Friday, October 12, 2012

Western Inspiration

This past week on Sew Weekly, we were challenged to do Western wear. I was very excited for this challenge, and had so many ideas and patterns and fabrics to choose from. In the end I decided I wanted to go with what I knew rather than traditional Western style.

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.


Anonymous said...

this is so perfect for autumn - I love it xXx

Emily Welch said...

I love the skirt!

Meg the Grand said...

This is such a fabulous outfit! Love the print of the blouse, and it works perfectly with the skirt :)