Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Clothing Her Backside with Flowers...


I'm still sewing up a storm, but this may be the last of it. We're waiting on the appraiser to come through, and as soon as he/she does, we'll be gathering boxes and packing tape, and packaging up my sewing machine til at least this fall.

So while I could, I grabbed this beautiful bolt of fabric, washed and dried it, and began sorting through my pattern box.

I've been in the mood to whip up a dress or two and some skirts also, for church, dinners out with friends, or just to clean up my act a bit now and then. (This from a girl who wears yoga pants 6 days a week...) (I do yoga 6 days a week, but not 24/7...)

The very act of sewing makes me feel like a dying breed just waiting for a meteor to hit, and push us into extintion. It also makes me feel thankful. In spite of being less than vogue, sewing allows me to make anything, out of anything; I will likely never run into anyone wearing the same outfit - the odds are surely against it.

When I saw this fabric I loved the splashes of color, and having ecru and black in it, I knew it could be a staple in my wardrobe. I took the fabric to my closet, and waved it up and down the rows of t-shirts, tops and cardigans to see if it would go with anything. If it hadn't, I would have sewn it up into a stand-alone dress.

I was very tempted to sew up a pair of capris! Every time I see a female in flowered capris I smile. There's something so feminine and cheery about a woman willing to clothe her backside with bright flowers;  I immediately envision them wearing bright red lipstick, shopping bags in hand, walking down a street in Paris or New York.

As soon as I spied this Ann Taylor top in the store-front window at a mall several years ago, I knew I'd love it for a long time. It goes with so many things in my closet. What woman doesn't love having her torso covered in roses?

By sewing, rather than buying, a piece of clothing for my wardrobe, I got to decide whether to make a straight-cut or twirly skirt (I went twirly). I shopped my closet for jewelry I already had, and the little cardigan from Target makes it just a bit more finished, especially in winter when my arms are about the same tone as the top.

I actually wear sweaters often, in the summer, here in Texas, because it's so blazing hot the AC's are all set at about 60 to lure people inside malls and stores and restaurants. I often find myself freezing, when I'm inside, so a little cardigan is a good thing to keep on hand.

If I'd sewn it up into a dress, it would have been pretty with the cardigan, but I decided a skirt would be more versatile, as it can be worn this way, or with a simple t-shirt and sandals. If I was in my 20's or 30's even, I'd wear it with a fitted tank. At my age that's not the route for me. Underwires should have reasonable expectations set upon them.

I'm also 5'10" so nothing off the rack is EVER long enough. In my humble opinion, capris are the greatest invention known to man, having declared that it's chic to have your slacks too short. I've loved them ever since I saw Mary Tyler Moore sporting them, back in the day when she and Dick had separate twin beds. As I remember, hers were pencil thin and barely brushed the top of her ankle.

When I was in my 20's I might have worn skirts a bit shorter, but the decade I'm currently in, not so much. I tend to think it's the one thing women my age do wrong when they're dressing, that might improve their look. Less leg showing. Wear the dress a few inches longer. You don't have to cover up everything, but a little more coverage is generally a good idea. It seems to me thighs are not an area that ages well without an awful lot of maintenance that most of us don't do. (Too tight is the second thing we tend to do wrong - more notable when we're walking away from someone.) Anyway, I automatically add at least an inch to any dress or skirt I cut out, and sometimes several, depending. If it's a fitted skirt, I generally need to add several, as the skirt tends to creep up when you sit down.

There are two more bolts in my fabric closet - a Kermit green and black floral, with a white background, and a turquoise blue with kiwi green on white background paisley.  I have loved paisleys ever since my sister cut my bangs too short the day before pictures in first grade, and plastered my head with a paisley headband that saved my reputation. (Even today no one wears bangs THAT short...) I have a white t-shirt, and this black cardigan I can pair with it. I'm considering a pair of capris. Every woman should have at least one pair of slacks hanging in her closet for those whimsical days.

My mother let me begin sewing on her black Singer, for my Barbie, when I was seven. I think back to her patience when I gobbled up all those bobbin threads, broke needles. When I was in jr. high home ec class we sewed a pair of purple corduroy culottes for pep club. Go Saints! It didn't take me long to realize I could sew pants that would be long enough, finally! My very first purchase, after I moved out on my own at the ripe age of 17, was a brand new Singer sewing machine in a cabinet, with payments of $18 a month. That was back in the day when the Singer store was in the mall - can you imagine? I've been sewing for myself since then, maternity tops for me, shirts and even a blazer for Cub Sweetheart; halloween costumes, dance dresses, nightgowns, superhero capes, Barbie clothes, and baby doll dresses. My mother-in-law was a beautiful seamstress, sewing pretty much her entire wardrobe, back when everyone did. At least I thought they did.

Does anyone else out there still sew clothing? For themselves or others? Actually use paper patterns, insert zippers, buttonholes, etc.? Tell me I'm not alone. If so, is your joy making those pants legs longer or possibly a few inches shorter? Or just maybe, a pair of flowerdy capris that are a bit in your face as you walk away? 

5 comments:

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Hey Bev,

Yes, I still sew, not only machine sewing, but also hand hem pants and skirts and mend some things, and I have made some baby quilts, both entirely hand quilted and machine sewn. It's been a long time since I cut out a garment and sewed it.

I wore out 3 sewing machines that were given to me already well used, and one of the first things I bought when I got my disability settlement was a brand new sewing machine.

God speed with your moving. Hope all goes well with no hiccups.

Bev said...

Diane, Both my daughters and DIL own and sometimes use sewing machines; Sarah more than the others, but I'm happy that they all at least know the basics of sewing. It lends itself to so much creativity, and personalized gifts for others. After three hand me downs, sounds like you were due for a brand new one - good for you! xoox

Beth in the City said...

My mom tried her best to teach me bla to sew but I can't follow a pattern. Instead I do minor alterations and mending which I enjoy occasionally. My mom's latest hobby is seeing dignity robes for breast cancer patients. They are a simple scrub top with pockets, and Velcro up the front and sides for easy access to ports for treatment. They are cute and so useful!

Bev said...

Beth, I had no idea there was such a thing, would love to be involved with this! I'll check into it. I know there are hats that can be knit for preemies, and soldiers, and I think there are 'Linus' blankets out there too - thanks for the tip.

Karen said...

I love this outfit! My go to is usually a skirt, cami, and sweater. Your color choice is so pretty. My mom taught me to sew, but I didn't do much with it until my first daughter was born and I was determined to learn again.