Today’s Pattern Huh? (and Sale): Simplicity 4672

by Erin on November 16, 2010

And double-huh on the postures ...

Caption: Somewhere, deep in the land of WTF accessories, these women have lost their way. See how the blonde in the back is yodeling for help, while her sisters are oblivious to their fate?

Believe it or not, the hat and muff pattern come with this dress. Because someone, somewhere, looked at this perfectly nice dress and thought, "What this needs is FUR! Fur cuffs! A fur hat! A fur muff!" And since everyone else just wanted to go to lunch, or even just get back to their real work, they all nodded and filed out of the conference room in a collective shrug of "what can you do?"

A fur hat, sure: leaving the ethics of fur aside (let's pretend it's fake fur), it's kinda kicky, kinda Moscovite. And it's up there on your head where it can't do any damage. But: fur cuffs? I've never seen a garment where fur cuffs didn't turn into disgusting unwashable dust and germ magnets. It's like wearing Swiffers at the end of your arms. 

And muffs! Muffs are the anti-pocket. Let's see: why don't we take your perfectly functional hands, and shackle them in front of you in a hot sweaty upholstered tube you can't put down? Brilliant! What do you do with a muff when you (just for example) want to shake hands? Blow your nose? Unlock a door? Unless it's lined with nickels so you can use it as a cosh, I can't see the point. And even then, the "beautiful girl pulls a teeny-tiny gun from a muff" schtick is so cliche I bet just carrying a muff gets you extra screening at the TSA checkpoints.

However: the dress itself is lovely, and Sandra is having a 20% off fall sale, through Wednesday. Just mention “dressadaySale” in the checkout (and yes, you can combine the sale with Sandra's shipping discounts)!

 

 

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

sewistafashionista November 16, 2010 at 5:28 am

Well, line it with nickels and use it as a cosh. As you walk down the street you can be proud that your hands are warm, your bus coins are accessible, (no more rooting around a bottomless purse for you,) and you have a secret weapon. I’m sure any would-be mugger would be VERY surprised to have been thwarted by a large fake leopard scrunchie!

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LBC November 16, 2010 at 6:12 am

Muffs are in the same category of accessories as clutch purses: They’re the mark of a privileged woman who doesn’t need to be burdened with mere practicality.

You can’t do anything with your hands while you have to keep track of a muff, and you can’t carry anything useful in a clutch purse. I had a friend who always carried tiny purses and considered it a sign that she was a free spirit and not materialistic. What it actually meant was that she was constantly borrowing Kleenex, nail clippers, pocket knife, pepper spray, etc. from people like me whose purses look like Mary Poppins’ carpet-bag. In short, that she never took responsibility for herself and relied on the rest of us to come through when she was [frequently] caught unprepared.

I bet habitual muff-carriers are even worse.

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Bethany B. November 16, 2010 at 6:37 am

I think I’d make the fur cuffs detachable and put the soft side of Velcro on the underside of the regular cuffs. Fold back, attach fur, voila! new look! With which to baffle co-workers, friends, and family!

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Cathy November 16, 2010 at 8:20 am

I had a matching hat and muff when I was a little girl, and I can tell you that the muff was useful for getting through an hour of church. I see your point for muff-carrying adults, though.

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bakertoo November 16, 2010 at 8:44 am

I still have a muff just like that in my cedar chest! My Grandma gave it to me when I was youngster, and at the same time, my Mom had a coat out of a similar fabric. I really can’t remember if it was real fur (Mom’s coat) but it was quite the change from her usual jeans and sweatshirt ensemble! And it is funny that I am not the only one who used it to get through the Sunday morning church sermon!

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K-Line November 16, 2010 at 9:11 am

OMG – it *is* just like wearing swiffers on your sleeves. Hilarious.

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Kyle November 16, 2010 at 9:49 am

In high school, I was assigned a vintage dress with fur cap sleeves as a costume for a play. I wore this dress for about a half-hour while the wardrobe mistress marked it up for alterations, when suddenly my upper arms began to itch and burn! We had to rip the sleeves off the dress right then and there. It was awful!

So, ethical and hygienic considerations aside, I am going to have to come down strongly against any kind of fur sleeves.

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kathleen November 16, 2010 at 9:52 am

swiffers on sleeves would be useful for extreme housekeeping purposes. Idea – put them on all Men’s shirts so they are constantly unknowingly dusting…hmmm evil plan…

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SewingLibrarian November 16, 2010 at 10:21 am

I loved my muff when I was a child, and I even had one as an adult. Don’t know what happened to it. It is kind of impractical now that we women drive!

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PatternJunkie November 16, 2010 at 10:26 am

OK, I’m baffled. How does a muff help you get through a church service? Are they that wildly entertaining to children? Forgive me, I didn’t grow up attending church, and I feel like there’s a bit of a mystery here…

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Evalyn November 16, 2010 at 10:31 am

If you were going on a sleigh ride with a handsome Russian, a la Dr. Zhivago, the fur muff and hat would be very practical. Outside that circumstance, I don’t see it.

