dreaming of dresses

dream dresses

India sent me the link to this artist, Kirsten Harper — this is a dress Harper saw in a dream! I wish I had those dreams. (Last week I dreamt I was arguing with someone while my son powerwashed the INSIDE of the house. No, I have no idea what that means, except, PERHAPS, that I had fried oysters for dinner.)

I love that the pink bow emits a mushroom cloud. So often they do, you know, those bows. Gotta watch out for that.

And while we're talking about dresses and artists, an exhibit inspired by the book The Hundred Dresses has opened at the Artspace in New Haven, Connecticut. If you're nearby, you might want to check it out!

Just two questions (okay, maybe three)

ebay item 8305987417

Lisa sent me a link to this site, The Dress, and visiting it left me with a few questions:

First, has anyone purchased this dress, and if so, can I meet her? I think we'd have a lot to talk about. Unless, of course, this was purchased for some kind of manga cosplay I don't know about (um, which would be ALL of them), in which case I wouldn't talk, I'd just nod a lot. But I'd still be interested! Other people's outré enthusiasms are my favorite things!

Also, I know I'm more sensitive on this subject than a lot of other people (except for all you copyeditors reading this) but — please, please, if you are building a web page, have someone proofread it for you! This site spells 'peplum' at least two different ways, and talks about flounces "ascending down dress back." (Note: if something is ascending, it is going UP. Things that go down DESCEND.) I don't know why these kinds of things bug me so much on dress sites — probably because the dresses are so beautiful that I want everything surrounding them to be perfect, too. (Note: I will copyedit for dresses … and I know a lot of other people who probably would, too!)

This shop is at 138 Ludlow Street, in NYC. It's definitely on my list for my next visit … and I promise not to pull out my sharpie to correct their signs, if any.

Roller Skates + Pockets = Erin Wishes This Were Her Size

roller skate dress

Cara sent me this link, saying she was sure my inbox was probably filled with links to this ROLLER SKATE THEMED dress already. Well, no! Where were you all? Did you take the week off from scouring eBay for dresses for me? Was the weather nice, or something? I'm terribly disappointed in you all, really I am.

Or maybe you didn't want me to post this because you all want this great dress for yourselves? THAT I understand. I'd be planning my snipe right now if this were my size. It's just too big for me, and not the "couple inches don't matter" too big, but "hide someone else in there with me" too big. Otherwise it WOULD BE MINE. It has skates on it! It has pockets! It's got pink trim!

Anyway, if it fits you (B42) and you were biding your time, I'm sorry. It ends in a couple days, so there's plenty of time for you to keep increasing your bid, right?

Check out the other stuff from the seller, Vintage Voodoo. Some cute things there … not as cute as ROLLER SKATES, but then again, what is?

Look at the fabric close up:

roller skate dress

So cute! If any of you find me roller skate fabric (not this one, which is irredeemably ugly) I guess I could make my own … and forgive you for not sending me this link en masse. Maybe.

As if I didn't have enough to do …

Simplicity 3747

I know, I know, this pattern doesn't look like me AT ALL. And if you were only looking at the halter-topped version, definitely, you would be right. (I'll wear a halter top only after the coming apocalypse, when we're all shuffling around in rags. And even then I'll bitch about it.)

But I'm intrigued by the colorblock dress, and I have this idea … what if I took that pattern and "merged" it with the bodice of a 50s pattern I already have, so that I could change it from a sheath to a bodice for a full-skirted dress? I think it would look really cute with a skirt that had a contrast band around the bottom, and I know I have a pattern for that.

I could probably alter a 50s bodice to be colorblocked more easily (cut it apart, add seam allowances) but I don't think I have any that are exactly that shape, and I'd be leery of trying to get that nice curve over the bustline without help.

It would be SO CUTE (I think) to do it in stripes, with the top and bottom being horizontally or bias-striped and the main body being vertical. Or in two different sizes of polka dots. Or maybe, for once, I'd go elegant and do it in shades of gray.

