Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Big Girl's Blouse


Despite my long hair and penchant for high heels I don't consider myself much of a girly-girl. Weddings bore me, kids scare me, I'm not particularly partial to cake or chocolate, don't read women's magazines, chick-lit or watch soap operas and I can't stand rom-coms. After landing an office job following many years spent working in the male-dominated catering industry my female colleagues would often get exasperated as I never watched Eastenders or had any interest in the contents of Heat magazine. Over the years my sexuality has been called into question as I don't wear the right kind of ring on my finger, I drink pints of beer, enjoy televised football matches and chat to men as freely as I do to women. I do however have one traditionally feminine interest, I love to sew.




I made this blouse yesterday under the watchful eye of my friend, Liz. It's made from some 1940's dress fabric I bought at a jumble sale and the 1971 pattern was part of a job lot I picked up at a car boot sale. I thought I'd need her expert help as it is a size 18 but reducing the pattern size turned out to be more straightforward than I thought.


To celebrate the fact that my first attempt at making a blouse wasn't a balls up I celebrated by wearing some spherical accessories.



The earrings were reduced to clear in a high street sale for 25p, after wearing them for an hour I can understand why, they weigh a tonne. The ball pendant was originally Urban Outfitters but was bought in Banardos for 75p and the Finland-made vintage suede belt was from my favourite 20p stall at the Thursday morning car boot sale.



The shorts are a pair of jumble sale vintage gentleman's tuxedo pants I cut down. 
 


Who wears the pants in our house? Both of us. I'm proud that our relationship is equal, both of us are as capable of doing the household tasks as well as the other. There are no traditionally gender-specified roles, Jon is as nifty with the sewing machine as I am with the hammer drill but he does make a mean veggie roast dinner so he's cooking this evening whilst I hang a mirror in the hallway.

79 comments:

  1. That blouse is great, pattern and fabric. Way to go.

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  2. You are one amazing dame! As much for everything you've divulged about yourself in your first paragraph as for your love of sewing! I love the blouse and you are far too modest about your sewing skills. It's so interesting that it the photo of you wearing it the fabric looks almost like satin chinoiserie and yet the close up shows it to be more like a cotton weave. Love the spherical accessories.

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  3. You made that? Holy amazing, the fabric is just wonderful!

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  4. Thats brilliant how you made the blouse, its pretty. I love your boots too.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog re the Dreamies. I did not know you had another cat. I thought you only had Stephen. The advert is really good. Have you seen the new Cravendale milk advert with the cats its so good.

    Yeah its a bit bad that they took it all in one go xx

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  5. It's ironic how us vintage fans can be more modern thinking than Mr & Mrs Average. Here's to non-stereotypical folk, long may we rejoice in our lifestyles and screw the rest of them!

    Great blouse x

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  6. Fabulous blouse, even more so 'cos you made it yourself. I love the way the those sleeves hang too xxx

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  7. congratulations ! this blouse you made is beautiful !
    http://selenite.weebly.com/

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  8. Eeek,that blouse is heavenly!!! Love the fabric,LOVE the sleeves!And such a pretty colour! And,of course,worn beautifully!!!Classy,even!You are a rockin' bird,and (G just popped over and he likes the blouse!)who gives a fig for roles?! Not you,and not me!HURRAH!
    Love and adore you,Helga XXXxxxXXX

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  9. It's lovely, Vix, mine is half made, keep getting interrupted. Box of magazines arrived, box of patterns arrived, car crash outside the house......

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  10. That blouse is absolutely gorgeous and the fabric is stunning!!! I love sewing too, with vintage patterns and secondhand/vintage fabrics so that is so up my street! Oh and on the subject of non-gender-specific roles, my 3 year old boy asked me to buy a toy baby doll for him in the local charity shop the other day and he gave it a piggyback all the way home and I have never had so many looks in my life! Bless him, I just thought it was nice that he was being kind. My kind of feminism is about having the choice to do whatever rocks your boat/whatever you are naturally inclined to do well etc. regardless of what the stereotypes dictate. Oh and you look amazing as always by the way!

