*&%$!?@! I missed it.

punctuation dress

Li Chan sent me a link to this dress a few days ago, but the seller, Affaire d'Amour Vintage, set a Buy-It-Now price that was, astoundingly, less than $20, so someone else got to it first. Not that I'm bitter, or anything. (Although on a closer read of the auction text, it turns out that the dress is polyester knit, so I probably *wouldn't* have BIN-ned it. I don't do polyester knit.)

However, this print is so cute. Any of you type-heads out there want to ID the font? That "fat" question mark should be a giveaway, right?

punctuation dress

You know that "SWAP" meme that's going around? Where you sew a certain number of coordinating items, and they they're judged, and the winner gets a gift certificate? (There are a couple of them, I'm too lazy to google for them, extra credit for those who do so and put the links in the comments …) I'd love to do a SWAP with a "typography" theme and have a little jacket and skirt combo with comma-shaped pockets, and a couple alphabet-print dresses, and so forth. The one thing that holds me back from SWAP.jpgng (aside from the complete and total lack of a spare hour in any day between now and the 4th of July) is that they all want you to sew tops, and I just don't sew tops. I make dresses, I make skirts, I buy t-shirts and cardigans, I'm done. This is not A Blouse A Day, after all …

I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the purple rain

Purple Rain Dress

Jennifer (of the excellent Naughty Secretary Club) sent me the link to this dress, which is by her sister Hope (of Hot Pink Pistol).

It's hand-painted, obviously, although I would like, for a moment, to entertain the notion of a world where the image of Purple Rain-era Prince is omnipresent and heavily marketed, sort of like all those Che Guevara t-shirts.

It's such a short leap, isn't it, from finding a purple satin dress to thinking "I should paint Prince on this dress! That would be awesome!"

And lo, it is awesome.

If I had this dress, I wouldn't wear it … I'd put it on a mannequin and keep in my living room (or, if my husband objected, the bedroom, or, if he REALLY objected, my office) because, as a work of art, it would make me happy every day.

Even better would be to have one of those recordable greeting-card sound chips stuck inside it, hooked to a motion sensor, and then, if people got too close to it, BOOM! Purple Rain would play. (The really climax-y "I only wanna see you" part, naturally.)

I think paintings on dresses are the new dogs playing poker. Ever-so-slightly cheesy, but cheerful in a way that you can't really explain.

Whether you'd display this, wear this or just admire from a (very long) distance (I admit no other options), be sure to check out the link to Hope's other stuff — the David-Bowie-in-Labryinth-dress is equally fantastic, if slightly scarier. (Bowie was terrifying in that movie, was he not? Sure, half of it was the known fear-inducing quality of spandex, but still …)


dressaday tshirts

Thanks to Melanie at A Cluster of Parrots, who designed the logo! (Melanie's baby onesies with the bow ties? My *favorite* baby presents.)

Here's the deal:

  • They're American Apparel tees (which means they come in AA sizes, see poll below)
  • They're pink with brown ink. We'll do other colors later, I bet. Leave a comment if you have suggestions.
  • The logo will be smallish (about palm-size) and centered on the front of the shirt, on the upper sternum, for fewer bustage-stretchage issues.
  • They'll come right from Melanie, who is lovely to deal with. (As much as I love CafePress, I wanted the Dress A Day t-shirts to be crafty and hand-done and from a small, mom-run business … it just seemed appropriate. I may still use CafePress for tote bags and postcards and whatnot; tell me what you want in the comments!)
  • Cost: $15, plus $4.60 priority mail shipping (in US). (International Shipping will be extra, depending on where you are and how fast you want your shirt.)

Please take our size poll so that I know what sizes to order! The poll will be up for a week or so; Monday I'll put it in the sidebar or something. Then I'll put up the link for ordering after we know what sizes people want.


I know there's lots we haven't answered, like whether we'll do men's sizes, and when exactly you'll be able to order them, and so forth, so go ahead and leave comments and I'll try to answer them as best I can, although you should expect a lot of "I don't knows" and "Let me look into thats".

Never Enough Dots

dot sundress

Lisa sent me the link to this one, another eBay glory listed by Capricorn Vintage.

