One That Got Away

McCalls 7003
I have a habit (bad or good, depending on how over-quota I feel about my eBay purchases in a month) of putting things on a Watch List and then never, ever looking at them again. This one was one of the ones that expired … I'm not even going to link to the sad, sad "This Auction Has ENDED" page. I'm just showing you the picture.

I do this a lot. I have lists and lists of delayed action items; what this really means is that I must do something immediately or it just doesn't get done. There aren't enough hours in the day! And if something isn't great enough for me to click "Buy It Now" or to place a real bid, it's not going to get bought.

This dress is pretty great, though, and I'm feeling slight tinges of remorse, even though I don't usually make sleeveless or cap-sleeve dresses. And even though the cowl really demands a solid fabric to set it off — it would disappear in a wild print. If I HAD managed to be on the ball enough to buy this pattern, I would have made it in a deep green silk shantung, with the A-line skirt. Oh, well. "For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are 'It might have been.'"

Pockets, Good. Stalkers, Bad.

Rachel McAdams

I am told by the Rachel McAdams fansite I ganked this from that this picture is from the 2005 Hollywood Film Festival Awards Ceremony. Whatever. I'm posting this because it has pockets! Forget the silly little sparkly bag — pockets! I have no idea who made this dress, and am disinclined to Google further, because I ran across this quote from Rachel McAdams while Googling, and it creeped me out:

The most romantic thing, a lovely boy bought me a dress once. He got my measurements, actually they were from The Notebook (2004) and I had them sitting somewhere, and he found them and bought me this dress, tailor-made, this beautiful little black cocktail dress. And I thought that was very, very classy.

First of all (and I know I've ranted about this before), "classy" is a self-negating adjective. You can't describe something AS "classy" and have it BE "classy." It don't work like that, boyo! Except possibly to say somebody is "one classy dame." That's about it.

This kind of verges on creepy for me. I mean, I can't tell if he was her boyfriend or not, but if he was NOT her boyfriend (as it seems) and he rummaged through her things for her measurements and had a dress made? That's not saying "I want you to be my girlfriend," that's saying "I want you to be my girlfriend DOLL." I dunno. What do y'all think? (And AL, if you're reading this — yes, yes, I was creeped out when you gave me that custom-made shirt back in 1990. That's why I tried to give it back! Sorry.)

From the Great State of Wyoming

ebay item 8354740422

Rose sent me this lovely dress — go click through to the eBay auction because the seller has almost obsessively photographed this dress. I know newborn babies who have spent less time in front of the camera. It's the next best thing to holding this dress in your hands, seriously.

Check out the bodice. In the "too much is never enough" category, it wins hands down, being sweetheart AND surplice AND double-bowed.

ebay item 8354740422"

It's gorgeous, if a little on the small side (26" waist) and a Buy it Now for $325.

Thanks, Rose!

Stop Me If You Think That You've Seen This One Before

ebay item 8305987417
I can't remember if I have or not, although I probably should have if I haven't. I mean, look at this thing.

My favorite part is the collar, and the gathering under the bust. I'd shorten the skirt and make the short-sleeve version, but I am very much in favor of the brown and cream polka dots, yes, I am. I'd also like it in a tiny feathery bandanna-print silk (if such a thing existed outside my fevered imagination) or a 1950s silk with a pattern of little squares.

I once had some gorgeous celery-green/pink/lavender dot print silk with a dupioni slub that I made a wonderful dress in. A wonderful dress (complete with belt with a mother-of-pearl buckle) that made me look horrible. Like Alice on the Brady Bunch horrible, like a sack with a string around the middle horrible. Matron with a capital M. It was truly distressing. And of course the fabric was gone when I went back for more. It's still a great dress, it just needs someone other than me to be inside of it. Someone taller and bustier, who would make it look statuesque instead of matronly. That debacle confirmed my theory that the prettier the fabric (and I loved the dress pattern, too) the more conscientious I should be about making it in some fabric I don't care about, first. (But, of course, I was rushing. Haste, waste: have you met? Here, let me introduce you.) I can't remember what I did with that dress. I thought I put it up on eBay but perhaps not. If I find it, I'll post it here.

