Liberty of London

It is widely assumed that people who like art are experts on the great masters and painting in general. It is also widely assumed that people who make things with fabric know all about needlework. It is also widely assumed that dog lovers know all there is to know about dogs….But as an art lover, seamstress and dog owner I can, with hand on heart, say I know nothing about fabric, art history or dog anatomy!

I will explain.

My education is somewhat lacking. School life wasn’t great, I hated it. I spent most of my time daydreaming and wishing I was somewhere else or avoiding my brother and the wrath that the teachers bestowed on me just because I was his sister. He was a little terror and still is! I also found out in later life, that I am slightly dyslexic. Not enough for it to be a huge problem though as I passed my 7 CSE (equivalent to GCSE today). But I really struggle sometimes with sentence construction and spelling and even numbers can be problematic. Sitting exams was a nightmare because I often failed to understand what was being asked. However I’m not disadvantaged by my lack of comprehension, although still to this day I cannot tell my left from my right. If I am driving and being given instructions they have to be given to me well in advance, springing a left turn on me at the last moment will not guarantee my actually going that way! But I did pass my driving test first time…yeh! Go me! He was a very understanding instructor who didn’t penalise me for going the wrong way because I indicated the way I went.

‘I know what I like’ has been a constant thread throughout my life. As I look around my lounge we have a very eclectic room. Oak parquet flooring, faux leather beanbag, a habitat coffee table, mismatched pictures in different frames, sculptures and bamboo lampshades. And I love every bit of it and I can recall where each piece was bought. The same goes for fabric. I can’t tell you what the difference is between poplin and linen, or silk and taffeta, but I do know what I like. Liberty tana lawn fabric has the feel of silk. It’s soft to the touch and drapes beautifully. It comes in so many stunning colours. Every shade you can think of and then some. Timeless designs. Why did it take me so long to appreciate such gorgeous fabric…probably the cost and lack of inspiration. Liberty fabric is iconic, it’s flowery and pretty and not me at all. I see Liberty fabric adorning very tall willowy women walking down the Embankment on a sunny day … I’m short, under height by about 4ft, and in my youth I had bright orange hair and freckles. But I so love this fabric and, I might be being a little dense here, because I’ve only ever thought of Liberty fabric as clothing. Oh how wrong can a person be.

I don’t claim to be an expert seamstress as I’m still learning. I don’t always use the correct terminology or use the right tools. But when I am happy with something I’ve made you will see that and not the trial and error mistakes I’ve made on the way.

This fabulous fabric arrived on my door step today… will it be a bag? A bow tie? A lead? A coat? Who knows! Watch this space…



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