Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Classy Comfortable Dresses for Winter.

Butterick  6615
This is a quick and easy pattern for winter and early spring wear with turtle neck and leggings or tights.  I would advise a straight hem as the leggings or tights would cause the dress to catch and rise up.  Best with a length below the knees.  Watch the neckline when you bend over without a turtle neck or high neck sweater underneath.

Disclaimer:   Many of the patterns I suggest have some "weak" points that can be remedied to make them modest.  I  promote dresses and skirts that go below the knees, necklines that are close to the neck, sleeves that come close to the elbow, and all in good taste with comfortable ease of movement.  I believe our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are to strive to glorify God in how we dress and our deportment.  (1 Corinthians 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?)
To those who want to dress decently, respectably, honestly, without pretension, and modestly, I commend you for your desires to look and act like a lady.

Fall, winter, and spring are great times for layering.  If you live where the cool temperatures pervade these seasons, then there are some dresses that can be worn with under-layers and outer-layers to keep warm.

The classic jumpers are examples of these and I will do a blog on them some day.

The following dresses can be used year round in some climates and others require a weightier or denser fabric.

Liesl and Co.
 I made this dress and it was a little close fitting so check measurements if you want it looser, especially if you want to wear a turtleneck under it.  It is a very comfortable dress.  I made the neckline higher.

Terrace Dress
This pattern offers longer sleeves and can be made in heavier fabrics .  

Miranda Dress and illustration

Cami Dress

Lempi dress

Lempi dress

Butterick 6615
Make the hemline even for balance and ease of wear.

Honeycomb Dress Pattern
A very comfortable dress.


Tea House Seven Dress
Another dress that can be easily layered.

Dana Marie Dress
On sale for $6.00!
A good choice for price and winter dress wear.

Auberley  Dress Pattern

Looks like an easy Pattern to make.  Check out their website for further ideas.  An easy dress to make in heavier weights .
I like to feature some of the Independent Sewing Companies as we have access to the Big 4 Catalogs in most larger cities.  The internet makes it handy to check out pattern details and see what others have made using these patterns.  

I hope you can glean some inspiration for using what you have or adding to your wardrobe.

May God bless you as you seek his will in your life and in your sewing to his glory.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

My Favorite Summer Outfit - Loose Top and Dirndl Skirt

From Pinterest

It's been a busy and hot summer and I have enjoyed making an easy, quick, and simple outfit out of lightweight cottons.  I have several colors I like to use for summer wear.  I look for a pretty cotton print and matching  cotton solid in Walmart or Hobby Lobby  and cut them out in an evening or short afternoon. Sometimes I cut several layers together.  I haven't timed making them but they go together rather quickly using some simple tips listed below.

Here is the easy blouse pattern I use:

There are quite a few available on Etsy and ebay.

Details: Blouse

I make the short sleeve on the blouse and usually leave out the pocket.  I found it easy and money saving to  fasten the front facing to the bodice so that the center front seam lines overlap as in the picture and you can cut it out in one piece.

Note seam allowances.

Seam allowances are matched on the actual seam line.

The resulting piece cut out thus eliminating the front facing sewn to the bodice front.

I like the blousing effect when using this top pattern.  The waist has more definition since the skirt also is gathered and fuller.  I like that as it makes my waist look smaller (vanity?) since it now measures more than when I was younger!  This may not work for all.  The blouse can be made from a variety of styles, but if it is tucked in it should have some give, not form fitting, and length so that it won't come up out of the waistband easily. Blousing makes it look more feminine as men definitely do not wear their shirts "bloused" at the waistline.

I also mark the seam allowance of the outer edge of the collar and place it on a lengthwise fold, thus eliminating the seam and making the points easier to turn and look sharp.

Details:  Dirndl Skirt

These simple gathered skirts with a waistband were made popular by the German folk outfit worn during Oktoberfest.  The below-the-knee skirts are practical, becoming, and very feminine-looking in this day of short and tight skirts.

This is the skirt pattern I use  as I find it makes a very comfortable fit:
I found this at a thrift store also.

When I make my skirts I use the no-zipper put-on-through-the-side-pocket method.  It is quite easy and I don't have to put a zipper in.  There are several sites that will explain it better and a couple with patterns that use that closing.  Check these sites out:  Answer to side pocket opening,  waist closure in pocket discussion, an actual sewing pattern that has the pocket closure:  McCalls 7918.  It may be a little confusing at first, but once you understand the method, it is quite easy.  I usually overlock my pocket edges but they may be finished with zigzag or folded over and sewn.

