Did I Mention?

McCalls 8788

Did I mention that I picked up this pattern last week, from MOMSPatterns? No? Well, I did. I couldn't resist. (It was, in fact, chanting "Resistance is FUTILE" in a tinny voice through my laptop speakers; I actually had to mute the darn thing. But it was too late.)

I have absolutely, positively no idea what fabric I'm going to make this in, but it will come to me. I'm sure of it. Probably right around the time that it's still SLIGHTLY too cold to wear it. (It's majorly too-cold here in Chicago right now. Snow, you were pretty at first, but, bored now …)

The attitudes of the women in the illustration here are just precious. Obviously stripey-dress woman is a huge drama queen: "Why, oh why, will no one come on my picnic with me? Do I OFF-end? Am I so re-PUL-sive?" Green dress and taupe dress, who are twins, of course, are studiously ignoring her (and communicating silently in their secret twin-language, which no one else understands). They are looking into the distance, hoping the bus will come soon so they can escape. (Don't you think that's the most plausible scenario for this illustration? I do.)

Wait — I lied. I would really like to make this dress in two coordinating prints, a darker one for the "T" middle and a lighter one for the sides and collar. That would be awesome. Maybe even light-on-dark stripes for the middle, and dark-on-light stripes for the sides … like I'm going to be able to find that easily. Or at all.

(Talking about finding easily, or at all, this is traditionally the time of year where I look in vain for a reasonably-priced [under $50] vintage short wool coat. I'd love something in a crazy plaid and low-hip length … which doesn't seem to exist, other than some Pendleton stuff I'm not crazy about. Any suggestions?)

And … while I'm stretching this blog post to ridiculous lengths, here's today's charity drive widget:


I can't believe we're over halfway there already … I better get to writin' them drabbles! (Remember, I post a full-length Secret Lives of Dresses the day we hit the goal, and a drabble every day post goal-hit until Christmas!)

A couple people have asked if there was anything else they could do (because of limited funds, or because they can't pay with a credit card, or whatever), and if that's you, you could also do this: send books to soldiers


0 thoughts on “Did I Mention?

  1. Erin – Great pattern – I only wish it had long sleeves (it’s too crazy cold where I am also – it was negative two this morning when I left for work at 7:30 a.m.). If so, I’d got for wool crepe in forest green in a wink. As for your search for the good short wool coat for less than $50 – I gave up that search a while ago. I have a Butterick retro swing jacket pattern “aging” while I find some coating. I’m looking for brown tweed, myself. Stay warm.


  2. I bought a very cute hip length swing coat a Target recently. In a mustard color with little brown flecks. Very cute. They have a pretty good selection of jackets and coats this year. My cost 49.00. I would check out their website because they often have a smaller selection in their stores.From Karen.


  3. That’s a lovely pattern! And I think your story about the illustration is quite apt.I have a crazy question for you, one that I’ve been thinking about for a few weeks. I share your love of pockets, but my Grandma (who taught me how to sew) hates them. In fact, she usually takes them out of patterns! She says they ruin the line of the skirt or dress or whatever because when you put stuff in them, the skirt bunches up.I have a store-bought 6 gore skirt that has sideseams, and I’d really like to add side pockets to it, I hear my Grandma in my head saying I’m going to ruin it.I guess what I’m trying to ask is: what arguments would you use to try and convince my Grandma that pockets are ok? Do they ruin the look of a skirt? Or make a woman look messy? Because I’m not sure I’m going to be able to attack that skirt until I can get her to quit making such a ruckus in my head!


  4. Erin,Have you looked at any of the thrift shops in your area to find a vintage coat? I bought a sweet black and tan wool coat in need of some lovin (and a new lining) for $6.00 at a church thrift shop across from where I work.LindaP.S. “Bored Now”, as in Willow?


  5. You silly girl you should make a coat! I’m working on one now thats a sort of combo of two I saw for sale at Barrie Pace — found a vogue pattern — am changing the length, the collar, and adding an elizabethean — don’tknow what else to call it– like a circle skirt at the end of the sleeve. I found this fabulous french lavender blue mohair yardage at the good fabric store on the sale table for $15 yard down from $80 a yard with a tag on it that said damaged. Me and the fabric ladies laid it out and it had these faint brown splotches all over it that looked like someone had spit coffee on it or something. I though in a pinch I could always pretend its part of the fabric — but as we contemplated, I finally decided hey, its 100% wool — I’ll try washing it. So I only needed 3 yards, and since it was damaged, they gave me the extra last yard that was on the bolt (only the 4 yards on sale). I took it home, put it in the machine on soak with cold water and loads of shampoo, soaked it, drained it, rinsed it twice, air dried it and its perfect! Yah whoo! (I did a test patch before flinging it in the machine). As long as you don’t agitate it (as you know) you should be able to wash wool without shrinkage. The best part is the washing fluffed up the mohair and now it looks better than it did when I bought it. Sorry for the length of the comment, but hey, I’m psyched.


