Monday, October 05, 2009

The Fruit of the Land

Baskets of Stawberries and Raspberries
by Eloise Harriet Stannard (1829-1915) from

Basket of Fruit,
by Elois Harriot Stannard (1829-1915)
(more paintings by this artist are available at Lovely Whatevers)

Today's supply of grapes, plums, and pears, ready to be made into juices, purees, and sauces.

A Summer Beauty
by Emile Vernon  (1872-1919)

This dress could be easily immitated by using a Hawaiian pattern (see link in Hawaiian Dress post on this series) and pale peach or palest pink cotton fabric. The background scenery is so nostalgic of soft summer days spent innocently admiring the beauty of the earth.

Autumn dress made of cotton quilters fabric, which is soft and non-iron.  When the weather gets hot again, I will shorten the sleeves. I can add a deep burgundy edging on the neckline and the sleeves. These photographs are not very clear, and the dress looks much nicer "in real life."

A close up view of the print: dark roses on light pink background.

When choosing trims and scarves, I look closely at the colors within the print. This scarf matches the deeper burgundy-red color within the small roses. To make a matching scarf, just buy a fourth to a half yard of fleece. If you want a "wrap", buy a whole yard. 

One half yard of fleece only costs about $2.22 and does not have to be hemmed or trimmed. It can be wrapped seveeral different ways.

a half a yard of 50 inch fleece makes a quick shawl, with no sewing.  To make a really adequate wrap, I like to use 3 yard lengths, when it is affordable.

This ready-made dress can be ordered from an online catalog called "Seventh Avenue."  It has all those beautiful colors of the season.

Here is another example of matching the fleece, which can be woolen or acrylic, to the print. This is a higher quality cotton aqua-dot combination, for winter.  The hostess that invited me to have a fashion show of modest, colorful clothes, has decorated her home in these colors, so I thought I would wear a suit or dress with the brown wrap, to compliment her and her home, if I had time to make it.


Anonymous said...

Very pretty.

Kind regards,

Anonymous said...

I really like the idea of buying fleece for a wrap. It seems to me it would be easy to trim it with a little something if desired.

Another way to make a wrap for those that knit is to make a garter stitch shawl. Knit one, yarn over, knit one. Do this each row, and you will have a shawl as big as you like. Any yarn can be used. I find Lion Homespun and the worsted weight acrylics, both from Wal Mart, work well and size 8-10 or 11 needles work well with that kind of yarn. Each yarn over adds one stitch and there is a little boarder knit right in this way that can have fringe addded if desired. It is that easy. These make nice, quick gifts as well.

Anonymous said...

Very nice are so creative to my benefit.

I wrote awhile back about the tooo short dresses my husband bought. I added underskirts to them and now wear unique, functional work dresses to work in my garden and around the house. Then I change my shoes and go to a ladies church meeting. I wouldn't wear them to church, but they are wonderful. One is purple and navy plaid to which I added a navy underskirt. The blue/black stripe got a black one and so on. Thanks for the suggestions.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

It is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,
For the burgundy trim you mention, can you use that ribbon they sell by the spool for a dollar. I don't know if it would bleed or shrink.
Also I would like to know what you do to be comfortable in dresses in cold weather. I am very sensitive to cold since living so long in FL.
I wear my dresses just below the knees as I am very short.
Thankyou for all the encouragement and help you give with sewing and homemaking.

Lydia said...

Yes, I was thinking of the ribbon trim, also. It would work just fine, if you do not use the picot edge ribbon, which is notoriously weak and unravels.

The print is the same as the one with the green background on the post below. I am looking for a trim that has a little more interest in it, for the neckline and sleeves, that is maybe woven into a pattern or has a scallop look--even rickrack might be nice.

Long underwear in winter is the only thing that works for keeping warm in the house. WalMart recetly had leggings in pink, light blue, white, gray, black, and other colors for only $5. They fit like nylons, so you dont have any bulk under your dressses. I dont know if there are long sleeved tops to match, but it would be a great idea.

Anonymous said...

I have the leggings from WalMart. I bought them last year and they held up well enough to wear another season, don't bunch, aren't too cold or too warm and hold their shape. I like them even better than some silk blend long john type leggings I bought for more than four times the cost of the WalMart ones.

Anonymous said...

I have the leggings from WalMart. I bought them last year and they held up well enough to wear another season, don't bunch, aren't too cold or too warm and hold their shape. I like them even better than some silk blend long john type leggings I bought for more than four times the cost of the WalMart ones.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to post so many helpful and practical ideas!! Your blog is one of my favorites and on those days when I limit myself to "just one", I always choose your blog for my daily dose of inspiration.

