Monday, July 06, 2015

Staying Home

Hello Dear Ladies,

I was just having a conversation with someone about various aspects of homemaking that no one ever tells you. Getting used to working alone is one of them!  For the most part, the lady at home will not have a group outside of her family to give incentives and rewards.  She becomes like the entrepreneur who is self-employed and motivated by her love for her home and family. If it is clean laundry, a clean kitchen or a prepared meal that is needed, she sometimes has to learn all by herself.  However, as practice makes perfect, she will find it easier as time goes by.

     (Above: this is the cotton fabric  from Joann fabrics, I used for the dresses, illustrated in this post)

Another thing about working alone is the occasional bouts of loneliness when you have moved away from your home place or find yourself spending hours alone when family members have to be away.

That is one reason for finding something you enjoy doing, and doing it for the joy of it.  It might be something that rests your mind or helps you feel creative.  Sewing has always been that little something I looked forward to doing when I was going to have a stretch of time alone. Lately I have added another potential pastime of illustrating the finished designs.

Today I took some time to create a sketch of two recent pieces of clothing I sewed. The original pictures are never to my liking so I re-pose the models, give them a new hair-style, and draw a better background (without the trash can or garden hose).

I thought some of you might like to see the painting in progress, so here is the primary outline, based on the photograph I took:

Now here it is with a bit of sloppy background and the faces colored in.

Here is are the completed figures, wearing my latest fashions.  I am so glad they willingly wore them and posed, but because it is so dry here, the original photo was too disappointing to display.  You will have to imagine this is what the garments looked like.

The nice thing about painting is that I can make everything bright and light, have green grass and flowers in the background, and make the models pose properly :-)

I use a child's set of water colors, with 36 choices of color, a Crayola brand brush set from Walmart and 24lb weight paper, (something we already had here that we got for letter-writing) also from Walmart.  Eventually I might get high quality supplies but for now I am happy with this.

I hope you enjoyed this little drawing, and do not get too concerned about the backgrounds being painted.  I am more interested in the dresses right now.  Over the years I have painting many a landscape and am now enjoying depicting the clothes I have been making.

Please be sure and leave comments today. I always feel so blessed that you come by here and I hope you are blessed by it, too.

Here is a closeup of the dresses.

The ladies dress is a 1996 Mcalls pattern that works well, and I never make the button closures on the skirt; just a seam.  It is a roomy enough garment that it fits well without the skirt buttons.  Also I used clear, see-through buttons from Walmart on the dress.  

The girls dress is a 2007 McCalls, with a rolled over or pressed facing -- that is where you press with your iron a fourth inch and then repeat, and stitch.  It is easy to slip over the head, even with added sleeves that I got from another pattern. 
Below, the clear buttons which also come in other colors. They have a silver glitter inside.  I used them on the misses dress because the fabric has a metallic thread outlining some of the flowers, and I thought they would go together.


Unknown said...

I really enjoyed visiting your post today! You are very good at sketching your designs and the dresses are so pretty. I have spent many a sleepless night or restful afternoon visiting your archives and cannot thank you enough for the encouragement I have found here! I have shared your blog with some of my acquaintences and some are being turned away from manly styles of dress and are beginning to dress more ladylike. It also gives me something to talk about with my friends that is uplifting and refreshing.

With sincerity and humble admiration,

magnoliasntea said...

Love your drawings, they are quite good.
I have a piece of that same fabric to use in a quilt.
Have a lovely week!

quakerhillfarm said...

GREAT inspiration! The Lord showed me through His word many years ago that He loves beauty and creativity. Certainly you have depicted that in your drawings and in the garments you have made. Thank you again for posting this lovely article. Lynn

Lydia said...

Thank you, ladies. May you have all that is good in life today.

Toni Marie said...

Good morning! This post is so inspirational, as are all of your posts. I enjoy sewing very much but have never thought to try my hand at drawing...I just may try it soon. My daughter is an artist and she would be so pleased if I took up a new artistic hobby! The fabric is beautiful and I appreciate that you include where you purchase things...Walmart and the Dollar store remind us that things need not be costly to enjoy. Have a blessed day!

