Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cold Days Ahead-Winter Wear Considered

Here are some interesting dresses.  These are found HERE. The top "little black dress" is elegant!  The middle dress with children's art is cute and whimsical  (reminds me of Ms. Frizzle of the Magic School Bus) and the lower picture says it all!  The video shows dresses are simple in line with A-lines, fitted chemises, waisted silhouettes, as well as shirtwaists.  The  double-breasted coats and jackets look nice.  There are outfits inappropriate  but that is to be expected with hi-fashion designers.  Use discretion if you share this with your children.  The lower the hemline the more feminine the style and that goes along with being covered-no see-throughs or lots of flesh showing.

I noticed some uses of fur or faux fur.  I think that one could make a collar like the model who has fur around her neck with the sleeveless black dress.  A collarless jacket with the dress would have looked better.  The little touches of fur can be accent pieces for the winter as well as for warmth.

Those above are for dress-up occasions.  Getting more practical for every day wear  there is always the denims for a country or western look such as this:
Dresses for casual wear can be made from any style pattern you like as long as you are able to move easily and gracefully with no low necklines or short skirts.  The style you choose can be similar to the basic black dress above with a smaller neckline.  There are heavier fabrics that would keep one warmer such as twills, and bottom-weights.


The above outfit is more sporty and ladies styles vary greatly.  It is all a matter of looking feminine while you wear what you choose.  

Simple dressing is best for home and this can be skirts and tops, dresses, culottes and blouses.  
McCalls3129 is a practical pattern, but out of stock.  Substitute New Look 6587 and make the neck higher.  You could add longer sleeves from another pattern or use  McCalls 2718 (below) fitting pattern to raise the neckline and for different sleeve lengths.
McCalls 2718

This pattern by Lisette, Butterick 6182, is simple and  would work with a skinny knit top underneath the blouse for winter.

Here are some more dresses that can be used for winter dresses and when summer comes make them with shorter sleeves and lighter fabrics.

If you like to wear jumper dresses and want a comfortable one, this is a summer pattern, but one could make it in heavier fabrics and wear knit tops or blouses under it for more warmth.  McCalls 7159

There are few simple patterns for blouses.  I like high necks in cooler weather and longer sleeves.  Cottons are warmer than blends.   
McCalls 6750
The fitted one is not as easy to move around in as is the looser shirt style above.  Also  New Look 6394 is another simple shirt style.

There are many simple skirt patterns available.  For home it can be more comfortable to wear A-lines, and if your waist changes size over the day, just add and inch or two to the waistline to accommodate the change.
New Look 6346 skirt is easy.

 Below is an easy skirt from Butterick 5757
McCalls easy skirt pattern

That's just a few of the patterns offered by the major pattern companies.  Many of you may have your favorite "go-to" patterns already.  

Wishing you happy sewing times !

Monday, October 26, 2015

Quick and Easy Light Jacket for Cooler Tempertatures

I found a very practical pattern to stitch up and take off the chill as the weather cools down.  It is offered by CNT Pattern Company.  This past week my sister visited with us and she has a new sewing machine and was looking for simple projects and patterns to work with.  It has been almost 30 years since she sewed so I took her to the local quilt shop and she purchased the batik fabric above to go with her brown pants.  These really look lovely with skirts!  This is a pattern that anyone can wear.  I highly recommend sewing up several to add color to your basic skirts or dresses.  They advertise them as being able to sew up in three hours.  What a perfect way to unwind in some spare time!  The instructions are easy to follow.

                                      A Little Somethin' Jacket 

A Little Somethin' Jacket 

Breeze into the season in this carefree layer of pure casual elegance! The jacket has a slightly flared 3/4 length sleeve or full-length sleeve and is designed to move easily from work to weekend. The front edge is self-faced. Just fold, press, stitch for quick easy construction. This is truly a three hour project! Whether 22 1/2" or 25 1/2" finished length, this feminine silhouette is as comfortable as it is stylish!
Sizes included: 8-24

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Musings on Fall into Winter

Gather It Up

With the wind blowing very steady at gale forces, I am inside thinking of how to be prepared for winter.  So far our fall has been unusually warm with only two frosts that nipped the top leaves of the vegetables.  With an 80 degree day yesterday, it is hard to imagine colder days are coming.  We have had a beautiful golden Fall but today the leaves are definitely disappearing in the wind.

The circling scarves are still fashionable and are a mainstay for winter warmth.  Fabrics and hand knitted or crocheted neck wraps work wonderfully. Sewing your own would save time and money and give you a very usable accessory. This would be a project you could work on when the weather changes and you can sit and put a little time into a scarf that would suit your needs.  Here are some to check out:
Fabric scarf to make.

Free Pattern

Another great site and printable instructions for the infinity scarf is found here from Pink Chalk Fabrics.

I like the cooler weather for layering.  It works better for warmth.  I know there are those that don't care to wear layers, but I need them to keep warm.  I do like to wear the leggings under skirts.  This year I found some fleece-lined tights.  I know they aren't a natural fiber, but I hope they will do the trick as I usually wear knee-hi socks with the leggings and sometimes the leggings look a little baggy around the ankle even though I try to fold them to keep them flat against my ankle under the knee-hi socks.

Getting the right pair of shoes or boots helps also.  The clog-type shoes go with a lot of heavier fabrics as well as boots.  It really depends on your preference and weather.  For shopping, I prefer a low shoe of leather.  Be sure to get a shoe with a good gripping sole as the slick soles can cause serious injury if you slip on wet flooring with them.

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.