Sunday, September 28, 2014

Roses in the Hedgerows

A Still Life of Roses by Olaf August Hermansen, Denmark 1849-1897 

We had a most pleasant Lord's  Day worship service today and now I want to share what we ladies are wearing today.  These dresses are so comfortable in formal and informal situations that they can be worn to church and there is no need to change into something more comfortable after church.

One of the reasons I have so many sewing posts this year is that I had been buying pieces of fabric as I could afford it, and have finally got enough to make sets of matching dresses. For those of you who have not been following  my progress, I am making clothing for the home. These dresses are worn with  full-length bib style aprons at home,  or a coordinating solid color  jacket when going out.

Above: Dressing three generations; sizes 12 ladies, 8 girls, 10 ladies.  Though they look flat and droopy on the line (just like on the rack at a store) these clothes fit well and look very good on the ladies for which they were made.  

The name of this set of my "line" of clothing is Roses in the Hedgerows, made from another Fabric Traditions print, cotton lawn from Walmart.  The better fabrics at Walmart are now getting up to $8.00 or more a yard .

When looking at the pretty girls dresses in Costco, I sometimes hear other shoppers bemoaning the fact that similar dresses are not available in grown-up sizes.  These clothes are my attempt to use old patterns and pieces of new patterns combined (a sleeve here, a skirt there) to make easy-to wear clothing for the home.      

The garments are all cotton, roomy at the waistline, adding comfort  when sitting. Sometimes when you try on a commercial garment, it seems to be comfortable while you are standing up, but when you get it home and wear it while sitting, it is too tight or the waistline rides up. The dresses, above, are loose yet slimming.

Girls dress has low waist, an elastic band in the back to cinch in the fullness,  and is buttoned in front to make it easy to fasten.

Mother's dress has a Victorian waistline with a pretty V shape at the center of the waist, a gathered skirt and a fitted blouse.

My dress, above is from a very easy pattern with one piece for back and one piece for front.  When worn, the fabric falls into these nice folds that look like pleats.

Sleeves have been one thing I have not liked in recent years in manufactured clothing, because they are so flat and usually no more interesting than a tee-shirt sleeve and not very flattering to women's arms.  I have enjoyed giving sleeves various interesting touches such as gathers and tucks. The sleeves on these dresses are all gathered on the outside by a piece of elastic on the inside, stretched while sewing to give the sleeves a gathered and pleated look.

The girl's dress has matching rose shapes novelty buttons.

I wanted to show you the weights I am using, made of hardware wrapped in ribbon.  This makes sewing so much faster, because I no longer use straight pins and can skip the tedious pinning and up pinning of pattern pieces,  which can be backbreaking work.  No longer do I have to be concerned about dropped pins that someone might accidently run across.

There is a lot more to be said about the subject of dressing.  I am afraid many Christian ladies have adopted the attitude of the prevailing culture of not caring about clothes.  Even in religious circles there can be an attitude that it is vain or conceited to care about clothing, and that wearing something pretty and feminine is somehow ostentatious or selfish.  However, for the beginning of the Bible, God showed what He thought about clothing and it shows from Genesis to Revelation how important clothing is in both a physical and a spiritual way.

Clothing shows many things about ourselves but it also has an effect upon how we think and feel, on our moods and our outlook on life  and even our motivation or ambition.  When I consider purchasing fabric, I have to think about the mood it evokes when I picture it in my mind as a ladies garment. The roses on the blue background fabric in the clothes I have featured today make a lady feel happy and energized and in love with God's beautiful gifts of color and scent in the creation. I like the blue background because it seems natural to see flowers with a blue sky in the background.

Remember when dressing beautifully that there is always going to be someone who is against you and who will try to stop you from what you want to do.  They will use intimidating and demoralizing words to make you feel bad or make you feel you are not blending in with everyone else.  It takes a long hard journey sometimes for some people to overcome this peer-approval dependency.  

The most important peer-dependency is the mother-daughter relationship where little girls want to dress like their mothers and stand near them, hold their hand, and be just like their mothers.  The world does not like that at all and resents it because  when there is a loving mother and daughter relationship, some  people do not have a hope of controlling one or the other with their ideas or their clothing styles.

If you want your girls to be close to you, try wearing matching or co-ordinating clothing at home and in public.  It helps create a sense of identity, belonging and family cohesiveness.  

Sleeve gathered vertically down the middle with elastic gives a pretty pleated or smocked effect.


magnoliasntea said...

Your Roses in the Hedgerows is so pretty if they were on the rack I'd snap one up immediately. I love the idea of using hardware wrapped in ribbon for pattern weights. I'm going to try it out. I'm really tired of pins. And I couldn't agree more on your thoughts about clothing. It matters.
Have a lovely week!

Julie said...

I love the print on the fabric. Sadly, my Walmart does not carry fabric. Yes, there are some very discouraging things said to modestly dressed women. Two of the most stinging words I can remember hearing are "old fashioned." Those words stung when I was young but now I receive respect and acceptance on a higher level. I'm glad to see other women sticking to their principles, too.

Lydia said...

Magnolia tea, type in how to make sewing pattern weights from hardware and click images. One if the pictures may have instructions .

Lydia said...

Julie, I was told I was old fashioned but I didn't have the sense to know it was intended negatively. I replied that all the patterns and fabric for the dresses I was wearing was produced and purchased in 2014!

Sibyl said...

Thank you for the encouragement on sewing for home dressing. I have been working on that in between other sewing I need to do for my family. I am totally enjoying your articles as I have for years. Wanted to tell you a story--on Saturday I decided I wanted to make a dress for myself. I went into my sewing "stash" to see what I could find. I found a dress already cut out waiting for me to put together. I was so thrilled. I was able to get about 75% of it finished. I plan to finish it today. Thanks for the encouragements.

Tricia said...

Your dresses are absolutely beautiful!! How I wish I could find something like this on a rack for my daughter and I! You are SUCH an inspiration!

Lydia said...

I have two things cut out and put in large plastic freeze zip lock bags so I can easily see them in my box of fabric.

Andrea R said...

How beautiful, Lydia!

I agree with you regarding clothing. :)

Michelle said...

This fabric is so pretty. I really like how your dress hangs. You said many of your patterns are older ones. Is the pattern you used for your dress an old pattern or is it something I could by today? I like when you share your clothing line with us, and patterns you either are using or you think might look nice.

Lydia said...

Michelle, the pattern for my dress is new look 6352. I use it a lot and vary the sleeves and neckline, adding ruffles to the hem, or tabs to the back to cinch it in, but it works well without any of that. The other dresses are made from patterns from 20 years ago.

anonymous said...

I love your generations dresses and the fabric you made them out of. So beautiful!

Many women are wearing retro style clothing lately.
Have you noticed that the pattern companies are coming out with "Retro" patterns now? I saw many from the 1950's and 1940's styles recently.

Also in the costume section of several pattern books there are patterns that go clear back to the 1800's and they are made to look authentic. These can be adapted to be worn in these modern times.

Thank you for sharing your clothing line. You've inspired me to make dresses for the grands and great-granddaughters to match.

Mrs. J

Suzanne said...

I can honestly say there are not many dresses in the stores today I would purchase. I have bought a few patterns from the 1940's and 50's and might give those a try. The patterns for "house dresses or house coats" are absolutely stunning! I admit to being a bit addicted to the styles of Donna Reed and June Cleaver, however:-) Kudos for the dresses your sewing--some lucky recipients must be waiting a bit impatiently I imagine.....LOL!