Sunday, June 21, 2015

Purposeful Dressing


It seems that dresses may be coming back into style now that pants have been around for years and some want a new look.  I have heard some women say that they don't own a dress, haven't worn a dress except for getting married, don't like dresses, etc.  It is a sad state when women do not like to look feminine.  There are so many "unisex" clothes that unless one's body is particularly curvaceous it is hard to distinguish the sexes with short hair on women and long hair on men.

I propose that we dress with a definite purpose, not to show off our bodies but to make the statement that we are pleased that the Lord has chosen the body He has made us in and we want to bring honor to Him by dressing appropriately which shows that we honor our husbands and family as well in looking like a "lovely lady".

There are so many clothing styles that accent body parts that it really debases the concept of what it means to be a woman of grace and beauty.  The revealing necklines, the tightness of clothing of whatever is worn, a lot of flesh showing--it all comes from the heart.  It is much more of a challenge to dress with modesty and propriety than to follow the prevailing styles  literally influenced by the  world, the flesh, and the devil  and each individual is influenced the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.   Set your sights high and look to honoring God in everything your wear.





I saw a woman the other day getting out to open the back end of her vehicle and she was wearing a tank top and shorts.  A thought struck me that she would definitely look  like a lady if she wore a skirt or comfortable culottes that went below her knees and a pretty,  loosely-fitted top that had above elbow sleeves in which she could still feel cool and comfortable as skin against skin in warm, humid, hot weather is quite uncomfortable.

I don't believe the ladies of the eras pictured  sacrificed modesty for comfort.

May you dress modestly and comfortably and enjoy being the "lovely lady" of God's purpose.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Wardrobe Dresses--Which style best suits you?

Source
Summer is a wonderful time to think and really dress in light and gay fabrics that tend to make one look and feel more feminine.

Sewing a dress involves many essentials to make it worth the expense and pleasure of completing a "work of art".  When you have decided what colors best suit you, what lines are appropriate for your figure, what accents or details you like, what seasons you will wear the garment in which would determine your choice of fabric, and what you are willing to spend in money and time, you are ready to begin.  The best beginning would be to make a muslin sample to see how the pattern fits and what adjustments need to be made.

There are quite a few online sites to help you figure your body shape and what best would work.  I  like the shapes that "Joy of Clothes" offers in their body shape Overview.  From there you can choose which one best matches you and get some ideas of do's and don't's.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Musings on a Spring Outfit: Choosing a suitable dress style

Crocus
With hints of Spring coming, I have been thinking about a few dressy dresses and a certain coat for church and special occasions.  This is the time of year, weather permitting, lighter weight and brighter outfits can be worn.  One new outfit sometimes brightens the outlook when skies darken and  clouds hover.  Fabric stores have been bringing in new bolts of fabric for Spring and Summer uses.  Choosing a color whether in solid, print or geometrics should match with jackets worn in  warmer weather.


Choosing a dress that is becoming must be carefully considered.  The contemporary styles of knit clothing do not necessarily bring about the glances or thoughts that would uplift minds to seeing Christ in us.  Our choices should be so that it makes us beautiful as in God honoring, not in lustiness or vulgarity.  Our society is bombarded in all avenues of vision with much exposure of the body and this can be in explicit lucidity as well as in clinging clothing.  Focus and purpose of clothing is to draw attention to our Christlike countenance  rather than emphasis on our particularly womanly features.  God wants us to be distinctive in that we dress like ladies rather than gentlemen;  i.e., our clothing is not to be uni-sex, man-styled, make us manly looking, or have a masculine hint.  Here is a wonderful article by Lady Lydia on clothing for women.


Choosing a dress silhouette is basically deciding which lines look best for you.  Looking at a dress from the shoulders down, consider what lines you  like and what works best for you.  These are the principles of design--making lines which best suit YOU.

Considering the shoulder seams are there, the dress that has only side seams, with or without bust darts, and a back zipper:

  • the straight shift
  • the A-line
  • the tunic style-layered
  • the loose tent style
Then there are the princess lines:

  • lines coming over the bust from the shoulder seam
  • lines coming from the armhole replacing the bust dart
If there are lines added across the body so bodice and skirt are two pieces sewn together:

  • the sheath
  • the low-waisted dress
  • the high waisted dress
  • the empire
  • the asymmetrical closing dress
  • the yoked dress
  • bloused-look (blouson)
  • the shirtwaist
These are the basics from which there are many designer creative varieties.

At this conjuncture, I will have to make another post on what silhouettes look best on different body types.

My thoughts for a dress and coat that I would like to try are:

I would make view D in a print and make the length longer.




