Saturday, July 02, 2011

Painting Inspired Sewing

Mother and Son
by Fritz Zuber-Buhler
Switzerland, 1822-1896

Tickling the Baby
by Franz Zuber-Buhler

by Frans Zuber-Buhler

For painting-inspired sewing, I've chosen the country styles of the Swiss painter, Frans Zuber-Buhler. In the previous post there are many paintings by Daniel Ridgeway Knight which have a similar style of country clothing. 

 To sew something similar in a modern dress, skirt, blouse or vest, I would suggest you look in the  costume section of a pattern pattern book and  adapt a pattern  to every-day wear by altering the length or the sleeves to modernize it. 

 Or, sew one of these Neue Mode patterns, which can be worn as casual clothing. These are not costumes, but this pattern company does have a costume section. This selection has the look of the 19th century country clothing, with the wearableness of current day needs.

This Neue Mode pattern is available in the U.S and Europe and looks similar to the country  clothing worn in the paintings. To make it look like a skirt and vest, just sew a different color skirt onto the bodice piece. Similar boots can be bought at discount stores everywhere.

Every year, pattern companies and department stores  have a version of the all-time classic peasant blouse and skirt. This Neue Mode pattern combines the two into a dress.

Most patterns need adjusting at the shoulder and neckline. You can see instructions here on a previous post.

Another interesting Neue Mode pattern.

These patterns have no seam allowance added on the pattern, so if you are used to sewing patterns which include seam allowance, you'll have to remember to cut a seam allowance one-half inch to five-eighths inch around the paper pattern.

This might be of interest to several ladies who asked about sewing similar clothes to the country fashions shown in paintings on this blog.

You might also look for "Lanz" designs and patterns, a Swiss based company.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

This post is inspirational !

The Neue Mode Patterns remind me of the Laura Ashley style. Thank you for researching and writing this post. The dresses are beautiful.

I was able to find the patterns at .

Lydia said...

There is also a Neue Mode USA site somewhere. I think they can also be ordered by phone. I'm looking forward to getting one and sewing it up. Yes they do look like Laura Ashley in some ways as they are very feminine and yet country too.

Gail said...

One of the reasons I love watching those old Lawrence Welk shows is to enjoy the absolutely lovely costumes both men and ladies wore. The colors were so rich and cheerful, and the ladies' attire was always beautiful, feminine and uplifting. And modest too, of course.

Anonymous said...

It has been awhile since you posted something like this. I love these posts. I've so happy you discovered the pattern company, which reminds me of Laura Ashley as well.

What discount stores sell that type of boot? I've been looking for something like that for awhile.

Anonymous said...

Last year, WalMart had those kinds of boots in brown or black.

Anonymous said...

Lydia, has a wealth of patterns for all manner of modest, feminine attire. it is the sister company and pattern arm of whose clothing is simple, feminine, yet durable and practical. One does not need to be of 'Plain' persuation to benefit.

Aditionally, when purchasing from this enterprise, one is supporting a local (for North American purchasers) Christian small business that is more than a commercial endeavour, but a ministry and of the highest ethics.

Keep up the wonderful work!!

Rightthinker said...

Wonderful post! I have much to learn about sewing. Thank you for the tips. The one pattern that shows a full swing style dress in the middle, that is done in yellow, is totally my style, as well.

I agree with the PP who mentioned Lawrence Welk. I also love the LW show! It's one of the things my grandparents loved, that my mother loves, and I love it, as do my daughters!

God Bless.

Far Above Rubies said...

Lady Lydia,

Thank you for sharing. I loved the last pattern you featured. The green and red dresses pictured in the front are lovely.

I've been sewing memorial quilts for families who have lost a relative. It's been inspiring for me as the quilt comes to life with stories and memories of the past.



Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,
About the patterns: The ladies in the paintings always look so dignified....really queenly in appearance even when they are wearing poor peasant kind of clothing. The patterns shown here and what I've looked at on sites like candle on the hill don't have that kind of look even though they have similarities and are very modest. Two of the patterns that you show here that are very pretty would look terrible on me. But when I look at the paintings what I see looks like it would look good on anyone. What is the difference? Is it the undergarments? Is it kind of like the issue of the foundation for a house? If yes, than what I really need is to learn about what ladies wore under their dresses in the past and learn how to sew those clothes so I can make to outer layer have the look. It seems like the way the ladies are dressed in those paintings would actually command a kind of respect. And while I am not at all advocating immodesty in any form, I do find that some of the modest clothing of our time certainly doesn't have that kind of can be drab and sloppy looking.

Lydia said...

The clothing at Lilies of the Field also have a dignified look.

The drawings on the patterns inspire the seamstress more. I can't get an enthusiasm about other modern patterns, but I could feel happy just looking at the sketches of the women in these.

They could be altered at the neckline to make them more wearable and modest.

And I do agree that what passes for modest clothing is sometimes awful. Girls with wrinkled, un-ironed skirts, sloppy tee shirts, though modest, that don't even match the skirt color, and other really awful clothes give a bad name to modesty.

Lydia said...

It is possible that the woven fabric looks better as it does not stretch or pull and it holds up well, and that accounts for the dignified way that it looks. To achieve this look, just use natural woven fabrics like cotton, denim, linen (although linen can feel very hot) wool and wool derivatives, and other natural things. Manmade fabrics include polyester and nylon, and it tends to bead up after a bit of wear, and it can stretch and look very sloppy and old after awhile. Cottons look nice even after they wear thin, especially when pressed after they are washed and dried.