Pretty Pattern Sunday #26

20 May

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?

Eileen

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6 Responses to “Pretty Pattern Sunday #26”

  1. prttynpnk May 20, 2012 at 10:03 AM #

    I love that shape to the yoke- frisky!

  2. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! May 21, 2012 at 9:59 AM #

    I love that blouse! Living in Chicago there’s a large Mexican population here, and I always have traveled to New Mexico as my family had a cabin there starting in the 50s, and then slowly many family members moved there. The Southwest is one of my favorite places! So I love that influence.

    • eileensbasement May 21, 2012 at 10:32 PM #

      Chicago is on my short list of Midwestern cities to visit so I’m happy to hear that there is a Mexican population there as I’ve really missed authentic Mexican food! It’s such a beautiful culture.

  3. Casey May 21, 2012 at 10:32 AM #

    Please don’t mention churros. I dream of those often, because you can’t get a good one here on the east coast at all! :p (I’m such a snob when it comes to Mexican food; I really only eat it when we go back to SoCal…) *sigh* lol.

    I’m not sure if I have a culture that has influenced my style, or maybe if I thought about it the one I’m most drawn to is Asian styles. I have a couple kimonos I’ve collected over the years and adore (especially my vintage, silk kimono I purchased from Japan before I got married!), and have an affinity for Cheongsam style blouses and dresses. There was a definite influence in 40s fashions for Asian styles; first pulling from China during the war years and then Japan when so many GIs were stationed there. I also bought myself one of the conical Chinese hats last year that I love to wear. So I guess that would be the main culture that has influenced my style!

    • eileensbasement May 21, 2012 at 10:27 PM #

      Did you ever go to the churro trucks in FL? We had one near the house we lived in when I first met you. Nom!

      I could see how that would be an influence on your style! I’d love to see a post with the kimonos if you’ve not done one already. And you’re spot on that there was an Asian influence; I’ve got a pattern for a 1950s boxy jacket with dragon embroidery transfers. I’ll have to post it soon.

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