Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sachets, Savoring, and Sweaters
(Or How to Try to Find some Alliteration in Ramblings on Three Subjects)

Since I am in an end-of-the-month crunch, with a lot of things on my plate, I really enjoyed Sandra's article over at Ravenhill cottage. In it she urges us to think not, "What should be done today," but "What shall I do today." She describes the difference in our outlook if we change our thinking on this matter. She ties it in with savoring the time you spend taking care of your household, without feeling pressured or hurried. It was just what I needed to read today. Check out her article if you also want some inspiration for your day.

Today, I am going to harvest my lavendar. I should have done it yesterday before the rain moved in. But, I'm going to grab whatever clear moments this day of showers provides to dash out and clip it. My goal is to make lavendar sachets a la the ones that Plain and Simple over at Echo from the Green Hills made. I have the faintest suspicion that I am the only person on the planet who might be allergic to lavendar. But, I adore this herb anyway because of its connection to the way our grandmothers kept house, it's connection to France, its reputation for keeping certain bugs away, its reputation as a relaxing smell, and its connection to all things romantic. So, I'm hoping the sachets will add a lovely scent to my linen and clothing closets without making me sneeze! I also hope that I have enough lavendar left to make sachets for gifts, as well.

We are actually going to have some true fall weather in the next few days. Rains have moved in today, bringing with them a cool front in their wake. Today's and tomorrow's highs are only going to be in the 60's! Of course, we'll soon pop back up into the seventies and we'll continue to alternate between cool spells and warm spells for months. But, I think we're done with temps in the 80's and 90's. Usually, we have our first freeze in late November, at which time I lose the begonias on my front porch and the tomatoes in my garden. But, I'm wondering if our first freeze might come early this year.

In an addendum to yesterday's article about wanting to look like I know what decade we're in, here are some items that are gong to be big this fall: Sweater dresses, Sweater coats (haven't these been in style for some time now?), jumpers (that's an American style jumper, which is a type of dress rather than a sweater), tulip skirts, leggings under skirts, wide belts, ankle length boots, shimmery tees for daytime, and oversize knit rosette pins. As you can see, many of these items can be used in a modest wardrobe. Plus, if you knit or crochet, the rosette pins would make great gifts this year.

In up-dating my wardrobe, I try to keep in mind the difference between fads and trends. I don't have a lot of time or money to spend on clothing, so what I choose, I must choose wisely.

Fads are things that are in one minute and out the next. Remember a couple of years ago, when women wore large, circular, sparkly broaches for about a year? The next year, they were considered to be "out." If I do purchase or make a "faddy" item, I don't spend much of my clothing budget here. I choose only those "faddy" items that work with my wardrobe and that I really enjoy. Otherwise, I avoid fads.

Silhouettes and trends are a different matter. These move more slowly -- changing gradually over a five to ten year poriod. Trends and silhouettes have to do with how garments are proportioned and tailored. They involve things such as the kind of waistlines that are popular for dresses, whether the collars on blouses are narrow or wide, how long or short jackets and blouses and sweaters are, whether a shoulder line is softer or if it is straighter and emphasized with shoulder pads, how pointed or rounded the toes on shoes are, etc.

Think of the 1820's, the 1860's, the 1880's, the 1920's, the 1930's, the 1940's, and the 1950's. You can probably identify the "trends" that shaped dresses, shoes, coats, and hats for each of those decades. Within each of those decades, fads came and went. It's the overall trend that we remember, however.

I do try to keep up with trends. I choose items within each trend that flatter my body shape and my taste. Some decades, it's harder to find silhouettes that flatter me than others. For example, I look back and realize that the boxy, shoulder-padded "boyfriend" jackets of the eighties weren't my best look. But, designers know that we all have different body shapes, so they always offer at least something for every type. I can always find something in a current trend that works for me.

Here's where it helps to be able to sew and also to alter things to fit you well. So, I'm hoping to hone my sewing skills a little more.

Colors come in both fads and trends. Sometimes, a shade of the season will be in and out in a flash. Other times, a certain color palatte will linger for a decade. Within a particular trend's color palatte, I look for those colors that work with my fair hair and light skin.

I am no fashion expert, but I suspect we are on the cusp of a trend change. The silhouettes for clothing items in the next few years will probably be reminsicent of the eighties, with longer, tunic type tops over either narrow or flowing bottoms. But, these items are re-interpreted for the 2,000's. No digging our real eighties garments out of the attic!

One happy trend on the horizon: Designers are talking about women dressing in a "more subtle" way, rather than continuing to "show too much skin". Of course, in the runway world, "subtle" is far from what most of us would call "modest". However, if this "subtle" trend does take hold, it will trickle down to stores in conservative areas. Buyers for these stores may ask for this style to be interpreted even more conservatively than in "high fashion areas". Thus, we could end up seeing many more modest selections on store racks than we have in the past few years. Yeah! And, this trend will extend to sewing patterns, as well.

Has anyone seen the recent Sears commercial in which a young lady states that she prefers to wear modest clothing? The young lady wears a very "funky", but modest outfit, complete with a longer skirt. She states that she found her look at Sears. I don't think she actually uses the word" modest", itself. But, in essense, that's what she was saying.


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