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a girly, but not too girly, vintage floral button-up

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Once again you all blew me away with your amazing comments to my last post on wardrobe epiphanies. I’m slowly trying to respond to everyone, but just know that I read each and every comment and appreciate them all the same. Like me, it seems a lot of you vintage lovin’ gals have trouble finding clothes that fit in with your lifestyle and your love for bygone eras. Of course, you can still love vintage and not wear those types of clothes, but I feel good about myself when I do and it makes me proud of how I look. I feel like a big piece of me is missing if I wear clothes out of the house that don’t look at least a little vintage (kinda like when I forget my glasses. I feel all wrong).

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I also feel like a big piece of me is missing when I’m not wearing at least one thing that I’ve made myself. Wearing me-made things just plain makes me feel happy! So I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching lately and taking a good hard look at what I constantly wear, vs what I was constantly sewing but not wearing as much. There was a gigantic gap in the middle with the words BUTTON-UP SHIRT written all over it. Once that part of the equation was identified, the rest just fell into place for this project.

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This is the Archer Button-Up by Jen at Grainline Studio. There’s not much I can say except I love this pattern! It has a ton of pattern pieces compared to the shirts I’ve sewn so far this summer, but it’s seriously my perfect shirt. It has minimal shaping and a classic menswear look but with a lot of options to make a more feminine version if you want to (I want to make the ruffle back version soon!). I had made another version of Archer back in December for a fun sewing challenge, but I got the fit wrong and fudged one of the sleeves so I don’t really wear it. This one is definitely going to get worn!

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To add a vintage twist to my Archer I used a 1930s ditsy floral reproduction mixed with some pink baby gingham. Both are a quilting cotton weight, not technically a shirting, but work very well for this pattern in my opinion. Quilting cottons will always be my favorite fabrics so any time I can sew with them I’m a happy camper! I really love the way this shirt turned out because it’s the perfect pairing of feminine styling and masculine comfort.

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I realized I had been sewing a lot of quick, instant gratification garments lately (like kimono sleeve pullover blouses and things like that) but I live in button-up shirts at home. Live in them! As I was piecing this shirt together though I remembered why I haven’t tried to sew one since December …so. many. buttons. Haha! THIRTEEN button holes I had to sew, with thirteen buttons. That’s a lot for someone with a less than virtuous attention span. The lesson with that is, though: it was so worth it! Sometimes you need to craft your wardrobe – not whip it up.

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Another clothing/sewing realization I had is I don’t like seasonal wardrobes. It annoys me to try and find a place for my winter stuff during the summer, and my summer stuff in the winter. I’d much rather just have clothes that work for all seasons, plus or minus a few layers. Today it was really overcast and windy so the long sleeves were perfect! On hotter days I’ll just roll up the sleeves and skip having to put sun screen on most of my upper half. That works for me.

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Wil and I took a long lunch break to blow off a little steam since our Lucky Lucille Lou went in for surgery this morning and we’re trying not to stress! She has a small lump near her chest that we discovered recently and decided to have it removed and sent out for testing. Her blood work came back clear so we’re hoping it’s just a fatty tumor and nothing serious. We won’t know for a week or two what the results are and I’m trying not to hold my breath until then. Fun, upbeat music is my favorite (especially for days like today) so it was all Skiffle all day long. Skiffle is a really fun genre of folk/blues/rockabilly/??? if you’re into that kind of stuff. There’s a really interesting history involving the roots of Skiffle that I could easily keep rambling about but I’ll send you to Wikipedia instead ;) ;)

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After a milkshake and some photos in the park we were feeling a lot better. It’s funny how well a milkshake can lift the spirits ;)

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Outfit Details:
Shirt – Archer pattern made by me
Jeans – American Eagle (from nearly 5 years ago)
Jacket – Sport-Tek Ladies Letterman Fleece
Glasses – Honey frames c/o Victory Optical
Knitting Bag – vintage from a flea market
Shoes – Old Navy
Socks – stolen from Wil

photos by William Waldon

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This outfit makes me feel more like “me” than I have in a long time (a sewing room victory!!) and I’m eager to sew much more of it. There are a few different styles of pants I want to try before I can pick a favorite, but I think button-ups are going straight to the top of my pattern list. I also want to try sewing a Newcastle Cardigan by Thread Theory to make a jacket similar to the one I’m wearing today.

It feels good to feel like yourself and be proud of what you’re wearing. Especially when you make it yourself :)

xo
Rochelle

p.s. Lucille is out of surgery now and is recovering well so far but still needs to stay over night for observation (we won’t have her test results back for several days thought). I should have her back first thing tomorrow morning! Thank you all SO MUCH for your kind words on instagram and facebook. You’ve seriously made my day so much better and I’m forever thankful. I know Lucille is too ;)

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  • Lyric

    Engaging post. Pretty fabric colour selection (oh yeah, pink gingham is now on my radar). I’m going to find a nice shirt pattern (don’t want an e-pattern and with 40% off I know I can beat $20 for one).

