Art Journal

Nature Ramblings ~ Past Times Time Travel ~ Romancing Daily Life

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hiking Windy Hill: Wild Cream Colored Iris

California Native Wildflower - A Creamy Douglassi Iris 
Our California spring wildflowers are blooming like gangbusters at Windy Hill right now. The pooches and kids are enjoying themselves there too. You have to know where to go when you want to hike locally with your dog, and Windy Hill is a great place to take your best friend. Just make sure you choose the trail that's signed for dogs. There are no signs for children, so you can interpret that however you please.

Among the flowers we saw -  red columbine, brilliant blue hounds tongue, milk white hellebore, deep purple lupine, and plenty of pale rosy pink spring vetch in flower on a lovely, warm 7 mile hike yesterday.  I'd never seen the creamy version of douglassi iris I photographed above before. I double checked and found that it does occasionally occur in creamy shades and also hybridizes easily.

Another example of diversity in California!


Romancing the Dress - Periwinkle Blue Anjelica Cotton Knit Cutie

Laurel in Anjelica at San Francisco Legion of Honor
Did You Make That? 


I 'm pretty pleased with this new periwinkle blue cotton knit dress I sewed, using one of the many  patterns included in my recently purchased  Famous Frocks: The Little Black Dress: Patterns for 20 Garments Inspired by Fashion Icons. I'm pretty cautious about buying books with included patterns (what if I only like one?) , but I find the entire book very inspirational, and I'm envisioning sewing several of the other dresses.

This romantically styled frock is the "Anjelica Jolie" dress. I used the darts and no-sleeve styling from the top variation, and the straight of grain and cotton knit from the dress version. I tried wearing a narrow belt at the true waist, but it looked awful on me - it just didn't suit my H-shaped figure. Also I think, maybe, it's too blousy at the top to suit a woman with more bust if it's belted too low. Emphasizing the bosom with a wide belt worn just below the bust line looks better. Sometimes I just have to try every belt and waistline in my wardrobe to get it right. This is the belt I created for my peaches and cream shirtwaist dress. It's 3 inch wide black elastic with a simple slider no-tongue belt buckle.

I felt very Cinderlla-ish wearing this dress to the San Francisco Legion of Honor museum this last week, especially since I was going to see a fashion exhibit, High Style, The Broklyn Museum Costume Collection. I got a nice compliment from the young woman who rented the audio head set. She liked it that I had dressed up for the exhibit. I enjoyed that being dressed up feeling, and I was really comfortable too. I'm thinking this light frock will be nice for travel, what do you think?

Yes, this book is inspiring me to make more. I've already begun making a muslin for the princess-seamed Princess Diana sheath dress and I have my eyes on the Grace Kelly dress, based on one she wore, and I loved, in the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie, Rear Window. Do you remember the scene towards the end, where Lisa (Grace) hides her Vogue magazine inside a very studious looking hardback book to fake Jimmy Stewart into thinking she's getting serious about important issues?

If I sew each of these, that's three patterns. I interested in trying the variations on them as well - some of which aren't typical of what you'd find in a pattern envelope. I'm going to try the top variation for this Anjelica pattern (in a woven) as well. I'm attracted to a couple of the other patterns, particularly the Coco Channel jersey dress, in the sleeveless variation. My guess is that I'll be sewing at least half the patterns in the book, if not more.

One thing I found great about using patterns from this book,versus buying an individual pattern, is that there  is an extensive part of the book that covers sewing techniques. These are different than just following directions from a pattern instruction sheet, because they help me to better develop my overall sewing skills, and I'm not blindly following steps that I might not understand. Once I've used two or three of these patterns, the cost of the book compares favorably with the purchase of the same number of pattern (even with pattern discounts), and the educational sewing skill-building advantage makes it worth more to me, than buying those individual patterns.