Tag Archives: shirting

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…

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

A Nautical Bias Outfit

First off, I want to talk about prejudice. Specifically my own prejudice against people who don’t like the things I like. I can honestly admit that I have actually (much to the disbelief of many) gotten more tolerant over the years. As my mother says, “You’re tough”, and that’s true, I am. I used to believe I ought to have free range to slap people who say further when they mean farther. I know now, having read Locke and Rousseau, having studied and understood the concept of a social contract, that while I might still think I should be ALLOWED to slap such folks, voicing it in public is a questionable idea. But I don’t think I will ever get over yelling at people who don’t like Parks and Recreation.

Parks and Recreation is amazing. I love it. My MOM loves it. It’s simply hilarious, and I think if you haven’t seen it you should stop what you are doing and go watch it. And if you DO watch it, I present you with this:

Click here, experience infinite drunk Ron Swanson.

You’re welcome. Feel free to enjoy that for a while. I’ll wait. No rush.

I know. It’s amazing. Shhhhh, let it wash over you, it’s fine.

That’s from one of my favorite episodes, and Drunk Leslie says to Drunk Ann “Sometimes if I don’t push you, you’ll end up standing still”. Which is why I even bring this wonderful show up. Because sometimes if I don’t push myself to make new patterns, I’ll end up making the same one over and over again. And that’s a problem. Because I have a lot of patterns. So when I decided to make Simplicity 5196, it was a controversial move for me, a new pattern, from one of my LEAST favorite decades? And yet, and YET, I think I love it! (But what am I so afraid of? I’m afraid of what I’m not sure of. A love there is no cure fooooooor…..)

See? Look how happy I am in my swishy bias cut skirt from the 70’s! Yay! Thank you, the Leslie Knope that lives inside of me. You’ve steered me well. Can I get some snake juice now?

So this is piece one and two of my Spring Palette Challenge! Woooo! I know, I know, I have 5 things I made that need to be photographed and instead of dealing with any of that business I made a new outfit and I’m writing about that. WHATEVER. The skirt, as you know, it’s Simplicity 5196:

Very very easy, and quite efficient, fabric-wise, it took a bit over a yard of 60 inch wide fabric. And I really like it!

I had imaged something fuller, in fact, I wanted to make Simplicity 3688, which I’ve made before, but I told myself no, push through the fear, try something new. It’s actually fairly full at the hem, but because it was cut on the bias it skims over my hips (thank you!) and looks sleeker then it is. Which I like! Yeah, it’s more Downton Abby then Foyle’s War but hey, that’s okay.

I cut out the two skirt pieces and the waistband, and let them hang over a few days, allowing the bias to stretch. Then I sewed it up and hemmed it by hand (four inch hem, what’s UP 70’s patterns? You were made for tall girls, I guess) late last night. Why so late? Well, I live next to a Russian Orthodox church and today is Russian Orthodox Easter (Happy Russian Orthodox Easter!) and I could hear every single minute of the midnight mass. EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. And the bells. The flipping bells. All night. And people say the shofar is loud.

Now to the blouse! The blouse is Colette Patterns Jasmine, a bias cut blouse for a bias cut skirt!

I  cut a size 10 (by the way, sizing is just crazy talk. I have worn, comfortably, three different sizes in Colette Patterns. You just don’t know until you try), and I did a full bust adjustment. I had heard horror stories about the armsythe and the back, so I went for a larger size and I must say, it’s rather blousy but very comfortable, and I like the look.

How much do I like the ties? THAT much. Crazy-person grin much. I took the hem out so you could see the length, if you care about such things.

One cuff came out quite nicely. The other did not. So you can’t see it.

All together, I think I look like an Edwardian lady sailor.

And how do I feel about that, you ask?

(This is the preparation)

And also:

Yeah. I like this outfit. It might be a bit whimsical, but then, so am I. And we must credit my lovely photographer, Emily:

Thanks, Emily! You are the best!

Oh! And I should mention that I randomly generated a number and the winner of my giveaway is Gail of Today’s Agenda! She’s a lovely lady and I’m totally thrilled to discover that she’s got LOADS of tips about the Miette Sweater, which I’m totally making right now! Thanks, Gail, and let me know where I can send your packet of vintage goodness!

Oh, and if you are into Parks and Recreation, go ahead and google “Cats that look like Ron Swanson” and/or Tom Haverfoods. Have yourself a great time.

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Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage