How Not To Respond To Criticism


Butterick 6015

Has everyone heard about the Butterick 6015/St. Louis Fashion week kerfuffle by now? If not, I will give you a precis.

— St. Louis recently had a Fashion Week. (They sent me the release and a gazillion large jpgs. I don't really cover fashion shows, so I didn't post about it.)
— A blogger (who asked me not to use her name) did look at the photos, and noticed right away that one of the dresses was line-for-line a copy of Butterick 6015, aka the Walkaway Dress. See it here?

Butterick 6015 on the runway

— The blogger tries to find out who the designer was that submitted such an iconic dress to a fashion show.
— She finds the designer, Ashley Dayley, and talks with her. Ms. Dayley doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong with just making a dress from a vintage pattern and submitting it to a show.
— She posts all this on her blog. In her post, she gives Ms. Dayley the benefit of the doubt, calling her "young" and "enthusiastic".

Now here's where the story gets interesting — the last three comments on that blog, before the post was taken down, were from anonymous "friends" of the "designer", calling the blogger out for posting about this. They were so nasty that the blogger took down the post.

Dumb. Don't those "friends" know (or doesn't the "designer" know) that the best and ONLY thing to do when you've done something dumb is to take your lumps and own up? Why not say "I didn't know?" Why not say "I won't do it again?" Why not say (as hard as it is, through gritted teeth) "Thanks for letting me know?"

Instead they decided to wear their matching "I'm a Bully" t-shirts (which are probably pink, with sequins) and harass the person who had the temerity to call them on their misdeeds. The commenters, if they are the designer's friends, were just making her look MORE clueless. (If they're her enemies, they're doing a stand-up job.)

Now, I'm not saying that fashion doesn't tolerate knockoffs. (Victor Costa, anyone?) But a fashion show, especially one that was put on to feature "independent designers" is not the place for knockoffs; it's the place for original work.

The best part is the commenters saying that the original blogger didn't have the right to post the pictures of the show. So … let me get this straight: she can't post images that were widely distributed to bloggers just for that purpose, but "designers" can knock off old patterns and that's just fine?

The best way to fix this would be for Ms. Dayley to issue a formal letter of apology to the show's organizers and post it somewhere public online. Then at least the first hit for her might show her doing something thoughtful and grown-up instead of something clueless.

[On a happier note, Marge of Born Too Late Vintage is turning 49, and is offering 50% off shipping on all items in her store to US and international customers from April 18 up to and including April 24th. On everything: patterns, clothes, accessories … Use the code "49 and holding."]

Exercising: Some Options


workout skirt

Although I often declare that I am not athletic, the evidence probably wouldn't acquit me of that charge. Since junior high I have committed the following sports and/or exercise activities: cross-country running (very slowly), throwing the discus and shotput (ineptly), playing soccer, both high-school indoor (hello, knee damage!) and college outdoor (position: benchwarmer), step aerobics (lots of fun but requires suspension of natural sense of the ridiculous), yoga (Iyengar, most fun ever, but really only with one specific teacher [YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE]), treadmill walking [only supportable by viewing of Dr. Who and Torchwood]. Oh, and weightlifting, either intermittently or concurrently with any or all of the above.

And, of course, roller-skating, although anything done in a venue where you can also buy a corn dog is automatically suspect as exercise.

My biggest problem with exercise, of course, has always been the general crappitude of exercise WEAR. Tight pants? Tighter tops? After a certain age, a "Don't Mess With Texas" t-shirt and raggedy soccer shorts just don't cut it.

And then came these folks. They sent me an email and I grudgingly took a look at their site, but the grudging turned to grudging admiration. This skirt is GREEN! It has workout shorts under it! It has TWO pockets. It has something called "tummy-tuck" technology. And the best part? The style name is "Rollergirl."

I don't like the logo (I don't like ANY logos) but hey, nothing's PERFECT.

I'm seriously tempted to get one of these; the weather's getting better, I could use more exercise, my outdoor roller skates have just been gathering dust … and this would solve my "what can I wear skating in the Skokie Sculpture Park and not feel like a very conspicuous idiot in the grocery store on the way home?" problem.

And if I got the black one maybe I'd even feel up to skating in Central Park. Certainly more up to it than skating in street clothes or in the ubiquitous (and too-tight) black lycra capri pants. You never know …

The skirt's $56, click on the image to visit their site. Their size chart goes up to XXL (22), but it looks like this skirt is only up to XL (about an 18).

Bolero? Collar? Huh?


Butterick 7239

Lisa at Miss Helene's sent me this link a while back (click on the image to visit the Main Street Mall listing). She sent it for a linktastic Friday, but it really deserves its own post, because I am simultaneously fascinated and horrified by this pattern.

First off: who dreamed up the fake bolero? (Because, obviously, a real bolero is too much trouble, right? What with all the tedious being able to take it off and put it back on again.) Or is it an elaborate collar? I'm much more sympathetic to the elaborate collar, although I don't like buttonholes that will never feel the touch of a button. Buttons on their lonesome: okay. Buttons sewn over snaps … eh, whatever floats your boat. Buttons condemned to look longingly at their buttonholes across a never-to-be-crossed divide? That's just cruel.

I do like the little contrast print along the roll of the fake bolero/elaborate collar. And the lines of this dress, too, are quite captivating. I love how perfectly the dress nips in at the waist (without a waistline seam, which means it is pure fantasy, or something to be achieved only with terrifying undergarments).

So: I'm conflicted. Is this gorgeous, or is this ludicrous? (Or both? Both is certainly an acceptable answer.) What do you think?

