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?
- 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: 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.