A Dress A Day: Shameless Commerce

So, one of the things I buy by the dozen are tape measures. Seriously. I have them in every bag, in every coat pocket, in every room of the house … not because I'm an undercover agent for the BIPM, but because I'm a huge proponent of the "measure twice, cut once" school of EVERYTHING. (Although you're supposed to do the "measuring twice" with the SAME tape measure, occasionally I switch it up a bit.)

I am also a proponent of the "measure it once standing in the aisle at the store and then you don't have to try it on!" school of shopping. With a convenient, pocket-sized tape measure, I can avoid struggling into things that fit at the waist but laugh at my hips, or that absolutely, positively, will be too long shoulder-to-waist. So I carry one all the time.

And now, thanks to the wonders of promotional merchandise, you can too! If you click on that image of the tape measure above, you can buy a handy Dress A Day branded tape measure, for only US$5 (including shipping, yep, even internationally! Illinois residents will be charged 6.5% sales tax). This offer good only on planet Earth.

Because I still haven't done anything about the t-shirts, this will be your only chance for a little while to have Official Dress a Day Merchandise. And I only ordered 300 of these, so grab 'em while they're hot!

Three in One

simplicity 2848

Remember the pattern I promised I'd find for the pink dot dress? Well, this isn't it. But it's close!

And better yet, there are THREE of them listed on eBay right now. The one above is B41; click on the image to go to the auction. For B35, click here, and for B37, click here.

You know, if you a see a pattern you like on eBay, it's usually a good idea to search on that pattern company name and number, just to make sure you haven't overlooked a nicer copy, or one in a better size, or just one by a seller you like better. And if you see one you like but it's NOT your size, you should save your search … then eBay will email you when a new one is listed.

I hope this is not stating the obvious, but I went out to give a talk at eBay on Monday and it turned out that perhaps some of the things I think are obvious about eBay shopping are not … anyone else have any eBay tips? You know where the comments are!

Of course, because I was talking at eBay I felt that I had to show them a picture of my most recent eBay purchase … which was this:

Advance 9846

Isn't it lovely? (When I bought it there was at least one more listed, too … )

The Perfect Larger-Size Vintage You've Been Waiting For

Orla Dress

I get quite a few emails from people who are a modern size 14 or 16 and can't find anything vintage they like in their size. "Be patient," I tell them (which is horrible of me, because no one EVER likes to be told "be patient"). "Keep checking eBay, your perfect dress will turn up eventually."

So if you were one of those emailers and you don't bid on this dress (B46), I don't want to hear any more whining from you, young lady. This dress is about as perfect as you'll ever see, and I can't believe Holly's actually selling it (she's lost some weight and it doesn't fit her any longer … of course, if I had this dress hanging in my closet, I'd be tempted to slam back the malteds until it fit me again, too, so I understand).

I don't know where to start with what I love about this dress. The Orla Kiely-ish print? The scallops along the side? The buttons? It's so hard to decide … did I mention that it has a pocket? And that it's lined in red?

If this fits you, you should jump at it, because I will bet you will wear it to pieces (and probably, if you're anything like me, hold on the pieces for years in the fashion equivalent of a reliquary, or like a jar of ashes on the mantel). It's just that kind of dress.

The auction ends Wednesday, so hop to it!

Busy, Day Dress (or Busy-Day Dress)

busy dress

Okay, so for the last day of this incarnation of fabric week, I thought I'd show something made up … I bought this fabric on eBay, I'm pretty sure, a decision based solely on that color green. I love that shade of green.

Of course, as with all fabric I bought in 2006, it was supposed to be part of a Duro dress. I could never find anything to match that raisin-y brown, though, and I thought matching the pink or the green would be too Lilly Pulitzer. So it sat in my fabric closet (which is not of Tardis-like proportions, despite rampant speculation in the comments, but is pretty darn close) for a while.

Then I needed some fabric to "test" a new pattern — this is in fact the bodice from one pattern and the skirt from another; I'd show the images but I can't find them, arrgh — and thought of this stuff. The idea was the pattern would be SO BUSY that any bobbles in the construction wouldn't show.