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  11. @ Catherine, Thanks for your comment. You're right, feminism seems to be a dirty word these days, your definition is the same as mine, it's all about having the freedom to follow the path you wish without fear. Your little boy sounds adorable. x

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  12. Bloody gorgeous Vix. It looks wonderful.
    I know exactly what you mean! I'd rather spoon out my own eyes than watch a rom-com. I have an electric drilll....and it isn't pink!
    xxx

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  13. That blouse is truly awesome. Hear hear re your comment re gender specific roles. Oh and I love the fact that Jon can use a sewing machine! Good man!

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  14. Very nice job on the blouse it is lovely and I love the fabric.

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  15. i adore the fabric its so pretty and i love the style of the top to..a gorgeous outfit i have to say.. love the re worked shorts!
    i never got on with girls .. always had boys for mates and was always one of the lads...not precious about the way i look and used to drink pints for england.. i think i have changed slightly since having the boys but i think thats becasue im outnumbered so have to kind of lay down being a girl otherwise the house would turn into black leather sofas and flat screen tellys were ever you look!!
    the hubby does all the cooking though and i do all the decorating so we have swapped there!

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  16. Ooh excellent sewing, that blouse looks great! Thats my plan for tomorrow, get some sewing done, got pile of stuff waiting to be altered... :)

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  17. Ah Vix, this is why we love you <3<3 (my favourite post so far)
    I hate it when girls never talk to boys because they "don't know what to say". I don't think that men are from Mars at all hah
    Your blouse that you made turned out gorgeous! You would never think that it was altered in any way <3 I have to learn how to use my sewing machine properly! It been lying there since Christmas because I don't know what to attempt to make
    Ah there's nothing worse than earrings that drag your ears down! I bought some HUGE circle ones in Aldo ages ago and I'm afraid to wear them because they hurt so much (sadface)

    x x x x

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  18. I'm with you in so many points: I never seen a soap or a telenovela, I'm not a romantic, weddings do scare me because they are so out of touch with the every day reality that a relationship requires; but sewing my darling, there is a real way to use our energy and you end up with a fabulous frock!

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  19. I would love to be able to sew I get so frustrated with myself .. I can hot glue or staple and maybe wonder web but cannot sew ... love the blouse xx

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  20. Vixcita,
    I always love that saying, " big girls blouse."
    Tell it to my sisters on a daily basis.
    That blouse came out beautifuly,nice pattern.
    Like everything you touch amor.
    But you do dress fashionably and thats a girly thing too .
    I dont believe in roles either but i am a weakling and buddy helps out with chores and cooks sometimes.
    I always hsnged out with the guys until my boobs started growing like ballons.
    Cool belt and shorts, cant believe they were pants.

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  21. Funny isn't it, how women are 'supposed' to like soaps and 'Heat' etc' and there is a question over not fitting in. Can't be doing with them myself, I'd rather have a pint, some crisps and a copy of Fortean Times. My token 'ladylike' skill is baking but it springs forth from a love of pies more than anything else!

    To be fair, Florizal gets commented on (by his gay mates as often as his straight chums) on his 'non manly' interests such as vintage tea and hollywood gossip (on which he is better than me).

    We are far too disorganised to have agreen gender roles anyway. Both housework and DIY gets done by whoevers there when it finally absolutely HAS TO BE done! ;) Think that Withnail scene where something's alive in the kitchen...

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  22. Hi there-what a wonderful post, the blouse is such a gorgeous vintage print and I think you've done a marvellous job of making it, well done indeed! Equality does rule ok, Chris is great in the kitchen too, which especially makes life easier as I really don't like cooking, lol! xxx

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  23. Well done Vix, you have done a great job, you must be stoked with yourself. I don't like soap operas or gossip mags either, but then I also hate football. Give me a good episode of University Challenge anyday ;) xx

    ps I can't believe what the people at your work used to say to you. You are a total fox! Some people must have such bitter, shallow little lives, I'm so glad you didn't allow it to affect your sunshiney personality x

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  24. Dearest Vix, what a brilliant relationship you two have! I think it's fabulous.

