Quick Fabric Update

Do you guys remember this dress?

Duro Jr

I made it with some of the fabric I got in Japan, and (iirc) a lot of you REALLY liked that fabric.

Well, I got an update from SuperBuzzy this weekend, and they have this fabric! In the orange, and in this very nice blue:


Superbuzzy leaf fabric

It's pretty expensive (almost $17/yard) but a LOT cheaper than a trip to Japan, so, really, when you think of it that way, it's like you're SAVING money.

Oh, and thanks for all the kind words about the Crossword Puzzle Tournament — I actually did much better this year than last year, despite having been a puzzle slacker AND despite staying up super-late Saturday night at a TMBG concert. (They played ALL of Flood. It was AWESOME.) Of course, for me, "much better" means "In the bottom 200, instead of the bottom 100," but still, better! If I jump fifty places a year, in only ten or eleven years I will win the whole shebang, right?

One more thing: the Duro column is up at the Boston Globe. I'm getting a lot of flack (mostly in email) for using the word "sewist" instead of "sewer," so feel free to leave a comment with your opinion … (Mary Beth, I'm looking at you!) There are also comments from people who think that if a particular combination of letters exists in ANY language, you can't say it's a "new" word in English. Sigh. Why don't we teach linguistics in high school, again?

0 thoughts on “Quick Fabric Update

  1. The blue is even cuter than the red, which I already loved! I don’t know how the Japanese do it, but they’ve really got a way with prints.

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  2. I prefer the word sewist over sewer but I usually use seamstress. I remember the dress and the fabric. I love the blue. Going to read your Boston Globe column now. I wish they taught linquistics too.Dzesika – google Duro Olowu (I think that’s it) — the original Duro designer.

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  3. Boston Globe commenters are vicious people. I try to never read the comments section anymore – all it does is get me angry and upset. They’re trolls without a forum. 😛

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  4. TMBG! OMG. I love them. They were one of the first concerts I went to when I was first learning what kind of music I really liked instead of what was fed to me on the top 40.

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  5. …Then of course you’re familiar with They Might Be Giants “Here Come The ABCs.” It’s been a staple for my kids for years. (I actually prefer Here Come The 123s, being more of a numbers junkie than a word person.)

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  6. Actually, I think you can tell a person’s age by their term for that dress–being from the generation that wore it in the 70’s as a “caftan”, that’s the term I would use. Your use of “duro” put a finer point on the specifics, I think. As a fashion historian and professor, usage of “duro” is still very new/unfamiliar to my peeps.Now, “sewist” I love–it’s universal, inclusive, and does not come up with metro sewer districts across the land when you google it.(I hope you noticed that for your amusement I included 2 unofficial word usages)p.s. really like this new duro, the linear textile design is perfect for the geometry of the design!

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  7. Hi, Erin and her wonderful Blog readers! I have decided to take the plunge and sew my first dress. I love this “druro” (not sure what druro is). I am petite, 5 foot 2 and “curvey” and of limited experience sewing some vests and that for my kids years ago. Would your recommend this Simplicity Pattern as a first dress? Oh, if I can make a dress like this, I will be very happy indeed!

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  8. It’s a good thing I keep a fabric budget or all my money would be gone – those prints are so pretty (kind of mod and kind of not) and I can’t reasonably take a trip to Japan to get them.I like the word sewist but am always too nervous to use it. I usually use sewer and just hope no one reads it out of context – maybe I’ll take the plunge and switch. I like seamstress too but tend to think of that as only involving sewing clothes and not other stuff. I definitely don’t like seamster – it’s no more inclusive than seamstress, since as far as I have always understood the -ster is derived from sister (think spinster), and it always makes me think of some kind of gang with strange rules and leather jackets (I realize this doesn’t go with the first reason but it’s what pops into my head).Sewist is also a nice crisp little word that I always manage to spell on the first try.

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  9. I have always used stitcher, probably because that’s what they used in my first professional costume shop. That fabric is absolutely lovely!

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  10. Marylou – my first dress was a Duro and I thought it was a great project. No zippers, buttons, or fasteners and the fit is very forgiving. My best advice is to buy a piece of fabric that you LOVE, not something that you feel ‘meh’ about, even if it’s more expensive. I’ve found that how I feel about the experience of sewing a particular project is directly correlated to how much I like the fabric.P.S. and I hate calling myself a sewer – if you ask me, a sewer is where poop goes 😉

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  11. Love the fabric and love the article. The word sewist, however, is one of my pet peeves. I think what bothers me isn’t the word itself, but the fear of using the word sewer because it is a homograph. If I’m already writing about sewing and I call myself a sewer, I really don’t think anyone is going to think I’m calling myself a poop drain. The thing I do like about sewist is that it is a coinage that derives specifically from the particulars of the internet and the wonderful opportunities the internet has created. Still, I cringe every time I read that word.

