Sunday, September 28, 2014

Roses in the Hedgerows

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.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pretty Pumpkins

These pumpkims are called Porcelain Doll. I plan to go and see them at a farmers market tomorrow, but if I find they are too pricey for me,

I have already made a pink pumpkin from the leftover pink cotton fabric I used on the ladies summer jackets shown in the previous post.  This is made by gathering a very large circle of fabric, stuffing it with fiberfill and gathering the openning, (leaving a small openning for the stem)with quilting thread. In the absence of pumpkin leaves added fake ivy leaves from a garland I got at the dollar store a few years ago, and then used raindrop stickers (I see I got some of them upside down) in various places. The stem  is made of three short cinnamon sticks, which make such a nice scent in the room.

There has been a rain storm and now it is bright and warm outside.


Col 4:5    Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


                  A Lovely painting by Russian artist Igor Levashov who lives in the Netherlands.

It has been several years since I have rearranged the furniture. Everything fits together like a puzzle here, and my attempts at shifting it all around a different way have not been successful, so the room had remained the same for many years.


I have always wanted to put the dining room in the living room and have put a small dining table in front of the window, with the view of the garden.

When I think of how many meals we have  in the same room at the same table, a change is really nice.  I am looking forward to our first lunch here.

                     The ottoman foot-rest you see on the right is a storage box with a lid. Sometimes,particularly when the house is clean, I feel like I am living in a palace in this small house.  The furniture arrangement has always been a close fit, and I do not like too much of it, but I need it all for the days when there are visitors.

It will be interesting to dine here when it is raining outside and watch the raindrops in the birdbath.

The tea cozy was made by Roxy from Living From Glory to Glory blog.  It is made of the tea themed fabric from Hobby Lobby.  I still have not used the piece of this  same print, but I have great plans to sew something.

I floated a few blossoms in the old birdbath just for something colorful to view from that dining area.

The morning mist had not lifted, so when I took these pictures there was not much light.

     Things are still blooming and our summer is extended. I am still hanging laundry outside. 

I do have a pleasant subject coming soon, but now I must go and get a few more things done. I abandoned yesterday's plans so that I could change the furniture around, and as every housekeeper knows, all things are connected and it is not a matter of merely moving furniture.  Sweeping, putting unwanted items into the giveaway box, rehanging pictures, and then the big pile that naturally ensues, takes an entire day.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Fine Day

    Lovely painting by another French artist, Paul deLongpre.  The water drops look so real.

Here it is overcast skies and dark, gloomy clouds hovering, but not doing anything except looking gloomy.  I have had requests to share a day at home on a blog post but have difficulty decided which day to write about. There is always a temptation to get discouraged and go back to bed, but as I get more mature I realize I do not have enough time left in my day to so that. I have so many things I would like to do. 

I was organizing some old pictures from my first home, and seeing how bare the interior was, compared to now.  My children are always astonished at how sparse the house was.  They thought we must have been very poor, but we were just starting out and it would take a few years to find and purchase the things we needed.  

Sometimes I am tempted to store it all away and live "barely" but when I do, my family says the house does not feel as comforting. I have done it a couple of times and then put everything back on the walls because the bareness gave the house a lonely feeling.

As I want to get to my sewing quickly today and afford myself as many hours as possible, I hope I do not have to go anywhere, and that I do not get distracted by other things. My morning routine today is to get dressed ( in something that is presentable in case someone comes to the door),  water the gardens, make the bed, clean the kitchen, and then go to my sewing area and cut out my next project.

These are the patterns I would like to use. I will attatch a sleeve from another pattern.  I am not promising myself to get this done in a short time, but when I do, I will then move on to sewing that takes less time--aprons and smaller things.

I have not had company for quite awhile, so I will be thinking of you and hoping you will use your favorite cup and favorite tea and think about enjoying this fine day and all there is to be thankful for.

I won a gift certificate for merchandise in a shop, so the other day when I retrieved it, I got this chalkboard card as part of it.

I feel so rich today because I got something in the mail: a copy of the English magazine called Daphne's Diary, by Unique Magazines, with a quality similar to Mag Cloud publications. It has several perforated pages to make boxes and cupboards and a little punch out place cards.  This book is going to be sent on to a friend but I am looking at it first.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Southern Belle Cotton Fabric Summer Jackets

Above: Another splendid Redoute painting of roses.