Mrs. Bill said...

Very good advice! I wish I had your writings when I was a bride 55 years ago. I was lonely at first when home alone, but I too discovered sewing. I made kitchen curtains, sewing them by hand. A year or two later I bought a little 'featherweight" sewing machine and it opened up a whole new world of interest for me. Clothes, quilts, home decor - I did a little bit almost every day. Now I am back to hand sewing just for enjoyment.

I love your sketches and paintings - you are very talented and doing them must be very satisfying.

Rachel and Family said...

Wow! I wish I could do that. It is so beautiful :)
You're posts are always full of loveliness and goodness.

anonymous said...

While a young new bride back in 1969 and my new husband away in the Navy, I was terribly lonely. I learned gardening, canning and started attending church and reading the bible.
Learning about Christ, his love and sacrifice for us, I made a decision to follow him.
Keeping my small house, sewing and crafts gave me something to look forward to after work each day and on the weekends.

Wished I'd had your blog and encouragement back then. Thank you so much for sharing encouragement, practical homemaking tips and crafts with us. You are a blessing Lydia.


ForHisGlory said...

I love that you make clothes for your daughter and granddaughter! It isn't very common these days, but such a blessing when someone makes something for you. My children all love to have something hand-made from Mom! Beautiful dresses you made!


Being Refined said...

So wonderful! The dresses you made are lovely as are the drawings. I like to sew-though I do quilting. I have yet to learn how to sew clothes. I would like to learn.

I'm a new homemaker and finding it very challenging. The hardest part is the aloneness and sometimes loneliness. God is teaching me a lot during this time. :)

Well, I recently discovered your blog and really like it. It is very inspiring! I will be coming back. :D


Being Refined said...

So wonderful! The dresses you made are lovely as are the drawings. I like to sew-though I do quilting. I have yet to learn how to sew clothes. I would like to learn.

I'm a new homemaker and finding it very challenging. The hardest part is the aloneness and sometimes loneliness. God is teaching me a lot during this time. :)

Well, I recently discovered your blog and really like it. It is very inspiring! I will be coming back. :D


Being Refined said...

So wonderful! The dresses you made are lovely as are the drawings. I like to sew-though I do quilting. I have yet to learn how to sew clothes. I would like to learn.

I'm a new homemaker and finding it very challenging. The hardest part is the aloneness and sometimes loneliness. God is teaching me a lot during this time. :)

Well, I recently discovered your blog and really like it. It is very inspiring! I will be coming back. :D


Jenny said...

Hello, Lady Lydia! Loneliness and isolation were the hardest things I had to deal with upon "coming home." At first it was nice, because work was so full of people, but after a while, the loneliness really set in and became quite difficult to deal with. Once we moved away from family, it was just awful. Pleasant diversion has been a great help -- sewing, embroidery, and reading for me.

Susan said...

Well I think you are an artist. I cannot conceive of making sketches like that. They are beautiful. A book of your sketches might be in order.

Your blog is a great source of inspiration when I am having a difficult day. Some days loneliness creeps in but it's nice to know that your blog is always here to turn to for motivation. The pretty pictures you post are sometimes enough to lift my spirits.

I have gotten a few craft books from the library and yard sales and am trying to discover what I like to do best and what is most relaxing to me. I find detailed hand sewing and embroidery to be very calming. I have no problem filling my days with work around the house such as Spring cleaning or drawer organizing. It's great to dig up new recipes and try them out. There always seems to be clothes and socks that need mending. I also do the research when we need something new like a vacuum cleaner to make sure we get something of lasting quality. All these things make my days fly by.

Moving around a lot from my husband's employment has made it harder to make long term friends and so I am more grateful for blogs like yours. It's a blessing to connect with like minded people this way.

Thank you for what you do.

The dresses are lovely and I am sure will be treasured by the models.

