Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alfred Augustus Glendening 1861-1903

Summer Flowers, 1903

Country Cousins

Spring Morning

Reverie By the River

Alfred Glendenning was an English artist who is considered today as a Victorian Master. He loved to paint English landscapes, and the women in their gardens. One of his pupils was his son, Alfred Glendenning, Jr.

Heart shaped buttons reflect the heart flocked print on this "Keepsake Quilters" print, which comes in many different colors. Don't let the words "quilters" bother you when looking for dress fabric. All quilters fabrics are suitable for dresses, and many of them are reproductions of fabrics used for dresses in the 18th and 19th centuries. You can click on this picture for a detailed view. The buttons come in a cellophane package with other shapes, in white, including doves and roses, on the button rack at the store.

Sleeve trim from old cotton lace sent by a friend. You can also click on this for a larger view to see the antique cotton lace.

This dress is made from the New Look pattern, shown below, which has only two main pieces. I used sleeves from another pattern, and added the lace trim, which a "sweet friend" sent me when I won one of her giveaways online. The old cotton lace was exactly enough for the sleeve trims, with a little left for the neckline. The ruffle was cut off the bias edge, so that it did not have to be hemmed. You can get a ruffler quite inexpensively if you watch the sales at the fabric store and use your half price or 40% off coupon. It will ruffle in several different styles. This is the loose ruffle, barely there.

The under-dress or petticoat/slip was made from the short sleeved view of the New Look pattern, pictured below. You have to cut the neckline wider if you want to make a slip, so that it will fit below the dress. A slip with sleeves keeps the white dress from staining. I eliminated the facing and just stitched 1/2 inch around the necline, turned it under, firmly pressed it with an iron, stitched again, then repeated the process until it was low enough in the front and around the shoulders, for a slip. The sleeves can be serged or zig-zagged instead of turned under. It is non- iron , 45 " muslin. I made the sides of this slip more narrow and closer to the body than the dress.

You can use the wide satin ribbon and make a big bow in the back, to make the dress look more formal. I wanted everything to be cotton, so I didnt use any synthetic laces or bows. Here you see the twistie thing for the hair, that matches.
I would suggest experimenting with muslin first, and cutting the dress larger than your size. Cut it in a smaller size at the shoulders and neckline if you have narrow shoulders. Cut it wider at the bustline if you need to, smaller at the waist, or wider at the hips, depending on your needs. That is what those multi-sized printed patterns are good for.

New Look 6352

This cotton dress makes a great "anniversary dresss" and can be dyed later to another color and worn every day. White cotton feels good in hot weather.Qilters Keepsake was on sale for $2.79 a yard. I bought 4 yards for this dress. The cost totally was $12 when the thread and buttons were taken into account

For your own protection, please remember to post anonymously. It prevents trolls and critics and those with criminal minds from following you to your blogs.


Anonymous said...

I love the sleeves! You have such a girlish figure and face. It's hard to believe you're as old as you profess. :) ...Must be very good genes. Thanks for all you do sweet Lydia.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful anniversary dress.

Your tip about using quilters cotton for dresses is excellent. I remember about a decade ago using quilting cotton with a pretty floral pattern on it for a dress. At the time I did hesitate about the fact that it was for quilting, but really enjoyed wearing that dress! I will not hesitate in the future to search through the quilting fabric. I can't wait till my next day in town!

Tracy said...

So feminine and beautiful! You do an amazing job with your fabric creations!

Mrs.B said...

Oh how very pretty and feminine.

Do you happen to have a list of the dress patterns that you use. I am trying to update my look to more feminine, am kinda tired of the jean jumper look.


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In HIS Keeping,
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Anonymous said...

Beautiful dress...thanks for sharing this.

And, in this world of ever-shrinking privacy, thank you for giving us the freedom to be "Anonymous"!

Anonymous said...

I love this one! It looks so pretty on you! It is my favorite, though I like them all quite a bit. I am going to WalMart this morning and I am going to pick this pattern up (hopefully they have it) and some fabric so I can make this dress. After going shopping yesterday and coming home nearly empty handed except for a few things for the kids, I can honestly say you are doing a public service here.

There is nothing as nice your beautiful dress in the stores. It is all stretch knits and revealing and unflattering cuts. If you can find something that does not fit that description, it is usually covered in a horrible geometric print with awful color combinations. And those baby doll tops that make everyone look pregnant are everywhere, along with a new style shirt with elastic banded bottoms in loud color combinations that look like obnoxious fabric bubbles. The baby doll tops this season are even longer and have ties in the back, exactly like maternity tops with revealing necklines. My mother recently congratulated a 40 year old relative she had not seen in some time as she thought the woman was expecting, only to find out it was a baby doll top she was wearing that made her look that way. My mother was embarrassed, but how was she to know?

Yesterday, my son pointed at one dress in a store and and as he did not recognize the mass of fabric as a dress, asked me what it was. It was a maxi dress with a halter neck - clearly designed to be worn without a bra as it had padded triangle cups and an exposed back. The whole thing was designed to be held up by ties around the neck. It does not take much imagination to realize the potential for embarrassment that exists in such a style, especially if the ties were to become untied! On top of all that, my son laughed and said the pattern looked "like a bloodshot eye" - red and blue swirls on a white polyester background! He's ten and he was right! It was a hideous creation.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Lydia, you are doing us a public service. My favorite so far is the green dress, but all are so lovely it is hard to pick just one. I agree that you look much younger than your age -- 30's instead of 50's, and that's no exaggeration. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. Such good ideas for sewing, too!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love sewing with quilter's cotton. So many lovely prints available and the fabric is so high quality that a new dress can last for many years, especially if you hang it to dry.

I was so inspired by your posts that I've sewn two new, modest and pretty dresses. My husband is absolutely thrilled, so I'm going to sew more :0)

Anonymous said...

Experiencing the "joy" of looking for a simple, modest, attractive outfit for my sister's wedding next week - I sooooooo agree. Today I have seen transparent garments, hideously cut things that could only look good on a skeletal model - and all so expensive! And there you stand in your crisp, cool white dress looking like a picture! I MUST try to find a way to sew - with two children who need attention every waking minute, it is a challenge though! Lucy

Lydia said...

this dress could also be sewn by hand quite easily and may even fit better than machine sewing, so dont be discouraged. Just get some fabric that is cheap and dont try to be too serious about it. If you start out with no skills and you buy something expensive, you'll be tense. You can pin the pattern together at the seams and try it on, to see if it is going to fit.

For a wedding, you could always just get a long skirt and a blouse, and then wear a shawl with it to provide more modesty and femininity.

These paintings are interesting because you know the clothing was not manufactured the way it is today, and that much of it was probably hand sewn. Yet look how feminine and beautiful they are.No synthetics, either.

Lydia said...

what you dont realize is that , in the clothing that is perpetrated on American society today, I would look older than my age, fatter, and less feminine. The whole idea of this series was to show you how a cotton dress changes the look of a woman and gives a more feminine appearance, and can even be slimming, depending on the style. You have to figure out what colors look good with your skin tone, also. Not every one will look good in this dress but it is a matter of experimenting.

If you end up abandoning a sewing project or it just doesnt look good, dont worry about it. The cost of it is much less than the total of the things you have to abandon every year from the stores.

These cotton dresses will last about 15 years if they are treated nicely. They will last one year if it is the only thing you have. That is why I made so many of them. 4 of them are from the year before last, 4 of them from last year, and the rest from this year. I try to make 4 a year, but for the blog I did a few more. Some will not work out and I will find myself choosing ones I like over ones I dont.

Anonymous said...

You look lovely in your white dress, Lady Lydia, as you do in all the others you've shown.

