Linktastic Tuesday, All-Pockets Edition

Simplicity 4651

The pattern above (click on the image to visit the eBay auction) is not only a great, easy dress, but it also inspired me to post some pocket links, or quasi-pocket links. (The one above is a B32, but there's also two B38s on eBay right now, too.)

Michelle (of Green Kitchen) sends this great link to Bitter Betty's site, where she posts a pocket tutorial.

This (sent by Mary Beth) isn't actually a pocket, but I think they're missing a significant use case by not including a stealth pocket in it. Considering how many women do keep things in their bras, why wouldn't you add a pocket to a bra accessory? Seems like a no-brainer to me. (Of course, I don't think I'd ever buy one of those things, as they seem uncomfortable and liable to wiggle around, but hey, I admire their problem-solving gumption.)

Also in the thing-that-should-have-pockets-but-doesn't category, Pretty Bourgeois posted a link to a dress that looks like the LL Bean Tote Bag. Too bad there's only one monogram option.

I missed the original auction for this one, sent by Ginger Lane:

Simplicity 3001

But if you click the image there's a B34, sans envelope, up on the 'bay right now. I'd rather not have the envelope — for some reason, the pictures on that pattern creep me out.

And one more pocket link, from Summerset. Seriously, this link, which explains how to put a pocket and an invisible zipper in the same seam, changed my life. Do you know how many 1950s side-zipper dresses I can put pockets in now? EVERY ONE OF THEM.

Robots! Robots! Robots!

Nora *and* Theresa sent me links to some robot fabric that I *must have*:

robot fabric!

It's at CraftyPlanet — click the image to visit their store. I haven't bought any yet, though, because I don't know what it wants to be, and thus don't know how much I need. (I would normally just suck it up and buy five yards, but this fabric is EXPENSIVE.) I'm hoping it decides it wants to be a skirt, so I can get away with buying two and a half yards.

If you already know what you'd like to sew out of robot fabric, maybe you need twill robot trim from SuperBuzzy:

robot trim!

And while I'm talking about robots — I "collect" songs that have the word "robot" in the title or that are sung/played by bands with "robot" in their name. (What can I say? I like music made by happy machines.) If you want to subscribe to the Yahoo! Pipes feed I made (which looks on Hype Machine for songs fitting those criteria) I think that link will let you do so.

Linktastic Friday No. 4: The Return of Linktastic Friday

French pillow

Tina at What-I-Found sent me a link to the pillow above; I need to put it on my couch and sit next to it wearing my letter/number dress, don't I?

Dilly sent a link to these sewing-themed shoes from the UK chain Office, which makes it very difficult for people to grab their pics. I guess you'll have to click on the link if you want to see them.

Remember those "Four Yard Line" patterns? There's also a One Yard Line line: check out this skirt and blouse pattern (Butterick 9475), sent by Myra.

Ann sent a great link to a post by Babazeka, where she quotes an old sewing manual about how to be properly dressed when you sit down at the machine. Priceless. (Ann also sent a link to Donate My Dress, which passes along gently used prom dresses to girls who need them.)

Hana in Brno sent a link to this dress — a wedding dress made completely of dollar store materials. It looks pretty good!

I know I haven't said much about the wiki lately (I think we need to have another contest), but we have another seller who is happy to have her images loaded up into it: Vintage Swampcrone.

Blogreader Carol has a wonderful blog about papercraft. Check it out!

Kristine sent this, which is up right now on eBay (click the image). Isn't it cute?

Marian Martin 9425

Doug (yeah, I said Doug) sent this link to a site called Unraveling Histories, which features dresses made from silk RAF parachutists' maps. The site is hard to navigate and even harder to pull pics from but it's definitely worth a link! And there's a Dutch version.

Lee (at when she was knitting) sent in pictures of her Duro! And it's her first dress! You should click the link and check it out, her color choice is beautiful.

