Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane



Years and years ago when I was rich and didn’t have a mortgage or dependants I spent my money on nice things.

 One of the nice things that has survived the years is this Liberty scarf. I say scarf but really it’s big enough for a shawl, made of the finest pure wool and with a traditional and classic Liberty print. This scarf must be at least 30 years old. The pattern is ‘Hera’, the now iconic peacock feather pattern, designed in 1887 by Arthur Silver.  100% Varuna Wool, fringed all around the edge and measures a whopping  52″/132cms square.

While I have always loved it, wearing shawls is not really practical when you’re making dinner or ironing – the dangly bits always get in the way – so it has languished at the back of a special drawer I have for just such items – loved but not used. I’ve often brought it out, looked at it and thought I could make something to wear  – I mean there’s over a metre  – but could never bring myself to cut into it.

Once again, my gratitude goes out to Rhonda. Her endless ideas have inspired me many times and thanks to her, this beautiful scarf has a new found freedom – my Liberty has been liberated!

Rhonda showcased a design of hers on Fabulous Free Pattern Friday (on a Tuesday!) for a little jacket/cover-up made from a lovely embroidered tablecloth. (Link above). Quite simply – fold in two, cut an opening in the centre front, bind the edges and sew a row of stitches on either side. Wear. Genius.

The Liberty shawl was pulled from the special drawer and while I wept, I CUT up the centre to form an opening.

This was bound with a bias strip of sand coloured brushed cotton. Because my shawl was much bigger than Rhonda’s tablecloth, I sewed not only along the sides but along the arms too, in a L-shape.

The pattern runs one way, effectively creating a nap, so unfortunately the feathers are pointing downwards on the back. There’s a fringed edge to the shawl that I wanted to keep, and this was the only way of keeping the fringe.

My usual photographer (teenage son) was off galavanting somewhere so I took this one myself in his bedroom mirror. Apologies for the poor quality, the dangling wires, Lego, Halo poster and other crap on the walls – and the big blinding flash in the middle.

Hopefully you can get an idea of the end result. Wide sleeves, belted with the half ties and most importantly worn!

Isadora Duncan

This has now revitalised other items in my wardrobe – the colours in the loose jacket go with many things – black, brown, cream and ivory, tan. Lovely with wide legged trousers.

It’s quite a 1920s feel – Isadora Duncanesce and ladies who wore trousers and lounged around on chaise longs sipping from a cocktail glass; that sort of image is conjured up for me.

Thanks Rhonda.


15 thoughts on “Liberty

  1. What a great way to use a treasured scarf. It looks fantastic as a jacket!

  2. It is beautiful. An new way to enjoy an old love!

  3. Ruth, you are so kind, actually, your post is a gift today. Thank you, thank you. I really like that the feathers are going down in the back. I think it makes the pattern quite interesting. The added tie is a great idea as well. Enjoy your "new" treasure!

  4. Wow, more than 30 years old scarf!! It's still incredibly beautiful and reborn very nicely. Good job!

  5. Lovely transformation, Ruth and a wonderful way to become reacquainted with a treasured piece. Very smart!

  6. All thanks to you and your great ideas.

  7. Welcome back to the virtual world

  8. Your transformations are much more adventurous than this

  9. I've worn it constantly

  10. It's great for curling up on the sofa for some TV

  11. You are very brave and the results are incredibly beautiful, Ruth! Wear your shawl well in its new incarnation.

  12. It was a scary moment when the scissors went in, no turning back.

  13. Thank you, Sewingelle

  14. oh these colors are so lovely on you! I think i need more Isadora lounge wear!

Let's talk.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s