Monday, July 27, 2009

The Colorful Garments Painted by Eugene de Blaas (1815-1894)

This artist enjoyed depicting scenes of fisher women in their vibrant clothing.You can see them mending nets, in the above picture. Being a fisherman's daughter, I am quite familiar with putting out nets, picking nets and mending nets, and these paintings seem so full of life. In all his paintings, including once called "The Catch of the Day," Eugene de Blaas created scenes of action.

A Helping Hand

Eugene de Blaas had Austrian parents. His father , Karl, was also a painter and a teacher at the Academy in Rome and the Academy at Venice. Eugene often used his wife, Paola, as a model for women in the scenes.

The New Suitor

I love this picture, showing the shoes and stockings, and the aprons and different swaths of cloth draped about the women's skirts, as well as the scarves around the bodices of the dresses. The clutter in the house gives a glimpse of life in that era.

The Farewell

In this painting, t looks like the vest or cumber band they wore as a bodice outside the peasant blouse, was of tapestry or a colorful print. This collar is like the one I made for the yellow dress in a previous post in this series. The little shoes you see on the woman are similar to ones on sale right now in various shoe stores. (Wal Mart $5.00-$7.00)
This is the same fabric in a different print, as the black and pink dress on the post before last.This is pattern Its So Easy Simplicity 2901, no zip. I used a longer sleeve. I cut this a bigger size to make it very loose, and I use a length of wide black satin ribbon by Offray from WalMart (9 ft, and it has matching bows and roses),for a tie.

This fabric had matching grosgrain ribbon, so I bought a roll of it and just tied it in my hair over an elastic band. Grosgrain ribbon is a thicker ribbon which is woven with ridges in it. It does not wrinkle and it is great for ties on dresses. I plan to get a narrow grosgrain ribbon of this type and make ties for this dress. You can put ties on, even after you have sewn the dress, and I will try to show you how sometime. You can see the black piping trim on the neckline of the dress, which is 100% cotton. No, I do not streak my hair with chemicals. The lighter color is what we fondly call "farmers streaks," similar to a farmer's tan, where you get sun up to the sleeves and necklines of your clothes.I wanted to show the drape of the skirt here and how much fabric is in it, although, standing, the skirt is quite slimming. The casual flats are on sale now for 5 to 7 dollars at WalMart, and these matched the almost salmon-pink shade of the fabric. This will be worn for best for awhile and then, as it wears out, for every day house work.

After doing a few more casual dresses, I may move on to wedding dresses, childrens clothes, costumes, kitchen decor, home accessories, which you can make from cotton.
For your own freedom and protection, please post anonymously.


Anonymous said...

I love the beautiful colors. I also like the idea of the removable collar that ties in the front. Thanks for the inspiration! They never get old.

Anonymous said...

These paintings say a lot! Notice the man is in pants and the women in skirts. The women are obviously not rich, and they are hard workers. Fisherwomen were not women of leisure, yet they still looked like women. These people would probably be shocked to see what everyone looks like now, when you cannot tell a man from a woman.

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed your posts.

Do you have art book recommendations that show the work you have been posting? I would like to have some for my homeschool.


Sharon said...

Such vibrant colors in these paintings! I love them.

Lydia said...

I put a lot of the paintings on That way, you do not have to sort through any undesireable art, to find the things that would be good for your family. If you click on the categories there on the side of that blog, you can see more of these paintings, although I have not yet put everything there from these dressmaking posts. I would certainly like to have a book with all these paintings. Maybe that will be possible sometime. If put in a book, an author would have to pay an average of $125.00 per painting for the right to have it printed and sold. That would be quite expensive. For now, I am keeping them on Lovely Whatevers.

Though Eugene von Blaas was Austrian, his family loved the Italian countryside and the sea, and his paintings were mostly of the scenes of Italy where they lived.

Anonymous said...

I am posting this on behalf of someone who emailed me:

I think it is interesting that a woman does not have to be "religious" in order to wear lovely feminine clothing. So often today if you try to wear a dress or skirt, someone thinks you do it for religious reasons. In all the paintings you have shown us here, I dont detect any kind of religion, per se, but of a kind of culture that accepted women in their femininity, and like the previous comment, the men are always in pants and the women in dresses, even the poor ones. What we have in western culture today is truly, as was said before, a combination of the Pied Piper leading the crowd wearing The Emperors New clothes, down to the river.

