I hate to see you go but love to watch you walk away

peach shirtdress

I'm only showing you this one image from this eBay auction (from seller findsbyrebecca) because one should be all you need to click through.

This kind of "back interest" on a dress is so interesting and pretty (although I hardly ever make/wear anything that has it — I cover things up with cardigans too often to bother, I guess). This one is truly gorgeous; if it's your size you should snap it up (B36) because the price is right (BIN under $25!) and it looks to be in decent condition.

(Thanks to Robin for the link to the auction!)

Gimme an "S"!

Butterick 8500

You see why I HAD to buy this pattern, right? It's completely obvious? No question in your mind? First of all, it's a shirtdress, which is 50 "Erin Must Buy" points right there without even totaling up the extra points for the stripes, the standup collar, and the raglan sleeves. Add the insanely perky demeanor of the women in the illustration and you have me clicking the "Add to Cart" button before I even have the chance to blink. (Actually, looking at this pattern, I was afraid to blink, in case the women in the illustration MOVED when I wasn't looking.)

I'm thinking etsy seller tiddlywink might be glad to have this gone from her house. I feel I should put this in a box with something heavy on top, just in case.

And heaven knows what might happen when I actually MAKE the dress. Expect me to be even more chipper than usual, and that's saying something …

See What I Mean?

Ceil Chapman

Why isn't anyone wearing THIS on the red carpet? This would be what I'd make if I had to do a red-carpet ANYTHING. This would be stunning in old-gold satin, with maybe tulle for that bit sticking out at the side between the scallops. Or a deep, deep fuchsia pink for a blonde. That petal bodice is to die for, and would show off a necklace (and other things) beautifully.

Who would you put in this dress? What shoes? I think NOT strappy sandals, but an open-toed d'orsay satin pump, with a diamante buckle.

[This pattern's from Lisa's Vintage Fashion Library and it's a repro, which means it's available in a range of sizes (bust 32-48) … for only $19.50! And she's running a sale through the 27th, in honor of her last teenager turning twenty! Use the code THOMAS for 20% off.]

Today's Pattern Story (and Sale)

McCalls 9756

The Winner and First-Runner-Up of the World Supercilious Gaze contest pose for newspaper reporters and photographers in Weehawken, New Jersey. The final judging of the contest was delayed twice because the contestants made several judges burst into tears and run from the dais.

The top prize in the contest is a year's supply of eyebrow pencil, donated by Revlon; the runner-up receives a stammered apology and a limp handshake.

The winner, Louisa Mcintosh, refused comment, favoring reporters with a version of her prize-winning stare. The runner-up, Candace Watson, added an eye-roll, which would have disqualified her in competition.

Next week Weehawken will host the World Simpering Contest, which will be held Saturday morning from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Elks Hall. The current winner, Maisie Degabretti of Weehawken, will defend her title against competitors from as far away as Old Lyme, Connecticut.

[Today's pattern from Sheila at Out of the Ashes — she's running a sale through the 27th, use the checkout code CLEANING!]

In Praise of the Grown-Up Dress

Last night I clicked through a few screens of Emmy Dress Coverage (or, considering the number of strapless, cut down to there/up to here, and just outright nekkid dresses that were on display, maybe I should say Emmy Dress Uncoverage) and then gave up. I don't have anything against strapless gowns, except that I am BORED TO DEATH with them. Bored, bored, bored. Ditto for Grecian dresses. Ditto for what I call (and you will know immediately what I'm talking about) "Ice-Capades" dresses. Booooooooring. Yawn.

Why don't people try for stuff like this (fur not included)?

Vogue 4917

The people at these award shows have fantastic bodies; you can't tell me they couldn't pull off something like this and still check the "young" and "sexy" boxes on their event forms. (They could wear burlap sacks and still check the "young" and "sexy" boxes on their forms.) Besides, I'm also bored with "young" and "sexy." Why not "chic"? Or, goal of goals, "soignée"? When everyone is tanned, buff, and evidently suffering from claustrophobia of the shoulders, no one is.

This pattern was available at Glass of Fashion (who wrote about it here) but it's gone now — but Penny at Antique Dollhouse still has a copy (Bust 38)! Check it out here. It has the Dress A Day Seal of Approval for your next red-carpet event.

