In Sewing

The Von Roenn Windmill Shirt

“My name is Elsa, this is my windmill” …shirt.


Okay so obviously my name isn’t Elsa but I can’t help but be inspired by that episode of Pushing Daisies! You know, the one about the VonRoenn Windmill – Historic Landmark of the National Area of Retired Mills? Pushing Daisies is one of my favorite shows and I’m sad that it was short lived. Chuck really had the best clothes and I think she would have worn a windmill shirt for sure!


(Oh, side note, I should probably address the Holy hair, Batman! Not too long ago I wore wigs for medical reasons and think I might start wearing them again. Long story short, for those who don’t know, I have a rare skin disorder that I maintain really well except for my extremities which always give me trouble. I feel more physically comfortable when I don’t have real hair to deal with, so I’m considering shaving my head and going the fake hair route again. For the past year I’ve worn my real hair but it was all wigs before that since the induction of my blog, so it’s actually more common to see me in a wig here than anything else! Wigs are a lot of fun and I really enjoy being able to have fabulous hair in 45 seconds.)

Anyways, back to the shirt!


Like my last shirt, this is the Archer Button-up pattern by Grainline Studio. I found the adorable Dutch windmill fabric on super sale at Jo-Ann’s and had to have it! When I started putting this shirt together I was afraid it would end up looking like something my mom wore to work as an elementary school teacher circa 1994 haha! (just kidding, mom!) …but turns out I don’t really care what it looks like because folk-y windmill prints are AWESOME.


I made a couple of mistakes on this shirt, including cutting out the collar pieces upside down so the windmills are going in the wrong direction, and I had some serious issues with my automatic buttonhole foot. All of the buttonholes look darn near flawless except for the very last one I tried to sew. Seven attempts later and my one sleeve cuff still does not have a buttonhole, nor will it ever, because I’m currently not on speaking terms with said auto buttonhole foot. Hmph!

Seriously though, that’s why I’m wearing the sleeves rolled up – One cuff has no button!


Aside from the upside down collar print and the non-functioning sleeve cuffs, I really like this shirt. It’s so festive and slightly ridiculous and those are just the kinds of prints I love! However, this shirt definitely needs to be paired with the right kind of outfit or else it looks kinda… well, “Elementary School Teacher circa 1994” as I said. The print and the boyfriend fit paired together didn’t look quite as cute when I tried this shirt on with jeans, so I went for a more girly look instead. There’s no confusing me with a school teacher now! (Unless of course you’re taking about Emma, in which case you’re welcome to confuse me because she is seriously the cutest.)


Outfit Details:
Shirt – Archer pattern (made by me)
Glasses – El Ria frames c/o Victory Optical
Hair – Picture Perfect by Forever Young
Purse – G.H. Bass Outlet
Shoes – G. H. Bass Outlet
Skirt – thrift store

photos by William Waldon





I think for my next button-up shirt I’ll switch it up and try another Smooth Sailing Blouse, or similar pattern that’s slightly more fitted than the Archer. I think I’ll also try pearl snaps instead of buttons. Did I mention my auto buttonhole foot and I are currently not on speaking terms? I don’t mean to hold a grudge but seriously. …I draw the line at ripping a buttonhole out seven times. SEVEN! (and yes, I tried everything to get it to behave itself. I encounter this problem randomly with my machine)

Do you have any snap suggestions for me? I hear the SnapSetter is awesome but I haven’t picked one up yet.

Well that’s it for my VonRoenn Windmill tribute shirt to commemorate the National Area of Retired Mills! I’ll just pretend Wil was from the Papen County Historical Society taking photographs for the 87th Annual Mills of the Wind Papen County Collectors Calendar.

Yeah I seriously love Pushing Daisies 😉



  • I’ve just commented on your Mustang shirt post to say I’m not usually a fan of shirts but damn if I don’t love this one too!!! You’re converting me!!!!

  • Oh my goodness, I’m in love with everything about that outfit. And how cute is that skirt?! Pinning this post to remind me of awesome!

  • Titania Lyn

    I am dying here- I made a his and hers outfit set out of these prints… almost exactly like yours! Crazy!!

    • Rochelle

      No way, that’s so awesome!! Small world 🙂

  • Totally gorgeous! My sewing machine has also stopped doing button holes… so annoying.

  • So fun to see this fabric made into a shirt! I never would have thought to do that. I saw this fabric on sale at JoAnns and had to buy some. I don’t even know what I’m going to do with it, but it was so funky and so fun. I love it!

  • maptitechouette

    Novelty pattern + windmills + pushing daisies! You hit all my sweet spots! Great read!

