Happy Anniversary to Holly!

Holly_BlueDress

Holly at LuciteBox Vintage is celebrating her third anniversary this week, and everything's on sale. (I love this dress, which looks Libertyish and practically demands to be taken to a summer picnic.)

There's so much gorgeous on Holly's site right now that it's going to be hard to choose. I recommend you get there early before the canapés (and this dress for eating them in) are gone. 

[Sorry to be such an absentee blogger these last few weeks … I promise to catch up this week! Highlights will include some NEW SEWING; a trip to LONDON; and links a-plenty. Also possibly a new rant.]

Today's Pattern Story (and Sales): McCalls 9658

McCalls_9658

Red: You may think I'm just casting a coy glance, but I'm really about to thwop my sister in the back of the head. It's okay, we've been doing this since we were kids.

Green: It's true. (Which explains my glassy, semi-dazed stare.)

Blue: Are those two idiots roughhousing again? I can't watch. I'll just stand over here and pretend I don't know them.

Today's pattern (and sale) is from Jen at MOMSPatterns — for Memorial Day Weekend, save 20% off all orders; use code 'thankyouvets' until midnight EST, May 31, 2012.  Jen's listing of 50s & 60s patterns plus 80s New/Old Stock items (if you didn't live through it the first time …) 

Plus: bonus sale!

Needlepoint_40mm_rnd_tn

The Button Emporium & Ribbonry is having a Memorial Day Sale, too. Through June 1, get 15% off your whole purchase (minimum $10) with coupon code memorialday2011. Including those cool needlepoint buttons above. (I kind of want to put teeny LEDs in them, don't you?) 

Oh, and hey, I'm in the UK. It's been kind of a hectic trip (hence the lack of notice & blogging), but if anyone wants to get together tomorrow [Saturday] evening, hit me up on Twitter — I'm @FakeErinMcKean.

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

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."]

 

You. Need. This.

Do you have a black eyelet dress?

Like, say, this one, from Holly at LuciteBox?

Lucite_eyelet_vintage

I don't set myself up to be a "dictator of taste", and I don't think I've ever done one of those "Ten Items Every Woman Must Own" lists, but if I did, a black eyelet dress would be on the list. ("Trench coat" would not be on the list. Has there ever been a fashmag printed that didn't tell you to run out and buy a trench coat? "Trench coat" is like the "free square" in Bingo.)

This is why you need a black eyelet dress: they're perfect. (Okay, okay, I'll elaborate.) Black eyelet has a natural tension between sweet and sultry, between looking (and staying) cool and looking hot. It's easy to dress up or down, and easier still to accessorize. (Black pique is *almost* as good, it's just slightly more casual.)

I've seen black eyelet like this (elegant, restrained) and black eyelet wild (in some 1980s fashion spread — I wish I'd kept it — a black eyelet A-line dress with eyepopping neon bra & briefs under it, possibly a swimsuit, but hey, it was the 1980s, everything was neon). 

I've got one black eyelet dress that I've worn nearly to rags, so I'm definitely planning a black broderie anglaise dress for this summer, lined in black batiste (or unlined, if I choose to go the neon underthings route … UNLIKELY). 

This one is 38/28/40, and trust me, you will wear it until it gets rusty and falls off you. 

Today's Pattern Story (and Sale): In Uniform

Advance_9259

 

I don't know what this dress is the uniform for, but please point me to the recruiting office (to picket it). The mitered tab-like thing at the front (partnered with the inverted pleat-entrance on the skirt) makes me think that something attaches there. Tab A, meet Slot B. But what is it? A cigarette-girl tray? Climbing harness? A front-mounted jetpack? 

Obviously, the woman in red is a commanding officer, and the woman in blue is … confused? Although, now that I think about it, a uniform that came in floral print would have me doubly-signing-up. Signing up for a double hitch? Something to that effect. 

You can't see it, because the illustration is unclear, but the ornament pinned to red-dress's shoulder is the Order of Confusing Uniform Merit, first class.

This dress is part of Sheila's current SALE, which runs Friday through Sunday night, 15% off.  The coupon code is MERRY. (Oh wait! Maybe she's a Mad-Men Era Elf! Still doesn't explain blue-floral.) 

Happy Birthday, Holly!

