The Heritage Blouse and Skirt

The Facts:

Fabric: Tribal Print Cotton $3 and Mustard linen from Mom
Pattern:  Blouse: Simplicity 2215 Skirt: New Look 6872
Year: Modern
Notions: Buttons from stash, and zipper from Mom
Time to Complete: 6 hours
First Worn: Oct. 7, 2012
Wear Again: I plan on it
Total Price: $3

Hi Friends! It is so good to be back, not just back home but back to doing what I love. Chicago was beautiful, the most beautiful city I have ever seen. I would go back in a heart beat. Like I had mentioned a couple weeks ago, I went for a business trip. I am a bridal consultant and had been promoted a while back to buyer/merchandiser, which means I was lucky enough to accompany the owner to bridal fashion week in Chicago. We saw all the new Spring 2013 gowns, and ordered what we loved from our vendors. The most fun part was watching the models and the fashion shows. But this trip was also work, and very exhausting. I wish I could have had a free day to meet up with our fellow Sew Weekly Contributor, Gina. Maybe another time.

I was happy to come home and get started on my Western wear. I decided to take a different approach to Western. I live almost as far West as you could get if the Earth were flat. And when I think of Western wear, I think of cowboys and Indians (AKA Native Americans). I grew up with the Native culture surrounding me. One of my brothers who is 15 years older than me, married into the Native culture. His wife is half Cherokee. She came into my life when I was only 4. She used to make me bags and moccasins out of real leather and paint them in beautiful colors and stitch beautiful beads into intricate designs. My brother would paint portraits of Native Chiefs, they named their children after real Native people of history. They were very into the Native culture, and living it as much as they could. But Long before my sister-in-law came into my life, my Maternal Grandmother lived near a reservation in Washington State. She used to join the weaving groups with the Native women. Grandma’s house is filled with woven baskets with Native symbols and bead work all over them. Let’s just skip to the chase. My entire family has been influenced by Native Americans.

So my take on Western wear was of what I remember the Native women wearing when they would all get together for their basket weaving groups. Tribal printed blouses, full or long skirts. Let’s not forget the huge turquoise jewelry. I didn’t own any, or else I would have worn it. In my eyes as a child, these women were so beautiful. I would sit and listen to their stories while they weaved and drank their tea or coffee. Their hands were knotted and well formed from their years of hard work, making and selling their wares on the reservation. Vibrant would be one word I would use to describe the vibe they put off. Just to be clear on the era I pulled my inspiration from is the late 80′s early 90′s.

This blouse was fairly easy until it came to constructing the button and button hole panels. I always struggle with this part. My skirt is super easy. I use this pattern all the time. I only struggle with the zipper. But what else is new? I loathe sewing in zippers. For our pictures, we went to a pumpkin patch for a family outing. We had a lot of fun, and just enjoyed being there as a family. Life has been tense lately, and we needed to shake it off. Good things are coming our way. I can feel it.

I didn’t realize how off my pattern was until I went through the pictures.Oh well, I still love my shirt and plan on wearing it more. I also chose to wear my favorite pair of shoes, my Draven’s. One shoe has a Cowboy and the other has a Native. I love the graphics on these shoes.

 

 

Author

Bethany

Bethany is a forever student in Fashion Design. She took a hiatus from her studies due to the fear of using a sewing machine and a long term illness. It wasn't until her daughter was born, she felt inspired to create again and dive headfirst into sewing by machine.

7 Comments

  1. Your outfit is wonderful and I LOVE the shoes! I’m glad you’re feeling better and that you had a great time in Chicago. I hope many wonderful things happen for you guys soon, you deserve it : ) Oh, and welcome back!!

  2. Very nice outfit! I like blouse’s print very much!!
    And your story is very interesting about culture, thanks!

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post. Sounds like the Native American culture has a special place in your heart. Your fabric choice for both the shirt and the skirt are very flattering together. You look very lovely and happy in your photos. What fun it would be to see a real run way show! I’m glad you were able to enjoy it, despite the hard work.

  4. Cute outfit. Especially that skirt – it looks like something you can get a lot of wear out of. It’s nice to see you smiling again too :-)

  5. You look great! Love the pattern and colors and shapes on you. And those shoes are adorable. Glad to see you here again.

  6. Oh what a fab job you have Bethany. I am crazy in love with your top, that fabric is the business, teamed with that mustard skirt? WIN! your beautiful smile completes the outfit.

  7. This is lovely. I think western week might have been my favourite all year for the range and variety, and depth of background brought to the creations. I’m so thrilled you made this and shared with us your inspiration. And it looks so good on you. That mustard skirt is yummy too.

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