The last few weeks of my life have been utter chaos. As we prepare to move, I've been packing, painting, speculating on the true state of our finances and, above all, stressing out. With most of our movies packed, there wasn't much to do last night in our box-filled house but try to catch a decent movie on TV. Luckily, I stumbled upon the 1940 film Down Argentine Way. Starring Betty Grable, Don Ameche and featuring Carmen Miranda's first film appearance, the movie was pure, ridiculous escapism.
My mom is an old movie buff, but somehow I hadn't ever seen any of the stars of Down Argentine Way before. Truth told, the plot was silly and the acting fairly bad with some of it just down right racist in that old-movie kind of way. But the costumes were over the top and just so much fun! I've always had a soft spot for vintage fashion from the '30s, '40s and '50s and so this morning I started daydreaming of owning the perfect '40s summer frock.
I did a quick internet search for vintage sewing patterns and lo and behold, if only my sewing machine weren't packed up and out of commission for at least the next two months, I could probably whip up this Butterick pattern in less than a day. My retro dreams will have to wait for awhile, but if you are crafty and feeling ready for a new summer dress, you might check out the Butterick Retro line. You can often pick up the patterns for less than $2 at craft stores, and this particular pattern doesn't involve anything harder than choosing your fabric and sewing in the zipper. Pile on about 50 necklaces, 20 bracelets and a huge hat, and you might just be able to capture Carmen's look perfectly.
-- Aubrey Shoe
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