Some Commonly-Held Misconceptions about A Dress A Day

by Erin on September 21, 2006

I thought it might be a good idea to answer some of the questions that have come up about me & this blog …

  • Q: Do you really make a dress every day?
  • A: Sadly, no. I try to (when moving house or traveling doesn't get in the way) post something about a dress or dresses every day. I wouldn't mind making a dress every day, I think. For a limited time, say, a month. In my other, purely theoretical, life as a conceptual artist, it would be wonderful to do a project that involved making a dress every day, and then exhibiting them all … interested gallery owners are encouraged to email me.

  • Q: I like to wear pants. I even wear jeans, sometimes. Do you hate me?

    A: No! I am not anti-pants. I do not hate pants. (Okay, I hate ugly pants, but doesn't everyone? And that hatred doesn't spill over onto ugly-pants WEARERS — that would be adding insult to injury). I personally prefer dresses, and I would like (Sam-I-Am stylee) to encourage people to TRY wearing dresses. "You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say." If you try dresses and decide they are not for you, no big deal. Hey, it was worth a shot. I personally despise bananas, but I eat one about once a year just to make sure I still can't stand them. What if all of a sudden I started loving bananas, and missed out on years of banana-eating joy? It's worth a couple of bites of disgusting banana-flesh every once in a while, just to make sure.

    Seriously — if you're wearing something that makes you happy — because when you wear it you feel 100%, absolutely, totally YOU — that makes me happy, too. (If you need someone on the Internet to be happy about what you're wearing.)

  • Q: Are you trying to get people to wear dresses for JESUS? Bless you sister!

    A: I'm very sorry, but — no. I have received absolutely no directives from any higher power asking me to convince people to wear dresses, for "modesty's sake" or any other reason. I like dresses because they make me happy. I figure that I'll get to wear dresses in heaven (if there is any such place) but I don't believe wearing them is a requirement for getting there.

  • Q: You post all these retro styles! Do you really think that the 1950s were a golden age? The repression! The patriarchy! Do you think women should just be barefoot and pregnant?

    A: Whoa! I do believe it is possible to separate the aesthetic of a particular time from its philosophy or underlying cultural assumptions. People who enjoy Doric columns aren't necessarily advocating a return to the city-state, are they? In fact, I think that that more you wear a retro style in a modern way, the easier it becomes to unmoor it from its original setting. I'm also a big believer in rescuing traditional femininity from second-class status. If you wear clothes made for women and shaped for women, it can be a way to assert that you don't feel the need to conform to the male norm. If you do it proudly, unapologetically, in a put-up-or-shut-up manner, I think it's more of a poke in the eye to patriarchal assumptions than otherwise. But that's just my (convenient) opinion, and of course it's impossible to say where the influence of patriarchal culture begins and ends. But (short answer) no: I'm not an advocate for what passes for "traditional" family structure of male breadwinner/female housewife. If it works for you, fine, but I'm not holding it up as a norm, even though some people associate that with the kinds of dresses I like.

  • Q: You haven't answered my comment/email/telepathic communication!

    A: I'm so sorry! Try again. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and have to declare an email DMZ. If you think I've forgotten you, I haven't. Probably. I just haven't gotten back to you yet. Feel free to nag. I respond well to nagging. I respond well to nagging and guilt. I respond well to nagging, guilt, and offers of patterns and fabric.

  • Q: Weren't you in a touring company of Starlight Express?

    A: No — I don't know where these rumors get started. I certainly like to roller-skate, but not professionally.

  • Q: Will you make me a wedding dress/prom dress/ren-faire costume/a dress exactly like the one you posted today?

    A: I wish I could, but I can't. Sewing isn't my job; it's my hobby, and nothing kills a hobby faster than doing it for money. Not to mention that every time I've sewn for someone else it's ended in tears, if not just short of bitter recriminations. Trying to make a flat piece of fabric fit two people's imaginations is beyond me. I can barely do one!
    That said, lots of people do happily do custom sewing, and you can find a few of them here. (If you do custom sewing and want to be put on my referral list, please email me. Be sure to let me know WHERE you are, and if you also do work remotely/online/through the mail.)

  • Q: Isn't this list getting really long? Where's my lovely dress picture for today?

