Linktastic Friday: Helpfulness Edition

Modes Royale 1594

Jen helpfully sent me the above link — isn't it fantastic? You don't usually get vampiness AND pockets in the same pattern. (Which has never made sense to me: where do those mankillers keep their red lipstick and extra perfume? I don't see a handbag in this picture, do you?) (It's being listed by JuniperFare Vintage Wears on eBay, click the image to visit the listing.) Jen is also a member of the EVintage Society, check them out!

Libby helped me find Simplicity 2222, which I don't even think she knew I was looking for:


Allison made a prom dress for a bowling pin. That's all I'm gonna say; you need to check out that link for yourself.

Rita at Cemetarian writes about what to do with incomplete patterns. What do you do with your incomplete patterns? (Remember there's always Pattern Rescue, too!)

Lisa sent this astounding raffia-embroidered 1960s dress. If you have a fancy beachy party coming up, you need to visit this auction.

Elle sends a link to, which supposedly lets you enter your measurements and then shops for items that fit your shape. (I vaguely remember ita wanting something like this a long time ago …) I put in my measurements and I am something called an "M" shape. Since "M" is one of my favorite letters of the alphabet (mmmmmm) this pleased me … but I didn't find any cardigans I liked in the shopping section. D'oh! (For more on bodyshapes, you might want to re-read this excellent guest post by La BellaDonna.)

Penny sent this dress, which I love. I'm pretty sure I have this pattern, though, so I'm sharing. Isn't that helpful of me?

Carla did a great interview with Trista of Sugardale. You remember Trista from a previous Linktastic Friday, I'm sure …

Oh, and apropos of yesterday's steampunk mention, Jonquil found this great clock-parts fabric. I really want a dress of this, and every time I wear it I will look impatiently at my watch for added effect!

Kaufman Clock Fabric

If you have run out of things to read on the Internets, Michelle (from Patterns From The Past) very helpfully sent this GIANT LIST of sewing blogs. It's a rainy Friday here; if it's a rainy Friday where YOU are …

Requestions (I was going to type "requests" but my fingers decided to follow through with "ions" and it looked funny, so, now, we're using the word "requestions" here at Dress a Day HQ):

Can anyone help Cat find a good kimono pattern (that isn't Folkwear, she knows about that one)? Please leave a comment …

Kate is looking for a pattern for those Hawaiian-y 1950s halter dresses (like this one). Do you know of a pattern for these? I know you can buy reproductions, but she wants to make her own.

Can anyone help Laura? This is her question:

I don't mean to bother you, but I can't seem to find info and if anyone would know, it would be you or your readers… No matter what I do, my skirts always turn around on me. I walk, they shift, I run, they shift, I sit still, they shift. Circle skirts, straight skirts, etc, and always counter clockwise if looking from above. I used to think it was interference from my purse, but it happens even if I don't carry one. I figure I must walk unevenly or something, but do you know any way to get it to stay put? I've tried pinning them to my bike shorts (works for circles, but not straight skirts – the skirt still turns below the pin line). Any ideas?

I would like to know that answer, too … for me it seems to happen when I'm wearing a bigger size than I ought to (some vintage I will MAKE fit me by sheer force of will, right?).

Still about skirts, Sandy is looking for a Halston skirt pattern, which she explains as "the skirt is actually like two in one—there is an inner skirt which is only fastened at the waist, so you can turn the whole thing over and have a second skirt." Do you know about this? Leave a comment, please!

Also, it has come to my attention that the "search" function on this page is BROKEN. Like, returns no hits for "Duro" or "shirtdress" broken. I'm not sure why … but if you need to find where I wrote about roller-skating, or buttonholes, or that dress with the crows and the megaphones, or whatever, use Google, and type [YOUR QUERY TERM HERE] That will limit Google's search to just A Dress A Day.

Wanted: Airship Hostesses

So, for a little while now, India and I have been trading links to patterns for airship-hostess dresses. (You know, what the flight attendant on the dirigible wears?)

Like this:

Advance 5220

Or this:

Vogue 1362

Or this:

Advance 5368

[Thanks to Beth B. for the last link]

I mean, I've found SPACE dirigible-crew dresses before, but for some reason these above are more suited to atmospheric travel.

What makes an airship-hostess dress, you ask? I think it's a combination of asymmetry, buttons, and a longish A-line skirt. Interesting collars and pockets are good, too. If the dress would look good with a tiny pillbox hat with a cockade, that's another plus.

I don't know why I'm so tickled by these dresses. Maybe it's the allure of steampunk (I like the idea of an art-deco kind of steampunk), or maybe it's that I've been flying a lot lately and am wistful for the idea of quiet, elegant airship travel (now! with fewer Hindenburgs!). Who knows why … all I know is that I want to see more of them! Suggestions welcome.

(Oh, and btw, India, I'll have you know, is so deeply saturated with win that she made this Flickr set: A Daily Hint From Paris. Take a look … there are only a baker's dozen or so right now so it won't kill your WHOLE morning.)

Quick! Check this out …

Lucite Box Vintage splatter-print dress

You have GOT to go take a look at this splatter-print 50s dress that is up at Holly's new Lucite Box Vintage site. For one thing, it's a hard-to-find size: B40-W32-H44. For another, it's cotton. In addition: it has pockets! (Plus it's only $75!) And the print … I love that print.

This would be a great dress to wear to a wedding (as a guest) — throw a little cardigan over it, and you're set to go to anything from a noon wedding outdoors (add big white sunglasses) to something cocktail-y (add rhinestone jewelry or serious shoes).

I love these sheath-y dresses with the interesting necklines; they're sexy without being OVERTLY so. This dress shows no cleavage, eschews transparency, and isn't split up to THERE, but it's still sexy … without needing thong underwear. When did we start thinking that a mere cumulative total of exposed skin was enough? It isn't.

