to pick up something similar.
    That Burberry fabric also sounds like a very good deal.

  8. Lovely fabric and the dress, with alterations, looks very nice on you.
    Another success.

  9. It looks great on you Kate!!
    A beautifully made dress and such gorgeous fabric too. :)
    Have a lovely week,
    Vivienne x

  10. So beautiful. I just adore the pattern. Great work.

  11. It's lovely! How very clever of you.

  12. Ooh, the shirring was a great solution! It goes nicely with the elastic at the neck and sleeves, too.

  13. Hello Kate
    thanks for your visit and your sweet words on my blog. The girl and her mother was happy for the sunshine yellow pants.
    Your Liberty dress is beautiful. It suits you well. I hope to one day be allowed to see your whole person.
    How much do you pay per. meters of Liberty fabrics in the shop you mention. Is it cheaper than at The Shaukat?

  14. Hi Kate..your new dress looks so pretty, soft and light, perfect for balmy summer weather!

  15. Hello Kate. You have inspired me to get going on both my dressmaking and knitting again. Just need to find a little time first! Lovely dress x

  16. You are way too clever Kate my girl:-)) LOVE the new dress - perfect for a summer's day ... if we get any.

    Oh - cushion heaven or what - I have just drooled all over my keyboard. Cushion covers are the only thing I can make and you have inspired me to seek out some wonderful fabric and get sewing again.


  17. Oh, it is beautiful! That fabric is lovely. I agree that the shirring makes it! Well done yet again you crafty minx!

  18. I just love this dress (and all your cushions too!)

  19. Oh I wish I can find that kind of gorgeous fabrics here..
    love the final result XD

  20. What a gorgeous dress! That's very interesting about the shirring, it's transformed the dress hasn't it. And it's good to know that the Tana Lawn makes a good dress, I thought it might be too thin, but if lined, it's fabulous. Very inspiring, thank you! Vanessa xxx


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