Art Journal

Nature Ramblings ~ Past Times Time Travel ~ Romancing Daily Life

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ench By Sew-024: Shirtdressing and Fall Fun

The latest Enchanted by Sewing Podcast has been published!
Listening Option I) You can listen to the show right on the web by clicking on this link
~ OR ~
Listening Option II)  Click on this link to iTunes  to download this and other Enchanted by Sewing shows to your mobile device (iPhone, Android, etc.) free from iTunes
Please note that the Fantasy Fall Sewing Questionnaire from the show, is at the end. Please post any and all answers below, or email your thoughts to

I've recently started a Shirtdress Sewing Board on Pinterest :-)

Here are the two dresses I created in September, and talked about in the show
Hey I just realized I'm holding the tapestry cap I focused on
in last month's podcast!

This is the happiest I've ever been with the job I did on a sewing project
Check out the beautiful Fran Leibowitz photo of Amy Adams that inspired me to finally get cracking on my own shirtdress

Della Street often advised Perry Mason in his work, by asking leading questions.
She also wore a lot of shirt dresses!

You often see only the bodice of Miss Streets shirt dresses,
But I can see just enough of the skirt fabric here to see that it's the same as the bodice.
I bet the costume designer altered the same pattern repeatedly for the actress :-)
Della Street, Perry Mason's "confidential secretary" often wore shirtdresses. They gave her a professional and ladylike image.

Look to television shows from the late 50's and early 60's for examples of retro shirtwaists that still look up to date. Below is an example in what appears to be white satin (!) alo from Perry Mason. I love those wide, rounded shawl-collar lapels too. Shawl collars were again popular in the 1980's.
One of Perry Mason's clients wears a shirtdress
in white satin
Love that sheen, and such an unexpected fabric choice!

It's a very full skirted shirtdress
And the bodice has a lot of fabric too - very blousey

I love the wide shawl collar too

OK, the pattern I used is not a current pattern (though I found it for sale in a couple of places on the web). It is however a classic shirtwaist style and you can find many similar dress patterns currently in print. I don't think there's every been a big four pattern company season, when there wasn't at least one shirtdress in every catalog.
I made the version shown here in the front row in blue.

I journaled about the shirtwaist (Peaches and Cream) I created, in my blog, Me Encanta Coser, over the course of September and early on 

Fantasy Fall Sewing Questionnaire
Please post any and all answers below :-)

1)  Roughly where do you live in the world – you don’t need to get too specific.  
2)  What’s the climate like where you live in the fall?  
3) Is there a big change between what you wear/sew in fall versus summer?

4) Which is your favorite fall celebration ? Do you have Halloween or Thanksgiving where you live?  
5)  Do you have special or different foods that says fall to you?  

6). What is your favorite fall fabric – whether or not you’d sew it up in your climate/region?  If different What is your favorite fall fabric that DOES work well where you live?  
7) What is your favorite fall color – this year?  
8)    Do you have  a specially favorite fall fabric pattern (like a printed design or a pattern woven into fabric)?  

9)  Do you have a fave classic fall garment you’d like to sew or have sewn? Is it for yourself or for someone else?   
10)    Do you hope to sew one or more practical garments for fall, and if so what?  
11)      If different than the previous garment -  Do you hope to sew one or more special  garments for fall? What?
12)  If you could wave a magic wand, and create anygarment that feels like fall what would it be?  
13)  Would that magic wand garment garment play a regular part in your wardrobe, or would you just like to have it and wear it on special occasion(s)?  

Did I miss any links mentioned in the show? If so, please post those links below and share them with everybody

~ ~ ~

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Food Truck Time

"Off the Grid" Swings By
On Wednesday Nights Where I Live
There My Neighbors Meet Up

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Filoli - Next Time You Come to Visit ( Local Time Travel Portal, San Francisco Bay Area Field Trip)

Next time you come to visit me,
let's go to Filoli!
There's that beautiful historic house to wander through . . .

And those gardens -

The views extend right up and over the California Coast Range.
They'll knock your socks off! 

You can't beat this spot on the peninsula, only 30 or 40 miles south of San Francisco, right off the 280 freeway.
Maybe we'll even take an extended trip.
It is one of the best local Time Travel portals I know.

Let me know when you plan to come, OK?

~ ~ ~
Web Resources

Terminado - Completing Peaches and Rosalinda

Check out the Enchanted by Sewing Podcast for September
to hear all about my shirt dressing sewing experiences
That's my daughter in Rosalinda (NL6223) on the Left, and me in Peaches and Cream (M3623) on the Right.

I altered the patterns, sewed and finished both dresses in time for the significant family event I mentioned in my last posting ("Can't Say it Sew It"). Auntie Seamh Rippah was a regular, though uninvited, visitor in my sewing zone.

Part of me just knew it was incredibly important to, rather quickly, create these two dresses. Another part of me questioned what on earth I was doing creating not one but two projects when life was throwing a lot of emotional hoo-hah my way. 

Was I happy with the results? Yes
Did having a new dress, as well as quickly creating a new dress for my daughter, help me during a challenging event? Yes
Did spending time during other sewing projects altering the M3623 shirtdress pattern and focusing on fit pay off? Yes

Being able to create something tangible when life was full of emotional hoo-hah is another thing that keeps me . . .
Enchanted by Sewing
~ ~ ~
Web Resources
My Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast for September - all about working with this pattern

Can't Say it Sew It - Creating something tangible helps me deal with life challenges

Pattern Work - Progress Peaches and Cream Shirt Dress

Avoiding Auntie Seama Rippah

Monday, September 22, 2014

Can't say it? Sew it.

We have a significant family event coming up, and life is somewhat busier than normal.

If I wasn't in the middle of it myself, I would have thought it wasn't the best time to double my time on sewing projects. Except that working on scheduling in time to fit and sew two dresses is helping me deal with my sadness over this time.

Here's what I'm sewing.
1)  For me - my Peaches and Cream shirtdress
2)  For my daughter - a sleeveless fitted bodice with a full skirt in a dainty cream and pink flowered cotton print

These projects just seem to be the right thing for me to do, despite the challenge of fitting the time in on them. The act of creating two beautiful well fitting garments that will make us feel good to wear to the service is really helpful. Maybe it feels like creating art, maybe its something else. I only know its helping me through a challenging time.
My motivation to work on these projects has a deep emotional pull on me. It's something I can't really put into words, but I can put it into these garments.

For me - I altered this pattern to fit
I'm working on the version like the blue one on the bottom right
My Peaches and Cream fabric
I think it's a rayon-linen mix
Here's' Rosalinda's dress
I'm making the sleeveless version
But with a lower scoop neck
Rosalinda's dress fabric

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Frost nearly there, on the Half Moon Bay Punkins

Click on the illustration above to more fully enjoy these Half Moon Bay punkins!
We lunched with Aimee!
Pumpkin patches on the way home,
Show their fall colors

excerpted from  "When the Frost is on the Punkin" by James Whitcomb Riley  
They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

Three cheers for the San Benito House Deli on Main Street in Half Moon Bay with it's lovely outdoor seating
 I vote for the Olive Walnut bread every time!

When the Frost is On the Punkin, James Whitcomb Riley