In Which I Pretend to be a Real Fashion Blogger(TM)

So the nice folks at ASDA sent me an email last month asking if I would like to "style" one of their party dresses for a blogger challenge. I pretty much never do this because most of these dresses either don't come in larger sizes, or they cost the earth, or both, which means whatever they send isn't relevant to everyday life. Also, agreeing means I have to rope the long-suffering Mr. DressADay into taking a picture of me, and THEN I have to post a picture of myself wearing something goofy. 

But, as it turned out, the dresses are from the new super-cheap George line (£20!) and come in larger sizes. Plus, I'm trying to be less self-conscious about posting pictures of myself. (And it's good I'm trying to be less self-conscious, because, frankly, in these pictures I look like a muppet, in both the US and UK senses of the term.)

Here's the dress ASDA sent: 

Screen shot 2012-01-08 at 12.48.41 PM

Yeah. This is not an optimal dress for a forty-year old. When I got the dress I found myself playing a version of the game I play in airports while waiting for my checked luggage, which is "What will I wear if my luggage is lost?" My usual lost-luggage-catastrophe plan (which, thankfully, has never been put into effect) is: run to H&M and buy a black skirt and black t-shirt and a couple of bright cardigans/pairs of tights (depending on season), and hope for the best. Only in this case, the "black skirt/black t-shirt" was "cream-colored cotton lace dress". 

So here's how I muppetized it:


ASDA George Dress #1

I was thinking kind of "late-80s/early 90s revival", because that's pretty much the last time I wore my skirts this short. (And I really loved that fuchsia-neon green combo back in the day, but never had the guts to really go for it.) The sweater is from Land's End, the tights are Hue, and the boots are a pair of Donald Pliners I bought on eBay ages ago, and which I wear when I need to add a dollop of bad-ass to something that would otherwise be too prissy. The watch is a vintage '80s swatch, too, in translucent pink. The lipstick is NARS Funny Face.

This dress is a UK size 12. (It fit fairly well — there were tie strings in the back to pull in the waist but they bugged me so I cut them off.)

Here's a better view of the boots (I really love these boots, but they're "parties only" since the heel is so high):

ASDA George Dress #2

I think if I were a bit younger, or if I lived in San Francisco Proper (or lived in Brooklyn and worked in fashion publishing) I would actually wear this outside of my fenced back yard. The only thing that's missing is some jewelry … I thought that an armful of lacquered skinny Indian bangles in bright pink and acid green would be nice, but I (of course) own no such thing, because bracelets are a pain when you type all day. 

(Supposedly all the bloggers participating will vote on the "most creative" look and the winner will get an ASDA gift card. I have about as much chance of winning as I do of attending the Met Ball this year, but I figure I should disclose that anyway.)

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled random sewing blogging.

Big in Japan

Fabric is, don't you know:

That's the Japanese Liberty print I bought in Tokyo, oh, lo these many weeks ago. (If you hadn't noticed, I got a bit behind on blogging there before Christmas … sorry about that.) I bought it at the same place I went to back in 2008 — so glad it was still there! 

It took me a while to choose this — I really wanted something dark, but of course all the spring prints were calling to me. I should have taken pictures of the runners-up, but they were mostly dark ditsy florals. This one has a little more heft to it, and the olive color is just gorgeous. Here, have a closer look: 


Not quite sure what this will be yet, but Vogue 8728 is a strong contender … 


Sew It All (or at least a couple of skirts)

I forgot to mention that I have a project in the latest issue of Sew It All … it's a no-pattern project to make skirts out of old t-shirts. 

Yep, that's the skirt I made there on the right. It really is simple to do, and all the materials together cost me less than $20 (for the skirt elastic, plus some tees from the local Goodwill). 

Here's a peek at the how-to page:


My only regret is that I couldn't actually show how to put pockets in — I had this great idea for using the the neckband of the shirt as the top of a patch pocket, but it just made the whole thing too complicated for what was supposed to be an easy project. Oh well, maybe next time … you can almost visualize it from the instructions here:


For those of you in the US, I think this is still available wherever sewing magazines are sold … not sure what the situation is overseas. 

Happy New Year! Here, Have a Hat!

Happy New Year! I spent all my blogging hiatus/holidays (well, it felt like all my blogging hiatus/holidays) cleaning up my office/sewing room, and in the process I found this:


It’s a pattern for this hat:

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Pretty cool, huh? I have absolutely NO idea where it came from, but it came to light as I shoveled through piles of paper. So I ran it down to Fedex and their nice large-bed scanners and got it digitized for y’all. Here’s a PDF to download.

If you make it, send me a picture! Veil optional. (Extra points if you make in gold lame for that chic nimbus effect.)