Look at those dots! And the shelf bust, and the big ol' ruffle. I'm really obsessed with the big ol' hem ruffle right now — I must have four or five patterns that are featuring it. Not the 1970s prairie hem ruffle, but this exuberant, can't-help-myself 1950s hem ruffle. The kind where just sitting down in a chair turns into some kind of effervescent event.

Of course all those patterns are waiting until I get a ruffling foot for my sewing machine. (I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid.)

In fact, most of my sewing is waiting for one reason or another, with the 'one reason' in particular being that I'm coordinating the Dictionary Society of North America meeting in Chicago in June. And since June is like, next week, there's SO MUCH TO DO, none of which can be accomplished with a sewing machine. Gah. But if you're near Hyde Park on Saturday, June 16, you should come see the New Word Open Mic, which is (as you might imagine from the name) open to the public. Come hear people pitch their new words to dictionary editors! Or come pitch one yourself!

(Also, I seem to developed the dreaded summer head cold. Arrrrrrrrgh.)

Anyway, back to the dress — it's B36, and in great shape — take a look! (Click on the image to visit the listing.)

By Jupiter!

ebay item 8305987417

Jen at Momspatterns.com sent me this link — oh, yay for novelty print sundresses, especially now that the weather's warming up. If I had my druthers (and I have to admit, I usually do, at least when it comes to dresses) I wouldn't wear anything that wasn't novel in some way between Memorial Day and the Tuesday after Labor Day.

This one, of course, is a stellar example — the neckline alone would put it in that category, but the pockets give it escape velocity.

It's being listed by Marie92001, and the starting bid is about $50 right now — but it ends on the 27th, so plenty of time to get your bid in. It's B34, and the shipping cost is only $6.95 — I *do* so like sellers who keep the shipping low. There's nothing worse than forgetting to check and then finding out that the shipping is twice the Priority Mail flat-rate box postage!

Anyway, the stars have certainly aligned for this dress — I'm half-tempted to start googling solar system fabric, myself. Of course, to be truly geeky, you'd have to have a button-front dress with the buttons spaced like the planets … if that would even work; I have a vague memory of doing a "relative distances of the planets" thing in fourth grade, where Mercury was on the teacher's desk and Pluto ended up being at the far end of the athletic field. So perhaps it wouldn't work on a dress. But differently sized/colored buttons probably would!

Gotta Start Somewhere (and with zippers)

ebay item 8305987417

Weekend before last I was slounging on the couch, reading the Sunday NYT (as is my wont) and I remarked to my long-suffering husband that someday, somehow, I was going to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala. (Not so much because I want to hang out with Those People, but because I want an excuse to make a really fantastic dress, and a place to wear it.)

"Why wait?" said Long-Suffering Husband. "Why don't you start with a fashion show here, like Columbia College's?"

So I did. (I didn't make a new dress, as I figured the Darth Duro would suffice.)

I had a fabulous time — the clothes were really excellent, and at the reception I stalked some of the designers whose stuff I had particularly admired, forced my blog card upon them, and asked them to send me pics of their work to show you.

My stalking paid off; one of the designers, Elena Deida, sent me this dress of hers. This dress was one I especially admired, although this picture is a bit arty, which obscures the best details. The print panel on the front is comic-book art (excellent!) and the side seams are heavy red zippers (also excellent). It is a nicely tailored sheath, as well; I'm afraid to say that I tend to be more impressed by good tailoring work in student fashion than by avant-gardeness of ideas. (The best, of course, is when forward-thinking ideas meet great structure.)

So, perhaps it wasn't the Costume Institute Gala, but then again, it's not like Poiret would have sent me .jpgs after (being dead, and unable to use a computer and all). I'll definitely be heading back next year — you should too, or find the student fashion show in your neck of the woods!

so, maybe I was wrong …

trashy diva ashley dress

So, I think I've pontificated (probably at great length) in this space about how I don't like navy. Not The Navy, I'm actually pretty fond of The Navy, what with Hornblower and Aubrey and all, but navy, the color. "Too hard to match," I say. "I never know what shoes to wear," I say. Being frustrated by these problems (and because I'm basically lazy), I just wrote navy off altogether. There's no navy in my closet, at all.

But Charles (what? guys read this blog too, y'know) sent me a link to this dress, the Ashley Dress at Trashy Diva, and — you know what? — I think I might be wrong about navy. This dress wouldn't be as perfect in any other color. Black polka dots are too harsh, and red too obvious; this dress is supposed to be navy, and that's all there is to it. (And I'd wear it with red shoes.)

