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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Faux Vintage

I had so many crafty plans for the summer, but in the end I only finished one project.

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I fell in love with this cotton lawn as soon as I saw it on the Mood Fabrics website. It felt so 1940s, and perfect for a summer blouse.

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I actually finished the sewing back in June, and sewed on the buttons at a Make Out session in July (if I remember rightly). The pattern is Colette’s Violet blouse.

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Even though the blouse came out well and the whole process went quite smoothly, I’m reluctant to call this a successful F.O. I fell in love with the print without stopping to consider if it would actually flatter me, and I’m not sure that it does. I should have gone with a solid color or at least a smaller print. Secondly, it’s too short! The next time I make this pattern I’ll add two or three inches to the body length.

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I also don’t have much to match it with. I did get these awesome high-waisted denim capris from Bettie Page back in July (the salesgirl said they’re actually cut from a 1950s pattern), but it would be great to have at least one pair of shorts and one skirt to match as well. Colette has the perfect patterns, of course (and I already have Ginger in my stash). Making this blouse has reminded me why dresses are easier; you put on a dress and you’re done. No matching!

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Yes, I wimped out on the buttonholes by doing loops instead.

 

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The buttons were left over from this summer 2012 knitting project, a ginger-cat for my friend Alicia’s daughter. (Those embroidery classes paid off! I never would have done such a neat job before Jessica and Rebecca.)

 

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My first collar facing!

As for the pattern itself, I’ll echo everyone else who’s made it and say size down. I made it in a size 6—I usually wear an 8 or 10—and it’s still fairly roomy. This was my first Colette project, and the directions are SO clear and easy to follow, especially compared to the way traditional commercial patterns are written and laid out.

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After taking these photos I went into town for yoga and dinner, and had to rethink all the things I don’t like about this blouse after I received three compliments from strangers of both sexes within literally five minutes (one of whom ducked into the Citizens Bank ATM lobby where I was getting cash especially to tell me how pretty it is!) I think the Donna-Reedishness of it really appeals to people. Maybe I remind them of black-and-white photos of their twentysomething grandmothers. For example:

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My grandparents on their honeymoon, September 1950. Not quite the same outfit, but same style.

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(A Green Goddess bowl and a Loco-Coco smoothie at Life Alive, delivered by a girl who said “I love your shirt, it’s really pretty.” The lighting makes the greens look less appetizing than they are. Thoroughly delicious, especially with that ginger nama shoyu sauce!)

6 Comments to Faux Vintage

  1. amy lou's Gravatar amy lou
    October 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    The shirt is so beautiful and you look fabulous! xo

  2. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    October 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I often feel shirts are too short (long torso) including the one I’m wearing which is of a similar style.

    It looks great on you! Crazy that you made it!

  3. October 4, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Oh Camille, you’re making me yearn even more for my sewing machine – which is sitting on a ship somewhere between the Middle East and South Africa. I guess that’s the learnings of sewing rather than buying ready made, knowing what works best sometimes happens on completion rather than in the change room. But so worth the pleasure of self-made!

  4. October 4, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I think the shirt is adorable and you are wrong, just plain wrong, that it doesn’t flatter you.

    I agree that the Donna Reed style appeals to people. There is something so sweetly nostalgic about it. I think that throwback femininity is a hundred times more appealing now, when we’re all used to seeing, you know, side boob. 😉

  5. October 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I love love love this blouse – gorgeous!! Congratulations. It looks great on you.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.