In Which I Answer Some Random Questions

by Erin on January 29, 2008


Buttericke 6541

It's been some time since I answered in a general way some of the common questions that are emailed to me, so maybe it's time to do so again …

The #1 question I seem to get lately is not so much a question, but a request for me to make people stuff. I wish I could, really, but being able to sew well for other people is a special gift and requires vast reserves of time and patience, neither of which I have. At all. So, while I sympathize with your desire for the prom dress, wedding gown, or shirtwaist of your dreams, you must make those dreams a reality in some other way.

Probably question #2 is "How big is your closet?" to which the answer is, "Not big enough!" Heh. I do make a LOT of dresses, but I tend to rotate them in and out of service and keep the things I can't POSSIBLY give away (fewer than you'd think) in big plastic tubs. Also, I'm a klutz so it's the rare dress that avoids life-ending ketchup or ink stains for more than a year or so.

Question #3 tends to be "Will you link to me?" I'd like to, I'd really like to (okay, not the skeevy spam-farming fake-watch-selling people, you KNOW who you ARE) but right now I'm idly contemplating a site redesign and waiting on that to mess with my links, since changing all that is going to be a huge horrible PITA. Any suggestions for the redesign would not be taken amiss. (Oh, and if you are asking me to link to your latest me-too "fashionista"-type site that has NOTHING to do with dresses or vintage but is instead all crappy overpriced handbags, celebrity sunglasses, and embellished jeans: who do you think you're fooling? Either you've never read this site AT ALL, or your reading comprehension has been adversely affected by the Giant Freakin' Logos unevenly distributed about your person. Ahem.)

Question #4 seems to be "Would you like to participate in our banner ad campaign?" to which the answer is also "No, thank you." I only want to run ads on this site that are for small businesses who support home sewing or sell vintage fashion. This means I've turned down dunnohowmany jeans companies (Again: what is it with the jeans people and READING COMPREHENSION?), major diet companies, financial services companies, etc.

Question #5 is "Will there be more Secret Lives?" Answer: yes. Soon. I promise.

I'm assuming the question that will be most often asked in the comments on this post is "WHERE can I get that pattern up at the top of the entry?", so I'm heading it off at the pass by saying that it's on eBay right now (from Rita at Chez Cemetarian). Feel free to click through and visit it!

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 29, 2008 at 9:07 am

Wow! What a great dress! I’m thinking black and white–mostly black, with the scallopy part white. Black buttons on the white, and maybe pipe the scallops in black and white houndstooth…Monique in TX

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stepha January 29, 2008 at 9:39 am

Reading this strongly affirms the warm, safe, creative feelings I get when I visit your site; I am so pleased to read Crazy Banner Carnival will not be stopping through Dress A Day. Hurrays! Wish I could offer redesign inspirations, but I think I’ll just stick to what I’m good at…and it’s not web design. :)

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Jen ~ MOMSPatterns January 29, 2008 at 9:43 am

Must have been the YEAR for swirls of scallops! I have a skirt pattern that’s really similar, but alas, is incomplete. But for eye candy purposes:http://www.practiceboard.com/?7952399

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Luck(x8) January 29, 2008 at 9:56 am

It’s funny, I just saw this pattern made up over in the *New Vintage Wardrobe* flickr group.So lovely!

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Anonymous January 29, 2008 at 10:38 am

I like this dress, but I think the scallops would be tricky to keep flat. I can just see them curling upwards, unless a person did the same trick with the facing as is done with shirt under-collars – make them ever so slightly smaller and ease them into the dress body pieces.

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Anonymous January 29, 2008 at 11:06 am

Oooh! It’s a WRAP dress, a back-to-front button closing. So those scallops aren’t eased into anything, they are the “edge” of the dress.Goodness, gracious.CMC

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Kristen January 29, 2008 at 11:15 am

ooohhhh, it’s lovely.

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Andrea R January 29, 2008 at 11:54 am

By redesign and changing links, do you mean a switch of blogging platforms? That I have experience in. :)

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Jessica January 29, 2008 at 12:10 pm

That is lovely. I imagine that dress made with long sleeves done in a fabric suitable for fall/winter.

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Anonymous January 29, 2008 at 12:35 pm

Re: #2, how big is your closet–My aunt was a genius seamstress (in the 50′s she worked for a knock-off shop, where her job was to buy designer dresses, open them up, make patterns from the pieces [!] then SEW THEM BACK TOGETHER and return them!) and she picked a particular dress style (maybe 50′s? my vintage interests run 19th century, so I’m not sure)–fitted bodice with a squared neckline coming to a point usually with a bit of lace tucked in, full skirt, in floral print. I never saw her in any other style. In her attic she had racks and racks of these dresses in garment bags, preserved for the future, in larger and larger sizes as the years went on. It was kind of scary.

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Mimi Jackson January 29, 2008 at 12:40 pm

FYIWhen you get the “Can you make me a…” question, you can always refer them to an organization like the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (formerly PACC), for a referral to someone in their area, or to a site like mine, http://www.findadressmaker.com.

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nancy in portland January 29, 2008 at 12:58 pm

i just love your site… not having a site myself i imagine that it would be frustrating to get all those requests… but when i read that you were going to answer questions… i thought it would be serious dress questions… do you ever get those? that would be interesting. and if you are going to change… i hope the content doesn’t change. and a request? no more adds that flash…don’t know about anyone else, but i find it very annoying… its the only criticism i can find here. i really love your blog. the writing is excellent. the content is excellent. and in particular … the secret lives of dresses.

