Even the smallest of beginner sewers will love making this kitsch cushion.
Liberty print connoisseur, expert sewer and owner of Alice Caroline, Alice Caroline Garrett gives us a sneak peek at her new book, Little Lady Liberty with this quirky hand-crafted cushion cover. Having spent her own childhood rummaging through her Grandmother’s Liberty fabric stash, Alice has designed this book with children in mind, with the hope of bringing enjoyment and creativity through step-by-step sewing projects.
We caught up with Alice to find out exactly why she decided to create this book and to hear about her passion for encouraging the next generation to get sewing:
Why did you decide to create a book for children?
The book is based around a young girl’s bedroom and the projects are all things I would like to make for my daughter; the kinds of things I loved as a child. Each project is named after girls I know – my daughter’s friends and cousins – and I chose projects I thought they would each enjoy. For example, Lilly loves ponies, so I named the duvet set after her.
How did you develop your own skills as a beginner?
My mum taught me to sew when I was younger; we made sleeping bags for teddies and a few patchwork cushions. I developed my skills later by trial and error, through making dresses as a student; I would buy a pattern and work through it, just learning as I went.
Do you think it’s important to pass on crafting to the next generation?
Yes, it’s something I’m passionate about, as making something with your own hands is so satisfying. When you can make something to wear or for your home you know it’s unique! It’s a skill you can build and, as an adult, it can be a way to reconnect with creativity otherwise lost in a busy life of work.
Have you tried out any of the projects with girls you know?
Yes I’ve made the Molly purse with my daughter. She wanted the Hello Kitty Liberty fabric and chose a lining to match; it’s super cute! She does the pedal on the sewing machine and I say when to stop, although she is learning to see the end coming up. She plaited the handle as well.
Do you remember the first Liberty fabric you owned?
I remember I had a piece of one of my Grandfather’s Liberty shirts when I was about 10. Then, in my teens, I went to the Liberty store for the first time and bought some gorgeous sequinned Edenham. It’s so beautiful! I made a tiny bag from it but still haven’t used the rest.
If you had unlimited time, what would you love to make out of Liberty print?
I would make quilts for everyone I know! One day I want to make a quilt using all of the 2.5” charm squares I have been collecting for a few years, but I would grade them all by colour first.
Do you have any Liberty prints decorating your house? If so, which ones?
My daughter Sophie has the duvet from the book, crafted with My Little Pace and Emolly Can Can. I am slowly starting to make curtains for the house with the gorgeous The Secret Garden Collection; I’m going to start with Faria Flowers in the kitchen!
Is there a book for boys on the horizon?
I would love to do a book for boys (particularly as I have one), but there aren’t quite as many Liberty prints for boys. Although recently we’ve had the fabulous Queue for the Zoo and Tom’s Jets – I’d love to go through the archive and maybe reprint some great boyish designs for a book!
THE PROJECT: HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN HOLLY SCATTER CUSHIONS
“Little Lady Liberty has been inspired by my lifelong love for Liberty fabrics; the huge range of magical prints is perfect for making beautiful things for children. I love sewing with a beloved one in mind; crafting a gift like a dress, toy, cushion or quilt that becomes woven into their childhood. All of the projects are named after little girls I know. I’ve designed the instructions with step by step drawings accessible to beginners as well as more advanced sewers, in the hope that anyone with a special little girl can find a project they both love!”
Select colours to match your bedroom’s theme or, if giving the cushion as a gift, make things a little more personal by choosing colours inspired by your lucky recipient.
You will need:
33 x 73.5cm (13 x 29in) Liberty fabric for a 30cm (12in) square cushion (see the book for other cushion sizing options)
Sewing machine OR hand sewing need
Thread (either contrast or matching)
How to make:
Select your fabric and cut to the right size for the cushion that you would like to make.
At one end of the short edge of the fabric, fold over 5mm (1⁄4in) to the wrong side and press.
Fold over another 1cm (1⁄2in) and press. Topstitch through all the layers, staying close to the edge of the original fold.