I finished my first dress and wore it to a dentist appointment and a doctor appointment yesterday and the day before. Although the dress isn't my husband's taste, he did say that I looked much nicer in it than the other women he saw out on those days. (I have asked him to show me any dresses he likes so that I can get a better idea.)

Yesterday, I went to a shoe store. The lady who was helping me is probably around 60 years old. She has worked in (or owns, maybe) the store for decades and I only ever remember her wearing long-ish skirts and dresses. After we talked about the oppressive heat, she said, "Obviously you sew..." It must have been the matching hair scrunchie that gave it away, lol. She went on to lament about how difficult it is to find suitable clothes these days and how she envied people who sew. She bought a rayon dress, being told by the salesgirl that it would be cool. "It's not!" she said.

I am glad that you keep repeating that it is possible to hand-sew a dress. Sewing is a skill that can be learned by little girls. It is not an inherited talent (other than perhaps such qualities as manual dexterity or an eye for design).

When I had a newborn and a rambunctious 2-year-old I made an intricate blouse by setting aside 15 minutes a day to sew.

Now I have an illness which makes sewing difficult and painful. I would love to be able to buy my clothes but I cannot find anything suitable. My husband does not allow me to buy from catalogues because he has had to keep returning things that don't fit or are shoddily made (and paying a fee or postage for the returns, too). Shopping in stores is an ordeal because of the pain and fatigue of my illness. And, of course, it is rare that I find anything to wear in the few stores we have here in our little town.

So I am back to sewing. I bought patterns and fabric and laces on eBay. Little by little I am going to build a pretty, feminine, modest and comfortable wardrobe. Today I hope to put the last seam on a colourful skirt. My husband has already told me several times that he likes this skirt!

Anonymous said...

The modesty ruffle is very appealing. I'll add it to my mental library of futur sewing projects.

I know you'll have to end this series some day, but I hope it's not soon. I look forward to each and every post.

Lydia said...

The series may not end until December. If you need other types of articles, you can type in the search area of this blog. I had been planning this series for several years and promising myself to get it going. I still have to do aprons, children's clothing, costumes, wedding dresses, kitchen decor, accessories like hats and gloves, autumn and winter clothing. I have a spring dress coming soon and a Hawaiian dress.

Regarding ladies in dresses in cool climates: as one commenter stated, the Bible land countries and the Arabic countries are hot but the women's traditional clothing was long, and covered. How do you account for climates like India and Thailand, for example, which are hot, where wome dress in traditional clothes like the sari? These clothes actually protect from the sun. that is one concept Americans no longer understand. That is one reason Victorians had white umbrellas and hats and wore thin cottons in the summer. They still covered their skin, because they thought too much intensive sun was harmful. Even the farm women covered themselves. Even the pioneer women coming across the hot plains of America had sense to cover themselves and protect themselves from the oppressive heat. Look at the Boers in Africa, who settled the land and made it into successful farms. You can get photographs of women in the 1800's in that hot climate, covered in cotton clothing. Even the inhabitants of African countries had beautiful, long dresses which they made, using colorful dyes and prints.
I just do not buy the idea that the hot climates had more people wearing bikinis and shorts. That sort of thing did not occur until the 20th century modernists threw off the values of their forebearers.

Lydia said...

I do have a list of articles to write on various subjects and will include them during the clothing series.

Lydia said...

Regarding the comment on the scenery behind the women in the paintings: I think women's clothing ought to compliment the creation around them. The sky, the sea, the meadows filled with daisies, and the rose gardens all leave an impression of beautiful cloth for dresses. Go visit a rose garden or a scenic area, and then go to the fabric store and see what you can find that reflects the beauty you just saw. Educate your children to see these things.

Lydia said... is where you can see the cottage dresses made from smaller pieces of left over fabric. I just love them and am going to borrow the pattern, for gardenning dresses.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Shereman, there were pagan nations that dressed very immodestly, in Bible times and before, in hot climates. Be that as it may, God instructed His people not to practice the immoral things of the nations around them, including immodest dress. Even in captivity, the Hebrew people were expected to keep the will of God, and be an example to the unbelievers around them. The Egyptians dressed immodestly, yet the Israelite people who came out of Egypt to go to the promised land, were warned not to show their flesh to others or to be naked. Yes, in hot climates, and even in cold climates, there has been immodesty, but God's people are told to be different from the world around them. This series on clothing has shown how dependent people are on the garment industry, and how it has led them to be dissatisfied with their clothing. How much better it is to take matters into your own hands and sew your own clothes. The colonial women in America and other countries either used a taylor or sewed their family's cloting, including the mens breeches and shirts. I dont know what the big fear is because, as you say, how much worse a job could the home sewer do than the designer and manufacturer? My clothes certainly would not last a year, as they are not made to last. Sales depend on you abandoning or wearing our your clothing soon.

I might add that the cotton slip with sleeves gives a greater protection to all your dresses, making them last longer. That way, the outside garment never really touches your skin. I have made different colored slips to match my dresses.

Anonymous said...

I agree that we would all look younger and thinner in these kinds of dresses. I'm excited to know that this series will continue on. I love the idea of commenting anonymously.

Lydia said...

I do not have any better genes than anyone else.

You can alter your appearance with good health, beginning with proper sleep. I wrote an article about it on this blog somewhere.

You can also choose the colors and styles which make you appear and feel more youthful and healthy.

Any woman can be pretty, no matter what her age. It is the designers and name brands which uglify women. I particularly hate to see young girls waste their youth following these trends. They could be wearing roses or daisies instead of the strange looking stretch gear that makes them look like they are ready for a crane to grab them from the back.

I never could figure out how in the world they manage to find the strange looking tops and how in the world they are even allowed for sale, when just 50 years ago such things would not have been seen by the public.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad this series won't be ending any time soon.

My mother made a lot of our clothes when we were growing up, and I sewed my own clothes as a teen, but have since gotten away from sewing.

I'm a very large woman (3X) and it is nearly impossible to find decent clothes at this size.

Your blog is inspiring me to get out my sewing machine and get to work on some nice things to wear.

Thank you so much for the values you uphold here. I love your blog.

Lydia said...

To the 3x size sewer: take the pattern I recommended here and make it in muslin,m 90" or 50 " wide piece, double, and if it works you know the pattern fits. If not, use a different size --you might have to buy more than one pattern, and the new look brand is usually under $3.00. If the muslin version works, use it for a slip or nightgown. I will say that the neckline needs to have some added to it all around, on me, but on others it might work well as it is.

Anonymous said...

I believe that there is another factor to Mrs. Shereman's youthful appearance that hasn't been mentioned. The kind of life that many women are living today in our society makes them HARD and also old appearing much younger than if we returned to the ways the Bible instructs us to live in.....such as a joyful mother of children and keeper at home!

Anonymous said...

So true: the life outside the home with its unrelenting regulations, can age a woman, who was made for the family life and the home life. She can live gloriously beautifully at home and have less stress with other people. The clothing required for working outside the home is dark and hot and unfeminine. I have seen women get younger looking when they quit their jobs and went home to become wonderful homemakers and givers of hospitality.A certain innocent quality returns to them.

Anonymous said...

I am so relieved that you are going to continue this series.I am also in my 50s but I have had trouble keeping weight off after 50.Do you conciously try to eat healthy?Or does it come naturally because you really look beautiful and you have inspired even me. I watch makeover shows and buy books on dressing and I knew something was missing in all the advice....modesty and dignity. Also I keep thinking about what you said about your friend makes your face cream and that we could do it ourselves.Did you mean we could find kits at Hobby Lobbyor some other craft store. And one last thing,theres so much advice outthere of what to eat and you have wisdom how do you choose? And do you eat meat? Sorry for all the questions but there are a million of them racing around my head!Thanks

Lydia said...

Yes I eat meat. I think you can get face cream kits at fabric stores and craft and hobby stores. Also Martha Stewart has kits that are good quality. I eat when I am hungry and I eat what I like, but try to avoid commercial breads and cereals. If I want something sweet or fattening I use the best ingredients even if I had to pay more, and make up a super duper rich pie or cake or something like that. Commercial foods are full of sodiums and sugars and artificial things that contribute to the weight problem in our country.

I might have to post about this in a blog article.

Sleep is a major factor in weight loss, which is one reason to try not to get an outside job and try to stay home where you can sleep til you wake up, without an alarm.

Lydia said...

The advice out there given by so called experts is just terrible, ad so detrimental to women's health and appearance.

For one thing, the clothing being skin tight, and made of poly this and poly that. I dont think it is good for us. We are a cotton producing country and we ought to support it by sending their sales sky high when we purchase cotton.

If you are over fifty, you do not have to dress the way the designers and experts want to portray you. You can let your hair grow so that at least you can turn the ends under. The shorter and spiker and more shaved your hair is, the harsher it makes you look, as you age. The shaved spiked hair emphasises wrinkles. The two piece outfits shorten the appearance of a figure, making them look heavier and older than they need to be. If you wear two piece outfits, they make you more slender looking if the two pieces are of an identical print and color. A lot of women my age know how to dress because, in the 50's we were taught about line and form and other things that made or broke the look of the garment. We knew that we should not wear horizontal stripes if we were heavier, and that if we were trying to de-emphasize the waist line, not to wear a belt around the middle. We were taught that the longer the garment, the more slender you would look. The idea of showing off a lot of leg was not introduced until the 1920's and was perpetuated by Hollywood. People that are used to jeans will say they are uncomfortable in dresses because they feel bare. It is because the dresses are not long enough.

Lydia said...

If you cannot find anything, try putting a tiny dab of olive oil (the pleasant smelling kind) on your palm and rubbing it around the dry areas of your face.

Anonymous said...

I always felt I had to wear a straight skirt if I wanted to slim my hips but somrthing you said somewhere else about the bible talks about that your clothing should drape made me stop and pause and listen to what you had to say instead of them.I started thinking does this slimming black strech skirt for 42.00 drape?Nope take it back!

Anonymous said...

Also the book that I bought taught that for babyboomers to look young and modern was to wear athletic clothes so you appear to have energy and youth but I never did feel right in them as there is nothing pretty about them. Its hard to change my thinking about all this but I know your right and that God sent me here.

Anonymous said...

I wonder whose bright idea that was, and if it is the reason we see so many 50 year old women in sports clothes with track shoes--not exactly flattering!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully done! Just amazing what a little modesty and creativaty can do. The dress looks beautiful and very feminine, and looks to be such a simple pattern.

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love the sleeves! And the white is so fresh-looking. I think this dress is my favorite of all the ones you've posted in this series.


Anonymous said...

The drape of a dress, if it is loose, diguises the bottom a bit better than a pair of pants. If there are more folds at the back, such as extra fabric pulled to the back, it is much more slimming and flattering. I think we have to be careful what we look like from behind. There is so much "bottom dressing," or "butt dressing" as I call it humorously these days, and to put it sympathetically, it is not the fault of women. They just have never had clothes that look nice and think it is "normal" to show off every secret part of the body, including the bottom.The fashions just dont take modesty and gracious walking into account. The fashions are very unforgiving of the figure unless it is a very thin body. The models have to be very thin because the style clings to the body and shows every bulge. The cotton garments are a lot more forgiving.

Anonymous said...

The drape of a dress, if it is loose, diguises the bottom a bit better than a pair of pants. If there are more folds at the back, such as extra fabric pulled to the back, it is much more slimming and flattering. I think we have to be careful what we look like from behind. There is so much "bottom dressing," or "butt dressing" as I call it humorously these days, and to put it sympathetically, it is not the fault of women. They just have never had clothes that look nice and think it is "normal" to show off every secret part of the body, including the bottom.The fashions just dont take modesty and gracious walking into account. The fashions are very unforgiving of the figure unless it is a very thin body. The models have to be very thin because the style clings to the body and shows every bulge. The cotton garments are a lot more forgiving.

Anonymous said...

Regarding moisturizers - read the label on any commercial brand of moisturizer, and add up all the chemicals. It is easy to make your own moisturizers of natural materials, and there are tons of sites about doing this online.

I use nothing but olive oil on my face. People ask me what I use, because it has gotten around town that I'm about to be fifty, and look younger. It's interesting to see their reaction when I tell them that I use olive oil not only to cleanse (oil is great for removing makeup and dirt), but to moisturize my face, hands, nails and hair as well. Many of them buy commercial products or go to our local "beauty therapy" places for expensive facials (that cost about $100 a pop) that don't seem to make much difference to their skin.

Many commercial moisturizers are made from petroleum based products. The molecules of these products are not small enough to be absorbed into the skin, so they tend to sit on top of the skin instead, which is good if you're trying to protect yourself from chapping from wind and cold. But to really soften and add oils to the hands, natural oils like olive and coconut are better, as they have smaller molecules that actually penetrate the skin's surface. In composition, they are also similar to the body's natural oils.

A tiny drop of olive oil smoothed over flyaway or frizzy hair will do wonders. I often oil my hair and wrap it in a hot towel for an hour before washing my hair - it conditions it beautifully, without the silicone and other chemicals that are in commercial shampoos and conditioners.

Olive oil will penetrate, strengthen and condition your fingernails too. If your nails tend to curl on the ends, it means they are dehydrated, and every time they get wet and then dry out, more of your body's natural oils are leached away from them, compounding the problem. Give them a five minute soak in a little heated olive oil, and use olive oil as a hand moisturizer, giving extra attention to your nails, and see how quickly they get hard and flexible.

Otherwise, to stay looking young, limit sun exposure of the tanning kind, protect your skin from sun and wind, get plenty of sleep (it's only while we're sleeping that our bodies create new cells, so healing and regeneration only takes place during sleep), do NOT smoke (this ages skin terribly), limit alcohol consumption or avoid it altogether, and keep your diet as natural as you can get it.

Most importantly, smile. Nothing ages a lady's face more than a scowl, and smile lines are far more attractive than frown lines.


Anonymous said...

I agree. No petroleum products or mineral oil on the skin! If you want something that is a beauty product and do not want to make your own, you can buy something called Velvet Skin Coat at a company called DHL (I think). I got a sample once and it was wonderful.

Also no smoking, and alcohol ages the skin, as well as the salty products in packages. Salt adds weight too. Not table salt, but all that is added in everything from bread and cereals to pop and chips. The pop is not good for your skin and the acid in it can harm skin, especially if you drink it while sun bathing at the same time. THe best thing to do is leave it all alone and eat naturally --buy an apple, cut it up and eat it with some walnuts and a piece of cheese if you need a snack. Fix fish and potatoes and salad for dinner, etc. Ethnic types of eating is also very good for you. They use spices like tumeric that are very good for you. You do have to be careful of the added salt in some of those foods, though.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Lydia. These women's clothing blends right in with nature. What a creative idea for you to suggest we look at nature like these painters did for clothing colors.

Anonymous said...

I am so enjoying these posts! :) I don't want to cut in again but you have recommended the BBC's The Edwardians dvd set. I was just at Costco and they had this and other new sets from BBC since I last looked. The Edwardians was $29.99. I don't know if this is a good price but that is the price it was. They had sets of other BBC series on their coupon sale that ends Aug 2. The Edwardians and others were new and not on this coupon sale list. Lady Lydia I cannot tell you how much you have educated me further in living a more graciious life and history knowledge, sewing etc, etc. Thankyou again.

