The ‘Rodeo and Wrangle and Ramble in Style’ ensemble
Just the facts, Ma’am:
Fabric: 2.1 metres of 1940s novelty print rayon (inherited from Grandma), 1 metre of viscose knit (thrifted, $2.00)
Pattern: Butterick 8044 (skirt), 3hourspast Blank Canvas Tee (shirt)
Year: early 1940s (skirt), modern with ’40s inspiration (shirt)
Notions: Skirt zip ($1.20), thread
And the insides? Finished with overlocking in black, fuschia and aqua, bias-turned hem on the skirt.
Hours: 4 – lots of it spent taping together the Bank Canvas pattern
First worn?: Sunday to the farmers market (shirt) and Monday to lecture and for pictures (whole outfit)
Wear again?: Definitely! Together and as separates.
Make again?: Yes! I’m looking forward to trying more Blank Canvas hacks.
Total cost: $3.20
Today’s outfit is one of those happy moments when a Sew Weekly challenge and my own sewing wish list coincided perfectly.
The inspiration for it was this fabric:
How cute is that? How utterly, absolutely, totally darling and adorable is that? And perfect for a Western challenge!
The aqua and fuchsia and Western motifs are also very now, and I almost used the fabric for the On-Trend challenge (while I was madly trying to find the white fabric I had already set aside for the challenge). The fabric isn’t now though – it’s over 65 years old, and comes from Grandma’s stash.
I’ve been trying to decide what to do with it ever since it became mine 15 years ago. I would have loved a full dress of it, but I only had 2.1 metres, it’s only 90cm wide, and there was a lot of age damage. I considered blouses like Simplicity 1868, but that didn’t seem to do the fabric justice.
The perfect solution? Butterick 8044’s not-quite-a-circle skirt! (yes, I am so in love with that pattern, and if it weren’t for my True Love Story outfit I wouldn’t have considered the skirt for this since I’m not exactly a circle skirt fan). It was just the right amount of fabric. I managed to keep the worst of the age damage of the skirt, and still get the full width and length
Inspired by the bow on my first Butterick 8044 skirt, I cut a sombrero from a scrap of the fabric and appliqued it to the back of the skirt yoke to mark the back.
To go with the skirt, I unearthed one of the few pieces of knit fabrics in my stash – a delicious fuchsia viscose. For all that I’m perfectly comfortable sewing corsets and hand-sewn 1660s gowns, I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to knits. They are just so modern! So I used Steph at 3hourspast’s very helpful list of knit resources, and her brilliant Blank Canvas pattern to develop my own hack with 40’s details. Using this knit for a Blank Canvas shirt has been on my to-do list since the day she launched the pattern.
For ’40s inspiration for the top, I used Marian Martin 9254. I loved the neck cutout, and thought the flutter sleeves would create a nice 40s broad-shouldered aesthetic to a T-shirt.
I developed the neck cutout myself, and used Steph’s flutter sleeve hack tutorial for the sleeves. I did the most flutter possible. For now I like the über-flutter craziness, and I can always tone it down later.
The best part? The cut-out opens up to be a fold-back collar, also very 1940s! I didn’t plan that – it was just a bonus extra.
I love the skirt and blouse together, I love them apart, and I particularly love my final Western touch to the outfit: a mid-century costume brooch from Nana’s stash. It’s cheap, it’s a little worn, it’s verging on culturally inappropriate un-wearableness, but I still kinda love it, and have never found an excuse to wear it before.
The title of this post comes from Connie Dover’s ‘Where Shall I Go (A Cowboy’s Hard Times)‘. It’s a rather sad song, but this dress and the ‘in style’ is as close as I’m likely to get to rodeos and wrangling (I do like to ramble) ;-)