Lydia said...

I agree about knitting or crocheting a wrap or shawl. It is very easy and you can add fringe. Making one for each dress is a very exciting idea, too. I also like the idea of making "soft" jewelry from scraps of material and coordinating ribbons, for each dress. I saw this done many years ago. Women would cut out little hearts ( or other shapes) and stuff them, and connect them to a ribbon to tie around the neck. It is very easy to make ties for the hair and matching purses and other little things with scraps of material, to match the dresses.

Anonymous said...

I have been been seeking out new and different ways to keep warm here in Colorado.

First of all: layers! When in doubt, layer. I wear almost all of my dresses with short sleeves, but in winter, I like to put a long sleeve, turtleneck shirt underneath and a sweater over if I am still chilly. On the bottom, I wear tights (not nylons!) that I find at Wal-Mart and Target and over that I wear a pair of capri "yoga" pants. Sometimes, these need a little hem so that they don't peak out. I wear shorts under my skirts and dresses in summer, so this doesn't feel abnormal to me, plus it helps hold the tights in place. If you abhor the idea of wearing tights, I have found that the capri pants and a pair of knee high socks work well, you just have to be careful that your hem is long enough to cover your calves or you might end up looking a little goofy.

For a dressier look for church, I wear a camisole underneath my dresses (I will make some soon out of flannel) but that only have either short or no sleeves. On the bottom, I wear nylons or tights, an A-line (not bulky) skirt, again in fleece or flannel. Or, I just wear clothing over my dresses, like a nice dressy jacket or sweater.

The next way that I stay warm is: KNEE-HIGH BOOTS! I have found a nice pair of dressier boots that come to the top of my calf that were pricey (about $100) but I know they will last for a long time, try shoe-shopping at (they can be pricey, but they have a great selection and awesome customer service, along with free shipping. These are not my everyday shoes. My casual outfits in winter usually include a pair of boots as well, only I buy these at Wal-Mart for $20-30, but I need to replace them after a season or two.

All in all, you are the only one who knows how cold you get and where you are the coldest. Is it just your feet? Wear socks and slippers. My mom (who is always cold) found that wearing a warm vest was surprisingly sufficient most days. Try new things until you find what works.

Anonymous said...

It is cold and wet here already and I have to wear tights under my dress, and will wear long leggings once it gets very cold and hand knitted socks.

There are some really nice knitted shawl patterns on the internet. I have made a few now, all free patterns and all have come out quite nice.

A new experience has been to make shawls out of re-used wool from previous made sweaters. Unravel the knitting and re-make into a shawl. Saves on the cost of yarn.

kerry said...

Your dresses are so pretty, such comfortable looking designs, could you possibly give a "hint" to current patterns? I've looked at pattern books and am overwhelmed by the choices. Thank you for all your time and efforts. kerry

Anonymous said...

Your fabric is really pretty and the dress you made from it is just beautiful.
You're right in suggesting prints from the nursery section of the fabric store. Many delightful non-juvenile prints in soft pastels such as plaids, pokadots, stripes, and toile and the fabric is mostly 100% cotton which is very comfortable.

I have found that if I buy fabric and make a blouse and a skirt, I can wear them together to make it look like a dress or separately in two other garments. However you don't get the flowing drape of a solid dress.

We have been reading your blogs on modest dress in the past, would love to see some photos from your modest dress "fashion show"?
Thank you for sharing your photos and the art work with us. They are so inspiring.

Anonymous said...


I had ordered two copies of your book, "A Matter of Good Housekeeping" (one for my daughter's hope chest and one for me!) and just received them today. Good job! I really always find inspiration in your writing. As a matter-of-fact, any time I read your thoughts on homemaking, no matter how lazy I was feeling before, as soon as I read something of yours I am up and about doing endless tasks and end up very glad I accomplished something. Sometimes I'll even sit down to be "intentionally" lazy to read some of your blog posts from the past (because I really like homemaking encouragement), and before too long I am seeing countless things that need to be done and baked and washed!

Thank you for your courage to take a stand in todays world; I'm not that brave to actually speak an opinion out - but I do live my opinion albeit quietly!

Thank you!

C. C.

Anonymous said...

I am not able to copy from your website anymore, in order to print articles in Word. I just wanted to print some to read in another room of the house, where I could be more leisurely about going over them. Your articles are very precious to me - are they on a copying block or anything? I will understand if they are since they are your own property.

Beck's Bounty said...

What a lovely Autumn dress. Is there are pattern (maker/number) that you might be able to share ?

Thank you.