Wednesday, March 1, 2017

More Thoughts on Dresses

A flatteringly feminine style for most everybody!
Short skirts and sleeveless excluded!

I was looking through the main 3 catalogs again and hoping to find a little  inspiration for this year.
The styles over the years vary from very form fitting to loose and flowing plus the whole gamut in between.  There are resurgences of styles from the past howbeit they are all rather fitted in the bodice with a variety of skirts.  Now we haven't seen much from the past in the way of pretty, dainty, ruffles and flounces for quite some time.  Perhaps the style designers will be bringing this up some time soon.  I sure hope so.  There is little to choose from for making anything attractive in the way of being pretty compared to looking sexy.  I know that clothes do influence a person in their demeanor as well as thoughts.     I think that we have become blinded with the clothing we see so often on women with the never-ceasing scoop neckline that begs to show cleavage or at least intimates it isn't too far away from view.  The underwear looks of camisoles, tank tops,  thin T-tops really belong in the bedroom for the husband's eyes only or totally covered up so there is no mistake about it popping out when the heat of the day gives inspiration to "be more comfortable."  Even so , now blouses are designed with more and varied skin showing especially those with the open shoulder  or the kind that is pulled off the shoulders--the "cold" shoulder look which is really supposed to be hot!

Which leads me into the looser fashions of yesteryear.  I believe the time when bodices and blouses were worn with various accents of tucks, lace, embroidery, and other such delicate feminine touches certainly made women more attractive in a pretty way.  The skirts were mostly full, some flared, some ruffled,  some straight, and yes, some very fitted bodices.  Tight T-shirts are different than woven fabrics as underwear was first made in knitted fabrics.  The woven fabrics are more for  outerwear (meaning knits are fine under your dresses and blouses, etc.)

T-shirts are more of a "trans-gender" item and most people wear them because they are comfortable and inexpensive.  God, in his word, has made man and woman to look and act differently.  Therefore we ought to dress like we are very pleased to be a woman and should look that way.  Wearing the same clothes as the men do definitely casts that trans-gender shadow.  I was struck by a comment that a person wrote and I don't remember where, but that we would not want to insult our God and Savior or quench the Holy Spirit by negating what was done for us.  (I borrowed his idea but I believe we could apply this  term "insulting to God" in many things.

While searching etsy shops I came across this wonderful dress site! I have found a shop that sells linen dresses in simple styles, yet distinctively feminine.  I do like the ones from Sondeflor Shop which carries Lithuanian linen clothing with styles that are flattering.  I really like linen and it wrinkles very easily, but it is so comfortable and healthy!  I couldn't help but post these marvelous dresses!  They have many more on their website.

I must say that these dresses are made from very similar styles but using bold or subtle colors  and  they are very practical as one can accessorize them in a variety of ways.  It would be a great dress for the wardrobe!
They are not very fitted except on a few models, but mostly they are looser fitting yet very feminine.   Sure to be a favorite!

 This one is from another Lithuanian linen site that sells garments called Linen Cloud.  It really depends on the style that best suits your figure.  If you want to make similar dresses, there are some patterns that are available to use or modify.

Here are some that I have found.  You may have to increase the bodice pattern so that it is not so fitted.

Vogue 8629  (Add length and perhaps widen the skirt)
McCalls 7314

McCalls 7080

McCalls 7351

Monday, January 2, 2017

Winter came in with a flourish of white!

Winter photo from Allposters

I have been musing over the lack of truly unique clothing styles in our major pattern books. I know that they each have certain designers that put out unique styles but they seem rather exaggerated rather than complementary.  The general offering seems to have borrowed the 70s style of shifts that are very easy to sew and display various large prints or types of fabrics.  However, we still seem to be in the T-Shirt Generation and are solidly entrenched with the huggable fabric.  All one has to do is visit any mercantile like Walmart and there are so many choices of color, motif, neck style, sleeve length, and back length but otherwise vary little variation of the basic T.  One also finds a great deal of very fitted pants other than the sweat pants and a few loose jeans.  Very few nice clothing choices are evidenced in most larger retail stores that would make a woman look feminine.  By using that word, I am referring to the "pretty", "beautiful", "lovely", "pleasing and pleasantly" modest styles that really become a woman.