Anonymous said...

Thank you again for sharing your clothing. One thing this shows is that we as mature women can wear colors that are nice. As I had stated previously, I am tired of so many fashions being so blah---browns, blacks, navy. Mostly are solid colors. I love all of your dresses. I made a dress this week. I really like the way it came out. I changed it quite a bit from what the pattern called for. I am what you would call fluffy, so some of dresses you have shown would not be flattering on me, but I have found a pattern I like. I will be making more out of it, and will make them look a bit different but yet the same. Thanks again, can't wait to see what is next on your agenda.


Anonymous said...

the poor had very colorful clothing. It was the rich that determined the career clothing colors of gray and black, to match the buildings and offices that people worked in.

Anonymous said...

I also meant to say something about organizing one's household chores, when one is sewing. Obviously, sewing a dress takes time, which one doesn't just have on hand. I also think, that three to four dresses a year are a good number, else one gets too much behind with one's normal life.
It's good to plan ahead before one embarks on a major sewing project. Preecook food would be a good idea. and it's always good to make a break at lunch, and tidy up the house.In the evening, one should clean up everything, including the kitchen, and not just lie things around. Else it will become very depressing to see all the chaos the next morning.

Anonymous said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all your posts on your feminine and modest clothing. I am inspired by it all and find it all so attractive. Something I will request, however,(and you don't have to publish this comment if it embarrasses you) is for you to please post about your skin-care routine, healthy eating etc. It appears that you do a good job in this area. I am 46 and have always cared for my skin, diet etc because to me it is a part of being feminine and is a part of who I am.

Kind regards,
Sonya, Australia

Anonymous said...

Rather than set aside whole days for sewing, I much prefer to do a little every day. There's almost always a little bit of time--half an hour or an hour--between finishing my day's work and the need to embark on dinner preparations. That's sewing time! My daughters frequently join me in the sewing room, and even my boys like to sit in with me and talk. There's something very stabilizing about using that time of day in that way.

Anonymous said...

Keepin house does take time, but if you get yourself on an organized schedule, there is plenty of time for sewing, gardening, writing, and homeschooling.

Thank you for another wonderful post. I never tire of these and have been inspired to sew more. I haven't worn pants since the beginning of the series. Until all my dresses are finished, I'm wearing some thrift store skirts from the back of my closet. Last winter I had gained so much weight that I couldn't zip them. But with your inspirational posts, I've been working on loosing those 10 pounds I have a disfunctional relationship with. I hope they are kicked out of the house for good.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting specific pattern numbers for easy to make dresses (no zippers, etc.). While I can do the intermediate type projects, the easier ones go much faster and when you tell us what patterns you use, it saves me from having to search the catalogs for something suitable while trying to watch my kids.

On our way to Mass the other day, we passed some elderly people speaking loudly about their disapproval of the "short-shorts" some girls wear to Church. The same women so vocal in their disapproval of the girls were not dressed much better - short sleeve t-shirts that showed
every roll and capri pants with sandals that showed less than lovely feet. How can they expect the young to do better when that is the role model?

Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

I commented already, but wanted to add something I just saw when searching for the pattern you used for this dress. Simplicity 2901 is listed as being "out of print" on the Simplicity website, but it can still be ordered there.

Lydia said...

For health and skin care I would have to do a post on brocoli.

Brocoli contains protein and the same amount or more of Vitamin C as oranges.

I cut it in very small slices, almost slivered, and roast it in olive oil in a pan on top of the stove. It is sometimes called sauteing. I do not cook it all the way but leave it a bit crisp, by cutting off the heat before it is done and putting the lid on the pan.

Sunshine is normal amount contained in getting outside to do necessary things like watering the flowers, taking out the trash, putting out the compost, picking the lettuce and cucumbers, or getting in and out of the car for trips to the store.

Water: drink none that contains flouride or chlorine or aspertame or added sodium.

I do not salt my food and rarely use condiments (ketchup, soy sauce, etc) but that is just what I like. I don't know if it makes a difference in anything. Also I rarely eat anything that is from a can, preferring fresh or frozen or dried foods.