Stephanie sent in this Whole Food halter dress, in the front of her local WF in Oakland:

Whole Food halter

The *very* funny Jonathan Caws-Elwitt has made up these t-shirts (click the image to visit his CafePress store):

IM with Stupid t-shirt image

Whew! I think that's it for this Friday. Wouldn't want to break the internet …

It was Julie's Birthday, But I Got the Present …

A little bird told me that Julie (of Damn Good Vintage) had a birthday earlier this week, and I thought maybe I'd head to her site and find something delicious to post and wish her a (belated) happy day … and (of course) I ended up buying this:

McCalls 7952

It's not MY birthday until August, so this cannot be justified as a birthday present to ME. But — isn't it adorable? I love the little gathers at the yoke. And that pink is just edible … I'd use little covered buttons in a pink floral print, wouldn't you?

(I think the women on this pattern envelope are all in an art gallery, and are looking forward to going out to lunch afterwards. They will all have cake.)

Now, if you also wanted to celebrate Julie's birthday as an excuse to buy patterns, as I did, may I suggest this one?

Anne Adams 4811

Or maybe this one:

McCalls 3752

It's a B40! And it has a circle skirt! And the women on the pattern envelope are like a clone-race of fembots!

And, speaking of birthdays and excuses to go pattern-shopping, Jen at MOMSPatterns had a modem meltdown. And while LESSER women would yell and scream, Jen is offering a special sale: use the code 'friedmodem15' and save 15% off any sized order on the MOMSPatterns site all weekend and she'll ship as soon as she's back online with a broadband connection. (What's the birthday connection? Jen's birthday is tomorrow! Obviously a reason to BUY MORE PATTERNS.)

Happy birthday, everyone!

Seriously, I am cornering the market on shirtdresses

Butterick 2628

I could barely make out the line drawing on this, and the seller said she had no clue whether or not it was complete … and I bought it anyway. It's a sickness, right?

I am a sucker for these Butterick Four-Yard-Line patterns, though. I love the football reference in something marketed exclusively to women (and supposedly thrifty women at that!) but I liked the open collar with the front band and the full skirt a little more. I think this one will be fun to make.

I'm seriously considering making this shirtdress in a solid color, even. Wouldn't that be a switch? I just can't decide WHICH color. Pale blue and green are too hospitally; yellow shows too much dirt; black is too boring to sew, ditto white; red a little much for all that skirt … I'm bored with pink lately, and orange would just be insane (not that I'm against insane, usually). I don't like brown in summer, and I never wear beige (or purple) if I can help it. What am I forgetting? Ooh, maybe a deep blue?

By the Numbers

Remember those nursery curtains I bought at Target? They turned into this:

DwellBaby Target fabric dress

It's Butterick 2626, the same dress as the one in this post. It's not ironed — this is how it looks after being hung up wet from the dryer.

I didn't realize until I took the picture how … prominent … the numbers are on the bodice. In my mind, it's an alphabet dress, not a numbers dress, but I don't mind. (And since I'm going to be wearing this mostly for work, I hope I earworm everyone I meet with Dolly Parton's "9 to 5".)

It took me forever to figure out what buttons to use, until I remembered I bought fifteen packets of covered-button forms at the last Hancock's notions sale:
DwellBaby Target fabric dress

The covered buttons were EASY. There's a template on the back of the package and then all you have to do is get the fabric wet and put it in the mold. It took less time to make the buttons than it did to sew them on. (Just remember to check the orientation of the shanks if your buttons have a definite up-and-down … a couple of mine are sewn on an angle for that reason!)

If I had it to do over again, I would, and with a glad heart, but this time I'd unpick the curtain hems BEFORE washing them; the sizing made the fabric stiff and in my haste I ripped one of the hems along the seamline, which made cutting-out a bit awkward. (If you have rips or stains in your fabric, you can mark them the way I do, with blue painter's tape — it's stiff enough so that you can feel it from the wrong side but it comes off easily without leaving any sticky stuff behind.)

The obligatory "Let me show you where I screwed up" part is here:

DwellBaby Target fabric dress

The skirt has an interesting slashed/darted opening on the left for the zipper, and the right-hand side is supposed to have just a plain dart. Which I forgot to make. Which means the back skirt is not centered on the back bodice. To which I say: big whoop; I gave up being worried if people were staring at my ass a decade ago.

Here's the full back view:

DwellBaby Target fabric dress

Despite that annoyance and assorted others (if you remember, this is the dress where I turned front and back bodice gathers into darts, plus I had to let out the waist an inch, which is irritating on a skirt with side-seam pleats) I will probably make this pattern at least once more. It's so comfortable!