These summer jackets required lining in the pattern, but as the dresses were already heavy enough for summer, I did not want to add more warmth, so I used a single layer of Southern Belle cotton fabric and just hemmed it around the edges.  Sometimes hot summers have cooler mornings, and these can be worn over the house dresses.  They also give a more formal look for going out, and even the stores are sometimes too chilly with the refrigeration.

Whenever I go to Costco and see the lovely girl's dresses, I wonder why they are not available  in grown-up ladies sizes, and I hear other ladies expressing the same sentiment.  This is why I wanted to see if I could make mother-daughter dresses with cottons to wear at home.

I wish these looked as nice as they really are but the line just does not show the best in these garments. If I make any more, I will use the dress forms for a photo.

I based my styles for adult dresses mainly on some of the elements of the little girls dresses: looser at the waist, giving more comfort, front buttons, making it easier to dress yourself, lace at the hems, novelty buttons, cute jackets, interesting sleeves.

Here is the girl's dress...

...and here is the lady's dress. I will add a picture of my matching dress and jacket at the end, when I get time.

Here is an interesting jacket I hope to make in the future...

...and here is the jacket pattern I used for the girl's dress.

I am looking for this fabric that used to be sold at Joann Fabrics and is no longer.  I think it was called Lilypad Pond or Lilypad Pond Forest.  I would like to make a couple of "lake" dresses.  Even if I had just a yard of it I could use it as borders on skirts and sleeve cuffs and create something pretty.

I have walked on the dew-drenched path in the early light and  unlocked the meeting house, turned on the lights and set out the communion trays, and had a look at the flannel-graph stories in my classroom. I am looking forward to the hearing the  sweet voices of the saints singing, the gospel message, and the worship services today.  I hope you all have a blessed and restful Lord's Day.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Summer Sky Roses

This rose painting by French artist Pierre Redoute is one of the ones I like best because of the pale blue background. Light pink roses are so pretty against a blue sky.


This is why this cotton fabric (from Walmart a few years ago) is so appealing to me.  I have saved pieces of it for this project, and some blogger friends and email friends have helped me out by sending me some of their leftover pieces.  I have used buttons that will blend in with the fabric, rather than novelty buttons. 

                          The name of this line of clothing is "Summer Sky Roses"

                                      The name of this dress is "Summer Sky Roses."

This is just the kind of dress a lady would like wearing at home  on a day with or without blue skies.  Although it is designed for a house dress, having the waistline and bodice a little looser than a fitted dress, it is dressy enough to wear other places.  I have not made the coordinating aprons yet. For a more formal look, I am making light pink cotton short jackets, which I hope to finish soon.  

My idea for homemaker clothing is to have a dress you can wear all day, donning an apron over it at home and removing the apron in favor of a bolero or jacket when going out.

 I made a few small things with this fabric for a post on beginner sewing a few years ago.

Once again I have to assure you that these garments look a hundred times better on the ladies who wear them. The line just does not show them to the best advantage.  I hope to put the dresses on the dress forms for pictures, when I can.


Because I did nit have enough fabric for the length needed (the ladies are tall), I used a flat piece of lace edging from a worn-out curtain.

The girls  dress is called a Polonaise dress because the outer layer is like a fancy apron over the pink skirt, tied with ribbons at the side.  I got my idea for it from Dover Victorian paper doll fashion and coloring books, pictures of which I have posted at the end.

I already have made a dress for myself in this fabric and will try to show all three together when no one is wearing them.  I had to get up early to get these two on the line beforeI had to deliver them to the ladies who were wanting to wear them (my daughter and her daughter).


On one of my visits to Hobby Lobby, I found the above acrylic stamp set in the sewing theme, for $1.79.  Sewing stamps are hard to find, so I was thrilled to get it.





There was a request for some words about rude comments.  I used to wonder why my father never got upset at insults and rude remarks leveled at him.  When I asked him why, and with his one-sided Texas grin, he answered that since he had been insulted by experts, insults didn't bother him anymore.  He was experienced.  You would have to understand his special humor to get that one.

