Thursday, July 9, 2009

Domestic Goddesses & Fair Weather Fashions

This has been an unusual spring in the Midwest. There has been cool weather and lots of rain. Most gardens are a month behind and many of the vegetables (and their tenders) are depressed from the lack of sunshine. It was pouring rain on the Fourth of July, only to clear up in time for the fireworks. But we have managed to take some pictures to share with you between cloud bursts.

First Willow and Claire model two aprons based on classic vintage patterns. We have combined several lines of Sassaman fabric to create a comforting old-fashioned style. Both designs are very practical with their roomy pockets and ties at the waist make for an easy fit.

The bias edges and the checkered lining in the pockets really add up to a delightful garment!
You may have some of this fabric in your stash... it is from my first FreeSpirit collection, Jane's
Exotic Garden. It is very satisfying to to see all the collections playing so nicely together.

This apron makes me think of the "ideal" housewives of the 1950's and black and white movies like Mildred Pierce and The Egg and I! I can just see Claudette Colbert and Joan Crawford reaching to tie the strings in the back. The gingham check is from the current Prairie Gothic line and the floral print is from last seasons, Hothouse Garden.

But, of course, it is the rick rack that really adds the vintage kitchen flavor. So even if you spend more time quilting than cooking and cleaning, this apron will make you look like a domestic goddess!

Next we have several summery blouses to show-off. The pink button-up is a ready made garment which we jazzed up with a simple ruffle of pink Queen Anne's Lace. All the other peasant style shirts are made from Simplicity 2706 and an ancient pattern, McCall's 5116, from high school days. This black blouse is one of my favorites because it has a retro look, too. The black gingham mixes nicely with the floral yoke and ruffled cap sleeves. 

I dug through my stash to find quaint fabrics to mix with my prints for this project... fabrics that reminded me of childhood like dotted Swiss and seersucker. Claire and Willie look cool and comfortable in these pastel frock tops. Again, the rick rack trim on the neckline and sunflower pocket add to the mood of innocence.

I chose both patterns as a way to feature a large print without overwhelming the entire garment or the person wearing it. These two feminine blouses illustrate the idea nicely. 

Finally the sun peeks between the clouds and the girls take advantage of the welcoming warmth, just what these blouses are designed for... airy, cotton comfy, and colorful on a hot summer day. I quite like the refreshing fabric combinations here. Both tops show off fabrics from the Hothouse collection.

Focusing in on the details, the cap sleeves are like little umbrellas to protect those white shoulders from the sun rays. The ruffles add a girlish tickle in the front shirt, while the square yoke and sleeve, in back, have a crisper, more contemporary look.

Finally, Claire wears a quiet and comfortable variation which uses a creamy soft waffle knit bodice with the subtle dusky Teasel and Lace print from the Prairie Gothic collection. I love the
architectural sleeve. Below, see the lovely detail on the back.

I hope these photos inspire you to do some mixing and matching in your summer sewing! And I hope I can figure out why this text is suddenly underlined!!!!