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  12. LOL! A sewer *is* where the poop goes! 2nd on “Stitcher”–that’s what we were called in costume shop as well. But I like Sewist….It sounds serious. It makes me think of a lady in cat-eyes with a marking pencil behind her ear, licking her lips in determination, seated at the machine, surrounded by piles of fabric.

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  13. Sewist is sooo much nicer than sewer, a sewer smells bad! Though the film industry uses seamstress, which I’m comfortable with, rather than stitcher – from theater costume shops. And I still feel like tailor is the term for a man. Oh, the new dress is darling!

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  14. I just read your post at the Boston Globe, and it was great! Then I tried to read the comments, and I was outraged! Are people REALLY this rude??? Nothing that I read–which was a lot–was nice! They were smarmy and attitudinal, and just plain mean. I feel the need to apologize for humanity in part because of that, and that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the day. :(My condolences, and congrats on the post. I, personally, loved it very much. :Dau revoir,~j.b.

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  15. The dress is very cute. But the real thing to comment on is the fact that you got to see the Flood show- so jealous! That will forever be one of my favorite albums. Hope you had a fun time! And sewist is better than sewer, hands-down. Sewist had a weightiness to it that sewer is lacking, which I like.

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  16. Don’t forget about fauxlero! You may not have invented it but it was coined on your blog.The person who wrote that the Duro was a unit of currency clearly didn’t read your column. Also, is it still a column when it’s on a webpage? Would that be a blolum? A clog?Ok, enough from me. 🙂

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  17. ROFL. Flood’s been a running inside joke for years. I don’t care about what you call me except I hate hobbyist, since it implies it’s like my origami and my needlework: pretty useless and something I do because I like it, not that I come up with an end result. And they don’t teach much of anything in school because I was told once when I got into trouble for teaching myself my Algebra book and asked for more advanced work the second semester “School is not for the really bright or the really stupid.”

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  18. I love that fabric! I bought four yards of it in green a little while ago. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet but I’m sure it’ll be gorgeous when it’s done.

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  19. I personally like the term “seamstress” because it makes me feel like a serious person who sews, rather than someone who owns a sewing machine and pulls it out every so often. I also personally dislike the gender-neutralizing of the English language (hello, people, the unmarked pronoun is “HE,” not “they”! And the neutral pronoun is “IT,” not “they”! “They” are plural!). So for both those reasons I choose to call myself a seamstress … but if you like sewist or sewer then more power to you.

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  20. I LOVE TMBG! And Flood is the best of all!! I’m so jealous! I love your blog, and am off to read this Boston Globe article.

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  21. love LOVE the way the orange duro is sewn with the solid-color stripe part of the fabric being used in the trim-banding – so chic!! Erin’s got great skill and beautiful taste

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  22. Seamstress all the way, baby! It sounds so historical and, I don’t know, valid. I’d say sewer if I was talking, but written down it’s kind of unfortunate. Sewist is just ugly. Not that I mind that you use it, Erin! (Because you live in a different culture/country and speak a different dialect of English. And also because you’re my hero, haha.)

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  23. I love the word “sewist,” and I’ve been using it more lately. I am absolutely a sewing enthusiast, which is what “sewist” means to me. I have also taken to using “dressmaker,” which I find sexy. Whenever I use “seamstress,” people try to hire me to sew for them. That’s not the impression I want to give.

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  24. Great column in the Boston Globe! I’d been wondering where the word “duro” came from, and didn’t realize it came from you, Erin!Karen, I like the word “dressmaker”! I usually try to avoid using a single word to describe myself in terms of my sewing. I usually just say, “I sew.”

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  25. There’s a similar debate in the scrapbooking community – the term ‘scrapper’ has bizarre connotations but ‘scrap artiste’ is seen by some as too highfalutin’. Personally, I refer to my cateye-glasses-wearing self as a ‘crafter.’ Since I sew, scrapbook, make cards and decorate anything that’s not moving, it seems like a good catchall term. And the word ‘craft’ makes me think of Arts and Crafts architecture, which I love.”I am an avid crafter” is what I usually tell people. “You should see all the stuff in my basement” is sometimes brought up, by way of reinforcing the idea.Oh man, I haven’t listened to ‘Flood’ in years. But when I worked as a chemist, we did a test called particle count, and all day I’d be going “What’s he like? It’s not important.”

