Sunday, February 15, 2015

Wardrobe Considerations: McCall's Sewing Book 1968

I found this classic at a second hand store and have enjoyed the tips and tricks presented.  It gives a lot of detailed sewing instruction as well as other useful information.

This is the article that I am pleased to quote here:

                                                            WARDROBE NEEDS

                                                                     At Home

                                  "The homemaker often makes the big mistake of thinking she    
                                  does not have to look her best when doing her daily chores.                                                                                                            Actually, ill-fitting clothes lower her morale and make her less
                                   able to cope with everyday trials.  This doesn't mean she has to
                                   dress up, but it does mean that she should look neat and trim.
                                  .......A simple shirtwaist dress or wrap-around with flared
                                   or pleated skirt will often present a much more attractive
                                   appearance and be just as comfortable as pants.

                                   For evenings at home a simple dress is always in good taste.
                                   But dress up a little bit if you wish.  It adds a touch of gaiety
                                   or elegance to a family gathering.  However, the degree of
                                   dressing-up depends on your situation."

Even though pants were becoming more prevalent it is interesting to note that this book encourages women to look neat and dress in good taste.  Quite the contrary to today's standards.  We have standards to uphold in our homes.  We want to show our family that we are women in the best possible position to minister to the needs of our family by our demeanor and decorum.  Like the Boy Scout adage:  Be Prepared, we want to be in readiness for a much as possible as homemakers.  Being clothed with garments that bring honor to the Lord and our families will boost their morale  and  encourage them to look neat.  We do have to wear clothes so why not make them nice as well as comfortable as the investment of time and money is one of our stewardship obligations.

Here is a 1968 outfit that would work now.  The skirt needs lengthening, but it is a practical style for many homemaker responsibilities.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Capsulizing a Wardrobe: Good deal on skirts, tops, and dress patterns on sale-- ends Friday,Feb. 13

Butterick is closing out some patterns and some of these would make very workable pieces.

A very comfortable and easy to sew skirt pattern.

The jacket tops from B3037 have classic lines and would work nicely with the skirts in B3134.   The cardigan  and shirtdress in B5760  would be addtional pieces to incorporate into the wardrobe.  These are on sale at Butterick.  I imagine they will not be carried anymore in their catalog.  For $3.00 each or discounted for the Club Members and if you are not able to find any on sale at your favorite fabric stores for around $2.00, these would be worth considering for adding classic lines to your wardrobe.  This sale ends Friday, February 13, 2015.

These could easily be made in heavier cotton fabrics for everyday wear.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Capsulizing a wardrobe: Checking out skirts

My new favorite pattern.

These inspirations are a little disjointed but all aiming at a minimal wardrobe for the two major seasons.  If you happen to live where you only deal with warm and cool, then perhaps your expenses on your wardrobe will be less.  Americans tend to overdo in many aspects, and one of them is making sure we have clothes to wear, albeit, when we look upon the items in the closet and wonder "what am I going to wear?"  I think that has more to do with careless planning or whim-ful shopping.

My hopes are to encourage you to use your favorite classical styles incorporating a few basic colors that look best on you and using them to mix and match to the greatest extent.

For example, using grey, black and burgundy for skirts, jackets and/or sweaters .  Then add tops that complement these colors or contrast.  A couple dresses that match also and some wonderful accessories of scarves, jewelry, vests, etc., that will make it more expandable.

Now the determining factor of what kind of wardrobe you need depends on what your occupations is. There are so many wardrobe ideas out there for business/professional women.  I will devote these posts to the women of all ages who are stay-at-home mothers , empty-nesters,  grandmothers, aunts, cousins, daughters, and homemakers of all kinds.

The major pattern companies put out capsule wardrobes, but most are not practical for everyday use.
I suggest finding a favorite pattern or skirt style that you like and stick with it, maybe varying the width or flare.  Keep them  simple and easy to make for your investment of time and money.  Jackets and sweaters should match the skirts.  The idea being that you can be dressed for anything if you are coordinated in neat and clean clothes and just throw a jacket or sweater on if you have to run an errand.  Tops should be pretty and feminine.  It is nice to see women in a pretty top as compared to our T-shirt comrades where beauty and grace lack.  I am of the old school where T-shirts were considered underwear as they were made to fit close to the body and whatever revealed our obvious curves was usually underneath a looser garment.  Hints of feminine shape are much better received  than the embarrassing tightness easily noticed.   Just remember we are to protect our fellow Christian brothers; and men and boys in general, from wayward glances by dressing discreetly and modestly.

One new skirt pattern that I like and find it easy to work with is the Hollyburn Skirt pattern from Sewaholic.  More information here about pattern envelope back. I usually make my skirts with a left side pocket opening so I don't have to sew a zipper.  This one has slashed pockets and a zipper in the back.  I have made one skirt so far and have fabric for more.  The skirt is a dark green poplin and I have cotton blouse fabric for the top. This is a  test run from my stash to see how it fits and wears as I like the style.   I want to use some basic colors  for mixing and matching  tops and skirts. I will see if I can post some pictures when I finish the skirt and blouse.

You will find that A-line skirts or slightly flared skirts are flattering to all women--it's the length that makes the difference.  This pattern has 3 different lengths and I would suggest that you cut about 4 inches extra on the hem on View A and try it on just to make sure you have a length that you like.  Otherwise make it your preferred length adding the correct inches plus 1 inch hem.  After searching for some good images of the finished skirt, I decided not to put any on until I had  a good shot of one that had a hem below the knees!  I don't think women realize that knees do not make a pretty picture!  It may be that they think it is an attraction or calling for attention, but they don't realize how pretty and feminine they look when the skirt length is mid calf or lower--it just balances out the body so nicely!