Anonymous said...

I have always naturally complimented people. Now I make sure if I see a woman looking womanly..especially in a dress or skirt and modest blouse I let her know how beautiful she looks. As you said women need encouragement to keep going against the tide and dress as we should not as others do. I saw an older women today and all her family was very modestly dressed but so classic and stunning. The grandmother looked especially beautiful with her yellow white hair up in a beautiful bun. The whole famly was outstanding. Seeing them brought a tear to my eye remembering everyone used to be dressed so nice to go to town only a few yars ago it seemed. Now they stood out but did it so beautifully. Like a breath of fresh air. I was so glad I got to see it. It seems so odd to be so joyful to just be seeing a family who cares about how they dress in public. That is how far we have come. But seeing them still made my day! :) Also it is amazing when you stop and just say a few words to a person who seems to be having a problem or an older person who looks sad how fast they seem to brighten up. All it takes is a few seconds ...and both your lives are lifted. At least give someone a smile.

Anonymous said...

since you are encouraging anonymous comments, I want to tell you my honest thoughts about some things regarding the attitude of dressing.

I am a 60 year old woman who has seen many changes. It was especially saddenning the day that women were looked down on for wearing a hat and gloves and a dress. It happened almost overnight. WHo made the change? And where did the sneering and snobbery come from, against people who wore dresses? I heard someone say that flowers on dresses made them want to puke. Isnt that awful? I grew up in an era where girls and women loved dresses. It was one of the ways that made us special and men admired us for it. A man loved to buy a dress for his wife! Now I see it is films and education that is indoctrinating women to believe it is sanctimonious or legalistic to wear dresses. But look at what is happenning. Everyone feels forced to wear jeans and tee shirts and everyone looks alike! Is that communism, or what? Who really is the legalist and who really is the totalitarian? I notice that women who wear dresses look happier and have more confidence. When waiting in lines, they know they have privacy on their bodies. No one can look at every inch of their legs or the bottom, like they can when they wear jeans. A dress just covers everything so nicely. Yet it is sad that the world has gone so far away from the freedom to dress as we like. No one feels they can wear a dress without being made fun of or pointed at.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the woman who commentet at 10.57, who is 60 years old. Everything she says is so right.
But what can we do, so that people don't laugh at us anymore?!
The best thing is probably to get independant from other people's view and just follows one's own star.

I also wanted to thank you and your readers for the information about making one's own skin lotion. I straight away looked it up on the internet and found an easy moisturizer out of water, olive oil and wax, which I want to try out. Thanks so awfully for all this information, which enriches and changes my life to the better!

Anonymous said...

this site has free cosmetic recipes

Anonymous said...

For the people concerned about being laughed at if they wear skirts or dresses - I have spent a good portion of my life being very overweight, as a result of medical problems, so I know all about being jeered at, ridiculed, laughed at, pointed at, referred to as "the big fat thing" and worse. It's hard and it's painful to be mistreated and ridiculed.

As one poster mentioned, it's a matter of getting independent of it. At first it helped me to consider the poverty of mind and spirit of the people who abused me. After all, even if I saw someone who weighed 1000 pounds, I would not say anything rude, so I know that those who did ridicule me are doing so out of spite or anger. This helped me begin to deal with these problems. Later I began to visualise water rolling off a duck's back when I received a rude comment. If the comment was made to my face, I simply smiled and thanked the person. This usually brings them up so short that they can't think of anything else to say, during which time I make my escape.

Eventually, if you make a point of not letting these rude remarks and snickering upset you, you will find that they really no longer bother you. Make a habit of being happy with how you are dressed, and if someone is so depraved as to laugh at you or make a remark, know that is their problem, not yours.

These days my weight is much closer to normal, but I wear dresses and skirts all the time, at home, at my shop, everywhere I go. I very seldom have remarks made, but I think it is because all those years of being abused for my weight gave me the confidence to wear anything with my head up and a smile on my face. Once a woman did accost me in the street and swore at me, asking me why I was dressed for a coronation. I just smiled at her, told her to have a pleasant life, and walked right on by.

As one poster said, follow your own star. You don't need approval from the crowd. Once you start to wear clothing you're truly comfortable and happy in, you'll find it's not very difficult to let the rude remarks and sniggers just roll off harmlessly.


Anonymous said...

That is just great, TF. What a good attitude! You are a good example to the rest of us (especially me!). How awful that you had to suffer so much abuse. I can't believe somebody swore at you for being dressed up!!!

I know how the 60 year old lady feels. I am almost that age. It did seem to change overnight. And, yes, other Anon., we do have privacy when we wear dresses.

Lydia, such good comments here. I love reading them.

Anonymous said...

How do you get past Stacey and Clinton on What not to Wear? I thought they were professionals? I feel so brainwashed....They say invest in a good pair of black pants,a white shirt, kakipants,blacksuit with pencil skirt.Funny,I did all that but still had nothing to wear that I felt right in.Maybe I need to stop going to the experts for advice.Doesnt anybody here look for wardrobe building advice?

Anonymous said...

Wardrobe building advice is totally geared towards women who want to 1) wear pants and 2) look sexy. Also, they apparently never do anything other than commute to a desk job. I want to look as good as the next lady, you know, but following that advice would never work in my life.

Instead, in the winter I wear soft pleated wool skirts with high-quality, well-fitted soft sweaters (usually from the thrift store), and in the summer I wear crisp cotton, figure-flattering dresses that come past mid-calf. So much more comfortable than the low-waisted bootcut black pants I'm "supposed to" be wearing with heels every day.

Anonymous said...

I found the best help for my skin was from a dermatologist. Sometimes things cannot be helped at home. I am a stay at home mother, age 38. My son recently turned 10 and we were looking at old pictures. My relatives commented I look almost the same as I did 10 years ago. This is despite being quite sick at times and having a chronic illness for the past several years. I can only conclude it is because I do not work outside the home. I gained too much weight with each child but lost it all very quickly, and got back to about 128 lbs. Most working mothers I know just never lose the weight. I think they have so little time to themselves and it shows in the faces and their figures very quickly.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this dress you made. Especially the neck.

This is the first pattern I used when I returned to sewing, because it was simple. I was so disappointed with it at first! My husband called it a choir robe! :)I was deflated, but after some recuperation, I was determined to try again. I saw the thing I wanted to change about it, and just tried it on the next version of it.

This pattern helped me find the problem areas on my body that I would need to adjust for in every pattern I make from now on. It is basically just a drape of a dress, and that helped me understand draping, and the basic principles of fit

I would not try to sew without a small book called "Fast Fit" by Sandra Betzina. It cleared up everything for me. I have obtained many more sewing books since then, but this one was the most basic and all-encompassing in terms of fit.

I was very relieved to find that my "problem" had an answer! Even this "sack" of a dress did not fit me right when I made it the first time, and that was very discouraging. I needed to know how to fit myself!

The other "must" for Plus ladies is "Sewing for Plus Sizes" by Barbara Deckert. The plus size in commercial shirts have necklines that are reeeediculous! That is because when they size the garment up, they size every part of it up, even the part that doesn't get very large in a plus -sized lady - the neck area and shoulder bones!

After I took the time to study the adjustments from these two books, and lots of thinking about how to adjust my pattern, I made the dress from this pattern 6 times, tweaking it as I went along, and learned something new on each one, and was more pleased as I went along.

