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!]

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.