In case you didn't know, V-J day (the day marking Allied victory in Japan in WWII) was yesterday! I happened to have made one of my most 'Merican shirts ever, so I took the opportunity to wear it, of course! (And you saw it on the day I debuted my Smooth Sailing trousers, too!)
I used a 40s shirt pattern I have now made up several times (you can see my first version and pattern details here), but it turned out a bit blousier than I thought it would. My first version doesn't seem to have this much ease, but it's also made by a thin, drapey cotton, which may explain it. The fabric I used here is thicker, and I can't remember for the life of me exactly what it is content-wise. Obviously, I bought it for the print!
I saw this fabric at Joann a while ago and liked the Air Force theme and WWII symbols included. I paired it with some gold US seal buttons with the classic eagles for a completely and utterly 'MERICA look. My husband laughed when he saw it, but he knows I'm very patriotic. I especially like to wear my patriotism as a fashionable garment.
However, the pattern is really busy. I had the idea to do a contrast collar, but since the lower section of the collar and the blouse are cut in one piece, I figured it would be more work than I wanted to do. When I laid out the pieces on my fabric, though… I was short. Barely. (Isn't that how it ALWAYS works?!) To fix this, I made the blouse front facings into separate pieces cut of solid navy cotton. Although I wish I could say I was totally intentional about the contrast collar, it wasn't until I had sewn the facings on and flipped the collar section down that I realized it looked like a contrast collar with the fashion fabric "binding" the edge. I decided to run with it and cut a new navy collar which I edged in the 'Merica fabric. It took some finagling to get things to fit and line up perfectly, but I'm pleased with the result!
Just as I couldn't tame the patriotism on this shirt, I couldn't tame the "more is more" that I usually try to suppress in favor of classiness. When I saw I had miniature gold eagle buttons in my stash that matched… I felt a sleeve accent coming on. I added the buttons and navy triangles to each sleeve, and oilá! The shirt was done!
Not everything on the fabric is accurate as far as the art goes, but I've found it difficult to find a 100% accurate military fabric that isn't fleece or a straight up armed forces seal. Not that I don't like the seals… but they aren't very artistic. (In fact, the one Air Force fleece that Joann carries right now… We already have in a blanket. NEW FABRICS, PLEASE.) In fact, most of the Air Force fabric options available right now are aesthetically icky. Go ahead, google it now and see.
I've found some great WWII patriotic fabrics on Spoonflower though, so I think I'm going to build up my patriotic blouse collection! One can never have too many of those, in my opinion!
blouse: made by me, Simplicity 4762
trousers: made by me, Wearing History "Smooth Sailing" trousers
Aaaaaand, a side note, we're having a vintage chat this Thursday! Brittany of Va-Voom Vintage and Lisa of Retro Housewife Goes Green will be hosting it with me, and we'd love to have lots of people join in! Spread the word, and let's have fun talking vintage!
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