A Few Procrastinatory Monday Links

Norman Pattern

Jessica found this incredibly steampunk Norman pattern and wonders if anyone has information they can share about Mrs. N.R. Norman, inventress. This is Centennial Pattern No. 8, for those keeping score at home, and is from the 1890s. It may be a St. Louis company — it's marked St. Louis. Any information? Please leave a comment! (Here's a bigger image.)

Speaking of comments, Becky O. left one on Friday pointing us to this WONDERFUL writeup by TrueUp about the different on-demand fabric printers. Exhaustive and well-researched, definitely worth checking out.

Kate found the button-top (not dress) I was thinking of. Great for Rolling Stones fans!

Kristen sent this link to dresses knitted from trash. So cool. (Although probably itchy.)

Anna sent me a link to The Sewing Machine Attachment book. (It's a book about different attachments FOR your machine, not about fostering your attachment TO your machine.) I have purchased mine, will review when I get it!

Lucy (who is the person behind Home Movie Day London) sent this link to a digitised (British spelling, in Lucy's honour) film of 1930s fashions. Lovely!

A few self-promoty links:

If you like words, and are on Facebook, might you not consider being a fan of Wordnik on Facebook? Our fan page is here. If you're not a Facebooker but still want Wordnik words of the day, that link is here. But the only place you can see the Wordnik LIST of the day (a collection of related words) is on Twitter:@wordnik. [If you're looking for me on Twitter, I'm @emckean for word-type stuff, @FakeErinMcKean for "what-I-had-for-lunch" type stuff.] (Whew! That's a lot of social media in one place …)

Crossword Fabric

As promised, here's the crossword fabric available at Spoonflower:

crossword fabric

A few notes:

— the blacks (and other dark colors) tend to wash out & fade really quickly on digitally printed fabric. I don't know how to fix this — anyone have hints for keeping them dark?

— this design is optimized for the upholstery-weight fabric. I haven't tested it on other weights. (That fabric is slightly off-white, too.)

— this fabric was designed for me by Beth Keller. She's awesome. You can check out her Etsy site, KellerDesigning. I don't know if she's taking commissions now, but you could always ask …


Today's Pattern Story

Simplicity 1912

Darla: "Oh. You're right. I do look like a walking café curtain."

Carla: "I hated to be the one to tell you, but someone had to do it."

Darla: "And you know …"

Carla: "That I look like I'm about to call "offsides!" at the World Tea-Drinking Championship? Yep."

Darla: "Our home-ec teacher has a lot to answer for."

Carla: "Don't worry, I already spiked the faculty coffeepot with something that causes unpleasant gastrointestinal effects, yet is non-life-threatening."

Darla: "You rock. Also, cute shoes!"

(Thanks to Janet at Lanetz Living for today's pattern!)

Talbots? Talbots. Huh.

Somehow I managed to get on the Talbot's catalog mailing list and this shirtdress caught my eye. LOVE this color green:

ebay item 8305987417

I can't tell if it has pockets or not, but it really does look nice. The whole catalog seems full of surprises, including some great cardigans in one kajillion colors and some very very cute shoes.

I haven't shopped at Talbot's in ages — it was always a bit off in a way I think our friends in the UK would call "mumsy." So either they have gotten better, or I have now aged into their target demo. Or both. Both is always possible.


Seen last week on the Collette Patterns blog:

navy dress with taffeta roses and leaves

The tone-on-tone of this is really gorgeous. (Click on the image to go to the blog and see a full-length view.) I would love to see something like this on a non-princessy wedding dress, say a simple silk sheath in cream with cream roses along the waist and hem in taffeta or even organza.

While I'm at Colette's blog, I would like to point out how cute these little bias-tape bows are. Adorable!

And speaking of embellishments, I *think* I saw recently a dress with a heart on it, where the heart was made of random sizes of heart-shaped buttons. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Or did I just make it up?

(The dress itself is available here, and it's a larger size, too!)

Thanks to Kathleen for the link!

Another Loafer Roundup

Yes, I am still obsessed with penny loafers, so it's time for me to share another roundup of them with you.

In some very exciting loafer news, Bass has finally come out with a low-vamp penny loafer (the Brookfield). I wish they were an update (but not this one) on the classic cordovan Weejuns, a shoe I wore constantly from elementary school through high school, but you can't have everything. (The menfolks can have updated Weejuns this spring, though.)

What you can have is them in white, which I think is really cute for summer:

Bass White Brookfield Loafer

And being Bass, they come in wide widths, which I appreciate, and they have more padding than most of the other loafers I've seen. (You may have to search a bit for the white ones — I see them intermittently on eBay.)

I like these Franco Sarto Ivy loafers too, but I'm not sold on the suede, and all the non-suede options are fake croc. I really, really hate fake croc (and real croc, for that matter).

Franco Sarto Ivy

I haven't had a chance to try these on (unlike the Brookfields) so I think the vamp may be too high.

These Via Spigas Olsins are super-cute:

Via Spiga Olsin

They're on the expensive side (~$100) but are on sale everywhere right now in random colors (including the dreaded croc) and a bright shiny orange.

(The Via Spigas, with that wonderful snipped-off 1960s toe, don't look so good on a wider foot, I'm sorry to say. If you have narrow feet, they will probably look fabulous.)

This KORS MICHAEL KORS Harper loafer is cute, except for the lug sole. (Why, Michael? Why?) And they're very expensive, at almost $200:

Kors Harper Loafer

Aldo has a loafer, too, in black, brown, and red (red's on sale!) but I don't like the trompe l'oeil nature of the penny slot (you see how picky I am?):

Aldo Loafer

These Aldo loafers are a little too 1990s for my taste, but maybe the 90s are coming back, now that we've nearly exhausted the 1980s revival?

Aldo Loafer

If you're out and about and see any other penny loafers, please drop me a link!