    I'm not very girly either. I'm with you on all those things apart from I do love chocolate. I wish I could sew too. I probably could if I put my mind to it but have never tried.

    Your blouse is gorgeous! Love the shorts - Fee's always telling me to cut down a pair of trousers, they make much better shorts. And your legs look amazing as always. Much love, C xx

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  25. ...but I do love weddings (purely because they involve luurve, dressing up, meeting friends and family, buffet food, booze and disco music). Don't get women who fret over them though: ours was bish-bosh-bash done because we included what we liked and thought others would like too, and it was ACE!

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  26. Really good job with the shirt, it looks like something i would see in a store! Great job! And you sewed those pants, wow!

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  27. That blouse looks professionally made! Very very good job!

    I am with you on not being at all interested in soaps an the only magazine I read is Good Homes. I'm not into romantic soppy films very much, I'd chose a good horror or sci-fi over a chic flick any day and I've always loved playing video games. I put it down to growing up with 2 brothers. I think it makes life much more interesting to not be what everybody expects.

    I wish I could sew.. but I cannot. xxx

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  28. speaking as someone who always seemed to stitch myself to any garment I attempted to make in sewing class.......how brilliant! It's gorgeous, am so impressed....... but i can knit.......knitted shorts not such a good look though!!

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  29. The blouse is wonderful, Vix. Love the pattern. Love your relationship set-up too, it's what I aspire too and gives me hope. xx

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  30. love that blouse and the earlings

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  31. ok I'm adopted are you possibly my real sister? You describe me to a t! I am also not a girly girl I don't care for all those things, I like beer & I love watching international football, in fact OH who hated football has grown to understand the passion if not the game ha ha!

    It's so much nicer to have a partnership isn't it? I have never picked a duster up since I met OH he likes dusting, I'm good at DIY, we do what we do, being male or female doesn't come into it.

    But like you, I like to sew, I also like sparkly things, but I don't do pink ;o)

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  32. wow what a brilliant go at blouse making! love the fabric patterning, suits you perfectly.

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  33. what a great job.love the colore and the pattern on the blouse.Mens clothing always fits better as far as pant.love the way you made them into shorts.I buy the mens levi jeans and they seem to fit better than womens.

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  34. A really witty post, the end had me all a giggle!

    I cannot believe you made a blouse, that is brilliant! I would be terrified of making something so complicated! Mind you I used to make fab, tight pencil skirts to wear to 6th form!

    PS, those shorts look fabby!

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  35. Yay, the grey tights and grey ankle boots combo!! Saw a pair of grey boots on a charity shop just after your mini dress post, and am heading back there tomorrow. Glad to hear you have both shrugged off traditional gender roles; Mr Bossa is the chef in our house (and probably cooks our meals over burning shreds of Heat magazine...!) x

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  36. Can I borrow Liz please? She sounds like a great teacher and god knows I need the help when it comes to sewing machines! The blouse is stunning and I am SO impressed with your sewing skills. I always imagine that blouses are a right bugger to put together.

    Meh, who wants to conform to gender stereotypes? I spend a large part of my time watching or talking about sport and hate soaps, babies and anything pink. I might have a very sweet tooth and love drinking wine but that's just personal taste, not cos it's the "girly" thing to do!

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  37. Bloody hell girl, go you! I am scared of making blouses was it a nightmare? It looks fab too!
    Our house is a bit like yours except I do all the Woman's stuff and the Man's stuff as hubby is scared of DIY, the drill and heavy DIY equipment in the house is all mine :) It comes from being broke in the past and having to get stuck in and fix what I could as I couldn't afford to pay anyone. It's nice to be independant too :)
    Kandi x

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  38. Love the pattern and color. would love to have a pencil skirt in this fabric..I am also not very girly-girl by nature but I do love skirts:-)

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  39. I *may* go in a huff. Queen of the Jumble AND the Singer Sewing machine too. If you tell me you can knit socks, we may never speak again....

    (only joshin' with you!)

    Another great look and cannot believe you knocked out that blouse in a DAY and reduced the size as well.