Repeat steps 1 to 3 at the other end of the fabric.
Lay the fabric out with the right side facing up and fold one end of the fabric over on top, measuring 19cm (71⁄2in).
Fold over the other end of the fabric by the same amount as in step 5 and, most importantly, ensure the bottom layer is as wide as the finished size of your cushion.
Stitch through all layers, 1cm (1⁄2in) from the raw edges, down each side of the folded fabric leaving the overlapped edges open for an envelope-style back.
Turn the finished cushion cover right side out through the back opening. Press and insert the cushion pad.
And there you have it! A lovely little cushion to start building yourself a homely den when the rainy British weather gets too much.
We love to see all your Liberty print projects, so why not share them with us on Twitter or Pinterest using #SewLiberty.
Feeling inspired? Let Little Lady Liberty and our newest Liberty fabrics be the starting point for your next crafting afternoon.
We invited illustrator Camille Rousseau to decorate our Great Marlborough Street windows.
In celebration of our revamped and re-decorated haberdashery department on the 3rd floor, we invited illustrator Camille Rousseau (who has collaborated with Liberty on the decor) to come and decorate one of the windows of the Great Marlborough Street storefront live. We caught up with Camille to find out her thinking behind the design, and how it felt to be a living window display for a day. . .
What was the best partof working for Liberty?
Visiting the building, and diving into the history of the most incredible and inspirational example of heritage British culture.
What inspiration did you take from the haberdashery theme?
I was thrilled by the theme because it encapsulates both the functional and the aesthetic aspects of fashion, the basic technical drawing mixed with tools and the structure of an old industrial environment. I was interested in the discipline and the tools around it. I guess there is an aspect of freedom in floral pattern mixed with structural architectural lines, the old technical drawings mixed with nature.
What were your initial thoughts about the project?
I originally wanted to use the building like a kaleidoscope. The building structure would be a the lens that would generate a mirror effect, mixing floral pattern with architecture, the drawings on the glass window acting as the lens. . .
What was it like illustrating a window space live?
Illustrating on windows is just an other aspect of a childhood dream. It was like diving into the most inspirational landscape in one of London’s iconic architectural structures. People walking by were exited just by seeing anything moving inside a window display!
Shop the collection online, or visit us in-store in the 3rd floor
Dress your table for Easter entertaining with this simple napkin and table runner set.
Expert sewer, author and Liberty print connoisseur Alice Garrett, owner of Alice Caroline shows you how to dress your table for Easter with this simple step-by-step guide. A lover of Liberty fabric since a childhood spent rummaging through her grandmother’s fabric stash, Alice now sells Liberty fabrics from her online shop, working from her studio in the Cotswolds where her library of Liberty fabric is a constant inspiration.
Whether you’re entertaining this Easter or getting the whole family together, your table will be the envy of all your guests.
Follow the steps below for both the table runner and the napkins
Table Runner: 132cm (52”) x 35cm (14”)
Napkins: 40cm (16”) x 40cm (16”)
You will need
Table runner: 137cm (54”) x 40cm (16”) Liberty fabric
Napkins: 45cm (18”) x 45cm (18”) Liberty fabric per napkin
Alice has used Hubert A Tana Lawn
How to make
Step 1. Fold down one corner of the fabric so that corner edges are both 1 ¼”.
Step 2. Cut corner flap off, leaving ½” edges. Repeat steps 1 and 2 at the 3 remaining corners.
Step 3. Fold one edge of the napkin over ¼”, press.
Step 4. Fold another ¼” over, press and pin in place. Repeat steps 3 and 4 at the remaining edges.
Step 5. Stitch all around the napkin, 3mm (1/8”) from the edge of the inner fold. TIP: When stitching, keep the needle down when you get to each corner. Lift the sewing machine foot and pivot the fabric 90 degrees, then lower the foot and continue sewing along the next edge.
Dress your table and enjoy!
