So, on my last post I was talking about buying fabric, which is something I think about WAY too much, honestly. But sometimes swatches of cloth will catch your eye and then I get a little obsessed with them, looking at the raw material, wondering what it will be like when you stitch it and shape it into a garment. It’s the magical aspect of this activity, really, to be able to see from fabric to fitting and to predict how a material will look as a finished garment. It’s a little bit like trying to predict the weather tomorrow from last week’s temperatures, it’s possible, but difficult, and sometimes you can be completely wrong. All the seamstresses I really admire have this ability to look at a piece of fabric and envision it’s future as something amazing, and I don’t know if that can be taught or not. Is that innate, or is it learned? Does that come with experience, or are some people just really good at that kind of design and thought process? What you think? I honestly don’t know.
So a while ago I bought a length of fabric that I absolutely adored. It’s this red background with tiny cowboys riding tiny horses and colored dots, and I loved it. It’s a little cutesy, but it’s also fairly abstracted and I thought it would make a cute shirt. And the name of the fabric is amazing. Not all of the fabric I have found at the PA Fabric outlet have names, but this fabric is called Happy Trails by Two Friends. A-freaking-dorable.
And I was thinking and thinking about what shirt would work with this fabric (which was clearly from the children’s section of PA Fabric outlet, damn those children and their awesome fabric options). And then I thought about the Ute blouse, and how it has two collar variations, the peter pan collar, which I love, and the tie collar, which I also adore. But tie collars can be a little tricky. First of all, they reference the 70’s hopelessly. You doubt me? Check out this little number. Or this lovely business that Sunni made (how beautiful is Sunni? When I become a brave human being and attempt pants for the first time her trouser sew along will be my bible. Or the pattern will be my bible and she will be my Babylonian Talmud. I haven’t decided yet, but I know it’s going to be epic) . And second of all, if the bow is too high you risk looking like a schoolgirl or a strangling victim, and I’m sort of trying to veer away from those references in my sewing style.
So I looked at the Ute and a couple of JJ variations on Burda Style and I decided that yes, Ute was my girl. Because the trick is the lowered neckline, so that the bow doesn’t hit at the neck, a la Japanese Lolitas, but around the sternum. And besides, I have already made this pattern once, and it’s much easier for me to replicate a project I’ve already struggled through in the past. Why this continually surprises me I have no idea, but in this one respect I have the memory of a goldfish. And the shirt of a cowgirl!:
I had my mother take these photos on the same day as the photos for the Fecund by Thrifty blouse. You can tell by the shoes, even though I cleverly tried to change my hairstyle to deceive you. It was cold. Really cold. But as that great sage Tyra of America’s Next Top Model tells us, we must suffer for beauty. Why, when TYRA was a model they didn’t even HAVE heat. ANYWHERE. And she USED that and she SMILED WITH HER EYES. BOW TO THE JUMPSUIT!
Or to the bow. Whatever. I used snaps as opposed to buttons because, sigh, no button hole paraphernalia for my machine and also, I have a ton of snaps.
I look so coy. Possibly because I have no top of my head. Possibly because of the huge bow. Who can say?
Cute little pleated sleeves! And look at the cowboys! They are magnificent!
I thought the fabric name, printed on the selvedge, was so cute that I had to cut it out with my new pinking shears (which I LOVE) and hand sew it into the collar. I just had to. No way around it.
There you have it! Happy trails, folks!