Of course, I wasn't able to match the large medallions right on the bodice:

busy dress

But the pockets turned out okay (they're curved!):

busy dress

Despite the many flaws of this dress (the facings like to turn out, despite practically supergluing them down, and for some reason I got a bad spool of thread so the seams are weak and constantly need repair) it's actually incredibly wearable. The pockets are just the right size and the bodice is very comfortable (it's the same bodice as this dress). In fact, I'm thinking of making this again but in red with white polka dots …

Fabric Week: Out of the Closet

I have found that one of the best ways to quell the desire to hit "Buy It Now" on an eBay fabric listing is to go upstairs and check out what's still patiently waiting for me in my fabric stash. Stuff like this, for instance:

pink stripe fabric

That's supposed to be a big 50s shirtdress. Someday. For now, it's waiting patiently in a big pile (which is why it's so wrinkly).

This, below, is also supposed to be a shirtdress. I have, as longtime readers of this blog will know, an almost pathological attachment to the color "hot dog mustard." (Good thing that there isn't that much hot-dog-mustard fabric made.) I bought this fabric in LA in January, I think:

yellow plaid

This fabric was going to be the border of a Duro that I haven't made yet. Not sure if I will make it, and now there's only about three yards of this:
scribble fabric

Same thing with this: parts of a Duro that has not yet come to be:

paisley fabric

I bought this fabric because it's a nice heavy weight and I thought it would make a good skirt. I should probably work this up this weekend, as it's a good pattern for summer:

more paisley fabric

This I *can't wait* to sew — I bought it at Joann's, of all places (nonUSians: JoAnn's is a giant chain store that lately has been more crafty than fabric-y). When I was having it cut (I bought everything left on the bolt, natch, about six yards) four people came up to me and asked me what I was going to make. "A *BIG* dress," I said. Of course, I am still trying to find the perfect "BIG DRESS" pattern for this. And deciding what to line it with. I want pale gray batiste, which I don't think exists (or at least, doesn't exist at a price I'm willing to pay, and I'm not going to dye white batiste, either).

yellow broderie anglaise

This last is probably my favorite of everything pictured here. I just can't figure out what it should be. I bought it thinking "skirt!" but now I think it really wants to be a dress. I don't have enough for a full-skirted dress, and I'm worried about matching those strong horizontal lines across a narrow paneled skirt. I think I'll have to do a wiggle dress, but then there's the knotty question of pockets … it's a nice sturdy fabric with good stretch, though, so if I just buckle down and DO IT, it will be amazingly wearable and summery …

green square fabric

So that's what's hanging out in my fabric stash, clamoring to be made … and keeping me from buying more fabric online!

Liberty: An Essential Part of Any Complete Fabric Week

Liberty Peter

This seems to be part of the new Liberty range for 2007; the auction for this colorway is over, but the seller, laluthan, has some in brown, still. (I've bought from her before; she's very nice!)

If I make it to the UK this year (hoping perhaps in September) I know what I'm buying. I only hope they have it in the twill as well as the lawn, so that I can make a nice heavy skirt out of it. And maybe a green colorway? Or an orange one? That would be perfect.

This one really reminds of my favorite Liberty print ever, the one with the stars and dots (I wish I remembered its name!) …

Don't mind me; I'll just be over here daydreaming about Liberty prints.

Bonus Post for Fabric Week: Jokes

Here are two terrible fabric jokes. Does anyone have any better ones?

What Did the Bolt of Fabric Tell His Daughter When She Threatened to Run Away to India?

"Go ahead … you'll be sari."

(From Defective Yeti, courtesy Annette … )

And this one, which turned up I-don't-know-how:

Walking up to a department store’s fabric counter, a pretty girl asked, “I want to buy this material for a new dress. How much does it cost?”

“Only one kiss per yard, ” replied the smirking male clerk.

“That’s fine,” replied the girl. “I’ll take ten yards.”

With expectation and anticipation written all over his face, the clerk hurriedly measured out and wrapped the cloth, then held it out teasingly.

The girl snapped up the package, pointed to a little old man standing beside her, smiled and said, “Grandpa pay the man.”

(That one must be ancient; when's the last time you saw a department store with a fabric counter? From here).

Please tell me some of you have better ones. You can leave 'em in the comments.