I would gladly let you have some of our endless rain.

Lydia said...

I have wanted to contact you for at least a month, if not more. I wanted to wish your husband a Happy Father’s Day. . how many weeks ago was that. I get here and become so overwhelmed, I can’t even think straight. Too much pressure.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you that even though I’ve been out of touch, I’ve been in constant contact with you over these past many weekends, reading so many beautiful posts you write. The time reading what you write goes very quickly. I could spend hours enmeshed in them - - and I often do.

I love all your posts. . your most recent laundry / and hand-made bed sheets. . . goodness, that’s quite an undertaking. But I so want to hang laundry outside on a line, and where I live its forbidden, can you believe that? I lived for a time in Indiana and it was forbidden there as well. At my next home, when I retire, I will be sure to buy in a location where I can have an outside clothes line. Surely there is somewhere I can have that.

And I so love the dresses you make, they’re so pretty and very feminine, in the soft colors and fabric you use.

I can’t remember the full article name but the one on Bliss. . .with the tea settings, oh my goodness, how beautiful. And I found the one where you made the lampshade coverings, again so beautiful. Thank you for sharing all your thoughts and ideas. I know I can’t remember now every article I love. . . (every one I read) while I listen to your play list also. . how beautiful!!! My biggest problem is always trying to decide what to read next with the options you always suggest and attach. They’re so tantalizing, I want to read them all!!

So thank you for sharing everything. . . I even enjoyed when you had a problem in the kitchen (not that I enjoyed you having problems you understand) but the way you described having to line everything up in every available space you had in your living room and such, because that’s what happens in real life. You have such a beautiful spirit. You make cleaning and simple decorating fun. . I always thought it was - - but no one I know agrees with that. I know I can always go to your site and find bushels of items that will make me so happy. I’m happy you’re there. . Bless your sweet heart, again and again.


Lydia said...

This morning I realized I also wanted to comment about your drawings. . . and how in them you can make yourself younger or thinner or however you want. How fun the beauty of imagination can be.

Yesterday walking from work to the train station in downtown Chicago I saw one girl with blue-green (electric BLUE-GREEN) long curly hair. Shocking. . . and hideous. I don’t understand the current hair dye colors. . but women wear orange, blue, purple and other assorted strange colors of hair, and nail color to match. What about that is pretty??? or Feminine???? Nothing about it is at all attractive. All over body piercings and tattoos were bad enough. . . but then add strange hair and nail color and we have streets full of walking freaky looking strange people. Gone here are the days of gentle femininity. I mostly cannot tell men from women. . . they all look alike, very scary.

This morning at the train station the new Dunkin Donut Shop must have opened. In the misty gray morning rain there was a main outside the shop, dressed in a brand new Donut Costume, chocolate, with sprinkles. I don’t know what’s worse, strange hair or humans in strange costumes when its not Halloween. (of course for Halloween I see blood and gore costumes on kids. Frightening!! )

So I much prefer the gentle musings you speak of. . those I can understand and indulge in myself. Imagination is a wonderful thing and somehow I know I will never see your drawings contain electric blue-green hair. How sensitive and sensible of you. .. and I am so appreciative. Nothing shocking. . . only quiet wisdom surrounded in beauty.

Have a beautiful day Lydia. . .


Lydia said...


Hats used to be the way women made changes or improved their moods. That seems less permanent than tattoos and dyes.

Anonymous said...

What lovely drawings! You have been such an inspiration to me, and I wanted to thank you for your contribution to the calling of marriage and family. I'm sure you will never know how many people you have inspired. God bless! Liz

Kimberly said...

Your blog is a place of refuge for me. Thank you

Carie said...

I'm so glad that I found your blog again, Lydia, after all these years away. In the early 2000's your blog taught me what it was to be a homemaker. I've been away for a few years....moves, lack of computer, etc.....but I'm so glad to be back. Your dresses are lovely! I've got some material I need to cut into but I'm going to spend some more time here first, if you don't mind. Thank you so much for writing!