Friday, July 24, 2009

Paintings With Multi-Generations of Women

Peasant Women Chatting
by Wencelas de Broczic

By Loren Entz
Albertino Palau

Butterick costume pattern

Pink piping matches the pink in the fabric on this dress, made from Its So Easy Its Simplicity number 2901. This dress works well with cotton and has no zipper, and the neckline does not need adjustment.

Jacket made with the above Butterick costume pattern. If you try this, you need to know it runs smaller than normal and so it should be cut in a larger size. I cut it in a 10 but when I do it again I will cut it in a 12 or 14. It is lined in matching pink muslin, but any lightweight cotton will work. I did add sleeves to the dress, from another pattern, so that I could wear the dress without the jacket. The fabric is all cotton and does not need ironing.

Here it is trimmed in matching pink rick-rack.

Hanging dresses with the matching hair bow or belt , makes it much easier to locate these accessories.

I made a very long elastic hair band for this outfit. Satin sash is called "My Moments" by Offray, from the WalMart craft section , with matching satin bows and roses, will wrap around twice like an obi-belt and still have enough to make a big bow in the front. You will have to put loops on the sides of the dress if you want to secure the sash, as satin is slippery. This color matched the pink in the print of the dress. These come in all colors and I hope to get one of each in the colors I like.

Without the satin sash, this garment is nice and loose but still has some shape. I think it would look good on a lot of body types. This is the dress I made to wear to the airport when I went on a trip last year. The sleeves came from an older pattern. Also, the little flats can be purchased at WalMart at the end of the seasons, for as little as $5.00. If your dress only cost you $10-15 to sew, you are more likely to afford the matching shoes.

If you learn to cut costs, such as choosing patterns when they are only 99c, and finding ones that do not require zippers or lots of buttons, you can often squeeze quite a few extra things out of a twenty-dollar bill, such as a hat, or the satin ribbon, and maybe a cute pair of five dollar flats that you just wear to church or a tea party.
Regarding clothing for different age groups, I included the 18th and 19th century paintings to see if there was much difference. I found that although there was a difference in what the little girls wore, the adult women of all ages had similar clothes. The younger women perhaps wore more light colors like white and pink, while it appears that the older women in the paintings had darker clothes. If you look at 19th century photographs of women, you may be able to detect if there was any difference in the clothing between young and old.

For beginner sewing, go here

I wanted to show you one of the latest Martha Pullen Sewing magazines, which is worth buying if you can afford it (they are 10 percent less at Joanns) This issue shows novelty prints for little girls dresses, as well as using fabric yo-yo's and fabric leaves to decorate a dress. I've done this with a quilt but had not thought of doing it to a dress. The little girls dress inside is made with the sparkly cupcake fabric. I'll take a picture of the piece I have and show you. I hope to go on to little girls dresses and pantaloons and then to sewing for the home. I still have a few more dresses I plan to make, and with autumn coming, some very vibrant colors in fabrics. Not all colors look good on everyone, so I would strongly suggest you get ahold of a book called "Color Me Beautiful" by Carole Jackson. It showed a method of taking the bolt of fabric to a mirror in the store and pulling a large piece across your neckline to see if the color brightened or sallowed your skin. You learn this just by practice. What it means is that your skin tone is either blue or yellow, and it does not matter what the skin color is, or your race. Colors of fabrics will brighten your skin or yellow it. Carole had the colors defined into 4 color families: spring, summer, winter and fall. The summers were usually people who looked good in clear colors, on the pastel side, and the winters were clear but brighter and darker. The autumns and springs tended to look better in the colors with more yellows and oranges in them.
I just got this to make a girls dress like the one in the Martha Pullen magazine. This has a glitter on it. It comes with a light purple background, a light green background, and another color.


Lydia said...

I wanted to post this project because the Butterick pattern I used is on sale at Joanns for 99c as well as all the Buttericks. In my opinion , the only ones worth buying are the costumes. They generally use cotton and have a good fit and take a lot less adjusting. You can shorten the sleeves or hems and wear every day, not just for costumes.

Anonymous said...

Nice visual of the concept.

Anonymous said...

Very pretty and a great idea to use costume patterns. I really like this one and the previous yellow one as well. You are very talented!

Anonymous said...

I love this dress! I saw some similar fabric, but would have never thought to use it in a dress like this. I like the jacket paired with it also. Very nice!

Anonymous said...