I learned I have to make a sway-back adjustment on it, put some darts in the back (or add a tie), take huge amounts out of the upper shoulder length, narrow the shoulders, change or add a bust dart, etc.

Sometimes it is your body's quirk that is the problem. Sometimes it is the pattern's fault. This pattern does have a very wide shoulder area.

If the cloth is one color, this dress pattern needs some interesting detail added to the neckline and sleeve, which is exactly what Lady Lydia did so beautifully! Another idea might be interesting pockets, on a more plain dress. (I have a whole book on pocket ideas!)

If you want to keep the sewing simple, just choose a full and interesting print on the fabric, and the lack of construction interest in the pattern will not be noticed, my favorite version I made is a linen with large, old fashioned flowers all over it.

Now this is a quick dress for me to make - my pattern is all cut and taped, and I don't have to make a lot of math decisions when I make it now. It was really worth the effort, and when I move on to more complicated things, I will already be able to figure out what is wrong with them when I have a problem.

I have especially enjoyed the piped necklines you have shown, that it what I would like to learn next. The neckline on this dress was so special.

One thing I tried and liked was a tiny bias ruffle that I made from the same material and inserted into the seam of the neckline and the hem of the sleeves, just as you applied the piping. It was the same as the piping, but a half-inch ruffle instead.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lady Lydia for these posts! I so appreciate them and as a young person, i am glad I am understanding and seeing these things at a young age.

I am wondering also how other ladies feel about getting past shows like What not to Wear. I have watched it several times and have always found that their advice is in someway or another unBiblical. For some that my be a harsh statement but really when you think about what their goals are, it is true. When Stacey and Clinton do make overs and women, they have goals. Usually, they are trying to raise that person self esteem by making them more attractive and "sexy". This really saddens me because as Christian women we know that we only ever have to be sexually appealing to one man in our lives. The rest of the time we dress because we have respect for ourselves (and don't feel like we need to look sexy), our husband's (and fathers, brothers) and ultimately God! As Lady Lydia said, we ought to reflect God's creation by dressing beautifully. This shows our love and fear and respect for HIM! I don't need to take the advice of Stacey or Clinton because I know in my heart that I am secure in who I am (because of Christ) and don't need to look like the picture that the world offers. God's picture is so much better!

Someone asked about organizing your wardrobe. I would say that wearing dresses is much easier because you don't have to plan an outfit. You can just pick out a pretty dress instead of seperates to go together. For me though, as I was starting to dress more femininely, it has been easier to wear seperates. I can buy or make a few pretty skirts and mix and match to have more outfits through out the days and weeks until I have enough feminine clothing to wear all the time. As Lady Lydia has said though, if you make good quality clothing, they will last a long time!


Anonymous said...

Will you be showing us fall and winter dresses? And can you tell me if flannel sews up as easily and beautifully as these lightweight cottons you have used? I would love to get a head start on a winter wardrobe for myself and my girls, and would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

And thank you for making your blog such a nice spot to visit, and so free from "trolls" who only try to spoil everyone's day!

Anonymous said...

What an awesome series you have going Lady Lydia. I just told my husband how excited I am you will be extending it to near December. What an amazing early Christmas gift for us!
As for the ladies asking about the show What Not to Wear? My husband and I do not watch tv. We purposely did not get the converter box or cable. Shows like that plague a woman's self esteem. The last time I saw that show I was in the hospital right after I gave birth to my son. I was so appalled that I turned it off. I preferred to lay in a bed with my aching muscles, c-section, than listen to those 2 explain to woman why they need to dress in an absolutely hideous manner.
Lady Lydia thank you again for all you have done. I recently switched to skirts and dresses only, and I love it! My son, who is 8 months old, loves to clutch at my skirt and grin at me. It melts my heart every time. God Bless you and all the ladies who are putting God first in their lives!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could meet the woman who said she was 60 and was saddened the day people laughed at women who wore hats and gloves and dresses. It is still astounding to me too. It is such a relief to read others say they noticed this almost sudden change too.
I am a bit older than she and sure remember it too. I loved how we all dressed. I looked forward to wearing and living like my mother and her women friends did. Now what we grew up knowing was normal is told to be wrong and what we all seemed at that time to All understand was wrong is all so right! At least others try to pursuade us we are wrong. From everyday life and manners to politics to everything, things are changing ,it feels like we are in the Twilight sad...and somewhat scary too.
The comments from this last post about the above and how to react to others commenting at you wearing dreses etc etc are so helpful.
To just Know there are other ladies out there..that you are not alone with these problems and thoughts is so refreshing. It means so much to me and I inagine so many who read this.
This is the only blog I have ever been on who shares so much of our hearts about being a woman and all God intended us to be. Thankyou for being so open.

Anonymous said...

Yes, speaking of hats and gloves, is there some way we can bring them back? I wish I had grown up during that era. And men looked so dashing in hats then, too. I have a picture of my father in a hat in the early 60's...I guess hats for men went out of style about the same time as hats for women?? What a shame! Does anyone have any suggestions on where to buy hats and gloves, or any tips on wearing them?

Lydia said...

Someone asked about how to find out if a garment really needed a zipper. I do not know for sure, but it has to be able to get over your shoulders, so it should be that wide somewhere on the dress.

The New Look pattern does have some problems. The neckline is way too wide. that is why I put things on it and around it. I have to cut a lot more fabric around it. The back of the pattern needs to have much more room. YOu do that by cutting the pattern up the middle from the hem, to the small of the back, pulling it apart and placing it on the fabric. You would have to open the fabric and fold it a different way, as it would not fit on a 45 inch fold.

yes, we are "troll-free" here and your anonymous comments protect you from the vicious attacks of these broken people who have nothing better to do than be obsessed with you. Also, you get to really say what you believe.

I have not seen the style experts on shows, as I have no tv reception any more. I do get catalogs, and today I was just dismayed at what they are trying to sell women. They look like something pulled out of a rag bag and the colors and prints are just bizarre. Everything makes them look fat. They models have to be really thin because the clothes cling so closely, it will show every little piece of weight they have. They can't show anything but skin and bones because the clothes are really tight. THe coats are all blown up like an air balloon and they make the women look fat, which seems to defeat the purpose. The prints look like a forest fire. So, I can imagine what the fashion so called experts are promoting to women.

The cotton dresses I am sewing are loose, so that you do not have to worry about every breath you take and you don't have to suck in your tummy all the time, and they are so comfortable and do not show straps and underwear. Everyone can find a kind of cloth they like and make them to suit the individual. You will not see yourself coming and going if you make a dress or have someone make it for you.

You can make hats and gloves quite easily if you dont try to do it the milliners way. There might be a chance of showing it on the web. However there are a lot of hats and gloves surfacing in the antique shops. You can collect them and dye them different colors to match your outfits.

Gloves and hats went out of fashion when it became popular to expose yourself to everyone and to the weather, no matter what it was. It was a custom to wear hats and gloves to prevent the spread of disease and to protect your health. The head was kept warm, because it was believed that if you got your head cold, it would effect the rest of the body. The head also was covered just as a matter of good sense, so that hair would not damaged by harsh sun. There were other reasons for hats and gloves. One reason was that it was part of the outfit. The best way to bring them back is to wear them in public.

I am scurrying around here trying to get a few more garments and accessories ready. Yes I will be sewing for winter. I do not know if I will use cotton flannel but have made white winter blouses out of it quite successfully. You do not have to turn up the heat at the house if you are dressed warmly, and that saves money.

Thanks for everyone's nice comments, and keep them coming, please!! Become your own designer, and then you aren't so dependent on the so called fashion experts. Become your own expert on your own clothes. Wear what you like and not what they dictate to you.

Anonymous said...

