There’s no need to tell you what a huge fan I am of Liberty Tana lawn. Until recently, of course, I’ve been selling Liberty myself, and one of the things most frequently asked by my customers was for guidance on the best solid colour fabrics to use with the fine, silky, lightweight characteristics that we love so much about Liberty lawn.
To some extent this has got to be a matter of personal preference, but there are definitely some fabrics that I think work particularly well with the fine close weave of the lawn.
First up is my newest discovery, and new favourite, the Pure Elements range of solids by Art Gallery Fabrics. These lovely fabrics are stocked by my sponsors (along with a brilliant range of Liberty lawn) Duck Egg Threads, and when Sarah from Duck Egg very kindly sent me some to try, I was really impressed. The fabric has a fine weave and like the Liberty, a feel of soft smoothness. It doesn’t fray excessively, and comes in a gorgeous range of colours.
I made this little pincushion, just to have a play around – I hope you can see the lovely quality of the Pure Elements fabric. Even if Duck Egg Threads weren’t my blog sponsors, I’d be recommending this brand, it has been a revelation to me.
Another favourite pairing of mine (and a combination I have been working with all summer long!) is Liberty lawn and Kaffe Fassett shot cottons. The project I’ve been using them for is a secret, so I can’t share any pictures, but I have built up extensive experience of how well they work together. They have a very similar weight, and although the weave is rather different – the shot cotton has a slightly more rustic quality, in my mind – they complement each other very well. Shot cottons have different colour warp and weft threads, so look slightly different as the light hits them at different angles, so you can also have the extra fun of using the weave of the fabric to create different effects. There’s also a fantastic range of colours, so you are bound to find one that works for your project. I recommend Cotton Patch and Calico Kate for great ranges of Kaffe Fassett shot cottons.
If you’re making accessories, or you’re working on a dressmaking project that needs a sturdier fabric to match with Liberty lawn, then linen is a great choice. My experience is that some linen fabrics can be quite ‘crispy’ and rough, which doesn’t look great with the smooth lawn. My linen of choice is Kaufman yarn-dyed Essex linen… the yarn-dyed bit is important – although I like the other Essex linens, the yarn-dyed has a smoothness that really works well with the lawn. My sponsors Dragonfly Fabrics have yarn-dyed Essex linen in stock.
Last but not least, I recommend Kona cottons. Although they can’t compare to Liberty lawn, this range of solids, also by Robert Kaufman, is good quality, and when it comes to the range of colours (more than 300!) that are available, they are second you none. So these are definitely an option if you want a really specific colour match. They are also widely available in the UK… If you do an awful lot of sewing, then getting hold of a Kona solid shade card is highly recommended – it’s definitely a good investment.