… and we’re back. With a Duro.

by Erin on September 18, 2006

Beijing silk Duro
Isn't this just lovely? Ashley sent it to me. She bought the fabric in Beijing, and as you all know I heartily recommend buying fabric in China. I like the black banding, too, and I'm very glad to see it working so well as I've pretty much/nearly/more or less determined (subject to change) that the next Duro I make will have black banding, as well.

I was hoping to have a long meaty post today (or, rather, yesterday) but:

— I still have no internet access at the new place, although the lovely, lovely Garrett at Speakeasy.net has moved heaven and earth and the local telco to get it for me on Wednesday. We hope. Also, I have twenty-three unpacked boxes just marked "FILES" which makes me alternately want to dig right in for an exhilarating sorting session, or, conversely, just set them all on fire.

— I'm currently in a hotel in Ann Arbor, for reasons too banal to explain. (Thus the internetting.)

— I have the kind of head cold where you seriously consider DIY decapitation, because, really, higher brain function is overrated if it comes with a runny nose as well.

I think we might be up to full posting speed here at A Dress A Day by Thursday, maybe. Depends on how long it takes to get the turbines up again, the trajectory of the head cold and the availability of the sweet, sweet Internet, and whether the people in the next room over EVER TURN OFF THE TV, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate September 18, 2006 at 10:28 pm

Oh, sweetie! So sorry about the head cold. I feel your pain. Ever see the DIY lobotomy in the movie PI? I live in a swampy city, so I feel the urge often. Don’t do it. Try to enjoy fall in the land of changing leaves for someone who misses seasons!I love that black dress! I wish I had the life where I could wear a dress like that every day. And afford it. And not worry about burning acid holes in it in lab. Ah well. A girl can dream.


Floridaprincess September 19, 2006 at 1:26 am

Oh, Erin I hope you feel better soon. Have a hot toddy. I like the blackberry or apricot one’s when I have a cold or feel like I have the flu.I just saw Ann Arbor on Hgtv this weekend on 2 different shows.


Heather September 19, 2006 at 2:38 am

Hi Erin, I’ve mentioned you in my latest post, hope you like it!


Marie-Christine September 19, 2006 at 2:49 am

Soon, you’ll be able to make your own dresse, and your nose will be back to normal :-)… But meanwhile, just burn those files. Life’s too short to schlep 23 boxes. And don’t let yourself get swayed by the argument that you should have done it before the move instead – some of my best lightening-up sessions have been after heinous moves. You’ll never be so pure, virtuous, and motivated.


Gigi September 19, 2006 at 5:24 am

Ew, nothing worse than a cold, IMO. At least with the flu you can go to bed! Everyone calls you a big baby if you take to your bed with a cold. Feel better soon!I LOVE this dress – it is gorgeous! Love, love, love the print fabric.


Anonymous September 19, 2006 at 7:36 am

This is the nicest colour combination I have seen so far. My Duro pattern is this moment winging its way to me from across the globe….Yeeeess!


S. September 19, 2006 at 8:30 am

I was at a party on Saturday where I saw a woman wearing a beautiful black and white Duro dress. (Black on White large floral print with black banding. Definitely silk.) I was drunk enough to have the impulse to go over and talk abotu her dress with her, but I wasn’t drunk enough to do it.


Shawn September 19, 2006 at 9:47 am

That is a beautiful dress. Erin, you MUST go to Zingermans while in A2. It will cure what ails you. Their… everything! is divine.


Robinson September 19, 2006 at 10:29 am

After seeing this dress AND the live shot of you in your green Duro dress I’ve decided that I need a pattern for myself. Surely this is the dress that will flatter my figure like no other… I hope.


Lee September 19, 2006 at 10:38 am

Heh. Ann Arbor. Sorry about the weather! It’s a much nicer town when it isn’t 55 degrees and cloudy/rainy, which together with a cold must be making for a pretty foul visit.


patsijean September 19, 2006 at 10:38 am

I like this dress! Not too much contrast between the body of the dress and the band. Saw you on the video, and liked that green dress too. You are a prolific sewist.”and whether the people in the next room over EVER TURN OFF THE TV, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.”That is why I always travel with ear plugs. I use the orange foam type that can be purchased at Eckards Drugs or KMart. Too late for last night now, but if you are staying over in the beautiful state of Michigan and the interesting city of Ann Arbor, run out and purchase a supply. I highly recommend it. They work like a charm.


Anonymous September 19, 2006 at 10:47 am

But somebody tell me please, are these dresses flattering to wear? They look so lovely on the dress form (saw one yesterday at the fabric store, too, and on a CNN anchor!), but what about if you are short and a little busty? Won’t I just drown in it? Let me know!


