Monday, October 12, 2015

Classic Dress patterns on sale today!

I forgot that New Look carries quite a few basic classic dress styles.  I received an email stating that New Look patterns were $2.99  download.  You can find them here

These should be easy to sew.  Necklines can be raised and hemlines lowered.  Sleeves can be lengthened also.

I have also found them for a price close to $3. at Walmart in case you miss the sale.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Adding to the Wardrobe: Classic Dress


With Fall and Winter seasons  classic styles are very becoming.  They are easy to dress up or down with accessories.  A good quality cotton corduroy, wool twill or flannel in a shirtwaist or basic dress with little detail, and in a color that looks great  on you  and works well in your wardrobe would certainly lend itself to layering very nicely.  These styles are quite modest and really make a woman more feminine looking as well as enhancing her demeanor.  Our aim is to bring honor to God in all things.  Our form is woman and although Satan would rather we "un"dress, or use underwear for outerwear, or wear unisex styles; we are told to dress in seemly apparel  with modesty and discreetness in what is becoming to a woman professing the fear of God. (1 Tim. 2:9)  I am glad some of these modest styles are appearing in the fashion industry.  There must be a market for them.

Patterns that are very simple and classic in style can make a comeback.  This would take some careful thought as to what styles and fabrics  like these would be used for.  It is appropriate for an evening with your husband, a festive gathering, certain meetings of dressy character.  These two above are very simple in style and would look very well on medium to slender figures.  The  design or print needs to coordinate with your size.  A smaller person would do best in moderate to smaller design while the taller figure would look nice in medium to larger prints. A simple dress in a solid jewel tone or darker color would do well for mid-season changes as well as all winter.

The above are the maxi styles.  Patterns can be altered for the "midi" length in any dress pattern.  Knees need not be seen as the curve of the leg is much more graceful looking than any knee.  Gals need  pictures of themselves in dresses above the knees compared to them in dresses below the knee to realize the difference that covered knees make.  

The "midi" styles work well for at home, shopping, meetings,church, etc.  The fabric should match the occasion.  Also the fuller skirts tend to get in the way of everyday use in chores and child care.  I find the A-line  work best in most situations.

I sometimes have to use two or three patterns to put together a dress I like.  If you find a bodice you like, a neckline, sleeve style, skirt style, just make sure that they are compatible with each other or altering will take longer and become frustrating.  Careful measuring will ensure a better fit. Below are a few pattern suggestions. Keep details on the dress simple. These patterns can be changed as some may require a longer sleeve for winter.  I have included a basic fit pattern as the bodice and sleeves are easy to work with and then a fuller skirt can be added whether gathered, pleated, or A-line, whichever you prefer can be easily attached to the bodice.  I would suggest using one of the basic patterns to ensure proper fit  and then work off of it.
Butterick 6089
The hemline should be longer for a more flattering feminine look.

Vogue 9075
The sleeves should be lengthened for winter.  This looks very comfortable.

Butterick 5628
A basic pattern to be used for fitting and then adjusted for a fuller skirt of choice.

McCalls 7279
Another basic pattern for fitting.
This one would need a fuller skirt with a longer hemline.

McCalls 3129
This is a good pattern for those who prefer no waist differentiation.  The neckline can be raised and sleeves made longer.

I am sure you will find that having a very simple  classic dress will add miles to your wardrobe.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

What's New for Fall?


Fall is only a few weeks away and stores are coming out full force with Fall and Winter wear.  Sigh.  It just seems that we have barely had  summer  in our area with more moisture than usual and a few sporadic hot spells.  Vegetables are growing better though.  Anyway, it is time to think about what to hang onto for wearing in the warm Autumn weather  and what to bring out for those cold snaps.  I  perused some of the fashions from the fashion centers on the internet but really didn't enjoy it.  I like to see practical clothing and
and it is difficult to find.  Anything goes in style and extremes seem to be rampant.  The models are very sullen in face for the most part--must be a rough life.

I wrote in the previous post about mix and match, although these seem to be very close in color and coordination, it is interesting to note the accessories used.  Perhaps this year is the time to bring out grandmother's or great-grandmother's fur collar, shawl, or coat and revamping it for the Fall/Winter wear.