We are definitely stuck in a rut as to what women are to dress like in this highly sexualized society.  Bodies have become more of an object than the people who have them.  Yes, hair and make-up make a difference also.  The Look is brazen and to be young-looking, have a sexy body and wear clothes that say (more or less) I am my own woman and I like getting "looks" and wearing "teasing" clothing and "you will just have to deal with it because I can say and do what I want!"

We are in dangerous times.  Our young girls need to be taught that the Christian view of life is to be God-fearing and God-pleasing as the Bible does give specifics on how to dress and what kind of character to have.  One of the most important aspects of being a mother is to have your husband look at your clothes and your daughter's clothes and tell you if they are appropriate, providing he wants modesty attired women and  young girls in his family. There are many resources available to help study these issues.  One of the best audio sermons on modesty is Validating the Gospel in Modesty.

With the new wave of energy coming around with the changes hoped for as a result of the election,  I think it is time that we women of Christian character started setting new standards of wearing beautiful feminine clothing and leave behind the T-Shirt Rebellion and get rid of them and wear some great looking outfits that say I am GLAD to be made a woman and I want to look feminine.  We are battling the world's standard of flashing flesh either through skimpy T shirts, tight t-shirts, body hugging dresses, and especially wearing those very tight leggings that show every thing except the actual skin.  We need to drop those skinny jeans and really move on in life.  Why would we compromise our looks for glares and stares.  Not everybody has the best shape of body--very few do--so that leaves the majority of the rest of us with something better to do with our bodies.  God made us to be helpmeets, helpmates, soulmates, with our own husband, mothers to our own children, home keepers, home economists, creatively active in our own homes, and not trying to keep up with the world's standards or styles.  We should be able to find enough joy in what we do that we do not need any approval of the world.  It is a heart issue.  Please make sure where your focus is.

I have been interested in the Swedish style I found in a magazine once and found the outfits feminine, practical, and pleasant.  I am not a fan of the pants, but it may work well for some areas of the country.
There is quite a variety of clothes and I like the cotton ones and the ethnic-looking styles.  Many are very comfortable looking as well as practical.  It is a site for the imagination to work at making something feminine and comfortable with what patterns you have or need to buy or draft for yourself! Pass  through the bathing suit part quickly and then see what interesting colors and styles that are mixed and matched.  Gudrun Sjoden
The white blouse on this page would be one that could be made from a similar pattern found in the 70s  with gathered neckline and puff sleeves and that roomy pocket.  Lots of ideas if you are looking for something different.
This is the blouse  made as a dress.
Both of these patterns found on Etsy.

For a little color or accents the following patterns  were found on Etsy:

Simplicity has new patterns out and I thought I would try the jumper in 8301 as something a little different that I would combine with a loose fitting blouse or shirt.  Interesting layout and works well with a heavier weight fabric.  There is a facing on the hem that holds the shape nicely.  It is comfortable with roomy pockets.
I also thought this blouse would work nicely as a wardrobe extender.
Dottie Angel has some cute new patterns:


 Then I came across a couple aprons that might be worth trying:

Just a few thoughts for adding a little more variety to our wardrobes so that we might look pleasingly pleasant as well as feminine to the glory of God.  Happy New Year and may you have a good year of successful sewing!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Prepare for November 23, 2016, "Tie One On Day"!

The Letter, 1898

by James Hayllar
    What a wonderful thing the apron is!  What a delight we can find in such a simple thing as an apron!

My mother had a variety of aprons.  Many were gifts and used for different occasions, always pressed and fresh looking.   Pictures of her mother as well as my father's mother were taken with their aprons on, simple white ones with a simple front and ties around the neck and waist, and, of course, roomy pockets.  The above illustration is so quaint and colorful  with special embroidery and trims.  Even the painting on the wall shows a woman with an apron on!