  • Oh yes, kudos to W. Walden for the photography. They are on point. 😉

  • I like this fabric and love the shoes. You give cotton class girl. I wish I were your sister from another mother so I could peruse (ahem) your fabric stash. Or, at the very least take you shopping with me because you have such a good eye for what looks good.



    • Rochelle

      Haha aww thanks, Lyric! Maybe I should do a post on how I go about picking fabrics. Though it would probably be pretty erratic to read since it usually goes something like this: “Oooo pretty! …oh are those windmills?! I want!” and then, BOOM, new crazy windmill shirt lol! 😉

  • I have never seen Pushing’ve got me intrigued..hoping it’s on Netflix. And cute shirt!!

    • Rochelle

      It used to be streaming on Netflix but now I don’t think it is. It would be worth renting on Amazon though! I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it when you see it! Everyone does. And thanks! 🙂

  • I usually hate the windmills and wooden shoes because they are such a typical Dutch tourist thing, but this fabric is SO cute and it’s making me homesick! I already adore you, but you just scored some extra points!

    • Rochelle

      I wasn’t really thinking of the windmills and little shoes as a touristy thing but I could definitely see how that could get old! (My eye twitches whenever I see an “I heart NY” shirt lol) So, I’m extra happy that you approve of my shirt now and I’m sorry it makes you home sick! I think you need to make a windmill shirt of your own to remedy that 😉 xo

  • Alright, I was holding out on getting the archer but I just have to give that notion up and just buy the dang thing. It’s so cute! I also love the no bust dart/menswear look. I’d love to try the pearl snaps too. I have yet to try them out and not crack the face of it. Every. Time. Blerg! I do love the plastic snaps from Joann though. They are the Babyville brand and meant for cloth diapers but they are great and come in tons of fun colors. I initially got them for kids pajamas (I’m seriously not making that many buttonholes over and over for a 4 year olds pjs). They are so fast and so cute I try and use them on everything.

    Love the windmills too!

    • Rochelle

      You should definitely sew an Archer! There’s an archive of Archer sew-along posts on the Grainline blog that are really helpful when putting it together. I just bought the snap setter tool thing to try out with some western pearl snaps. Hopefully it’s awesome! I hear ya on the buttonhole thing… over and over and over lol

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  • Such a totally great shirt. The fabric is fantastic.

    • Rochelle

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Olivia


    Congrats on completing! Looks lovely on you! Unique pattern, but you work it girl. 😀 Feel, free to reply back to me, I would love to hear back from you when you get the chance!!

    Love the shirt ;))

    • Hi Olivia, thanks so much for all of your kind comments today! I’m so happy to hear you enjoy my blog, and I’m even happier to have enthusiastic readers like you! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Love, love, love this look! It suits you to a T, and is amazing. That shirt has the perfect fabric combos, and it’s making me seriously tempted to try out some of the matching quilting cottons I see at my fabric shop for a project or two. ♡

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    • Thank you so much! I love shirts like this because it’s the perfect opportunity to try a bit of pattern matching or mixed prints in a way that looks like they belong together. Well, I think so at least 😉 You should definitely try it!

  • So, so cute! I love the yoke.
    I think that wig is my favourite of yours. It makes you look so vibrant!

  • what a clever use of prints on the placket and yoke – so fun! there is a great spirit of happiness in these photos – it’s been really cool to see your exploration of vintage shirts – thank you for sharing your sewing journey 🙂

  • This is brilliant! I love the windmills so much!

  • Love this fabric, and your shirt is so darn cute!

  • Love this shirt! And I totally understand the Pushing Daisies obsession. SUCH a great show!!

  • I LOVE how you did the button placket and the back piece ( whose technical sewing name currently escapes me) in the coordinating print! Is it just a different part of the same fabric as the body?? So cute !!

    • Thank you! I’ve used two separate fabrics here, the main windmill print and the coordinating stripe which you see on the back yoke (such a weird word) and the front button band. I also used the stripe on the sleeve cuffs, but they’re hiding in button-less shame so you can’t tell 😉

  • stgilbert

    Eeep!! I love this entire ensemble!! The shirt is muy fabulous and pairing it with gingham was inspired!! So much fun!!

  • love love love love the print of the fabric.

  • Haha. So much to say. My mom is also a teacher, and I give her tons of grief for some of her school clothes. She used to be the queen of holiday inspired sweaters and socks and wild prints. Your windmill blouse is the perfect amount of kitsch. I love the way you used the prints to create contrast. And, I think it looks especially great here with your red gingham skirt!