Butterick 5966   This has nice princess lines and would fit nicely over the above dress.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Capsulizing a Wardrobe: Choosing Appropriate Jackets

To Let
James Collinson
We used to live in an area where we would have sunshine in the morning and dress for it and then when we reached town in the lower elevation, it would be foggy and cold and I would wish for a warm jacket.  Nowadays, it is a matter of checking the weather online and  being prepared.

Jacket styles vary and choices  should be based on what  looks best on your body type.  The lines of the  jacket should be simple if the fabric has a lot of  "action".  Big, bold prints or even smaller  designs need to be kept simple.  Shapes are easier seen in medium to light plain colors.  Remember that black and any other deep dark colors do not show detail but body outlines. Darker colors tend to recede while lighter and brighter colors draw out.

Simple styles work best with lots of outfits.  Jackets range from boxy to very fitted and from short lengths to almost knee lengths.  Necklines vary from closed up to the neck to open to the bust line.

Short necks look good in cardigan styles.
Long necks can wear  blazer and tailored styles.
Broad shoulders should not wear the cropped jackets--those that end above the waist.
Those with smaller bosoms will find the short jackets flattering being fitted or bolero type.  They can also pull off wearing vests and capes nicely.
Those with large bosoms need to stay away from cropped jackets but  can look great in cardigan styles and capes.
Those with short waists will not benefit from the cropped jackets.
Long waists will find  cardigan styles, cropped jackets  and the more fitted jackets flattering.
Large hips should stay away from the cropped jackets as it accents the hips.
Of course the skinny frame can wear most any jacket style and look good.
Large frame should stay away from  anything very short.

Vogue patterns has a simple guide that they use for their patterns and helping you determine if a certain pattern is suitable for you.  Notice the four black shapes to the right of the pattern and click on the (About Figure Flattery) words and it will take you to the explanation.

I  found Burda Pattern that I am eager to try--Burda 6760.  The shirtwaist skirt will be made flared and longer.  The short jacket looks interesting enough to try first in a muslin.  I may prefer the longer fitted length with long sleeves and no pockets to wear on cool days.  It is a very simple style and should not take long to sew together.  I was able to download this pattern from SewingPatterns. com  as we live  quite a distance from fabric stores.  If you sign up for their emails, sometimes you can download a variety of patterns for very reasonable prices.







Here is another jacket made in a heavier fabric that would be flattering on a lot of figures.





This is an interesting cape that should go nicely when the really cold times are past. You can find it available here.  Check the images of  this pattern made by others on the net, lots of clever sewing!

Vogue makes the classic cardigan style in Vogue7975



Simplicity also offers a blazer/tailored jacket in Simplicity 2246


McCalls has a nice jacket pattern suitable to wear during cold weather.  The style is basic and flattering to many figure types.



As for classics and minimizing the amount of clothing, find a style that you like and that looks good on you.  Get a trusted friend to go shopping with you and find a color that will go with most all of your clothes.  Keep the lines simple and one that you can add scarves or other accessories to for dressing up or keeping warm.  A good weight for winter is a lined woolen fabric if you are wearing it as your outer wear.  If you wear a heavy coat over a jacket then choose a lighter fabric for wearing indoors when business buildings, etc. are cooler.  Try to figure out the most use possible in the best quality fabric and classic design for a decent price.  In some areas now, there may be sales on winter wear as stores are already getting spring and summer items out.




Sunday, February 15, 2015

Wardrobe Considerations: McCall's Sewing Book 1968


I found this classic at a second hand store and have enjoyed the tips and tricks presented.  It gives a lot of detailed sewing instruction as well as other useful information.

This is the article that I am pleased to quote here:

                                                            WARDROBE NEEDS

                                                                     At Home

                                  "The homemaker often makes the big mistake of thinking she    
                                  does not have to look her best when doing her daily chores.                                                                                                            Actually, ill-fitting clothes lower her morale and make her less
                                   able to cope with everyday trials.  This doesn't mean she has to
                                   dress up, but it does mean that she should look neat and trim.
                                 
                                  .......A simple shirtwaist dress or wrap-around with flared
                                   or pleated skirt will often present a much more attractive
                                   appearance and be just as comfortable as pants.

                                   For evenings at home a simple dress is always in good taste.
                                   But dress up a little bit if you wish.  It adds a touch of gaiety
                                   or elegance to a family gathering.  However, the degree of
                                   dressing-up depends on your situation."



