Saturday, August 18, 2018

My Favorite Summer Outfit - Loose Top and Dirndl Skirt

From Pinterest

It's been a busy and hot summer and I have enjoyed making an easy, quick, and simple outfit out of lightweight cottons.  I have several colors I like to use for summer wear.  I look for a pretty cotton print and matching  cotton solid in Walmart or Hobby Lobby  and cut them out in an evening or short afternoon. Sometimes I cut several layers together.  I haven't timed making them but they go together rather quickly using some simple tips listed below.

Here is the easy blouse pattern I use:

There are quite a few available on Etsy and ebay.

Details: Blouse

I make the short sleeve on the blouse and usually leave out the pocket.  I found it easy and money saving to  fasten the front facing to the bodice so that the center front seam lines overlap as in the picture and you can cut it out in one piece.

Note seam allowances.

Seam allowances are matched on the actual seam line.

The resulting piece cut out thus eliminating the front facing sewn to the bodice front.

I like the blousing effect when using this top pattern.  The waist has more definition since the skirt also is gathered and fuller.  I like that as it makes my waist look smaller (vanity?) since it now measures more than when I was younger!  This may not work for all.  The blouse can be made from a variety of styles, but if it is tucked in it should have some give, not form fitting, and length so that it won't come up out of the waistband easily. Blousing makes it look more feminine as men definitely do not wear their shirts "bloused" at the waistline.

I also mark the seam allowance of the outer edge of the collar and place it on a lengthwise fold, thus eliminating the seam and making the points easier to turn and look sharp.

Details:  Dirndl Skirt

These simple gathered skirts with a waistband were made popular by the German folk outfit worn during Oktoberfest.  The below-the-knee skirts are practical, becoming, and very feminine-looking in this day of short and tight skirts.

This is the skirt pattern I use  as I find it makes a very comfortable fit:
I found this at a thrift store also.

When I make my skirts I use the no-zipper put-on-through-the-side-pocket method.  It is quite easy and I don't have to put a zipper in.  There are several sites that will explain it better and a couple with patterns that use that closing.  Check these sites out:  Answer to side pocket opening,  waist closure in pocket discussion, an actual sewing pattern that has the pocket closure:  McCalls 7918.  It may be a little confusing at first, but once you understand the method, it is quite easy.  I usually overlock my pocket edges but they may be finished with zigzag or folded over and sewn.

I put in 2 gathering stitches on the skirt front and then two on the skirt  back as I stop where I have pockets on the side seams.  I just make sure I have the pockets facing the front when I sew the waistband on.

A much easier way to make a dirndl skirt  is to measure your finished skirt length add however deep you want the hem.  I make mine an inch and topstitch it down.  Add twice the width of your elastic plus 3/4 inch which you fold at 1/2 inch and stitch down leaving an opening to insert the elastic.  Perhaps a better explanation is found here:

Here is a site for an easy skirt:  Summer Skirt

Here are some pattern ideas from the past found on Google:  (please pardon the  extra hands, feet, etc. not edited out)

Here are some contemporary patterns:


McCalls 7604

Make this neckline smaller and higher so it is modest.

Butterick 6563  Leave out the waist darts and make the side seam straight rather than fitted and perhaps lengthen the hem if necessary to keep it tucked in.

The Crimson Rambler by Philip Leslie Hale 1908
Background Information

May you finish out your summer in something cool and comfortable as well as                                                                     pretty and pleasing to the Lord.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Wonderfully Simple Dresses to Make

70s Peasant Dress Pattern Style 1877 Size by allthepreciousthings-etsy

Spring and Summer!    Here we come with our easy to sew and great to wear dresses! 

I discussed the possibilities of making and wearing The Terrace Dress by Leisl +Co. and now we have another option in our easy dress patterns.   It is another perfectly easy dress to sew.  This inspiration came as I watched one of  the latest You Tube entries from Amy Barickman and she offered her easy Everyday Dress Pattern!  Check it out on her YouTube!  She has some cute ideas using her new pattern.  Wonderfully easy!