I have really enjoyed all the comments on this one. And, the dress is beautiful!

When I was little (I'm 43 now), we lived with my grandparents for awhile. They lived in North Carolina in a very rural community. I wore hats and gloves with my little dresses. I loved it. My mom also dressed up beautifully for church. When we moved to the Denver area, it was so strange. People didn't dress up nearly as much. Today, we went to my brother's fiance's bridal shower. My mom and I wore long floral skirts. We were probably the most conservatively dressed there. Some ladies wore jeans or capris! To a bridal shower!!! I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Taking back privacy by modesty, and being your own designer of your clothing instead of letting the fashion industry dictate what you will wear is really empowering! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Here is a quick pick up for older dry hands (and younger ones too!). Stand over the sink and pour a tablespoon or so of olive oil into your cupped palm. Add a teaspoon of sugar and rub in to the hands all over especially the backs. Rinse off the excess with lukewarm water. Your hands will feel very soft. If they feel too greasy for you wash them and add cream. I think it would be good to do just before handwashing dishes if you pop on some rubber gloves and let the warmth help the oil to absorb, or just before bed.
I too am very much enjoying this series and am pleased to see it will continue.
I also wonder if since we have all (men included) stopped wearing hats and gloves and modest clothing, if that isn't a factor in the dramatic increase in skin cancers, especially melanoma. It is a big issue here in Australia.
Thanks J

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for all the work that goes into this blog! You accomplish much.

I don't know if it's feasible (as I'm not very computer savvy) even IF you thought it was a good idea but wouldn't it be great to see with photos, examples of how other ladies have been inspired by these feminine posts. Even if they didn't sew but were inspired to choose a blouse with frills instead of a manly cut, wore a flower in their hair, a pink top instead of a muddy colour, used lipstick, pearls, ate a fresh orange rather than tinned juice, used a moisturizer instead of suffering with scaly skin, and mention non-pictorial changes like speaking quietly instead of boisterously or wearing perfume.. If the lady sharing wished to remain anonymous, outfits could be shown on coathangers or laying out on a flat surface.I'm sure there have been many, many tiny and consequential feminine changes in dress, demeanor or health as indicated already by excited commentors. Just a thought...You really are an inspiration. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I got to thinking about the posts that ask how to "get past" the television show "What Not To Wear".

Now, I don't watch TV. Haven't since I was eleven, and that was almost forty years ago now. So I looked up these people, Stacey and Clinton, who tell people how to dress and recommend black suits with pencil skirts, etc.

Has anyone seen their resumes? Stacey has been a stylist for fashion photo shoots for some pretty big name publications and clients - but what has the fantasy world shown in a fashion magazine to do with day to day real life as lived by real people? After the skeletal model has been made up, corseted, duct taped into the garments to make them fit in a way that they weren't truly cut to fit (this is done all the time, the clothes are wrapped round the model and secured with tape) and the pictures are taken, then the retouchers go to work with Photoshop and similar applications, until the model looks like nothing human and the clothes look like no clothes do on a real human body.

Clinton has similar, but less weighty experience - free lance writing on the subject of fashion, editing and deputy editing (do you wear a badge when you're a deputy editor?) for some big name mags. In other words, his experience is in the fantasy world of photographed fashion as well.

These people may be "experts" when it comes to standing a model up in front of a fan, getting the lighting right, showing the clothing and accessories in the most attractive way, etc - but how does this qualify them to judge what a normal woman living a normal life should wear?

I suspect that their ability to act a certain way in front of the cameras and their willingness to be snarky about people's appearances have a lot more to do with it than their actual ability to come up with reasonable, workable styles for people to wear in their day to day lives.

We've become so dependent on so-called "experts" when, in the long run, the ultimate expert on your clothing needs and style is -- YOU! You know yourself better than anyone on the planet. You know your daily routine, special needs, budget, likes and dislikes, better than anyone else. No "expert" is going to turn up who can assess what you need in the way of clothing better than yourself.

I have a lifestyle where I spend a great deal of time on my feet. If any "expert" told me that I "must" wear a pair of low rise, tight, boot cut jeans with four inch heels, I would laugh them out of countenance. If you don't need clothing like that, why wear it?


Anonymous said...

I never have cared too much whether or not someone disapproved of me dressing modestly and feminine. In high school it was the worst. Many times girls have said snide ugly hateful remarks about my dresses. I just shrugged and told them, "If you want to wear pants that is your business, I want to wear dresses and that is my business, not yours!" If I were a missionary that lived among natives that thought it was fine to wear nothing but grass aprons, I would still wear my dress and feel perfectly comfortable.

They try to use their peer pressure and crowd mentality to change me to blend in with their bland lifestyle. No thanks, I love my rich life; full of love, joy, peace. Why would I trade these blessings for their bickering, arguing, spitefulness, and bitterness.

It is the same ploy every time. I am a Christian and I will please my God. When I try to please my God, it doesn't please their god at all! LOL!

Lydia said...

To "Bethany" and the last commenter: I value the comments of young ladies as yourselves. Please keep posting your thoughts but remember to do so anonymously. You are right about dresses: the blouse and skirt are joined and already coordinated. Commercially purchased separates are an awful mess in the closet, and despite the advertising that they "stretch" your options in your wardrobe, they do not. You get bored with them quickly. Dresses hanging neatly on a hanger with no other pieces to mess with.
Consider your waistline when you start wearing "separates" because they add more and more layers to the thickness there, and it can drive you crazy. Just begin with all the pieces of clothing you wear at the waistline and start counting. Double it when it comes to waistbands because it is usually two layers. Some people have counted as many as 8 layers at the waist, if you have a skirt and a blouse and a belt and all the underwear. A dress is just one layer of cloth at the waist. No one needs to add thickness to the waist.

Dresses are much easier to sew. You do not have to stop and make two hems and then a waistband. This is one reason I am showing dresses.

About peer pressure: there are girls who are bullies who want to intimidate everyone who is nice and innocent. They want to run down anyone who isn't like them. They control through their elitist attitudes. The press and the fashion experts and catalogs make this kind of pressure and people feel it. They think they are strange if they dont like those things and dont look good in them. One lady wrote:

"I just wanted to mention how much I've been enjoying your present series on sewing for yourself. I have made my own clothes for many years, first because I was beyond most clothing size ranges, and now because I simply won't wear those skintight shrouds that are being hawked to women.

" I went in our local K-Mart the other day and was greeted with a sea of grey, drab navy and black. Here in Australia we're heading into spring, and these were the new spring clothes! It looked like the supply depot at a naval base. The only thing with a bit of colour was a sleazy, transparent peasant top that wouldn't survive one washing, with a neckline cut to the navel. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

"It isn't as easy to find nice fabrics in Australia as it is in America, and the prices are a lot higher, but I have to say, my homemade clothing lasts for years, in opposition to some of the things I've bought ready made. I have some suits I made that are still as colourful and fresh as the day I made them - twelve years ago!"

She is right: a hand sewn garment can last as long as 12 years. Since I wear mine all the time, they do wear out sooner but you will never see them discarded to the Goodwill. They become a nightgown, an apron, or a garden dress, and eventually, can be used for rag rugs for the bathroom. There is no waste with cotton.

I wonder where all these stretchy oily clothes will be in the next generation. Will they be shipped out to poor women in other countries or will they be in museams to show the future people how ridiculous the designers were and how gullible the women were to wear them.

Anonymous said...

