Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New patterns to try

Late Autumn has been a very busy time for us. Deer hunting and the processing of the meat, family and friends coming and going, and of course, cold weather setting in with fewer trips to the big city, and then the Thanksgiving and Christmas activities add up to little extra time. So, I haven't been able to do as much research and sewing and blogging as I would like.

This is the time of year to bring out the heavy cottons, wools, and corduroys. The layers of tops, sweaters, and jackets are practical. It is easier to take off a layer than to find something to help you get warmer, especially when the weather changes quickly or even if you have to be in some cold buildings. Some friends keep their houses cooler than I am used to and so I tend to wear more layers when visiting. I especially like to wear the cotton leggings and knee socks as well as pantalettes for warmth.

I have found a few patterns to try. I have done some shopping online and am looking forward to some sewing when the snowy weather gets really bad. A lot of the pattern books have such limited styles (and imaginations). They have been putting out a lot of very fitted, short, skimpy looks. There are some that are soft and feminine and several that need the neckline raised (after all--skin has been showing for a long time now and we need new styles and something else to look at!)

I will post the new patterns soon.

I am also working on some quick table runners for Christmas presents and will try to post pictures of them.

What a merry time to sew!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fantastic and simple bag to make.

I found this neat website while looking for the free Buttercup Bag pattern by Rae. She has a really cute bag pattern free. There are so many fabrics out there to make some wonderful and fun bags. She also carries other patterns of her design and you can buy the Buttercup Bag pattern with some options.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall dress idea

Fall colors are beautiful. Leaves take on such marvelously bright colors and spark the air with a fresh feel and look for the Autumn season. It is quite cheery when the sun shines--even when it is cold, foggy and even rainy, there is a lift one gets from seeing the yellows, reds, and oranges contrasted against the dark trunks and stems and fading greens of Fall.

A friend and I were shopping and she proceded to tell me her plan of making a very simple dress of a fall color, brown, and then making an apron with the Fall-Thanksgiving motifs on it for wearing the combination on the many occasions that arise this time of year.

Now is the time to purchase Fall fabrics at the various sales. I try to catch some of the sales from either JoAnn's or Hancocks. I hope to make some for the girls unless we find time for them to make up their own combination Fall dress-apron set.

The idea is based around using Simplicity 5189 for the dress using a heavier fabric for the cooler months paired with Simplicity 5201 and she suggested making the bias trim out of the same fabric as the dress.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fall Fashion 2010

Some interesting looks for Fall. These were taken from the site listed below. I would use discretion when viewing the site, especially if there are any children who are watching.

The following have a lot of flow to them and look like a fun outfit. Winter with a bit of fluff.

Bohemian Rhapsody
"Beyond these, Anna Sui (seen here), Diane von Furstenberg, Marchesa, and Vera Wang all indulged in an artier take on boho with tons of froth, flou, frills, layers, and pretty much anything that will flutter in a light breeze. " From "Top Fall Trends from New York Fashion Week"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Easy Summer Blouse

This has become a favorite pattern this summer. It fits nicely and is very comfortable to wear. It doesn't take much fabric and is pretty quick to cut out and sew up. For a size 12 I purchased 1 1/2 yards of 44" wide fabric and I made the blouse style in the photo, view C. Two different methods of laying out the pattern on the fabric made it possible to use less fabric than called for. I used a size 12 so it might not work on other sizes. Size 12 required 1 3/4 yards of 44-45 inch fabric. When I laid out my pattern I pinned the front facing to the bodice front so I could cut it all out in one piece. To do this , measure and mark the 5/8 inch seam allowance on the facing as well as the bodice where the two are sewn together. Then pin the pieces together at the 5/8 inch mark, laying one right on top of the other. Sometimes I just tape them together as I like to make my front facings this way. This should give you one pattern piece for the front. If you want to make a copy of this piece just trace around the pieces and put in the pattern markings. That way you won't have to have the pinning and taping to deal with.

The other method I used was to cut out the front first. Then I opened the remaining fabric and folded over enough to just cut out the back on the fold. What was left I used to cut out the sleeves and collar. If you are using a one-way design you will have to cut out each sleeve separately, making sure all pieces go the same way. Otherwise just fold the remaining fabric in half crosswise and lay out the sleeves and collar.

I am just catching up on some summer sewing and am realizing the fall season will be here in two and a half weeks. This pattern has longer sleeves and I have some fall fabrics I want to use for cooler weather wear.

