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.

What Shall I Read? (THIS BOOK)

What Shall I Wear?

What Shall I Wear? is probably one of the most seminal books in fashion, at least for me. I'd rank it right up there with Fashion is Spinach, and that's saying something.

It was supposed to be released today, but Amazon is already showing it's out of stock — I'd order it now to be sure of getting one! Copies of earlier editions sell for well over US$100.

This is what McCardell had to say about her designs:

"For me, it's America—it looks and feels like America. It's freedom, it's democracy, it's casualness, it's good health. Clothes can say all that."

The whole book is inspiring. I heartily recommend it.

Weirdly, we only have one pattern tagged "Claire McCardell" on the wiki. Hmm. I'll have to see what we can do about that!

Happy Anniversary!

Butterick 9651

In celebration of Jen's site MOMSPatterns being up & running for three solid years, she's running a Happy Anniversary To MOMS Sale (combined with a Labor Day sale) through the weekend! Save 25% on by using coupon code 'yayjen' until Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at midnight EST.

Jen's also just moved another 50 patterns to the Sale Section which has patterns priced from $1-$5. AND she's still adding 30-40 patterns every day for you to choose from. (And she offers combined & discounted shipping for multiple purchases.) Happy Anniversary!

Lisa at the Vintage Fashion Librarian is giving away a Mood Fabrics bag (of Project Runway fame)! Very spiffy.

Sorry for the light posting folks, but in addition to moving across the country for my internet startup, I *just* finished (the first draft, anyway, I expect my awesome editors to add some of their awesome to it) of The Secret Lives of Dresses novel, due out next year from Grand Central (in the US) and Hodder (in the UK). Whew!