If you're playing "spot the pockets", they're set in the front skirt seam, between the third and fourth outermost pleats. Very convenient!

But *this* one has a zipper!

McCalls 4118

Even though I now probably have enough shirtwaist patterns to paper my sewing room with them (not that I *would*, but I could), this one caught my eye … it has a zipper! A center-front zipper, which you hardly ever see on non-athletic clothing any more.

If I made this I'd do it in some kind of fine black lawn with one of those fancy rhinestone zippers. Which reminds me: I really need to do a big online notions/zippers/etc. order: what sites do you all recommend? I should compile a list …

And speaking of lists, yes, this marks the second Friday that has been bereft of linktasticness, but my wifi connection while traveling has been a bit … unreliable. And linktasticity needs, above all, reliable internet, so I can follow all those links to their stunning conclusions. But keep those links coming; the next one is likely to be overwhelming. You'll need to set aside a whole morning just to click them all …

(Oh, and in this picture, don't you think Flowered Dress has just said something completely inane to Green Dress? I think so, too, but I can't decide what it was. If you know, leave a comment, please!)

Dress A Day Says: Two Thumbs Up!

Joan Bennett in Vogues of 1938

So. Yes. I'm not sure where yesterday went, either — if anyone sees a missing Wednesday (with or without a note pinned to it that says "return to Erin: reward"), would you send it along to me? I'm afraid it's out there somewhere lost and lonely.

But, Lost Wednesday (so much less desperate, thankfully, than a Lost Weekend) aside — I did manage to see this wonderful movie, Vogues of 1938, on the kind recommendation of friend-of-the-blog Deborah.

Vogues of 1938 — and don't let the title fool you, it was made in 1937 — is, as far as I can tell, a movie made solely to put on a fashion show (or two, or three). The plot is as slim as the lead, Joan Bennett (and that's saying something) but there's wonderful repartee — as when Joan, thwarted in her desire for The Guy, hands off her fashion show trophy (fashion show trophy!) to a maid, saying "My hands are full carrying a torch!" Sigh. Why can't you get away with lines like that in real life?

The clothes are sumptuous in that movie-glamour way, and the title card of the designers involved takes up a whole screen, not that I recognized any of their names. The movie also includes significant close-up shots of a lucky thimble, a Russian prince and a petulant titan of industry, truly shocking quantities (to modern eyes) of furs and cigarettes, as well as unintentional humor (at least, I think it was unintentional), when a crooner dedicates a whole song to "Lady of the evening … lady of the night" which is not, in fact, about a prostitute. (Or, if it was, she was way beyond even Spitzer's budget.) And a horse-drawn milk wagon. And a fairly random Cotton Club interlude. And a kind of cut-rate Marx Brothers-ish trio. This movie is PACKED.

Oh — and did I mention? — there's a several-minute interlude of TRICK ROLLER-SKATING. On a raised platform, in evening dress, if you please. (In the movie, the impresario of the failed musical for which the skaters are auditioning tells his would-be ingénue that, in the show, "they'll be dressed as bunnies.")

I recommend watching this movie while doing something else undemanding and just coming to full attention when either Joan Bennett or the roller-skating couple is on the screen, or when you hear the fashion-show music.

So: in short: Dress A Day says "Two Thumbs Up!" Add it to your Netflix queue today!

(The picture of Joan Bennett above is from a total eye-candy wonderland, Evening Gowns Vintage and New, uploaded to some site I've never heard of — does "Webshots" ring a bell for anyone? — but well worth checking out.)

I'll Fly Away

Advance 6254

Check out this great pattern (at Cemetarian). Dawn sent it to me thinking I would enjoy the winglike pockets — and she thought right. Wow. Those are some pockets. They're ideally suited to that awkward moment when you have three children awaiting ice cream cones, but only two hands! You could put a double-scoop strawberry in a sugar cone on the right and a rainbow sherbet on the left, and still have a hand free for napkins.

I do really love this pattern, though, and if only I had a triangular cell phone I would snap it up in a second. Look at that collar! And the pockets that are lined with contrast fabric!

If you want it, click on the image to visit Cemetarian's site. It's only $8 …