But don't stay here listening to my grousing — anyway, I've got to go yell at some kid to get offa my lawn — go take a look and decide for yourself …

Once more, from the top

One of the side effects of learning Summerset's invisible-zipper-and-side-seam-pocket trick is that it's making me re-evaluate a lot of my all-time favorite patterns for pocketosity. Like this one, for instance:

McCalls 8858

Before I knew the trick, this poor dress was limited to just ONE side-seam pocket — obviously an injustice. But now that I can have bilateral pocket symmetry, it was obviously time to make it again:

green windowpane dress

Oops, looks like I got it a little twisted on the dress form, there. I swear it actually hangs straight. Here's the new, improved, invisible side zip, with pocket:

green windowpane dress

Notice that I didn't match up the waist seam exactly on either side of the zipper. I must also disclose that, while I was wearing the dress, nobody mentioned this. (Very kind of them.)

Here's the OTHER pocket, the "normal" one:

green windowpane dress

I didn't have QUITE enough fabric to cut this dress out according to the layout — in fact, I had to piece the back bodice, which is supposed to be cut on the fold:

green windowpane dress

I also cut the skirt sections on the fold, instead of giving them a center seam. This adds 1.25" to each skirt piece, which, miraculously, is just the amount I need to enlarge the waist by so that it fits comfortably. (Don't forget to add 5/8" to the bodice sides, too, if you want this to work!)

This is almost certainly going to be made again, and soon. I'm happy with how it turned out, but next time I'm going to make one change — I'm going to make the neckline facing in a lighter fabric — the facing in the fashion fabric, especially here (this is a fairly heavy cotton sateen) is just too bulky, see the little lumpiness on the left shoulder back:

green windowpane dress

Even with all the fussing about, cutting some things on the fold and not others, adding pockets (the pattern doesn't include pocket pieces), putting in an invisible zip, etc. etc., this is a remarkably fast pattern to make — even with hemming it by hand (and that's a LOT of skirt), it was still under four hours, total.

(And possibly I'll even iron the next version before I take the pictures.)

Busy, Busy, Busy

Advance 9511

I'm really, really busy this week so I thought I'd look for a pattern picture that also had a lot going on. But the more I look at this one, the more I can't figure out what the heck is going on here (and the more I like this dress).

First off, it's rare for there to be a random guy in a pattern picture. (For all that people think the clothes of the 1950s were all about dressing for me, you'd think that there'd be more blatantly goggling men in the pattern pictures.) And what is this Random Guy doing? Is he painting or drawing the model? If so, why does the model in the picture have a completely different hairstyle and different sleeves? Is it really a picture, or a door opening from another dimension, from whence Bad Fuchsia Dress lady has come to wreak havoc? Or is she saving her past self from the predations of Random Guy (who also has a chandelier of some sort growing out of his ears, he should have that taken care of), wearing a similar dress to reassure herself? [Making note: if ever need come from the future to save my past self, wear favorite clothes to project air of trustworthiness.]

And, perhaps most puzzlingly: where's the other legs of the chair? And why isn't it falling over, since PastSelf/LongSleeveLady is putting some weight on it?

Only questions, with no answers. Can anyone help?

(If you want the pattern, not answers, click on the image to visit the eBay auction.)

Etsy's loss is your gain

Jace (at Gremly Girl) recently let me know of a change to Etsy's search that I wasn't aware of … the new default Etsy search is for handmade items only:

etsy search bar

So if you search, say, "fauxlero" on Etsy, without changing the default to "Vintage" … well, you wouldn't get much. Then you would believe there are no fake boleros on Etsy, and, considering how many fake-bolero links I've been sent in the past 24 hours, that's un-possible.

In order to make it worth your while to change the little drop-down in the search box from "handmade" to "vintage" (see below)

etsy search bar

a bunch of Etsy sellers have banded together to offer a special "Buried Treasure" promotion. They're offering 10% off through the end of May to Dressaday readers who put "dressaday" in the message to sellers. The site won't input the discount automatically, so buyers will get a revised Paypal invoice from the seller. (Some pattern sellers offer additional shipping and quantity discounts, which they'll combine with the dressaday discount.)

Here's the list of participating Etsy sellers, in alphabetical order:

Bamabelle — vintage clothing
Enigma Vintage — vintage clothing
Gremly Girl — vintage patterns
Joules — vintage clothing and patterns
Just Picked Vintage — vintage patterns & notions
Pattern Mania — vintage patterns
Pattern Shop — vintage patterns
Pattern Stash — vintage patterns
Sandritocat — vintage patterns

I suggest you take advantage of the discount by perhaps snapping up something like this:

Simplicity 3560

Or this:

Simplicity 3560

It'd be a shame to let those dresses languish, undiscovered and almost undiscoverable, just because Etsy changed their search …

Diegogarcity, Fake Bolero Edition

Does this ever happen to you? One day you notice something odd, or new, or both, and then over the next several days (weeks, months, years) you start noticing the same phenomenon ALL THE TIME. There's a name for this; believe it or not — it's called diegogarcity.

And, anyway, I must have given you all diegogarcity, big time, with the fake boleros, because you are all now seeing them everywhere. Here's a recent submission, from Lorraine (or, seeing as she prefers to be known by her Sewing Conspiracy Drag Name, Dixie S. Hoyt):

McCalls 9756

This one is SLIGHTLY more elegant than some of the other candidates, but it's still fakety-fake-fake.

If you can live with the deception and the tissue of lies, click on the image to visit Woodland Farms Antiques; the pattern's a B39 and $15.

And keep those fake-bolero entries coming, if you would … maybe later we can have a fake-bolero-off. (You know, like a contest, with voting. Because the actual fake boleros DON'T COME OFF.)