and the winner for “best use of border” is …

by Erin on June 23, 2006


ebay item 8434970686

I'm beginning to suspect that some eBay sellers have cracked the secret of time travel and are just holding out on the poor physicists while they grab the good stuff — this would also explain why occasionally stuff goes missing RIGHT OUT OF MY CLOSET without my even touching it. When you have eliminated all possible explanations, as they say, you must turn to the impossible.

Anyway, Traven7 has this listed (and it's already past $150 with a couple days left in the auction, click on the image to go take a look) and isn't it one of the loveliest uses of a border you've ever seen? I am SO stealing this idea. I feel an actual, physical, visceral pleasure when I look at this dress, and my hands are itching to try this myself. I'm going to be looking at some patterns in a new way — how can I lay out the fabric so the border is on the vertical, and not the horizontal? I want to try this in contrast, rather than tone-on-tone, so that it really shouts. Also, doing this means you don't have to do a placket! Oh, glory.

So thanks are due, not only to Ruby who sent me the link, and to Traven7 for going back in time to get it and listing it, but also to whichever inspired designer turned an ordinary border design on its head, so to speak.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie June 23, 2006 at 8:16 am

Loving the focus on fashion, dresses etc. but can I just ask…does anyone actually buy their clothes on ebay?? Daft question as I know they do – I met one such person whilest out one evening and laughed out loud at their admission. Is it me being a snob? The more I think about it the less ridiculous it seems – know we’re buying eveything online these days (cars, I ask you!). Thing is, buying an outfit on ebay cannot be more convenient than going into a shop, even if you live the far side of nowhere. I appreciate that buying clothes online is an all round winner (ish) but ebay? Prob second hand and you have to go through a whole world of pain before you know you’ve ‘successfully’ bought it. Seriously, I’m open minded about this one and as an avid shopper (both online on standard shop addict) just want to understand what I’m not getting and am aware I’m one of the few missing the point. Any thoughts?

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Anonymous June 23, 2006 at 8:21 am

Annie, I don’t see the problem. Why not e-bay?

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Larkspur June 23, 2006 at 8:32 am

Annie, look at it as the on-line equivalent of shopping at a consignment or vintage clothing shop.

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Erin June 23, 2006 at 8:36 am

Hmm. I can think of lots of reasons to buy on eBay. For vintage, lots of things are one-of-a-kind, and you’ll only find them on eBay. Online sellers tend to have better prices than people who are paying the overhead on a store, too, so you’ll get better deals on eBay/online.For non-vintage clothes, you can often find things that have either left the stores (past season merchandise that you missed/want to replace) or are off-season (sandals in December). Prices are good, too. Also, this isn’t a consideration for everyone, but if going to a store is a problem for you (small children in tow, disability issues, transport), eBay is really convenient! It takes me much less time to buy a pair of shoes on eBay (I know what brands fit me well). Click, click, done — none of this get in the car or on the train for half an hour, battle through crowds, and then find out there’s not even my size available!) And if by some chance they don’t fit I can relist them or (more likely) pass them along to a friend, because they weren’t that expensive to begin with.That said, I tend to be picky about what I buy on eBay/online. I want good measurements, and I want good photos, and I will always do a Buy It Now if I can — instant gratification! Of course, I also bought my first new car online. In 1998. So perhaps I am an outlier?

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Notamermaid June 23, 2006 at 9:33 am

I but vintage clothes on ebay all the time. I live in New York. Do you have any idea how much that stuff costs around here? About triple what I’d pay on ebay for, say, a vintage cashmere sweater (a particular indulgence of mine).Plus, no sales tax. Ebay’s also good for periodically cleaning out my closet at a profit.

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Annie June 23, 2006 at 9:34 am

Not at all against buying online – love it, and understand why it benefits so many but to me, ebay is something different…its the element of competition and showy-ness it creates I suppose. Like that it requires a degree of trust in other consumers rather than a company though and there in lies its strength – full on user generated content. I’m a bit less pragmatic and more romantic about the way I shop I think so don’t think I’ll ever be down with the clinical ebay. Thanks for your comments though – more tuned in to the value of ebay

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Anonymous June 23, 2006 at 10:17 am

what a beautiful dress, i’ll try to make one like this myself…magnificent!!

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bani June 23, 2006 at 10:21 am

What’s a placket? I barely know these things in Swedish…

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Jen ~ MOMSPatterns June 23, 2006 at 10:33 am

Hi Bani! A placket would be the slit in the side of the dress where a zipper or buttons or snaps would be placed :)I AM digging that border she’s got..

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Carrie June 23, 2006 at 10:43 am

Oh My! I want this dress!!!! I wish my waist was small enough to fit! I am going to make this dress for my bridal shower in August. Would it be too tacky to make it in white?

