The past week was a bit of a struggle. I wanted to work with one of the beautiful fabrics I recently purchased.
I fell in love with this wonderful sheer silk georgette. The print is one typical for the 1930's and I thought that would be a good accomplishment for my shop. What vintage lover wouldn't fall in love with this?
I wanted to make a simple 1930's blouse and I knew this fabric would bring some problems. What makes it so nice to look at, makes it a nightmare to work with. It is sheer, and brittle, so no room for mistakes. So I made a muslin first. I used a polyester chiffon to see if what I wanted to make, is even possible in this kind of fabric. It was difficult, but as I was working along I had a few ideas. One of them came overnight as a EUREKA!! It was to line the facing with black organza to give a little stiffness. And that did the trick. it gave me enough to work with to create a collar, and to give structure for the buttonholes and buttons. Another issue I encountered was the look of it. I had to make some changes to make it look more modern. If you take a vintage pattern, you could simply make that pattern as it was intended 80 years ago. the funny thing is if you do that, it looks 80 years old to. Like something your grandmother would wear. And vintage is all lovely, but we do not want to look as grannies do we? Therefore I had to make some slight alterations. Give it some more waist, and lower the neckline. I tweaked it a bit to fit our vintage love with a modern sense.
So.... drum roll... I am proud to present, 1930's blouse 'Marguarite'
This whole process made me think, and doubt. Was this ever good enough?? And can I ever make it worthwhile?? On that track, I have to be very careful not to go overboard in my critical concoctions! There is a danger I start to doubt everything I am doing. That feeling grew yesterday when I was scrolling on internet to look at retro clothing. Of course there is a lot on offer, plenty to choose from. So where do I fit in? And, more important, where do I make a difference? I think I should keep going, and search for the uniqueness in my designs. And these very exclusive and expensive fabrics could well be one of the answers. Make something these other shops do not sell, make a unique product and be good at it! When in doubt, go ahead and do it!
This morning, as I finished the last seam on my blouse, I had to play this... Loudly... And sing along too!
Sunny van Zijst
I am maker of vintage inspired couture. I was trained as a designer for theater costumes. Now I enjoy making vintage inspired clothing for men and women.