Imparting a Sense of Urgency

Butterick 8134

I almost forgot to tell you that Lisa at Your Pattern Shop is having a big sale! Which ends TODAY, the 31st of March! I myself tend to shop sales their last day, because 1) I am disorganized and 2) I am disorganized. (I also have a large number of expired "FREE SHIPPING" coupons from Lands' End on hand at any one time. See #s 1 and 2 for an explanation.)

I kind of love this pattern here (which is ON SALE!!). Mostly for the yellow dress. I like to think that they are playing "Simon Says" and the woman in the yellow dress just realized that "Touch your cheek!" was NOT preceded by "Simon says …" (The woman in blue's hat gave her just that extra second of mental processing time, which is why her hand is only halfway up.)

Anyway: the DETAILS of the SALE: all items are marked down 10%, plus use the dressaday code for an additional 10% off and free shipping with the purchase of 3 or more patterns! That's pretty good. Simon says check it out!

Shiny! (Even better, shiny for a good cause!)

Writercon Scholarship Dress

Check out this fantastic silver and black brocade dress (currently up on eBay), which is being auctioned to benefit Writercon, the wonderful conference for fanfic writers and enthusiasts.

I'm only showing you the close-up picture because you *have* to click on the image and check it out for yourself. It's hand made from vintage fabric! It has a watermelon-colored lining and matching petticoat! It's princess-lined! It's also B39/W32, with a 19 inch skirt — putting the voom in va-va-voom! (And, when I wrote this, it was going for $24.99!)

Proceeds from this auction are going to benefit the scholarship fund for Writercon, which helps folks who couldn't otherwise afford to attend, attend. (I've never been to Writercon myself, but I've heard fantastic things about it — in my book, anything that encourages writing of any kind is totally a good cause.)

So, now that we've established that this dress is great, and Writercon is great, we have time to get to the important question: Would Xander Harris like this dress? Discuss.

That Would Look Great on Elke

Calvin Klein spring 2009 RTW

It might come as a surprise to some of you that I *love* modernism in dress. Clean lines, abstraction, angles, a palette of neutral colors … basically everything you never see on this blog. You mostly don't see them on this blog because all of that? Looks like hell on me. Pure, unadulterated, where's-Virgil-when-I-need-him, ooh-look-there-are-the-blasphemers Hell. I could handle the looking-like-hell part (I often look like hell now) but I couldn't handle the part where I FELT like hell — this stuff just isn't me.

And it not-being-me used to really bother me — I know, really, that I'm much more of a cardigans (ones with the usual number of sleeves) and bright-colors kind of person, but I still drool a bit over stuff like the dress in the picture above.

But instead of mooning helplessly over these things, or, worse yet, trying to remake myself into someone who looks good in an asymmetrical cream-colored wool ANYTHING, I've invented my dear friend Elke.

Elke, I've decided, looks FANTASTIC in this stuff. Slash of brightly colored eyeshadow? So Elke. Vertiginously high shoes with geometric heels? Elke's signature! Camel-colored anything? All Elke's cup of tea (and she even drinks chamomile, which I can't abide).

Elke can rock both the pixie cut and the long straight hair; Elke can carry a beautiful, elegant squared-off leather tote without being forced to lean to the other side to counterbalance it; Elke has even figured out how to wear those swimsuits with metal trim without it getting too hot in the sun. (And she has a sense of humor, too.)

The reason I've invented Elke is that I find it helpful to imagine SOMEONE loving those clothes and really enjoying them, even if it's not me. The models wearing them always look as if they'd rather be subjected to electric shocks than wear an exquisite dress, and when they're pictured on starlets or socialites those women only seem to be thinking "I really hope this doesn't show up on the DON'T page of Glamour".

Not Elke. She revels in this stuff! She wears it to the grocery store! Her friends all know that what she really wants for Christmas is jewelry made out of a single slab of something that's never been used for jewelry before, or a hat that's indistinguishable from a science-fiction movie prop.

