Secret Lives of Dresses #15

Lucite Box Paillette dress

The little oil light was guttering, and her glass held a sliver of ice and a maraschino cherry stem. She'd been sitting there so long I'd heard the man at the piano play "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" three times; he didn't really have that big a repertoire. The waiter had been waved off so many times that he had given up coming by at all.

I don't know what she was looking at, but when he sat down it startled her. I felt her jerk in the chair.

"Been here long?" he asked. It could have sounded mean, but he didn't sound mean.

"A while." She smiled at him, out of habit. The next word was almost forced out of her mouth. "Billy?"

"You know you shouldn't expect a man with a boy's name to be responsible," he said. "There was a man in from out of town, and something about a poker game."

I felt her shoulders sag, slightly. It wasn't enough to see, just to feel.

"I'd say he sent his apologies, but you'd know I was lying." He made a little half-grimace, half-shrug.

She squared her glass on the bar napkin. "Thanks for coming by," she said. She reached for her black satin clutch from the seat next to her.

"Hey," he said, a little too quickly. "It's still early." He looked around the nearly empty lounge. There was one couple dancing. The piano player looked bored.

She didn't say anything.

"One dance," he said.

"I should really …" Something in his face stopped her, I think. He looked like a man it would be difficult to be rude to. "Sure. One dance."

I didn't know the song, but this late, it didn't really matter. They moved out to the floor, where the other couple had given up the pretense of steps and were just in a shuffling embrace.

They danced well together. Not in a showy, cruise-ship way, but a comfortable way. They fit. His arm tightened around her waist.

"Neal," she said. She stiffened.

"One of these dances," he said. "Or maybe on one of those picnics you have with you and two plates and the ants. Or on New Year's Eve, when you're standing alone when the ball drops. Right? Someday?"

"I can't say someday." She exhaled. It was almost a sigh.

"I can say someday. I can say today. I can say always."

For a minute there, I thought that she would relax, move closer to him. I thought I could feel her considering it, holding her breath, her arm across his shoulder and her hand against the nape of his neck, just laying there; it felt like there was something electric, like the hum of an engine.

"Who's this making time with my girl?" There was a too-loud voice, and too much aftershave, and then she was spun around. Neal was standing by himself, and she was held tight by other arms.

"Just keeping her entertained." His voice was almost light.

"Next time, little brother, try card tricks," Billy said. "Howzabout a drink?" His breath smelled as if he'd had a few already.

"I think I'll call it a night," Neal said, but he didn't move away from the dance floor right away, but stood looking as Billy steered her back to her chair. Two drinks were waiting on the table.

She let Billy pull out her chair, and she sat down in it, but she didn't look at his face. I think she was watching Neal walk out the door.

Today's Pattern Story (and Sale)

McCalls 9640

Blue Dress: Why is she wearing a hat? I thought we all decided on no hats.

Floral Dress: I'm glad I decided to wear a hat. I was having a terrible hair day.

Blue Dress: And the bag, too! We said no bags!

Floral Dress: I look especially chic when I hold my arms like this, but man, it hurts. Good thing I remembered the bag, even though it's heavy. A bag really gives you the excuse you need to hold your arms all funny.

Blue Dress: I hope she knows I'm going to report her to the Sartorial Committee.

Floral Dress: I look so good, I'm a shoo-in for the Sartorial Committee!

Blue Dress: Well, maybe with all her code violations no one will notice I'm not wearing my gloves. My bracelets are completely chic. I'm sure to be elected to the Sartorial Committee.

Floral Dress: It's too bad that she's not wearing her gloves. That'll black-ball her from the Sartorial Committee for sure.

[Today's pattern courtesy Jen of MOMSPatterns — who is having a sale through Halloween; use coupon code 'dressup' on any order and save 15%!]

Tuesday is Gratuitous Pockets Day Here At Dress A Day HQ

Let's start with this one, sent to me by Kristin:

McCalls 9378

And then there's this one, submitted by Maranda, which apparently I've posted about before, since the pattern image was already saved to my hard drive:

Simplicity 3233

I realized lately that I talk about pockets all the time but I never say what I need those pockets FOR. So here's what's in my pockets today:

my pedometer
my lipstick (in "Urgent!")
— a check I need to deposit, and a pen
— my Palm Pre

I often also have my keys, my wallet (like this one, only black and with two zip pockets), and other assorted things, but those are in my backpack today.

What's in your pockets today?

Things I Wish I'd Made (Number 1023 in a Series)

Watteau pleat dress

Aicha Hockx sent me these pictures ages and ages ago, of this amazingly gorgeous modern dress she made that features a Watteau pleat at the back.

You *must* go check out her blog to see the posts she wrote about this dress: this one with more pictures (including the front, which has pockets!), this one with historical references, and this one where she explains it all very clearly!

This would quite possibly the world's best cocktail dress if executed in gold brocade. Actually, if you showed me this in gold brocade I would not be surprised if you also said "Look, it's Prada."

I love this so much. This is the dress I will wear after the time machine is perfected and I visit 2039. (I don't want to look like a hick.)

A couple of Friday shirtdresses, a couple of Friday sales …

Simplicity 2412

Janet at Lanetz Living is off to the lake this weekend, but her site is having a 15% off sale while she's gone — through Monday at midnight (CST)! (Use the coupon discount code LAKE in the box on the shipping page.)

And Rita at Cemetarian is having a sale, too, which mean you can get this doozy for 15% off (you can get 15% off anything from now until Oct. 15, with free shipping in the US, too — [edited to add] use the code LUV):

Butterick 2347

I don't know how you could possibly choose between these two. I recommend grabbing 'em both. On your mark, get set, GO!

This Week's Pattern Story (and sale … with extra bonus giveaway)

Simplicity 8477

Green Dress: Only thirty more seconds, Gladys, and you'll win!

Floral Dress: Are you sure? Am I the last one standing?

Green Dress: Nobody else has a Frisbee on her head.

Floral Dress: Wait. Something's fishy. Are you sure this was a contest? Was there *ever* anyone else with a Frisbee on her head?

Green Dress: Oh, Gladys. Why would I lie to you about something as important as The First Annual Garden Club Frisbee-Hat-Balancing Contest? Ooh! I'll be right back, I think I see Amy …

Floral Dress: Doris, I'm going to wait twenty more seconds, just in case you weren't pulling my leg. And then you're going to see *stars*.

[Today's pattern is brought to you by Sandy at Sandritocat, who is running a sale — 15% off (plus you can combine with her free shipping offers for multiple purchases). Use code "Fall".]

The ridiculously talented Kellie R (you all probably know her from Pattern Review) is having a pattern giveaway on her blog — check it out! Sew *anything* in October and leave a comment on her blog with a link, and you'll be entered in the drawing!