Yesterday was Holly’s birthday, and as a present she’s giving us all a sale: 

 

Hollyflame

You have GOT to click on the link to see all the pictures of this stunner. Silk chiffon! Halter-neck! There has GOT to be some alternate universe where I wear this dress every day, right? 

If that universe, for you, is this one, Holly’s sale is 25% off, and runs through midnight (CST) December 4th. Use the coupon code TEENAGER. (Because that’s how old she is, OF COURSE.)

[And we're still on the fundraising drive/Secret Lives poll:]

http://www.networkforgood.org/PCA/Badge.swf?BadgeId=114975

If we reach $1200 in donations by December 25, I will write a new "secret lives" story, that will include the top-two vote-getters below:

http://modpoll.com/poll.js?pid=agdwb2xsMmdvcg0LEgRQb2xsGLvHlwYM&theme=&width=200

Today's Pattern Huh? (and Sale): Simplicity 4672

And double-huh on the postures ...

Caption: Somewhere, deep in the land of WTF accessories, these women have lost their way. See how the blonde in the back is yodeling for help, while her sisters are oblivious to their fate?

Believe it or not, the hat and muff pattern come with this dress. Because someone, somewhere, looked at this perfectly nice dress and thought, "What this needs is FUR! Fur cuffs! A fur hat! A fur muff!" And since everyone else just wanted to go to lunch, or even just get back to their real work, they all nodded and filed out of the conference room in a collective shrug of "what can you do?"

A fur hat, sure: leaving the ethics of fur aside (let's pretend it's fake fur), it's kinda kicky, kinda Moscovite. And it's up there on your head where it can't do any damage. But: fur cuffs? I've never seen a garment where fur cuffs didn't turn into disgusting unwashable dust and germ magnets. It's like wearing Swiffers at the end of your arms. 

And muffs! Muffs are the anti-pocket. Let's see: why don't we take your perfectly functional hands, and shackle them in front of you in a hot sweaty upholstered tube you can't put down? Brilliant! What do you do with a muff when you (just for example) want to shake hands? Blow your nose? Unlock a door? Unless it's lined with nickels so you can use it as a cosh, I can't see the point. And even then, the "beautiful girl pulls a teeny-tiny gun from a muff" schtick is so cliche I bet just carrying a muff gets you extra screening at the TSA checkpoints.

However: the dress itself is lovely, and Sandra is having a 20% off fall sale, through Wednesday. Just mention “dressadaySale” in the checkout (and yes, you can combine the sale with Sandra's shipping discounts)!

 

 

Well, baby, you can turn me on

Gold_sexbomb

I love this dress from Holly at Lucite Box. This falls into the "It's so obvious, it must be ironic!" category — don't you think?

I can see it worn that way — ironic Brooklyn hipster style — with a long fuzzy sweater and flats, or (heaven forfend) those slouchy elf boots that have inexplicably returned from the dead. Or you could rock it straight-up with classic stiletto heels and big hoop earrings.

To modernize it, you'd have to wear those (also largely inexplicable) open-toe wedge-heel booties that I see everywhere and a Balmain shoulder (unless the Balmain shoulder is already out? I can't keep track).

If this is your size, I'd jump on it — it's a great holiday-party dress and it's only $85! 

Today's Pattern Story (and Sale): Simplicity 2263

Simplicity_2263

Blue: This flu season has been terrible. I've been having to keep handkerchiefs in every pocket. 

Brown: I see that. But you should really wear a hat — bare heads always lead to colds.

Blue: I didn't have a handkerchief earlier … I had to improvise. With my hat.

Brown: Suddenly, I'm not feeling so well either. 

Sheila at Out of the Ashes is having another camping sale, now through Monday — 15% off the patterns at her store, with the coupon code CAMPING. Have at it!

Today's Pattern Story: McCall's 6782

McCalls_6782

Stripes: How many times are we going to have to rehearse this?

Belt: Until you get your back foot right, evidently. Also, your hand is too low.

Stripes: I can't get it up past my hair.

Floral: That can't possibly be your hair.

Stripes: I own it, so it's mine.

Belt: Hurry up and let's get this right. This scarf is gonna leave a welt.

[Director, from offstage: "One more time, girls!"]

All three: I hate the chorus.