So now, when I see something like this dress in the "editorial" of the fashion magazines, I can think "Ooh, that would look *GREAT* on Elke," and flip on by to the pages where they show the clothes I might actually wear. (If, in fact, they have any of those pages in that issue, which, usually, they don't.)

I highly recommend you get to know Elke — she always has time for her friends.

Matchmaking: Fabric and Pattern

Somebody needs to take this fabric (from Pins-n-Needles' Sewing Emporium):

top hat fabric

Here it is at a different scale:

top hat fabric

And make this dress (from with it.

Vogue 4503


Wouldn't it look adorable with a red patent belt and flats? I love narrow dresses in linen-look fabrics. They're so elegant and summery. And I (as you know) am SO TIRED of winter. And inelegance, come to think of it.

To make it easier for you to fulfill my request, Jen at MOMSPatterns is having a sale — you save 20% off your order from RIGHT NOW until midnight EST Sunday, March 29, 2009. There are new patterns in the SALE section and she's listed tons and tons during the month of March …

This Week's Pattern Story

From Cemetarian:

ebay item 8305987417

DATELINE: BEDDING, PA: Polly Featherstone, the Winner of Bedding, Pennsylvania's annual "Miss Pillowcase Contest," in (as the rules require) her dress made from a pillowcase, is about to pin on her victory corsage, as her court (First Runner-Up Miss Pillow Sham, and the winner of Miss Soporificality) look on.

The new Miss Pillowcase will sleep in the window of downtown Bedding's Sleepytime Arcade on a mattress made of mattress catalogs for one week. Her other duties include changing the sheets on the town's historic "Washington Slept Here" bed, and leading the town's annual Pillow Fight on July 4.

The title comes with a new mattress, a year's supply of clothespins (because everyone knows line-dried sheets are nicer to sleep on), and a scholarship to the local vocational school for a certificate in interior design.

"We're all so happy Polly won Miss Pillowcase," said a local official. "She's notorious for sleepwalking, so we feel it's especially appropriate."

The Dress A Day T-Shirt!

dressaday t-shirt

Is here!

Some facts:

— They're $15. Shipping (in the US) is $5.50.
— They're being made by Melanie at Cluster of Parrots, a small, mom-owned business.
— We did end up going with the American Apparel (#2102) tees. (And yes, we know that there are a lot of issues with AA. We totally understand if that makes you not want to buy one.)
— The sizing is: M (B 32-34), L (B 36-38), XL (B 40-42), and 2XL (B 44-46). If you fall outside the size range, I'm very sorry. When we make men's- or kids'-size shirts, maybe they'll work.
— We haven't done totebags or magnets or stickers or buttons/badges or whatnot — all good suggestions, and maybe we'll do them soon …
— Yes, you can get them shipped internationally! (email Melanie through her site for details.)

Click on the image to visit the store.

I know this is a t-shirt, and not a dress. If there were a way for me to do official Dress A Day Dresses without making it my full-time job, I'd do it, I promise. And it's not fabric, although I hope to have Dress A Day fabric (done through Spoonflower) sometime this summer. (We had a looong discussion about all these things when we first broached the idea of t-shirts.)

If you are constitutionally opposed to t-shirts, American Apparel, the color pink, cotton as a fiber, or buying silly things in a recession, please — for both of our sakes' — don't buy one. (Buy a measuring tape instead. It's *useful*.)

If you want to make your own shirt, let me know and I'll see about getting you the logo in a format suitable for iron-on printing or (if you're really cool) silk-screening.

If you buy a shirt and turn it INTO a dress (as several folks threatened to do) then YES I WANT PICTURES please!

Many thanks to everyone who 1) asked for a Dress A Day t-shirt 2) gave feedback and voted in the poll and 3) kept nagging me about it until it happened!

