A Girly (but not too girly) Vintage Floral Button-Up

June 9, 2014


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).


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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 😉 😉


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 😉


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


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 🙂


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 😉