Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Perfect for use!

I was in Walmart near my sister's and found this handy piece of equipment.  It is just a plastic square bottle with a pincushion fastened to the screw-on lid which makes it very handy pinning patterns and sewing.  I believe it was around $5-$6.
I have also been searching out different sizes of pins to get some that will go into cheap fabric as well as those of finer qualilty.  I ended up buying some longer ones in a smaller width.  They are more costly than the regular dressmaker pins.  I found some size information here and then I looked in Walmart, JoAnn's, Hancocks, and some quilt stores and found several makers and quite a variety.  Prices were about the same and could be less with some coupons from sales flyers.  I did get some longer ones in  the narrow thickness with glass heads.  Some manufacturers do not list the pin thickness, but go by name size, i.e. "super-fine". 

Here is a rundown of pin information from   Threads Magazine.  This was the most helpful chart for me. 

Dressmaker/all-purpose If in doubt, reach for this medium- length (1-1/16- to 1-1/2-inch) pin. It is appropriate for all sorts of garment sewing.

Quilting pin
Quilting Made especially for pinning through many layers of fabric and batting, this 1-1/2- to 2-inch pin is also garment-friendly, as its long length hardly ever slips out of place.

To avoid marring fabric with pin holes, choose the thinnest pin to accomplish the task at hand. Unfortunately, we discovered that the naming convention, as it relates to actual diameters, isn’t consistent among manufacturers. So the best thing to do is roll a pin between your fingers to gauge its actual thickness.
.4mm, .5mm, .6mm and .7mm or .8mm.

.4mm The thinnest traditional pin we found was a .4mm “Patchwork Pin (Fine)” by Clover. It passes beautifully through the finest of sheers.

.5mm Called “extra-fine,” “super-fine,” “silk,” or “satin,” these .5mm pins are recommended for fine, lightweight fabrics, including some sheers.

.6mm Most all-purpose pins are labeled “fine,” and are best paired with medium-weight fabrics.

.7mm or .8mm Although harder to find, these diameters are great for thicker fabrics like heavy wools, denim, and quilted layers. But they do leave large holes in their wake.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Which do you follow?

                                     Age Gracefully, Not Youthfully 
                                         ( title from WWNH)

This is  the title taken from an email sent by What Women Never Hear.  Please read the article for  information.   I thought it was pertinent to today's cultural attitude towards "looking forever youthful."  It has a lot to do with designers trying to help women of all ages appear youthful.  One of Satan's schemes is to make us feel old and unattractive after we reach the age where the face starts to show a few wrinkles, our bodies show signs of mothering, and the calendar reminds us the years are passing quickly.  God never designed us to live in the same "condition" for all our earthly life.  Ever since Adam and Eve had sinned against God, we have a built-in deterioration mode. 

We cannot compare ourselves with others as no one is the same.  We may have similarities, but our desire should be to model the years that God has given us to His glory  and not to seek those ideals held by the world.  These ideals are put out by the variety of media that bombards us daily.  The less we have of it coming into our life, the more we are able to think Godward.  Simplify your life by eliminating those messages that come into your home, i.e. cut off the magazine subscriptions that are depicting worldly lifestyles and ideals, eliminate the TV or restrict it, don't keep up on the latest movies,  go window shopping, etc..

There is a more pleasing way to live than trying to keep up with the youth.  Seek ways that show the women around you that it is wonderful to grow older in the Lord and still look and act beautiful  by enhancing those traits that are Godly. Don't draw attention to yourself by trying to look like a teen or a twenty-something.

"Flee youthful lusts:  but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."  2 Timothy 2:22

Use colors that look good on you, wear dresses and tops that aren't body revealing  (otherwise people can tell what size underwear you wear, how many lumps and bumps and where), use feminine touches of rufles and lace once in a while,  wear a swishy skirt,  wear a long denim skirt with a plaid blouse,  wear shoes that look good on your feet-- stilts aren't for most people (how many have had bad accidents with those shoes-they may be good for fending off an attacker)--practical low-heeled boots are good for winter.  Always consider the checks for modesty and fit. 

Wear a smile as that is the most beautiful attribute you have!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Do the knees really have the spotlight this season?

Do we "kneed" our knees showing?

(Just an interjectory comment--my biased opinion--- here between thoughts of putting a wardrobe together.)

Looking at a few of the new styles coming off the ramps and through the pattern books ( I haven't had any opportunity to check out fashion magazines or catalogs), it seems that skirts tend to be short again with many above the knee and mid-knee.  I caught myself studying knees and decided that a woman really looks much more feminine when her knees are covered--in regards to skirts and dresses.   Take a good look at those styles that show the knees.  My opinion is that they look much better covered--something knobby and sinewy about their appearance--perhaps because  I grew up looking at cow's and horse's legs and it just doesn't strike me as something needing to be shown.  The leg curve below the knee is much more attractive when the skirt goes below the knees.  The feminine lines of the wearer continue with a graceful flow.   Check it out for yourself.

