And the winners are …

So, it's taken me FOREVER to decide just whose present was the WORST (or best, although "OMG, WTF, what the hell were they thinking" outweighed "OMG! You didn't!" by about 493 to 1).

A lot of the presents were what I call "bowling ball presents" — stuff people get you because they want it for themselves (qv: pepperdove getting a VCR … at age 15 … when there was only one TV in the house … after the family VCR broke. Elizabeth getting an air conditioner — then being told they couldn't afford to install it!). And then some were "I love you, you're perfect, now change" presents. (qv: Riva getting offered laser hair removal! Mickey being given a can of Slim-Fast!)

Then there were a lot of "I don't know what the word "present" means, so I'm going to give you this random item" (like Ann's boyfriend giving her a RED LACE TEDDY FROM A PREVIOUS GIRLFRIEND — seriously, wtf? — and Colleen getting a PLASTIC TRAVEL URINAL, Beth B getting PAPERCLIPS, Denise getting USED MAKEUP).

Some presents seem to have been thinly-veiled assassination attempts: MsManners got two bottles of Fen-Phen (from an ex, natch) and Angel getting a basket of hair clips and dollar-store scented soap from her sister-in-law when she A) had no hair after undergoing chemo and B) was highly allergic to everything, which the chemo exacerbated. (I would have pressed charges on that one!)

"I think you must have meant this for someone else" seems to have been another theme — Neighbourhood.Gal got (at age 11) a Teddy Ruxpin (remember those?) and a remote controlled monster truck and a skateboard (and she lived on a street with no sidewalks). Cookie got what sounded like the Worst Coat in the History of Coats: "VIOLENTLY acid-washed denim, knee-length, lumberjack style jacket with BRIGHT white, puffy fleece lining." Mere got a BOX of DICKIES. In 1987.

I was heartened by all the folks who got ironing boards, dress forms, sewing machines, and sergers … except for poor RavenzTarot, whose daughter got a new sewing machine (after trashing RavenzTarot's old machine). That machine REALLY should have been Ravenz!

Is it any wonder it was hard to decide? I chose two bads and a good. The good-present-winner is anthrokeight, whose parents had her kindergarten art project of an angel professionally framed … (altogether now: AWWWWW). The bad-present winners are La BellaDonna, who got a necklace and earrings SUPPOSEDLY from her husband, but since he conveniently didn't have any cash on him when it was time to pay for them, ended up being bought on her own dime … … and Sewducky … well, I can't give you details of what Sewducky got that was so awful, but let's just say this: If you are going to give someone WWII memorabilia as a Christmas present, you might want to pick some FROM THE WINNING SIDE. Just a tip, there. [So, guys, email me your mailing addresses and I'll forward them to Rita so she can send you a copy of that pattern!]

It was SO hard to decide, though, that I am going to give out more prizes. If you left a comment about a bad (or good!) present, email me and I'll send you a free Dress A Day measuring tape! (Let me know what comment was yours, and don't forget to include your mailing address!)

Here's what they look like, iffen you don't remember:

Happy New Year!

More Sales

tan paisley shirtdress

Okay, one more post about a sale before I sort out just who got the WORST and BEST Xmas presents … Marge is closing her Born Too Late Vintage store (don't worry, Born Too Late Vintage Patterns is still going strong) and so you should hurry over and make some offers. (Especially if you have a thing for hats, she has a ton of wonderful hats!)

I really love this rayon/cotton paisley shirtdress, B36, only $25 (or make Marge an offer)!

And yet another sale

ebay item 8305987417

Jen at MOMSPatterns is running a quick sale — 30% off any ONE order valid now until midnight, December 30, 2008 EST using coupon code 'secretsale'. AND Jen is happy to announce that she's now accepting most major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover & American Express) for everyone's convenience!

I can't get over the ruffled collar on this dress. So gorgeous and elegant. Too bad the lady on the left is merely waiting for the beatings to recommence and that the lady on the right is one eye-roll away from anticipating, forty years ahead of schedule, the attitude of every teenager on every 1990s sitcom. (Although I would totally watch a sitcom where everyone dressed like this, gloves included …)

I'll try to announce the "winners" of the Bad/Good Christmas Present Contest tomorrow, so get your entries in. Although, frankly, one entry I got via email is so wonderfully horrible that it would take severed body parts to compete with it. Anyone get one of those this year?

Blue Gardenia's Sale …

Vogue 7687

Denise at Blue Gardenia is having her yearly sale … here are the details:

Another shameless plug. Forgive me. Please. But the mortgage must be paid. The pups must have their treats. And His Bertness has a fondness for Haagen Dazs. Oh, the list, it is endless. Truly.
So. Take your seats. The curtain's rising. The drums are rolling. Etc.
I announce, without further ado, The Blue Gardenia's once-a-year sale. And it's a doozy. Really. Purchase any three items — patterns, jewelry, mix and match — and get 33 percent off. Yup. 33 percent. Is that fabulous or what? You can buy ten, twenty, thirty items, forty even, and you'll get 33 percent off the total price. And your purchase will come lovingly shipped, as always. The patterns carefully stored in archival wrap with backing boards, the jewelry in classy boxes. And you don't have to stand in line with the riff raff. No pushing. No shoving. No smelly armpits or aching, swollen feet.

