Word of the Day!

Word of the Day

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dressaday Special

Readers of the Dressaday blog can get a free dressmaking themed collage card when they buy a pattern from my shop and use the top secret coupon code (found in today's post on Dressaday). If you are not a reader of Dressaday, why not?! Go over there now, and read, for heaven's sake.

The coupon code goes in the "notes to seller" section at checkout.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Technically, Not an Apron: LoriK's Potholders

Potholders are not aprons, but they're in the kitchen and made out of cloth, which is close enough for me (By that token I guess tablecloths and napkins are close enough for me. And placemats, and toaster cozies.) I guess they seem related to me because my mom had a matching apron and potholder set that was given to her as a gift. And in 4-H, which was where I made my first apron, I also made a matching potholder out of the same material (mint green gingham, if you care). Potholders and aprons just go together.

Anyway, LoriK has some cool potholders. Not only hamburgers, but religious icons, baking pan conversion charts, and sugar skulls. Lori told me "I began making potholders because i knew that people don't bring huge amounts to the craft fairs. It was a way people could get practical mementos to take home with them. It is also a great way to use up some scraps! Scrap quilts are great, but they can get overwhelming."

And potholders make great gifts. Maybe I only say that because I give them a lot as gifts, but they are practical, and often overlooked when someone is stocking their new kitchen. My mom made a lot of denim potholders as gifts, too. It must be genetic.

And Now For Something Completely Different: Etsy Seller IHeartMies

This is another new Etsy seller, though she's made a good start. Some of my favorite items from her store have already sold. Stephanie was kind enough to answer some questions about her art for me.

You use a lot of interesting materials in your jewelry. Where do you get them?
the architectural people are left over from my schooling and have been screaming at me to use them for a few years. i have always wanted to make them into jewelry, clocks and dishware.
its like having a little friend with you all the time.
that is why i give them names and stories in the descriptions.
i have been finding and gathering keys for years not knowing quite what to do with them.
and i like wood, so the wood pieces i have collected and gathered from other etsians

What things are important to you as you are making an item?
i really try to focus on simplicity and structure.
i find beauty in things that are simple and do not have a lot of pieces.
and i ask myself
is it functional?
does it make a noise?
will this start a conversation?
who will wear this?
is this an interesting use of material?

What are your influences or inspirations?
well my namesake iheartmies comes from my love of mies van der rohe
he was my greatest influence during my architectural education and still continues to be.
and i really like wood
in a strange way that influences me quite a bit
as i strive to make nice simple modern things with wood

How has your life experience influenced your work?
my architectural background has definitely influenced my work as it gave me a sense of purpose.
that is when i learned importance of function and form.
it is also how i discovered my aesthetic.
and finally it helped me address my disdain for capital letters.

How did you discover Etsy?
from a design blog, i forget which one but it was a link to some cool wood jewelry.
then i just looked around at it for months.
then i started buying stuff
then i started making things
then i started selling things

Click the banner or the jewelry to visit her shop.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Eye Candy for Apron Lovers

Here are some blogs that showcase aprons. All have met my stringent "ooh, pretty" requirements.

Tie One On

The Apronista

Apron a Day (and she posts pics from a lot of Etsy sellers, too!)

Frills, Frocks, and Fancies

Etsy Seller DianasDarnings' Aprons

This is my favorite apron from DianasDarnings. Not only is it blue and brown, which is my current favorite color combination, bu it has big pockets (I love pockets). I also like the clean lines and that her aprons aren't over-the-top frilly.

Diana told me "I'm inspired by my brothers. That sounds a little strange, but I have four of them, I'm the only girl. My mom is a HUGE tom boy. Growing up, I tried really hard to not be a tom boy and was in the kitchen helping a lot. It's important to me to embrace my femininity, so I try to feel pretty while cooking and in the kitchen. I think my aprons do the trick."

Click on the apron to visit Diana's shop.

(On a personal note: I am glad to see someone who doesn't confuse "feminine" and "frilly". Not that frilly things aren't feminine, but they aren't the whole definition of feminine, either.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Etsy Seller Diamondmeenah's Aprons

These aprons on Etsy caught my eye. Not only does the seller make them from scraps, one of my favorite materials to work with, she sews them completely by hand, which boggles my mind. A couple are even made of recycled clothing.

I asked Julie Ann about her aprons, and she had this to say:
"I don't believe in things that can't be used for the purpose they were intended for. If all you can do with something is look pretty, to me it's pointless (with very few exceptions, since I've got a rather large collection of other wise pointless ceramic frogs). In the case of aprons, the reason most people wear them is to protect their clothing. With this in mind, my aprons are designed for people who craft with messy stuff as well as cooks who cook like me; I wear as much as I get into the pot or onto the plate.

The aprons are all made of scraps of fabric literally quilted together as you would a quilt for your bed. They are normally a bit irregular in their shape due to using scraps and a homemade pattern, but the are very durable. More often than not, you'll tear the fabric before you'll rip out my stitches. I use two pieces of thread when I sew instead of one like a sewing machine does. I also do what I believe is called a blanket stitch on the edges of the fabric to prevent it from fraying. I'm not sure of the stitch name because I taught myself to sew by looking at clothing seams and copying what I saw. I simply call the edging stitch a 'no fray stitch' because the fabric doesn't fray when I do it.

The aprons are designed as wearable art that you can take off and clean the counter or floor with if you need to. Any stains you acquire just add to the aprons charm, and they are designed that way. They are also designed for those with physical limitations like arthritis or a disability of some sort. Most of my apron ties will wrap around and tie in the front of most body types. So, if you've got arthritis, you don't need to strain yourself trying to tie the apron in the back when you can much more easily tie it in the front. This also works great for wheelchair users who find knots in the middle of their back as uncomfortable as I do. The straps are wider than the standard apron straps to make it easier to grip with arthritic or wet hands. The neck straps are also wider so that they don't cut into your neck with extended periods of wear and it's also easier to get over a freshly done head of hair, or not tangle in really long hair."

I like her philosophy on things being useful and practical. I know it is something I try for in my store. I don't have anything of purely decorative function. I don't consider toys purely decorative, since play is important for children, and sometimes for adults. :) