Monday, April 29, 2019

Around My Blogroll

Today I would like to highlight some people on my blogroll, for all the effort they go to keep their blogs informative, fresh and interesting.

These people manage to present a bright side, opportunistic view of life, making the best of things when life is not exactly cooperating!  I'll be addressing the subject of "can-do" some time on a video.  

Feminine Belle has a couple of new posts about knitting and cooking. That cobbler looks yummy!

Homeschool veteran, Charlene, is good about sharing her experiences and knowledge.

Laura Jeanne at Patterns From Grandma also has crochet and knit patterns. I've purchased patterns from her Etsy store.

Modestly Sew is good about showing some of the latest patterns available, which are not so expensive to buy (New Look is often under $3.00) and relatively easy to sew.

Kathy at A Delightsome Life  looks like a classy magazine, with her wonderful photos and graphics, always inspiring, always uplifting.

Celebrating Everyday Life is one of those bright, beautiful sites that make you feel you just stepped into a holiday, with inspiration for the home.

Adventures in Keeping House is down-to-earth in her posts about being sensible in many things, and she has published two books!

Cynthia, at Life as a Fascinating Woman is back, with some financial facts for widows.

Roxy, at Living From Glory to Glory  writes gentle encouragement, that sound like prose. I also love her name, like saying it and feeling it in my vocal chords. I always thought  phonemes were kind of fun, the way they halt the aspirates in a word. I hope I am describing that rightly. Roxy did not pay me to say this!

Notes From Memere is a blog I have recently added, which is lovely and sweet.

I always enjoy Becky's Feathered Nest videos, viewing things at home. 

I recently added Stuff and Nonsense, by  Ann Payne (her name sounds like she just stepped off  the Mayflower) because I saw it on Roxy's blog and you know, anything Roxy does, I think is sooooo fine!  Ann's blog showcases clean fiction, and makes me wish I knew how to write! 😊

As I have a rather long blogroll, I have to stop here and continue another time, so if you are looking for your blog here on this list, I hope to put it up on another post.

I hope you all have a lovely day.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Need A Confession From a Very Sneaky Person!!!

What is this? Some kind of subterfuge?

Come now, old friend, confess!

We heard a sermon today from the Bible on how Christ used figures of speech, hence the irony here!

When I got home from church this morning, there was an Amazon delivery sitting on the outdoor settee by my front door. I am trying to trace the culprit that found this lovely tea set.

 So, I am wondering, which one of you sneaky people sent this?

I really would like to thank you, but there was no paperwork in it, no return address,  no note, nor a gift card.

It is beautiful!

But you really shouldn't have.

You need to come clean.

There is a purple one in it, which is perfect for the lilac photo-shoot coming up. 

I really can't fill the air with praise for such a thoughtful gift unless you tell me who you are.

Or, it is possible it was shipped to the wrong person, and I'm not supposed to have it.

I will be keeping the gift box, as well.
This is a nice way of being a victim of a sneaky surprise 😍

I hope the guilty party will come forward soon!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Blossom Fashion: Lilacs

Young Lady With Lilacs 
by Hans Fredrik Gude, 1897

Lilacs by Catherine Klein

Hello Ladies, 

Still on the subject of sewing, and because the lilacs are coming into bloom so fast, I wasn't able to finish sewing the lilac outfit to go-with.

These blossoms are coming in to full bloom rather fast.  

They first appear in little berry-like clusters...

...which open up into the lighter color petals. 
Yesterday the lilac bush looked good with the pre-washed fabric drying on the line behind it. New fabric must be washed to make it shrink before sewing the item.  Otherwise the garment may shrink after it has been made, when it is washed for the first time.

I hope to come back soon with the completed outfit. If  the blossoms don't last, I'll put the dress on the dress-form and get a picture.

Thought for today:

"We are not citizens of this world trying to get to Heaven; We are citizens of Heaven trying to get through this world."