I love this jacket/bolero pattern, but I did want to point out (since I am one myself) that this style doesn't always work well on larger busted women. More times than I can count have I been excited over a pattern only to find that is unflattering, or WAY over enhances something I was trying to tone down.

Also, a question: when you are cutting out a stack of dresses, do you have trouble withe the fabric or pattern shifting? Esp. since you don't always pin, I can see myself really having trouble here, and would like your tips/ thoughts on that.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful as always :-) I love your words and the way you write you really make me think about things. Just a quick question and please this is not ment to be offensive I was just wondering if you wear these to the grocery store etc and what are peoples reactions to you if you do?

Lydia said...

Yes, once I have dressed in a certain thing, I wear it everywhere I have to go. I do get comments on them and sometimes people follow me around and look at the dress more closely. Some times I do not really like the dress after all so I just cut out one I might like better.

I dont always stack the fabric. I have done it with muslin, which is thin, and it does shift slightly but not enough to make a difference in the size. If anything, it might make them more roomy, but only slightly.

Lydia said...

Our family has challenged each other to use up all sewing fabric, including large quarter yard scraps, so next, maybe you'll see pieced garments. Lillibeth has finished up her 6 "mommy" outfits and I hope will be posting soon at The Pleasant Times. I would like to borrow her pattern, since it turned out so well.

Anonymous said...

Color Me Beautiful by Carole Jackson is a great book. You can obtain it easily now from free book giveaways, or in thrift stores, or borrow it from the library.

I love this dress. I have a pattern for one just like it.

Love the paintings.

Anonymous said...

One thing to note about the color change in fabrics for the older women: Widows wore different colors than married women until just recently. They wore black for a period of time and then gradually might move to other dark colors as they were coming out of bereavement......

It makes me wonder about all the black clothing on the it that women are grieving a loss that they don't even know what it is? Just musings.......

I can hardly wait to see what your daughter has been sewing up. You two are an inspiration to me. I've been sewing dresses for several months now because of it. Just finished 2 flannel nightgowns for my daughters....they sure do love them!

Lydia said...

If your dress is not yet sewn, just cut two squares and fold over the tops, twice at a quarter inch, and sew down. Then fold down the other three sides a half inch and pin to the front of the dress where you want the pockets to go and stitch all three sides down. If the dress is already sewn together, fold the skirt in half and with chalk,, outline the place you want a pocket and cut out fabric to place there on each side. This is for square pockets in the front. The previous idea works, too. And do not be too concerned about whether things look professional. Nothing can be worse than what they are trying to sell us in the way of jeans and shirts...

I once bought a white blouse at a thrift store. When I got it home I looked at it more carefully and saw that it had been completely hand sewn, even the pin tucks in the front. Then I looked further and saw that the button holes were hand sewn and the buttons were hand made. It was a circle of fabric, stuffed with a heavy cotton stuffing, drawn up with a thread, secured at the underside, and used for a button. Even the cutwork lace was hand done.

August said...

I have mentioned before that I appreciate the beauty of LadyLydia's patterns, but I also would like to comment about a Jane Austen Society festival I recently attended in my home state, one of only FOUR in the entire world. The women came wearing beautiful Regency-style dresses, femininity in its best. It seemed like a stark contrast when some of the dressed reenactors would walk past women in baggy tops and shorts! The gentle loveliness exuded in the fabrics, textures, bonnets, and handbags truly inspired me and my family to sew some Regency gowns of our own.
Even the men were distinctly masculine, with tailored suits, boots, and hats. It was amazing to me to see the line unblurred between male and female (now women wear pants and men wear pink shirts!) in the clothing style of all the reenactors.
The gentle meekness of what women's attitudes should be in society was clearly outlined in their clothing choices. Amidst the blooming flowers and rolling hills of the historic grounds where the festival was being held, the women's femininity simply touched up the lovely scenery. It is so encouraging to remember what women were, and then emulate that, in our own lives today.

Anonymous said...

I discovered the Color Me Beutiful book when it first came out years ago. While the fashion advice in the book is dated, all you really need to look closely at is the various color charts. I've made the rest of my family aware of "their" colors as well because why not choose the most flattering colors if you are going to purchase a garment or fabric? There is a Color for Men book too. Even though you will have a palette of colors for your "season" you won't necessarily look good in all of them. I am a "winter" but do not look good in icy yellow , hot pink or any green in my palette. It does make shopping much simpler though. Unfortunately for me, many delicate feminine prints tend to be in the spring/summer color families which don't suit me at all so I tend to look for pretty prints on dark backgrounds.