While I have written about ignoring rude remarks, I have also come to see that we can never have polite society by ignoring bad behavior.  It must be corrected at first, instead of at last, because believe me, if rude remarks and bad manners get no resistance, people will "wax worse and worse."  Our problem is feeling intimidated and afraid of the backlash of correcting people, so we passively say nothing.  It is now my belief that it is quite appropriate to "reprove, rebuke and exort, with all long suffering."  If we get too focused on the long suffering element of it, we will forget to exhort people into better behavior.

At first it will be scary and upsetting to correct a rude remark.  You may begin by saying, "Excuse me, but that is so rude," and "hold on a minute. What you just said is not true."  Rude people have got away with their remarks because no one corrects them. Yes, it may become an uncomfortable argument, but you can be in control of it and lead it to the right conclusion.  You could role-play it with someone and learn to refute rude remarks.  

We need to make rude people feel uncomfortable.  We need to upset their apple carts by correcting them. We need to make rude people feel ashamed.  The rude ones need to feel nervous and upset by their own behaviour. As Moredecai said to Esther, (paraphrased) "Who knows: maybe God has put you here at this particular time for this special job."

The first thing you need to do in handling rude remarks is to train your mind to think, "Hmmm.  This person needs to educated." Or, "I think I need to educate you." Or,  "This remark is rude.  I must teach you a lesson."  Think a smile in your head when you say this to yourself, because this is where you get to be a teacher.

Ladies if you are too passive around rudeness you will do your children and the next generation of people a disservice, for they will allow themselves to be walked all over and all their efforts and work destroyed in the name of compassion and politeness.  Rude people do not need compassion.  They need correction. Or rather, we need to be compassionate enough to correct them.

The old people used to have sayings such as, "That's my business, not yours."  There were many sayings like this that regulated the rudeness in their realm. After hearing these sayings in response to their own rude remarks, a rude person got educated . They would start to say something rude or ask an impertinent question and then halt their speech in the middle of a sentence, knowing the answer that was coming.  You could see the dawning of the realization in their eyes almost the minute they uttered the rude question.  You see, the repeating of these sayings had educated them.

 If you could learn to respond with corrective language that also guides people into better behavior and educates them, you will have less trouble with rude remarks.  The rude people will find it too much trouble to meddle with you and avoid making trouble.  

While we always want to be kind and fair to others, with the ultimate goal of winning them to Christ, we need to realize that when we are basically mild and polite, rude people take it as permission to push us around.  There comes a time when we must push back and put them in their place.  

Of course there is a very good possibility that our corrections and admonitions to rude people may not have any effect. The perpetrators may be so far gone in their own conceit that they never alter their manners.  But be assured that even if they do not change, something you said to them will replay in their memories and drive them nuts til they confirm.

I suppose one of the highest concerns is losing a friendship.  Have faith that when you reprove the one in error, as the Bible says we must, that God will take care of the friendships in your life. He may not want you to hang on to rude people, anyway. He may have something better for you.

Alright, now I have posted this, and I will be waiting for the backlash of comments, but not to worry. Like my father, I have had rude remarks from experts.

This comment that came in would not fit the required limit of words on the comment section, so I am going to post it here.  It goes well with the theme of npimg problems in the bud before they flourish.

Dear Lady Lydia, 

There is one paragraph from your post, that if I had had it in my early life, it would have changed the entire direction of my life.  It is the paragraph that begins with "Ladies".

I have allowed such awful people to remain for years in my life, allowing their tyranny over my life, because I was taught that we should tolerate to the extreme, and always be kind, no matter what someone says.  I had a friend in my late teens and early twenties who was so awful to me, and so possessive of me.  I was so unhappy, but I was told to be a faithful friend to her because she needed to know love.  I found later that she would roast me behind my back, and I will never know how much damage it did.  I couldn't get away from her, she shadowed me everywhere.

When I began to have children, this friend called me up and chewed me out for not telling her that I was going to have a baby before I told someone else.  It was then that I finally had the courage to let her go.  I didn't even want to confront her, I just wanted to let her go away.  I was very blessed that she had just moved, and I could really just begin to ignore her and not worry about it anymore.  It took me 10 years to get away from her.  I never thought of her again, that is how unattached I was to her in my mind.  