    Thanks, LL.

    Cheers,

    Lyric

  • tors

    Hope Lucille’s feeling better, keep us updated!

    And that is perhaps the most fantastic shirt I’ve ever seen, amazeballs lady, you look stunning

  • Scotia

    I too hope that Lucille is feeling better and getting treats. :-)
    The shirt is very, very nice and done well. I used to run into the same problem back in the late 60’s with having to make all those buttonholes without a buttonhole maker! It was a pain until snap closures came back in style. I loved putting them on my shirts, so easy. I think you could do that, as snaps on men’s shirts were first put on in the 1930’s in CA and cowboy shirts in the 40’s.
    Cheers to happy and less frustrating sewing!

  • Lynn

    Oh your shirt is so CUTE! I have seen that floral at eQuilter. They have quite a few vintage prints. I love quilting cottons. They just feel more sturdy than lighter fabrics.

  • Heather

    I whole-heartedly agree that milkshakes can lift spirits! My partner was kind enough to get me a milkshake maker for Christmas, and it gets far more use than I was expecting! We splurge once every month or so and buy proper milkshake syrup, it is a fantastic pick me up. In fact, I am sick with a cold today, and am going to have a hot shower, a cold milkshake, and get on with my day!
    And so good to hear that Lucille is recovering well – having a good vet clinic and good vet/vet nurses always puts my mind at ease. My cat sees the same vet that my parents cats did when I was younger, because he is so lovely and really cares about the animals he sees, makes it a lot easier when there’s something amiss.

  • Amy

    I adore the fabrics you used to make your blouse! Such a great pairing. Your earlier post suggests that posting photos of a bunch of button-up shirts would be boring–I can’t imagine how that could be when you display such creativity. Now I want to go and sew a dozen Archers ;)

  • Akram Taghavi-Burris

    Rochelle this outfit really makes your personality shine. It looks great on you!

  • Chantel

    Wishing Lucille a speedy and full recovery!
    Rochelle,Your posts are so delightful — thank you for writing them :-)

  • Tasha @ By Gum, By Golly

    Well you certainly know my feelings on the subject and where my wardrobe fits into the vintage + casual combination (um, 99% of it, lol). I’m so, so glad you’re figuring out what you really want to WEAR and what to sew to make that happen! I admit, sometimes it can get easy to be caught up in wanting to make things because they look awesome or fun to construct, or there’s a fun SAL, or what-have-you. But at the end of the day, I personally know I sew to WEAR my wardrobe (even if I’m not sewing the most fanciest and complicated things… because I don’t usually WEAR fancy and complicated things). And I know you want that out of what you sew, too. I think this shirt hits all those marks, and it really does strike a perfect balance of menswear mixed with feminine. And I adore how you styled it. You’re cute as a button! :D

    p.s. can I capitalize wear a few more times?

  • ThreadTheory

    I would LOVE to see your interpretation of the Newcastle Cardigan! I hope you have a chance to sew one for yourself. I’m glad that your kitty is recovering well, wishing her all the best!

  • Joanne

    Inspired combination – well done you!

  • Michelle

    Really beautiful! I love the print mixing in this Archer. I have the pattern waiting to be sewn in my queue. Like you, I think I’ll get lots of wear from it!

  • Donna

    Love, love, love this!!

  • Amber

    Love the shirt! I’m with you on the button hole thing. I haven’t used them yet myself but have you tried using pearl snaps instead of buttons?

  • Jessica Hurst

    I LOVE what you’ve done with your Archer! And this is my favorite outfit you have posted! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!

  • JuliaBobbin (@JuliaBobbin)

    Gosh I love this look on you! The shirt is perfect and the way you’ve styled it is insanely awesome. Hope you aren’t too crazy stressed with worry over Lucille. Thinking of you and yours :)

  • Philippa

    It looks lovely and fits so well! Hope Lucille is OK x

  • Emma

    I’ve been having the opposite realisation, so I’m going from an all-year wardrobe to a seasonal one. There simply aren’t enough layers in the world for my lifestyle to keep going the way I have and still be able to move and not look like an idiot. :)

    I used to run from a heated house to a heated train to a heated locale with just some heavy outerwear and maybe a pair of thicker stockings. Funnily enough, that worked in Sweden. Now I live in a much milder French climate and I find that nothing is heated the way I was used to, and I am constantly popping out into the greenhouse or the kitchen garden, or running out with a bucket of scraps for the compost, and when we get more animals to care for this autumn I’ll be running in and out even more. I need to stay warm sitting down working at the computer in a coldish stone house, and I also need to not have to spend 10 minutes getting ready to go out and check on the sheep or cut some kale. Lots and lots of wooly layers, it is! But I also keep an incredibly tiny capsule-ish wardrobe so I’m not running into a space problem, especially since I basically plan a two-season wardrobe with a few pieces that lets me adapt for the in-between or high-winter days.

