Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Musings

Lady in White Reading By: Emilie Caroline Mundt
Yesterday afternoon I spent some time making this decorative dress form for a doll dress. I had seen dress forms in antique stores that were covered in pretty fabrics and decoupaged in shabby chic style prints and papers, so I wanted to make something like it.
I have also seen these craft dress forms that are merely decorative, but did not want to pay the price. I saw one at Goodwill, but while I hesitated, someone else bought it. I decided to try my hand at making one, just for fun.
A few weeks ago some of the crafty bloggers participated in a link-up to show all their ideas of what to do with a dollar store glass candle holder, and this is one of the things I used it for, even though I did not link up. It made a good stand for the dress form.
I covered the dress-form in fabric, using white glue and then painting over it again with white glue. It could also be decoupaged.
To make the bottle stick securely to the glad candlestick, glue a piece of paper or card stock to the bottom of the bottle and the. Use tacky glue or hot glue to attach it to the candle stick. The bare plastic of the bottle does not stick well unless it has paper on it.
This detergent also comes from the dollar store, and the empty bottle serves as my miniature dress-form.
The top of the detergent bottle resembles the hardware on top of the antique dress forms.

This is an antique dress-form, used to get a good fit when making clothes. To make the miniature dress-form, I used an empty detergent bottle. First, I traced on fabric around it to get the shape, adding a few inches to wrap around the bottle, making clips in the fabric to fit it. Then, I painted the bottle with liquid glue and pressed the fabric on to it. I had a front and back piece.

My first attempt was using scrapbook ing papers with white liquid glued such as as school glue or Elmer's. It would not be necessary to cover the bottle at all, but I liked the look of it.
Before I determined what kind of dress to make, I roughly sketched a few possibilities, as you see, above, but then made something completely different.



I am not the only one with this idea. After I finished the project I did a search for images using detergent bottles, and there were a lot of people already using these materials, but this is my version.
Using a small amount of white muslin and some narrow lace, I sewed a 1910 garden party dress for the dress form. I now have the dress form sitting on a shelf in my sewing room.
This is the pattern I used, but a pattern is not necessary if you want to cut and drape and tie the garment with ribbons.
This was quite a bit of work, and had some difficult corners and things to stitch on in small places so I would not recommend it to an impatient sewer.
As I was assembling this pretty shabby project, I was thinking about a hymn we sang yesterday in church. As you know, no one could get their cars out of their snowed-in driveways last Lord's Day, and the meeting house was cold and dark, with no electric, so there were only two families there. This Sunday the whole congregation was present and, after the previous quiet Sunday in the snow, the worship sounded very loud, like a great throng of angels.
One of the songs was "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning." This is a song alluding to a light house that beams brightly in the darkness. While there is an upper light that is very string, there are lower lights that are cast across the ocean to guide the ships to shore. The song says that people are the lower lights that guide struggling people to safety.
Ladies who labor at home seemingly doing the same things over and over, occasionally creating some little thing, may wonder if anyone cares or notices, or if it will amount to anything in the long run. I don't think they know how much of an impact their home activities have on the world around them. The family may not appear to notice, but they know there is so,etching different at home, that is more stable than the world. It is a combination of order, beauty, and comfort that makes it so.
Just being there and being who you are with the love you feel for your home sends a message and sends a beam across the wave. You do not have to be accomplishing a lot and you do not have to be an expert in everything. You just have to be there caring for things that pertain to a happy home.
Some of these little things I show on my blog do not matter at all in the scheme of things, but they satisfy my need to sit down and create. So even if you do not think anyone will care, do something that pleases you and makes your home more enjoyable to be in. It is a small reward for the work you do to make a home.
The song says that God's light is very bright from his lighthouse, but to us, he gives the job of keeping the lights along the shore. The lower lights are for people who are closer to home, to guide them to safety. The higher lights on the lighthouse are for those afar off to show them where the land is.
Your light sends its rays across to the people you know, and some you do not, and straight to the ones you serve daily.