The style of dress I am referring to has an elastic neckline, raglan sleeves or set-in, with flaring after the waistline.  Below are many styles from years' past patterns; called  BoHo, 70s, hippies, etc., yet it is a classic style.  It is coming back but unfortunately with the neckline making dropped, bared, shoulders stylish.  I believe as modest ladies we can still have elements of this style of dress that will bring glory to God while we wear it.  I have mixed some past patterns with new ones for inspiration.

If you will note on these dresses  that some of the necklines are lower than others. It would be best to raise the neckline so that it comes just below your collarbone.  You can make it high as you want as in the Simplicity 9164. 

Butterick has a current pattern 6451 that would work with some neckline adjustments and making the hem longer on the short version.  Use an old sheet to make a muslin sample for how you want your neckline to fit.

The Burda pattern could be used with View B neckline, longer sleeves, making the waist elastic fit at the waist.and perhaps make the skirt A-line with a  longer length for hemline.

Simplicity View B would work but probably a raised neckline.  I would suggest perhaps making a nightie with the neckline to see how it fits especially when you compare your measurements to the pattern.

The Maker's Atelier
This dress offer sleeves that are cut-on, Kimono type, that can have an elastic band.  It is a very simple pattern which you will see on their site and to make it more usable for walking, being a Mom, etc., make the skirt flared and longer and I think you will have an excellent dress for summer wear.  Make it in a variety of colors and prints!  I would suggest staying away from knits as they tend to keep one warmer.

I like the comfortable look of this one in the middle and I would raise the neckline.  Similar to the one below in the middle.

Source: Google
New Look 6066

Simplicity 9154

 Another example for sleeves.

Whimsy Couture
 This one I mentioned in a earlier blog.  It seems to be very simply constructed with color contrasting fabrics.

Whimsy Couture
I would put the elastic at the waist as worn this way calls attention to your mid -bodice area rather than your face.  These sleeves are shorter and can be lengthened by cutting them several inches longer.  Figure out where they come on your arm and adjust accordingly.

These styles below have added braid, trims,  and ruffles for interest.

McCalls 5888

Melly Sews  offers a peasant top for women for $2  which you could lengthen into a dress or use your favorite skirt pattern with it.

What ever you do wear do wear to the glory of God as a modest woman representing her Savior.

After all is said and done, Amy Barickman kindly offers a free Everyday Dress Pattern if you visit her YouTube to hear the details and see the examples.  Wonderful thoughtfulness of her!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Endless Possibilities Dress Pattern! New for Spring from Liesl + Co.

The Terrace Dress by  Liesl + Co.

This is one of those patterns that would work for any season of the year.  Long sleeves for winter and short sleeves for summer.  It is a very simple style and would work well in a variety of natural fiber fabrics. I love the simplicity of this pattern with a wonderfully elegant look.  A great pattern that would work for all figure types.

I would suggest that when you make the short sleeves make sure your underwear is not visible  when your arm is raised.  (That is one of the objections raised by men about loose short armholes.) One could wear a camisole.

Be sure to visit her website and see the details.   Terrace Dress by Liesl+Co.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Spring Wardrobe Upgrades

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Psalm 23:1-3

Springtime is filled with new beginnings and new growth along with vibrant pastel colors popping out in leaves and blossoms.

This is a wonderful time of year to put a little more color into your wardrobe with pastels of all sorts.
A new blouse that contrasts nicely with your skirts would add mileage to your clothing choices  for spring and summer.

  • Here are some basic blouses that are easy to sew and should be easy to fit.

  • Embellishment ideas

  • Below are some options for simple necklines and some detail on bodices.

  Simple to sew and easy to wear.

  • Then there are some variations on necklines in the following patterns.  

Just make sure that the necklines don't gape open when you bend over to pick up something.

The blue dress in a longer length would work great with a turtleneck sweater.

The blouses that have front neckline slits can be sewn shut and a keyhole or slit can be put into the back seam at the neck and closed with a button and thread loop or hook and eye.  You can put a hook and eye in front making sure the gap is not  exposing anything that would embarrass you or others.

  •  Of course there are the classic shirt styles with a few variations.

Butterick 6563

May you find peace and comfort in the Lord and may He give you wisdom in all your endeavors.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31