I grew up in a farming town in the San Joaquin valley in California. From an early age, Mexican culture has been an influential part of my life. Cinco de Mayo was celebrated almost on par with federal holidays in my hometown. Celebrations included traditional foods (nom!), dancing and dress. I’ll never forget the time in fifth grade I volunteered to learn the traditional Mexican hat dance with others in my class. I was so excited to wear the crisp white ruffled top with the multi-tiered, gathered and embellished skirt. What fun it was to dip and swirl, all while waving the ruffles in the skirt along in time to the music!
When I was older I moved to San Antonio, Texas where again, Mexican culture was a pervasive part of everyday life. I loved to go to the shops at El Mercado which were full of pinatas, sugar skulls, bright pottery, santos, and beautifully embroidered tops. I’d eat lunch at Mi Tierra and stop for horchata and a churro on my way back to the car. Ah, good times.
This blouse is a great example of Mexican influence on mainstream fashion of last century. These patterns in my collection are some of my most treasured and the ones I most want to make!
Living now in the Midwest, I feel a sense of nostalgia for the culture that has been a huge part of my life. Recent posts from Vixen Vintage and Johanna Ost of the vintage Southwest have added to my sense of nostalgia as I loved every photograph in their posts which capture perfectly a certain time and place in history.
What culture has had a major influence in your life?