Ready for some ruffled ridiculousness? floral fabulousness? eighties excitement? (awful alliteration?) Because I’ve got all of that in spades with this new blouse! Sidenote: Did you know that the phrase “in spades” is likely to have originated as a reference to the card suit thanks to the game of Bridge? I’ve been reading a hilarious memoir of a man who read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (The Know It All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World) and it’s littered with ridiculous trivia that he pulled from his reading which seems to have inspired me to pepper my own life with useless trivia. I recommend the book, regardless.
When I found this blouse pattern at the thrift store I have literally no idea why it so captured my heart. Of all vintage fashion decades, the 80’s are probably my least favorite. I’m not a big fan of ruffles. I don’t usually like to emphasize my broad shoulders. I mean, seriously, this pattern is pretty hideous. But I immediately had to make it for myself. Nevermind that it was the middle of winter. Nevermind that my lust for it was inexplicable. There are many mysteries in the world and this is just one of them.
And I’ve got to say, I friggin love this blouse! I did try and sew it with the neck ruffle as well but it wasn’t working – maybe because my fabric was too stiff. My fabric is meant for home decorating after all. But that’s a perk because I’m unlikely to stain this blouse (unlike any other white thing that comes within a yard of me) because the selvedge says that it’s “protected with total action Dupont Zepel(R) soil and stain repeller”. I am still mother to a 2 year old however, so we’ll see how her mess making abilities (of her and everything around her and I’m usually around her) combine with mine in the epic battle of stains vs. fabric.
I sewed the blouse pretty much as written though I did add some darts into the back shoulders at the neckline as it was noticeably too wide, even for an un-darted loose fit blouse. I’m not enamored with the armhole facings – generally I’m pretty anti-facing unless they’re an all-in-one or topstitched in place so they actually stay put. But that’s partially my fault for using a un-interfaced cotton for the facing that just doesn’t have enough structure to hold itself in place. I didn’t want to make the shoulders stand out any more, but that was probably not the bestest choice on my part.
If I had unlimited free sewing time this summer I think this has inspired me to fill it up with 80’s blouses. Or at least a handful of button front blouses. Probably with less ruffle and definitely with less shoulder-age going on, because I don’t like that I can’t wear this one with a cardigan. Sewing time is at a premium at the moment as we have a bunch of different house and garden projects going on this summer that eat up my sewing time (wah wah), but at the end of it I should be able to console myself with a banister that matches the house, stairwell carpet that isn’t stained and beige, home grown vegetables, and a yard that won’t threaten to bury me in ivy and blackberries if I stray of the path, even if I won’t be able to console myself with a new wardrobe of blouses.
I feel like I’ve just got to give this blouse another shot with a less stiff fabric to see if I can rock that neck ruffle! I hate things around my neck. I haven’t worn a turtleneck since 4th grade. Why can’t I let go of the neck ruffle!?!?!
So what about you? Do you ever have temporary moments of insanity and end up making a new favorite garment? Any ideas about why I love this ridiculousness so darn much?
In these photos I’m wearing the blouse with my 70’s style denim shorts with patch pockets and classic red Tom’s shoes. I used the rest of this fabric to sew a Fumeterre skirt. (I think it works a lot better for the blouse than the skirt though the weather hasn’t warmed up enough quite yet for me to wear the blouse much (other than on vacation) and the skirt is getting worn a ton, so go figure).