Liberty Heidi Update

by Erin on March 22, 2010

Liberty Heidi

So I just could not let go of the Liberty Heidi idea, so I grabbed a couple of hours late Friday night and early Saturday and threw this together.

This is not one of my favorite Liberty prints — I thought it was called "Bourton," but googling "Liberty Bourton" showed me something different, so who knows which one this is. It was, however, a perfect choice for a muslin, being 1) exactly the right weight, 2) something I would wear if the experiment worked, yet 3) not something I would be very sad to lose if I ended up throwing it away. I'm pretty sure I bought this on eBay from someone who was de-stashing, so it was also cheap.

I ended up adding about 4.5 inches to the center pieces of the front skirt and to the back — they're both cut on the fold, so it wasn't hard.

I ended up not lining it at all — I finished the bodice with bias binding cut from the same fabric, using the Dread Pirate Rodgers' excellent instructions. (The only difficulty was that the Liberty lawn is very slippery, so it's hard to mark with a pencil — the pencil drags the fabric along. I ended up using chalk, which tends to brush off. Suboptimal, all around.)

Liberty Heidi

I'm not sure why I'm showing you the side view, as this is such a busy print you probably can't even see the waist seam!

Liberty Heidi

Somehow I managed to get the gathers off-center on the back; I'll wear it once and decide whether I like the way the dress works with the gathers before I rip it out and re-do it:

Liberty Heidi

Problems: aside from getting the gathers off-center in the back, I also didn't gather the entire center front piece of the skirt — I only gathered between the pleat markings. I think it would look better with the entire section gathered.

I'm going to try to wear this dress this week, weather permitting (ah, who am I kidding, I live in California now, it's the most permissive weather on the planet), and we'll see how it works. If it works, this is going to be great — it takes SO LITTLE fabric, comparatively, that it opens up a lot of Liberty and novelty-print possibilities …

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

MrsPost March 22, 2010 at 7:52 am

I can see where the gathers are a possible change point in this version. Theoretically it makes sense to gather those sections but on the dress (and especially on you) they might look .. odd.As always another triumph of cute dress!

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Allison March 22, 2010 at 8:15 am

Im starting to be terribly curious how many dresses you have … you either have a very large wardrobe or you get rid of dresses as often as you sew new ones!

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the_lazymilliner March 22, 2010 at 8:48 am

Can I just say a Liberty fabric dress competition would just be so much fun? Not necessarily administered on DaD, but somewhere in the online world.

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Steph March 22, 2010 at 8:56 am

Youre a never-ending well of inspiration. I love that Heidi is the new Duro.

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Anonymous March 22, 2010 at 9:09 am

This is a nice Liberty print, so I hope you love the changes. I am about to make my first Heidi. Have you always lined the skirts in the past, or just the bodices? Do you think the skirt needs it, if its a quilting type cotton? I look to you as the queen of Heidis.Mary Fran

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Thoughts on Life and Millinery. March 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I just keep seeing three buttons sewn in a row down the middle of the bodice top…

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evalyn March 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Thoughts on Life: I too need something on the front that would bring some order to that chaotic print. I guess I dont like the print much, but I think a row of buttons or some contrasting piping would help by coordinating it a bit.

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lsaspacey March 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Im trying to track down the name of a particular Liberty print, do you know of any resources where I can search their fabric archives? I still have a picture of the dress I made from the fabric and I can give the date as 1989-91. Thanks!

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Sara March 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Cute! I was at Target this morning and saw the Liberty line. Nice, but too much pink for me! Still, I love that I can go to Target and see it.

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Anne Frances March 22, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Could this Heidi dress print be Mark? Liberty do maintain an archive of their prints in London. Maybe Isaspacey could email their customer services (address on their website) with a scan of the fabric you want to identify and ask that it be forwarded to the archivist?The dresses are lovely but I dont think the pegged skirt shape would quite do it for meAnne Frances

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Shanna March 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I have to admit…..i LOVE Heidi…I have to dig through my patterns and see what i can do a jillion times and make it look new everytime!!!

