Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Get Updates From This Blog in Your Email

Dearest Ladies,

You probably will not dress up like this (isn't that a beautiful dress in the painting?) at home just to read a letter, but you might enjoy getting notifications in your email when this blog has a new post!

Some of you have written and said they are no longer getting these notifications. The sign-up area has just been moved to the top of the bar on the left, so if you need to, please fill in your email address! That should correct the matter and you will get the notifications. You are also welcome to forward the email notification to your friends and loved ones.

If you are getting more than one email notification of the same post, you might have a look at the end of the email to see if there is a place to unsubscribe, and that might correct the matter.

At home, ladies can do what suits their families best, and that is why Home Living suits a lot of ladies just fine, sharing ideas of making home life just right for your own schedule and your own family needs. There are no do's and don'ts here regarding marriage, home or family. It is all about making home the most encouraging, resourceful and desireable place to be.

So, please sign up!

While you probably cannot imagine reading a letter in a nice gown, would not it make a big difference in curing the doldrums, feelings of sorrow, depressing weather, and discouragement---would not dressing up a bit at home elevate the mind and give the lady at home a sense of value and purpose in what she is doing?  Some people have written about this in the past, and how their happiness and contentment improves, as well as their creativity, when they dress for the home. Even a pretty, feminine apron or a ribbon in your hair can make a difference!

As a side note, the header picture will be changed soon, so if you would like to save the painting, please do so now. The title and author will go into your pictures automatically.  One reason that painting is so loved is the man and woman seem to have an easy feeling between them. They are comfortable together and content to look at the view. The man and woman have a sharp contrast in their appearance: he is so distinctly masculine in every aspect, and evokes an impression of personal stability. As you can see by the man's suit, the styles for men have remained very similar! The woman is feminine, with a soft dress and hair style, and her dress is what would be considered quite Western in the country sense, as the belt is a style that goes with western skirts. She looks like she is listening to whatever he has to say. Of course, you may read your own interpretation of the painting, but it is lovely! The view is wonderful too.

Nordic Summer Evening by Sven Richard Bergh 
Sweden 1858-1919

Here is another painting by the same Swedish artist. Notice how the recent shawl and poncho fashions are so much like the one in this painting. Styles actually stay the same in many ways. Even the hairstyles are being revived today. There was a period of time when no one could remember how the ladies fashioned their hair in the past, but by searching through various old books and papers, some of the twists and rolls and braids have been revived.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pretty Posies In Clouds

This printed cotton should have the name "Color in the Clouds" because of the cloud-downy look. It is a super soft yet substantially thick Waverly Inspirations cotton fabric available at Wal-Mart. There will soon be a link on the sidebar to all the Waverly prints mentioned here, with the finished garments.

This year, Walmart is not selling those cotton cardigans that are usually paired with the dresses on this blog, so here is an easy idea for you:
Buy a long sleeved cotton t-shirt in the color you need, one size larger than you wear, so it will fit easily over the dress. Fold it in half, matching up the shoulder seams, and press with hot iron along the fold to get an accurate line. Then, cut along the line, and there you have a cardigan. 

The V-necks make better looking cardigans, and it is not necessary to make a button at the top, as in the rounded necklines. This tee shirt cost $4.88 at Walmart and is a heavy cotton and not very stretchy, which made it easy to alter.

Since the knit fabric does not unravel or fray, there is no need to stitch along the edges if you do not want to be bothered, however, it is nice to use a decorative outline stitch or a simple zig-zag machine stitch in matching thread.

  Sew on a button at the top and clip a little line on the other side for a button hole or make a ribbon loop. The button, above is an aqua cameo button from Hobby Lobby.
Wearing this particular print is like being wrapped in a luxurious, expensive soft sheet and it is only $2.95-$3.97 a yard, so total cost of the dress, including zipper is about $20.00
What a lift it gives the homemaker to wear something pretty yet durable for home making. It is so washable and any stains will fade out nicely in the sun on the line. It is fun to wear an apron that matches.

Notice the fabric also makes a cheerful cloth for this little table.

Different cardigans could be worn with this print: pink, purple, green.  An apron over it makes it perfect for home, and a cardigan makes it a great dress to wear when you have to go to the grocery store or anywhere else!
It is from the same patterns as used for previous prints seen here. The pattern for a house dress (which of course can be worn elsewhere too) can be the same one used over and over, but it is the prints and trims that make it different.

To make this dress less fussy there is no ruffle. Instead, the hem is curved into gentle free hand (or free scissor!) scallops with a facing added to give it more weight.  The hem is hand stitched.

Here is the facing on the hem inside the dress:

It is always a treat to go to Allposters and find one of those delightful 19th century paintings with dresses to inspire sewing. Some of the prints depicted in these paintings are reproduced in the cotton mills today. Have a look at these, in the painting below. You will find very similar prints in the babric stores today! They evoke a feeling of contentment in every day things.
This 19th century painting is called "The Music Lesson". Notice the colors and prints. 

Mcalls (year 2016) pattern 6958
Waveryly Inspirations cotton fabric (Walmart) 4 yards
Long sleeved cotton tee shirt $5.00 (Walmart)
Aqua Satin hair ribbon 1 roll 97cents
Thread, 24 inch zipper, piping trim.
Decorative button 
Shoes- Dr. Scholls from Walmart --great for homemaking, about $15.00 and pretty colors too. These are  a metallic look.

Below: Keepsake Calico which comes in several colors, all with metalic prints such as birds, hearts, arrows, and other emblems. This fabric is similar to the dresses in the painting.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

No-Sew For the Home

For those who are not able or interested in making clothes (skirts, dresses, aprons) or sewing for the home (cushions, curtains, tablecloths, furniture coverings), here are some ideas for finding things appropriate to your needs.