Sew for now........ Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Tip

Another favorite is the Gingher 4" lightweight embroidery scissors. When I make buttonholes I use a seam ripper and these scissors. They are lightweight and easy to handle. I poke the seam ripper in the middle of the buttonhole and then very carefully cut towards the stitching at each of the tacked ends of the buttonhole. The points of the scissors are small and narrow and make it easy to clip those delicate places. These work best on lighterweight fabrics.

I notice that the picture from the Gingher website has "gingher ITALY" stamped on it. Mine says "gingher TAIWAN".

I have an old seam ripper and noticed that Gingher has a new ergonomically styled one. I haven't tried that yet. I do like to have a seam ripper that won't allow my fingers to slip forward if I get in a tough spot. I have found slipping fingers can to be hazardous as the seam ripper will cut fabric with ease and the result is difficult to repair.

Do any of you have any favorite tools that you would like to share how useful they have been?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Tip

I have found when clipping curves that a very sturdy pair of scissors is the best thing. I have been clipping curves for a very long time with a variety of scissors--from small to large. I have finally found a pair that work best for me. They are the craft scissors that FISKARS puts out. They have a very sharp point and yet heavy duty enough blades the won't separate when put to task in heavy fabrics. I try to go slow and steady and start with a small amount of fabric when doing the heavy curves. They are the best I have found so far. The Micro-Tip (R) is what makes them most useful.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Modest appearance? A different angle......

How does one present an image that invokes thoughts of reverence towards our Lord and Savior? After all, whatever we do and say should bring glory to God. On my list of "do"ing comes the apparel that I wear to show that I am so pleased and grateful to be a woman created by God for His glory.

I was born just after WW II and grew up at a time where mothers were a part of the major work force, due to the impact of the war, supplies needed and lack of available men to work at factory jobs. We had a very pleasant life in the country. My father owned a farm and my mother had worked at a variety of jobs, including sewing her way around Sweden to visit her relatives, and after marrying my father, taught third grade until retirement age. I believe my mother enjoyed her work away from home, she always told me I needed to have "something to fall back on", hence, I also became an elementary teacher. However, I really didn't enjoy the job. I liked the kids, but I didn't want to devote my life to teaching.

While growing up with a couple of brothers, I was able to work around the farm with them and my father. I also did the chores my mother had me help her with. She paid me twenty-five cents to wash loads of clothes in the wringer washer. I enjoyed those jobs. She and my 4-H leader taught me to sew and expected excellent work for which I have ever been grateful.

The women in my family always wore dresses (and they were modest in those days) every time we went to church, to the big city, to visit family and friends, and for a variety of gatherings.

However, at home, we wore womens pants and blue jeans. We worked in the gardens, hayfields,barns, chicken houses, a big yard full of fruit trees, maples, flowering bushes and shrubs, and evergreens. We even made our own "go-carts" out of old wagons and tricycles and our power was the hill on the driveway.

One might have called me a "tom-boy" because I could climb apple trees as high as my brothers, help out on similar chores, wore pants to prove I could, etc., but I really liked to wear a dress when we were supposed to present ourselves as ladies, young ladies, and very young ladies at different functions. My mother had good taste in clothes and let us choose what we wanted within her dictates when we were old enough to be sensible about styles and colors.

I would not say that I was a "tom-boy" although I did like outdoor activities and chores, however, the only thing I remember is that I was jealous of the good time my brothers and their friends had playing football and baseball together and there weren't that many girls around to play with. I didn't develop the "tom-boy attitude". Girls were expected to act like girls and boys were boys and did the activities boys did without having any girls to tag along with them.

It is interesting to note, and you may have picked up on this too, is that those girls whose father wanted a boy or treated them like a boy tend to have a hard time really enjoying being the woman God has created them to be. I find them often in man-style clothes, mannish haircuts, and mannerisms--"one-of-the-boys" type females. Fathers may think it alright to have these traits in their daughters, but it doesn't enforce their calling from God. Think how many young girls have been involved in a lot of contact sports because it pleased their parents, particularly dad, that daughter can really play a (mean) game. Why?

On a side note of outdoor activities, there are women who do archery, shooting sports, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, equestrian activities, etc., who still behave like ladies.

This picture is called "Target Practice" by Tom Lovell.

I do believe that one of the wiles of the devil is to cause confusion in roles by various methods. It is part of the destruction of our society and innately ruining godly examples of womanhood. The ramifications of not following God's word does more damage than one can ever imagine.