Tiger Feet September 19, 2006 at 11:44 am

Beautiful! The Duro lives on… everytime I think it’s time to retire the shape, someone does something so gorgeous it’s inspiring!


Anonymous September 19, 2006 at 11:59 am

Isn’t it hunting season up there? The people with the TV aren’t in blaze orange, right?…So perhaps some hunting accident could occur…I’ll bet they are watching the TV with eyes like deer caught in a headlight, so it would be justified, don’t you think????


S. September 19, 2006 at 12:04 pm

Anon.: I made a Duro-esque dress adapted from the New Look 6515 shirt pattern. (It had a surplice neckline so it’s not a true Duro.) I’m short, plus-sized, and busty (a triple threat!) and I think it’s pretty flattering. There’s fewer gathers in this version so it doesn’t give you that horrible pregnant look. I did have to adjust the pattern a bit for my bust, and if I made it again, I’d make the skirt a little more A-line, but other than that it was great.


rebecca September 19, 2006 at 1:11 pm

You must go to Zingerman’s! We just left Ann Arbor and I’m still pining. The tomato soup will have you fixed up in no time.


Mina W September 19, 2006 at 3:19 pm

For everybody who is wondering about the flattery or the reverse of the Duros and wrap/surplice patterns, especially the empire waist ones:Long ago when I was younger and slender waisted, I had a costume which had an empire waist, belted just under the bust. The skirt was very flared, nearly 2 half-circles, with more flare in back. There were no waist gathers, it just flared from the high waist seam. It was just large enough to be pulled on, pulled in tight by the belt.It looked good on me, and was fun to wear, because of the movement of the skirt. But one day I loaned it to a lady who was much more ample in build, and especially rounder in the middle. She looked fantastic! I think the secret is the flare of the skirt – it needs to be flared to 110 inches minimum, better much more, with not too much bulging at the waist seam. And the longer the better, ankle or floor length is more flattering. The very short versions, especially gathered at the waist without enough flare (baby dolls) are probably going to look fat. I am trying to remember these observations now, to design dresses to wear now that I am not so slender-waisted anymore. And thanks to Erin and this blog, I am starting to design dresses and sew again! A dancing dress first.


SDMC September 19, 2006 at 3:19 pm

Hope you feel better….we all had the first “cold” of the season last week.Love the dress — I’ve been wondering about the shorter, fuller figure issue, too….but I’m going to make one anyway.


oracle September 19, 2006 at 3:40 pm

Mina W, thanks so much for your observations. I’m going to take them into account when I make mine. I also have been wanting to see it in a much longer version than seems to be fashionable now, thinking that I’d like it’s look even better that way.


Anonymous September 19, 2006 at 5:54 pm

Wow! Imagine this with zebra print black/white and deep red bands! hubba-hubba!


enc September 19, 2006 at 6:43 pm

oh you poor thing. Thanks for that great little tidbit.


nora September 19, 2006 at 7:08 pm

Yes! Matzo ball soup from Zingermans! Their chicken broth is the best. And the black bands are muy elegante.


Erica September 19, 2006 at 7:44 pm

22 boxes of files? I vote for setting them on fire.Your site makes me wish I’d started sewing 20 years ago instead of, oh, two months ago. I may never be skilled enough to attempt a Duro, but dangit, do I ever want to give it a try…


diane September 19, 2006 at 10:01 pm

And, after you go to Zingermans, walk down the street to the treasure mart. A overwhelmingly fun experience. If you need a beautiful experience, go to the law quad and just be there. It is modelled after Oxford and is my favorite place in Ann Arbor.


Mina W September 19, 2006 at 10:15 pm

Oracle – At school today, I was digging through Erin’s past posts (yes, I had a legitimate reason – a project for my Publication Design class where I am going to draw some dresses) I don’t have the reference with me here, but she showed a vintage Vogue pattern, with a full-length purple dress, which looked really beautiful.Of course, that’s in the illustration drawing, and we all know they try to make the pattern look its best. What I’ve just been wondering is, if the drawings all make dresses look fuller and more flared and longer, because that looks better – why don’t they just make the dress/pattern that way in the first place?


Gidget Bananas September 20, 2006 at 9:32 am

I’m so loving black and white prints right now, and this one is a doosie!


Anonymous September 21, 2006 at 7:00 am

sorry about your cold.here in nyc the duro ripoff is spreading like a virus. unfortunately, many of them are very ugly.also, not everyone wears them well.


erma September 22, 2006 at 12:00 am

Speaking of Duros, Erin, I saw a picture of you in a magazine in this dress with these shoes (first picture). Very nice! But I think I detected some orange in the bodice. Did you change the dress, or was it an accessory?


Erin September 22, 2006 at 4:42 am

hi Erma! What year are you? :-)The orange was a camisole — I thought the vee of the Duro was too deep to wear without one for that picture.Thanks!


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