Measuring Up to the Cutting Edge

Yuwa Scissors Measuring Tape Fabric

Thanks to Helen I now have four yards of this fabric — actually, thanks to Helen I now have the LAST four yards of this fabric, because I'm mean like that. But take heart! There are other colorways (some border prints!) of this adorable Yuwa scissors fabric available at PurlSoho, and it's on sale (which means $9 instead of $15, but hey …)

It's only 43 inches wide, and I did only get four yards of it, so I'm not sure exactly what I'll make yet. (It may work for the same pattern as the infamous Target-curtain numbers dress.)

It might just be my monitor, but I think this colorway is very 1930s, especially with the old-fashioned scissors. I can't wait until it shows up … I hope I can get my new sewing room organized before then, so it can hop right into the washing machine and onto the cutting table!

Announcing the Commencement of Shirtdress Season

Vogue 7887

This stunner is available at Cemetarian right now — I really, really like this pattern. The soft shoulder, the round collar, the cuffed sleeve, the box pleats — what's not to like?

This dress just says "fall" to me — in a nice brushed poplin, made up in autumn-leaf colors, worn with sensible oxfords, scuffing through the leaves (not that I will get any falling leaves here in California, I think), going to pick up your library books … you can see this, can't you?

The mustard-y brown in the illustration is a favorite color of mine, but I'm thinking more of a deep peacock blue, or even a jade green. I want jewel tones this fall. And gray, lots of gray. What do you all think?

I'm Not Dead

Just crazy-busy, unlike the women in this pattern illustration:

McCalls 9331

I feel that these ladies, if not ladies of absolute leisure, spend their copious free time in those stereotypical pursuits of reading novels and eating bon-bons. Plus, hairstyles like the ones here require tremendous maintenance and make me think that the most strenuous thing they do all day is put up with pudgy, sweaty men winking at them and calling them "Sugar."

That hair just doesn't say "day job" to me. Unless you're Dolly Parton, in which case you get to call OTHER people "Sugar," while working three times as hard as anyone else in heels three times as high. That woman amazes me. (And her singin' ain't bad, neither.)

Do I sound jealous of these women on the pattern envelope? I may be, but only of the ruffles. I covet those ruffles. (And maybe the bon-bons. I've been in California a MONTH and have had NO See's Candies. That's just wrong.)

If you think this dress would magically transform you into such a creature, you're in luck, because Wendy at PatternStash is offering 20% off everything today and tomorrow. You can use the money you save for more bon-bons. (Or a fall. Whichever.)

Bells Are Ringing (plus new wiki charity challenge)

Advance 6744

Rita at Cemetarian sent me this over Labor Day (pattern sellers: not unionized, don't get major holidays) and I think it's really sweet.

Even though pointy seam lines on a skirt always make me think of Tinkerbell (who has been COMPLETELY RUINED by Disney, thank you very much), I still think this would be a fabulous dress for a midday wedding (for the bride). I love that little jacket, so (I'll say it again) sweet. I want it to be made in champagne-colored silk faille, which would weigh ONE METRIC TON, but it would be gorgeous.

I like the non-wedding-y versions, too, but they all seem to require the wearing of massive girdle-type garments to get that smooth waistline, which I think is a bit much to expect of a gown that's NOT a wedding dress.

This also reminds me what a fantastic resource our Wikia Vintage Pattern Wiki is for brides — here's the link to all the dresses tagged "Bridal": 179 patterns and counting! I think we should have another wiki contest: If we get to 500 honest-to-goodness wedding dresses uploaded and tagged by Oct. 1, I'll make a donation of $500 from A Dress A Day to Women for Women International, to help women around the world so they have the freedom to get married because they want to, not because they're forced to — a freedom most of us take for granted. What do you say?

This Week's Pattern Story

Simplicity 4229

[DATELINE: MINNEAPOLIS] In response to the surprising rise in juvenile delinquency among young girls, first offenders in one small, unnamed suburb of Minneapolis are being held for 4 hours every day, after school, in the empty monkey house of the local zoo.

The girls are given appropriate items to help them practice for their future lives as productive consumers and home-makers, including cleaning supplies and snack foods. They were also given new dresses and encouraged to participate in traditionally feminine grooming activities, such as braiding each other's hair.

When asked about the new program, one young offender, a Miss K—, on probation for destruction of public property, said "The cokes are nice. I guess. But they won't let us have a gramophone."

[Click on the image to visit the eBay auction for this pattern, from seller 3senuff.]

Also, starting today (Friday) Sheila of Out of the Ashes is having a 15% off sale through Monday (Labor Day for us here in the States). Keyword for discount is LABORDAY.