Going backwards from a modern definition for the "tom-boy"word, one internet site listed it this way here, with a little history.

My Twentieth Century Websters 1937 Dictionary listed it as 1. a rude , boisterous boy (obsolete)2. a romping girl (colloquial). Romping means fond of romps. Romp means 1. one who romps; especially a girl who indulges in boisterous play. Rompish means given to rude play.

My Webster's 1828 Dictionary lists TOM' BOY, n. [Tom, Thomas, and boy] A rude boisterous boy; also in sarcasm, a romping girl.

There are sub-cultures in our society where this attitude of boyish or manly traits really speak a language of their own and they are openly promoted to the point where it spills over into our vulnerable youth who lack role models of (great) godly character.

The end of these matters will show where your heart really is. If you fit in the category of "tom-boy", perhaps you might want to check out what our heavenly Father desires His girls to be like and what attitudes they should have.

Ask yourself these questions:

Where do I go for inspiration? ( This site give us clues about some Hollywood influence.)

Where do I spend time studying for deciding my style?

Do I like to look at the latest fashions to see what I can wear?

Do I have a standard by which I judge clothing?

Am I one of the stately pillars described in the Psalms?

Do I run these ideas/clothes by my parents/my husband/even godly brothers?

Am I trying to get a "look" instead of displaying my character by dressing modestly?

Is my modest style as close as I can get to look decent?

One might check out this site for a great checklist.

These are just a few suggestions. Whatever your attitude is will show in your mannerisms, your clothing style, and what you live for.

May your life be one that glorifies our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I found these pictures of aprons in some of my mother's old things. It wouldn't take much to make some like them. I couldn't find a date on the article, but I would venture late 40's to early 50's.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My red dress!

I finally finished my red dress. I purchased the fabric from Walmart back when they sold decent fabric for $1 per yard. It is a silky and very lightweight. I used Simplicity 5189 for the basic pattern.

I did raise the neckline using a basic jewel-neck blouse pattern.

I also made the princess seams

begin at the shoulder instead

of the arm hole. It seems to fit

better that way.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New pictures

I have this old dress form I got at a garage sale in Minnesota and finally got around to setting it up and found out the largest it would expand is 1 size smaller than what I wear. Oh well, I will put my outfits on it anyway. A new form isn't high on my want list. Maybe an old one someday.

This is one of the shirtwaist dresses I made using Vogue 8021. I am not a fan of notched collars, but this one wasn't too hard to put together. I purchased the fabric from Hancock's several years ago. The cotton is fairly heavy compared to some quilt cottons offered now. It is a good cool weather dress. I like to have side seam pockets. I add a brown belt to finish it off.

I didn't put in the darts and pleats but sewed it together at the waist and then added elastic. I like a little more ease of movement and sometimes my tummy likes a little more room.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

More modest skirts coming up in fashion?

I came upon this article about longer skirts making a comeback and the prediction that it would take hold of stylemakers and more would be wearing longer skirts in a few years. Check this out at New York Times.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sense and Sensibility Patterns

Sense and Sensibility Patterns has re-designed their website . There are some wonderful patterns and great ideas listed. This apron is one of my favorites. I want to try the Romantic Era dress and blouse patterns. I have been thinking about getting a PDF download of the blouse pattern to see how it goes.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New patterns to try

JoAnn's had a pattern sale over Memorial Day weekend and I got 3 new patterns to try.
Simplicity 4221 , Simplicity 2450 , and Simplicity 5201.
For 4221, I have some fabric I can use for the outer layer and some for the underliner. Now, to find time to sew it all up!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Old News?

I was just perusing one of my favorite blog spots,, and thought you might like to read this old news article. It is amazing how perceptible some folks are and yet it is either ignored or placated out of the mind by "preachers of change."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Interesting take on current common clothing styles

Check out this site for some different thoughts on our present society and how "females" dress.

Spring....will it warm up ?

Garage sales and family activities and getting a storage shed built as well as homeschooling have taken up most of the month. I had thoughts of doing "sugar free" living during April, but we have quite a few birthdays and that was pushed to May.

Now in May "sugar free" will be limited to a little less sugar consumed.

We have acquired a travel trailer that will accommodate all of us and we are gearing up for our first trip to see our # 4 son graduate from Bible college next weekend. Excitement is in the air.

