Today's Pattern Story (and Sale): Simplicity 5995


"I don't care if you are taking my picture, I'm going to keep pouting until my hair is as big as those girls in the illustration! Also, don't you think I'm a little too backlit for a shirt this sheer?"

"And I do so look like Brooke Shields!"

[today's pattern courtesy of Kathleen at Little Hunting Creek. She's running a Mother's Day Sale, now through May 8th. Use the code "Dressaday" and buy three – get the fourth pattern free. They''ll take the extra pattern off at checkout. If you buy this pattern, don't be surprised if your mother tells you to smile, because you have "such a pretty face when you smile."]


My Number's Up


So I played hooky from my overflowing email inbox on Saturday (um, if you're waiting on something from me, I'm sorry) and finally hit Urban Burp, the oddly-named vintage fabric store in San Francisco. I had a Groupon (thanks to a tip from Mena at Sew Weekly) and it was burning a hole in my wallet.

I bumbled around for a bit — UB is heavy on the mid-century barkcloth, great for upholstering chairs, but not so much for upholstering one's self — until finally I saw the "juveniles" section (up on a high shelf, counterintuitively) and this great 1960s fabric. (I will let someone else point out how often I seem to find the fabric I'm looking for in the "juvenile prints" section, and how fitting that is, given my personality.)

I forgot to include anything in the photo for scale, so let me just say: these numbers are BIG. (We're puttin' up big numbers here, folks.) The six above is a little shorter than a pencil. This will probably end up as a shirtdress. I'll have to fondle it for a while first, though, to be sure … 

Electra at UB was extremely friendly and helpful — I think I'll be going back!

At Long Last I've Found You


The funny thing is that I didn't know I desperately needed this pattern (McCall's 5433, for those of you playing at home) until I saw it. And then I was all "you must — must, I say! — be mine." (Luckily, when I saw the pattern it was on eBay, so that was easy.)

The only dark spot in my otherwise unmarred expanse of joy is that the cummerbund is a cummerbund, and not an actual midriff band. But that can be … dealt with. Also: the gored skirt is going to be pocketized. (That's a given.)

Anyway: I cannot WAIT to make this, let alone wear it. Question: in what fabric should this humdinger first take flight? No brocade, I want to wear this every day.

(I'm also thinking of using this skirt with the bodice of the BurdaStyle Heidi. Thoughts?)

Scary Chic


I almost didn't post this fantastic dress (pattern on Etsy from Sandritocat) because of how painfully thin the model in the photo is — she's not smiling, she just moved her lips aside so we could see her clenched teeth —  and she looks so cold! Thank goodness for those pockets, at least her hands are warm.

Luckily, the illustrated view is a bit less grim.

This isn't my size (neither is the model) but if you're on the more petite side (and under 11 feet tall, which this model also seems to be) you might want to snap this up. It's much chic-er than I remember the 1970s being (and much chic-er than I was in the 1970s, although, to be fair, nobody in elementary school was wearing stuff like this, either). I wish it were my size, because I know I personally have about twenty-five yards of various shirting cottons that would work for a dress like this … 

Okay, Now What?


So I bought some of this cotton lace (58 inches wide, $6/yard!) and now I'm at a loss as to what to do with it. It seems summery … in a Sophia Loren kind of way. I've never been much good at Sophia-Lorening, so any alternate suggestions of What To Do With Black Cotton Lace would be much appreciated.

Other things I'm not good at, sartorially, in case you need a list:

  • the long boho dress with flat sandals and flat hair
  • any look that requires a David-Bowie/Grace-Jones slash of colored makeup across the face (it gets all over my glasses)
  • shiny satin cocktail dresses with diamante clips
  • and, of course, pants

I can see a kind of kicky 60s-shift swimsuit coverup (with patch pockets!), but considering I'd probably get more use out of a hazmat suit, I'm looking for other ideas … 

Today's Pattern Story: Vogue 8937


Check out this elaborate shirtdress from Janet at Lanetz Living.

I can't tell if that kick pleat at the front is most amazing design detail I've ever seen, or whether it's essentially a sofa skirt. It could go either way. But the sleeve cuffs and the tuxedo-shirt collar are both genius.

I wish the bodice had princess seams than ran into the seams of that kind of tent-flap-button opening on the skirt …

As for the story, obviously Blue Dress is trying to hide her extremely recent rhinoplasty from Beige Dress, who is a notorious gossip. (See her squinty eyes? Dead giveaway. Of either gossipiness or myopia.)

So: yea or nay on that skirt pleat? Leave your answer in the comments and show your work.