Monday, April 22, 2019

Blossom Fashion (Sewing)

Summer's Day in the Flower Garden 
by Robert Payton Reid (American 1859-1945)

I hope you all had a good Resurrection Sunday, and that this week is one of  refreshed resolve and purpose in Christ, as well as a gentle spirit of love toward those around you, especially at home and in the household of faith.

This week I was in the grocery store, and as you know, I enter the floral area first because it is such a nice prelude to the job ahead. These pale pink roses and the scent put me in such a good mood, and I spoke to the florist and commented on what a refreshment it was to come in and see the displays. Not being near parks or botonical gardens (I live in the country) the Safeway store is the equivalent of a trip to a rose garden.  

We are finishing up Blossom Season here. It comes on in a day and if a wind kicks up, the blossoms are all gone, so I wanted to take advantage of this, with a special Blossom Fashion.

These pale pink , "blush" colored roses are the inspiration for the fabric and  the sewing which I am featuring today.

I have always wanted to make a dress similar to the one in Robert Payton Reid's painting, above, and I know it is probably a "garden party dress"  depicted in this Folkwear pattern:
About 20 years ago I made this dress, which I had cut out years before that. It took me several years after that to find time to put all the small pieces together, because  at the time, I was very busy with my children, church, homeschooling and outings, etc.  I was not eager to sew this again, even though I might have been able to sit down longer with it and finish it in a reasonable time.

So, to imitate the Summer's Day in the Flower Garden dress, I used a very simple pattern and finished it in a day, like I was accustomed to doing when I was a teenager. Of course, it was at the expense of letting the house "go" for a day, and today I am furiously playing catch-up and doing a lot of what is called  stress cleaning.

I had this older pattern from 2008, but it is a very common style that is usually updated each year in the pattern catologs.  There were some pieces gone missing but I was able to copy part of the yoke from another pattern.

Of course it all looked great on the dress-form!

I don't know if you are aware of this company called Brother Sister Design Studio, which makes fabric that is mostly available at Hobby Lobby.

I will add the  photo of the little hair clip to match, when I get it finished.

I made a separate, wrap-around tied sash from this skirt pattern waistband:

I don't usually wear sashes or ties or belts at the waistline, but was trying to get the look of the Summer's Day dress in the painting.

You can click on this picture to get a closer look at the fabric and the yoke area of the dress:

A very loose fitting dress, which is great for home.  It is still very cold here so the long sleeves feel good. I wore the wraparound sash and a jacket yesterday for worship but I forgot about a photo. 

This is thin, soft fabric.  It has a stripe printed on it so I folded the fabric the opposite way and placed the pattern on it to make the stripes vertical on the dress.  

                    If I get time, I'll try to imitate the hat in the painting, to go with the dress. Years ago I created a post called "Painting Inspired Sewing," which some of you may remember, where I sewed dresses based on the paintings of previous centuries, only a slimmed down version with a modern wearable twist, so that I could get in and out of the car without knocking off my hat or closing the door on the yards and yards of fabric.  This is a painting-inspired dress that I am showing today.

This is a very large, roomy dress with gathers and pleats:
Under the cherry blossoms.

I tell ya, that tree was buzzing with honey bees and bumble bees, and that's the reason for the stiff smile.  This wasn't going to be a 10-picture photo-shoot, or even a 4-picture.  Mr. S. gave that tree a wide berth and was standing a long way off!  I was out of there as quickly as possible.

 I was in a rush to get this finished before the delicate blossoms vanished in the wind. Even now, the tree is not as white as it was when I first began sewing the dress.  

Not the slimming princess-style cut that I usually sew, but it is a nice change because it is billowy and loose, great for  the warmer weather to come. 

It actually looks better without the sash and its oh so comfortable. I'll be wearing this at home, and will shorten it. I left it long for the photo, so it would be more like the Robert Payton Reid painting. 

