Category Archives: The Staple Dress

I’ve had several requests to do a post about sewing with Liberty of London fabric, so today I’m giving you a rundown of tools and techniques that will make the process easy peasy, and you won’t need to feel nervous about cutting into your precious lawn! What is lawn anyway? Liberty tana lawn is a […]

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  • seriously awesome! everything i ever wanted to know about sewing with liberty and then some. must try the aurifil thread…do you use ordinary needles or the microtex?ReplyCancel

    • Just a universal 70/10… and I’m sure you know WAY more about all things Liberty than I do!!ReplyCancel

  • Lara

    Thanks so much Meredith! Conveniently I ordered a set of Aurifil threads from Massdrop – they’re on route so I’ll hold off sewing until then! Such a great post xReplyCancel

  • Michaela

    I do have a stash of Liberty I’m nervous to cut into…I’m now thinking a rotary cutter might make the difference. I always love to see your photos of liberty fabrics, it makes it much easier for me to choose what to buy. Thanks for all the great tips!ReplyCancel

  • I bought my first bundle of Liberty of London tana lawn fabric. I haven’t even received it yet, and I’m worried about sewing it. Do you prewash and then starch your fabric before cutting? I’m using the fabric for quilts. The first one I want to make is Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Fox quilt.ReplyCancel

    • Camille! Its taken me forever to reply to comments, and I’m terribly sorry! So with Liberty I never prewash or starch when making clothing or quilts. Give it a good pressing, and you’ll be ready to sew. :) It won’t shrink.ReplyCancel

  • Scarlet

    Excellent entry. I am currently hand piecing small Liberty hexagons, and am having trouble finding the right hand sewing needle to piece Liberty without leaving gaping holes at the seams. Do you recommend a hand sewing needle/size for piecing (not hand quilting) with this fabulous fabric? Many thanks.ReplyCancel

    • For binding and really fine fabrics I use a long, extremely sharp needle that’s very fine and has a small eye called a straw needle. I’m not sure who manufactures them, but I get them from my local quilt shop. I’m assuming if you google “straw needle” you would find something that’s at least similar. I’m sorry to be so vague, but I don’t have any of the packaging on hand, as all of those needles are currently living in a pincushion.ReplyCancel

  • […] but aren’t sure how to use them. In addition, if you are new to sewing with Liberty, I have a great post written up on everything you need to know about sewing with this high quality, beautiful […]ReplyCancel

  • Mary Lynne

    I’m not familiar with aurifil thread; can you recommend a comparable product?
    What do you use to interface a collar on a dress?

  • Carol McE

    I’m glad to read that you don’t prewash the Tana Lawn before sewing as I hadn’t planned on doing that. Do you pre-wash the Free-Spirit solid voile?ReplyCancel

    • Nope! I only prewash things like quilt weight cottons if they are destined to become clothing. Voile and lawn don’t shrink and they are easy to work with unwashed. ReplyCancel

      • Carol McElhinney

        Thanks! Very helpful. I just received my Free Spirit voile and it’s even silkier than the Tana Lawn! I keep touching it and finding it hard to believe it’s really cotton!ReplyCancel

  • Julie

    When sewing garments, do you use a regular stitch length or reduce the length because of the thinness of the material? I am getting a little puckering, so I will try using a smaller needle and perhaps changing the thread, but I was also wondering if changing the stitch length would help as well.ReplyCancel

    • I don’t reduce the stitch length. I use about a 2-2.5. Getting a smaller needle and thread should take away any puckering. ReplyCancel

  • Andrea

    Regarding basting Liberty lawns for a quilt, do you use a spray basting material or pins? The basting pins I have seem way to huge to not leave marks in the Liberty. Thank you!!ReplyCancel

    • I detest basting spray. I know I’m in the minority as so many boast about how fast it is. I just use regular curved safety pins. They aren’t big- just normal size and I don’t have any issue with them leaving holes or marks. ReplyCancel

      • Andrea

        Thank you!! I’ve never spray basted and am reluctant to. Thanks again! ReplyCancel

  • Agnes Henderson

    Have a bag of Liberty scraps to practise on before I get down to some serious projects with my beautiful Tana Lawn fat quarter bundle and dress fabric. Can’t wait to get started. Thank you for all your very helpful tips.ReplyCancel

I have been wanting to try this for a long time! After searching for a good lace for a few months, I found one I could live with. It has good drape, and isn’t stiff like many of the laces I came across. There are some gnarley, stiff laces out there, people! To make this […]

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  • Love your lace staple! I made one out of lace awhile ago. I decided not to line my dress because I wanted the lace to be “see-through” for the dropped hem part. I was going to just make a slip to wear under it, but on a whim I tried a nude tank top and slip with it and you couldn’t even tell. It looked like it was part of the dress. I skipped the shirring because I was afraid it wouldn’t work with the lace and just belted it. I found my lace at It was less than $10 a yard! It may not be the best quality, but I am very happy with it’s appearance. I have also purchased some great lace from a shop called “lace fabric” on etsy. They are located in California. Great customer service! Check out my lace staple on my blog!

  • It is a beautiful version! So delicate in the lace. If I ever come across a good lace, I may try it myself!ReplyCancel

  • Now I want to cancel my to-do list and make a lace version of The Staple Dress. No matter that I don’t have any lace on hand. I’m on a mission now. This is beautiful. Great job. And the photography is just as beautiful. Props to your photographer. :)ReplyCancel

  • Your dress looks great! I went to Joann’s to search for some lace to use on my own lace staple dress and everything they had was scratchy and stiff. Yuck. My search continues… ;)ReplyCancel

I made a Staple Dress for my youngest sister. I thought she needed a new, fun dress to wear to a camp she attended recently, and I had the fabric, which I knew would be the perfect color on her. It really is the perfect shade of mint. Doesn’t she look cute? I added a […]

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Good morning! I’m excited to show you my latest Staple Dress that I made for a dear friend. I had wanted to make her a Staple Dress for a while, and when she let me know how much she loved my chambray version, I knew what I was going to do. For the Liberty trim […]

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  • Elise

    Layla’s outfit is adorable! I just had a little girl 3 1/2 months ago and your Oliver & S sewing projects for Layla are my inspiration :) Can’t wait until my girl can start to fit into their pattern sizes!ReplyCancel

  • I really love this dress, from the fabric choice, yellow thread and of course that awesome liberty tape! I sort of want to make an exact copy of it!ReplyCancel

  • Danny

    Love all the choices you made here!

    I’m a total noob. If you use the tape for the trim, does it work out like that if you just follow the pattern and sub it for the facing? I’m just about to put together a chambray version as a christmas present and I’m excited.ReplyCancel

Today I’m showing off yet another Staple Dress. I made this one for my sister out of the solid chambray from Robert Kaufman’s Chambray Union. And like my last Staple Dress, I added bits of Liberty detail because nothing makes a garment more special than a little Liberty. Emilee’s Staple Dress is almost identical to […]

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  • Lucinda

    Such a sweet sister you are:) This one is lovely as well, and again, the Liberty details are simply fantastic! Wish I could get my machine to shirr with elastic . . . until I can, this pattern is out of reach for me. I hope your sister enjoys her beautiful new dress:)ReplyCancel

  • […] from Olivia Jane Handcrafted made a couple out of chambray with contrast […]ReplyCancel