Vintage Renaissance

No, not a vintage renaissance, vintage in the Renaissance. The Renaissance Faire, that is!

This past Saturday we went with our friends to the Bristol Renaissance Faire, which has become somewhat of a tradition for us. It’s just across the border from Illinois in Wisconsin. The weather, while sunny in the morning, wasn’t going to stay ideal for long. But we were been running out of weekends to go, so it was a “now or never” kind of thing. I didn’t take very many photos due to rain later in the day, and I am so sorry I missed getting a picture of us all in our very fetching $2 plastic ponchos!

It was the perfect day to wear my medieval novelty-print vintage rayon blouse! I adore this blouse, but it had a sad little disaster the moment I put it on the first time. Age and stress ripped a more than 2 inch long hole in one shoulder! I mended it the best I could, but I could tell the fabric in that location was doomed to rip more. In fact by the time we arrived at the faire, I had another hole right next to my mend. Fortunately with the busy print and wearing my hair down it wasn’t that visible. I’m not sure what I can do to mend the shoulder in a more permanent fashion. The blouse is fairly long so I could theoretically re-hem it and cut a portion of fabric to make a patch, but I think that would look really obvious on the top of my shoulder. So I don’t know what I’ll do. Worst case scenario, I am not above wearing it with a cardigan so you’ll never see the problem area. ๐Ÿ™‚

It was so humid that day that my curls completely fell before it ever rained! This was the first day I wore my hair down in months and now I remember why. I’m getting a cut on Saturday and have been going back and forth about either just a minor trim or chopping off a few inches… after seeing this photo, I’m leaning towards a chop! My hair is so finicky that at this length when it’s hot and humid out, my sets don’t last very well and it just falls flat (literally).

I’m wondering how I’d feel if I had it cut it to a length that sat above my shoulders when set. I guess I still have a few days to decide! I’m a bit nervous about the idea. I love that length on others who sport vintage ‘dos, but of course you never really know if something will work for you until you try it. My hair fear is getting a cut and then being unable to style it successfully with my trusty sponge rollers or perm rods. Eek!

Anyway, isn’t the print on the blouse amazing?

A mandarin collar, shields, turrets, swords and knights on horseback!

You can see why I’m reluctant to call this blouse a lost cause! Fortunately it’s only one shoulder that seems to have issues, so I hope there’s more life in this one yet.

Here’s to great vintage novelty prints!

Filed: Vintage Wardrobe

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Golly, 16 Comments!

  • I feel your pain – my hair has been impossible! Creative updo’s have been the theme of this summer.
    That shirt is too wonderful! I am such a sucker for novelty prints, and even better if they are vintage!
    Is the hole along the seam? So here’s my two cents sort of imagining what’s going on and hopefully this makes any sense to you at all ๐Ÿ™‚
    Open out the seam as much as you can without getting too close to the collar or sleeve seams. Take the lightest weight, highest quality fusible interfacing and cut a piece that will cover the hole, a little bit of the undamaged fabric around it and extend into the seam allowance. Now this is only good if there’s still enough fabric to cover the interfacing when you bring the edges of the hole together. This will reinforce the weak areas of the fabric and keep it from tearing further, and should be fairly hard to detect. Basically you create an iron on patch with interfacing.
    Fuse the interfacing (to the inside of the shirt) and then resew the seam.
    Hope that helps!


  • That is an awesome blouse and how fitting for your occasion! Have you considered using some fusible webbing or some interfacing to help stabilize the shoulder? I have used fusible webbing to mend under arm holes and it has held up really well. Good luck with your mend. And, I think your right, even with a cardigan, this blouse ROCKS! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • I actually chopped off 3 inches of locks just before sitting down at my computer. The heat/humidity here is killer, and I love vintage styles that fall just at or slightly above the shoulder. My hair was just about your length- I always have the dichotomy of wanting beautiful long flowing curls, but wanting the neat perfect pincurled look. Once I decide to grow it out, it never gets past this length before it sees the scissors again!

    I think a shorter style would look fantastic on you! I say give it a chop! Its only hair, and itll grow back! I can still use my sponge rollers and perm rods on shorter hair, and also, if you can find these puppies BUY EM- they are AMAZING, I use them both with wet sets and sleep over night with them, or in a pinch, heat them up and roll. They give a perfect authentic pincurled look, I’m so pleased.