Sales and Stuff


PatternStash is having a sale March 20-22: She'll be offering a 15% discount in place of the usual 10% – just mention dressaday. (At Pattern Stash, shipping is just a flat $2.50 in the U.S. for all your patterns, no matter how many patterns you purchase.) (That's one of her patterns above, which I find both charming and disturbing in equal measure.) is also having a Spring Sale. 25% off all items (including patterns) through the end of March. Just use code word "March" at checkout.

Also, I'm strangely tempted by this swimsuit:

Popina gold halter

Not that I think this cut would be especially flattering on me (or flattering AT ALL, mores the pity), but because I *LOVE* that color, and I had a swimsuit exactly that color when I was about eleven. I'm sure if I lie down for a little while this urge will go away, but if it doesn't for you, click on the image to visit the Popina Swimwear page — it's on sale for $40.

Also — all of you who've ever had a less-than-perfect dog? Need to read this blog. Go now, I'll wait.

Completely randomly: I like this t-shirt.

Less randomly: there is a giant button auction going on until March 22. (That's [giant][button auction], not [giant button][auction]. If there were a [giant button][auction], don't you think I'd post a picture?) Details here. (Thanks Brenda!)

Okay, just ONE more …

Just one more, from Sandritocat:

Simplicity 1125


Angela: Where is Helen? I keep thinking about Helen.

Francine: It always unnerves people at the beach if you turn around and stare inland, instead of out at the water. Try it sometime.

Margaret: I shall bestride the narrow earth like a Colossus! Oh, wait. I AM a Colossus. I shall bestride the narrow earth like me!

Doris: The stars! The stars in my pocket like grains of sand! Sand in my pocket like stars! Who eats paper? I ate some paper. My sunglasses are torpid. Also, pickles! Shiny, shiny pickles!

Helen (from offstage): No one even noticed that I left.

"What's the Story?" week, part 5

Today's story-pattern is brought to us by Patterns from the Past:

McCalls 8062

Plot synopsis: The fabulously wealthy Candace Verweehauken-Jones is not only the leader of New York's social scene; she's also #1 on the FBI's most-wanted list (for racketeering, mostly, and as a suspect in the death of husband #3, Cornelius Jones). To keep from being apprehended and arrested at the various charity galas she chairs, she is attended at all times by two top-of-the-line social-secretary/security bots (manufactured by Verweehauken Industries, small appliances division).

Orange dress apprises Mrs. CVJ of the names, net worths, and current social entanglements and aspirations of all approachers, via a wireless heads-up display accessed directly through Mrs. CVJ's retinas. Floral dress is tasked with threat assessment, CCTV monitoring (again, wirelessly), and champagne/canape procurement.

However, tonight—tonight all Mrs. CVJ's carefully-laid plans will go awry, as she will be captured, in more than one way, by a last-minute fill-in date for one of the Junior Social Chairs—one Special Agent Robert Kerrigidan. Fireworks and firepower both come into play, as their epic gun battle ends in an equally epic kiss in the ruins of the ballroom. Don't miss it!

"What's the Story?" week, part 4

Check out this pattern from What-I-Found Sewing Patterns:

Simplicity 3541

Yellow Dress: These sleeves are the height of chic.

Gray Dress: I don't know who she thinks she's fooling with those sleeves.

Yellow and Gray are sisters (Yellow is the eldest, Gray is the cynical baby of the family). Yellow is looking to make a lucrative marriage to a wealthy industrialist in order to save the family's pencil-eraser business, which employs several hundred people in their town of Rasa, in upstate New York. Gray, on the other hand, has taken over the factory since the death of their father. Her plan for success is to branch out from plain pink erasers and start manufacturing novelty pencil toppers, too.

After several madcap misadventures (one involving an escaped goat who eats an entire day's output of novelty pencil toppers) Gray manages to land the wealthy industrialist — not as a husband, but as an investor! Yellow marries the local postman, whom she has always secretly loved. They have triplets. Gray is a huge success and becomes the first female pencil-eraser executive to make the cover of Forbes (and, for those of you who need all the stories to end with romance, she marries the factory foreman).