Robots 4 U

Moving has eaten my brain PLUS I'm traveling for work this week, so in place of any coherent post, I bring you ROBOT ART, courtesy of Etsy. (As always, click on the images to visit the listings.)

robots and blasters

Robots in love. With guns. What is better than that? Nothing.

robots and commerce

These are the robots capitalism was supposed to bring us. Where are they?

robots yelling

Even robots get cranky.

robot earrings

Awwwww, robot earrings!

robot earrings

Robots + cupcakes, two great memes that taste great together!

And one last one:

robot fabric

Robot fabric! I wish there was more than one yard …

Here's hoping that robots put YOU in a good mood, too. Happy Wednesday!

I like this, but …

So I admit that I get those emails from Gilt Groupe (note the superfluous "e" which stands for "exclusive" or possibly "excess") and I also admit that I do click through from time to time, despite nearly everything being either upwards of $100 and a size 4. (I have bought a few things there, but only for my husband, who has a Ted Baker obsession — the men's stuff tends to be cheaper, like Nordstrom Rack prices.)

On today's guilty click I saw this Zac Posen dress, which I really like. Okay, mostly like:

Zac Posen dress

I love the color blocking and the seaming (and that's it's denim, which I think is cool and wearable) but ….

— what's with the pulling over the abdomen? It's not like the model has a belly to account for! If designers are expecting people to be CONCAVE now, I am just going to strap on a movie-prop pregnancy belly and go way over the top in the other direction.

— I feel like there should be pockets in this dress. (I'm just saying.)

— And who killed the model's pet goldfish? C'mon, people, I know sullen and pouty is in for fashion photography right now (when has it ever been out?) but ending an innocent animal's life to get the "right pose" seems a bit harsh.

— It costs THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS. (But list price was $850! What a "bargain"!)

Clicking on these Gilt Groupe emails is interesting — I see not only what designers actually produced for sale (as opposed to what you see that was made for the runway at places like but also what *didn't* sell. Most of the time I can figure out why the stuff didn't sell (a hint: "ugly" tends to hang on the racks), but every once in a while I can't figure it out (although $850 + recession might have been a clue here). So I guess me looking at a sale site for clothes I will never buy or wear is RESEARCH. For the BLOG. Right?

(Gilt Groupe is a "members only" website — whatever that means, since I didn't have to undergo any hazing — but as far as I know all you need to join yourself is to be invited by someone who is already a member, so if you'd like to join you can click this link. Disclosure: That link is connected to my account and will give me some kind of credit, again towards stuff I will never buy, so it seems moot. There are no dues or fees involved in joining Gilt Groupe. It may be a time suck, but — as we've just decided — it's RESEARCH.)

Last Blast in Chicago

So I'm moving to California (to just south of San Francisco, to be vague about it) and Mary Beth is kindly having a fabric swap and quasi-going-away-party THURSDAY NIGHT (that's the 23rd! TOMORROW! Sorry for the short notice!) for me. Isn't that nice? Chicago people are so nice. (Sniff.)

I will have a ton of fabric to swap away, and other assorted weirdnesses from the depths of my (now mostly in boxes) sewing room, and maybe a vintage dress or two to give away. So please come!

Here are the details:

Time: 6-8:30 p.m.

Date: Thursday, July 23

Rogers Park Public Library
6907 N. Clark St
Chicago, IL 60626
2nd floor, south room

What?: Fabric Swap

What's a Fabric Swap?:
We'll be exchanging fabric, notions, yarn, patterns and bagged remnants. Fat quarters are welcome this time around. Quilters take note!

Anything Else I should Know?: Since this is a swap, no money/check can be exchanged on the premises. This is important. As I mentioned previously, anybody caught paying real U.S. dollars for items in the swap will be lashed with a tape measure or forced to count pattern pieces.

What can I bring?:
See above. Wear a dress too (if you're sew inclined). Perhaps one you've sewn would love to show off to Erin before she boards her airplane west.

How can I help?: Thanks for asking. In addition to bringing fabric, please bring food or a drink. Paper plates, napkins and cups too. We're having a party! We all sort fabrics on tables. Afterwards, we'll need a driver with enough room in the car to cart leftover unwanted fabric to local Salvation Army.

Where can I park if I drive? What about public transportation?:
There's a parking lot behind the library. Call for details. You can easily get to the Rogers Park Public Library on the no. 22 bus. It's also two blocks west of the Morse Red line stop, a block east of the Rogers Park stop on the Union Pacific North Metra line.

Ok, what next?:
Email marybeth.klatt @@@gmail DOT com with Fabric Swap in the subject line, let Mary Beth know you're coming OR leave a comment at her blog.

Hope to see you Chicagoans there!

This Week's Pattern Story (and sale)

Simplicity 2081

Historians have long dismissed speculation that a secret international cabal of powerful women had plans to intentionally prolong WWII in order to increase male casualties, freeing up postwar positions of power and importance for women in government, industry, and the universities.

But recently discovered documents, including this sample pattern (never distributed) intended for the uniforms of the new world order, lend credence to these claims.

Professor Emerita Annabelle Rhys-Middleton, an expert in women's underground organizations of the 20th century, called the new find "Immaterial." She added "If such an organization existed — and I'm not saying it did, mind you — it just might have decided that beating Hitler was more important, in the long run, than dragging things out just to have a few more jobs."

"I mean, if you really want a society where women have more and more important jobs, all you have to do is promote a culture of binge drinking and dangerous sports among adolescent males, retarding their academic progress so that more women graduate with higher honors from the top universities. Then you just have to be patient. Wait, did I say that out loud?"