Sleep: as much as you like, early rather than late. If you go to bed really early you dont have to work any more that day, and you will get up earlier and have some quiet in the mornings. I dont always do it but aim for it often.

Several helpful books on Health:

Greater Health, God's Way, by Stormie Ormation

Fit for Life by Marilyn Diamond

Protein Power: this book is helpful in that it shows how too much refined grain and refined sugars can harm your health. Worth reading for history, also.

Soap: I just use glycerine soap, like Pears, on my face, found at the dollar store. It lasts a long time.

If my face feels dry, I use a salve that a friend makes for me, consisting of olive oil and calendula, apricot kernal oil, comfrey, lavender and beeswax. You can get kits to make things like this, with little jars and instructions.

If you are really interested in skincare and hair care and make up, you might look into the things the women of India use.

I think there is a lot more to sleep than women realize. If you feel tired all the time, you tend to eat more quick-energy, high-calorie things to perk yourself up, which adds weight. Just laying down during the day is restoring.

I do not take vitamins. I used to take them and just wanted to try not taking them to see if there was any difference. I cannot explain the difference, yet.

I have a lot of younger friends with whom I discuss the latest technology. My mother keeps after me to look after my health. Health to me is rest, water, nutrition found in good foods. When the government talks about "health care" they do not mean health care. They mean chemical care. I don't use chemicals in or on my body if I can help it.

Oh yes, I get flax meal (not whole flax seed) and take a table spoon of it a day , either sprinkled on something or just straight, or put in muffins or scones. It helps the immune system. The immune system begins with the outer layer of the body, the skin. That entire piece I have heard is several miles long. If it is punctured or exposed to something harmful, it effects your immunity to disease. The layers of your immune system go clear to your bones, and it is important to protect it all by not compromising it with too much foreign stuff. Certain foods are great for the immune system. The immune system protects your body. That is one reason I think you should not have rings and things all over your body and you should not have tatoos. Any time you mess with the skin, you are asking for trouble with your health.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your observation about the older women. They need to be an example in what they wear. A grandmother used to be someone that had dignity and that you felt a lot of respect for, even if it was just an elderly woman you did not know. She had her hair up and a dress and an apron and she loved her home, loved hospitality, and was not just modest but had elegance. Now the way they walk around with the "fat pants" and the tee shirts and the shaved heads, with the long, manicured nails, is just not my idea of a sweet old woman. What happened? Young people will be old one day and need a role model. Older women need to be thinking "What do I want the younger women to be like" and try to show an example of softness and femininity. Like young people, they too, are being dictated to by what is in the stores and what is being sold to them.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about how the old women look today, "Anon. at 7:20." They all have shaved heads and wear fat pants and a saggy t-shirt. My and my husband's grandmothers, born in the late 1800's and early 1900's, always wore a housedress (they didn't always bother to wear stockings and girdles at home, but put them on if company came over or if they went out), with an apron, and their hair was "done" -- usually short and curly, but "done." Just looking at them made you want to respect them. They had dignity.

Anonymous said...

I and one little girl were the only ones wearing a dress to church Sunday. Everybody else, mostly women over 60, wore shorts, above-the-knee discernably divided culottes, pedal-pushers, capris, and stretch pants. One younger woman "dressed up" in blue jeans and a t-shirt. I have been trying to be an example, since I am the pastor's wife, but get nowhere. I buy my clothing in thrift stores and my dress cost $3. You don't have to be rich to dress nicely. I got compliments from the men. I'm "older" and trying to be a good example, but get nowhere. The more I dress up, the less they dress up. But, yes, I'm just glad that they're coming. Better too-casually dressed than not coming at all. This is what we are reduced to today as ministers -- beggars who are thankful for any crumb. When these older ones pass away, nobody will come at all.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

thanks for your tips on taking care of one's health. I also share the opinion, that healthy natural food and enough sleep are sufficient under normal circumstances, and that one doesn't need to take vitamins.

