Today's Pattern Story: McCalls 7273

McCalls 7273



Tina: Listen, my friend Gina here, she really wants to punch your lights out.

Gina: (nods slowly)

Tina: What you did there, what you did — well, that is not okay.

Gina: (nods slowly)

Tina: I can hold her back for a little bit longer, but honestly, she’s got quite a temper. And she hates rudeness.

Gina: (nods slowly)

Tina: So just put that dress back on the rack so Gina can pick it up, just like she was gonna do before you butted yourself in, and then you can go about your day. Right, Gina?

Gina: (nods slowly)

Tina: That pink wasn’t really your color anyway. Have a good day now!


Today's Pattern Story: Butterick 4995

Butterick 4995

Hi! Hi! I am so glad you’re here! Really really glad! Like, super glad! I thought more people would come, but that’s okay! It’s really okay! It can be just you and me! We will have SO MUCH FUN. Like, tons of fun! What’s your name? There are nametags if you want one! I didn’t want one. My name is Samantha but people call me Sam. Or Sammy. Nobody calls me “Mantha,” though that would be funny. Or “Mantha Ray.” It would be funny to have a “Mantha Ray” costume. I think manta rays are beautiful, don’t you? Although they’re a little scary. Just a little.

ANYWAY! Let’s not talk about scary things! I’m glad you’re here! We can get started any time. Now, if you want! Do you want to start now? If you come a little bit closer we can start now. It’s very nice that you’re here! It’s nice to meet you! I would shake your hand but I don’t like germs. Not that I’m saying you’re germy. I just don’t like germs in general. Or milk. I don’t like milk in general either. But if you like milk that’s okay, I just didn’t bring any today. Because I don’t like it.

If you come a little closer we can get started. No, I don’t have anything behind my back. Why do you ask?¬†WHY DON’T YOU COME A LITTLE CLOSER NOW?


Come back!


Book Review: The Empress of Fashion

I don’t know about all y’all, but for me Christmas isn’t Christmas if I don’t get at least one fantastic book that I burn through like a flash fire. This year, I asked for (Thanks Ro and George!) and got this marvelous book about Diana Vreeland:

Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland

Honestly, it was everything I hoped for and more — much more biographical detail than Vreeland put into her own books (Allure and D.V.), much more historical context (I had no idea of the connections between Vreeland and Warhol, for instance), and many, many, many fantastic quotes, including:

I suffered, as only the very young can suffer, the torture of being conspicuous.


When you’ve heard the word, it means so much more than if you’ve only seen it.


You must always give ideas away. Under every idea is a new one waiting to be born.

and especially

Luck is infatuated with the efficient.


Funny girls would rather look interesting than safely pretty. The look they avoid, in fact, is prettiness in the country-club sense.

and — further proof that DV was very wise —

What do I want with a bloody old handbag that one leaves in taxis and so on? It should all go into pockets. Real pockets, like a man has, for goodness’ sake.

Honestly, if you can read all those quotes and NOT want to read this book … well, go back to the beginning and read them again.

Vreeland has always topped my list of “what person in history would you want to have dinner with?” and this book almost makes up for that never happening. Almost. (Where’s my gosh-darn time machine?)

Today's Pattern Story: Simplicity 3262

Lillian: Your corsage is so … interesting, dear.

Gillian: I know! Isn’t it just to DIE?

Lillian: Well, it’s certainly unique.

Gillian: No, really, it’s to DIE. I believe it’s mutating, and I’m worried the tendrils will shoot up and strangle me. You’re wearing longer gloves, darling, do you think you could snatch it off and throw it into the fire?

Lillian: On three: one … two …

No More Scary Warnings

Dear folks, if you tried to visit this blog in the last 24 hours, you may have been confronted by a giant Google warning saying that this site could harm your computer … unfortunately, Google had flagged my ad server,, as a malware provider. (The only harm iSocket does is to your pocketbook by tempting you with ads from fine vintage patternsellers across the web.)

I’m very sorry for the scare — I will do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen again!

If you are ever curious about the health of a site, you can use Google Safe Browsing to check it out. Here’s the link for Dress A Day.

Here’s a bonus Pattern Story for your trouble:

Vogue 7612

Martha: All she said was, “Hold this, I’ll be right back.”

Bertha: You didn’t ask her where she was going?

Martha: I didn’t want to pry. She was in a hurry.

Bertha: Which direction did she go?

Martha: How should I remember? That was Tuesday!


Today's Pattern Story: Simplicity 9935

Simplicity 9935

Alison: Okay girls, everyone straight on the mission? Find your target, then catch, clamp, drag. Celia, you’re without a bridesmaid today, you gonna be good on your own?

Celia: No worries, Sarge, I got this. I’ll bring back a good one.

Alison: Bridesmaids, don’t be hasty. Select those targets with care. Catch and release was last week, this is live fire exercise. Repeat, this is a live fire exercise. I’ll see everyone back at Pastor Rivendale’s at 3 pm sharp, or the ice cream cake is gonna be soggy by the time we’re through with the ceremonies. Now — are we ready?

All: Hoo-AH!

[Lots of vendors for today’s pattern on the Vintage Pattern Wiki.]

No Logical Reason

For no logical reason, I bought some laminated denim.

If you’re not familiar with laminated denim, it was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it trend of the last season. Or maybe season before last? (Who can keep track any more?) Sewn up into skinny jeans, worn with the inevitable (and inevitably boring) drapey tee and fancy shoes and statement bag and jumble of necklaces. Every time I saw it, it was styled in a kind of leather-pants-lite way.

So since I am just about the furthest thing ever from a leather-pants person, I’m not sure why I bought it, other than that I thought “wow, I will probably never see this again, maybe I should get some” (this is how fabric hoarders are made, people). It showed up today and I kind of love it.

It’s shiny, but not latexy or leathery — it’s definitely denim with a layer of plastic on it. It’s very future-mod. The juxtaposition of the plain denim and the laminate shine is pleasantly incongruous.

The obvious thing to do would be to make a very fitted bombshell dress out of it, but I almost want to do another 9929, instead. The only problem would be gathering the fabric — it is REALLY heavy and thick. Maybe I should go back and do another Heidi? Or something else I haven’t thought of yet? This pattern would be really fun.

Suggestions? Has anyone sewn with this stuff before?

Today's Pattern Story: Vogue 7319

Annette: So you know when your heart is first broken, and it feels like throwing your back out? You’re stiff, and unnatural, and you can’t move without that jolt of pain? Then it turns into more of a toothache, one that gives you a sudden sharp stab when you bite wrong? And after that it’s like an ugly bruise — it hurts when you touch it and is grotesquely green and purple-yellow, so you try to keep it covered up? Then like a paper cut, that stings when you get lemon juice in it? Finally you just have a scar, and maybe a long time after that, if you’re lucky, you have to actually stop and think about it, like when you’re trying to remember if that ankle you sprained when you were six was your left or your right? Well, I’m probably in the bruise stage right now.

Glenda: Annette, honestly, it’s okay to answer “Fine, and you?” when someone asks, “How are you?”

[Today’s pattern courtesy of the Vintage Fashion Library.]