    • Oh man, holiday teacher sweaters are the best!! …or maybe the worst? I think that makes them the best lol 😉 I’m happy to hear you also appreciate the grade school kitsch. It’s an acquired taste.

  • This looks majorly cute on you! I really, really like it!

  • I think it’s just wonderful! I love the back yoke, and the contrast on the button band. Well, I have two nearly finished Archers that just need closures because I’m afraid of snaps and my buttonholer doesn’t work well ever. Report back if you have any luck!

  • Epicly cute!!!

    ♥ Jessica

  • What a fun shirt! It looks great with your gingham skirt too. I don’t think anyone will notice the upside down windmills on the collar especially if you wear your long hair. 🙂

    • Excellent point! I’ll add that to my wig pros and cons list. “Wigs will cover my head and my sewing mistakes – PRO” 😉

  • I adore your shirt! That fabric is adorable. I love windmills, too, and like finding vintage windmill buttons on Etsy. I’m sure having no hair is preferable to dealing with hair — my hair is coarse and thick and long and I always have to wear it up because the itch factor is horrid. However, YOUR REAL HAIR is gorgeous!!!!! Hah! I thought it was a wig because it’s so beautiful.

    I’d love to know if that snapper works because I went through 100 beautiful snaps with a Dritz thing and had to stay up all night working on a shirt that was a present because of it. I gave up after 100 and had to put in buttonholes and sew on buttons and figure out ways to disguise the mess that the failed snapper did. I’ve shied away from pearl snaps since but I’d love to find a way to have success. If you buy that and do the pearl buttons, please post about it!!!!

    • Ack, the Dritz thing! It’s the worst! I tried the Snap Source setter after that with way, way better results. 🙂

    • Aww thank you, that’s so sweet to say! I have such a love hate relationship with my real hair (I’m sure most women do!) so I think for right now I’ll keep it AND wear wigs when the mood strikes. No reason I can’t have both 😉

      As for the Dritz snaps, I too have had bad luck with them in the past so I’m hesitant to try snaps again at all! But I have read some great reviews about the snap setter thing and it’s not a huge investment so I figure it’s worth a try. I’ll definitely share my experience when I get one!

  • This is so cute! I love the windmill print and paired with the gingham skirt–perfection! It just seems like “you”!! Well done. (buttonholer issues aside–I know all about those. Pfaffs are notorious for making two buttonholes and then quitting. My mom’s Pfaff put me off buttonholes for months, and I still can’t bring myself to do one on my Bernina. I keep hand-working them. Not hard though)

    • Yep, I’ve got a Pfaff! I adore it except when it decides it can’t do buttonholes! Plus, no one wants to service a Pfaff in my small town! Oh well, I’m happy with it for now but I might try a different brand in the future. I should really learn how to do hand worked buttonholes because they look so beautiful when done well, but the idea of doing thirteen on one project is a little daunting lol 😉

  • Such a wonderful shirt! I love the placket colours and the matching-but-not-matching yoke – it seems a very ‘you’ make! You know you actually got me out and searching for wigs as good as yours… no luck for me as yet. The red wig is the perfect match for this outfit – you look wonderful 🙂

    • Thank you! I’ve done my fair share of searching for the perfect wig brand and so far Forever Young is the brand for me. They’re very inexpensive and look just as nice, if not nicer, than some of the more expensive “medical grade” wigs I’ve tried. With as much as I love to switch up my hair color and style, it’s nice to have a decent brand that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg! I like them 🙂

      • Oh fabulous! I’ve just been looking at their site and they’ve got some great options – and like you said, so well priced. I’ve always wanted to know what having a fringe would be like… but too wimpy to actually make the cut. I’m not sure what wearing a wig would be like when I’ve got to have all my normal hair underneath, but I might give it a shot. Thanks 🙂

        • Rochelle

          They make extension clips that are just fringe! Some of them are really convincing, too. That might be the perfect option for you 🙂

  • mommylap

    You look very Chuck-like here. The colors, the dutch shoes on the yoke, both suit you, and I love when you get wiggy with it.

    • Hehe, thanks! Chuck has super fantastic hair …I should really look for a wig like hers while I’m at it.

  • I absolutely LOVE your new top and think it’s the cutest thing ever paired with the red checked skirt! My mom was an elementary school teacher in the 90s, too, lol, and was often compared to Ms. Frizzle from the Magic Schoolbus series. I have to say that I’m kind of drawn to Ms. Frizzle’s kitschy looks myself, but who wouldn’t love an adorable quirky print?

    • Hahah YES!! The magic school bus!! Ms. Frizzle would totally wear a windmill shirt lol. I should embrace the kitschy school teacher style 😉