    A: Here you go:

    ebay item 180030147959

    Mmmm, autumn roses! Click on the image to go to the eBay auction. (Thanks, Lisa!)

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous September 21, 2006 at 8:08 am

I wish I was going to wear that dress to work today. It is hot, and autumn at the same time. This dress is the prefect solution. Of course I also wish I had a waist small enough to wear that dress.Gorgeous cream and brown. Thanks Erin for being so dependable even in the midst of your trying circumstances. I’m looking forward to a peek at your new creative space, bless you, you richly deserve one!

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k. September 21, 2006 at 8:28 am

You’d think that so few misconceptions could be created by a blog like yours, but what would I know? Dresses for Jesus? Holy holy holy….I hope the move is going well and that you take some time off blogging to enjoy your new sewing space.

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Anonymous September 21, 2006 at 8:39 am

Love your answers, but that dress? Whoa! *fans self* That dress is the bomb, honey. Mmmmm.–Lydia

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Anonymous September 21, 2006 at 8:44 am

Must. Bid. Now. Thanks for showcasing that beauty! I’ve just recently become a Dress-a-Day addict, and I find it so inspiring. It’s time to dust off the sewing machine and turn that fabric stash into something I can wear!

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Jen ~ MOMSPatterns September 21, 2006 at 9:21 am

hahahaha! I am SO in love with your brain, Erin!!! :)

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JuliaR September 21, 2006 at 9:55 am

Wow, I’d never even heard of PACC. Learn something new every day. I lurves that autumn roses dress, I do.

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anno September 21, 2006 at 9:57 am

Oh my, what a beautiful dress! I think I am in love.

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debbyv September 21, 2006 at 10:29 am

Wonderful blog today. Loved all the answers! Have a 16 & 20 year old that could fit in that dress with no problem.

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savvy September 21, 2006 at 10:40 am

what?? wearing a dress won’t absolve me of my sins?dammit.

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Marji September 21, 2006 at 11:03 am

LOL, thanks for the Q&A. Love todays dress. I too love the 50′s design aesthetic, although I don’t want to go back to Living in the 50′s. Once a week I get together with a group of friends, and most of us are involved somehow in professional dressmaking…anyway, last week we were talking about retro and design aesthetics – and someone came up with the adage “if you are old enough to remember and have worn the design in a previous go-round, you are too old to be wearing it again.”Maybe that is why I like the 50′s so much. Just before my time, whereas I look stupendously ridiculous in anything mod-60s’ – I wore it the first time around. Same with all that 70′s peasant stuff. I couldn’t wear a Duro dress now without looking silly if my life depended on it.

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Nancy September 21, 2006 at 11:13 am

Love your post. If you were to answer my question it would be,did people really ask all those questions?Dresses for Jesus?Oy vey!

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Becky O. September 21, 2006 at 11:38 am

Ditto from Nancy!. !Ay dios mio!I only harrass you for your fabric sources, not your highway to heaven.

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bani September 21, 2006 at 11:53 am

Oh man that fabric is gorgeous. *sigh*

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Nancy September 21, 2006 at 12:15 pm

I very much enjoyed this FAQs post: what fun! You are terrific. And that dress: incredible! A real feast at ADAD today, thanks.

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Daphne September 21, 2006 at 12:58 pm

I like your thoughts on traditional feminity and saying, yeah, we don’t need to be men (or dress like men) to succeed in this soon-to-be-former men’s world. (I’m an endless optimist.) We’re really lucky to be living in this era when we have so much choice and, potentially, influence. Not that my mom didn’t have the choice to push the envelope with her short skirts in the 60′s–she did–but we generally no longer have to adhere to a clothing style that reflects our mores. GENERALLY being a key word in that sentence.

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Anonymous September 21, 2006 at 1:16 pm

If nothing else will motivate me to whittle down my waist, my longing to wear a dress like this just might. Gorgeous!

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sdn September 21, 2006 at 1:29 pm

“You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say.”i love you.

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Anonymous September 21, 2006 at 5:18 pm

OOOOOOHhhhhhh.What a pretty dress.

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Anonymous September 21, 2006 at 7:21 pm

So beautiful!!!I will make myself a dress! I will make myself a dress! I will make myself a dress!! Repeat util it actually happens!Thanks for the inspiration Erin, you have a wonderful site which makes me smile every time I read it.

