Did you know that you can get Vans sneakers made from liberty fabric??! Back in mid-2013 there were 6 liberty prints available as Vans, however I only ever managed to find two of them in Australia, despite having decided that I must have the "Strawberry Thief" style. I also couldn't get them shipped to Australia easily, as supposedly they're imported here by a distributor.
Enormous thanks must go to the ever generous Poppykettle, who very kindly saved me a little bit of her precious luggage space from her trip to the US, to bring back these shoes for me (after I ordered them to be sent to her hotel).
Ever since achieving owning the shoes, I have also been plotting to make a coordinated outfit. Not a whole dress from the fabric, as that might be a bit too matchy-matchy, and also pretty pricey, but something using the liberty as a trim.
Just before Christmas, I bought this coordinating stretch sateen from Spotlight (although unimpressed with spotlight, 3 of the 5 pieces of fabric I bought that day had flaws in them, including this one. very unimpressed).
The liberty has so many colours in it that I had lots of different options for coordinating, but a lot of the possibles that I found didn't seem all that wearable. Bright pink? Too 'girly'. Pale Green? Too bright. Navy? No fun for summer. Then I spotted this steel-y blue. Yup, yup yup!
I chose to use the belladone pattern because it's perfectly suited to using bias binding as a feature. In addition to using bias on the back, and around the neckline and armholes, I also added a strip along each edge of the waistband, and along the opening of the pockets. I kept the bias binding as a thin line, making the visible width about 1/4".
I forgot to stitch down the top few inches of the pleats in the skirt, and may still go back and stitch them down by hand, as it really does make a big difference to the look of the skirt.
I was on a real hand sewing kick while making this dress. The first seam of the bias binding was done by machine, but the second side stitched down by hand. I also hand picked the zip up the back and did a hand stiched blind hem.
This dress has been a little while coming, but I'm thrilled with the end result. I'm expecting it to be great all year round, as I hope it'll be suitable to wear in colder weather with a long sleeved t-shirt and tights underneath.
Also, it turns out that it's pretty tricky to take photos that highlight that the dress and the shoes are coordinated, as the liberty on the dress is so far away from my feet!
Pattern: Belladone by Dear and Doe
Fabric: Stretch Sateen from Spotlight, "Strawberry Thief" Liberty Lawn from L'ucello
Notions: Thread, interfacing (for waistband), matching dress zip
See also: BusyLizzie, Millydodo, Tabatha Tweedie
So, dress coordinating with my shoes; Awesome or a little bit tacky?