My grandmother always wears skirts and blouses and wears her hair up in a soft bun. She's a homemaker like I would like ot be one. Everything is in order in her little appartement, she invites her friends for little tea parties (with homemade cake at the age of 92!).She still makes her own jam, and is doing some knitting or sewing every day.
She never hesitated about her dress style and way of living, although other women of her age wear their hair short and put on trousers and ugly T-Shirts. She never felt bad, that she's different. That's what I admire so much. I always feel a bit as an outsider in my romantic dresses, long hair and pastel colors. I feel the urge to justify myself.
I very much admire her and would like to be able to lead such a good life as she does.

Anonymous said...

dear Mrs. Sherman,

You have spoken of womens hands and compared today's girls with the past, where women kept their fingers busy doing good things. Look at these paintings and see what is in their hands! Compare that today to the average young girl sitting on a sidewalk in jeans. Whatever she has in her hands, will not be something we will want to admire in years to come. Certainly these paintings are a testimony of life before feminism!

Lydia said...

Yes, I believe sleep is a natural healer and builder of the immune system. That is one reason women should be at home, and not trying to hold down two jobs, burning the candle at both ends. It is impossible to rest properly outside the home.

Anonymous said...

I live in a small town in a rural area where most of the older and elderly people meet each day to eat their noon meal at the senior nutrition center. All the ladies wear "toddler clothes" -- pull-on stretch pants or elastic-waist jeans and a t-shirt, some with nice short curly hair, some with buzzed hair. One woman would always, even in her 90's, wear nice slacks and a blouse, or a skirt/blouse or a dress, and her makeup was always on. Everybody at the senior center, men and women both, made fun of her and said, "Who does she think she is?" and "She thinks she's better than everybody else." They had a nasty nick-name for her and nobody would sit with her. What a shame. I always thought she looked lovely, was very polite and never ran anybody down, and did not look gaudy like everybody else said she did. I'm amazed at these elderly people! Just because an elderly lady wants to take the time to look nice!

Anonymous said...

These posts like all yours are just so inspiring. The comments from you and others are also full of wonderful encouragment and ideas. Thank you for doing this for us.

Including these recent wonderful subjects, dressing femininely and caring for our health, could you address even more ways to 'love our husbands'. You truly are so adept at describing specific examples of how to accomplish Godly practices in our lives. Maybe other ladies have some ideas to share concerning how we can bless, coddle and care for our husbands. Many thanks for all you do!!

Anonymous said...

I agree. The snobbish pressure on women not to wear dresses is just awful. Yet, there is nothing wrong with wearing dresses and looking like a female.

Lydia said...

Yes definitely pre wash any cotton!! Stick it in the cold water rinse of any of your laundry that you already have going. It is so important to pre-shrink. You can find the no-iron muslin, which might help with the wrinkling problem. I do hope to have a start-to-finish dress, where I will show pictures of washing and drying and cutting, for beginners.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your many tips on health and skin care. You choose a natural, uncomplicated approach. The best kind! The less we mess around with what God has given us in the way of food, the healthier it is in almost every case. And this often means we have to be at home to take the time to cook real food and not use the convenience products promoted in supermarkets.

Sleep is such a rejuvenater and healer. It is also very beneficial to our learning and resolving difficult situations in our lives.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Lydia,
Thank you for sharing these gorgeous photos of yourself and these paintings. It makes motherhood seem so, normal.

It makes me want to be a better mother seeing the beautiful women doting on and loving their children with their modest full dresses. What lovely paintings.

May the Lord revive His work of motherhood, modesty and humility.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Thank you for your beautiful series on feminine dress. I have really enjoyed the retrospective as well as your dress-making skills.

Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

The dresses you are showing are lovely. I notice the patterns you use for your dresses do not have zippers. I have a dress pattern that calls for a back zipper. Is there a way to leave out the zipper and still have it go over the head and fit properly as well? I would appreciate any suggestions! Thank you for this series which is most informative!

Anonymous said...

I like your style! Your dresses are inspiring me to sew more. I'm sewing slips this month. Have a photo of 2 recent ones on my blog, Elizabethian Tea. You display the most beautiful paintings besides your pretty dresses. Thanks for all the inspiration. Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Thank you for showing such beautiful pictures to receive inspiration from. Since spring/summer is almost over, do you have any pictures to post which depict fall/winter fashions? I would love to see the rich colors and how they are used. I'm getting ready to sew a few dresses and would like to see a few examples. Thanks!