We'll Always Have Paris

Vogue 6797

MANY thanks to Kay, who sent the link to this pattern this morning.

I feel that I should find this pattern in my size and make it up immediately, in case we are ever invaded and I find myself leading a cell of the Resistance. (I used to be obsessed with resistance narratives, especially Story of a Secret State and The Long Walk where people walk from Siberia to India. Okay, maybe I'm still obsessed.)

My point is, with this dress, the beret, and the jaunty neckerchief, I would SO be a leader of the Resistance. I'd have some unobjectionable cover story — running an orphanage? Where some of the "children" were actually "little people" AND demolition experts? — but in reality, I'd be obtaining false papers, robbing weapons transports, engaging in acts of sabotage, and using those fantastic pockets to hide my snub-nosed derringer. (And as long as I'm writing this, at some point, I get to fly a prop plane.)

Too bad my twin sister, the quisling in yellow, tries to betray me. Luckily, we knew she was up to no good, so we distracted her with a decoy mission while spiriting the real fugitives out of the country (that's where the prop plane comes in).

Or, you know, you could just make this dress and become the leader of something else (Resistances being fewer and farther between these days). Good luck!

Caped Avengers

Simplicity 1998

Sheila at Out of the Ashes sent me a notice that she's having a big spring cleaning sale this week — 15% off, use the coupon code SPRINGCLEAN to get the discount.

This dress calls to me, more for the totally adorable pockets than for the kind of "huh?" capelet. And perhaps, just a little, for the green polka-dot hat. Some day when I don't have anything better to do I'm going to wear a green polka-dot hat, just for the hell of it. And whenever anyone says anything about it, I'm going to pretend I have NO IDEA what they're talking about.

Them: "Nice hat!"
Me: [blank stare]

I think I would have to do the same thing if I ever made a dress with a capelet, like this one. Either that, or I'd be humming the old Mighty Mouse theme song all day long. (HERE I come to SAVE the DAY!)

You know what else I can't see myself doing? Wearing a scarf that sticks out from between two buttons of the bodice, like Pink Dress in the background. I think the other two women are talking about how she crashed their Kapelet Klatsch without the necessary accouterments. (While doing their Seekrit Kapelet Klatsch Elbow-Shake, of course.)

Green Hat: The *nerve* of her! And what's with the scarf?
Floral Dress: I know! But pass the Kapelet Kahlua Kocktails round again, will you, darling? I'm losing my buzz!
Green Hat: HERE I come to SAVE the DAY!

This Week's Pattern Story (and sale)

Vogue 6401


Here we see some rare examples of the species Homo Patternenvelopus.

Notice the older specimens are shy, and avoid direct eye contact (a sign of challenge). The young, however, are bolder, unless they venture too far from the mother. They also have not yet developed the distinctive hand coverings of the adults.

Homo Patternenvelopus breeds fissiparously, and the sprats grow to full size slowly. It is not known what triggers their reproduction, or how long it takes. Although, from the number of adult specimens we see with missing limbs, but without nearby sprats, it seems many of the sprats fail to thrive.

While Homo Patternenvelopus tends to congregate in twos and threes, they are not especially social animals, and often seem to treat each other with disdain, as you see here.

Remember that these creatures can be quite dangerous. Keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times. If provoked, their lightning reflexes and razor-sharp teeth can cause serious damage, or even death.

(From Wendy at Pattern Stash, who will be offering a 15% discount to Dress A Day readers beginning today, and continuing through Saturday and Sunday!)

The Dress I am Wearing RIGHT NOW, Pt. 2

Is this one:

stripe dress

It's from fabric I bought very recently from FashionFabricsClub, and it's the same pattern (Vogue 9670) as Tuesday's dress. (I wore yet ANOTHER version yesterday, but I didn't have time to post about it!)

I didn't do anything fancy with this neck facing except cut it with the stripes running the other way; it's so lightweight that I didn't want to fuss with it. Not that you can really see it in this picture:

blue deco dress

And the back, which I'm afraid doesn't match from the bodice to the skirt AT ALL, whoops:

blue deco dress

The stripes on the front matched more-or-less accidentally, but then I didn't have enough fabric to recut the back skirt to make them match on the back. Next time I'll know how to do it, it's simultaneously easier (to get the fabric cut right) and trickier (to get the pleats to match right) than I thought. It was complicated by the fact that I've adjusted this pattern to be about an inch bigger all around at the waist, which means I always have to re-jigger the pleats, anyway.

The zipper is a bit nicer on this version:

blue deco dress

I hadn't sewn up the hem yet when I took these photos so you can see it in the pictures — it's gray bias tape and hem tape.