    *impressed and slightly sulky face*

    lotsaluv

    AX

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  40. Blame Vix! You put me to shame!

    I can't believe you made that. It looks fab! How anyone could comment on you not being feminine is beyond me. You always look fab, stunning in fact and who needs rings anymore!

    X x x

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  41. When I was in my last year of high school I refused to sit with any of the girls because they were all so ridiculous.
    Your blouse looks amazing, even more so for a first attempt! x

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  42. hehehe, I love your list of NOTS. Because I like all those things except soap operas. THOUGH, you DO love to shop! And that's really all you need to love to be fantastic in my book! (mind you, I'd think you were fantastic even if you didn't like to shop!).

    And this outfit is so classic. Your legs look fabulous. Must remember to wear the same shade tights as boots myself...always forget to and wonder why I sometimes look stumpy.

    And also, HEY, awesome blouse! Yep, you are my hero!

    much love: kimberellie (with a baby in her belly)

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  43. Far from a balls-up love, this blouse is an absolute winner - I love how you've mixed the two eras with the fabric and the pattern - actually, I'm drooling. As for the tuxedo pants... Holy mother of god they are frickin' gorgeous babe!!!!!!!! You look utterly, utterly stunningly beautiful ... and you like to wield a hammer too:))). xoxoxooxoxxoxoxo

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  44. Vix - that blouse is DEVINE. What exquisite fabric and the sleeves are beautiful. Good lord woman is there anything you can't style to PERFECTION???

    As for roles and rules... we are who we are and aren't we bloody fabulous??? (Give Jon a slap on he arse for me will you?) HA!!

    Sarah xxx

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  45. Oh well done you! Looks like you did a great job, what's the next project? :)

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  46. I think its stramge how obssessed with gender people can be, we're all born from men and women so why would we only express ideals placed on one idea of what that sex must be doing. Never thought that way never will!

    the only thing that suprises me is your lack of love for cake and chocolate- delicous things!

    Neat job on the blouse! Great fabric choice. I have soo many of those patterns, most in rather tiny sizes but i think I can make some of them work, my granny used to make them for her daughters and for herself, hopefully this year the baton shall come over this way!

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  47. such brilliant post! i really regret that my manual skills are so low... your skirt is amazing!

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  48. i was thinking about shirt, and wrote skirt... well...

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  49. I love this post Vix!
    we too both wear the pants around here, though i tend to try to fix stuff before calling in a pro. though there are usually parts left over ;)
    I too have a machine, but have a heck of a time threading it, so rod does it for me :)
    I usually just end up sewing by hand or using the sticky iron-on stuff to 'sew' with......
    i love you vix and thanks for all your support.
    xXx
    Reva

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  50. That blouse is gorgeous! Good work! Those earrings do look awfully heavy....but fabulous none-the-less!

    I am quite a girly-girl, but I just as much enjoy getting my tomboy on occasionally!

    Xox Claire

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  51. You guys have a beautiful relationship and you are one talented lady! That blouse is sewn to perfection :)

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  52. A great look on you Vix and a good balance in life too. x

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  53. I am truly envious of your sewing skills Vix, this is blouse is fantastic. My first thought was 'oh them sleeves look difficult!'
    We've what could be called a frank and betty spencer set up. He tries to do the odd jobs and then I go back and fix them. Think one of the best times was when he was stuck on my mums garage roof for an hour with no-one there and no phone, I eventually spied him from the village main st waving and shouting like he was trying to land a helicopter ;)
    xxx

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  54. The blouse is beautiful, great work! Love the fabric too.

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  55. Amazing post and amazing job on the blouse, it looks truly professional. And I love the shorts too, really wish I had more sewing skills. Will keep practising on the easy things...

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  56. Love the blouse. And the fabric. You are very clever. xx

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  57. Good work on the top! Looks great. The print is lovely. Ben and I should be more equal with household chores...but sadly we're not :(

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  58. Pah to gender stereotypes! Go to football if you want (I have a season ticket), drink pints if you like (why go to the bar twice) be as fabulous as you like. Life is too short to be defined by these outdated institutions xxx

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  59. Wow what fab sewing skills you have, I love that blouse (and those sleeves look tricky). Awesome post about gender roles too, that's my kinda feminism. I'm just the same (though I'm not much into sport and I do have a terrible sweet tooth). Sounds like you've got a fab relationship.