And speaking of eBay, I am planning on selling a bunch of vintage over the next couple months … my closets are getting to that state of density where I'm worried about generating spontaneous black holes. Do people want me to link to my auctions here, or should I not sully A Dress A Day with filthy commerce?

dreaming of dresses

What does it mean to dream of a dress? Well, thanks to Zolar's Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Dreams, you can find out. (Have I mentioned lately how much I adore Google Print?)

receiving a dress: you will be helped by an unknown man
changing a dress: you will suffer because of your own foolishness
closet full of dresses: a constant love of social pleasures
designing a dress: you will receive a proposition and turn it down (I dream this ALL THE TIME, yet I cannot think of the last proposition I received)
buying a new dress: health and happiness
nice dress: efforts will succeed
tight dress: you are being unrelenting your control of others
purple dress: happy marriage and death of a friend (huh?)
a partially sewn dress: you will be disregarded by friends
a dress in a shop window: your ambition is inspired, follow it
taking off a dress: trust only your own counsel
sewing up a torn dress: you are neglecting your own children
washing a dress: be more financially frugal
wearing a daring evening gown : your selfish, presumptive personality shines (I dream this fairly often as well. At least I'm a SHINY jerk.)
someone stepping on the train of your dress: you will have a new love affair

Shop at Mom's

ebay item 6225273749

Even though no less an authority than Nelson Algren said "Never eat at a place called 'Mom's'" I don't think that stricture applies to other retail establishments. Anyway, I just ran across MOM's Patterns on eBay (The MOM stands for "More of Macajero's") and I think I'll be spending some money there (well, more than I already did yesterday).

Check out this pattern — it's a tiny pic but you should be able to see the really cool detail of the bust seam intersecting with the shoulder seam. Now, granted, it's a tiny size (B28), but do you know how much MOM is asking for it, through Buy It Now?

$6.00. Which is nothing! Piddling! Trivial! She's got lots of great early 1960s sheath and wiggle dresses, as well as a bunch of 1950s full-skirted shirtdresses, plus tons and tons of Boho 1970s, and I didn't see much that topped $6, with most patterns being in the $2.50-4 range. So go browse!

She also says you can email her if you're looking for a pattern that she hasn't got listed. I may try this out next week, once I dig up my wishlist. Her shipping is reasonable, too — buy five patterns, get free shipping — and her email manner was extremely pleasant, so I'm very happy to recommend her to you all!


Vintage Paisley Dress with Jacket
Isn't this a stunner, from Ballyhoo Vintage? It has a little jacket, too, that has a darling petal collar and three-quarter sleeves. Click on the image to take a look at that.

It's deadstock–never been worn–and it's B36/W28. And it's only $85, which is great for something this nice. There's a lot of good stuff there, well worth clicking around.

Oh, and some housekeeping–I've set up a Dress A Day Flickr account, and will be uploading images there. If you want me to see your dress pictures, tag them "dressaday." Here's the link.

I'm Just Resting My Eyes

ebay item 6225900334
I'm just resting my eyes for a minute on this coral dress on the right. Isn't it nice? Look at the roll of the collar, the little extended sleeve, the gathering of the bust to the waistband. So soothing!

I've always loved that color, too. I'm pretty sure I had a coral dress in junior high, although I'm having trouble visualizing it, which is odd. Perhaps I only wanted a coral dress in junior high. I wore all sorts of crazy stuff back then. (Quelle surprise, I hear you saying.) I remember one outfit — a particular favorite that I wore to shreds — which consisted of a white floaty angel-style blouse, very loose and floaty, low-cut, with a collar and front tie, worn with a pair of very full, white, mini-length skorts. (Hey, it was Florida! In the 80s!) With my short hair I'm pretty sure I looked like a demented escapee from the Vienna Boy's Choir.

This dress would not make you look like a demented choirboy. This dress would make you look elegant and unhurried. It's on eBay; B34; click on the image to go bid on it.

Fath, fast.

Jacques Fath
I try not to post things that aren't wearable, but this is something I'm making an exception for (thanks to Joanne!). Take a look — the color, the lines. It's on eBay for a another day or so, from the seller tiptoemole, who has a wonderful listing for it.

It's not wearable because of damage to the underarms — the silk is splitting, which is always sad. But part of the beauty of dresses is that they are ephemeral; every time you wear them their lives are shortened. Dresses are consumed, slowly, by their wearers.

Okay, now that I've made myself maudlin and melancholy on a bright November morning, go look at this dress. Go bid, and then you can have it as an objet d'art. You can even do what I do, which is have a crazy dress on a vintage dress form clutting up your living room. Mine is pink with a beaded sweetheart bodice. With a monkey mask on top. (Monkey mask optional.)

I was going to make the picture a really annoying animated one so that you could see the back, which is low cut AND double-breasted (and sadly, missing buttons) but I refrained. Which means now you HAVE to go check out the auction listing. Go on. Go see!