Today's Pattern Heckling and Sale


Hey! Hey you!

Don't look around, computer lady. I'm talking to you. (Oh wow, this is just like TRON!) Don't have that "oh hell no," I mean "oh heck no," look on your face, 'cause you know me. 

That's right. You would have TOTALLY, like TO THE MAX, made me when you were in junior high school, but your sewing skills just weren't up to it. You were, like, too lame. You didn't think you'd be able to pull off all these buttons and flounces, so you just didn't try. Bet you're sorry now, huh? There could be tons of pictures of you wearing this dress, only in toothpaste green! That would be *awesome*!

Also, I'm pretty sure you also had one of these lace hair excrescences! Aren't they, just, too cool? Add an armful of rubber bracelets and we can hit the dance, no problem.

[Today's pattern — and sale — from Jen at MOMSPatterns,  who is also having a sale. Friday through Monday at Midnight (EDT), May 31, 2010, save 20% off of your orders by using coupon code 'hotdog' when you check out! This story was also inspired by her, as she's heading to an 80's party this weekend …]

Today's Pattern Story: Vogue 9003


Hortense: It's only a matter of time until little Daphne back there is completely under my spell. She looks so innocent and oblivious now, but once she loses those puffed sleeves and the floral prints, I will be able to absorb her energy into mine and I will RULE the bridge club!

Daphne: If I can only keep up this ditz act for a few more weeks, Hortense won't know what hit her. I'll be able to consolidate my power with the disaffected officers and I will RULE the bridge club! But damn, these puffy sleeves itch. 

[Pattern from Capricorn Vintage, who is selling off her stash (!!!).]


What I Think About When I Think About Sewing


When I think about making a new dress, this is what I think about:

  1. Fabric. Is there some in my stash or lurking somewhere on the internet that I simply can't live without? Have I been obsessing about a particular event for which a stunt dress is necessary? Have I been thinking about a particular theme, like stripes or eyelet or giant florals? Do I have a new cardigan in a weird color (yes, I'm looking at you, Land's End) that needs a mate?
  2. Pattern. Is the fabric the right weight? If not, how do I compensate for that? Does it have pockets? If not, can I put pockets into it? Where is it tight? Where is it loose? How will it move? How low or high is the neckline? The hemline? 
  3. Construction. Are there difficult bits that WILL cause swearing, like gussets? Can I change a facing to bias binding? Is there a lining, and if so, can I skip it? Can I move a back zipper to the side, or change a placket zipper to an invisible one? Where are the stress points, and how will I reinforce them? Are there places where too many seams meet, and will my fabric make those points lumpy or bulky? Where will I have to match prints or plaids?
  4. Time. Is it a simple pattern to cut out (looking at you, Heidi), so that I can do it late at night, while watching Chuck on Hulu? Or is it complicated, so that it needs me first thing in the morning, when I'm fresh, while listening to podcasts? If I start after breakfast, or after dinner, when will I hit the putting-the-zipper-in place, and will I be awake or cranky? Have I drastically underestimated how long hemming a very full circle skirt will take (the answer to that last question is always YES).
  5. Interest. If this dress will take a long time to make, will I still care by the end? (There are several dresses lurking in my sewing room RIGHT NOW that I gave up on in the middle.) Is there an event driving me to make this dress, and what will happen if I don't finish it in time?
  6. Visualization. Where will I wear this dress? Who will be there? Will I wear it once, or over and over again? Will I blog it? 
  7. Shoes. Which ones? Do I already own them? Would this dress require shoes that do not, in fact, actually exist? (E.g., every pair of boots I've ever wanted.) Do I have a pair of shoes in a weird color that I need to make a dress to match? Am I looking for an excuse to buy a new pair of shoes in a weird color? (Lather, rinse, repeat for "Coat" and "Bag".)
  8. Fun. Will the whole process involve more fun than not-fun? This is my hobby, not a job or a chore. If it starts turning not-fun, can I bail and go watch Dr. Who? Where are the possible not-fun parts, and how can I make them fun? (See Chuck, podcasts, stunt fabric, etc. above)

I'm sure there are other things I think about while sewing, but these are the things I think about, or try to think about, before I start. What do you think about when you think about sewing? 

And We're Back!

How do you like the new place? (Thanks with sprinkles and extra frosting to David and Brenna for their help in carrying all the boxes. Do you buy beer and pizza for people who help you move blogs?)

Let me know if you see any wonky stuff; right now I know that a couple of the ads are out of date and that the category tags didn't quite make it (I'm sure they're in a box around here SOMEWHERE). I'll unpack those soon. I'm also not sure how your Blogger identities will or won't transfer over; if you have trouble Being You, let me know!

In the meantime, how do you like the fabric I bought a couple weeks ago? Yes, that *is* yardage of the Liberty "Mark" used in Target's recent Liberty line. No, I don't know why it was at a semi-random fabric store, but I'm not arguing! 


