New Memo from the Department of the Obvious


Scaasi suit

So Lisa sent me a link to this dress/jacket combo on eBay, and I'm in love (click on the image to visit the auction) … but, of course, it's not my size. (Is there a Sturgeon's Law of internet vintage? Something like "90% of everything isn't your size"?)

However, I can't believe that this particular idea hasn't occurred to me with any force before: the print bodice with the solid skirt. What a great way to use teeny yardages of lovely prints (while placating the naysayers who don't want prints anywhere near their hips)! And you wouldn't necessarily have to line the jacket with the same (fancy expensive) print; you could use a solid coordinating color. In fact, since jackets get so much less wear than skirts (at least for me) you could do a jacket lined with a color that coordinated with TWO dresses …

I can see this is going to need serious thought (and fabric shopping). I want to drop what I'm doing now and run right out to find the right pattern and fabric … I'm thinking Simplicity 1510 would be a great option (although it doesn't have a jacket, I have plenty of appropriate jacket patterns in my stash):


Simplicity 1510

Of course, that one (on eBay, too, click on the image to visit the listing) isn't in my size *either*, but I'm sure I have something similar somewhere. Not that I'm going to go rummage around and look for it now … really, I'm not. Honest.

It's Alive!

A long time ago I posted about this pattern, McCalls 5147:

McCalls 5147

And now Toi has found it all made up, for sale on Etsy ($40, B36, click on the image to visit the listing):


ebay item 8305987417

I love it when I find handmade vintage for which I can identify the source pattern — it's like CSI: Sewing, isn't it (except with fewer splatter marks)? And it really helps when I'm trying to decide which of the embarrassingly large number of patterns in my sewing room should be worked up next — look how well this one worked out! I love the rick-rack, and the orange & plaid combo. How fancy would this look in plaid taffeta and velvet? (It'd also look about six years old, but I don't usually let that stop me.)

Has anyone else ever found a dress and known what pattern it was sewn from? (It doesn't count if you found it in your own closet …)

Mystery Dress!

So, for my birthday, my marvelous sister Kate sent me this:

mystery dress

Isn't it awesome? Just the thing to hang in my sewing room.

Of course, I am now consumed by curiosity: who drew this? Why? How did it end up in a junk shop in Park Slope, for Kate to find?

It's marked "DeZine Studio, 105 W 40 ST. NYC", and the style number is D-1725. The illustration is marked "Peau de Soie" (and it's spelled correctly!).

Here's a slightly closer view of the actual dress (sorry about the flash glare):

mystery dress

Anyone have a clue for me? I could just *invent* the story, a la "Secret Lives," but I'd like to take a stab at finding out actual facts, first.

Is there such a thing as a too-big pocket?


Simplicity 3968

Michelle sent me this link (from Janet at Lanetz Living) and asked me what I would assume must be a rhetorical question: "Is there such a thing as a too-big pocket?"

Okay, okay … maybe there is such a thing as a too-big pocket. And perhaps, just perhaps, this jumper is in possession of it. But I can certainly think of extenuating circumstances that would justify needing a pocket this large: what if you had freakishly long arms? You'd have to have a deep pocket to hide the extra foot of forearm, right? Or what if you needed to transport yardsticks, or sawed-off shotguns, or small table lamps? You'd be glad of this pocket then!

I like the look of resignation on the face of the woman in the be-pocketed jumper. It's that same look I get when I know someone is about to play a practical joke on me and the only thing I can do is to endure it and get it over with. I think she knows that there's something yucky at the bottom of that pocket (poorly wrapped PB&J sandwich? slobbered-on post-dog tennis ball? open safety pin?) and that it's only a matter of time before she finds it, the hard way.

I am officially a bad influence

India bought a vintage pattern on Sunday, in honor of my birthday (I'm now 36, woot!).

Lo, here it is (from FuzzieLizzie) and it is made of great:

Simplicity 2959

Those pleats around the neckline … marvelous. (I also eBayed a copy up for myself: who's the bad influence NOW, India?) I'm thinking about adding piping to that neckline … everything is more fun with piping.

I would like to point out that if you need excuses to buy vintage patterns, you really can't beat "I have to buy one; it's the traditional observance of Erin's Birthday"; like making a flag cake for the 4th of July (or, I don't know, are there Guy Fawkes-themed cakes?), it's just Something People Do.

And, speaking of not-so-bad influences, you should check out this wrap dress, modified for a member of our Dress A Day junior auxiliary! I'm glad to know there's a whole generation of little girls wearing cool dresses and not mini-J.Lo ensembles.

Electron Deprivation

My DSL went down at about 11 last night. "No worries," I thought, Pollyannaishly. "I'm sure it will be up in the morning."

Of course, this morning I awoke with a start just at seven, filled with foreboding …. something was wrong! Something terrible!

Whether my body just recognized the lack of a wifi signal permeating my bones, or whether I just sensed the sad lack of blinkitude of the DSL light on the modem, I don't know, but there was no connectivity again this morning. A good night's sleep, it seems, is not what cures an ailing internet connection.

However the good folks at Speakeasy (LOVE them) got me back up and running in just about four hours, so I was able to see that I'd won this:

Advance 6327

How tempted am I to do the striped version of the skirt? Extremely tempted.

I bought this pattern from eBay seller sewingwithdogs. She's got other stuff up, mostly vintage girl clothes …

And now for something completely different

It being August, of course, and 95 degrees everywhere I look, I'm starting to be obsessed with autumn clothes again. Even though I'm making at least two, and possibly three more dresses before September, if I can swing it (wedding this weekend — not mine — and trip in early September), I am starting to think about wool in dark colors, specifically for this skirt (I prefer the view with gathers):


McCalls 5473

And this one:


Vogue 8425

(NOT the one with the drape, isn't that just a tragic subway-car-door accident waiting to happen?)

I believe I asked McCalls for the skirt above and it actually is a Vogue pattern (click on either image to go to a pattern-buying page), but I'm not picky about which brand delivers to me the skirt I want. Not *exactly* sure how to go about putting pockets in the Vogue skirt above, but I'm sure it's doable. (It must be, because I really want this skirt to have pockets, and if the political events of the past five or so years have taught me anything, it's that wishing makes it so.)

Of course, I mostly want narrow skirts because I'm completely enamored of the new heeled oxford I have seen in ALL the September fashion magazines (so far). I love that shoe and have worn it faithfully every time it's come back since 1981. So faithfully, in fact, that I wear them *out*, and have to purchase new pairs … this time I want oxblood or cordovan (like that will happen). Like these, in fact, only not: four inches; patent; over $100.

Anyway, even though I bought these patterns at the JoAnn sale this past weekend, I've resolved not to make any fall clothes until I figure out fall shoes, because I've finally realized (after 36 years on the planet) that it is easier for me to make clothes that match the shoes, rather than vice-versa. Of course, what will probably happen is that I will just keep wearing the perfectly-fine ankle-strap shoes I already have, and wait for the oxfords to come down in both price and heel height, and go ahead and make some skirts anyway … I have this giant fuzzy houndstooth check wool, you see, that would go with any color …