Friday, January 03, 2014

Flannel Fashion and Principles

A Rose

By Henri Hutt, 1912

I have completed another mother-daughter set and am planning one or two more, plus Grandmother dresses to match. Hopefully I will get mine sewn before the mother wears hers out and the daughter outgrows hers. The pattern is an old Laura Ashley style, and it seems to have been made for cotton, because there was no adjustment needed and the fit was good. I never had any problem sewing the styles of the 80s and 90s but some of the new patterns do not seem to have been tested well enough, and cause me a lot of fitting problems, so I have gone back to the older ones.

Here is an area I pieced. I am using up fabric that I have had for a few years, and sometimes there is not quite enough for my project. Piecing is done by sewing pieces of fabric to the main pieces to lengthen or broaden. The appliqué on the pockets is a sentimental token of a dog that my husband had.

 

 

 

When I made these dresses out of white flannel with red plaid borders back in the 1980's for my daughter and me, there was a Scottie dog appliqué on the pockets, from the pattern. I changed it to the labrador/shepherd/ridgeback dog who been my husband's companion for so many years. The fabric is a furry piece from the scraps of a cape.

Lanz of Salzburg has two plaid flannel dresses, one in green and one red. http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/Women&aposs/Clothing/Dresses_&_Skirts/Lanz_Velvet-Trim_Scoop-Neck_Dress/65317

I had enough yardage of plaid flannel to make a dress but decided plaid might not look good on some women and decided to stretch it by using it as trim and accessories.

 

Now here is something I have been thinking about and had intended to put in print. It is the concept of principle verses rules. This is so important in developing healthy thinking and bringing the family to maturity.

Principle means the over all reason for doing or not doing something. Rules, are often applied to principles to develop adherence to the principles, but like the Bible says, there comes a time when we should no longer need to be following the baby rules and be able to keep to the principles.

Develop principles in your life that help keep you safe and healthy both spiritually and physically.

I have made up a scenerio to illustrate this, involving children.

Suppose a mother wants her children to take their napkin and wipe off their plates and put the debris into a trash container. To make it easier for them she provides paper napkins, and puts the container near the dining table.

Mother explains that she wants to instill polite and neat habits in them and make it more pleasant and faster for the ones loading the dishwasher or for those who clear the table and wash the dishes. She also emphasizes sanitation and clean floors, clean table, and so forth. She wants them to be personally clean and neat and not leave messes for others to clean up. That way, when they are older, they will not be a burden on others.

The principle of the thing is that the children must please their mother and develop a good personal habit and keep the house clean and sanitary, and the mealtime mess is reduced.

The children respond well to this new rule and enjoy the ritual of cleaning up after themselves. However, one day they run out of napkins and the Father has taken the trash container outside to wash it and it is drying in the sun. After eating, one of the children says they do not have to follow the rule of wiping their plates, because there are no napkins and no trash can. Another child thinks they could just scrape the plates with their forks, using an empty plate for the debris. An argument ensues. One child is dependent upon the rules, and the other is being guided by principle. The principle was to be thoughtful and courteous, neat and clean, and that would entail cleaning up the table as best they can, using substitutes if necessary.

There are times when rules must always apply, especially where safety is concerned or when a spiritual value must be upheld. Children must never play with electric things, matches, or anything dangerous. They must not play on the ground behind a parked car in the family driveway. The principle is safety, so a child cannot play really close to a parked car and be safe. There are spiritual principles behind guiding children to respond politely to their parents and family members.

Children, and even adults, can get real technical when trying to cover a lie or a bad intention, and therefore, principle must be emphasised. They may defensively state that the rule did not say NOT to do something, when they are trying to violate a principle. They do this with the Bible, too, and that is why principle must be emphasised when setting rules, and rules must take 2nd place when the principle is more important.

There are other times when the principle of the thing must be honored, and it would of course take volumes to contain all the examples that might be cited. We are living in an era where even grown people have not been taught principle and cannot understand things like courtesy, kindness, deference and safety, unless someone produces a rule or a law for them, even in the Bible. The Bible does not say You have to pick up after yourself, but the principle of courtesy is there. The Bible does not say you have to call your wife if you are going to be late for dinner, but the principles of love, respect and kindness are there. While a rule may be abandoned or changed, a principle is often eternal.

A person of discernment will always look for the fuller reason for a rule, and find the principle behind it. Children who grow up with rules without learning principles can become harsh bossy people who do not leave room for others to grow, or who cannot make room for circumstances. Rules should be used as small tools to help the principles along.

Learning to understand principles can make people self-controlled. Those who never understand the principles behind a rule, are going to always be controlled by others and by rules.

You might compare rules and principles to the Old Law and the New Law. The Old was very physical, with its rules and regulations. The New is a response of love written on the willing heart.

I am sure other people have a lot to say on their experiences regarding this subject, and I would like to hear from you, so please comment. I also can tell you many memories and experiences, some of them amusing, of a generation that does not understand principle.

Rules are useful to support a principle, but today we find rules and laws that have no reason other than to control people, and people are unable to see and understand a principle behind a rule. If the principle or reason for the rule is understood, then people will not technically follow only the rule. They make sure the intent is understood, in case the rule does not quite cover the intent. This might be a good subject for some home school families whose children are learning to reason. A list of examples to discuss could be made.

The bottom line is to ask the question, "What would be the most loving and proper thing to do, spiritually and physically?"

Courtesy is a command containing a principle that adheres to many rules:

1Pe 3:8    Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

 

17 comments:

Joluise said...

You have been busy sewing. These dresses look like they will be very warm in winter.

I am currently sewing summer skirts and so far made two this week (I use a 1950s retro pattern that Burda re-released). I agree with you over patterns, I am always having to make alterations so they sit and fit nicely. Trying my hand with a t-shirt today something I have never tried before.