For clothing, let your eyes be your first guide, pulling your interest to the colors that appeal to you.Find  clothes that attract you in the mood they evoke: soft, quiet pastels, comforting nuetrals, enlivening brights, and deep jewel tones.  These colors and hues, when worn, do affect the mood at home, and that is important because there is an entire dynamic at home that is different than the rest of the world. Home is not regulated by the same values as other places, and home life has to be self-motivated, so your clothing may have a bearing on personal purpose at home.

For style, look for the clothes that are true coverings: long enough but not too wide or fussy as to catch on things as you make your way around rhe house, high enough to cover privacy when bending down to help little ones with shoes and shirts, or any household movement, and ample enough that it covers you in all activity.

If you have to buy extra pieces to cover up the areas the original piece exposes, you may end up with a lot of layers, which can be uncomfortable or too warm, even in winter.  Then, there may be a lot of clutter in closets and drawers. Extra time is needed to match all those pieces. Busy homemakers want to choose clothing quickly, and that is why they get a favorite shirt and skirt that suits home life just fine.

Find an idea of what you like by searching through catalogs like April Cornell, and then try to locate similar things to your liking at your local Goodwill or discount stores. You might be just as happy with something at Target, Bi-Mart, or CostCo. Check fabric content for your preference of fabrics. Some ladies prefer natural fibres and wovens over synthetic knits, for the home.

Clothes do not have to be vintage or Victorian, or historical, but they can be "historically-inspired" or "Victorian-inspired" by including some elements of these types of clothes: length, trims, tucks, sleeves, colors. There are, however, enough modern updated choices available that you can find feminine and functional and modest clothing in stores today

For the home, there are tutorials showing how to simply wrap a piece of new fabric around an old cushion and tie it, to update it or create something for the season. There are also many sites that show how to use fabrics for table clothes and mantel swags, or table runners, without sewing. You can even hang fabric for curtains by attatching it with colored clothes pegs. There is a lot you can make with cloth, without sewing, for the home.

Below: home things from April Cornell. If you need to be more thrifty , it may be possible to find similar items. There is no need to think you must sew everything.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Another Fabric Favorite

The Seamstress
By: Eugene de  Blaas, Italy, 1843-1932

Do you see the colorful fabrics in the Eugene de Blass paintings of the 19th century? Do you think you could find similar prints today? Look how the artist paired the green and deep red fabrics. It is a very appealing combination.

Hello Ladies

Here is one more example of a dress made from the new Waverly Inspirations cottons at Walmart:
This fabric is an absolute comfort to wear. If you are not used to wearing dresses, a super-comfortable and fresh feeling fabric like this would make you feel completely at ease in a dress. Adding ruffles and trims gives it a casual country flair.
Above: the tucks in the dress gives it a nice fit. You can leave out a couple of the back tucks if you want the dress to be more roomy.

This is a dress for the home that can be worn everywhere else, too. It was made to wear for a special invitation from an old friend, who always invites the Ladies Bible Class to an annual lunch, because she goes absolutely "all out" with the food and the program. 

Below: you cannot see it as vividly here, but this exciting print is also available with a blue background, making the print appear as a natural scene against the blue sky.

For sleeves: Vintage McCalls 2398; Dress: Current pattern McCalls 6958

The cloth covered shoes are nice to wear with it, and also available at Walmart for approximately $5.00. They are good for carrying with you to wear as slippers if you need to remove your boots or outdoor shoes in someone's house.
Here is the dress accompanied by a cardigan in the shade of burgundy. The color brings out the deep red of the larger roses on the fabric.
This cardigan has that lovely back ribbing, and friends have said they have bought this style in other colors and enjoy it very much. 
Here is the dress paired with a green cardigan.
And although some people do not like to wear orange, this melon shade cardigan really brings out the same shade of flowers in the print. The plastic totes you see with the dress are a dollar each from Dollar Tree. Some seamstresses and online shops are using these colorful plastic totes as props in pictures of sewing and fashions.

It is satisfying to see how the colored cardigans look with this print, as it gives more "looks" for the dress and extends its usefulfulness. It could be worn every day for a week and not feel like you were wearing the same old thing.

This yellow cotton cardigan makes you notice the yellow flowers more.

Well, there you have it, and hopefully it has given you a little inspiration and brightened your moments here.  The fabric could also be used for an easy home decor change, by cutting it to fit tables and other surfaces.


This is a one of a kind original and no duplicate or copy exists!  

Pictures  here from Pinterest show prints matched up to cardigans. Catalogs such as Chadwicks, Blair, Old Pueblo, have similar ensembles. Also, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark dresses this way for casual wear. As you can see, this is a well-liked way to pair clothing today, and had its beginnings way back in the 1940's. The look is fresh as flowers and the clothing is very comfortable and comforting. When worn at home it instantly perks your mood and gives a feeling of happiness and contentment.

Queen Maxima with sand color cardigan matches the sand background of her print dress.
Another Maxima outfit with fuscia cardigan which ties in to the fuschia of her print skirt.
Crown Princess Mary uses a mustard shade cardigan that matches some of the print of her skirt.
Her gray cardigan goes with the background gray color of her skirt.
More of her and her girl's cardigan.
Kate's adorable children in cardigans.

Below: Designer Kate Spade Floral dress and cardigan  $495.00. Cost of home made dress shown at the beginning of the post: $20.00 for 4 yards includes zipper and thread. Cardigans are approximately $7.00 depending on sales.  Most all the Waverly Inspirations fabrics are under $5.00 a yard at Walmarts.


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