Thursday, May 2, 2013

Our May/June Issue is Now Available! Plus, Read About Liberty Of London:

Our new May/June issue!
Our May/June issue just hit newsstands, and we are so excited to share this new edition with you. The cover features an adorable floral romper, which you can make for your little girl using our "Box Pleated Romper" centerfold pattern (sizes 12M to 4T). Designed by Janet Gilbert, this exclusive pattern was recreated from a vintage 1940s silhouette and uses a bright floral print from Liberty of London's new Classic Tana Lawn collection. We just love this new line from Liberty, so we thought we would take this opportunity to share a short feature on Liberty of London that first appeared in our July/August 2010 issue:

Give me Liberty!
By Amelia Johanson

The 135-year story of Liberty of London is a tale of quality, eclectic design and impeccable style. Not solely a fabric company, Liberty through the years has transacted in all sorts of decorative and artistic items at its destination store on Regent Street - clothing, ceramics, rugs, accessories, etc. But it is the company's distinctive florals and prints on magnificent cotton lawn that will forever endear the name to the sewing enthusiast. 

Historical information, accessible on the Liberty of London website and referenced in books and online, reveal that Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty opened his first shop on Regent Street in 1875. He originally imported prints from Japan and the Far East but demand within the first decade prompted him to employ his own artisans so that he could dye and print original designs on raw imported yardage. Not long afterward, he acquired his own printing company so that the fabric production became an in-house venture. 

Recent collaborations tied to various clothing and design houses and even a discount retailer are making the Liberty of London name as familiar to Americans as it has been to Englanders for over a century. But at The Children's Corner in Nashville, Tenn., customers have been sewing fine children's apparel with Liberty Tana Lawns for nearly 30 years. 

Dresses were made using Children's Corner patterns: (top left)  #3 Betsy Bishop; (right) #36 Handsewing IV, combination of Elizabeth and Tiffany; (bottom left) #266 Macy.

"Customers love coming in to see the samples, even if some of the Liberty of London patterns are no longer available. The incredible fineness of the Tana Lawn makes it a joy to work with and the designs are simply glorious," said Lezette Thomason. We asked the Children's Corner designer and sewing instructor to send us some of her favorite "Liberties," which can be seen in the left-hand column. Her collection spans two decades and exhibits the brilliance of Liberty of London prints - they remain simultaneously fashionable and timeless.

Children's Corner pattern used above is #241 Lucy.

Visit the Martha Pullen Store to shop Liberty's new Classic Tana Lawn Collection. And for more fabulous floral inspiration, be sure to pick up your copy of our May/June issue. In addition to the free romper pattern, here are a few more highlights from the edition:

  • Turn a sundress into a summer stunner with a bold daisy appliqué (Connie Palmer) 
  • Create a fabric posy appliqué that doubles as a functional pocket (Tricia Smith)
  • Hand embroider a floral bouquet on a linen table cloth (Laura Jenkins Thomas)
  • Shape lace flowers on an organdy pinafore (Debbie Glenn)
  • Appliqué a groovy flower using spaghetti bias (Kari Mecca)
  • Plus, hand embroider grasshoppers on your little man's summer fun clothes, make a scalloped floating hem band in this issue's "Master the Method," find inspiration in Martha's Attic, take a sneak peek at our Sewing for the Royal Baby book and more!

Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful,
Cyndi and Amelia

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