Friday, March 29, 2019

Dresses for Home

Because my sewing is not getting completed as quickly as I had planned (due to so many other things going on around here) I wanted to post something to keep you quiet while you wait ;-)

In the 1980's the dress and textile designer, a Welsh lady named Laura Ashley, said in an interview that the dresses she designed were never intended to be posh dresses; they were intended for the home. However, people loved them so much they used them for all occasions.

I see designer, April Cornell, has similar dresses; loose, casual, mostly cotton. The first dress is called "The Berry Dress" which some people have said is the perfect dress as far a comfort, fit and function. 

The prices of these dresses are very high, but it is nice to dream!

You can order a catalog on the site, which may cost a few dollars, but is nice to have at home.

I was talking to a few ladies who thought it would be a dream wardrobe to have some of these just for every day at home.

This one, of course, is a special occasion dress!

Unfortunately there are no April Cornell sewing patterns, as there were Laura Ashley sewing patterns. A few years ago the fabric stores sold April Cornell fabric, but no more.

Here are some more April Cornell dresses. Also, she sells leggings, usually cotton, that are designed to wear under the dresses.

It would be great to have a sewing pattern for these two dresses! I like the way she designed it to take on the look of a sari. Of all the choices, this is the style I would most like to buy. 

I like the April Cornell models. They look like normal people ;-)

I also like the settings and backgrounds of the home, the yard, the front porch, the garden, etc.

Very comfortable for the home, even  a big improvement on the 1950's "house dress."

Ladies have told me that to make the necklines higher, they fold a dollar store cotton crochet doily in half and safety pin it just inside the bodice. I have tried this and it looks great and provides the extra fabric you need for a higher neckline. It looks like it came with the garment.

Of course I am very fond of toile print, and would like some fabric of every color! It had not occurred to me to use this kind of print for a dress, because I have only seen it used for wallpapers, upholstery and home decor.  Toile print is a story type of pictures shown on the fabric, usually only using one color on a solid background of another color.  I have a curtain made of this black and white toile, with country scenery. 

Do a search for toile fabric prints  and click images, to see the amazing variety. They are also available as prints on dishes, trays, lampshades, blankets, and many other things, although I don't think there is any such thing as a toile print car.

Maybe this post will give you some ideas of what to wear at home if you are trying to dress cheerfully. Those of you who wear jeans might consider looking at the long, pretty blouses that are made to go with pants, because they are like dresses, and if you feel uncomfortable in dresses, you could get used to wearing the long tops over your pants.

Each year when this tree blossoms, I have great plans to make a dress to go with!  I finally got it cut out, and just hope I can get it sewn this year. Those blossoms fade so quickly.

On the way to the grocery store I stopped to take these pictures:
In the distance is the church house and the manse.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. We are caught up in the work of getting ready to host what is called a 5th Sunday Singing at church on Sunday, but I hope to post throughout the weekend anyway. We have been busy with all the other church members cleaning the meeting house, and some of them have been giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. The ladies have decorated the kitchen and banquet room, as well as the ladies room, and have done a wonderful job. We had a lot of enjoyment getting some sale items at Hobby Lobby, which is the perfect place to shop for decorating the foyer, the hallway, and the auditorium.  I hope to post pictures soon. 

Inside the manse, is one little vignette that is a perfect rest for the eyes:
That's Grandma's "vase", or rather, a part of a punch bowl set that she used as a vase.


lynn maust said...

Loving the view of the rainbow...and your manse and church FAR away... (Lynn Maust)

lynn maust said...

also....very much like your idea of the long top over jeans....sounds more like something I would like to do these days. (Lynn Maust)

Adelaide said...

O my, Laura Ashley - those dresses were so gorgeous and feminine. I have a cousin who used to beg to go to the Laura Ashley boutique in the day. April Cornell has such beautiful pieces as well, and as you noted, so similar to Laura Ashley. I never knew much about her until you mentioned her clothes...
You do so well with those flowers from the dollar store; I will be near one next week and would like to pop in and perhaps buy some supplies to try my hand at arranging. I will try to find a box to store them in, following your example.
Thank you for these posts - they are a breath of fresh air, a welcome time of refreshing. That rainbow is letting my eyes drink in the rainbow...

Feminine Belle said...

I remember the Laura Ashley clothes! Very lovely, very (sound of cash register). As a senior, our group took a high school trip to England. These dresses were popular there as well. (for context) :-)

Lydia likes toile print... why am I not surprised ;-)
Perhaps the next sewing project? Here is a link online store from Fredricksberg,TX!/~/search/keyword=toile

Tabs at the tops for more perfect choices and awesome projects!

JOYce said...

McCalls has no longer in print Mommy & Me patterns by April Cornell. The Yesterday Dress(The Berry Dress) reminds me somewhat of McCalls 2654 with a few creative adjustments(longer sleeves, bodice pintucks, box pleat skirt, ties added). :-)

Lydia said...

Yes ladies, let me tell you, the market sort of tracks what we are looking at or ordering and then occasionally Walmart offers imitations at a much more affordable prices, particularly in the Time and Tru brand. That Berry dress which also has another name, is perfect and a pattern would be nice. Take note, the sleeves are gathered at the sides, not the top as the old Laura Ashley brand. It makes it easier to wear a cardigan or jacket over the dress. And often when the Laura Ashley pattern had pintucks at the bodice, I folded the pattern along those lines and cut a plain bodice, eliminating the work of pintucks.

Gail said...

I compared the Time and Tru from Walmart to April Cornell and I am finding some acceptable "April-esque" dresses from the Walmart site. I usually don't even spend the Time and Tru prices on myself, but I think this year I will, as it has been forever, it seems, since I saw anything pretty, floral, modest and feminine dresses WITH SLEEVES!! Why do they not want to provide these nice things for us? I think it has been over 20 years.

Lydia said...

Sleeves...yes they have disappeared. I get tired of seeing the ladies in sleeveless, while the men are wearing jackets. If the manufacturers can eliminate sleeves they can sell a jacket or another garment to cover up if you need it; also it cost more in labor for a set in sleeve; its just a different kind of sewing and takes more time. I have a catalog for children and no sleeves for girls , but the boys clothes have sleeves. And the teen girls compensate for it by adding layers and layers until they look like clothes horses---a long sleeve tee under a sleeveless top. These girls end up with many small pieces in their wardrobes.

Lydia said...

...and way too many layers for comfort. They have to buy a sleeveless dress and wear a shirt under it, and it ads more layers.