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Jul 2, 2014

From Red to White and Blue: New Fabric!



Maybe it's the approach of July 4th, but lately I'm all about the reds and the blues -- with some white in there too of course.

I picked up two and a half yards of this gingham silk twill today.  (It was the same price as most of the cottons, so I figured, why not?).  I think it would look great as a short sleeve shirt: slightly glossy but not too slick.  As you can see, the blue has a slightly purple cast.



Later in the day I swung by the Salvation Army, where I found some 100% cotton sheets to sew with.  The first is from a French company called Souleiado, the pattern is called le scarabee -- I'm guessing that means beetle.  It's a little heavy for a shirt but I could definitely see it as a summer sun dress for you-know-who. 





There's even a wide border piece -- actually, I think this was a duvet cover since it's two sheets combined: there's a lot of fabric here.



I also picked up this heavy cotton sateen top sheet.  This is a steely blue and has a lovely sheen.  All that bedding for just $4, which means I don't have to lose any sleep over it -- not that I'm in the habit of losing sleep over fabric but you know what I mean.



I just finished a book an MPB reader mentioned a while ago, but I can't remember who, so if it was you, please take credit for it.  It's a reprint of a late Fifties style guide by designer Anne Fogarty, entitled Wife Dressing: The Fine Art of Being a Well-Dressed Wife.  If that title sounds dated, it is: this book, first published in 1959, was written for the married woman who believed one of her primary duties was to look good for her husband, and to make him look good by dressing appropriately and being the perfect hostess.

It's a quick read and very entertaining in parts. Anne was one to do housework in her girdle (mustn't spread!).  (And you should only house-clean in "something you would not be ashamed to be seen in by your husband or an unexpected visitor.")  If you're the type who longs to know how often to wash your white gloves -- daily! -- or how to store your petticoats, this is the book for you.  You can read a bit more about Anne Fogarty here.



Here's the original cover (that's Anne):



And that's it.  I am determined to start some sort of sewing project tomorrow.  I think I said that yesterday, but this time I mean it.

Have you mastered the art of being a well-dressed wife?

Have a great day, everybody!

27 comments:

  1. That book sounds like a must read! I am a sucker for vintage etiquette books and those concerned with mastering the social graces (just too see how I will never stack up). I'm also a sucker for a border print; that sheet is great!

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  2. Red suits Cathy, especially the lippy. Great fabric finds too by the way.

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  3. Souleiado is THE French provenciale store in Europe, lucky you!

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    Replies
    1. Lucky Peter indeed. I have sheet envy!

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    2. Indeed.

      We really do need more Salvation Army shops here, if they carry expensive sheets.

      (I've visited Souleidao in Southern France some years ago, the old production site is transformed into a museum. I did not even buy something from the remnants bin, because the prices were... kind of not cheap.)

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  4. I tipped you off about the Anne Fogarty book (via Pinterest) though I prefer Claire McCardell's book "What Shall I Wear." Mc Cardell was much cooler. Costumer Edith Head had a book out, too.

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    1. The Dress Doctor! A fab little tome, and even - despite Head's legendary discretion - just a tad gossipy.

      But, Peter, really... isn't there one other small project you're committed to this month, in either red or blue? Not to nag, of course (something Anne Fogarty would doubtless decry), but...

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  5. I'm a super fan of that type of French fabric, esp. With borders. Great find!

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  6. I've not yet mastered the art of being a well-dressed wife. I'm not married. And I dress for my own pleasure:)

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  7. Je suis a complete failure as a well-dressed wife. My husband rarely sees my work outfits since I change into lounge clothes the minute I get home. Oopsie. Must have been born in the 70s.

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  8. Sooo...am I the only one who thinks that print looks like little blue vaginas?

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    Replies
    1. Until you said that, it was only vaguely disquieting.

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    2. I had to read the comments to find out if I was going to be the only one who was going to put that in print...

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    3. Me too, though I had planned to keep it my myself ...

      Spud.

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    4. Spud, you play coy, but you squawk the talk (and you have been admired for it many a time).

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    5. Ah, Testosterone, you have found me out :)

      Spud.

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  9. Think im going to have to look that book up! I love "elegence" its chick lit with tis on how to dress mixed in , its a really nice summer read!
    Frankie
    www.knitwits-owls.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. La Scarabée NEEDS to be something you wear often! Love it.

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  11. I always thought well-dressed meant undressed to men. Do/did most men actually care what their wives wore?

    The sheet fabrics are amazing.

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  12. There is a spoof video of British group Goldfrapp for one of their songs called "Satin Chic". The theme is exactly that: a housewife dressed to the nines when she cleans, scrubs the floor, does her sewing, etc...a 21st century version of a perfect housewife I guess. Watch out for the twist at the end when her husband comes back home!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9TQqLq_iBs

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  13. Only 100% cotton in the south will do come July through the fall if you plan to go outside or get more than a foot away from air conditioning and even that is with the thermostat cranked way down. That looks like a steal on the cotton sheets. This time of the year I make cotton night gowns and tops to work in from sheets and they are getting harder to find. I'd say you scored big time.

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  14. And here I thought I was the only one who sewed with thrifted sheets!

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  15. My neighbor made her daughters incredible Easter dresses. Everyone wanted to know where she got them from. She had actually made them out of sheets. They were gorgeous. She bought some fancy pillow cases with trims that were on sale, and the matching single sheet. She, unlike me, is very creative. I would say that you hit the jack pot with those.

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  16. How about a well dressed person? The book is a little too 50's for this feminist to want to read.

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  17. There were a list of rules for the 50's house wife that was published in a magazine. Apart from wearing pearls and making yourself smell nice so your husband doesn't find you repulsive, it also reminded women not to nag when their husband didn't come home for dinner and spends time away from the home because his day was far more stressful than yours could ever be. It was quite entertaining.

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  18. Ooh, I like that French fabric!

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