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Cathy January 29, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Luck: If “so lovely” is a link, it’s not working for me, and I’d love to go there.

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Luck(x8) January 29, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Ah, it was supposed to be a link. I’m not sure what I did wrong. Here’s the full link for the photo:http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikkishell/329766779/in/pool-newvintagewardrobe

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julia January 29, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Erin, I love your site and refer people to it often. Your self-imposed guidelines on banners and linking keeps it focused and makes it easy for visitors to know if they’ll enjoy the site as much as I do. Redesign, if you must – just don’t change too much!

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Karen January 29, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Hi Erin, may I suggest a FAQ link somewhere prominant on your site? It could link to this post, plus the post about the sewing machine buying, and whatever other wonderful advice you’ve given us but I’ve forgotten how to find.P.S. I love your blog, I read it every day, I am totally inspired to sew non-stop (dang day job gets in the way though). Also whenever I pull out my tape measure, I feel like a member of a super-cool-kid secret sewing club.

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Anonymous January 29, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Erin: If you change, please keep it as easy to navigate as it currently is. Not being very computer savvy, I enjoy visiting your blog and the ease I can move around. I also trust your instinct about the companies that do ads or links (or whatever they are on the side) to be of mutual interest. I wish all of their sites were as easy to navigate as yours but I find a few of them more difficult. You were actually my first bookmark and I visit every day, even though I rarely comment. Today’s dress though is my kind of lovely. I adore scallops – down the front, sleeve hems, skirt hems, necklines, applique hems. I think they are sleekly feminine without the chatter and clatter of lace, ruffles, ribbons (which are good in their place, but it’s not mine). Thanks for the tip.

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standgale January 29, 2008 at 3:29 pm

That’s a cool dress today, I must say. The question I most ask MYSELF when seeing these pictures is “how do we put these dresses on/do them up?”. That is the problem with making your own patterns (like I do) – you don’t get to find out the best ways to do the closures and fastenings and all those bits and pieces that normally come in the instructions.

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CEMETARIAN We Dig Memories January 29, 2008 at 3:54 pm

LOL.I think this dress required a “dresser” to get in it. It starts to button at the neck in back and swirls around to the front……….I’m sure she could get help getting out of it…..but getting into it was another matter.

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ISS Man 71 January 29, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Hey Erin, Great post! Can you link to my celeb blue jeans site? They are embellished with the sunglasses that Angelina Jolie wore at her handbag expo. I’ll send over the html for you to start running the banner ad soon!SF,Terry

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What-I-Found January 29, 2008 at 9:37 pm

As long as I’m dreaming that the Scallop Dress would ever fit, I can dream that I’d have a personal maid around to help me in and out of it!

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bani January 30, 2008 at 3:36 am

That pattern is pretty fabulous, and would actually be very commercial, wouldn’t it? Surprised no-one has ready-to-weared it/something like it. Oh, and the blogging world is crazy, isn’t it? So many people who apparently can’t read seem to be writing. I think one should make a graph of it. The smaller the blogger’s reading comprehension -> the more anxious to write (“write”, i.e. post pics of sunglasses) -> the more popular the blog. Odd.

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lucitebox January 30, 2008 at 7:48 am

I love this dress! I have blouses from the 40s that button up the back and it does seem I need a dresser to get into them. (Ugh! That third button from the top!) I would love this on the right person in sunny yellow and on me in electric turquoise blue with red accessories. (I’m channeling the 80s)I think the FAQ suggestion is a great idea. You could just not answer any of the requests. What about a guide or directory of statewide sewists for hire that you could link to? (Of course, you’d probably have put a clause in there about not being responsible for their work.) I hired a seamstress blind through a classified ad in high school. The results were not so good, to say the least. But, I figure that there have to be people who do sew and want to make money doing it for others.

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lucitebox January 30, 2008 at 7:48 am

I love this dress! I have blouses from the 40s that button up the back and it does seem I need a dresser to get into them. (Ugh! That third button from the top!) I would love this on the right person in sunny yellow and on me in electric turquoise blue with red accessories. (I’m channeling the 80s)I think the FAQ suggestion is a great idea. You could just not answer any of the requests. What about a guide or directory of statewide sewists for hire that you could link to? (Of course, you’d probably have put a clause in there about not being responsible for their work.) I hired a seamstress blind through a classified ad in high school. The results were not so good, to say the least. But, I figure that there have to be people who do sew and want to make money doing it for others.

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Lydia January 30, 2008 at 7:52 am

Man, I had that pattern once, but it was in a size 32 bust (as this one is) and I was too lazy to grade it. *sigh*It’s a beautiful dress.

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Xstpenguin January 30, 2008 at 8:11 am

Site redesign suggestion… change the pink to green. :D You could see that one coming, couldn’t you!?I think an Advice link is a must, we need to be able to access the Fabric Buying Rules more easily!Cheers,AJ

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Rebecca January 30, 2008 at 9:52 am

gasp! this dress!! i almost fainted.

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M. January 30, 2008 at 3:01 pm

First one in a long time that made me say “I want!” Love the scalloping.

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