Made by me

Dream projects

Hedy Lamarr, illustrated by Lars Wallin. From the book Rita mönster.

Do you have projects that you have been mulling over for years, but never got around doing? I realized this morning that I have one, one that I had nearly forgotten about. I was looking for some ideas on how to draft a buttoned fly and decided to check out the first pattern making book that I ever bought. And there it was, my old dream project, on page 87. A sketch of the actress Hedy Lamarr wearing a zipped blouse with a gathered front, with the drafting instructions for the blouse on the opposite page.

For a moment I was transformed to my 17 year old self. The one that was very prone to escapism and wanted every day to have a certain magical feeling to it. Preferable in a beautiful non-modern setting . A desire similar, I suspect, to that of the posse of young : female : vintage : bloggers that have popped up recently (the latter is a local girl and shop owner whom I have interviewed and photographed for my day job).

I also remembered my long search for that perfect seafoam green rayon crepe to use for the blouse. Every time I entered a fabric store I would scan the selection and fondle the surfaces. But I always ended up empty handed, the perfect fabric never materialized. Perhaps I was also was a little bit intimidated by the project, as I was very new to pattern drafting at the time.

But now I don’t feel so intimidated anymore and the style is still appealing to me. Also access to great fabrics has vastly improved since the 80’s. Writing this I became curious to see if I could find the original photograph. And I did, in the Google/Life archive.

Hedy Lamarr in 1938 by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

It could be a sign.


  • Cindy
    June 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Beautiful blouse. Can't wait–that is a definite sign.

  • gwensews
    July 1, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Those vintage styles come back again and again, and we never tire of them. They are timeless.

  • Ann's Fashion Studio
    July 1, 2009 at 1:18 am

    What a great story. You have to make this blouse now. It is a very pretty style and one that would look great on you.

  • Antoinette
    July 1, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    She is just beautiful. Classic photo, classic blouse. It's a sign!

  • Cindy
    July 2, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I just saw a similiar pattern in the Margolis patternmaking book–if you need more details let me know.

  • Morzel:
    July 2, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    The blouse is beautiful! The photograph is just great, I can totally see why you wanted this back then. Better even: you still like the style now, years later! What other signs saying "make it up" do you need?


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