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!)

Book Review Week: Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts

I really wish I had been in the editorial meeting when this was brought up for approval. I mean, DUH. Martha Stewart + Crafts + Reference? Complete and total no-brainer. I bet the editor just said "Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts" and everyone else said "Yup," and moved on to the next title on the agenda.

It doesn't disappoint (okay, it doesn't disappoint ME). (I loves me an A-Z format.) The projects are everything you'd expect from our friend Martha, and more … incredibly cute pom-pom baby chicks, scrolled-paper hearts, rubber-stamped rain hats … if it can be painted, cut, folded, beaded, silkscreened, marbleized, stamped, glittered, punched, or glued, Martha will tell you how to do it. With impeccably-styled full-color photographs, of course.

If you are a known crafter (and not a vocal Martha-hater — I know they exist, but I don't get it, the woman is like a superhero—or at the very least, Lex Luthor, and I've kind of always had a soft spot for Lex Luthor) and do not receive this book from a loved one at the next major holiday, you may need to consider whether or not anybody loves you. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is.

Book Review Week: Stitched In Time

Stitched in Time

Let's get one thing straight (especially if you are related to me): There is no chance that I am going to make anything in Alicia Paulson's new book, Stitched in Time, anytime soon.

(Okay, *maybe* the Baby Clothes Quilt. I do still have a bunch of baby clothes around here …)

But that's only because I'm WAY overscheduled right now. If I could sit down every Sunday from now until Christmas with a pot of tea, an old movie on the television, and this book, I would work my way through it beginning to end. There are SO MANY adorable projects … and, as the saying goes, so little time. Not to mention the fact that my niece is still too young for that cute little doll on the cover …

However, even if you don't have time to make even the smallest potholder, you might still want to pick up this book just for the gorgeous photographs and Alicia's lovely voice on the page. (And if you're not already reading her blog, well, why aren't you?)

Because we can all hope that SOMEDAY, you're going to have a rainy Sunday with nothing to do, and you are going to want this book and a box full of fabric scraps and a little girl to make a doll for. You ARE. That's just how the world works. It's always better to be prepared!

Book Review Week: The Civilized Shopper's Guide to Edinburgh and Glasgow

The Civilized Shopper's Guide to Edinburgh and Glasgow

The Civilized Shopper's Guide to Edinburgh and Glasgow is an adorable little book that is fueling my never-all-that-dormant desire to pay a visit to Scotland. (2009 *is* being promoted as "Homecoming Scotland", although I'm not sure if there's a statute of limitations as to how long ago, exactly, your ancestors can have left Scotland before they say "Eh? Never heard of you" when you show up again. I'm thinking two-hundred-some years is pushing it.)

Anyway, if you are lucky enough to be getting to Edinburgh (or Glasgow) this year, or both, I'd really recommend this little book. Unlike a lot of shopping guidebooks I've seen, this one really concentrates on unique shops, and shops all across the consumer spectrum: there's the obvious wool and whiskey and so on, but also chocolates, bagpipery supplies, and vintage clothing. The book includes so many luscious full-color photographs that I want to go to Scotland now just for the light in the pictures!

Book Review Week: Born-Again Vintage

Born Again Vintage

Born-Again Vintage is another book I'm not really the audience for. I figured this out along about page 10, where the author refers to a "frumpy fifties housedress." (I clutched my pearls and said "Well, I never!" Then I shook out my skirts.)

If I wanted to eviscerate some perfectly good (or not-so-good: think qiana shirts from the 70s) vintage and clap together the pieces into new, wearable garments, that would be one thing (and occasionally a fun thing, too) but here's a list of things I do not consider wearable:

  • jeans cut off at the knee with sweater sleeves sewn on them, "to create the look of a leg warmer while eliminating the struggle of "boot-horning" your cuffs"
  • (while we're on the subject of leg warmers) leg warmers made from sweater sleeves, in general
  • leg warmers AT ALL
  • a corset made from a sweater
  • short-shorts (made from anything)
  • arm warmers

If these sound like garments that have pride of place in your closet (and you have a lot of sweaters to cut up) then maybe this book is for you. I'm afraid that I spent my time flipping through this book wanting the "before" garments a LOT more than the "afters". And when the author wrote (on page 65) "Cutting any fabulous vintage dress is a risk, but the end result here shows that it is worth the gamble," I'm afraid I said "No it's not!" out loud. (Sorry about that, guy in the coffee shop next to me.)

If you DO want to cut up perfectly good vintage dresses and sew them to t-shirts, this book offers more than enough information to get you started. (And if that's what makes you happy, fine. Go, have fun!)

[P.S. the pocket haiku from yesterday are FANTASTIC! I'll post the winners (and some runners-up) next Monday.]