I wish I had had the "permission" that you have given us in your article to let her go the first time I spent a day with her and was so unhappy with her company.  

Later, I was so tolerant, that I kindly moved over for my pushy mother-in-law.  She was such an unhappy person, and I knew that I could provide happiness for her by being kind and loving her out of it, and including her in my family's life.  The nicer I was, the more she hated me, and I found out later that she lied and degraded me so to other people that it shocked me when they told me some of the things she had said.  She hated my desire to submit to my husband, she thought that the more time she spent with me, she could show me how wrong I was about life. 

I tolerated her for 15 years without a retort ever, because now my husband's happiness was at stake as well, and I didn't want to distance him from his own family.  Things became so bad, however, that I finally talked to him about it and told him that I would never be rude to her, even now, but I needed to plainly answer some of the accusations she had made about me, and that from now on, if he would understand, I was going to politely challenge her about the things  she was saying about me.  He said that was fine, and that I should do that.   She is a very godless person, and essentially has no conscience.  

Well, I will tell you, after the first time I did that - I had to do it once with her, and once with her other son, the clan has essentially disowned us, and never spoken to us again.  You might think this is a sad ending, but it is actually the happiest one that could have been arranged, under the circumstances.  I have peace from them for the first time in my married life.  It is very sad, but more so of a sad comment on who they really are, and I feel especially for my husband, but it has been their own doing, not mine.  I was even so kind in my explanation to them of why I do things the way I do, and why I really thought that they would appreciate the way I am raising the family, rather than verbalizing things they think I am doing wrong.  Most people I know consider me an outstanding mother and wife, and come and ask me advice about how to raise such happy and smart children.  

I cannot really express the influence they had on me mentally, and they made me feel I was not "allowed" to do anything they wouldn't want me to do.  I know now that it is wrong to allow people like this to have even their toe in the door of your life at all.   I knew I didn't want to be around them, but I was mortally frightened of them gossiping about me and telling people about how rude I was if I ever disagreed with them about their behavior or their plans  for me.  As it turns out, these people will gossip about you no matter what you do, so you might as well go ahead and put a distance between yourselves and them.

If we are naive about this, we don't realize what is ahead for us.  It will not change for the better, it will change for the worse.   But this is only for certain people, and you just have to learn to recognize them as you go through life.  It is not for the person who makes a mistake with you, and then comes back and apologizes about it, or tells how they are learning to love others, etc.  That is just a nice, normal person, who has good intentions and doesn't realize.  

The people I'm talking about latch onto sweet people, because they see them as easy friends, and they take advantage. The thing is, they may not know what they are doing, but that ultimately doesn't make a difference - you just simply can't allow them to do this to you, whether they mean it or not.  Most times they don't know they are doing this because they really don't know God, and don't have a tender heart toward others.  Watch out about feeling too sorry for them.  

Some people have never experienced this kind of relationship, either, so they don't know that it exists out there, or that they should watch out for it.    

I just wish I would have had your words in the beginning, and then I would have never let these people ever feel that they had any control over my life at all.  The thing is, you most likely are going to loose the relationship, let it go early, before it has formed, and you have had to suffer the damage through all the years.  

I had a false sense of merit in tolerating their abuse.  Now I believe it is very unrighteous to allow such disobedient people to take over.  It is really putting their will above God's will in your life, which is evil.  It made me miss all those friendships with loving, happy people because I was cowering under these people's pushiness and demands, and hurting from their criticisms of me.  

Since then, I have kept myself free for the most loving ladies, and we keep good manners with each other, and we have ended up loving each other as sisters because of it.  I think of them so much, and am encouraged, and this is the right way to do things.  We allow each other complete freedom to live our own lives, don't gossip, and try to think of ways to help each other when we see a weakness, and be kind to each other.  We don't mind a lull in the conversation, because it just means we are weighing our words, and filtering things rather than filling the emptiness with sin.  

Now we have to move, and start all over again.  : (  Well, I am at least thankful for the time I've had with them. 

Thanks again, you have given us words of love, to protect us.  Thank you for caring about us more than the bad comments you might get.  -Mrs. J.


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