"Young Italian Woman at the Well"
This is an interesting garment from the 1800's, and the color is splendid. Many of the paintings of women in the past centuries are placed against exquisite natural backgrounds of flowers, rivers, skies and seas. Winterhalter was the artist hired by Queen Victoria's family, and his portraits are considered historical records. If you live in England, you might be able to find a gallery where his paintings are on display. They were in our country a few years ago, and many people who attended said they were just exquisite to behold up close. The photographs I use here are nothing, compared to the quality in reality.
These flowers from the garden have a similar color as the painting, above, and give me some good ideas for color combination in sewing. You can get inspiration all around you, and I believe that sewing your own clothing is 50 percent inspiration.
Sewing hint: Sew neat. As you cut out each piece, fold the pattern and put it away. I keep mine in a large zip lock plastic bag. Dispose of small scraps as you cut. Put larger scraps together and keep neatly near your machine. There is no need to clutter the entire home with a sewing project, if you neaten and clean as you sew. Each project should be small enough to put on a little folded table or tv tray near the sewing machine, or a basket, out of the way. Take a break after completing the cutting out portion of the project, to go to the main parts of the house and pick up clutter and straighten. Keeping surroundings orderly makes the sewing more relaxing.
Observe which sewn garments you tend to wear the most, and use that pattern often. This white one with the antique gathered cotton lace that a sweet friend sent me, seems to be the one I wear the most. It has the under dress; the slip with the sleeves, and it has no ties or waistline. I cannot recommend the slip, enough. Because of the slip with sleeves, the dress rarely needs to be laundered. That slip will prolong the life of all the dresses, and I would suggest you make one of them first, as a try-on model for a dress, from white muslin. That way, if it does not work out exactly as you like, you can still use it for a slip or night gown. The slip and pattern suggestion are on this post http://homeliving.blogspot.com/2009/07/alfred-augustus-glendening-1861-1903.htmlThis is the most comfortable dress, and does not stain easily. As long as it is, even with the added ruffle at the hem, it never touches the ground.
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I have been reaching for this dress more than any other. It is made from Quilters Keepsake cotton; a flocked print with white hearts. Because the garment is fairly loose, it does not seem to wrinkle, and I have not had to iron it, so far. The under dress, or slip that I made to go with it, helps it to fit well.
I will be making more of these with different kinds of sleeves and necklines. I wore this dress to shop, to tea, and for a walk on the beach. I am enjoying the pattern, and would like to try different colors, sleeves and trims. This Keepsake Quilters flocked white fabric also can be dyed in whatever shade you like. Here I have tried a piece of it with a light rose fabric dye. It makes the print appear more distinctly.
Some viewers have inquired about lotions and creams for the face and hands. I recently sampled a product from a family business and would like to recommend it. I especially liked the spice scented hand lotion...mmmm. It smelled like cinnamon. It contains no mineral oils, no parabens, and no petroleum products. To order, go to http://www.countrylotions.com/ I also have used other products and scents from this line, to great satisfaction.
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