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. 


lynn maust said...

Lydia...I didn't get a notice that this was posted. :-(
However, I am glad I came across it today....I really like this dress and especially the fabric print...very very pretty and looks lovely with the tree look sweet in it too.

lynn maust said...

the pattern had a more open neckline, in the drawing of it. It seems much closer to your neck than the pattern showed....did you change the pattern in the neck area?

Lydia said...

Lynn, no I didn't change anything. Probably my figure isn't as slim as the one depicted in the pattern, and the dress doesn't hang as flat on my figure as on the skinny model ;-) Therefore the neckline wasn't as low. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;-) The yoked patterns are never as low as shown in the picture, I've found.

Rozy Lass said...

Lovely dress!! Perfect for the season.

"the little colored dots on the selvage of the fabric (the finished edge) show all the thread colors woven into the print."
Actually the colors aren't woven into the fabric, those dots show the print or dye colors of the fabric. If the colors are woven in using different thread colors, the fabric usually looks the same on both sides, and doesn't have the little "paint" dots.

Lydia said...

I do not know what is going on with the notifications you should be getting in your email. I'll be checking on that soon.

Lydia said...

Rozy: Its nice to have that strip of colors for coordinating other fabrics and accessories, particularly when using the fabric for home decor. I saw a skirt someone had made with the selvage of strips with these colored dots. It was quite innovative. She had saved all the selvage strips from her sewing and made a really cute skirt.

Lydia said...

I noticed some books that teach how to sew with selvage strips, with things like pillows and clothing. I find it so interesting, although I wouldn't attempt it.

Anne Payne said...

The dress is pretty and feminine. I love it! You did a great job.

Lydia said...

Ann your picture is so cute. Love your blog too! Thanks for commenting.

Laura Jeanne said...

What a pretty dress. I love the fabric, very feminine. :)

Linda said...

I love seeing you model your creations. They are always so beautiful and feminine.
If only we could buy such feminine styles.
Thank you for sharing your lovely dresses with us.

Lydia said...

ladies thank you for your comments. This is not my favorite style but I had the pattern and had been wanting to imitate that painting. I hope to do a few other dresses like this.

Ive been asked to do another "Living on the UPside" video and will certainly try to get that done.

We've had a lot of other activity here, with travel, company, revamping some of the rooms and changing them for other functions, and that makes it hard to get back here and post but it is something I want to keep doing. So I hope you will check back and see what I am doing with fabric and what I have to say on video.

My purpose in getting very organized around here is to enable me to have sewing classes here one day!

Among the most daunting tasks are book collections which are always hard to go through in a single sitting---its more like a year long endeavor; closets with things that ceased being used years ago, and address books that are obsolete since people have changed addresses, packages I've not mailed, etc. I'm sure none of you have those problems.

However I hope to be here bright and early every day to give myself a pep talk and share it with you.

Feminine Belle said...

As usual! Lydia, I don't know how you do it, but you seem to have a finger on the trends even if you don't know it. Floral billowy dresses are a hot trend right now. Especially feminine ones. Online stores can't keep them! (I wonder why) ;-)

Pretty floral post from the lady that blooms like her outfits. I'll look forward to your talk.

aka... i did not receive notice either :-(

Lydia said...

Try putting your email in the blank at "follow by email" and see if that helps. I don't get my notice, either, until many hours after it is published, so I don't know what is going on or how to fix it.

Lydia said...

Lisa, you are right. I didn't know about this trend, but I'm relieved I have clung to a style from the past, clung to it so long it became popular again.

Feminine Belle said...

fyi- retried the follow by email. it stated that i was already signed up.

No idea on that track. I hope others might keep in touch in letting you know if they continue to not receive this.

Perhaps a hiccup? Still have not received an updated post, but I'll keep my eye out.

I'm glad too about this girly trend coming back around once more. :-)

Mrs. Paul said...

Lady Lydia your dress is lovely and feminine and that makes it completely appropriate for you! You look beautiful standing near the fruit tree. Delightful!

Lydia said...

Mrs. Paul, I added your beautiful and sweet blog to my blogroll.

Mrs. Paul said...

Well how precious of you! My blog does not get many visitors but I so enjoy writing and keeping a journal as such. My main reason for blogging has always been to give my daughters some reference and guidance in home keeping. Blessings on your day Lady Lydia.