[I'm also wondering if the women on the pattern envelope are laughing about being able to put this one over on the pattern company. "I can't believe they bought this one! Let's try for a fake vest effect next!"]

Linktastic Tuesday, All-Pockets Edition


Simplicity 4651

The pattern above (click on the image to visit the eBay auction) is not only a great, easy dress, but it also inspired me to post some pocket links, or quasi-pocket links. (The one above is a B32, but there's also two B38s on eBay right now, too.)

Michelle (of Green Kitchen) sends this great link to Bitter Betty's site, where she posts a pocket tutorial.

This (sent by Mary Beth) isn't actually a pocket, but I think they're missing a significant use case by not including a stealth pocket in it. Considering how many women do keep things in their bras, why wouldn't you add a pocket to a bra accessory? Seems like a no-brainer to me. (Of course, I don't think I'd ever buy one of those things, as they seem uncomfortable and liable to wiggle around, but hey, I admire their problem-solving gumption.)

Also in the thing-that-should-have-pockets-but-doesn't category, Pretty Bourgeois posted a link to a dress that looks like the LL Bean Tote Bag. Too bad there's only one monogram option.

I missed the original auction for this one, sent by Ginger Lane:


Simplicity 3001

But if you click the image there's a B34, sans envelope, up on the 'bay right now. I'd rather not have the envelope — for some reason, the pictures on that pattern creep me out.

And one more pocket link, from Summerset. Seriously, this link, which explains how to put a pocket and an invisible zipper in the same seam, changed my life. Do you know how many 1950s side-zipper dresses I can put pockets in now? EVERY ONE OF THEM.

Robots! Robots! Robots!

Nora *and* Theresa sent me links to some robot fabric that I *must have*:


robot fabric!

It's at CraftyPlanet — click the image to visit their store. I haven't bought any yet, though, because I don't know what it wants to be, and thus don't know how much I need. (I would normally just suck it up and buy five yards, but this fabric is EXPENSIVE.) I'm hoping it decides it wants to be a skirt, so I can get away with buying two and a half yards.

If you already know what you'd like to sew out of robot fabric, maybe you need twill robot trim from SuperBuzzy:


robot trim!

And while I'm talking about robots — I "collect" songs that have the word "robot" in the title or that are sung/played by bands with "robot" in their name. (What can I say? I like music made by happy machines.) If you want to subscribe to the Yahoo! Pipes feed I made (which looks on Hype Machine for songs fitting those criteria) I think that link will let you do so.

Linktastic Friday No. 4: The Return of Linktastic Friday


French pillow

Tina at What-I-Found sent me a link to the pillow above; I need to put it on my couch and sit next to it wearing my letter/number dress, don't I?

Dilly sent a link to these sewing-themed shoes from the UK chain Office, which makes it very difficult for people to grab their pics. I guess you'll have to click on the link if you want to see them.

Remember those "Four Yard Line" patterns? There's also a One Yard Line line: check out this skirt and blouse pattern (Butterick 9475), sent by Myra.

Ann sent a great link to a post by Babazeka, where she quotes an old sewing manual about how to be properly dressed when you sit down at the machine. Priceless. (Ann also sent a link to Donate My Dress, which passes along gently used prom dresses to girls who need them.)

Hana in Brno sent a link to this dress — a wedding dress made completely of dollar store materials. It looks pretty good!

I know I haven't said much about the wiki lately (I think we need to have another contest), but we have another seller who is happy to have her images loaded up into it: Vintage Swampcrone.

Blogreader Carol has a wonderful blog about papercraft. Check it out!

Kristine sent this, which is up right now on eBay (click the image). Isn't it cute?


Marian Martin 9425

Doug (yeah, I said Doug) sent this link to a site called Unraveling Histories, which features dresses made from silk RAF parachutists' maps. The site is hard to navigate and even harder to pull pics from but it's definitely worth a link! And there's a Dutch version.

Lee (at when she was knitting) sent in pictures of her Duro! And it's her first dress! You should click the link and check it out, her color choice is beautiful.

Stephanie sent in this Whole Food halter dress, in the front of her local WF in Oakland:

Whole Food halter

The *very* funny Jonathan Caws-Elwitt has made up these t-shirts (click the image to visit his CafePress store):


IM with Stupid t-shirt image

Whew! I think that's it for this Friday. Wouldn't want to break the internet …

It was Julie's Birthday, But I Got the Present …

A little bird told me that Julie (of Damn Good Vintage) had a birthday earlier this week, and I thought maybe I'd head to her site and find something delicious to post and wish her a (belated) happy day … and (of course) I ended up buying this:

McCalls 7952

It's not MY birthday until August, so this cannot be justified as a birthday present to ME. But — isn't it adorable? I love the little gathers at the yoke. And that pink is just edible … I'd use little covered buttons in a pink floral print, wouldn't you?

(I think the women on this pattern envelope are all in an art gallery, and are looking forward to going out to lunch afterwards. They will all have cake.)

Now, if you also wanted to celebrate Julie's birthday as an excuse to buy patterns, as I did, may I suggest this one?


Anne Adams 4811

Or maybe this one:


McCalls 3752

It's a B40! And it has a circle skirt! And the women on the pattern envelope are like a clone-race of fembots!

And, speaking of birthdays and excuses to go pattern-shopping, Jen at MOMSPatterns had a modem meltdown. And while LESSER women would yell and scream, Jen is offering a special sale: use the code 'friedmodem15' and save 15% off any sized order on the MOMSPatterns site all weekend and she'll ship as soon as she's back online with a broadband connection. (What's the birthday connection? Jen's birthday is tomorrow! Obviously a reason to BUY MORE PATTERNS.)

Happy birthday, everyone!