Finally, a peek into what I was secretly working on behind the scenes at this time last year! I was both the pattern maker and sample garment seamstress for a local independent designer, helping her launch her “Potion 23” line of modern clothing with an old-style aesthetic.
Victoria Cates has designed feminine dresses, wonderful separates, and lovely accessories inspired by the 1930s, and 40’s. They are made in quality fabrics – many of them in rayon challis, vintage remnants, and her own self-designed prints. They are all made-to-order here in town, offered in multi-sizing so anybody can now wear vintage style! It was so exciting to be a part of this enterprise.
I now have pieces from her collection for myself – the two separates, the “Rapture” tie-front cropped blouse and the “Harp” pleated split skirt. During the preliminary process of testing, I was happy to have the opportunity to try on one of the original aqua angel print “Rapture” blouses in my size. Please believe me when I say this is a must-have item that is so cute, so comfy, and so classic. There is a zipper in the back for ease in dressing, a custom buckle, a bottom hem band to keep the blouse from riding up, and bias cut puff sleeves.
Having an arrangement with “Potion 23”, I was able to make my “Rapture” blouse out of my own custom chosen fabric. This summer I chose to use Gertie’s year 2016 lemon print cotton sateen with the bottom band in a solid black broadcloth. I used a true vintage buckle at the center. It is the perfect cheerful and bright summer top for me – it matches with my swim skirt (which you see me in our backyard inflatable pool) as well as many of my self-made bottoms (such as these 50’s shorts or these modern Burda Pants). Remember, folks, however – this is a one-off item. If you like what you see, you need to go to “Potion 23” and purchase off of her site or even message her and see what she can do for you!
For my own “Harp” pleated split skirt, I used the heavier, textured material Tori and I were experimenting with during testing stage. Thus, my shorts have a stiffer hang than the lovely swing that her “Harp” shorts now have as being offered in a soft cotton. I took them with me on our summer trip to visit friends in Memphis, Tennessee last summer…because clothing that goes on travels with me always gets attached to the best memories! There I used them as a cover up over my swimsuit, but also wore the split skirt with this drapey 40’s top I made years back. I highly recommend these summer bottoms – they are super cute, sneaky shorts that are very classy. The details are top notch, too, with an invisible zipper hidden in the back pleats, a lovely notched closure tab, and superb pleating. “Potion 23” also offers the “Enigma” shorts in a dark navy with custom embroidered angel wings over the pleat openings for those of you who want clothing with a ‘little bit of an extra special touch’.
Of course, the part of her collection that was the most challenging for me is also the most fabulous – 30s style beach pyjamas, “Potion 23” “Archangel” jumpsuit. Most recently, Danielle Colby from the “American Pickers” reality television series was raving (see this post here) about her recent purchase of the “Archangel” jumpsuit…doesn’t she look amazing wearing it on the beach?!? Whether or not you have a beach in your life, this jumpsuit is perfect for having a glamorous summer with very little effort.
As often as we rave in America about the importance and impressiveness of small business, it is a humbling source of pride to both see and be a part of it. Now is more important than ever to support such small businesses, so forgive my advertising plug here, but please go check out “Potion 23” site today. She also makes unique ruffled face masks of vintage fabric scraps if you merely want something practical which will keep you both looking pretty and staying safe! See if there is something that tickles your fancy or strikes you as an item that would cheer up your day to be able to wear. This is the closest you can get to clothing that I drafted! Really, though – this was all because of the ideas and efforts of a woman in town that had a will to make a dream come true and found a way to make it work.