Extremely Short and Quick Post: 2010 Crossword Dress

So, quickly:

here's my dress from the 2010 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. I broke 500 for the first time!

crossword dress 2010

Thanks to Jan for taking the picture (on my cell phone).

Also: this is one of those BurdaStyle Heidi dresses. I'll post a better picture of it later in the week.

Also: the fabric is from Spoonflower. I'll make it available this week too.

Also: yes, those are hot pink patent penny loafers.

Also: that's it.

Okay, Karl, Just This Once


Fendi Spring 2010 dress

Aside from the belt, the fringe, the shoes-slash-lucite-hooves, and the expression on the model's face (which can only be described as "I am smelling something bad while thinking about completing my overdue tax return"), this is one lovely dress. The neckline, the midriff band, the fantastic fabric which I can almost *touch* through the computer screen …

And it's by that certified wackaloon, Lagerfeld (for Fendi)! I swear, I love to read about Lagerfeld. If there were a Lagerfeld News Weekly I would be a charter subscriber. Nothing about him surprises me. Bathes in a mixture of V8 and ball bearings? That's for amateurs. Can't sleep unless a minion is doing wheelies on a dirt bike up and down the parqueted hall? Pffft. Hardly even eccentric. He's been hired to decorate a secret lair on Skullcrusher Mountain, take pictures of the process for a coffee-table book, and compose a chamber-music piece for an oboe sextet for the grand opening? Please, the man does that every third Tuesday. Lagerfeld would have to build an army of robot kittens that breathe fire and knit alpaca socks before I would even raise an eyebrow.

And yet it still surprises me when I like something he's designed! You go, Karl. Love ya, baby. Don't ever change.

Today's Pattern Story


Vogue 7592

Cadets at LouAnne's House of Beauty and Space Hostess Training relax in two of the six approved Space Hostess Poses before their three-day comprehensive exams, which start tomorrow.

The exams determine not only vocational placements for each cadet but also the hairstyles, makeup, and clothing the cadets will be allowed to wear throughout their five-year probational service in the International Space Transit program. The exams are daylong ordeals of drink-serving, emergency procedures, and hair setting and waving. Cadets are allowed one four hour watch in every twenty-four to refresh their makeup and watch uplifting in-flight movies.

Graduates of LouAnne's are considered leaders in the Space Hostess field, and are assured their choice of the placements they qualify for, including the prestigious So Paulo-Marsport run.

This pattern courtesy of Sheila at Out of the Ashes, who is offering an extra 15% off through the end of today (Monday the 15th).

My Space Opera Fantasies Are Elaborate And Unfulfilled


ebay item 8305987417

This dress (from, full-disclosure-mode, new advertiser Marian's Vintage Vanities) is really tweaking my "MUST BUY NOW" knob, but it is just too large for me, and everyone knows Tyrannical Empresses of Space Operas wear their dresses a bit on the tight side, if anything.

But if YOU will be leading the armies of the Zorg (and wear in the neighborhood of a modern size 18) this is the dress for you! It's Lurex! Fabric of the Future (and some of the more entertaining parts of the past)! And it is only TWENTY-FIVE OF OUR AMERICAN DOLLARS. No joke.

This, some Bowie-style face paint & false eyelashes, and a blinking tiara from the dollar store and you would be good to go for dozens of Halloweens, and you wouldn't freeze your ass off, because you could totally wear long underwear under this. And if anyone asked what you were supposed to be, you would just fix the questioner with a piercing stare, snap your fingers, and say "Minion! Kill this insolent creature!" and then turn and walk away.

The beauty of the walking away part is that it means you don't even *need* minions, but if you do have minions — well, what are you waiting for?

Another Heidi

Seriously, folks. Do you think I have a problem? I can't stop with the Heidi dresses.

Here's the most recent one:

Scribble Heidi

Fabric is from FabricMart.com again. I don't know who they know but they are getting some excellent fabric lately.

Here's the bodice:

Scribble Heidi

And the back:

Scribble Heidi

I lined the bodice and pockets in pale gray Kona cotton — not sure why I had it hanging around, but I did.

I have a whole pile of fabric that I still want to make this dress in: TWO (two!) colorways of camouflage, black denim, a Liberty twill, a rayon plaid, possibly a rose.jpgnk corduroy, and on and on … Good thing it's so fast to sew!

Review: Built By Wendy: Dresses


Built By Wendy Dresses

I was really impressed by Built by Wendy Dresses: The Sew U Guide to Making a Girl's Best Frock. I really liked her Sew U book that came out back in 2006, so I was excited to see that she had a new one, concentrating exclusively on DRESSES. Whoo-hoo!

There are three dress patterns (sheath, shift, and dirndl) and twenty-five variations, most of which are cute (although they skew a little young). And the pattern sizing has changed from the first book, with the new book including an XL size (up to a 41" bust).

This would be a good book for a dedicated beginner. By "dedicated beginner," I mean someone who is slightly more patient than average (or maybe just slightly more patient than ME), who is thoughtful and careful, and who has sufficient motivation to spend more than one weekend putting a dress together. I estimate that it would take one weekend's worth of time (for a beginner) just to get the patterns traced and altered, one weekend to cut out the pattern and begin construction, and one weekend (or long evening) to do the finishing work. This is definitely a book for someone who will enjoy the planning and the process as much as the finished item.

However, if you worked your way carefully through the projects in this book, there would be very little that would faze you at the end. She covers pattern alterations, collars, clipping curves, sewing on buttons, seam finishing, facings and linings … and of course, pockets, although welt pockets are not included — even Wendy says they're on the difficult side, so she left them out. Zippers are given a slightly hand-wavy treatment, but since there are roughly one gazillion zipper tutorials floating around the web, I don't think that's a problem.

I get a lot of emails that basically read "I bought a sewing machine NOW WHAT??" I think this book is the new answer to "NOW WHAT??"

Oh my goodness (fans self)

So IndigoTangerine left a comment here last week asking if knew that this blog was mentioned in a book called Breakfast At Bloomingdale's. Which, um, no, I didn't! But it is!

ebay item 8305987417

I think most of you know that I'm a dictionary editor in my "day job", but when I was working for OUP I was also an "acquiring editor," which meant that I noodged, nagged, harangued, and otherwise coaxed books from ideas to publication. I have a shelf of books in my house that I can point to and say "I midwived those" (and in some of them I can point to the acknowledgements to prove it). Occasionally, when I am having a bad day, I go look at that shelf and I say to myself: "Those are some mighty kickass books that wouldn't be here if I hadn't helped." (I'm even prouder of those books than I am of my own.)

So anyway, of *course* I ordered this one. I may even put it on the same shelf!