Finished: Liberty Wiksten Tova

The thought of sewing with a precious fabric like Liberty can be a daunting one, and it feels important to try and select just the right pattern to use. This is the third time I've made this pattern (Wiksten Tova - buying the pdf direct from the Wiksten site is the cheapest way) so it felt like a safe bet in terms of fit and finished item. This time around I went for the tunic length rather than the top length.
 (Unintentional catalogue pose)

I bought this fabric a couple of years ago, without a plan, and only recently decided how I'd like to use it. You may remember that I used a bit of it on my Liberty At Last Dress. I can't remember how much yardage I had but it was way less than the recommended amount for the tunic length. I did some rule-breaking pattern piece placement, putting the front piece on the fabric edge instead of a fold, meaning that there is a seam up the font, below the bib piece.

I cut this pattern out some weeks before I sewed it up and when putting it together I couldn't remember having made the decision to have a seam at the front instead of up the back, which would be more normal. I can only think that I must have thought that the seam would be lost in the gathers below the bib, which it is, so all is well.

Due to the busy fabric print, I wanted to make the features of the top stand out so I opted to use red piping around the bib and cuffs. I intended to use flat piping without a cord but I found the piping without a cord much harder to manipulate around the corners of the bib so decided to put the cord in instead. Even with the addition of the piping to the bib seam, I think this is the best job I've made of sewing this area together in the three tops I've made.
I added as much length to the pattern as my fabric allowed, as my plan was to wear it as a dress with leggings. I'm undecided as to whether it would be more useful with some length lopped off so that I could wear it with jeans. I only wear leggings in the warm weather so I suspect that I'd get more wear out of it as a top.
I thought I'd prefer it with a belt as I usually prefer a belted silhouette but actually I don't think it's very flattering and looks like a sack of potatoes with a rope tied around it since the tunic isn't super-shaped like a dress. But unbelted it feels a bit like wearing a nightie. What do you think?

With the bottom folded up to the same length as previous top version:
I'm still not sure what I make of the length and might see how much it gets worn this way and maybe cut a bit off later on. We shall see.

It was a nice experience sewing with Liberty though, it feels lovely and is soft but presses crisply. This style was also good for Tana lawn weight, which this fabric is. I'd like to make a Liberty dress but think it would probably need to be lined, which is a bit of a pain.

What's your experience of sewing with Liberty?

K x

21 comments:

  1. Oh I *love* sewing with Liberty tana lawn. It's so lovely to work with.

    This is really pretty. I have to say, as much as I like the tunic length, I think I prefer it shorter. The piping looks great and very neat. X

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    1. Thanks Helen, the piping is fairly neat apart from the joins on the sleeve bits (but no one will notice those!)

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  2. I think it looks lovely but I prefer the shorter length picture.

    I have 2m of some Tana Lawn that my colleagues gifted me when I left the UK but I'm not sure what to male with it. Maybe something like a Laurel from Colette?

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    1. What a nice gift! I think it would be a bit thin for a Laurel unless you underlined it or wanted a lighter style

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  3. It looks great, but I do prefer the shorter option

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  4. The piping makes this. I rather like the tunic length.

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    1. Cheers Louise, the piping is a good way to add focus as it's a busy print

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  5. It's too lovely not to be in heavy rotation! Go with whichever length will mean it's either in the wash or being worn!

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    1. Thank you! It's really nice to wear.

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  6. I love the print and your piping is very impressive (I haven't tried piping yet). I have this exact same dilemma with my Coco dress. I wear the shorter versions all the time with jeans (because let's face it, most of the year it's cooler in the UK) and the dress version only comes out once in a blue moon. It's too short to wear modestly without leggings....I think I'm going to shorten mine. Your longer version reminds me of one of those Japanese pattern book dresses. Maybe you could keep it long for the summer then shorten it at the end of the season?!

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    1. You must try piping, Philippa! It's not difficult and it adds a really nice finish to a project

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  7. I've used Tana lawn for a couple of dresses and did find that it was better to line them - it's just so thin and soft, plus the two fabrics I used were on pale backgrounds.
    I really like the piping detail on your top.

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  8. I like it unbelted and either tunic or dress length. With a belt looks a bit Becky Homecky :)
    Your piping is fabulous

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    1. Ha ha, yeah it's not the best look :) I'm definitely chuffed with the piping though, cheers

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  9. I've used Liberty prints quite a bit (note bargain finds). To make a dress though I really recommend interning with cotton silk - it really gives the fabric just the right amount of body. The only problem is it's hard to get hold of it at a decent price.

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    1. Thanks, will keep my eye open for some, sounds like a nice practical but a wee bit luxurious way of lining

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  10. Ooh excellent piping skills, especially round that yoke. I'd wear it shorter, mostly because you can wear it all year round with jeans or a skirt but it's lovely as a tunic too. Oh and I only line liberty for structure as it's never too sheer and generally busy enough to disguise it ;-)

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    1. Thanks Amy. Yep, it looks like the consensus is cut it shorter! That's true that it's probably not too sheer although I think if I was making a dress I'd want to make sure it wasn't too light so I could wear it more than just in the summer (or what passes for our summer!)

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  11. My third ever garment (I've made 3.5 now lol) was a loose top in Liberty and it's turned out really frustrating. Basically I chose the wrong pattern so I am sulking that I didn't do that gorgeous fabric justice. It was lovely to work with though and I'll definitely get more, just make a better pattern choice as I develop my sewing knowledge. Yours is a lovely tunic, I much prefer that shorter length.

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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say