Concerning 'Wardrobe advice', hmm; isn't that what Lady Lydia is ofering in response to the lack of beauty and simple elligance out there in everyday life? As the 60 year old lady so wonderfully articulated, many of us fed up with the garbage foisted upon womankind by the mass producers of garments (high end fashion is not immune either; often lead the way), we 'follow our own star' and build our own wardrobes!! :-)

If I concerned myself with the thoughts and attitudes of others, dependant upon the experts, walking behind them like a pied piper's rat, i wouldn't even feel enclined to rise out of bed for the day; Ladies, we need to realize we do not need the so called experts; fat lot of good they've done anyway; we need good old fashioned, tried and true, timeless commonsense and the strength to be ourselves!! Let us gladly throw off the shackles of other's opinions. Re the obedience to the so called experts who foist ugly pants, synthetic fabric shirts etc etc onto us, I stand by an old Oscar Wild quote; 'Fashion is what one wears oneself; what others wear is 'unfashionable'. I understand this to convey the importance of not being dragged into the herd of sheep and accompanying mentality; since pants for women in the West first made their appearance on the fashion landscape of paris in 1911, its all gone downhill from there!

Lets throw off the chains of the 21st century oppression that scorns a woman reveling in her femininity and womanhood, and reclaim what is ours!

I am, and always have been free to be myself, just as God made me. Each of us, no matter our size, shape or ethnicity, can do the same. I admire Indian women here who have lived in this nation for decades who still wear the beautiful tunic suits or saris of their homeland; a beacon of loveliness in a Maoist landscape; what orwell called a 'tyranny of drabness'. i also admire the middle Eastern women in my neighbourhood always so elegant in their scarves and flowing robes, so beautifully put together and ready for anything!

Lydia said...

I always enjoying reading the commets of Australian women on this blog. You are widely read, and know your history. Love your quotes and your expressions. Yes, it is so true: the conspiracy of drabness. It reminds me of communist China in the last decade. The women looked just like the men in clothing, and were sent to labor camps to chop rock. That is true liberation. They were liberated from their own womanhood, and that is what is happening via clothing today. There is more afoot than comfort. There is something very devious about the designs. Why, for example are certain designs promoted and manufactured and on the rack, while others are not? You certainly do not see many colorful cottons or modest clothes in the stores. Why is one kind promoted, but not the other? As one young lady just commented, it is so everyone can look athletic or sexy, and not so one can bring out the best in the eyes and hair and complexion.

Why is one kind of style promoted and not another? Where are the colorful cotton styles and the pretty prints that look like real things? Why, instead are there obnoxious prints that look like a paint factory just blew up? Or maybe the jumbled prints and wierd colors are proof that the big-bang theory is really true. Maybe the immodesty is proof that global warming exists. Whatever, the modest and sweetly printed designs are not promoted because there is someone behind the whole scene with money who dictates what will be done. When you sew, you are not following the pied piper that leads those dressed in the emperors new clothes down to the river. When you sew, or have someone sew for you, or chose clothing that looks pretty and feminine instead of a power suit or underwear posing as outerwear, you are being a individual, not following the the crowd being sold down the river.

Shopping used to be a wonderful experience because the clothes were just so pretty and delightful. The current young generation has never seen that, so they think these jeans that are falling off, are normal. It is all they have seen all their lives. Isnt that sad? I remember when people used to go shopping for clithes and then go out to tea. THey dressed up to shop, and it was a thrill to see the new clothing.

Sewing is very hard work but I belieeve it is important to take matters into your own hands. How much worse could you do than what has been done to you by these designs and fashion "experts?" I am not a fashion expert for anyone. You are your own fashion expert because you know what you like and what you are comfortable in. Just make one cotton dress or have someone make one for you and see how it feels. Most people say they do not like dresses because they are scratchy or uncomfortable on the skin, but when you wear a hand sewn dress, there is a big, big difference. They feel wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Australian ladies: you are wonderfully funny: pants have "gone downhill" ever since. Ain't it the truth? Literally. They go down hill every year and get lower and lower cut, and soon the girls will not be able to keep up their pants. Ha ha.

Anonymous said...

to J in Australia,

As a fellow Aussie, i am in no doubt that our obsession with bareness has led to us having the highest rate of melanoma in the world; Ladies, have you actually seen someone die of this disease that started life as 'just a little mole'? if you have, you will know how heartbreaking it is. Why d'ya think the lifesavers go around in long cotton surf shirts broad brimmed hats and long board shorts?? Additionally, what colour are most of us here? Yup; white, that's it - designed for cold Northern climates; yes, that's us; now consider the colour of our indigenous population; various shades ranging from rich caramel to ebony; and why? because of our climate; and even these folk traditionally need to take shelter in the heat of the day.

Fellow Aussies and Lady Lydia, google the 'golden Summers' collection and try to get hold of the catalogue that was released along with the exhibition back in the mid '80's; Australian women from all walks have been depicted; in farm houses, on the beach, picking fruit, exploring the land with only their husband for company...all while dressed as women, modestly yet practically. In our hot summers, I am much cooler in a coton dress, wide straw bonnet, cotton underthings and a pair of sandals than clinging shorts, pants and T's or sleeveless tops. Does anyone know how to preserve a natural straw bonnet (See to learn of the type I am speaking of) so it will give me years of faithful wear?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment that the Indian women need to keep their beautiful saris. They are one of the most beautiful garments in the world. Their men admire the women wearing them. Pity that poor country now that the factories are chugging out the torn up trash sacks and calling it fashion for the young. Those men will not be able to look at women in colorful clothing anymore. There will be some magic lost in that country.

Anonymous said...

I, too, love the colorful way the Aussie women write when they post. They tell it like it is.

Lydia said...

Please post a web address for that Golden Summers Collection. I was unable to locate it on my google. I can use it in the next post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the anon 7:00pm in regards to the "experts". I was wondering what makes a person an expert anyway as I was reading the posts about these "experts." I would think it has to do with living the talk. Does anyone you would see on tv actually live their days as a conservative, Bible-following homemaker? Hmmmmm.......who are we to learn from? Older women that have lived out the life, right?

Anonymous said...

I used to be a devoted fan of What Not to Wear and my sister (who lives with us) still is, so I see episodes now and then. The thing is, Stacy and Clinton are good at what they do. What they do isn't really all that good though.

They both try to dress women in a way that society tells them makes them look thinner and on some occasions, I have seen it work. However, rarely (if ever) do the women (or men) dress modestly. It does all seem to boil down to sex appeal. To "giving your tushie shape" and drawing emphasis to where you want it. They both ridicule the "mommy jeans" and the "mommy dress" saying that a woman who does not pay attention to fashion is "letting herself go" which is a truly dangerous path to follow. However, on the plus side, there are women who have gotten into a routine of baggy shirts and sweatshirts that do need to realize that they need to dress with pride and dignity, but those things do not need to be in line with what modern fashionistas call style.

I like these dresses that you've been showing, Lady Lydia, and this whole series. I like the dresses, but I don't love them...I love the idea but then when I try to sew something, it still feels like a sack and I end up feeling ungainly and heavier than I am. Perhaps is is because I remember hearing Stacy and Clinton reminding heavier women that the need some "structure" to their clothes, which didn't necessarily mean pants, but it did mean that the clothing should have a form of its own and not be dependent on my form for its shape. Case in point: sweater versus lightweight jacket: a sweater makes me look lumpier than I am (and bulkier too) but a well tailored jacket with some feminine detail, nips in where it needs to in order to give the illusion of a good figure. So when I look at dresses that don't have a lot of visual interest or shape, I still like the dress (and it looks great on you) but I just don't think it'd look that good on me, because there is no structure. Is there a good way to give your body this structure or do you think it is completely unnecessary? I am so confused and up in the air in my head about what actually does look good on me.