Are you taking part in any Easter crafting? Share your creations using #SewLiberty @LibertyLondon. Shop all Liberty Art Fabrics
Meet the Designer – Alice Caroline
This lovely ‘Easter Table’ tutorial, designed by Alice Caroline Garrett, is just one of the wonderful projects for sewers that she creates using Liberty of London fabrics.
Alice Garrett, owner of Alice Caroline sells a huge range of Liberty prints from the latest collections. She enjoys sourcing limited edition prints and designing patterns, kits and notions all in a distinctive Liberty style. Alice’s love of Liberty fabrics grew from when she was just a child, rummaging through her grandmothers fabric stash, always excited to find a snippet of Liberty fabric. Her grandmother was an amazing quilter who also loved those distinctive patterns, meaning that Alice has had a lifelong love of all things Liberty.
Her studio in the Cotswolds is a riot of colour and texture. There are stacked rolls in her ‘Liberty Library’ of fabric, drawers packed with fat quarters, books and magazines to inspire, and jars of ribbons and buttons sourced from her travels. Being surrounded by such an array of pattern and colour inspires that Alice to design new projects for sewers that use the fabric in such a way that shows Liberty at its best.
Having taken the world of DIY craft blogging by storm, The New Craft Society show us their latest sewing project.
Hannah and Rosie are the creative masterminds behind The New Craft Society sewing blog. With Hannah in Germany and Rosie in England, they put their DIY craft ideas together and share their projects with a broad online community. We chatted to Hannah about their latest projects, what handmade gifts are on the cards for Christmas this year, plus we bring you their step-by-step guide of how to make your own chic Liberty print quilted bomber jacket.
Why do you think it’s important to pass on crafting traditions?
Crafting is still increasing in popularity and we find this so exciting! How amazing is it that you can make something in the same way that people have for hundreds of years and apply the techniques to modern, stylish designs? We have both learnt skills from our own parents and grandparents and it is wonderful that this knowledge has been shared and passed on.
What inspired you to start your blog?
We’d both been crafting away at home and sharing our projects with each other, but we wanted a way to share our projects with a wider audience. I was living in Germany and Rosie was in England, so a blog seemed like the obvious way for us to put both of our projects in the same place and show everyone! Rosie came over to visit me in Berlin and we dreamed up the idea of The New Craft Society.
What is your favourite medium to work with, and do you prefer sewing or knitting?
At the moment we are both sewing a lot as we are working on our handmade Christmas gifts. My favourite medium is fabric, I love how quickly and easily a flat piece can be transformed. Rosie probably likes yarn best, although she loves sewing too. She loves how tactile yarn can be and is a bit obsessed with knitwear in general.
Will you be making any Christmas presents this year?
Yes! We always hand make all of our Christmas presents. It’s so much more personal and often has hilarious results. Last year I gifted my brother a hat that he could just about squeeze over the top of his head… This year we’re both planning on making everyone pyjamas in different Liberty prints.
Do you have any ambitious upcoming projects?
We’ve both been working on some Liberty print quilts for a while now. The process of hand quilting them takes ages so they were possibly too ambitious for the amount of free time we both have. We’re also starting to develop our own sewing kits which is very exciting!
What’s the biggest crafting challenge you’ve taken on so far?
I made a quilt for a friend’s wedding. Despite a huge amount of advice and help from my Nana, this quilt took me ages to complete. I had completely underestimated the amount of work involved. Next time I’ll be much more prepared.
What tips would you give to people new to making/crafting?
Just to keep experimenting and trying out new things. Don’t take on something too complex or that’ll end up very frustrating. It’s wonderful to see how your skills develop over time, so just keep doing little projects and learning!
What Liberty prints do you have your eye on at the moment, do you have any more Liberty print projects in the pipeline?
We both love the Grayson Perry prints and basically everything that came out of the Scandinavian inspiration trip. My favourite has to be Ianthe; it’s a bit more masculine than other Liberty prints and has amazing colourways. Rosie loves Poppy and Daisy at the moment and we’re both huge fans of Wild Flowers. We always have Liberty print projects in the pipeline! Have a look at our Instagram @NewCraftSociety for pictures of upcoming projects.