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Barbara September 21, 2006 at 7:59 pm

I found your blog by its being mentionedin the Washington Post “Home” section today. I’ve been looking for sewingblogs. Glad I found you.

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Bellaleigh September 21, 2006 at 8:57 pm

“I personally despise bananas, but I eat one about once a year just to make sure I still can’t stand them.”Oh, I think that is absolutely true…and hilarious. Thanks for that wonderful bit of writing!

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Sarah September 21, 2006 at 9:25 pm

I eat rockmelon (cantelope, in your strange American-speak) once every now and then for the same reason. I can now eat it if, for example, it was the only food left in the universe, however I still don’t like it. *blech*I won’t try peanut butter, though, that’s just disgusting. :)

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Helen September 22, 2006 at 2:56 am

you’re just so lovely x

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Floridaprincess September 22, 2006 at 3:52 am

Oh my gawd Erin those questions!!! I laughed so hard. Thankyou. I was having a bad week. I love what Savy saver said. Im probably going to hell in handbag anyway. Marji’s groups probably right. I love so many of the vintage eras before my time. I grew up in the 70′s & cant stand the clothing from that time perid even when it comes around I have no desire to wear it.Erin, does this mean you dont like banana bread???That dress is fabby. Im sure the waist is too small if I could only find my waist :+(

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Lee Anne September 22, 2006 at 9:45 am

Oh. That dress. Must. Have.

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busy91 September 22, 2006 at 11:35 am

HAHA those are great Q&As

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marcia in austin September 22, 2006 at 12:51 pm

I love the dresses you feature, but I don’t think Jesus would wear them. Not even if he *did* have a twenty-six inch waist.

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robertajune September 22, 2006 at 1:37 pm

I’ve said it a million times: 1950′s dresses were styled for grown women to look chic! I don’t want to look like a 6-foot-tall 14-year-old! Therefore, the clothes I sew are classic retro-styles from the 40′s and 50′s. Keep up the good work, Erin. It’s great to know that I’m not alone in my taste.

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Anonymous September 22, 2006 at 7:10 pm

I read this for the dresses, and the secret life stories. Could have lived without knowing you’re an athiest.

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Clare September 23, 2006 at 3:21 am

Erin-I-am, I tried them (taking into account your observations about bodice style etc) and I like them.

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vespabelle September 23, 2006 at 10:42 am

I think I need to go try a banana (since I too hate them except when cooked.)

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Jess September 24, 2006 at 6:56 pm

Hi- I came across your lovely blog through a series of other blogs… you know how that goes… (blogs leading to blogs leading to one hour gone. Anyway, I guess I have a question: what would you suggest to someone who is, for a season of their lives nursing or pregnant nearly all the time? I have some lovely pregnancy dresses. But as for nursing a baby, it’s just not easy to do with a good-fitting dress. Are you open to skirt/top creations for such a time? I’d be interested in seeing your thoughts on this. My e-mail? connellfamily@pobox.com

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Oblivious Maven September 24, 2006 at 10:23 pm

Sniff. The waist is too small. Yeah, I wear shorts and t-shirts every day. But if clothes were this pretty and I was that little…..

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Anonymous November 15, 2007 at 11:14 pm

nice dress!!!:)

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Renee Sherrer May 27, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Hi there: I just found out about your postings and L O V E your addiction to fashion, sewing, fun, etc. I love the retro thang, but have to say that when you’re MY age (just passed a BIG/Scary milestone) I’ve found that when I wear retro, those who are not aware, think those retro styles are original equipment! Thus dating me even more than my years do. YIKES! This is why you will rarely find older (read mature) women wearing retro clothes…it’s too hard to explain that we’re being kitschy and cool and that it was our mother’s styles, not ours. Oh the inequity of it all. You may find that we ladies with a bit more time invested on this planet, look to be wearing things that exhibit our good taste and pocket books, rather than our (sadly gravity influenced) figures. Woe is me, but I have a closet full of the most gorgeous, hand made items!
SO, enjoy it while you may. All things change and the secret to aging gracefully, is to adapt and improve. Be SURE to pick up a copy of the book Advance Style. I am in NO way affiliated with that book. It makes me giggle to see ladies from 70+ in age showing off their style and enjoying fashion at a level that many (or maybe even most) women NEVER do!
Ta Ta
Renee

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