I have been searching for a good deal on Mary Mulari's Chatterbox Apron Pattern and haven't been able to pick one up in our surrounding area.  I was planning on making one for my sister when I visit her this month.

It is reversible and looks cute with the added contrast colors.  It would be simple to sew and carry with me to her home.  I usually like to take something  that I have made especially for her.  While searching for this pattern I came across this Tie One On website and thought they promoted a great idea.

 Basically you make or buy an apron  and wrap it around homemade bread or baked goods and present it to a  selected person with a note or prayer, etc. and share it with a grateful heart.  So, that will be my project for her this year.

There are many cute reversible aprons available.  I found a few at Cabbage Rose.

I am also trying one of the larger aprons that criss-cross in back which I found at Maven Patterns.

There are numerous patterns for aprons.  It really depends on your tastes.  There are very feminine styles as well as just plain work aprons that stand up to all kinds of chores.  I do prefer the ones that cross in the back rather than tie around the neck.  I just take the neck strap, cut it in half, and add 12-20 inches more, depending on your build and attach it to the where opposite waist ties are attached by putting it on and crossing the long neck ties over your back and attaching them to each waist tie opposite and sew them down.  You can use buttons if you prefer  not to have to pull the apron off over your head.  Velcro might work, but I haven't tried it.  I put the apron on first so I can pin and adjust the comfort of the crossed straps in back.  It is easier to have someone help you, but one can do it otherwise.  Maybe you might have some easier solutions for not having to wear a neck strap.

There are free apron patterns on the internet:

I like sewing aprons because there is little fitting and fussing and they are quick and easy with only a few seams and limitless possibilities.

                                                    These above were all found on various websites.

Check out this post by Nancy Zieman on Tie One On Day for last year's suggestions.

May you enjoy the apron season and be inspired to share one.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Following Fall: Simple Wardrobe Ideas

Golden Autumn
LaVere Hutchings
Changing of the seasons calls for warmer clothing during the Fall.

I have gone through some of the Simplicity patterns available to find simple styles and add suggestions for articles to add if needed or to accessorize differently.

For Dresses:

This is a simple dress that would need the neckline raised for modest dressing.  The blouse is dressy also and can be made in silk or soft fabrics for dressier occasions.

This one is very easy to make with a back zipper and semi-fitted through the bodice.  I would lower the hemline for a more flattering look.   This one can be accessorized with scarves, jewelry, belts, vests, and jackets.

This one would work with long sleeves in Fall colors.  The view D would work as a jumper in heavier fabric with a bright sweater underneath.

This one could be shortened or left long and made in cottons or corduroy for warmth.

For 2 piece dressing:

If you prefer knits, make sure there is no static or clingingness as you want it to ride over gently but not tight. Scarves would go well with this as well as large pieces of jewelry and various belts.

For Jumpers:

For Blouses:

Make sure your neckline doesn't sag so that it will be modest.  Wear a higher necked sweater or raise the neckline.  It would work nicely as an over blouse with a turtleneck sweater and skirt in heavier fabrics for cold weather.

For Skirts:

This is one of my favorites because it is simple and has a flattering line.  It is also easy.

This one is perhaps more detailed than the rest.  Gathered skirts go with some things while the more fitted at the waist work for over-blouses much better.

 This skirt pattern is easy and offers pockets.

For Jackets:

This is a lightweight one for using inside to keep the chill off.  It is very easy and flattering.

View C has an elegant look to it.  Views A and B are a popular style now.  They are good if you don't have to deal with wind!

 This is a classic style with some new variations.  It will take more work to sew these but the style should last many years.

For Fun:

I just think we ought to have a little fun outfit for at-home wear as the lounge clothes tend to express a "not-so-ready-to-do-anything" attitude that rubs off on the wearer.

Dottie Angel has some cute clothes patterns for fun and work.  I enjoy thinking about these as they come out.  I haven't made any yet, but perhaps may try 8186 with a sweater under, longer skirt, and leggings for warmth.