LadyLydia said...

Two skirts in a week is very good time.

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, Very comfy and sweet dresses. I wish I had saved more of my older patters myself.
I agree, the world acts like they can do anything they want, even if there is a law or not. The concept of principles is a lost love for the truth. We can continue teaching and training ourselves and others in the choices we make and the way we treat others. Some things will never go un-noticed, even if others think it is strange. How we act when no one is watching is the principle thing!
Wonderful...Blessings, Roxy

LadyLydia said...

A perfect point, Roxy.

anonymous said...

I agree with you and Roxy about principles. Today it seems more people like finding a way to break any rule. They make it their main goal not to keep any principles of value.

One can silently speak volumes to others by just living a principle, but and to be ready to give an answer for the reason why its kept if asked.

Those are really sweet dresses. How clever to piece the pattern when you don't have enough fabric. Have seen it done in quilts before.

I noticed that some dress companies offer 18" doll dresses to match a child's dress and some pattern companies offer a doll dress pattern included with a little girl's dress pattern.

The only flannel dress I owned was made by a cousin who handed it down to me. I loved it and felt really special wearing it. A girl in our neighborhood criticized it saying it looked like I was wearing a nightgown. It really didn't. I figured she wanted it too.

Lately I've seen some really pretty prints in flannel and thought they would make a really wonderful dress for Winter. Lydia I think you have inspired us again.
Thank you for sharing.

Mrs. J.

anonymous said...

I agree with you and Roxy about principles. Today it seems more people like finding a way to break any rule. They make it their main goal not to keep any principles of value.

One can silently speak volumes to others by just living a principle, but and to be ready to give an answer for the reason why its kept if asked.

Those are really sweet dresses. How clever to piece the pattern when you don't have enough fabric. Have seen it done in quilts before.

I noticed that some dress companies offer 18" doll dresses to match a child's dress and some pattern companies offer a doll dress pattern included with a little girl's dress pattern.

The only flannel dress I owned was made by a cousin who handed it down to me. I loved it and felt really special wearing it. A girl in our neighborhood criticized it saying it looked like I was wearing a nightgown. It really didn't. I figured she wanted it too.

Lately I've seen some really pretty prints in flannel and thought they would make a really wonderful dress for Winter. Lydia I think you have inspired us again.
Thank you for sharing.

Mrs. J.

lynn m said...

A quick try at posting a comment...the dresses are charming and cozy looking. It is helpful to realize we should be able to piece fabrics when we are low on it....thanks for your creative wisdom in sewing and living.
Lynn

lynn m said...

My father always stated, "It's the principle of the thing."

Barbara said...

The flannel dresses are delightful and perfect for the winter much of our nation is having this year!! I especially like the contrasting plaid fabric at the cuffs.

Regarding Principles and Rules, thank you for speaking to this. There is a matter (which I won't name) that some adhere to as a Rule when I have long felt was more of a Principle. This disagreement has troubled me for some time and I have asked the Lord to clarify His intent on it for me. I believe your blog post has done that very thing.

Thank you again, Lady Lydia, for writing a blog that is so helpful in many ways!

Jaymie said...

Those dresses look so warm and comfortable and pretty :-)

LadyLydia said...

Janet I do intend to make matching doll dresses. I am now making a few flannel skirts for my mother. She likes them because it is not necessary to wear a slip with one. With the way girls wear pajama pants all over town I do not think anyone should say anything about a well structured dress looking like a nightgown. Some very nice flannel dresses for ladies are sold in the country catalog, lehmans and others, in plaid. Here is a plaid dress. I wish I had made one before I started using my plaid flannel as trim
http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/Women&aposs/Clothing/Dresses_&_Skirts/Lanz_Velvet-Trim_Scoop-Neck_Dress/65317

LadyLydia said...

A plaid flannel dress from Vermont Country Store

http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/Women&aposs/Clothing/Dresses_&_Skirts/Button-Front_Flannel_Dress/55055?eVar24=55055&eVar21=you+may+also+like&eVar20=65317

God Fearing Mom said...

The flannel dress is a really neat idea I never have seen before.

I really like your post about clarifying principles and rules.

LadyLydia said...

Lanz of Salzburg has plaid flannel dresses in the Vermont country store online. http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/Women&aposs/Clothing/Dresses_&_Skirts/Lanz_Velvet-Trim_Scoop-Neck_Dress/65317

Sharon said...

I REALLY needed your lesson on principles. I have argued a point (if only in my head) that tardiness is not a sin, as some people treat it. In fact it is the impatience with tardiness that would be more the sin. Thinking this, I have also realized that punctuality is a kindness and kindness is an actual commandment. You see, I have a problem with punctuality. <:, So, those who are impatient with "tarry[ing] for one another" are being pushed to the point of those (like me who didn't see the principle until now) who are not showing "brotherly kindness" by being on time. So, thank you for the lesson.

Could you show another view of the pocket if it's no trouble? The dog appliqué can't be seen. Thank you for the links to the catalog dresses.

LadyLydia said...

People like to get away from the heart of a principle by using rules, which they get real specific about. A rule cant cover every aspect of a standard, but a principle can. A child who says he cleaned his room but left details not done, can say he was not told. Specific detail and therefore is breaking no rule. The principle is to have a room that looks nice and is clean. On,y the heart can realize it. The shallow person will get by with as little as possible, without goimg to extra trouble. The principle also embraces courtesy to the family and a good reputation for the home

Suzanne said...

Yes, sadly, people lack character and it seems to be rampant:-( I also agree, on the patterns-today they don't seem to sew up as well as the older ones. I do love Lanz of Salzburg's dresses--oh to have an unlimited budget to purchase...LOL!

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