I put in 2 gathering stitches on the skirt front and then two on the skirt  back as I stop where I have pockets on the side seams.  I just make sure I have the pockets facing the front when I sew the waistband on.

A much easier way to make a dirndl skirt  is to measure your finished skirt length add however deep you want the hem.  I make mine an inch and topstitch it down.  Add twice the width of your elastic plus 3/4 inch which you fold at 1/2 inch and stitch down leaving an opening to insert the elastic.  Perhaps a better explanation is found here:

Here is a site for an easy skirt:  Summer Skirt

Here are some pattern ideas from the past found on Google:  (please pardon the  extra hands, feet, etc. not edited out)

Here are some contemporary patterns:


McCalls 7604

Make this neckline smaller and higher so it is modest.

Butterick 6563  Leave out the waist darts and make the side seam straight rather than fitted and perhaps lengthen the hem if necessary to keep it tucked in.

The Crimson Rambler by Philip Leslie Hale 1908
Background Information

May you finish out your summer in something cool and comfortable as well as                                                                     pretty and pleasing to the Lord.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Wonderfully Simple Dresses to Make

70s Peasant Dress Pattern Style 1877 Size by allthepreciousthings-etsy

Spring and Summer!    Here we come with our easy to sew and great to wear dresses! 

I discussed the possibilities of making and wearing The Terrace Dress by Leisl +Co. and now we have another option in our easy dress patterns.   It is another perfectly easy dress to sew.  This inspiration came as I watched one of  the latest You Tube entries from Amy Barickman and she offered her easy Everyday Dress Pattern!  Check it out on her YouTube!  She has some cute ideas using her new pattern.  Wonderfully easy!

The style of dress I am referring to has an elastic neckline, raglan sleeves or set-in, with flaring after the waistline.  Below are many styles from years' past patterns; called  BoHo, 70s, hippies, etc., yet it is a classic style.  It is coming back but unfortunately with the neckline making dropped, bared, shoulders stylish.  I believe as modest ladies we can still have elements of this style of dress that will bring glory to God while we wear it.  I have mixed some past patterns with new ones for inspiration.

If you will note on these dresses  that some of the necklines are lower than others. It would be best to raise the neckline so that it comes just below your collarbone.  You can make it high as you want as in the Simplicity 9164. 

Butterick has a current pattern 6451 that would work with some neckline adjustments and making the hem longer on the short version.  Use an old sheet to make a muslin sample for how you want your neckline to fit.

The Burda pattern could be used with View B neckline, longer sleeves, making the waist elastic fit at the waist.and perhaps make the skirt A-line with a  longer length for hemline.

Simplicity View B would work but probably a raised neckline.  I would suggest perhaps making a nightie with the neckline to see how it fits especially when you compare your measurements to the pattern.

The Maker's Atelier
This dress offer sleeves that are cut-on, Kimono type, that can have an elastic band.  It is a very simple pattern which you will see on their site and to make it more usable for walking, being a Mom, etc., make the skirt flared and longer and I think you will have an excellent dress for summer wear.  Make it in a variety of colors and prints!  I would suggest staying away from knits as they tend to keep one warmer.

I like the comfortable look of this one in the middle and I would raise the neckline.  Similar to the one below in the middle.

Source: Google
New Look 6066

Simplicity 9154

 Another example for sleeves.

Whimsy Couture
 This one I mentioned in a earlier blog.  It seems to be very simply constructed with color contrasting fabrics.

Whimsy Couture
I would put the elastic at the waist as worn this way calls attention to your mid -bodice area rather than your face.  These sleeves are shorter and can be lengthened by cutting them several inches longer.  Figure out where they come on your arm and adjust accordingly.

These styles below have added braid, trims,  and ruffles for interest.

McCalls 5888

Melly Sews  offers a peasant top for women for $2  which you could lengthen into a dress or use your favorite skirt pattern with it.

What ever you do wear do wear to the glory of God as a modest woman representing her Savior.

After all is said and done, Amy Barickman kindly offers a free Everyday Dress Pattern if you visit her YouTube to hear the details and see the examples.  Wonderful thoughtfulness of her!