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  26. It’s sewist all the way for me. I think it sounds definite, like someone who is something rather than someone who does something, not that there’s anything wrong with doing something and sometimes one can argue there might be something wrong with wanting to limit oneself to being something but I guess I like indentifying as a sewist, so I do.I don’t like sewer because even though I know what it means when I’m reading it I still get snagged on it and I don’t like to get snagged on things when I’m reading. Not even on small snags, if it can be helped.I do like the gender neutralizing of the English language, and this is one reason that I personally neither like nor use seamstress. Although it has historical value and can accrue whatever meanings people may give to it, throughout my life I have overwhelmingly heard it used in a way that carried degrading connotations of women who sew. I don’t want to carry those connations and that kind of history forward. I suppose, though, that someone could happily appropriate it and infuse it with all the respect such a word should have. It won’t be me, though. I’m going to keep saying sewist.

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  27. LOL Have to add that the past month my ‘seniors’ designed, patterned and constructed their collections, and if you could have seen those big strapping guys working at a sewing machine: seamstress (ha ha), dressmaker (bigger haha), sewer (eee gods, no), they were ‘sewists’! –and not ‘tailors’, btw: that term is task specific and earns WAAAYYY more than a ‘dressmaker’ does–hence the gender specific bent towards denoting males as ‘tailors’ and women as ‘dressmakers’.ps. in my costume shop days we ‘built’ apparel and sewing was called ‘construction’ (should be more money in those male gender terms–the women in the costume shop back then earned 25% less than the guys in the scene shop)

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  28. A sewist is obvious, although some consider it wrong. If I write “sewer”, do I mean a textile artist, or do I mean a way to clear my toilet bowl? (Sorry, not meaning to be disgusting here).

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  29. The article was great! I suppose if people say not to read or bother about the comments made in the Boston Globe… well, that might also mean that you might want to disrequard these comments here too! Oh well. Me, I’m a seamstress that sews sometimes for others, but mainly for my own self interest! By the way, the blue is lovely! And yes, it would be cheaper than a trip to Japan, although, I wouldn’t mind going to Japan again.

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  30. I use dressmaker to show that I’m not a professional sewer or tailor. I know it’s an anachronism and I don’t ever sew dresses.Jean

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  31. Speaking as someone who is from Boston, yes, people in Boston are ALWAYS that rude. Just be glad you’re not a member of the Red Sox! It’s merciless.

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  32. Love the dress and the fabrics. Congratulations on inventing “Duro”. That must be a wonderful feeling- especially to one who love words!

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  33. I agree the article is great – I love it cos the Duro that Erin wore during her TED talk is what brought me to this blog!Making one is still on my to do list.

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  34. The dress looks so wonderful! It had never occurred to me before, but sewer sounds awkward next to sewist. After all, I’ve never called someone a cartooner or a violiner.

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  35. Oh,I love the blue one..I enjoy dropping by at your blog..=)I hope 1 day you will post a dress that is made by the color blue fabric..I like the color..;DKeep on writing friend..I hope you could put my blog link in your site.I would really appreciate it..Have a nice day..;D

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  36. Love the blue! You’ve ALMOST convinced me to sew myself a Duro… I’ve resisted this long, but darnit, they just look so comfortable!LOVELOVELOVE TMBG (playing “Flood” again right now…)And I am a sewist (who can’t wait to make her first fauxlero!) When I was a member of the Island of Treadleonia (google it, they’re a special breed!) someone tried to get a latin motto up for the group. Unfortunately the translator read an alternative meaning to what was intended to celebrate a group of people actively sewing on their people-powered sewing machines – “Cloaca” is definitely NOT what was wanted!!

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  37. Great article – love the fabric – sorry, I don’t know Flood or what those letters mean (I must be too old :sigh:) Congratulations on moving up in the competition!!!Ha, I thought Duro was the name for that style dress, like pencil skirt or shirtwaist – so you did a great job coining that phrase. I tell folks – oh, that’s a duro dress, or duro shirt. (I even give it small letters – I didn’t know it was a proper name!) I also use sewist quite a bit. I just don’t care for the other terms for one who sews, and sewist seems nicer. To me the others have either negative connotations or just don’t sound nice to say. As for Boston – I was there once – enough said.

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  38. I am going to boston for a wedding in May and you all are making me a little concerned…surely it’s not that bad there.

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  39. I very much enjoyed your interesting article. Your job sounds absolutely great! Of course I am a cataloging librarian, so that would follow. I too hate the term “sewist.” I mean now really. Seamstress doesn’t faze me, I use it. I also use sewer. I am not a “readist” – I am a reader. I am not a “doist” – I am a doer. So it follows…And since in the English language we understand meaning by collation, then sewer depends on context. I seldom think that when I read about sewing, I am reading about plumbing.

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