The Faded Photograph Blouse (MMM Day 6)

It’s an amazing phenomenon that people on vacation dress completely differently then they do in real life. Depending on the locale, in this case, a tropical one, visitors tend to strip down and throw ensembles on their bodies that would never fly in their real lives. As someone who spends a good deal of time on an island that many consider to exist solely for the sake of tourists, it always amuses me to see lobster-red visitors in sarongs and denim cutoffs or shirts made of a single scarf and a distinct lack of taste. I enjoy watching them sip their fruity drinks and loudly ask the waiter if they can have some more “toe-stone-es”, because as well all know, speaking in a very loud tone of voice eliminates all language barriers. That’s just a fact.

But as disdainful as I am, I must admit, I too dress slightly brighter in Puerto Rico. It’s something about the fact that regardless of where you are, the suburbs of Bayamon, the streets of Ponce, a plaza in San Juan, all of the architecture is bright poured cement, faded and grubby at times, but always in a tropical hue. My whole family participates in this, wearing ensembles in San Juan that we would feel rather silly about were we in our homes in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. We just can’t help it. Blame it on the Bossa Nova, baby.

That being said, this outfit, in its demure and docile tones, doesn’t match Puerto Rico one iota:

Or maybe it’s San Juan in the 40’s, right after the war, around the time of the great migration to the States. A faded image from the past.

I get so poetic when I write about San Juan! Back to reality. The blouse is the 3rd piece in my Spring Palette Challenge, Simplicity 4608, a 1940’s pattern.

I look like I’ve eaten something horrible here. But that’s just my face, look to the clothing! The skirt is my nautical bias skirt, of course. Love it.

This blouse wasn’t all that difficult to put together, but man, blouses like this have SO MANY PIECES. It’s continually amazing to me that a blouse is so much more difficult than most other things I’ve ever made, and yet it’s dismissed so easily! Show people a bright easy skirt and they are like, damn, girl! But show them a blouse and it’s like, alright, fine, that’s nice, more skirts! Still, I love this blouse. I wanted a 1940’s blouse pattern for a while, so getting one and having it fit nicely right out of the bag feels pretty good.

Now I seem happier. Because I’m like, screw you and your desires for skirts, I made a BLOUSE, deal with it.

I finished the neckline with bias tape, as directed, and I hand stitched the facings to the blouse body. I followed all the instructions. I usually do, the first time around. It’s the second and third that things get wild…

Not a happy face here, though. Here I’m being told about the Kardashians and not only do I not care, but I am NOT amused. Still it’s a good collar shot. I love the collar on this blouse. Despite whatever my face might have been doing in this moment.

The (rather wrinkled) back is nice and blousy, with a yoke across the shoulders and gathers.

The sleeves are rather long. When I make this in the future, which I probably will do, because despite all the fussy hand sewing and pattern pieces, I like the final product enough to suck it up and deal, I will shorten the sleeves.

So, I typically tuck everything in. I like my waist, so I like to accentuate it, and also, I feel kind of unkempt if I don’t. But this blouse has these lovely tucks which I think are particularly flattering. So I tried it out for a little while.

See, the tucks in the back make this little blousy “shelf”. It’s kind of cool.

I wasn’t sure if you could see the stripes in the shirting, it all sort of looks vaguely blue from the photos. So here you are, a close up. The material came from my grandfather’s attic, and the buttons from the hoader. So there you are, a completely stash-shopped blouse.

Yeah. I couldn’t live with it untucked. Sue me.

Do you dress differently when you go somewhere else? Apart from coats for the north and swimsuits for the south, I mean? Do you have a vacation persona who looks like alternate reality you? Obviously I don’t, not in a drastic way, I can’t even untuck my shirt…


Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Simplicity Patterns, Travel, Vintage

9 responses to “The Faded Photograph Blouse (MMM Day 6)

  1. what a great blouse, if you hadn’t blogged it i would have thought you got it from a vintage shop! i have a blouse in my queue (which coincidentally is being mentally reorganized due to an upcoming mini-vacay) and am chomping at the bit to get it made!!

    as for your question, i definitely dress differently on vacay than IRL. i work in a lab with all sorts of nasty liquids just waiting to attack my clothes, so i’m very low key casual there and minimal on the personal presentaion side (ponytails/topknots and mascara are all i can manage). but put me on vacation and i’m all flirty dresses, heels (and sandals) and cute makeup and hair. it’s like a vacation long date night, mr q&s loves it!!

    • Oh, thank you! Yes, make your blouse, blouse are a bitch but the end result is so satisfying…

      Well, if you have a job like THAT it makes sense, you dress crazy all you like on vacation!

  2. Really cute! I like the collar, too– it’s such a great detail!

  3. It kinda makes sense that people dress more colorfully in areas with brighter/warmer light (like Miami, the Caribbean, etc) … bright colors look more garish in places where the light is cooler/more blue like the UK, and probably Canada? I do wear more lightweight cotton dresses on vacation than I do at home… I probably make more of an effort, actually, because I’m having my picture taken a lot more on vacation. (And I grew up in a beachy-tourist town so I know the scarf-ensembles of which you speak — definitely nothing I’d wear!)

    • I mean, I like bright colors, it’s the lack of coverage that makes me mock, I think, or maybe the plethora of prints? I don’t know, but I know it when I see it…

  4. HEAR HEAR FOR BLOUSES. I am making my first ever blouse right now, and goodness gracious, they are finicky with all their pieces! Skirts are like nothing with their two pieces, plus maybe a waistband. I really like the yoke with gathers underneath, it just screams vintage to me!

  5. Pingback: Me Made May Days 22-26 (I really need to make photographer friends) | Struggle Sews a Straight Seam

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