Lydia said...

You are referring to Jenny Chancey who makes her own patterns. I have several dresses from them and will model them also for the blog.

Yes I do believe the way women walk and act and talk has a lot to do with what they are wearing. A dress gives a feeling of demurenes and of gentleness, and does require a different way of moving.

Lydia said...

the sashes are 9 feet long.

Regarding the black clothing for young people: could be in this culture of death and despair, it really is a mourning color. Or it could be the clothing available allows little choice and promotes that color.

In awhile I will post the browns, blacks, muddy greens, khaki, etc. of the 18th and 19th century and you will see a difference in how it is worn today. Even the work clothes of the past looked better, and even the poor women looked nicer.

Lydia said...

You probably need to be aware that the cotton prints and solids in Joanns are advertised as "Keepsake Calico" or "Quilters cotton." In past decades, these were "DRESS PRINTS" . Watch out for the ones actually advertised as "Dress Fabrics" because they may not be cotton and they maybe difficult to sew and uncomfortable on the skin. The so called quilters prints are perfect for dresses.

Anonymous said...

If you see dollar a yard fabric, you can squeeze everything out of a 10 dollar bill!

I find it despairing to see older women wearing pants and shirts that look like men, with chopped off hair, who can sew beautiful quilts, but neglect to use those pretty fabrics to make themselves lovely dresses.

Lydia said...

For those wondering about age-appropriateness: this style was the one I learned to make when I first learned to sew in the late 50's early 60's. The princess seams were in all the patterns, and the 16 year old sewers made and wore them. I am wearing the same kinds of dresses I wore when I was 16, albeit a little larger ;-) My daughter wears the same kinds of of styles she wore when she was learning to sew as a girl of 10 or 11. I think some garments are all-age appropriate. You just have to change the sizes in certain areas. I

Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying coming by your blog and seeing this series on dresses/sewing.

Lydia said...

I hope I get time to show the Sensibility dress from the pattern of Jenny Chancey.

Anonymous said...

I went shopping with a friend once, and we went past a stand of deep olive shirts. She said, "Yuck, why would they even make a shirt that color?" She is a blue-eyed blonde. I immediately recognized it as "my color", and told her that was exactly something I would buy! I put it up to my face, and she was genuinely amazed at how pretty it made my face!

I have light brown hair and green eyes, and very pink skin (blue/pink reds look great on me), as well as olives, and darker taupes. One of my favorite colors to wear, which I feel so feminine in, is chocolate brown! Light colors and prints, or even khaki makes me look all washed out and mousy. White is the worst of all near my face, though I can wear a deep, rich "cream" color. I still buy a lot of light prints, because I love them, and am somehow hopeful that I can "make them work", maybe on the bottom. I try to find old-fashioned prints that are on a "tea-stained" background instead of white, which helps a little, by adding some brown tint.

As long as the style is feminine, the colors can be very deep and even somber (to some), but make a girl who's colors they are look sweet and feminine, and confident!

Anonymous said...

I have just finished making Simplicity 5190 with the V neck in a red cotton print. It's not perfect but it feels wonderful on. I wouldn't have attempted it without the support of your website and the comments of other women. There is such a feeling of accomplishment.
Could anyone advise me on how to keep a neckline from gaping. Should I narrow the shoulder seams next time?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. I think this is my favorite outfit.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

This is my favourite one of your posts on sewing. I found the paintings very moving. It's good that you included links for novice sewers (I am not a novice, but I'm sure the links will be appreciated by others).

The dress in this post is lovely. I like the styles of the mid-to-late 20th century, and this is my style to a T! However, I also like the gentle spirit of the Regency style outfits you have in the other parts of your blog.

Many women have issues and griefs which lead them to wear black; what else is the Goth trend all about? So many young women are suffering the effects of the sins of their elders - cut adrift with poor moral teaching, fatherless ... it's too sad.

If some ladies (only a few) react badly to my habits or dress, I realise they are mourning the lack of a homemaking role. Their husbands have forced them out to work, or they are divorced. (It can't be easy to see another woman living the homemaking life that you had to give up.)

Ladies, don't forget to sew a little something for the home. My husband was thrilled when I made some oven gloves in his favourite William Morris print - for very little. It's a visual reminder of the benefit of having me home.

BTW, please pray for my husband to gain a new job. His current job finishes at the end of August.