Feeding Time in the Garden
by Henry John Yeend King (1855-1924) British Realist
Occasionally I have a society news post to show various things happening in my life, or things I've been making or reading, as well as interesting visits, mail, shopping, or homemaking ideas.
Here is some bright fabric called Quilter's Calico. There has been some question about whether quilting cotton is suitable for dressmaking. I have always used cotton for garment making, but it was not always called quilter's calico or Keepsake Quilting, etc. Nowadays it is marketed as quilting fabric because there is a bigger market for quilting fabrics than for dressmaking fabric. In other words, not as many people make dresses anymore, so the manufacturers cater to the quilters, in order to sell the cotton.
You can use anything you like for dressmaking, including quilters cotton. I use it almost exclusively. There IS a dressmaking fabric you can buy, but it tends to be trendy or go with the current fad in prints, and therefore, be replaced by a new fashion fad the next year. The cottons for quilting are much prettier and have been produced for so long that they are more classic and basic.
I picked this quilters cotton because it looks like a Hawaiian quilt. The traditional quilts of Hawaii are usually one solid color, on which another solid color is placed, in a meandering design. There were so many of these at the fabric store that I found it difficult to make a decision. I wanted them all. There was pink on white, light blue on dark blue, brown on aqua, pink on brown, green on white, yellow on green, and so forth, all similar to the one pictured below.
I love taking the fabric over to the notions department and matching up trims and buttons. The fabric store happily yielded this green and magenta daisy trim that matched perfectly, and I used the lime green straight pins while I was sewing the project, just for the pleasure of it.
This is the skirt and blouse made from the fabric; a magenta background on which was printed a lime green swirly design.
Here is a closer look at the neckline where the colorful trim was placed, and the buttons.
It took about a yard and a half of the trim to cover the neckline and the sleeve hems, and I used a 40 percent discount coupon.
Above: variations of this leaf print, and a floral one that also has a number of combinations, which are found at the fabric store in the quilter's cotton section.
New Look (Simplicity)
Here is the blouse pattern I used. The neckline had to be raised several inches, so you might keep that in mind if you attempt to make it. To raise the neckline, just cut higher on the cloth, above the pattern, and add more to the back, as well, to make the shoulders match. Cut a new facing by tracing along the fabric piece. Or, you could just practice on some old cloth, or some muslin, to make a pattern that fits.
Simplicity "New Look"
This is the skirt pattern I used, but I did not include a drawstring, as it was not necessary. It has a waistband that is easy to attach, into which you thread some wide elastic.
Here is a book I feature over at my other blog, Lovely Whatevers
that has given me great inspiration. When you get to Lovely Whatevers, scroll down on the sewing book post til you get to the Amazon icon with the picture of the book. Click that and it will take you to Amazon, where you can look inside the book and enjoy other pictures of the dresses.
The author has taken old fashioned, embroidered and scalloped handkerchiefs, and made dolls dresses. She includes instructions and patterns to trace. Although she uses fashion dolls, the designs are pretty decent, and I use them for ideas for my own sewing. Here is a sneak peak at some of the fashions, which will make you want the book:
Handkerchief fabric for my next sewing project: a dress similar to one in the Couture Hankie book.
This fabric is handkerchief weight and comes in a pretty aquamarine blue, a purple, yellow, orange, green, and red, with the co-ordinating fabrics in all colors, as you see on the left of the picture. Some good news: a recent WalMart sale paper I picked up in the store said that fabrics were coming back to the stores, so maybe more of you will be able to enjoy looking at fabrics that are closer to home.
I plan to use a pattern like one of the Vogue ones below, and add sleeves. To add sleeves from another pattern, just cut out the sleeve you like, and match up the seam of the sleeve to the seem of the under arm on the dress, and then pin the center top of the sleeve where the dot is (I usually just make a little clip in the fabric at the dot, with scissors) with the shoulder seam. Use the front and back notches in the sleeves as your guide to sewing them on the dress, but don't try to match them to the dress notches. Just make them lie flat. Put a running stitch at the cap area of the sleeve to pull up into a bit of a puff .
I have not seen collars in a long time, and this one had one of those nautical like designs, so I might buy it when it goes on sale. However, I have enough old patterns now that I can easily immitate this design without having to buy a new pattern.
Here is a sample of another pattern that might work with the handkerchief fabric, putting the pretty border at the hemline, and adding sleeves. This pattern, pictured below, would probably need to have the neckline raised.
Vogue 8469, above
Instead of trying to get all the pieces back into the pattern envelope, use a ziplock bag the size of your choice,
and put the pattern envelope facing up, with the pattern piece label on the other side. That way, if you have a favorite sleeve you use on other patterns, it is easy to see from the other side. Sometimes the pattern envelopes get wrinkled, and you can iron them flat too, so that they look as good as new.
To choose dressmaking fabric, go to a fabric store and look at each bolt and note the feeling or mood that it gives you. What does it remind you of? Does it make you feel happy? Does it give you a lift in your state of mind? I always choose pieces that remind me of something: a colorful garden, a day at the beach, a field of daisies, a season, a climate, somewhere I have visited, or just an event in the future.You should also take note of the colors which do not look good next to your skin and avoid them. Find something that you will be happy working with while sewing.
Smockity Frocks This sweet blogger had such a funny post about an apron she made, and how cheerful it made her feel.
http://jraesshabbycottage.blogspot.com/ has some free pictures you can use in your crafts.
A Vintage Girl This homemaker has done away with common jeans and is trying to dress up a little more, even at home. I agree about jeans: they were made for working in the gold mines, and yet women wear them as if they were going to be digging ditches every day. Even our country homes are so modern and convenient, that it does not require us to wear jeans day in, and day out. Besides, as I always say, jeans are so uninteresting: if you have seen one pair, you've seen them all. Dresses, on the other had have a lot more variety and color.
Romantic History --showing history of the "wrapper" a common house coat or house dress worn inside or outside of the house but not in public. I think I need one of these for early mornings.
The Importance of Homekeeping A pretty blog with a nice story about a Robin.
Here is a nice tutorial on icing a cake, with an added delight of how to make a layered cake in a different way. http://iammommy.typepad.com/i_am_baker/2011/02/rose-cake-tutorial.html
Go to Sew Serendipity and see how this lovely lady uses bright, beautiful fabrics and prints, on her fall ensemble post.
Susan Rios has a pretty print that looks a lot like some of the fabrics available. I would certainly like to see Susan's painting, here, on a bolt of fabric. It is similar to the lovely wallpapers and tapestries that were so loved centuries ago and is similar to this quilters fabric from the fabric store:
and this, below, also from the fabric store:
This might work for a handkerchief dress design, as it seems kind of vintage.
This is one of my favorite fabrics but I have no idea what I would use it for and do not have an idea of a dress in it. The flowers are outlined in gold thread. In "real life" it is beautiful and although sold in the quilter's calico section of the store, it has the texture of upholstery fabric. Maybe it would be good for making one of those historical wrapper dresses to wear at home.