Early next week I'll choose the winners of the best/worst present ever contest … so there's still time to look at your haul from Thursday and say "What were they thinking?"

Only Rita Could Get Me To Blog About Pants

So Rita, over at Cemetarian, has THREE of this pattern to give away:

ebay item 8305987417

And I don't blame her, if I had this in my house I'd give it away, too. So, speaking of things you give away at holiday time, if you actually WANT one of these patterns, leave a comment about the best/worst/funniest/most inappropriate holiday present you've ever received. I'll choose three comments on Boxing Day (or soon thereafter) and forward the winners' details to Rita.

One Christmas where my mom gave me the three nicest things out of the Tweeds catalog (remember that?) and I wore each piece (two blouses and a skirt, I think) all to shreds. As for bad Christmas presents … looking at this pattern, even the most head-scratchingly bad presents I ever got pale in comparison.

So, c'mon, spill! Tell us about the ex-boyfriend who gave you a pack of gum (with one stick missing, on December 26th) or the best friend who knew that all you really wanted was two hours to go to a movie … and who got you the ticket and showed up to babysit. You will brighten the holidays of all who read the comments, and possibly get a copy of this pattern … to inflict on someone else, NEXT Christmas.

Two and a Half More Things for You

Just wanted to remind you that there is PLENTY of time to donate to Books Through Bars:

Remember to put "Dress A Day" in the dedication field and email me your receipt so as to be eligible to have a character in my "Secret Lives of Dresses" novel (coming from Grand Central and Hodder in 2010!) named after you! We're trying to get to $1500 by January 7 …

Has anyone else heard about the proposed CPSIA law? The best discussion of it is going on over at Fashion Incubator. If you buy from small manufacturers (or ARE a small manufacturer), you should REALLY know about this. Seriously. Go check it out.

Also? These are my favorite joke right now.

Stuff I Forgot

Holly at LuciteBox Vintage asked me to point out that even though she'll be away from the 22nd-28th, she'll be shipping again on the 29th, AND the discount (15% off anything on the site) and the donation (10% to Books Through Bars in honor of the purchaser) still applies until the 27th!

And I missed a whole slew of stuff from Pamela (of GlamourStitch, GlamourSavvy, and GlamourSurf … and Glamoursurf, by the way, is offering 20% off through Dec 31, enter the keyword "Santa")

So you could get a discount on something like this:


Or this:

McCalls 5648

Or you could just head over to Glamourstitch for this:

McCalls 4312

Or to Glamoursavvy for these boudoir shoes, which if they were my size, would have never seen the light of blog (despite the fact that my nightwear now consists solely of exercise clothes, so as to obviate one more excuse to avoid the treadmill, and these would look ridiculous with Target flare-leg yoga pants):

boudoir shoes

Whew! Okay, now I think that's it. But if not, email me!

This might be the last of it … did I forget anybody?

Janet at Lanetz Living couldn't choose just three patterns (and I can't blame her) … instead, she created a special 25% off coupon for you! Use the code "xmas" when they check out and it will automatically be deducted. Plus, Janet offers free Shipping in the USA and Canada when 3 or more items are purchased. (International shipping is discounted with three or more items.) The coupon will be good from now until New Year's Day.

Janet has over 200 Vogue Designer patterns to choose from … has newly listed McCalls Needlework Magazines from the 1930's to 1950's … and (my favorite) dozens of shirtwaist dresses that span the era from the 1940's to today!

Holly at Freudian Slips Vintage says that Dress A Day readers will receive a 10% discount off anything from her website if you type in coupon code RUDOLF. Check out with the shopping cart as usual, then click "recalculate" to receive the discount from your order. The discount will run from now until the 20th of December only, and will finish at midnight UK time.

If you're looking for something to spend that discount on, you might want to peep at these:

satin shoes

aqua clutch

Whiting and Davis gold mesh bag

Whew! I think that's it; see you after Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Almost done …

Sheila at Out of the Ashes has created a coupon JUST for Dress A Day readers good until December 26 for 15% off instead of the usual 10% – yay! Put in PRESENT at checkout it's not too late to get a pattern for a New Year's Eve dress …

Tina, at What-I-Found offers these for your holiday listmaking:

Butterick 9195

Advance 2859

Simplicity 4178

These are from Lisa at Miss Helene's:

Advance 8043

Simplicity 2407

Simplicity 2096

And these are from the Vintage Fashion Library:

VFL 8477

Simplicity 3451

VFL 117

Ain't No Stopping Us Now

I'm going to post all the fabulous Christmas and Holiday links I got today if it kills me.

Luckily, Jen at MOMSPatterns is making it easy; look at this:

McCalls 6812

If there is someone on your list that wouldn't like this pattern then perhaps next year you should just send them a card.

She's got this great men's shirt up, too, on eBay:

Schiaparelli shirt

Jen is also offering 20% off any Dress A Day order through the end of the year, with the coupon code 'alliwant20'. It's good from now until 12/31/2008 midnight, EST. Good on any MOMSPatterns order, excluding gift certificates (although gift certificates are a REALLY good idea)! Oh, and the 20% is even good on that shirt above — mention it when you win the auction and Jen will adjust the invoice!

Anna at BootyVintage has these in stock right now (but probably not for long):

Men's boxers:

Simplicity 4351

A pattern of gifts "children can make for the whole family!"

Butterick 6762

And some great aprons:

McCalls aprons