I have another piece of this Brother Sister Design Studio fabric and am using it as a reward goal for catching up with things today. The fabric is very pretty but I'm not showing the whole print yet.

Just to remind you,, the little colored dots on the selvage of  the fabric (the finished edge) show all the thread colors woven into the print. You can use this as a guide to match other colors to the garment when you want to make a little jacket or add a border to hem, or to match your scarf or shoes.  

Cost List:
Fabric (Hobby Lobby, $3.00 per yard, cotton woven)  5 yards - $15
Thread, white, $2.00
Total: $17.00

I like the fabric so well, I wanted to get more and make a different style with it. 

I'd like to answer some email questions now.

Q. Wouldn't it be easier to take pictures of someone else modeling your sewing? That way, you could the exact angles and poses you want.

A.  It would be far too time consuming and complicated to get someone else to agree to model for photos, especially with no pay.  I'm a do-it-yourself-er and find that the easiest and most efficient way is always to see if you can do things without help and not be dependent upon circumstances to succeed in your efforts.  I still don't get the pictures precisely as I'd like, but they are good enough to share the garment and give you the idea of what I'm trying to achieve.

Q.  Why bother making your own clothes? Wouldn't you rather buy them?

A.  I do buy some things, such as corduroy or wool blazers/jackets, denim clothes, and long winter wool or corduroy skirts, because they are constructed so well by the manufacturers, and they are not as interesting or enjoyable to sew as the cotton prints. 

 Sewing is exciting to me, and ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted to make my own clothes because it gave me instant access to something new without having to have a lot of money.  I noticed that cloth was everywhere and could be made into many different things, and it would be simpler to make changes in the home and in the closet with cloth.

Sewing gives me control over the style and the color and the coverage. For a long time, clothing in stores has been missing pieces. I'm referring to the holes in the arms and the back and the other areas, "cut-outs" that expose a lot of skin.  Do ladies know if they buy that kind of thing they aren't getting all the cloth, and are paying a lot for the bare areas?  Wearing those clothes with  cut-out areas can result in being bitten by an insect, cut or scratched in some way, or chaffed by the elements on delicate skin.  I can be the designer and manufacturer when I sew, and not be resigned to buying clothes with holes in it. 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

He is Risen

Matthew 28 

The Resurrection

28 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 
6 He is not here, for he has risen,
 as he said. Come, see the place where he[a] lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

The Report of the Guard

11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

The Great Commission

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Hello Ladies,
It is insteresting that Matthew 28 ends with the purpose of the resurrection, so that not only is it a miraculous event, it also has a purpose, a ministry, and a continuing duty of the teaching of the gospel while we live.  Verse 19 gives us a description of the work there is is do.
It is also interesting how this anniversary can be traced almost to the date of the event, since it was in the Passover season. When Christ instituted the Lord's Supper in the upper room before His death, he was celebrating the Passover. That is why we use the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine (grape juice) to represent His body and his blood when we participate in the memorial service on the first day of the week, which was the day of the week in which He rose from the grave.
Today we in the Lord's church celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Christ each and every Lord's Day by taking that memorial, commonly called communion (because we commune with our Lord). 
The way His garment was folded in the tomb is to some historians of the culture at that time, an indication that He was not coming back to that tomb, that He had risen.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Cloud Clothing--A New Fashion

Painting from Pinterest, Russian artist

Hello Ladies,

I have created fog fashion, rain fashion, desert fashion, and overcast sky fashion, but 
what do you wear with clouds?

Today is the first of the Cloud Clothing fashion line. We have been through the desert and been through the rain with my line of clothing, and now we are going through cloud season.  You can see by the grim look on my face how uncomfortable it is out there in the cold and rain. 

There is not a clear sky to be found, and so today for a special treat, I present one of the cloud dresses I have sewn.

 The umbrella had a little blue in it so I used it as a prop, and yes, it was raining too. Mr. S. took two pictures when he was on the tractor.  I like to catch him when he is already outside.  Two pictures. Maybe he is trying to save film like he used to back in 1952.  