  6. Y’know, I have actually thought about using ‘Erin’ as a keyword in some of my dress pattern listings.. some of them just SCREAM you! Whaddya think? Mind being a searchable style, Ms. Dressaday?I’ve been so busy trying to help fill up the wiki that I’ve slacked on listing patterns into my store, but fear not everyone, I have about 150 ready to slam in there soon!


  7. I am sooooo lovin’ the pattern! WOWI guess it took a measurable amount of snow to kick me in the butt. I began refashioning my grandmother old (merely 70’s-ish)winter coat this monring. It’s been hanging in the to-do-closet for 15 years.


  8. I too felt the pull of Pendleton and other plaid vintage jackets. So I made my own.I found some great flannel plaid–tan background, with dark brown, purple and green (somewhere b/t mint and lime if that’s possible) lines running through it. Flannel is not as heavy as wool of course, but I underlined it with a sturdy twill (I should have actually lined it, but I wanted a quick project) and that keeps it warm enough for us here in Texas.I used a current pattern–but one with a nice shape, giant peter pan collar and bracelet-length sleeves with a huge cuff. I get compliments on it all the time…


  9. It would be adorable if it weren’t for the sleeve things (but my wide shoulders make me biased).Also, I was just thinking about how I miss your ‘Secret Lives of Dresses.’ I hope you haven’t given up on them for good.


  10. I like it, but what kind of interfacing would it take to make those little pointed sleeve cuffs behave themselves? ShirtTailor? And I do own several yards of red’n’white striped cotton. This inspires me to dig it out and make it up. Maternity wear is hard enough, but adding red stripes ought to be a real challenge. 😉


  11. Dahlings, pardon the pun, but I admire you all so much for having the time and energy to sew! As for myself, I never soil my hands with common work (that’s why one has a maid, a personal assistant, and a 24-hour-stylist-on-call). But I can appreciate the effort you poor deprived things put into your work. Brava!


  12. This may be my favorite so far. I seriously like this dress and I like their fabrics, too. If red isn’t your best summer color, another stripe like this one would look great, but I’d watch out for irregular stripes, because that could get messy at the prominent seams, no?For the other two, taupe linen and green or blue pre-shrunk rayon challis would suit me. I’d love this dress in any of the colorways.Judith of Think On It


  13. I would make a coat if I didn’t already have two cut out and not finished. My track record with coats is not so good. :-)and Katxena, I should post on your pocket issue … short version is, wouldn’t your grandma want you to have a hanky, lip balm, $20 for a cab, etc.? And not have to carry a purse? 🙂


  14. Thank you for brightening each day for me! I just realized why I adore 1940’s fashion. It reminds me of my very fashionable grandmother, who was still fun enough to do headstands and played basketball in highschool in 1918.Nutmegmaterialmama.com


  15. Erin: thanks for the thoughts. I’m pretty sure Grandma would insist that no properly dressed woman would ever be without a pocketbook, preferably one that matches her shoes.But your points are persuasive to me. Maybe I can quiet the Grandma in my head down to a whisper with them.


  16. I really like this pattern. I think that I would go with a stretch velvet for the side panels and use the crepe side of a satin-back crepe for the center panel (I’m stealing this idea from the Dec. ’07 issue of INSTYLE).


  17. Hoardmeister you misunderstand. We sew because we are wealthy but eccentric sensualists and fashionistas who look down our noses at all that look alike ready to wear and have lots of money for fabric and $2000 sewing machines and $1800 sergers and $300 gravity feed irons and $75 gingher scissors and a mangle and an architect designed addition on our house for our sewing studio with built in custom storage and lots of natural light. We send out our alterations and repairs to our seamstresses! At least I do. My chauffeur could drive me there in his sleep. Of course, that is because alterations and repairs are common work suitable for ones’s staff.Like Catherine Zeta-Jones, however, I do cut my own hair since I do it better than anyone else can. No 24 hour stylists for me!


  18. Short vintage plaid coat alert! It’s a bit more, price-wise, than you’re looking for… but the amount of sheer CUTE may be worth it.I’m in love with it but it won’t fit me, so I’ll share:eBay item # 120195773334


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