the sew weekly “local color”: the “fleur” of the three-day weekend blouse

since it is not only a sew weekly day but national poetry month, i almost opened this post with one of two thoughts:  “ode to the three-day weekend,” or “the joy of a new pair of scissors.”  alas, even after four years of university education with a major in writing, i am a lousy poet.  instead i will celebrate by sharing a finished garment,in time for this week’s TSW theme:  local color.

i had a marvelous weekend of housework, relaxation, and sewing productivity, all delightfully accompanied by my all-time favorite weekend chore video track:  season one of the vampire diaries.  why is it that three-day weekends are the only ones where you feel like you got anything done?  why can’t we have one of those every week??

i continued my battle with the invasive brambles in my yard all day friday.  no joke:  i probably spent 6 or 7 hours out there hacking the bushes away.  my reward was a clean stream leading down into my yard and the discovery of a healthy, if bramble-entangled, apple tree near the carport.  also, my sewing desks now have drawers.  both of them.  booyah!  i forgot to take a photo, both of the 7-foot-tall pile of bramble branches that turned into the all-you-can-eat deer buffet at around dusk as well as the finished tables with their drawers, as well as the shelf it literally took me 10 minutes to put together and an hour to hang.  seriously.  i wanted to cry.  especially since i seemed to have some tendonitis in my right thumb and wrist after a day manipulating pruning shears and loppers and when i tried to hold the shelf with one hand, i nearly lost it right there.

by sunday morning i had recovered somewhat, and went to work on a pile of fabrics waiting to be cut with the aforementioned new pair of scissors.  (like buttah, people, like buttah.)

The Facts:

Fabric: silk-cotton blend from paron’s, in white.  dreamy stuff to work with.  contrast collar, facings and ties in liberty of london “kasia” in gray.
Pattern: simplicity 4255, previously blogged about here
Year: 1950s
Notions: none
Time to Complete: 3 hours
First Worn: April 11, 2012
Wear Again: Yes.
Total Price: ~$30
Challenge Theme:  “Local Color”–but is it paris, or new york?

immediately after seeing the “local color” theme i had an image:  clean, elegant, black and white.  i could either channel laura bennet from project runway 3 and go “so new york,” but i couldn’t escape the feeling that clean, elegant black and white really said “paris” to me, so paris it is.  i wanted something with a statement collar, and went immediately back to simplicity 4255, which is an easy, classy top that brilliantly straddles the line between frosting and cake–as all good tops should.

i worked on it with a moulage to tweak the few fitting issues i’d had with my earlier version:  namely, the top hits too far up my waist (and i’m absurdly short-waisted) and it just felt a little to gaping.  (although strangely, if you compare this version to my previous version they look…about the same?)

can you tell how carefully that waistband is wrapped so there isn't a two-inch gap between the hem of my shirt and the top of my trousers?

honestly not trying to vamp for the camera here...the timer went off as i was shifting my weight.

the top still needs a tweak or two, because it’s not an easy top to wear, however fabulous a top it is.  the waistband needs a lot of attention to stay clean and attractive and the wrap still gapes a bit when i sit down.

in honor of both the “local color” theme and national poetry month, though, i leave you my favorite poem about a place, ever.

“street with a pink corner store”
jorge luis borges

Gone into the night are all the eyes from every intersection
and it’s like a drought anticipating rain.
Now all roads are near,
even the road of miracles.
The wind brings with it a slow, befuddled dawn.
Dawn is our fear of doing different things and it comes over us.
All the blessed night I have been walking
and its restlessness has left me
on this street, which could be on any street.
Here again the certainty of the plains
on the horizon
and the barren terrain that fades into weeds and wire
and the store as bright as last night’s new moon.
The corner is familiar like a memory
with those spacious squares and the promise of a courtyard.
How lovely to attest to you, street of forever, since my own days have
witnesseed so few things!
Light draws streaks in the air.
My years have run down roads of earth and water
and you are all I feel, strong rosy street.
I think it is your walls that conceived sunrise,
store so bright in the depth of night.
I think, and the confession of my poverty
is given voice before these houses:
I have seen nothing of mountain ranges, rivers, or the sea,
but the light of Buenos Aires made itself my friend
and I shape the lines of my life and death with that light of the street.
Big long-suffering street,
you are the only music my life has understood.

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6 Responses to the sew weekly “local color”: the “fleur” of the three-day weekend blouse

  1. Wow, those brambles sound intense. And did I read that correctly? You have a stream in your yard?! I think that top looks great with the waist tie, but it seems like it would be less scary to wear, waist-gaping-wise, with those high-waisted pants shown in the pattern illustration…like some nautical pants or something. Thanks for sharing that poem…I’d not read it before!

    • puu says:

      i saw that poem on a subway car once and i couldn’t get it out of my head–that may have been as long as 10 years ago! the top is great with high-waisted trousers, very comfy, but i had a grown-up meeting today and unfortunately had to work the whole skirt-hose-heels ensemble. 😦 i hate it when that happens!

      stream in the yard: check.

  2. Meg says:

    Oh, I just love the whole ensemble. Very Paris to me, especially with those tights. Your fabric is so lovely! Definitely a frosting and cake top 🙂

    • puu says:

      thank you! overall the outfit was easy to wear and a good frosting-to-cake ratio, and i love the fabric combo. i see many more of these in my future–your one-use-per-pattern policiy would work here 🙂

  3. prttynpnk says:

    Love it- totally love it.

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