Alder-ish + NYC


I’m back from a luuuurvely week in NYC. The weather was mostly kind – and the food/beer/fabric shopping most definitely was (a bit more about that below). Here’s a little dress I made before I left with my trip in mind. I know NYC gets humid, so a breezy cotton dress was order of the day.


This is my second Grainline Alder, but it’s pretty far removed from the original pattern by this point! I’ve switched the neckline to a V like before and this time I removed the back yoke seam to cut the back as one piece, and cut the bodice and skirt as separate pieces rather than the continuous front panel piece of the pattern. So is it still an Alder at all really?


I used a random quilting cotton find from Manchester’s Abakhan – I think Alder works fine in a fabric with a bit more body and structure. I did slim down the skirt pieces by about an inch so they didn’t stick out quite so much. I meant to add a wee bit of length as well, but forgot. Still a super fun dress to wear and ideal for hot weather.


The day previous I went over to Mood for a little meetup with three of my favourite Stateside bloggers – Katy, Kelli and Sonja. Best shopping buddies ever! It was so great to meet those girls and we all bought some pretty amazing fabrics, with lots of egging-on from each other.

NYC shopping

My mission was to buy silk crepes for more Ilsley skirts or similar, and I did succeed! Baby pink with white scribbly dots, and a lovely olive/emerald green.

NYC shopping

A Liberty stretch poplin and a rayon jersey print. Amazingly and bizarrely, the Liberty in Mood is cheaper than nearly everywhere I’ve seen it in the UK at $20/yd, and they have an excellent range. I’ve never used the stretch poplin before – I think it has a bit of extra body and drape compared to the lawns that will make it even more suitable for unlined dresses.

NYC shopping

Second part of the shopping mission was denim for more jeans. Charcoal grey and bright-ish spring blue (this one was from B&J Fabrics over the road).

NYC shopping

In fact I’m well in for denim now, because I was lucky enough to also meet up with the adorable Jennifer from Workroom Social and she generously gave me some of the famous Cone Mills denim as used in the Ginger jeans kits. It feels amazing so I’m really excited to get sewing with it. Thank you Jennifer, it was great to have a beer with you!

NYC shopping

Finally, some more frivolous and fun purchases from the lovely Purl Soho. Robert Kaufman tie-dye print cotton and chambray, and a delicious Nani Iro double gauze. The Nani Iros are only $18 a yard at Purl – about a third cheaper than the prices over here!


Finally finally I also managed to pop into City Quilter and Brooklyn General just for a little looky and gift purchases. A highly successful trip all round, really. Better get pre-washing…

33 thoughts on “Alder-ish + NYC

  1. Avataroonaballoona

    i’ve always wondered about nani iro, now you’ve got purl soho on my brain!

    i’m glad you enjoyed NY. it’s always good to see it through a visitor’s eyes, we have friends coming in this weekend and it always makes me see the city with happier eyes ;)

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Heyyy! Next time hope to meet you too! Same with London, I see all the tourists and remember what a great city it is. I love NY!

  2. AvatarSarah

    Glad you had such fun! Beautiful purchases and company! I bought that Robert Kaufman chambray from purl soho too when I was there! It’s not very resilient due to the open weave, so don’t make anything super fitted from it…

  3. AvatarKatie

    Love all your fabric purchases and lucky you for your fabric buying companions! And how bizarre that Liberty is cheaper at Mood – I might have to actually get some now!

    And as before – your Alder mods make the dress even better!

      1. AvatarKatie

        ABSOLUTELY!!! Do you know when you’re coming? I can show you around the garment district here (and go to Mood and The Fabric Store too if you want)!!

        1. AvatarKatie Post author

          Yesss, I’d love that! It will be early-mid November. i’ll be sure to drop you a line when I have dates firmed up :)

  4. Avatarlisa g.

    Liberty is usually around $30/yd, so I was surprised to see Mood’s $20 price listed online! Makes it far more tempting… Sounds like you had a great visit!

  5. AvatarSophie

    Looks like you had the bestest time everest! Love the fabric you’ve chosen for the dress and gooood idea using NY for some killer blog pics. I would have been plotting and planning the same thing!

  6. Avatarana

    I love all your dresses and the twist you add to them! they fit you perfectly!
    and those shoes!? would you mind sharing where you get them and if they are as confortable as they look?


    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Thanks! They are from Clarks last year, and they are indeed super comfortable. I love all Clarks shoes!

  7. AvatarAmanda

    Now that is a fabulous summer frock and is totally Alder-esque! Alder-inspired? Alder-licious? :D And what an amazing fabric haul! Liberty at $20/m is blowing my mind!

  8. AvatarVeronica Darling

    Gosh, the UK/US seem so far away, it is so weird that you can just go for a week! I’d love to go back again, I wasn’t in any fabric/sewing frame of mind when I first visited… as I had an 8 month old holidaying with me and we just felt like lazing around!

  9. Avatarveda

    The Liberty at Mood for $20. a yard is not the same quality as the original 36″ at $30. a yard lawn. The family that owed Liberty sold it a couple of years ago to a Japanese textile firm that is now printing the wider, cheaper “Liberty”. Printing and fabric are not of comparable quality to the old screen printed Liberty. So if you can find old stock buy it up!

    1. AvatarKatie Post author

      Good to know! There is nothing like seeing the real deal in Liberty itself – I was in there admiring the new season designs yesterday.

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