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YYZ November 16, 2010 at 11:51 am

NO! I LOVE the muff! I had one as a child– white faux fur– and have been looking for a vintage, adult-sized one for quite some time now. The one I had when I was little was on a cord that went around my neck– not a look I’d go for now, but I WOULD put a wrist-strap on it so that I could let it dangle if I needed my hands free. So much warmer than mittens– no stray digit left out in the cold. Bring back the muff, I say! (But maybe we need to come up with a new name for it– I feel like I am writing bad porn, here….)

Also, I have an AWESOME vintage fur cloche– so cozy and warm. Up here in Canada, it comes in very handy!

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Marta November 16, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I have seen several muffs with the cord-around-the-neck done stylishly, like with a gold colour chain. That´s ladylike enough for me.

(Also, being a lesbian, I suppose I find the whole “muff” issue a bit ironically amusing.)

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Holly November 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm

One thing a muff might be handy for is that you could discreetly (not even visibly) give someone who is saying stupid sh!t the finger and he/she wouldn’t even know it. Of course, you could continue to smile knowingly which seems to me to be exactly what the lady with the muff on the envelope is doing.

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Jessica November 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm

But why the muff with elbow gloves?

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Lisette November 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm

I used to have muffs when I was a kid as a result of the Edwardian throwback and I loved them but I do remember them being rather hot and such after awhile. Of course mine had a string to go round your neck so I didn’t have any of the other problems.

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the reluctant sewist November 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I narrowly avoided spraying my drink all over the keyboard. Nicely done. (I do own a — fake — Russian furry hat, though. It’s amazingly warm.)

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SewDucky! November 17, 2010 at 1:55 am

I own a couple of muffs. Both of them have pockets in them, can act like a purse for the crap you need to have on you (admittedly, it’s lipstick, cigarettes, and credit card/money/tiny wallet and there are places for them) and it seems to me I learned that the etiquette for them was to basically shove them up your left arm to have the hands free (because left handed people didn’t exist, apparently. I AM left handed and find this rule to suck. YMMV). You were also supposed to check them with your coat, back in the days that this was far more common than it is now, which alleviated some of the hassles of what to do with it.

And for the record, I am a small purse carrier. I manage to have everything I need without having to have someone with a suitcase babysit me.

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ritanancy November 17, 2010 at 6:13 am

Honey, Muff are for Ladies you need do nothing.
There is always someone to open a door or pay.
It is the Western equivalent of the Chinese long long fingernails.

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Fiona November 17, 2010 at 6:32 am

I guess that’s what all those lovely antique muff chains in jewelry auctions are for – though I would be very careful looking up ‘muff chains’ online! Anyway, lovely gold chains for hanging your muff around your neck…

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Jen Alien-Spouse November 17, 2010 at 7:12 am

And fur muffs are surprisingly heavy.
I know this only because during a dramatic dance sequence in a musical the leading lady threw her muff into the audience and it hit me square in the chest with a surprising amount of force. One of the ushers came to retrieve it at the interval.

That was at “Over My Shoulder” and I was also hit by a flying button from Sarah Brown’s suit during the Havana number from “Guys and Dolls”. These are the perils of the front stalls for musicals.

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Packrat November 17, 2010 at 10:11 am

I love this pattern and the fact that it is a half-size. (Okay, pattern companies, it is time to re-print and sell half-sizes!)

As a child, I (and every other girl) always had a muff. It was warmer than any gloves that I had.

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Elissa November 17, 2010 at 8:37 pm

I too am bewildered by the “getting through church” comments. Do you play with it? Stroke it? Stare at it? I’m intruiged….

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La BellaDonna January 20, 2011 at 12:05 am

Erin, I protest! I collect *and USE* muffs of various types. Most have interior zip pockets for change, TransPasses, etc., and when not in use, can be shoved up EITHER arm (as a sort of extra fur cuff). Most also have, at the very least, a wrist strap as well. They are wonderfully warming for hands (and suitable for warming really cold noses) – and I’m always lugging a ton of junk, so they’re not solely for ladies of leisure (and if they are, someone kindly forward my leisure to me, as it has unaccountably lost its way). Nor need muffs be made of fur; they can be made of fake fur, or any fabric that appeals to the Muffkateer.

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Robin August 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm

As a child, I lived in northern NJ then later in Boston, MA where we got so much snow, muffs were very common for car rides. So mine were a cold-climate sort of thing with a wrist strap and zippered pocket. Hold it to your chest, even breath into it on freezing sidwalks while shopping and you keep quite warm. But I insist they are quite fashionable due to the nostalgia and prettiness! I decided to make myself one using black plush fake fur, lined in black satin, with zippered pocket, and it gets rave reviews at church etc. Also a great conversation-starter so I think it should make a comeback. Robin in NC (it gets cold enough here too)

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