Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Musings on a Spring Outfit: Choosing a suitable dress style

With hints of Spring coming, I have been thinking about a few dressy dresses and a certain coat for church and special occasions.  This is the time of year, weather permitting, lighter weight and brighter outfits can be worn.  One new outfit sometimes brightens the outlook when skies darken and  clouds hover.  Fabric stores have been bringing in new bolts of fabric for Spring and Summer uses.  Choosing a color whether in solid, print or geometrics should match with jackets worn in  warmer weather.

Choosing a dress that is becoming must be carefully considered.  The contemporary styles of knit clothing do not necessarily bring about the glances or thoughts that would uplift minds to seeing Christ in us.  Our choices should be so that it makes us beautiful as in God honoring, not in lustiness or vulgarity.  Our society is bombarded in all avenues of vision with much exposure of the body and this can be in explicit lucidity as well as in clinging clothing.  Focus and purpose of clothing is to draw attention to our Christlike countenance  rather than emphasis on our particularly womanly features.  God wants us to be distinctive in that we dress like ladies rather than gentlemen;  i.e., our clothing is not to be uni-sex, man-styled, make us manly looking, or have a masculine hint.  Here is a wonderful article by Lady Lydia on clothing for women.

Choosing a dress silhouette is basically deciding which lines look best for you.  Looking at a dress from the shoulders down, consider what lines you  like and what works best for you.  These are the principles of design--making lines which best suit YOU.

Considering the shoulder seams are there, the dress that has only side seams, with or without bust darts, and a back zipper:

  • the straight shift
  • the A-line
  • the tunic style-layered
  • the loose tent style
Then there are the princess lines:

  • lines coming over the bust from the shoulder seam
  • lines coming from the armhole replacing the bust dart
If there are lines added across the body so bodice and skirt are two pieces sewn together:

  • the sheath
  • the low-waisted dress
  • the high waisted dress
  • the empire
  • the asymmetrical closing dress
  • the yoked dress
  • bloused-look (blouson)
  • the shirtwaist
These are the basics from which there are many designer creative varieties.

At this conjuncture, I will have to make another post on what silhouettes look best on different body types.

My thoughts for a dress and coat that I would like to try are:

I would make view D in a print and make the length longer.

Butterick 5966   This has nice princess lines and would fit nicely over the above dress.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Capsulizing a Wardrobe: Choosing Appropriate Jackets

To Let
James Collinson
We used to live in an area where we would have sunshine in the morning and dress for it and then when we reached town in the lower elevation, it would be foggy and cold and I would wish for a warm jacket.  Nowadays, it is a matter of checking the weather online and  being prepared.

Jacket styles vary and choices  should be based on what  looks best on your body type.  The lines of the  jacket should be simple if the fabric has a lot of  "action".  Big, bold prints or even smaller  designs need to be kept simple.  Shapes are easier seen in medium to light plain colors.  Remember that black and any other deep dark colors do not show detail but body outlines. Darker colors tend to recede while lighter and brighter colors draw out.

Simple styles work best with lots of outfits.  Jackets range from boxy to very fitted and from short lengths to almost knee lengths.  Necklines vary from closed up to the neck to open to the bust line.

Short necks look good in cardigan styles.
Long necks can wear  blazer and tailored styles.
Broad shoulders should not wear the cropped jackets--those that end above the waist.
Those with smaller bosoms will find the short jackets flattering being fitted or bolero type.  They can also pull off wearing vests and capes nicely.
Those with large bosoms need to stay away from cropped jackets but  can look great in cardigan styles and capes.
Those with short waists will not benefit from the cropped jackets.
Long waists will find  cardigan styles, cropped jackets  and the more fitted jackets flattering.
Large hips should stay away from the cropped jackets as it accents the hips.
Of course the skinny frame can wear most any jacket style and look good.
Large frame should stay away from  anything very short.

Vogue patterns has a simple guide that they use for their patterns and helping you determine if a certain pattern is suitable for you.  Notice the four black shapes to the right of the pattern and click on the (About Figure Flattery) words and it will take you to the explanation.

I  found Burda Pattern that I am eager to try--Burda 6760.  The shirtwaist skirt will be made flared and longer.  The short jacket looks interesting enough to try first in a muslin.  I may prefer the longer fitted length with long sleeves and no pockets to wear on cool days.  It is a very simple style and should not take long to sew together.  I was able to download this pattern from SewingPatterns. com  as we live  quite a distance from fabric stores.  If you sign up for their emails, sometimes you can download a variety of patterns for very reasonable prices.

Here is another jacket made in a heavier fabric that would be flattering on a lot of figures.

This is an interesting cape that should go nicely when the really cold times are past. You can find it available here.  Check the images of  this pattern made by others on the net, lots of clever sewing!

Vogue makes the classic cardigan style in Vogue7975

Simplicity also offers a blazer/tailored jacket in Simplicity 2246

McCalls has a nice jacket pattern suitable to wear during cold weather.  The style is basic and flattering to many figure types.

As for classics and minimizing the amount of clothing, find a style that you like and that looks good on you.  Get a trusted friend to go shopping with you and find a color that will go with most all of your clothes.  Keep the lines simple and one that you can add scarves or other accessories to for dressing up or keeping warm.  A good weight for winter is a lined woolen fabric if you are wearing it as your outer wear.  If you wear a heavy coat over a jacket then choose a lighter fabric for wearing indoors when business buildings, etc. are cooler.  Try to figure out the most use possible in the best quality fabric and classic design for a decent price.  In some areas now, there may be sales on winter wear as stores are already getting spring and summer items out.