Wednesday, April 03, 2013

A New Day

Winsor Manor
by Thomas Kinkade

   Do you ever end your day with feelings of defeat or remorse? One reason we so carefully taught our children to pray in the evening at bed time, was to ask God to erase the sin of the day and help us wake up with  a clear conscience, free from the previous day's burdens and errors.  The old people told us, "Things are always darkest before the dawn," and it is true. After a night's rest,  responsibilities and unfinished housekeeping seem surmountable.

On this new day I am considering a new sewing project:

In a recent Chadwicks catalog, this dress sells for  more that $50.00 when the postage is counted.  I found fabric at Walmart that looks very like the print in the picture, for a third of the price; no postage, and I'm keeping the labor light by using a very simple pattern. I like pastels and tiny calico's and subtle patterns but sometimes I like bold colors and prints like this.

Here is another way they are using that fabric at Chadwicks, for a pleated skirt.  I had seen this fabric at Walmart and thought it looked interesting but could not imagine how I would use it to sew a dress, until I saw the Chadwicks catalog.  This is one way I get ideas for sewing. I see something I like that is ready-made, and think of the possibility of sewing it myself.

The approximate cost of the fabric for making the dress, below, was $20.00. It was a pleasure to sew, and wearing it is a dream. There is a sheen or glaze on the fabric that looks like glitter (it does not flake off) and it makes the fabric sturdy. There is some "give" to the fabric also, which makes it comfortable to wear. I have sewn the glittered fabric before, when I made my "butterfly dress" and found that the garment lasts a long time.

The finished dress, (use your magnifier to see the piping at the neckline, which I use to make the dress higher quality)
with jacket,

and here is the fascinator. I always like the fascinator or hat to reflect some element of the dress. Since there was a ruffle on the hem of the dress, I took a scrap of the fabric that was oval shaped with pointed ends, and ruffled it by and stitching down the middle, pulling up the threads to gather and hot-glueing  it onto a piece of cloth, which was then hot-glued onto a headband. I buy headbands in packages of 2 or 3 for a dollar, in the color of my hair, if possible. That way, the finished item will look like a hat and the headband will blend in with my hair.

I also made a stretchy "scrunchy" with elastic, to wind around a pony tail.

Here is the pattern I used,
and here is the sleeve. I like it because it has a sleeve facing at the wrist, and I could add piping there, too.
In case you want a puffed sleeve or wider sleeve from the existing pattern you are using, just down the top middle as shown in this rough drawing, and open up the cap of the sleeve pattern. Lay it on the fabric and cut around it. Add gathering stitches and pull them up to match the armhole.  A sewing hint: the double notches on a sleeve indicate the back of the arm, and the single notch is the front.  This comes in handy because a "foreign" sleeve from another pattern can be confusing. Just match your double notches to the double notches on the back dress arm hole, and the single notch to the front of the armhole.

There has been a discussion going on in my home about the way people dressed in the 1950's.  We did wear jeans, but only for farm work or to play in, or under our dresses in the cold weather. We were embarrassed to be seen in them and if we had to wear them under our skirts in the winter, we went to the ladies room at church and took them off before we entered the assembly to worship.  

At airports we dressed up to meet someone who was coming in, but also, we chose our outfits carefully for travel, and even wore gloves, although not always hats.

Around the home we had more casual wear but it could suffice if we had to go to the hardware store or the grocery store. All we did was remove our aprons. If we thought our house dresses were too sloppy or worn, we did not mind changing into something better.

It was considered respectful to dress up to visit someone in their home. I remember as though a line was drawn between the dates, the first time I saw young women show up to a formal event in jeans, shorts and sweatshirts. It was greatly disappointing because the lady who hosted the ladies tea had such an elegant home and it was such a privilege to be invited there.
There is a "pink lemonade"
 collection at Chadwicks, including tennis shoes. A pretty white blouse under this dress would be nice, or a cardigan sweater or blazer. This is another one of the garments I hope to make soon, for just a few dollars, including sleeves.


Lydia said...

I have re-done the post so that the writing was not disappearing on the edge, as before. I could not re-post the comments, however.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia..
It will be inspiring and fun to see just what you do with the bright print and the solid pink that coordinates with it.

Finding Joy said...

I have started sewing (as you can see from my blog this week!). But I am finding fabric very expensive. I was pleased to buy quite a lot with a 40% discount but still cost over $200 . Even online it's expensive, in some cases even more expensive as many online stores in Australia sells "designer" fabrics. I did look in the USA but couldn't find any sites that sold overseas. However in saying all this, many of my bought clothes are way more expensive to buy so sewing will still be cheaper.

Anonymous said...

The floral fabric you have chosen is prettier than that used in the Chadwick's apparel. The fabric shown in the catalog is abstract and its' colors are splotchy. Your fabric has more detail and a more balanced and pleasing distribution of the colors. It's going to make a lovely dress. Thanks for sharing it with us.


Lydia said...

JoLuise I have seen that flip skirt pattern in a sewing catalog here but never in stores. It would be perfect for people who do not want to bother wearing slips or petticoats.

Finding Joy said...