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wundermary March 22, 2010 at 10:15 pm

I really like this print and it looks like you got your waist seam matched nicely at the zipper. It looks great!

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CJ March 23, 2010 at 12:12 am

I love this pattern and it looks super easy and quick to sew and really like a practical dress. Id wear a 48-50-52 in the burda style pattern and it only goes up to a 46. Ive never really tried to grade up a pattern. Does anyone know how difficult this would be to alter? Could I just add an inch or 2 at the side seams? Any suggestions for a similar pattern in a plus size?

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Nathalie March 23, 2010 at 7:47 am

Actually I think that is Bourton fabric. If you go onto Libertys website they have it there. It has all the same paisleyish squiggles and the little flowers within, but in different colourways to your Heidis.

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Cordelia March 23, 2010 at 9:49 am

Erin said its hard to mark with a pencil — the pencil drags the fabric along. I ended up using chalk, which tends to brush off.On some tricky or fluffy fabrics, using a slice of soap to mark the lines works wonders! Dark soap for light fabrics and vice-versa. Disappears after washing as well.

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Beatrice and Nadia March 23, 2010 at 10:24 am

What a great change to the Heidi. I read your earlier post and couldnt picture in my head what you wanted to do with it. But I see it now and I think it works very well. The print is perfect for a simple dress like this!

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Lisa Simeone March 23, 2010 at 11:43 am

Oh, is there any pattern as joyous as paisley?!

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Im thinking a deep inverted pleat would look better than the gathers? Less ploofy and bunched up?

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Anonymous March 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Im thinking a deep inverted pleat would look better than the gathers? Less ploofy and bunched up?

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Steph March 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Oh, I get so excited every time you post a new Heidi–I just ordered two fabrics for my own Heidis and am planning on starting them as soon as I finish a current project. Actually, Ill be making three: one in the same mulberry orchid Joel Dewberry fabric you made your second one in (because I became obsessed with the fabric once I saw it!)one in Amy Butler Lotus collection Morning Glory (linen color)and one in a vintage Lilly Pulitzer print that my grandmother purchased in Hawaii decades ago–its a dark navy background with brown and black batik-like fireflies all over it.

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jen March 28, 2010 at 10:31 am

i looooooooooove paisley! i have a paisley dress very similar to the pattern shown here from artfulwears. im not so handy, so i still have to buy things. lol

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Chantelle March 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Im starting to like the Heidi more and more – it looks so easy to wear and comfortable and pretty straightforward to sew up.Im with some other posters that Id want to add some detail that grounds the pattern – Im leaning towards edge piping, myself, along the neck and sleeve. I think this fabric is Bourton but in a different colourway than is currently available. I like the paisley-made-of-roses component of this pattern.

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Anonymous March 29, 2010 at 11:51 am

Just plain love the pattern and the fabric. It inspired me to get the pattern for myself.Maureen

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edwang March 31, 2010 at 4:18 am

I have enjoyed you information

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Eirlys April 1, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Oh, I rather like that, fabric and all! Though, granted, Liberty paisleys are possibly targeted more at the taupe-tights-wearing, Miss-Marple/Midsomer-Murders-watching end of the market.Yes, its Bourton alright. Anyone who does like the pattern can purchase it here: http://www.shaukat.co.uk/moreinfo.asp?product_id=180. [No, Im not on commission. I think you recommended Shaukat about a million years ago, Erin, when you posted about visiting Libertys then slightly disappointing fabric department.] Dont know if its named after Bourton-on-the-Water (also known as the Venice of the Cotswolds a large village in Gloucestershire, not far from Stow-on-the Wold). But if it isnt, it should be. Maybe someone higher up the Liberty food chain will tell us.

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Vicki April 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm

great dress and fabulous pattern matching! When I grow up I want to pattern match like you! I have trouble matching. I only just discovered your blog and I love your dresses. I feel inspired to sew. thanks

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