One more thought:  we tend to dress little girls in short dresses for reasons of practicality, so is extending the exposed knees to adulthood  an attempt to look "girly" rather than feminine?  Are we afraid of becoming old, having wrinkles, losing our figure, etc.?  Who really needs to see those knees? I suppose there are certain ones who consider exposed knees as an attractive attribute in order to seek attention.  But looks should not be directed to below the face.  I am sure most people are plenty tired of seeing cleavage, yet I think more are embarrassed by it as well as seeing legs exposed  up to who knows where ( I would hope there are people who still blush when a woman bares skin that only her husband should see and men who would turn their gaze away! God only knows what messages it sends to our dear children.).  There is a faint yet strong message that what one can't see in clothing, and I don't mean peek-a-boo, slits, or skin tight,  is that the look is much more attractive.  Crass clothing is equal to advertisement.  Your clothing denotes your character statement.

 Graceful is a trait applied to a young lady or woman whose lines flow gently from top to bottom with good posture and demeanor.  Something could be said about shoe styles, but in a future post.

I came across something to think about while reading a post by Lady Lydia, one commenter recommends a longer skirt  length  which makes you look more feminine and slender whereas the shorter lengths tend to make one look fatter.  Do a little research.  Sit someplace where you can observe people. 

Question:  How can we influence our daughters and women of Christian faith to dress modestly so that they realize they are doing so to please the Lord, the King of Kings, the most important one in their life?

Question: Do we have ladies and matronly ladies who will dare to dress different than current fads and styles? We need great examples of ladies of stature and demeanor.

Challenge:  Will you join me as we seek to encourage our sisters in faith and women in general that we are pleased to be a lady by God's choice and design and dress and act that way?

May we do all to the glory of God.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Line-up for minimal wardrobing

Autumn Cover of French Periodical Les Modes Showing Fashionable Woman Alone in Park

   Felix Fournery

Time for some Fall/Winter sewing ideas and wardrobe planning.

There are many considerations when it comes to setting up a wardrobe:
  • Climate/Location
  • Seasons
  • Finances
  • Time
  • Stay-at-home or working
  • Special Occasions
  • Classic styles
  • Shape and Size
  • Special Needs
For those who live in climates that don't vary in temperature much, but do in weather, one could use a wardrobe year-round without a lot of expense.  For those of us who live in the northern temperate hemisphere where there are definite seasons we, for Fall and Winter now, use heavier wovens as well as knitted items for warmth and put our Spring/Summer wardrobe in storage.

Being thrifty helps all and many a good wardrobe can be built from visits to the Thrift Stores.  Even smaller towns can offer some decent clothing as well as some that can be remodeled.  Let your imagination inspire you.

Fabric for clothing is harder to find as the choices of natural fibers rather than synthetics is dwindling in many areas since most fabrics are woven overseas.

Once you have figured out what your basic needs are for a wardrobe, you can purchase or use patterns you have for basic styles that look good on you.  If in doubt go to the clothing store and try on things that appeal to you to see how you look in them, if a certain style is good for you.  Check out color as well.  Don't be afraid to try something different as long as it meets modest standards. 
We want to look good but not to be envied or lusted after.  Take someone along when unsure.

If you prefer dresses to skirts and tops, you can make one for every day of the week.  Don't forget to have some good sturdy aprons handy.   They are easier to clean than whole garments.  For moms with babies and toddlers, you will have to increase the amount of  dresses or tops obviously.

Fall 2012 Trends-Red
Remember there are styles that last and there are fads that fade fast.  Take a good look at what styles are offered for the seasons.  Sometimes they are variations of classics and sometimes they are quite impractical.  The model on the left is wearing a classic blazer with a gathered skirt.  The model on the right has one extreme style .  No doubt as to which one would get more miles of wear.

For the time being, work out a paper plan that meets your needs.  Be thinking of colors you like.  Check out what basics you already have and what you could add to make the ensembles you need.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Home Again

We are finally back from a wonderful visit in the great Pacific Northwest. Apple season is well underway in central Washington and we were able to bring back some great big Honeycrisps for fresh eating. We were also able to visit the Back to Eden garden site and learn from the experience of one who gardens God's way. A very interesting side trip and the children really enjoyed it!

The weather was the best and I was able to wear my new dress that was pictured in the last post.  We did go thrifting and found some nice summer tops on sale for the girls as we went prepared for rainy and cool weather. 

It almost takes a week to get back into a routine.  It is good to be home and to think about sewing for Fall and Winter.  The girls are ready to get their F/W clothes out and put away their S/S outfits.  I have done that now that nights are getting a little more brisk.