I made a couple new dresses for the girls. I use McCalls 4432. When I don't have much time it amounts to sewing dresses that are simple. I just add elastic to the waist as my girls have tiny waists and it looks better to have it snugged in a little on them.

New Look has some cute and easy dresses for girls sizes 3-8. Check out this one as well as this one. These are dresses with back zippers and if you opt for the invisible zipper, it goes a little faster.

Have any of you had a hard time finding patterns for girls dresses that are modest for sizes 10-14? I have found some simple ones from Common Sense Patterns , Candle on the Hill, and Ringger Clothing. Here is one that has more detail to it for dressier occasions as well as this one.

Happy Spring sewing!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My favorite pincushion!

Here she is!
I picked this up a few years ago at the local gift shop. I have enjoyed this "little lady" as she is very stable, holds a lot of pins, doesn't get lost, and looks great.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I have just learned that I had the "comments" section disabled. I am sorry about that. I am learning how to run a blog rather slowly, but finding it fun to do. It should be enabled now.
Thanks for your patience and tolerance.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Elegant and simple

This is a Bonnie Crawford pattern, Butterick 5155, that appears to be an easy pattern. It has nice lines and would work in a variety of fabrics. Again, check the neckline to make sure it is high enough to be modest when leaning over. A lady is much more confident about wearing her clothing when she knows it fits nicely and she will have no "awkward" moments. There are lists that one can use to see if the clothing is modest. Nancy Leigh DeMoss of "Revive Our Hearts" radio and internet site, has one called "The Style Quiz."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Renee Eillison has an excellent source of information concerning dressing femininely and other related topics.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How about putting on something beautiful?

These are a couple dresses from Aunt Abigail's Attic, a Spring and Summer 1987 catalog put out by J. Jill LTD. I always thought they had some very feminine clothing styles that were made out of natural fibers. These were of cotton. The various types of sleeves and bodices enhanced the pretty and soft flowing lines. I would tend to call these almost classic. The bodices are slightly fitted using the princess lines or a little blouson with no darts, some are jewel necklines others have lace collars, sleeves are gathered or plain, skirts are slightly gathered to full, mid-calf to above ankle hemlines.
We have come so far from styles like these. Many of the dresses now are quite stark. They do not exhibit the softness of a woman and perhaps because the fashion mood is rather harsh. The frills that are used mostly resemble the present underwear or lingerie faddism. The modern look evokes shallowness of character, especially body language--what you seek is what you get!
What one wears (or doesn't wear) speaks so loudly that our minds and thoughts have been so debased and degraded by blatant exposure that we have become dull in our senses and do not become appalled at very much. I do prefer the winter season to go about shopping with the family because most females tend to put on more clothes then.
Christian women do have great opportunities to be an "unspoken voice" in wearing modest clothing. What's wrong with wearing a dress? This last century (and perhaps the next) was the most manly-styled century of women's clothing. Research on women's clothing styles shows that there has been exposure of body parts down through the ages and along with that, Christians writers who have spoken out against such immodesty. One definitely can't make a horse drink water, but if he is thirsty, he will drink. How can we apply that to dressing modestly? I don't think it will work because the clothing worn in suggestive ways ( purposely or not) will always represent the "call" to a man. The only way a gal can make a difference is to dress in a way that shows she is keeping her body for her husband in body, mind and spirit. Therefore, she dresses with care, not tight nor baggy, but yet one can tell she is a woman of God by her demeanor and style of dress which should be feminine and pleasant. This would apply to girls, young ladies, mothers, and mature women. If men are more gallant towards this kind of lady, then hopefully it would encourage other women to check it out. My view for now.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Shirtwaists can be dressed up or worn plain

This is another favorite. It has a notched collar and is not too difficult to sew if you follow directions carefully. I believe McCalls 4769 has been around for a while so that means there are a lot of gals buying it over the years. The pattern I have was published in 2005. This is a classic style with darts on the bodice. Depending on the fabric you choose, it can be fancy in a silky or linen or one can use cotton for everyday practicality. I do prefer to raise the neckline and that takes some adjusting . Sometimes you can just make the buttonhole higher for the top button. It may make the collar lay differently as the pattern is made specifically to lay as shown on the pattern.
I have noticed that the models seem to be standing in fairly awkward stances. It definitely doesn't make them look very modest or feminine.
Until next time,
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Favorite Dress Pattern