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Erin June 23, 2006 at 10:45 am

Bani,a placket can also be the facing under the front opening of a dress, especially under buttonholes or buttons. Check out the next thing you put on that buttons down the front — there’s often another layer of fabric to help strengthen the opening. I hate making them!

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ita June 23, 2006 at 11:37 am

I had that dress on my watch list, but folded my hand when the price shot up ridiculously.I started shopping on eBay for vintage dresses when my meatspace search for a good sundress was for naught. Saw a picture of mskat looking lovely in a eBay dress, and went hunting.Oh so fun! I especially can’t wait to wear this out. And this better arrive soon. I love this a lot, but I’m going to have to get it altered–I think I need to bump up my breast measurement just in case.DId I mention fun!

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Absinthe June 23, 2006 at 12:03 pm

Its beautiful. And Carrie, I don’t think it would be tacky at ALL to do it in white for a summer event. Also, I do buy the occasional thing from e-bay. I have had a couple of problems with the fit, by not being able to try things on, but its true about finding one of kind treasures on there.

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mickey June 23, 2006 at 12:33 pm

Hi Erin! I have been visiting your blog for a while but this is my first post. This dress is stunning, makes me renew my weight loss vows and makes my fingers itch to sew what I want to sew (as opposed to what I have to sew). I found all the dresses offered by this seller to be remarkable. I’m not into fashion and designers per se but I do love to see what’s out there. Thanks for a daily (almost) dose of inspiration.

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Becky O. June 23, 2006 at 12:57 pm

This is the simple , I’m slapping my head, idea that I wonder why more designers or home sewers don’t use.And yes, no facings!!!

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Falinda June 23, 2006 at 2:44 pm

uooooo!It`s so beautiful…

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Anonymous June 23, 2006 at 3:41 pm

Beautiful.

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lucitebox June 23, 2006 at 3:51 pm

Hi. I’m Holly at lucitebox.com. I’m a vintage clothing dealer and I sell on eBay. I also own a very small web boutique business. I’ve been thinking about your comments, Annie, and hope that I can add some thoughts that might illuminate why people buy vintage clothing on eBay. As Erin says, there’s the big draw of finding a one of a kind garment that might never show up at any of your local (or not so local) haunts. Prices fluctuate and there are certainly great deals to be had on eBay. Moreover, there are things that likely set record prices every now and then. It really just depends on who wants the thing the most. There are lots of vintage dealers whose professional venue is primarily eBay. (Many do it part-time or supplement a bricks & mortar business with eBay.) For some, it’s the main source of income.For my part, I do everything I can to ensure that my buyers are happy with their purchases. I try to make the sale as painless as possible, too–I take many forms of payment, give folks time to pay and ship very quickly. I know it can be daunting to sift through listings so I try to take clear pictures and describe things well. What really pleases me is when an eBay bidder becomes a repeat customer. I’m humbled to know that I have quite a few of them. One of the things I don’t always like about eBay is the anonymity of it all. I wish I could do more to build relationships with my customers. I can think of a lot of sellers who have a following on eBay. They pick good stuff to sell and run a tight, professional business. And, by golly, Erin…I have drooled over Traven7′s dresses many times. This one is very sweet and I’m glad it’s inspiring the sewists and the lovers of vintage out there. Holly

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bani June 23, 2006 at 4:28 pm

Thanks for placket info! Yes, I can well believe that is a pain to sew. :-/

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......::::::...RaChAeL...::::::...... June 23, 2006 at 7:49 pm

heyi realli like the whole fashion thing… ure quite an interesting person.. but i kinda like funny stuff, and well, i like ur blog… where did u get the pics from? i want 1 of those…’ha ha ha’ bye 4 now, not 4ever!……::::::…RaChAeL…::::::……

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demondoll June 23, 2006 at 10:54 pm

that dress is beautiful.

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Shiny Blue Black June 23, 2006 at 11:52 pm

I’m an ebay buyer and I live in SEA – there is no vintage to buy here unless you’re looking at poly carp – the small group of ladies here who might have been able to afford great clothes 40 years ago do not sell their stuff . So ebay is pretty much your only bet if you want something not factory made or new tailor made.Now that I do shop on ebay I very rarely do actually go shopping in actual stores for clothes. The clothes nowadays are just not worth it (inferior construction and materials, and the ‘styles’ are just.. boring and predictable mostly).Oh and fyi – TRUE ebay vintage sellers are the very best group of ebay sellers there are. I’ve bought lots of stuff off ebay, but my favorite sellers are still the vintage ones – they really love their stuff and love selling you stuff as well.The only poopie thing about vintage is that I’m too big for most of the really great dresses. I’d get a breast reduction, but that seems a little extreme… for now anyway!