Even though pants were becoming more prevalent it is interesting to note that this book encourages women to look neat and dress in good taste.  Quite the contrary to today's standards.  We have standards to uphold in our homes.  We want to show our family that we are women in the best possible position to minister to the needs of our family by our demeanor and decorum.  Like the Boy Scout adage:  Be Prepared, we want to be in readiness for a much as possible as homemakers.  Being clothed with garments that bring honor to the Lord and our families will boost their morale  and  encourage them to look neat.  We do have to wear clothes so why not make them nice as well as comfortable as the investment of time and money is one of our stewardship obligations.

Here is a 1968 outfit that would work now.  The skirt needs lengthening, but it is a practical style for many homemaker responsibilities.
Source




Thursday, February 12, 2015

Capsulizing a Wardrobe: Good deal on skirts, tops, and dress patterns on sale-- ends Friday,Feb. 13

Butterick is closing out some patterns and some of these would make very workable pieces.

A very comfortable and easy to sew skirt pattern.

The jacket tops from B3037 have classic lines and would work nicely with the skirts in B3134.   The cardigan  and shirtdress in B5760  would be addtional pieces to incorporate into the wardrobe.  These are on sale at Butterick.  I imagine they will not be carried anymore in their catalog.  For $3.00 each or discounted for the Club Members and if you are not able to find any on sale at your favorite fabric stores for around $2.00, these would be worth considering for adding classic lines to your wardrobe.  This sale ends Friday, February 13, 2015.

These could easily be made in heavier cotton fabrics for everyday wear.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Capsulizing a wardrobe: Checking out skirts


My new favorite pattern.

These inspirations are a little disjointed but all aiming at a minimal wardrobe for the two major seasons.  If you happen to live where you only deal with warm and cool, then perhaps your expenses on your wardrobe will be less.  Americans tend to overdo in many aspects, and one of them is making sure we have clothes to wear, albeit, when we look upon the items in the closet and wonder "what am I going to wear?"  I think that has more to do with careless planning or whim-ful shopping.

My hopes are to encourage you to use your favorite classical styles incorporating a few basic colors that look best on you and using them to mix and match to the greatest extent.

For example, using grey, black and burgundy for skirts, jackets and/or sweaters .  Then add tops that complement these colors or contrast.  A couple dresses that match also and some wonderful accessories of scarves, jewelry, vests, etc., that will make it more expandable.

Now the determining factor of what kind of wardrobe you need depends on what your occupations is. There are so many wardrobe ideas out there for business/professional women.  I will devote these posts to the women of all ages who are stay-at-home mothers , empty-nesters,  grandmothers, aunts, cousins, daughters, and homemakers of all kinds.

The major pattern companies put out capsule wardrobes, but most are not practical for everyday use.
I suggest finding a favorite pattern or skirt style that you like and stick with it, maybe varying the width or flare.  Keep them  simple and easy to make for your investment of time and money.  Jackets and sweaters should match the skirts.  The idea being that you can be dressed for anything if you are coordinated in neat and clean clothes and just throw a jacket or sweater on if you have to run an errand.  Tops should be pretty and feminine.  It is nice to see women in a pretty top as compared to our T-shirt comrades where beauty and grace lack.  I am of the old school where T-shirts were considered underwear as they were made to fit close to the body and whatever revealed our obvious curves was usually underneath a looser garment.  Hints of feminine shape are much better received  than the embarrassing tightness easily noticed.   Just remember we are to protect our fellow Christian brothers; and men and boys in general, from wayward glances by dressing discreetly and modestly.

One new skirt pattern that I like and find it easy to work with is the Hollyburn Skirt pattern from Sewaholic.  More information here about pattern envelope back. I usually make my skirts with a left side pocket opening so I don't have to sew a zipper.  This one has slashed pockets and a zipper in the back.  I have made one skirt so far and have fabric for more.  The skirt is a dark green poplin and I have cotton blouse fabric for the top. This is a  test run from my stash to see how it fits and wears as I like the style.   I want to use some basic colors  for mixing and matching  tops and skirts. I will see if I can post some pictures when I finish the skirt and blouse.

You will find that A-line skirts or slightly flared skirts are flattering to all women--it's the length that makes the difference.  This pattern has 3 different lengths and I would suggest that you cut about 4 inches extra on the hem on View A and try it on just to make sure you have a length that you like.  Otherwise make it your preferred length adding the correct inches plus 1 inch hem.  After searching for some good images of the finished skirt, I decided not to put any on until I had  a good shot of one that had a hem below the knees!  I don't think women realize that knees do not make a pretty picture!  It may be that they think it is an attraction or calling for attention, but they don't realize how pretty and feminine they look when the skirt length is mid calf or lower--it just balances out the body so nicely!