Of course, it's also sold out until mid-June AND is $249, so the prospects of navy being added to my closet are still on the slim side. It's sized xs-s-m-l, with L being B44/W33.

So — don't ever let it be said that I'm afraid to admit it when I'm wrong. I hereby rescind my blanket navy ban. However, culottes? Still on the no-fly list.

Oh! Oh! OH!

McCalls 8868

This is the kind of thing I point to when people tell me fashion isn't art. I wouldn't be surprised if someone told me that this dress followed the Golden Ratio. It's so beautiful that I just sat, mesmerized, gazing at it on my monitor for a little while, and only the incessant ringing of my phone drew me out from under its spell.

I would love to make this dress, if only to have it hang on a dress form in my room for the rest of its life. I don't think I could wear it, because I really don't have a 1930s-type physique, unless by "1930s-type physique" you are thinking of Margaret Dumont, and not Myrna Loy.

The bidding on this one (click on the image to visit the eBay auction) is up to about $28 now, and I can't imagine it's going to go for much less than $50. Quite a few 1930s patterns hit $100, these days. But it's B35 (very reasonable!) and so unutterably gorgeous … you could always justify it as an objet d'art.

Many thanks to Marie Christopher for the link!

I Hate Entropy (and the feeling's mutual)

ebay item 8305987417

Why must things fall apart? In the last three weeks I have discovered a hole in one of my favorite (Liberty-print, sob) skirts, a grease stain on another, and have, after multiple "treatments", decided that the Blue Mystery Stains on a Duro I made are never, ever, ever going to come out, and that if I want to salvage the (also-Liberty, sob) fabric I used to make it I'm going to have to take the damn thing apart.

Entropy, I spit in your general direction.

And the worst, the absolute worst, the créme de la horrible of everything, is that, after months of diligent eBay-alert-watching, finding another pair, in my size, of my perfect shoes, and after buying them, waiting breathlessly for them to arrive, waiting some more, waiting and waiting and waiting, and after finally getting a tracking number to check … discovering that some person with NO REGARD FOR KARMA had STOLEN my precious shoes off my front porch.

If I see this person wearing MY SHOES in the neighborhood … well, I probably will NOT run home for my handy anti-burglar cricket bat. Probably.

So I got my other pair re-soled. Again. And I bet the shoe guy, next Tuesday when I pick them up, is going to shake his head mournfully and say "No more for this one, 'kay?"

Entropy, if I see you coming, I will get my handy anti-burglar cricket bat. Except that's just what you would like, you sick bastard. I know! I'll just make something new, instead. That'll show you.

Picture is from Flickr, the photographer is Jari Schroderus.

Renee says "Don't Diss My Pockets!"

Costume Institute Pockets Renee Zellwegger

Anna sends me a link to this site where the OBVIOUSLY RHETORICAL question of "pockets: hot or not?" is being asked.

The blogger (who, I think, is also named Erin, in some bizzarro-world faceoff of Pockets!Erin vs. No-Pockets!Erin) says:

But they [pockets] defy the very purpose of dresses, that is, to make you feel pretty and girly. Jamming your hands deep in the pockets of a dress does nothing for your shape (think hunched shoulders, stumpy arms and two big wads of fabric adding unnecessary bulk to your hips).

Needless to say, I disagree. I think what defies the very purpose of dresses (which is to make you feel happy & most like yourself) is having to haul along a giant shoulder bag: think lopsided leaning, aching arms, and a huge goiter of a bag adding unnecessary bulk to your everywhere.

I also don't think women should have to decide between having a place to put a lipbalm, some ID, and their keys and looking as slim as possible. Jeez, there are worse things in life than bulk on the hips, especially when it's apparent to anyone with the sense God gave a junebug that it's Something In Your Pocket, and not that you were Happy to See a Twinkie. (And, might I add, so what if you were, at one point, happy to see a Twinkie? I am getting so very tired of machinations of the Diet-Industrial Complex …)

I'd say "go leave a comment" but the site is all whirligiggy with popup boxes and too many flashing things and whatnot, so don't bother. You can comment here, I don't mind.

[Thanks to Dara for sending the picture!]