Screw historical monuments and the like -- Liberty of London was my top London destination! I love Liberty of London designs, but had never bought any of their fabric before this trip. Not for lack of pining for it, though: I had visited their website, and fondled the few bolts that my local fabric store, High Fashion Fabrics, carries. (And watched others fondle them, only to drop the bolt as if burned when they spot the $45.00 a yard price tag!) I also bought some Target items bearing Liberty of London prints earlier this year, but nothing made of fabric. I was disappointed in Target's Liberty clothing offerings, which is just as well because there was nothing left in my size by the time I got to them. But, back to the *real* Liberty of London!
I thought I might just browse and come away empty handed. Yeah, right. Once I got in there, there was no hope for me. I wanted to waltz around the store with bolts lovingly cradled in my arms. In fact, I wanted to waltz right out the door with most of the stock, but the 20-pounds-a-meter price tag (or alternatively, those pesky laws about stealing) prevented that. So I had to content myself with a few hours of covetous fabric petting, followed by a few carefully agonized purchases. Shall we get to those now?
Four three-meter lengths of the Tana cotton lawn. I have NEVER spent so much on fabric before. I usually stay closer to the $10/yard price range. But I figure this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. And oh, how I love the exquisite detail in the prints ... the colors ... the way the fabric feels ... Hopefully I won't become addicted and start placing weekly orders through the website. (Which alas, has significantly less stock than the store does. Things that are listed as out of stock on the site are there in the store. And there are plenty of prints in the store that aren't on the site at all.) Hopefully I will sew up my purchases into fabulous garments I love, and not just drool on them or roll in them or something. And I will use every little scrap!
We decided that we had a little extra time on our last day in London. What did I want to do? Go back to Liberty. I spent more quality time with the fabrics, but what I bought were trims:
This Liberty fabric bias binding has a website on it! Maybe I will buy more of this online.
Liberty of London is a department store, with all kinds of stuff in it. I dutifully checked out the other departments while I was there, though it was hard to leave the fabric. My mom had requested an English teapot, and I found a nice one for her in the china section, and had it shipped. It reached her in Florida in less than a week!
I was disappointed in how cheaply made much of the clothing at Liberty was. They have a few things made with Liberty fabric, but I feel like I could have done a nicer job with construction (and I'm hardly an expert). Much of what they stock is designer label stuff, albeit not couture. I found a few very vintage-y looking dresses I liked, but they were falling apart! And even on sale, still quite expensive. Possibly sewing my own clothing has raised my standards, but I'm pretty sure I always have expected seams to be intact and all buttons to be present.
Goodbye, Liberty of London, and thanks for the great memories! Maybe I will visit you again someday ... until then, I'll see you in my dreams. :)