Ralph Lauren Fall Collection 2015
There are several patterns that would work for revamping any fur coats or stoles.  One could also use fake fur as it is more real looking than in previous decades.  Simplicity 2150 has a nice boxy jacket of  fake fur.
Simplicity 1498 is a stole pattern that would work nicely in a lighter weight soft fake fur. McCalls 7257 has a variety of jackets using furs and feathers for a unique fun covering.  McCalls 7057 is  another pattern offering a variety of styles for a jack using  fur-like fabrics.  A simple vest pattern in McCalls 22260 would work for a fur front  or complete fur vest.  Vogue 9139  is a simple jacket that might work with fur.  KwikSew 3953 and 4139 offer other options.  Simplicity 1727 is a simple separate collar that could be made of various kinds of furs and fake furs to accessorize an outfit.

The stole with the fringe on it seems rather ingenious.  I don't think it would be hard to figure out especially if you find a nice soft lightweight fur-like fabric and just practice with a scarf or something of a size that would be manageable and comfortable.  Use that as a guide, cut and sew and edge if necessary and add the long fringe--heavy yarn, cording, or leather strips.

These models are wearing longer skirts and tops and appear very slim-which they are.  However, the principle still goes for most all medium to taller figures.  The skirt length should be determined by your figure shape and definitely below the knees.  Mid calf is appropriate for most.  Put on skirts and take pictures of yourself to see which length looks best.

Also remember that your body shape will determine if you can wear a big wide belt at the waist, below the waist as in the left picture, or even across the lower part of your tummy as in the right picture.  Experiment with pictures.  It is wonderful to be able to take shots and see the results and analyze right away.

Just some ideas for Fall and a little fun!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Capsulizing a Wardrobe: Mix and Match

Sun and Moon Flowers

 George Dunlop Leslie

Years ago, we used to make blouses and skirts so that they looked like a one-piece dress when actually they could be worn mixed and matched.  Of course one could always add more pieces and the variety increased the versatility of the garments. That was before knit tops became popular and woven cottons of various weights and qualities reigned for practical clothing.  Most of these patterns were found on Etsy.

Two Piece Dress

Seven Day Wardrobe

The seven day wardrobe was one of those fun projects to see how many items could mix and match  with three to four different fabrics that coordinated.

While searching through the internet I found this picture:
Fashion Wonder
I was fascinated by the simplicity of the pieces.  The combination of colors lends variety.  It was a picture that inspired me as it is quite feminine in character, modest in design lines, and the idea can be replicated in a variety of  skirts, blouses, and jackets.  I prefer a more subdued outfit myself, but it is worth emulating in that it covers her very decently and in a very practical mode, although very few of us could afford to have a box-pleated leather skirt whereas a wool skirt would be deemed more practical.  Her blouse offers full coverage and there are many such patterns available to complete an outfit.

I found a few "vintage" patterns that could be used similarly to the above.  However, currently there are many catalog patterns that are available to make such an outfit.  This could be the base for your wardrobe for church, gatherings, shopping, etc.

There is a two-piece dress on sale from KwikSew for $3.99 right now.  It is a simple style that could be made with  coordinating fabrics for fall and winter.  Longer sleeves and higher top would work well for those seasons.  Shorter sleeves and lighter fabrics are good for spring and summer.  The skirt is a flattering design.  All one needs is a jacket  and there are many short styles to choose from.

This pattern offers a jacket with a collar.
Here are a few ideas for jackets.  Watch for those sales from JoAnn's and Hancocks.

This has a skirt pattern as well.

 Butterick 5927  would work nicely with its simple lines.

 The above pattern,  and the one directly below  (Butterick 5756) are similar to the the following Vogue  9090 skirt and would work nicely with a short boxy or slightly fitted jacket.
This is  Vogue 9090 that may go well with a short jacket.

This is another Vogue pattern   (Vogue 7975)  that has many options.

An interesting jacket pattern that is more fitted and has a unique style line is offered at Nancy' Notions.

This pattern offered by Indigo Junction  is looser in style, yet chic and comfy looking.  

I am sure you can find patterns that will suit your taste for a feminine classic look that is both modest and becoming.  May it all be done for the glory of the Lord.

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?

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

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.