What else did I do on my blog-cation? I also made five Heidis in one day. Yeah. That was nuts. I'll have pictures of them up soon … 

Acid Yellow Glamour

40s glamorous yellow and black dress

Wow, this dress (at Lucite Box Vintage) is over-the-top, in the best possible way. I love the two-tone, the glass buttons, and the belt, which has either a moustache or lips on it. For reals:

40s glamorous yellow and black dress

I am a huge fan of the different-colored sleeves poking out of a dark top. This looks fantastic.

I don't want to hear that you can't wear this color. Anyone can wear any color if they want to badly enough. All you have to do is care more about your own pleasure in the color than about other people's pleasure in looking at you. This is one arena where I say you should be absolutely selfish. You think that yellow washes you out and makes you look funny? If yellow makes you happy, wear it! Happiness is more important. (And you can always add some lipstick, right?)

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In Praise of Buttons

pink buttons

Aren't those gorgeous? I have been thinking a LOT about buttons lately. I mean, more than usual (and far more than "normal" people).

Some of my thoughts:

— I want a big circle skirt, black, where the hem is a four-inch border of grey mother-of-pearl buttons, in a bunch of different sizes. Bonus points if I can lay them out so that they seem to swirl …

— Or, ooh, how about a shirtdress with a button print, with the "buttons" in vertical stripes down the fabric, maybe 5/8" wide, spaced an inch or so apart? This would be lovely in black and white, or red and white, or white with multicolor.

— I want a black t-shirt with a big white four-hole button printed on the front. Ditto a tote bag.

— More fabric, this time with a huge four-hole button print. By "huge" I mean buttons that are orange-sized. Black with white or red buttons, or black with mostly white buttons and a red button every so often for "pop". (For a Heidi dress, naturally.)

In the meantime, I will just look at these buttons some more (from the blog Vintage and Modern Unite):

pink buttons

What are your buttony thoughts?

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Three Things

Simplicity 1283

1. I love, love, love the ::facepalm:: of Plaid Girl here. Combined with the "WTF?" expression on Green Stripe Girl, I really, really wish we could see what they are seeing. What could it be? I'm assuming it's some kind of really embarrassing male display behavior, but I'd love to hear your guesses.

2. Why can't I find shoes like Green Stripe Girl's? Seriously. Those are some darn cute shoes.

3. Thanks to Emma for the link to this pattern! (It's for sale, click on the image to visit the Etsy listing.)

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Hey Sailor!

McCalls 3285

I know that this isn't a real sailor collar but the flare + the bow just makes me think of one.

I love how the two regular-sized women are studiously ignoring the tiny woman in the box, who, like a zoo animal, is also trying to ignore her captors. This particular pattern seems to be sized for the bigger women; but since the captured one is wearing the same dress, someone must have scaled it down for her, yes?

In my head the captors have found the smaller woman and are on their way to Fleet Week to make money exhibiting her in a freak show at Coney Island, but are having second thoughts. What's your take?

This pattern is from Jen at MOMSPatterns, who is also having a quick sale: Save 25% off your orders with MOMSPatterns Friday, Saturday & Sunday only using coupon code 'mayday'. (Jen offers free shipping to the US & Canada with the purchase of 5 or more patterns, by the way.)

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A Few Questions

Butterick 5950

Question 1: How cute is that bodice? I love the high neck and all those little buttons … sigh. (This button thing has got me bad, and that ain't good.)

Question 2: What the heck is in that box? Unwrapper looks gleeful, looker-on even more so. I think that they have swiped some OTHER girl's box of chocolates, and are planning to eat all the chocolates themselves, then on refilling the box with something hilarious and embarrassing, such as woolen long underwear, thus provoking consternation and discord between the intended recipient and her chocolates-giving beau. But that's just my take. What's yours?

Question 3: Did you know that this pattern is on SALE? Yes, yes it is: 20% with code EARTH DAY, through Friday. And get free shipping when you buy three or more patterns! (From Sandritocat.)

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Today's Pattern Story and Sale

Simplicity 4312

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA—New Graduates Size Up Potential Employers

New graduates of the Wartime Secretarial Pool and Military Academy of Indianapolis have been matched with potential employers today in the Academy's first-ever "draft day."

Graduating students were auctioned off the to the highest local bidders, many of them desperate for labor due to the war. The new workers' wages are federally regulated, but employers offered many perks, such as free hair waving, Friday movies, and company-supplied dickies.

Employer Sam Hardin, a local wholesale distributor, approved of the school's novel idea for matching employers and graduates. "These girls have had real good secretarial training," he agreed, "Plus, if we're invaded and Jerry gets this far, any one of them could take three or four down with a nail file. I've seen their drills." Jewel Harris, of Menckenville, who graduated with an advanced stenography certificate and the school's sharpshooting medal, was also happy with process. "Typing bills of lading and close-order drill sure beats washing dishes at home," she said.

Today's pattern is brought to us by Lisa, of Vintage Pattern Library. Her dog was hit by a car last week (he's fine, but there are vet bills!) so she's running a sale — use code GODOGGO for 20% off, in honor of Boo, the magical bouncing dog. (And since Lisa and her family are huge Butler basketball fans, also in honor of the Butler Bulldogs!) Good though 4/11.

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