There is not much to say about this dress except the color, called China Blue, a Waverly cotton, and the fact that I used several different patterns; one for the sleeves, another for the top and another for the skirt area and of course my signature ruffle at the hem, to give the fabric more weight and  keep the dress from flying around in the wind.  Therefore, I cannot recommend any particular pattern. It was an experiment.

Here it is on the dress form. It has some tucks in the front and piping at the neckline. When I use piping or rick-rack at the necklines and sleeve cuffs, those areas don't get so thin and faded and the dress lasts longer.

In case we ever see the sun again, I decorated a plain white hat with dollar store florals. I think I might have got the hat at Dollar Tree a few years ago.

This dress was "okay" and I will wear it at home. When I go anywhere I will put a jacket on to dress it up a bit.  I've got one more cloud clothing idea and hopefully will be able to post it before the season is over.  I'm doing a lot better this year. Usually I start a garment and then the season changes and I have to do something else, saving the project to finish the next year, or the next, or the next. I always hope I don't gain any weight while I wait.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Do You Have Your Own Pemberley?

 Some of you may have seen the beautiful reflection of Chatsworth House in the  1995 A & E production of Pride and Prejudice. 

The reflection in the lake was  beautiful and I noticed in the landscape of previous eras, other houses "well situated" with a reflection in water.

This farmhouse is also depicted in a movie, with a lake reflection:

Our rain season creates ponds in our lawns and driveways, and some people have their very own Pemberley.

While I am waiting to finish a rain fashion sewing project, here is a reflection of The Manse in our private lake after
the recent downpour:

You see, lake reflections are not respecters of  location, time in history, landed family or social standing, so, any of us can have a Pemberley. 

Maybe you have your own Pemberley-esque reflection.

It looks like a worn out driveway with a huge mud puddle, if you aren't thinking on the bright side.
This metal bridge would do well across that pond and go nicely with The Manse, do you think?  It would be nice if Hobby Lobby or the local home and garden stores had them. I've only seen them in garden catalogs.

Do you think there are more than four seasons? What about cloud season, or changes in weather in between seasons? Here, we also have Gale season. What about your area?
Daffodil season faded quickly.

Do you take your children on nature walks to show them reflections and flowers? 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Gray Sky Style

This is our gray sky season, and I've created a special style just for that.  

I have a friend that sends me pictures of royalty in Europe out in the cold gray climates at various events, and if you are into that, you will notice the ladies are always dressed very well even in inclement weather. They might not wear that sort of thing at home, but what I have created here is gray sky fashion to wear at home. 

Why a gray sky fashion? Because I need something to wear with.

A few years ago someone got me this hat at an estate sale. How do you like the way that old gray teapot looks beside it? The hat looks like pearl-gray satin.

 I have never worn gray, but I am liking it a lot more and have put some gray cushions on my furniture. 

To go with that marvelous gray hat, which I like so much, here is an Emma and Mila cotton dress fabric from Walmart, which will be my next home dress.

Although I will be enjoying this as an at-home dress, I am showing the hat with it to share how it goes with, and how I can make the dress more formal. A gray jacket would work for going out.

This is an unusual color combination for me to wear, and never has been my favorite, but I'm trying new things and excited to see how this dress will look.

Today I would also like to share the new covers I made for Grandma's chair and the old couch.

This is called Minky; it is a fleece that looks like chenille, and the color is mint. It looks great with the gray cushions, 
 as you see below in the background.

I had to buy a whole bolt of this fabric (from you know where) and it only covered the couch and one chair, so now I'm on the hunt to get another bolt. Everyone that came to the Ladies Bible Class yesterday said they enjoyed it so much because it was so fresh, light and soft.