  • Helen

    This is pretty and really professional looking. Glad you are finding out what makes you happy!

  • Ally

    Love that idea of “crafting” your home made wardrobe vs “whipping it up” ! I can’t wait to make a Nani Iro button-up this summer! Whimsy and classic :) OH you and Lucille are in my thoughts! xoxo

  • Debra

    Too cute for words! I liked your last Archer too, all warm and cozy looking. But I think I’m liking your idea about an all season wardrobe, it’s just made me rethink some up coming sewing projects.

  • katemcivor

    I love this shirt. It reminds me that I want to make a classic button-up following along with Pam Howard’s Craftsy class. She makes it look so easy (and so do you!)

  • JJ

    Oh my goodness!!! The contrast details are sooooo pretty! They just pop against the gingham. :o) The back yoke is a really nice element to have on a button down. I can’t get over how cute you styled this outfit. The bandana is perfect with the ditzy print, and that jacket with your rolled up jeans, CUTE!

    http://www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

  • redknitter

    I am totally with you on having a wardrobe that works for most of the year! I have enough clothes as it is, and I can’t imagine how many I would have if I changed things out every season. I do have to admit, however, that it was a lot easier to wear the same thing year round when I lived in northern MN. Now that I live in Pittsburgh and have a fairly long and warm summer, I’m feeling the need to bring some shorts into my wardrobe.

    Fabulous Archer, and best wishes to Lucille for a speedy recovery.

  • Sarah C.

    Just love what you have done here! And it feels so very “you,” as you say. I think it is delightful that you are sewing what you really want to wear. I also think that you put the concept brilliantly: “it’s the perfect pairing of feminine styling and masculine comfort”. Exactly! Totally your style but with the vibe that you love. And those prints are utterly charming!

    I am sending much love to all of you, especially Lucille. My heart belongs to the rescues, and I just love seeing how adored she is! Here’s to a peaceful recovery and learning great news about test results, sooner than later!

  • Juliana @ Urban Simplicity

    This is fantastic! It seems like “you” as you say, and I’m so thrilled you’ve found something you love and can sew again and again. I’m getting there myself. :) Your outfit has just the right mix of modern + 1940s casual. So cute.

  • onejolie

    Hugs! I hope the puppy is okay!

  • Amy

    Gorgeous! I’m so happy to hear you’re sewing the right pieces for your closet and your daily life. I’ll be thinking of you guys as Lucille is on the mend.

  • teapotrabbit

    I just finished a vintage-ish Archer of my own – using 60s and 70s fabric from my Granny and mother – and was really happy with how well it came together. I love seeing what everyone does with the Archer, because it’s such a versatile and universally great pattern. :)

    I feel you on the seasonal wardrobe thing. The extent of my seasonal wardrobe switching is pulling my wooly sweaters out from my closet when it gets too cold. I’m too lazy to do anything else, and I want my clothes to work year-round.

    Hope the lump is totally benign and your pup is home as soon as possible. Sick pets are stressful.

  • Lavender Smith

    What a great outfit! I love your blouse! The fabrics are great together! Your styling is also very nice.

  • zilredloh

    I love your happy gingham Archer. This is one of those patterns that’s been on my to-do list for quite some time, but I’ve just never gotten to it. I really love your vintaged-up version – less modern.

    Happy to hear Lucille is out and recovering. I’m sure she’ll be spoiled rotten at the vet’s office with lots of love, I bet she’s such a favorite of theirs! :D

    • Rochelle

      You should definitely make an Archer! It’s just such an effortless shirt to wear if you like the menswear silhouette. I’m kicking myself for not making more of them by now. They definitely have a ‘WWII women at work’ vibe in the right fabric.

      I have no doubts that Lucille is being well cared for. She’s definitely a favorite at the clinic and my friend works there so that’s certainly putting my mind more at ease. Thanks for your sweet comments for her! <3

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A Blog By Rochelle New

I'm a fabric wizard and wielder of needles with a passion for quilt industry cottons, bygone eras, and natural things.

i.e. I mostly do nerd things like pretend I'm a wizard, collect moldy books, and spend too much time picking up acorns in the woods, all with my spirit animal (a dog named Lucille), my personal photographer (a man named William), and a few literal fat cats in tow.

Making magic and messes in the backwoods of New York.

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