A Still Life of Roses by Olaf August Hermansen, Denmark 1849-1897
We had a most pleasant Lord's Day worship service today and now I want to share what we ladies are wearing today. These dresses are so comfortable in formal and informal situations that they can be worn to church and there is no need to change into something more comfortable after church.
One of the reasons I have so many sewing posts this year is that I had been buying pieces of fabric as I could afford it, and have finally got enough to make sets of matching dresses. For those of you who have not been following my progress, I am making clothing for the home. These dresses are worn with full-length bib style aprons at home, or a coordinating solid color jacket when going out.
Above: Dressing three generations; sizes 12 ladies, 8 girls, 10 ladies. Though they look flat and droopy on the line (just like on the rack at a store) these clothes fit well and look very good on the ladies for which they were made.
The name of this set of my "line" of clothing is Roses in the Hedgerows, made from another Fabric Traditions print, cotton lawn from Walmart. The better fabrics at Walmart are now getting up to $8.00 or more a yard .
When looking at the pretty girls dresses in Costco, I sometimes hear other shoppers bemoaning the fact that similar dresses are not available in grown-up sizes. These clothes are my attempt to use old patterns and pieces of new patterns combined (a sleeve here, a skirt there) to make easy-to wear clothing for the home.
The garments are all cotton, roomy at the waistline, adding comfort when sitting. Sometimes when you try on a commercial garment, it seems to be comfortable while you are standing up, but when you get it home and wear it while sitting, it is too tight or the waistline rides up. The dresses, above, are loose yet slimming.
Girls dress has low waist, an elastic band in the back to cinch in the fullness, and is buttoned in front to make it easy to fasten.
Mother's dress has a Victorian waistline with a pretty V shape at the center of the waist, a gathered skirt and a fitted blouse.
My dress, above is from a very easy pattern with one piece for back and one piece for front. When worn, the fabric falls into these nice folds that look like pleats.
Sleeves have been one thing I have not liked in recent years in manufactured clothing, because they are so flat and usually no more interesting than a tee-shirt sleeve and not very flattering to women's arms. I have enjoyed giving sleeves various interesting touches such as gathers and tucks. The sleeves on these dresses are all gathered on the outside by a piece of elastic on the inside, stretched while sewing to give the sleeves a gathered and pleated look.
The girl's dress has matching rose shapes novelty buttons.
I wanted to show you the weights I am using, made of hardware wrapped in ribbon. This makes sewing so much faster, because I no longer use straight pins and can skip the tedious pinning and up pinning of pattern pieces, which can be backbreaking work. No longer do I have to be concerned about dropped pins that someone might accidently run across.
There is a lot more to be said about the subject of dressing. I am afraid many Christian ladies have adopted the attitude of the prevailing culture of not caring about clothes. Even in religious circles there can be an attitude that it is vain or conceited to care about clothing, and that wearing something pretty and feminine is somehow ostentatious or selfish. However, for the beginning of the Bible, God showed what He thought about clothing and it shows from Genesis to Revelation how important clothing is in both a physical and a spiritual way.
Clothing shows many things about ourselves but it also has an effect upon how we think and feel, on our moods and our outlook on life and even our motivation or ambition. When I consider purchasing fabric, I have to think about the mood it evokes when I picture it in my mind as a ladies garment. The roses on the blue background fabric in the clothes I have featured today make a lady feel happy and energized and in love with God's beautiful gifts of color and scent in the creation. I like the blue background because it seems natural to see flowers with a blue sky in the background.
Remember when dressing beautifully that there is always going to be someone who is against you and who will try to stop you from what you want to do. They will use intimidating and demoralizing words to make you feel bad or make you feel you are not blending in with everyone else. It takes a long hard journey sometimes for some people to overcome this peer-approval dependency.
The most important peer-dependency is the mother-daughter relationship where little girls want to dress like their mothers and stand near them, hold their hand, and be just like their mothers. The world does not like that at all and resents it because when there is a loving mother and daughter relationship, some people do not have a hope of controlling one or the other with their ideas or their clothing styles.
If you want your girls to be close to you, try wearing matching or co-ordinating clothing at home and in public. It helps create a sense of identity, belonging and family cohesiveness.
Sleeve gathered vertically down the middle with elastic gives a pretty pleated or smocked effect.