I will tell you something else about it: it is a no-sew furniture cover.  It doesn't ravel so you don't need to stitch the edges. It is washable.  It doesn't cling to your clothes and you can get out of the chair easily.  The fabric adheres well to the furniture and does not get messed up.  It does not get worn thin in certain areas.

This is one of the remaining home dresses from my "line of clothing" I did a few years ago where I hung them all on the laundry line outside.  It has gray in the print. I wore it today but was unable to get a picture (and I don't do selfies), as my photographer had appointments elsewhere.

There is a big pile of notes sitting by my computer, waiting for a chance to be spoken in a video about clothing. I'm sure I will go on to other subjects eventually, but I have not run out of things to say about home dressing. 

I wonder how many of us have ever realized the control of the fashion industry on our clothing choices.  It was when I discovered the style I liked best, that I went off on my own.

 I tell people its part of my home constitution, because it guarantees the right to dress pretty and inspiringly at home.

 We don't have to follow the prevailing culture, but we don't have to look dowdy, either, especially as we get older. Our children and grandchildren won't be inspired to admire color, style and beauty by seeing Mom and Grandma in jeans, leggings, shorts and dull worn out clothing all the time.

I met a lady many decades ago when I was about 18, and I was talking to her about sewing my own clothes. She was only in her 50's and she said, "I have clothes not yet worn out, so I'm not going to get any new ones for the rest of my life."

I felt sorry for her that she was not looking forward to new clothes.

So ladies if you are worried about these cotton dresses you make getting dirty or wearing out from house work and gardening, please don't. You will not want to be stuck with them for the rest of your life, anyway.  Ladies have always liked changes of clothing.  

I think back in the 1960's when that polyester fibre was invented, the clothing was indestructible, and not biodegradable, and women were not able to wear it out like we can wear out cottons and wovens and natural fabrics. So, they felt they couldn't buy anything new.  

I don't want to be like that, because each day and each season is so exciting and new. The trees change their leaves, so why can't we change our clothes.  

So many children grow up seeing their mothers and grandmothers in jeans and t-shirts, and big clunky brand name sports shoes. Why not let your little ones enjoy the colors and prints in fabrics of your skirts?

I recently enjoyed watching Princess Cut, a Christian movie about a young woman at home on a farm with her family who was admiring an engagement ring  that had  a stone cut in a special way called "princess cut". You can see this on Youtube or rent it on Amazon.

The movie had a beautiful message and I was heartened by the love in the family, the scenery, the house, and just about everything about it.  

I wish that the costume people would have let the ladies wear long skirts in more of the scenes, which would have been prettier, and more feminine,  and I think they could have managed it by using western style skirts. It was about a farming community, so of course I know they couldn't dress up, but a skirt would have worked really well in some of the beautiful scenery there.  

However I enormously enjoyed the story, and the men's clothing was great. There were so many plaid shirts and I love looking at plaid, although it doesn't look so great on yours truly. 

 I also liked the little brother in the movie; he was so cute.  The big brother was nice too.

 It looked like it was filmed in a historic farm house, or a bed and breakfast resort. I enjoyed the way it was furnished and decorated, as well as the kitchen scenes and the pies!

It has been a long time since I've watched a movie with so many home scenes and family members as the center of the story. I liked that one of the young men spoke favorably of his parents. There is not enough of that these days.
I live near farmland, and the ladies Bible class consists of farm ladies, so I loved watching this movie situated on farmland.

That's my lecture for the day. I am hopeful to get a few more things sewn to show you here.

Thanks for your visit.
Thanks for your sweet donations.
Thanks for your love.
Thanks for your prayers.
Thank you for your comments!!!


Added:  Someone in comments suggested using this fabric in a jacket. I recently discovered a sale at HL for these New Look patterns, and thought it would go great with this fabric. There is a jacket in it featuring a printed fabric like this.  While the price on the pattern says $6.59,  it was reduced to $3.00.

The pattern is another one which doesn't have wovens and cottons on the recommended list, but it does say linens, and this fabric is similar.