Lady Lydia, I was wondering if you'd take submissions of women dressed in beautiful, modest clothing so that we can see a larger variety of styles, prints, and body sizes? Maybe even a "before and after" for women who are changing into dresses only?

Lydia said...

One of the reasons the sewing patterns and the store bought dresses of the 80's was so great is that it did have structure ,which means that it had more pieces sewn together. It would have sleeves with cuffs, and a bodice made with several pieces including a side front and a side back, a front and a back, and the skirts had pieces in them too. The blouse area of the dress was roomy and the skirt area just skimmed the body. The shape was determined by the dress, not by the persons body shape. A lot of it was due to the high quality cottons that were used for these styles. I hope to put up some from the August Victoria magazines.

I would love to accept submissions of photographs but the trolls will steal the photograph and use it on another blog and vilify the person if she is promoting modesty. I would not want to be the cause of that by having put someones photograph on my blog. You might be able to use sketch up though, and make a digital sketch of a photograph to submit. That would protect your privacy a lot better.

I dont "love" this dress, either, as the pattern needed a lot of adjustment. It was an example of something that could be made quickly. Generally though, even a simple design like this looks more structured when it is made with a good cotton. I wonder if it is not so much the difference between a highly structured garment and a non structured one, as it is between the crisp cotton fabrics and the stretchy ones.

Anonymous said...

Yes!! That's us Aussies; 'colourful', 'Larrykin', and 'Telling it as it is'!!! I'll keep banging on here until poor Lydia finds me tedious and chucks me off!! :-))))

As for the Golden Summers collection, I own the catalogue; my mum bought it for me when I was 16 after we both visited for an art class... I think the only way you'll be able to find it would be on ebay or amazon; Tom Roberts etc who were at their peak in the late 19th century, spearheading this type of art in Australia were of the Heidelberg school. These artists along with poets/writers such as henry Lawson and Banjo patterson were the first of our Authentic Australian voices, who saw this incredible land and its people for what it is; the land makes us; it truly does... Arthur Streeton is another Australian artist of this time period.
The exhibition and catalogue were concerned with their work of the lattter half of the 19th century, early years of the 20th' not sure how they resisted the more outrageous excesses of the post WWI era; I love this period of history, for dress, technology and music; adore the French impressionists; Ravel, Claud Debussey, (Please excuse horrendous spelling) and others of this era; Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Holst, mahler, it is the last glittering era before WWI and its aftermath changed the landscape forever; one can only dream of what it would have been like if these eras of elegance had continued; remember ladies, they already had plumbing, flush loos, the early appliances we all take for granted, electricity (not a few Australian cities were electrified prior to 1912), electrro mechanical appliances for those living rural, telephone, sound system, radio had been invented, we had film, What would it have been like if we could have modernised without losing the beauty and elegance - from rich to those of modest means, all enjoyed simple beauty, elegence and dignity. Oh, and I forgot refrigeration, which we in aust developed as far back as the 1850's to allow for our meat and dairy to be exporte back to Britain; yes, you heard correctly; the 1850's!! icechests were commonplace from the 1890's out here and Federation + pre-Federation designed for the heat; double brick, high ceilings, wrap-around verandahs, coolgardie meatsafe etc.

Now I'm just rambling - which will wel and truly earn me a yellow card :-)

Anonymous said...


If you want to get an idea of lovely structured dresses, jackets skirts etc that will give you a bit of nudge in the right direction, take a look at
Friends of mmine who think 'the King's Daughters' are a little bit 'country' love the dresses and jackets these ladies make; they've a wonderful fabric selection also; Funny; I remember bying dresses off the peg as described on their site back in the 90's when I'd just started out in the workforce; sad irony that back then, a beautiful floral dress, nice pair of court shoes, hose and a nice jacket were seen as perfect work attire for young ladies. Now such would be sneered at by those who set themselves up as being 'in the know'.

I would so love one of their lace umbrellas for my birthday and cannot wait until my little God Daughter is old enough to be given such and take care of it :-)

Another site (Australian) is
They make dresses; also make skirts and jackets. I hope these give you all some idea of the possibilities even if you only buy patterns where available; 'Be an Example' charges very cruel rates for plus size women IMHO but.. theyr'e still more than worth a mention.

For those wary of shopping for dresses on line like this, if you measure up properly and stay in frequent communication with your dressmaker, you'll not be disappointed; They're happy to receive phonecalls and work this way with their clientelle.

I'd gladly post my mug on this blog; the trolls can all take a long jump off a short pier; If they're that short sighted they can only villify; only goes to show a lack of imagination!! As I've mentioned previously, I grew tired of worrying what others thought of me a looong time ago and have more important things to concern myself with.

Happy dressing!! let's be out and proud about our femininity and not be controled by the opinions of the naysayers!! Half of it is a smile, and wearing these beautiful garments with confidence!

Anonymous said...

If we all looked like you Lydia we would all be beautiful and be able to dress the way you do.But some of us have wider figures and it would be too much fabric all the way down to the ankles.I have found that gentle gathers on an aline skirt that goes midcalf or below the knee is slimming.Also for darker hair girls bolder prints or florals would look good. We all have to find our own way,but just determine to stop watching tv shows,books,(even christian fashion experts who are really giving the same advice as the world)because its hard sometimes to quiet that voice that says to you after you put that pretty dress on ,that you look oldfashioned or out of step with the rest of the world.Remember somewhere in 1st peter it says something about after a person is saved they will talk about you because you dont "run" with them anymore.That they are astonished at you that you dont participate in the same herd mentality as them.Running after those things that are prized by them such as a welltoned body that you worked so hard for and now they must show off,or all for nothing.If we work out we do it for health and would be highly embarassed to even think to show it to anyone except our spouse.We're on that narrow road and must expect disdain from the world,they dont know any better.What would they know of modesty in this day and age without the Lord.But we know Him and follow Him and press on and we're told to encourage one another which we are doing here.Because it is hard to stand against such an onslaught of ridicule against modesty.But if we could design our outfits to look as modern as we can, do that rather than choosing something thats going to look so out of step it brings more unwanted attention than necessary.

Anonymous said...

For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles-when we walked in lewdness,lusts,drunkeness,...and abomidable idolitries.In regard to these,they think it strange that you don't run with them in the same flood of dissipation,speaking evil of you.They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that is such an appropro verse. Yes, we are warned that people will think it strange that we don't run after the things of the world.

I just got back from a party. Most of the people there were Born-Again Christians, and the old ladies all had on stretch slacks that rode up between their buttockes. This is comfortable? And it makes them look ridiculous.

Two ladies were there in nice cotton skirts and looked so lovely.

Anonymous said...

I remember watching the movie "Exodus" starring Paul Newman, (based on Leon Uris's book, I think) on tv years ago.

In the movie, the blond lady who was Newman's girlfriend gets angry at Newman's young sister who is always wearing boys' shorts and shirts, shoves a dress at her and admonishes her to, "...put this on! THIS is what women wear!"

Well, I saw that movie on tv again a few months ago and waited for that part, because it was so striking, and I have been thinking about feminine dress so much lately, but, guess what? They LEFT THAT PART OUT this time!! Probably so no women would be offended.

Anonymous said...

I hope you don't mind me posting this Lady Lydia, but for the lady who is looking for tailored dress styles I would recommend looking at some of Anna's sewing projects on her blog Pleasant View Schoolhouse: She uses vintage patterns to make her beautiful creations and they are always feminine and modest.

As a young lady, this is one of my favorites that her daughter sewed for herself: I would just add a little cap sleeve or a sleeve that is to the elbow :)

Anonymous said...

I love that slip and dress. You sure do have style. I get motivated to sew something when I log on and see what you are sewing. Thank you very much!