[Pattern is from Jen at MOMSPatterns, who is running a 15% off sale until the end of the month, with the coupon code 'lovepatterns' … and she will still ship for free in US & Canada with the purchase of 5 or more and offer discounts internationally.]

A Proto-Duro, An Evil Queen, and Two Sales

McCalls 8446

Doesn't this look like another proto-Duro? I think the only reason I didn't make this back in 1980-whatever is that I probably didn't think that I had the chops. But the gray version, with the pink waist bow? Probably would have been MINE all MINE with a few extra hundred hours of practice. Of course, since I was fourteen, I had pretty much zero patience for practice, so thankfully or regretfully this means there are no pictures of me in anything like this.

But if you have a class reunion coming up and need this pattern, Wendy at PatternStash is running a sale today, tomorrow, and Sunday (July 17-18-19). For a 15% discount, put "Hot Summer Nights" in the note to seller, and your discount will be refunded through PayPal.

Do you know who else is having a sale now through Sunday? Sheila at Out of the Ashes! Just use the discount code DRESSY at checkout for 15% off. You might use your discount on this pattern:

Anne Adams 4585

This is TOTALLY the evil stepmother-queen from Snow White getting ready to go to bridge club, am I right? The black gloves are a dead giveaway — red ones are too obvious, but the white ones show the blood of your enemies (or the small animals you sacrifice for haruspexy) something terrible. So black gloves it has to be.

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

This lady:

Not At Your Age

Thanks to Style Spy for tipping me off to the wonderful blog Advanced Style. SO worth adding to your blogroll. (The slightly patronizing "oh aren't they cute" tone is more than matched by the patient amusement of the oldies being photographed. They *know* they're hot stuff — they've had years of experience *being* hot stuff!)

Am I the only person who thinks incessantly about how I'm going to dress when I'm 80? (When I am an old lady, I probably won't wear purple, though. Fair warning.) Watch, I'll get hit by a bus tomorrow, and then all the pages I've ripped out of "comfort shoe" catalogs and saved "for future reference" will be for naught.

In a similar vein, I've also been a subscriber to this for years. Highly recommended.

Grs, please?

Vogue 1751

Karen has been looking for this pattern for a while, with no luck. Any of you have a copy mouldering away?

Here's her note to me.

Attached is a picture of a vintage pattern that I am dying to have: Vogue Paris Original 1751. The designer is Grs. Today is the second time I've been outbid in the last 5 seconds on Ebay, and my heart is breaking all over again. I think the dress is so chic, and I would love to wear it to an upcoming charity event. Can you help me? I need to put out a call for this pattern — I'm willing to buy the pattern outright, or even pay to borrow it for a time. I can trace it out, make my own copy, then give it back. Or maybe you can recommend another venue where I can beg for patterns. 🙂

Anyone game? This looked exactly like the kind of pattern I would buy at a yard sale, ooh over, and never make, but I checked my stash and I don't have it. If you have a copy in the same boat, email me and I'll put you in touch with Karen!

Three Pocket Items

Vogue 8577

This is Vogue 8577, which STILL doesn't have any reviews (that I can find) on PatternReview. C'mon, people! I don't have time to sew modern stuff that hasn't been reviewed on PatternReview! (Luckily, this dress has plenty of reviews. But no pockets. I can add pockets, though …)

The Guardian has a piece on "how to wear dresses with pockets", which I'm not sure needed the depth of treatment they gave it (and I think their presenter, Jess Cartner-Morley, either thought the whole thing was a bit ridic herself, or it was the morning after the night before, as she wasn't able to work up much enthusiasm for the subject). Anyway, it's a video, just so's you know. (Thanks to Lolita for the link!)

Liz sent me a link to a pocket exhibition in Australia. I was pretty excited (not booking-tickets-to-Australia excited, but still excited) until I saw that the exhibit was of ONE JACKET, and "a collection of small, stand-alone pockets, made from materials such as leather and fabric". Hmmph.

At least I'm almost done with a skirt that has exclamation-point fabric pockets. Now there are some pockets to be excited about!

New Home Free To Good Home

New Home Sewing Machine

Do you want a cabinet sewing machine? I'm giving away an electrified New Home Machine, plus a box full of bizarre attachments (really, they look like something out of Dead Ringers, a movie I wish I could un-watch).

Catch? What catch? Okay — here's the catch. You have to be able to pick it up, IN CHICAGO, *this weekend*. Sunday, to be specific. We're moving and we gotta get this out the door.

I have no idea whether it works, but I can give you the address of a great sewing-machine tuneup and repair guy who is about ten blocks away.

Here are a few more pics:

New Home Sewing Machine

New Home Sewing Machine

Email me if you'd like to set up a time to come pick it up on Sunday. (It would probably fit in the back seat of a reasonably-sized sedan, without too much trouble.)

A Very Brief Pattern Story (and a sale)

McCalls 9965


"Too late, Ralph realized that he had absent-mindedly asked ALL the members of the typing pool to meet him for a drink after work."

[Pattern from Lisa at the Vintage Fashion Library, which is having an "overthehill" sale — it seems it's Lisa's birthday (Happy Birthday!) this weekend, AND her oldest is leaving the nest Monday, AND another child starts college next month AND her youngest starts high school! Poor Lisa! (But think of all the extra space for patterns, Lisa!) So use the code "overthehill" to get 25% off at Vintage Fashion Library. If you want to use it at Miss Helene's (Lisa's other pattern site), put the code in the Paypal comment section, and Lisa will send you a refund. If you let her know in advance, Lisa can combine purchases from both sites, and accept credit cards at Miss Helene's. Whew!]