    Phew lengthy comment!


  • Tasha that is a lovely blouse it always sad when fabrics that are oh 70 or so years old just don’t want to stand up to being worn anylonger. I have recently bought a day dress that I just love and it is a cotton on the first time out of the closet it ripped on one of the buttons which I can easily patch then later it ripped out on the side seam. Well I love the dress and will still wear it occasionally but I also know that it will have to be for delicate wear not a night out dancing. Perhaps someday I will try to make a copy of it.

    As for hair I think I wouldn’t go too too short as I did this myself at beginning of summer and didn’t love it but one thing about hair is that it can and will grow back so what the heck do it is you wish.


  • another weekend getaway that i am jealous of ๐Ÿ™‚ maybe i should look into those zip cars….. that blouse IS amazing, i hope you can rescue it. i have a cute plaid day dress that is in rough shape-i keep wearing it, it keeps ripping, and i keeping mending it and wearing it again!


  • I say go for the chop! i’m getting mine cut short after the wedding I think, my hair is so long now, it annoys me a bit.

    Great blouse, i hope you manage to fix it up properly!


  • @Moxie Tonic I am trying to visualize your idea! Unfortunately the main rip isn’t along the seam, it’s perpendicular to the seam, straight down the sleeve. However that’s the repaired part, and the new hole is actually closer to the top of the shoulder seam. I will have to play around with it, as you and @Emily both recommended fusible interfacing/webbing!

    @Lenora Le Noire I know exactly what you mean, that’s my problem too. Except I think my hair just doesn’t like to be long as it gets more flat and frizzy, plus I am lazy and it gets in my way and starts to annoy me. The ideal in my head doesn’t work so well in reality! Those are nifty looking rollers! I’ve never seen anything like them, I will definitely try and hunt them down to try. Always on the lookout for more fun tools!

    @Living Vintage Such a bummer about your dress! It’s such a sad feeling, isn’t it?

    @maranda (persnickety vintage) You could definitely look into Zip Cars! I honestly don’t even drive myself, so if it weren’t for Mel I would be more than stuck. lol I just have to get out of the city now and again. I’ve been stir crazy this summer!

    @Franca Yes, mine is getting annoying too! I always wish I could be one of those gals with perfect long hair, but it ends up messy, stuck to the back of my neck and downright annoying. I think I’ve convinced myself of the chop. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  • Oh, I love your blouse! And those shorts are fabulous.



  • I love it that you have a medieval-print novelty blouse (even if it does have a tear)! The little village looks so cute. Too bad it had to rain!


  • Would you be against reinforcing or replacing the shoulder fabric with black fabric? It would make the blouse have a bit of a two tone effect, but only for 2 or 3 inches at the shoulder, which may look kind of nice. It just depends on what look you are going for.


  • Ah yes, the trials of wearing vintage on an everyday basis… I tend to have a lot of problems with ripping the armholes/sleeves of my dresses and destroying hems. I always have a pile of mends for my mother every time I go home for a visit!

    I’m a huge fan of novelty prints and love your blouse, it’s also marvelous how well it went with the theme of your outing. I went to a Ren Faire in L.A. but the main thing I remember is how HOT it was the whole time we were there.

    Also, are you coming to the blogger meetup this Saturday in Pilsen? Please tell me you are coming!


  • I’ve pretty much been living in braids lately because the weather has killed my ability to make my hair do anything remotely interesting. Plus it needs a serious cut (it’s past my mid back–yeah, way too long!). Even setting lotion isn’t holding up against the humidity of late! :p

    Love your blouse! I think the idea of maybe using a bit of the hem to patch the shoulder might be worth a try–it’s a keeper!


  • Ooh your blouse is fab, definitely try and salvage it! I feel your pain with the hair, its wind that thwarts my attempts to tame it, our summer has been pretty much non existent! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Oh my, that fabric is so lovely. Little knights!


  • Beautiful blouse, great print! Shame about the tear I’d go with fusible interfacing as well, might not look pretty on the inside but would work from the outside.

    Since I had my hair shorter a while ago it never gets further than my shoulders now, I just get too hot with it longer!


  • Oh, shame about your awesome blouse. I had a 30s cotton blouse do similar. Anyway, I love that you wore a hint of Renaissance without going full on. Very smart!


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