I bought the flip skirt pattern online and I made the short version to see how I would go. It worked BUT even though I followed the instructions regarding size, I am a little too inexperienced to realise until it was too late that it was way too big (even though I picked the correct waist size as per the packet). Next time round I will check the pattern measurements better. I would suggest that one layer be be soft and floater otherwise it is quite bulky. I used two cottons and they don't sit as well. It will be ok around the house:))

Farrah said...

Oh to be able to sew!!! I adore the bottom dress that would work best for my figure. It's so nice to hear that propriety and appearance mattered at one time. I wished it was still the case. I am always overdressed when going to a doctors office or my children's schools/co-ops. Oscar Wilde says its better to be overdressed than underdressed!

I hope you have a lovely weekend, Lady Lydia!

Anonymous said...

I remember the way we used to dress. No one would ever not know we were ladles and not gentlemen back then! :) t is sad how far many have changed their way of dressing. Yes women wore house dresses for working at home. they were always ironed and usually starched too. There were many many styles available at all the stores. Or naturally many women made their own. They were very pretty but even so many women changed into street clothes to even go to the corner neighborhood store. Women tried to keep up with their looks not wanting to be seen as sloppy. To go to town in slacks? Never! Not even the styles made only for women with the zipper up the back or in the side seam. They were on our street only reserved to be worn when ladies got on ladders to use the wall paper cleaner on the walls or such chores or a few other chores. Not always then as women were home alone doing their home chores and skirts or dresses were the norm. When we went out to walk in the snow we wore a knitted undergarment like shorts under our skirts or dress. They were called snugies. Or we wore a split legged half slip along with our usual slip to keep our legs warm. I remember the first time a lady came into church wearing a pants suit as they were called then. Pants in church! ??? !!
Older ladies showed us the way as they dressed appropriately and beautifully and were always groomed. Now it is hard at times to find a lady who looks lady like when you are out and about and look around. This is very sad. I am very grateful the women in my home showed us all how to sew. Now when you can't find womanly modest clothing you can sew them and alter the patterns if needed to your taste. Lady Lydia I don't understand the term flip skirt. What does a flip skirt look like and why wouldn't you need a petticoat with it? Sarah

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I am looking forward to seeing the dress or skirt that you make from the pink patterned fabric.
I have noticed a big trend toward sleeveless dresses in the catalogues, even in the fall and winter. I suspect part of the reason may be that it is cheaper to manufacture sleeveless dresses rather than dresses with sleeves. I prefer dresses with sleeves.

Lydia said...

Yes I think designers and manufacturers do not want the extra work of making sleeves, but I prefer sleeves. The sleeveless look lovely but to put a blouse under them or a jacket over them makes more layers and bulk. I find the dress, with sleeves the most practical garment, as it is all in one piece.

I will post the finished dress tomorrow. It was not a print that looked very pretty in the store, but it made a lovely dress. I did not get the jacket finished but I made a fascinator.

Anonymous said...

Lydia...your dress turned out so beautifully...I am still 'scared' to try piping...but I must. Your neckline looks just great with it! Thank you for your inspiration in sewing...and your fascinators are interesting. What does that name mean...where did it originate?

Housewife59 said...

This dress came out so nicely ladyLydia. I like the idea of adding the piping to make it look a little more special. I am beginning to try my own adaptations which is very satisfying

Ann said...

You new dress is beautiful Lady Lydia! Did you also make the jacket that goes with it? Do you mind sharing your pattern for either the dress or the jacket? Even if they are older ones? The fascinator is a beautiful finishing touch. You will brighten any day with this outfit. Thank you for sharing.

Lydia said...

I have added the pattern pictures for you. There is no zipper in this dress but it could be inserted easily if you do not put the back piece on the fold. To make this dress, instead of folding my fabric in half, I take each side, or selvege and pull it up to the fold line in the middle of the fabric. That way I have two folds and can easily place back and front on the fold lines, and this works well for the other pieces too and uses less fabric.

Anonymous said...

The dress is just beautiful, Lady Lydia. The black jacket works very well with it, and it will one will make a nice change from the pink one you are working on. I have the dress pattern you used, but I have changed my mind about the fabric selection I made. (I chose the wrong color, I think). Time to go back top the fabric store! D/NY

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,
I like your dress fabric much more then the Chadwick's dress fabric. It did indeed make a lovely dress.
The black jacket gives it an evening or formal appearance and a pink one would be more day and dress up looking.

Hoping to do some sewing this summer. Thank you for sharing your sewing projects. They are so pretty.

Mrs. J.

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Your dress turned out beautifully. The detail of the piping at the neckline gives a very nicely finished appearance. The slight puff at the sleeves/shoulders adds an extra touch of femininity. The hair accessories are cute, too.

Cynthia Berenger said...

Thank you, Mrs. Sherman! I appreciate seeing your beautiful interpretation of one of my "go to" dress patterns, Simplicity 5189. I make almost all of my housedresses with this pattern, and I was excited to see it used for a chicly feminine look.

Agape always,

Anonymous said...

Your dress came out beautiful! I agree that the fabric you used is nicer than the one on the pre-made dress, but it was a good idea to use the catalog dress for inspiration.