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October 2018



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Make do and mend

Liberty and Sewing

Yesterday, Cornflower posted about a visit she made to Liberty in Regent Street. She commented that there was surprisingly little fabric for sale. What a shame! In my youth I made so many dresses from Liberty fabric. Amazingly, I still have two of them (I think the rest must have gone for patchwork). This is Liberty Tana Lawn from the late 1960s:


Here is a later fabric, early 1970s, in a crisp cotton.


Perhaps I hung on to these because of the amount of work in them. Just look at those self-covered buttons and the bias-cut bound button loops! I can hardly believe that when I was working full time and had a very busy social life, I would still spend a weekend making a dress like that one.

I’m sure that in the sixties there was a small outpost of Liberty in Croydon but I’ve scoured the net and can’t find any mention of it. I think it was in Katharine Street. If anyone else remembers it, do tell!


There was still a good choice of fabric the last time I went to Liberty; but that was about 20 years ago! My erstwhile best friend worked downstairs, and a mutual friend ran the sewing school.
It's years since I went, too. It gets a mention in Jerusalem the Golden, when Clara has an assignation there.
I have a 1974 guide to London, but unfortunately Greater London only gets a few pages and Croydon is not mentioned at all.

(Liberty's in Regent Street is, though, several times. The author is a fan!)
Thank you for looking!
Liberty's has always been a fascinating shop but as I just said, I haven't been there for years. I read a history of it once, very interesting.
I'd love to read a history of the shop!
Re. outposts, we even had one here in Edinburgh for a time, and I'm sorry that it closed (there was plenty of fabric, and the gorgeous notebooks which I didn't see in the London shop last week).
I think the book was Liberty's: a Biography of a Shop by Alison Adburgham.

What a pity you lost your shop. I suppose it wasn't making enough money.
How beautiful! I would have kept them, too.
Thank you! Luckily, they don't take up much storage space.
I love visiting Liberty, it's one of my favourite stores (and #1 son's). Love the dresses. I would have kept them as well :)
I haven't been there for years.

Strange, the things Ihang on to!
Those are beautiful fabrics. I think Liberty still sells a Tana Lawn similar to the first one, but not like the second.
They're so vintage!
Yes, you'd still see Liberty lavender bags etc. made of a similar fabric to the first one but the second is highly original, don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it.