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joczps June 24, 2006 at 12:39 am

wow! you know what, i dont wear dresses, and i dont like dresses, not till i saw this. it is awesome, really! good work there.

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gary s. keen June 24, 2006 at 1:51 am

Lucky You, This is my first ever blog response. Since I am writing my memoirs, looked at this dress and blews out a few vacumn tubes! I remember my mom wearing this type of sun dress when I was 5 or 6 years old. We would spend all day doings housework, laundry, cooking the year was 1962. For a short while that dress and that color really gave me aboost of better times. At least for me any way. Thanks!

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Floridaprincess June 24, 2006 at 2:18 am

shiny blue black,has been hanging out in my mind!!! LOL Iam just teasing, but she did say word for word exactly how I feel. (hence the mind joke)The only thing different is I live in a small town in Florida. Iam originally from Oregon. I do remember when Seattle and Oregon had fabby vintage clothing. I had a 24 inch waist then. This was 1985. I dont have to tell you how many years ago that was. I knew a wonderful woman who had a great vintage clothing store in Astoria, Or called Persona and she opened her store in 1984 it was a fabby little place. I used to go in there and drool. I bought a 1910 victorian camisol for $35 that I had till the late 90′s then I lost the camisol somewhere. The woman moved her shop to bigger building that had more room. It had a upstairs and a down stairs. Well, she had her shop for years. Then sadly she closed her shop 2 yrs ago. I was so sad when I heard she was doing this. She told me the reason why is it’s hard to get vintage anymore. The economy was awful and was not getting better. She decided to have an auction. She told the acution did not go well she was terribly upset and depressed. The people that went did not understand and auciton and how it works. I told her she should have sold the stuff on Ebay. She said she wanted to get rid of it all at once she did not think of ebay. Where I live in Florida due to the hurricanes and flooding the best vintage clothing shop went out of bussiness. I missed their closing down sale. I left town due to no electricty for 2 weeks!!! Her prices were high and her edwardian stuff always had holes in it. I used to go in and look, but never bought anythihng. Now the only vintage clothing shop in town is Years a Go-Go and she specializes in poly, 60′s and 70′s. Im not into that. I have notice living in the south now that a lot of wool stuff from the 30′s,40′s 50′s and 60′s have been eaten up by the moths. Then the seller still wants $50 to $80 for it or more!!!I love the dress and I would wear it. Sure got a little pricey tho. I like the front where the buttons are, so cute.Sorry about this being so long.

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jenny June 24, 2006 at 4:14 am

YOU’RE KILLING ME! I actually found a dress almost identical to this one at a thrift shop, but it was a light buttery yellow. I look like poo (literally) in that color, but nearly wept when I finally decided that it needed to belong to someone else. And to make it all worse, it only cost $6. Now? I’m kicking myself repeatedly, having decided that I’d rather go around looking like a fresh, summery, well-dressed pile of poo than a hot, sweaty, wistful pile of poo…

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Anonymous June 24, 2006 at 9:22 am

My lovely red haired aunt wore a dress very much like the one in your post. I might just have a photo of her in it … some celebration held in the yard of our home in California rings a bell.Great dress then .. great dress now.Carmelita

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Anonymous June 24, 2006 at 3:29 pm

Please, please, please, if you decide to make a copy of this dress, be sure to put some type of reinforcement behind the eyelet. There has got to be a lining or facing or interfacing behind this, or all of those tiny little buttons would just rip out. And with the vertical placement of the buttonholes (if not reinforced), before they ripped they would pop open. Only way either of these would not happen without reinforcement of the garment is if the wearer had on major corsetry…which fits the timeperiod this was made…

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Kit June 25, 2006 at 3:24 am

I don’t think that’s the boarder. If you look closely, you can vaguely see the seam allowance folded under on the outside of the lace area.

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Notta Wallflower June 26, 2006 at 9:36 am

That’s a beautiful dress. I’m not so concerned with the border, but it looks so feminine and it’s the perfect shade of blue.

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MsOktober June 26, 2006 at 12:14 pm

imagine that in black with delicate rinestone flower buttons. chic!

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Anonymous June 27, 2006 at 10:04 am

OMG, I had a replica of this dress in mint green 10 years ago! It came with a matching skinny belt and was so gloriously “leave it to beaver.” It must be in my parents basement somewhere, I’ve got to find it!

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Elizabeth June 30, 2006 at 2:41 am

This is such a gorgeous dress that I think I’m going to have to learn to sew properly just so I can make one. What a fabulous find!

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