This is another favorite. Simplicity 5189 is an easy dress
to sew. There are no zippers or buttons and one can leave the ties off. I have raised the neckline using another pattern for the jewel neckline I prefer. I just leave a short neckline opening in back and close it with a button and loop. This pattern works well in cottons and fabric that has "flow" to it. It is a very feminine style and would work well on many body types. My only suggestion would be to check and make sure when you have a low neckline and bend over that you don't want to expose an immodest view. I believe the sleeveless style would make a nice jumper. The only other thing I would add is pockets and I haven't figured out where I would put those in as I like in-seam pockets. Sometimes the pockets make it look bulky at the hip on slim outlines. I will need to experiment. I made this in a red silky print I got several years ago when WalMart sold fabrics for $1./yd. I made a scrunchie to go with it. I think you will be pleased with the fit of this dress when you have sewn it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pattern Ideas

This is one nice shirtwaist pattern from Vogue:
Vogue 8028 is an easy dress to make. It is a simple shirtwaist that doesn't require a lot of yardage and would work well in a variety of colors or prints and fabrics for all seasons. It has a button front and that could add up to extra expense depending on the cost of buttons that match. It has pockets and is quite comfortable. I don't sew in the darts or pleats but gather instead to work in the fulness, which really isn't very much.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Modest patterns

I have perused the pattern books in the fabric stores and have a hard time finding really modest style dresses that one can just cut and sew. It seems that there would have to be much done to raise necklines, loosen fittings, and lower hemlines to appear decently covered.

I have emailed the major pattern catalogs with suggestions of serving the "modest" community with dresses styled more to cover a woman than uncover. The answers were to get a pattern and then adjust it to suit what personal design one has in mind, perhaps even getting the "basic shell" pattern and using it to create what is lacking in the pattern.

I am going to list what I have found to work for me in the next post. These patterns should be available in the fabric stores and it is less costly to get them on sale.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This is Mandy's new winter dress. I usedMcCall's 3706. It is an older pattern and was published in 2002. McCall's 4432 is very similar. The sleeves would need to be lengthened for winter. I also put elastic encased in the bodice/skirt seam that goes from side-seam to side-seam. That way it doesn't look so loose on her.

How is "modest" defined?

Posting comments on this blog has taken a back seat to other activities of this winter season.
I have been perusing sites on modesty due to a question from a family member as to how to broach the subject of what is appropriate wear for a young lady--a girl in her early teens, caught up in the prowess of that ever present standard of peer pressure in the social setting of the public school, by which many evils are engendered in the minds of the so-susceptible subconscious of youth. The stigma of the public school culture lasts a lifetime for some and for others, it becomes a starting point for further life-building character. For a few it tends to breed stagnation and apathy towards developing the best of oneself.
Yet amidst all of this, there arise challenges whereby one can gain insight into what is really important in life. However, I would assume that there are few who are actually taught to look for these and to use them to gain a better understanding of their purpose in life.
At any rate, I have been intrigued with some of the sites that try to explain "modest" in light of their life styles rather than using a dictionary to get an accurate meaning and then be able to use it in light of the actual meaning and contrast it to their perceived definition.
Modest is a word that has a definitive standard. Period. If it is judged by today's cultural norms, one can assess it using behavioral modifications to suit whatever fits. It's the thought that says I can define it whichever way it suits me. We have allowed definitions to meet our standards of self-indulgence.
Religious groups are mocked as well as followers of various beliefs for having a standard of modest dressing. Within each of these there are examples of inconsistency or hypocrisy. However, the consensus is that the women (this is definitely not a male thing!) in these groups have shown a respect for a standard of dressing that dominates their presence in society as saying they have a reason for dressing that way. Their worldview tends to lean towards the definitions that have come down through the ages rather than the inconclusive situational "modest" claims. Perhaps the question should be--by what standard do you judge modest--is it your own definition or are you willing to acknowledge the aged wisdom passed down. History is full of various examples of clothing or lack of clothing, yet the definition seems to stay the same for "modest."
We have become so self-centered and indulgent to our senses that we often lose sight of the true meaning of words. What is important is that our standards should adhere to what we accept as true definitions.
My personal take is that I prefer to use the dictionary for clarifying meanings and keeping that straight in my mind.
So what does "modest" mean? Check out the dictionary! There are many online sources.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The girls have been gaining height and stature in the past six months. I was able to make the older daughter a new winter dress. I found some cotton mix fabric at the fabric store on sale and made her a simple dress. The buttons cost as much as the fabric. It went together pretty quickly.