My only uncertainty about this dress is just HOW much it's going to wrinkle today. It is pretty lightweight shirting cotton, after all … but it's also really nice and cool and feels great!

The Dress I am Wearing RIGHT NOW

Is this one:

blue deco dress

It's from fabric I bought in China, and it's the same pattern (Vogue 9670) as this dress.

Here's the neck facing, which is a bright pink that matches the pink in the flowers:

blue deco dress

And the back:

blue deco dress

I actually had fun matching the print here, on the center front and back seams. It wasn't as nit.jpgcky or as tedious as I imagined it would be, maybe because the repeat of the pattern is a manageable size.

What I didn't do very well was the zipper:

blue deco dress

The hem is done with pale blue bias tape but the sleeves are done with a pale aqua bias tape. Because I had some left over, and because it looked cool. (You can see that in the top photo.)

This is a really comfortable dress — so comfortable, in fact, that I've made it four times now. I'm wearing the next two over the next few days, and I'll post pictures of them tomorrow and Thursday!

Fridays can be random, can't they?

simplicity 3957

First item of business: Lisa at the Vintage Fashion Library is a donation/sale event: Now through April 19th, you get 15% off your purchase price with keyword PINK, and 10% of your purchase price will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.

(I really want this pattern at the VFL but it's not my size. Anyone got one in a 36/38? I don't have time to grade stuff right now …)

Check out these super-cute uniform dresses! (Thanks, Jesse, for the link.) I haven't clicked through to the source page because I'm sure they are depressingly expensive. If I'm wrong feel free to let me know.

Just an update: did you know that the Vintage Pattern Wiki is one of the top sites on Wikia, in # of articles? (We're the top site if measured in pure stylishness.) Let's get cranking and knock those World of Warcraft guilds back on their heels!

Hana tells me there's a Duro-like tunic dress pattern available as a free download on the Burda site … it looks pretty cute!

That's all for this random Friday; check in next week for slightly more ordered posts.

This Week's Pattern Story

Butterick 4050

WANTED: for racketeering, aggravated assault, shoplifting, and littering (gum):

FEMALE, blond, 5'3", approximately fifteen years old. Last seen in gray long-sleeved dress with black handbag.

FEMALE, brunette, 5'4", approximately fourteen years old. Last seen in maroon and pink short-sleeved dress. No bag.


Suspects are wanted for questioning in connection with a robbery and assault in Weinberg's Drug Store on Tuesday, April 14. Taken were multiple lipsticks and powder compacts, several hairbands, and an unknown quantity of chewing gum. Suspects tripped the store proprietor when he gave chase and doused him with a combination of flour and orange soda. Suspects may have one or more unknown accomplices, given the amount of gum missing.

$5 Reward for information leading to the arrest and grounding of suspects.

(Thanks to Janet at Lanetz Living for the image!)

Happy Tax Day!

Okay, no one is excited about Tax Day, but here's a fantastic dress, made entirely of tax forms, to distract you:

Tax Dress

(thanks to Kariann, Renee, and Lisa for the link!)

Also: the winner of the pockets haiku contest is …

Pocket—something there?
Feel doe-soft ears and paw pads;
Kitten stowaway!

The winner is Shay, of Little Gray Bungalow! Congratulations! (Kittens? Always win.) Shay, email me for your copy of Singer Perfect Plus and the coupon for $10 off your order at MOMSPatterns (thanks to Jen).

I always cry at weddings (research projects)

V&A wedding site

(Photo by lovedaylemon, used by permission)

Gail at the V&A emailed me to say that the museum is organi[s|z]ing a new exhibition on wedding fashion for 2011, and they need some help in creating a very large database of wedding fashions. They're looking for photographs of clothes worn for weddings from all cultures between 1840 and the present (and by "weddings," they include civil partnerships, yay).

You can upload up to three photographs from any wedding and the V&A would like the emphasis to be on the fashion (although they already have some lovely pictures of flowers and cakes).

Their only stipulation is that the couple should be named and the date of the wedding should be included. There are also some optional fields, such as location, religion of ceremony, and dressmaker/designer. The V&A would love to see some handmade dresses added!

I think this is a fantastic project (and I hope to be able to upload some photos myself)! Check it out here!


Lisa (at Miss Helene's) sent me the link to this little number:

Woman's Day 3227

I kinda love it. Doesn't it feel weirdly postmodern, though? I mean, imagine it a foot shorter, made up in black nylon taffeta, by a designer whose name ends with a vowel, and worn with a rat's-nest hairstyle, ripped tights, and platform witch boots. See what I mean?

(And yes, I realize that it's terrible that she has those two pockets on the side where she's MISSING an ARM. So inconvenient!)