Dandy & Rose

Bespoke Western Shirts, Handmade in England

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Queen Bee

Queen bee back

I have been dying to post photos of this shirt! But I’ve been waiting for the all clear, as it was a Christmas gift from a brother to his sister – so I am not sure whether his choice of a fabric called ‘Queen Bee’ was a comment on their respective roles in the family! 🙂

At any rate, she was reportedly very pleased to receive it – and it is a very special Liberty print, one of those where you spot more and more detail as you look. I love the crown that the bee seems to be placing on her own head!


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Agandca back yoke

I did a lot of thinking before I cut into this fabric!

‘Agandca’ is one of the most intriguing Liberty prints I have worked with. It is based on a 1910 design from the Liberty archive and the complicated pattern looks a bit like embroidery. It’s arranged in wide stripes – but unlike your average stripe, they are asymmetrical.

Cue shirtmaker headache.

I decided to use the stripe by cutting the yokes and pocket flaps ‘on the bias’ – I explained what that means last time I used the technique here

Agandca left front

The three strokes in that cross motif in the design inspired me to finish the shirt with a triple line of topstitching.

Agandca cuff


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Thor busy issie left front

Thor Platter has a new album coming out in October, which I can’t wait to hear. He asked me to source a Liberty print with a retro look, in dusky browns, greens and oranges, to chime in with the artwork for the record sleeve.

It took about a week, but finally I remembered filing this one away at the back of my brain.

thor busy issie back

So retro!

Thor busy issie cuff















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Catching up

This year has been such a busy one for research, writing and shirtmaking that I have got rather behind with this blog.

So here are all the shirts I have made so far and not blogged about:

First up a marvel of symmetry in Liberty’s William Morris-designed print ‘Lodden’. It belongs to Thor Platter, a singer songwriter who tracked me down at last year’s Americana Music Association Festival in Nashville. I’m very glad he did!

Then in February, I came across some of one of my favourite out-of-print Liberty designs, a psychedelic paisley called ‘Forty’. So I snapped some up and made two shirts: a black one with red piping for redoubtable Americana tour manager, Andy Washington; and an all-over print for Jim Lauderdale.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Sixties men’s fashion recently and just for fun I made this ruffled shirt in another psychedelic Liberty print that has been a favourite:

amelia star ruffle side front

Find this one for sale in my online shop

A few months later, I was commissioned to make another shirt in the same fabric, this time in a western style:

As summer arrived, I made a couple of short sleeved shirts. The first was for a young man looking for something special for his birthday party. He chose the classic Liberty peacock feather design, ‘Hera’ and went for a non-western style.

The second was made from vintage fabric that I bought from a lady who inherited it from her mum. There was quite a collection and it was hard to choose, but this was one of my favourites:

Finally, this shirt in a sweet, fresh Liberty floral was commissioned as a gift from a husband to a wife. I love being part of that!

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Is it Gin o’Clock yet?


This Liberty print is called ‘Juniper’. I have to admit that I had to google to find out what the flowers of the juniper tree looked like, only to discover that they are ‘inconspicuous’, so I am guessing the fabric designer took some artistic liberties here.


On the other hand, I am very familiar with the taste of the juniper berry. Is the sun over the yardarm yet?





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Meant to Be Together


There is something about the combination of Liberty with denim that is just right.

This is not an original thought. It’s been done before: Levi’s had a collaboration with Liberty in 2013.I have made a couple of denim and Liberty print shirts myself, too.

This wonderfully exotic paisley, Orizaba, is denim’s perfect partner. Mostly orange, it has touches of dusky blue and turquoise. It’s just so… western!

I have outlined the yokes with dusky orange piping and the cuffs with piping made from the paisley.And I’ve  used a lovely fine denim shirting that does the print fabric, Liberty tana lawn, justice.


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Brightley A. Andrew Bristow. Back. October 2014

As Autumn has arrived and the weather has turned wetter and greyer here in Sussex, I’ve been glad to work with this invigorating Spring-like print.

It’s called ‘Brightley’ and although it’s from the Liberty London Autumn/Winter range, its burgeoning, blooming irises and fuschias speak of a sunnier, more flourishing season.

So just as well it is off to Australia, where, I am led to believe, it really is Spring at the moment. It was commissioned by Andrew Bristow, who wants something colourful to wear when he plays bass in The Mighty Surftones.

Liberty say that the print was hand painted on a large scale to give a feeling of growth; they remind us that the Iris that is at the heart of the design is named after the mythical messenger of the Greek gods and that her symbol was the rainbow. I like to think that it also honours my Mum, Iris Aspley, who taught me to sew and will be 90 years old next March. A Spring baby, well named.

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Twinkle, twinkle….

Photograph by Anthony Scarlati

Photograph by Anthony Scarlati

For the first show of Music City Roots’ Fall season, host Jim Lauderdale showed off both a new bluegrass song and a new Dandy & Rose shirt.

The song, a sprightly number, is called Don’t Count Me Out and he opened the show with it – the video is here:


The print is new too, from Liberty’s Autumn/Winter 2014 range. It’s called  ‘Midnight’.

It’s one of my favourites ever, with its dazzling details and darkly beautiful colouring. I finished the shirt with a fancy stitch and sneaked in a burgundy collar stand – we all need a little warmth next to our face at this time of year!

Liberty say that the design was ‘hand drawn in ink on tracing paper’ then shaded with graphic pens; it was inspired by the night sky over the Isle of Bute in Scotland – hence the twinkling, exploding, shooting stars in amongst the paisleys.

There are four colourways. Liberty printed them on denim as well as on the tana lawn that I used for Jim’s shirt. A few days ago I was in Liberty’s Regent Street store and couldn’t resist buying a metre of denim in that hot orange and pink colourway – I plan to make myself a skirt as soon as I’ve got a couple of hours to spare!