Sigh. Not that I'll have time to try this marvelous idea in the foreseeable future — I've had a simple waistband replacement sitting on the sewing table for weeks, frozen six inches into a seam. It's like those eerie mysteries, my own personal Mary Celeste — "What could have happened to Erin? She left with this skirt nearly finished!"

One thing I have had time for (as Benchley said, "Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he's supposed to be doing at the moment") is writing about roller-skating for LOST Magazine. Go check it out if you're so inclined.

party tips!

Jeannette Marie sent me a link to a pattern auction on eBay (from seller Farfalla Design Studio check them out, they have nice stuff!) that included this gem:

farfalla design studio

This was a clipping that the seller found in the pattern! I don't think I'm going to use any of these tips at my next party. Although I might pass this around to scare people. "Just imagine 10 or 12 boys all yodeling at the same time"? No, thank you.

I like to imagine this sort of stuff was written by mostly-drunk, completely hard-boiled, oft-divorced newspapermen who were kept out WWII by bad ankles, and was hammered out on typewriters with stuck "j" keys …

Tent Dress, I mean, Dress Tent

dress tent Robin Lasser

Barb sent me this interesting work by Robin Lasser and Adrienne Pao … it's a series of photographs of dresses that are also tents.

This is the "Ms. Homeland Security: Illegal Entry Dress Tent," about which the artists say:

… the Illegal Entry Dress Tent, originally installed beneath the California/Mexico border, contains military blankets embroidered with the names of those who have lost their lives crossing the border. Those who seek refuge beneath the skirt are implicated with their own relationship to border issues. In this way, the dress tents address body and land politics as they interface with the nomadic nature of contemporary life.

I don't know why artists' statements don't just say "I thought this would be [cool|beautiful|moving], and look! I was right." This one could have said all three …

How Not to Sell Your Patterns Online

ebay item 150117514330

Afraid of hard currency? Have a strict 225-characters-per-day typing limit? Listing your patterns only to make your significant other believe you are trying to sell them, but don't actually want to give them up? Here's some handy tips to make sure your eBay auctions end without bids!

— have FIVE lots of FIFTY patterns each, but take only ONE picture. Make the sure the picture prominently features two of the same pattern, both of which are nightgowns. (No joke; take another look at the image above.)

— give no sizing information. At all.

— give dating information that is vague (1950s-1960s — well, WHICH IS IT? That's TWENTY YEARS, people!)

— if possible, give incorrect information (label a pattern LUCY DRESS!!! when it's a 1960s shift)

— affect either a manic ("OMGWTFBBQ!!!! BEST A+++ PATTERNS!!!") or completely flat ("Patterns. For sale.") affect. Normal range of expression is discouraged.

— give a list of buyer requirements that would be too onerous even for SELLING A HOUSE ("I only accept Paypal, and your payment must be timestamped between 2-3 AM GMT. Put your SSN and shoe size in the comments, IN THAT ORDER. DO NOT BID if you CANNOT FOLLOW these INSTRUCTIONS!")

Hannah sent me this UK pattern listing (click on the image to visit the listing). But think carefully: do you want to encourage this kind of eBay-havior? Or do you just want to get a grab bag of 50 patterns for £1 (plus shipping)? If the answer to the second question is "yes," I sympathize, I was almost ready to bid myself. Then I realized I don't need fifty mystery patterns, especially as I will probably never, ever, sew myself a nightgown.

Another Biased Opinion

vogue 6266

Hey folks! Remember this dress? Well, Anna of Booty Vintage (large sized patterns!) offered to scan and send in her similar pattern, for people who wanted to see the back of the envelope, as well. And here it is! Wasn't that kind of her?

Here's the back. Such a lovely dress … so hard to put pockets in it … sigh.

vogue 6266

I really love the brown version. I don't know why, but I think that shade of chocolate brown is so chic … especially when (as you can, in an illustration) match your accessories so perfectly.

I'd also like to make myself crazy by trying to work out how to do this with stripes. Thin, pencil-width stripes, arranged so that they looked solid at the gathered parts. Nutso, right? But oh, so worth it if it worked!