How to make your own Liberty print quilted bomber jacket:
“Ianthe is one of my favourite prints so I had been storing up this piece while I waited for the perfect project. This bomber was made from Papercut’s Rigel bomber pattern, which is an absolute dream to sew up. I’d recommend that you have some sewing experience before tackling it, but it is definitely a pattern that you’ll learn lots of new skills from – welted pockets and raglan sleeves! I made some adjustments to the pattern to create a quilted, fully-lined bomber…”
You will need:
– Papercut’s Rigel bomber pattern
– All of your pattern pieces cut out except the facing pieces
– 2m of cotton batting
– A walking foot – definitely not essential, but always makes quilting easier
– A fabric pen
– A ruler
– Thread that matches (or clashes) your fabric – this will be visible
– 2m of lining fabric
How to make:
1. Pin all of your cut out pieces to the cotton batting right side up. Cut around each piece leaving about an inch of extra batting around each edge, sometimes fabric can shift when quilting so this is just to make sure you have enough space to allow for this.
2. Using your quilting ruler, draw your first line at a 45° angle from the bottom of each piece. Do the same in the other direction to create a cross.
3. If you have a walking foot with a stitch guide there is no need to draw on all of the lines which makes this so much quicker. You just need to set the guide at the distance you want your quilting to be at – I would recommend between 1.5 and 2 inches – and then start quilting! If you don’t have a guide you’ll need to draw all of the lines on yourself before you can begin quilting. Complete this stage for the back, both front pieces and both sleeves.
4. After you have quilted all of the pieces, trim off the excess batting. You can now follow the pattern construction in the Papercut instructions.
5. After you have assembled the jacket, grade all of your seam allowances to accommodate the extra bulk you’ve added with the batting.
6. To line your jacket you need to cut out the back, two front pieces and 2 sleeves and assemble as instructed. For the front lining pieces make sure that you add on the extra length that is given in the facing pieces. This will cover up the edge of the waist band.
7. When the instructions say to add the facing, you need to sew in your lining. Turn the right way out and fit the sleeve lining inside each sleeve.
8. To secure the lining at the bottom of the bodice and end of each arm, use a slip stitch to secure it by hand.
Inspired to create your own bomber jacket? Browse our new season fabrics and get sewing!
Share your DIY clothing and other sewing projects with us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using #SewLiberty.
Discover the behind the scenes process of bringing a Liberty gifting story to life.
At times, Liberty can appear like a whirlwind of fine product, design and colour, so we’ve decided to go behind the scenes of one of our 2014 Christmas gifting stories and show you how we brought the image to life. We talked to James Millar, Liberty London’s Head of Design, to understand how to take an image from an idea to reality.
As Head of Design for Liberty London, James works with the team to create the Liberty print scarves, small leather goods, bags, men’s ties and pocket squares we have become so celebrated for. For this year’s Christmas, our gifting page required a set of images to bring the whole concept together. Enter the Exploding Scarves story.
The original image is from a 1930s catalogue advertising Liberty scarves.
“What I really love about the original is that all the illustrations are part of a narrative of this character using her Liberty scarf in different scenarios. It’s actually her trying to find a husband!”
“It inspired me because it’s really charming and captivating: I love the innocence of it. The story is very sweet and about how you can wear a Liberty scarf with every outfit, regardless of the occasion. It’s of its time in a very innocent way.”
To translate James’ exploding scarves sketch into a three-dimensional piece, a team including art director, photographer, set builder, stylist and creative director were pulled together.
In preparation, the set designers had to custom-make a giant purple Liberty box, the centre-piece of the image.
On the day, the whole process took about seven or eight hours just to set up.
“They (the set designers) had to wire all the scarves individually and also hang them using fishing line. It was very lengthy and tedious. Lots of tweaking: a real mission impossible with all the wires, we were constantly hearing, ‘Don’t touch it!’ in case you knocked anything.”
We hope you will agree that the final result was worth the hours of effort.
Shop the heritage Liberty scarves that inspired the shoot.