9 comments:

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

That's an interesting idea. You did a nice job on it.

One of my favorite songs is Built On A Rock the Church Dost Stand. That even while things around it are collapsing and falling by the wayside, the Church will be there on the rock, steady and welcoming.

You seem to be having quite the winter. My friends and family in Wisconsin are waiting quite eagerly for spring. This has been a cold one for them. Yet here in not so sunny southern CA we have water restrictions, and it's 60ยบ at 1522 in the afternoon. I was at my moms who lives 13 blocks from the beach and it was dreary and wet and overcast there.

amulbunny

Ellie Rae said...

Oh, too cool!!!

Julie said...

Very lovely sentiments. It reminds me of Cinderella. While the stepmother and stepsisters were focused on the things of the world, they were unhappy. Cinderella was content taking care of the things of the house. (This isn't to start a debate on the merits of living under an evil stepmother, etc.) Thank you for your encouraging words.

Alexandra Rose said...

Several things strike me from this very lovely post...
from the top pic...oh how I miss Summer!
...and what a clever idea about the dress form...
...how I wish we had more chances to wear a white muslin dress...

...but, above all, what an encouragement the latter part of your post is, about sending out our lights out, in a day to day way, by what we do at home.
I do not work outside the home (I have very bad chronic migraine
condition which is really debilitating at times) Being at home is so much more flexible ~ I can then manage the condition better by 'listening' to my body.
However I do feel guilty that I am home sometimes, especially if I sew or do craft, fun things ~ isn't it silly?! My joy is in looking after my husband and family and homely things but I go and spoil it by doubting the validity of this! Your words always remind and encourage me that this IS what I should be doing...and enjoying!
Thank you :)

Becoming a Woman of Excellence said...

I love your special little words of wisdom and all the love, you so sweetly put into your blog. And I also, love shabby chic very much :) With Love Jasmina.

Bible Babe said...

How cute! I think things like this that you put on your blog actually are important in the scheme of things. They help me to recall that there is a joy and simplicity in life to be grasped, to be appreciated and to be celebrated.

Sharon said...

Thank you Lydia. You're always such an encouragement. Small things matter a great deal after all. :-)

anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,

that mini-dress form is really cute.
It would make a cute kitchen counter decor for dish washing detergent. If the back were made to open and close with a tie or velcro, you could change the dress for seasonal decor and color.

I loved your comparison of the low and high lights of the light house to a woman tending the home fires and making things a welcome haven for the family.

I used to feel that whatever I did at home was never appreciated. At times I even felt taken for granted. I went to work at a bakery to bring home extra money and what that did was cause all kinds of problems at home because I wasn't there to prepare meals, keep the house clean, and be present for my young teen son and my husband. We ended up spending more money on eating processed take-out food, scrambling on the weekends to get wash and house cleaning done and we were all miserable. What foolishness to think that I would be contributing to the family money.
What I learned was that my presence at home was way more valuable to my family then a few extra dollars. They were happy when I came back home.
Mrs. J.

anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,

that mini-dress form is really cute.
It would make a cute kitchen counter decor for dish washing detergent. If the back were made to open and close with a tie or velcro, you could change the dress for seasonal decor and color.

I loved your comparison of the low and high lights of the light house to a woman tending the home fires and making things a welcome haven for the family.

I used to feel that whatever I did at home was never appreciated. At times I even felt taken for granted. I went to work at a bakery to bring home extra money and what that did was cause all kinds of problems at home because I wasn't there to prepare meals, keep the house clean, and be present for my young teen son and my husband. We ended up spending more money on eating processed take-out food, scrambling on the weekends to get wash and house cleaning done and we were all miserable. What foolishness to think that I would be contributing to the family money.
What I learned was that my presence at home was way more valuable to my family then a few extra dollars. They were happy when I came back home.
Mrs. J.

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