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  60. You made that blouse in a DAY? I'm so impressed!

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  61. Is that really the first blouse you've made? It's amazing and such a gorgeous fabric! I tend to take on the housework (when I can be bothered!) as I'm home all day with the baby, but Mr R&B can and does do it as well. We both do DIY - I even did some tiling last year.

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  62. As usual you look amazing!! Lately I have been totally affected with the itch to learn how to sew and this is exactly why!! Look at you, Look at that blouse! Love your work, all of it!

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  63. Love the colour and pattern, really suits you. Great choice!!

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  64. Great blouse: I'm damn sure my first attempt was nowhere near as good as yours lol! Am also loving your shorts and jewellery.

    My relationship with hubby is equal, although he will disagree and say I wear the trousers lol! It is what it is and it works, that's the main thing ... ;0)

    Shirl xxx

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  65. Vix, I can't believe you made that! Marvellous!

    And I think people who question the absence of traditional gender roles are simply ignorant. I like my fair share of all things girly (cake, chocolate and babies being among them), but I also have plenty of male friends, I can swear like a sailor and I love a genuinely good action flick.

    Bravo for being so honestly yourself and refusing to be squeezed into a box, Vix! xxx

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  66. You know, you look so much like Courtney cox! does anyone ever tell you that? haha, twins! :)

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  67. @ Anonymous! That's a change from Cher. I'm very flattered, thanks! x

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  68. So agree with the Weddings and Eastenders - would rather give myself paper cuts and sit in a vat of vinger than have to put up with either of those two things! Love to see your fabulous finds! Love preloved, second hand, thrift etc just need to find a good stylist to show me how to put it all together lol


    Happy treasure hunting!!!

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  69. To me you're all woman, Vix. Who says that a 'proper' woman needs to like silly magazines or trashy shows? Just like a manly man can enjoy cooking - or knitting!

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  70. You are so very talented Vix. I love this blouse, the print is fabulous xxx

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  71. Great post Vix. While I do love some traditionally female things like baking (and eating) cakes, and sewing things, I'm a crap housekeeper who loves cars and Quentin Tarantino... it's a modern world, everyone needs to be a bit of everything nowadays and that's fine with me! Great blouse by the way, I'm impressed! xxx

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  72. I can subscribe that weddings bore me, kids scare me, I like to drink pints of beer and chat to men freely, so I'm happy to share with some lovely women our own style of feminity!
    (and I'm a huge fan of crochet and chocolate too)
    Your blouse is stunning, that sleeves are so pretty well done!, I'm admired!
    besos

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  73. Wow! That blouse turned out very very well : D.

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  74. They may weigh a ton, but they look fantastic. I can completely understand the frustration and uber delight that comes with making your own garments. I'm experiencing it right now as I continue to sew garments of my own design. Lady's magazines are a bunch of BS thesedays. I hate the ones that have quizzes inside or sex tips. I think that they should be burned. What's a rom-com? Forgive me, but I'm not familiar with UK slang.

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  75. They may weigh a ton, but they look fantastic. I can completely understand the frustration and uber delight that come with making your own garments. I'm experiencing it right now as I sew garments of my design. Womens magazines these days are a bunch of BS. I really hate the ones with quizzes and sex tips. I think they should be burned.

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  76. Vix, my heart pitter patters for that belt and blouse....and the shorts too actually...oh yeah, and also the necklace! It is FABULOUS!!! I can't believe you made that blouse....so gorgeous; and what I love is that you'll NEVER see another one like it! ~Serene

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  77. Admiring the pendant and the fact that the man sews!!!

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  78. Life what be rather dull if we were all the same. People should be free to live how they want to without being judged for there life choices!
    I'm very impressed that you made that blouse yourself. Can Liz please come and help me too!!! x

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