I peruse fashion magazines for trends and styling tips, and tear out the pictures of garments with interesting decorative details, embellishments, fabrics, etc. This spring one trend that caught my eye was lots of feminine blouses with gathers, ruffles or flounces. A lot of them resemble what I called "peasant blouses" back it the 70’s when I sewed and wore them for the first time. Here is the pattern from my collection. Using my Dollar Store magnifying glasses, I see that the date on the envelope says 1971, so I would have been 14 years old at the time. I remember making the blouse and doing the cross stitch. I definitely did not do the head scarf. In the past few months I have collected several pictures of this style of blouse, but they are all paired with slim pencil skirts, not the more common multi tiered calf length skirts that make you look like a dancer with a Latin American Folk group. One picture is a Banana Republic ad (the blond), showing a blouse with neckline gathers, band and front button placket, tuked into a slim pencil skirt. This silhouette appealed to me.. My basic shape is elongated pear. This outfit would add bulk on top where I need it. It was slim on the bottom, which I can do if you get past my waist. The front placket contributes to a vertical line. And I have always liked the blue, tan color combination for summer.. When I spotted the pattern for New Look top 6678, I quickly purchased it. It was so close to the pictured blouse, plus it also had waist darts to keep the waist slim. Looking at the full-page magazine ad, I thought the blouse was made of sueded silk, so I ordered some dark turquoise sueded silk from http://www.fashionfabricclub.com/. After checking out the BR web site I found out the blouse was actually cotton and looked a bit wrinkly. I have never noticed Banana Republic stores before. But in the time since I tore out the ad, I have read two articles that suggested BR as a good store for "classic fashion updated with modern details" for the over 40 customer. Here is how the blouse turned out after much work and some tweaking. I widened the band 5/8 " towards the neck, to make it easier to work with and cover my bra straps. The original band was 7/8 wide, with 3/8 seam allowances. I am really happy with the way it turned out though the sleeves are a little foppish. I may restyle them by removing the flounce, gathering the bottom edge, and enclosing it a bias binding. Hours after finishing the blouse I felt I had to make myself a skirt like the one in the picture too. I was in "Get er done!" mode. So I quickly chose a tapered skirt pattern from my stash based on the written description of "tapered, kick pleat" and 1 yard 60" fabric required. I didn’t have enough wool gabardine for the kick pleat so I made a creative design decision and used brown scalloped edge lace instead. I was liking the way the skirt was going together until I was pin fitting the side seams, and realized the unique back yoke emphasizes the derriere area. The yoke curves over the butt cheeks and ends in a point just below the butt curve. The kick pleat starts at the point the yoke ends, Way up high! Very revealing when the kick pleat is made of lace. The lining does not cover the kick pleat. This was not what I had planned for a skirt to wear to work. I am not the office hottie! To tone it down, I plan to remove the lace and replace with similar colored silk shantung. Hubby likes the outfit, but thinks I should wear the top button of the blouse unbuttoned like the BR model and the pattern envelope picture. His idea of appropriate clothes for me are best described as " aggressively sexy". I am flattered he thinks I can carry it off, but it ain’t going to happen. And that BR model, comparing her picture to mine, I realized the poor girl has no hips!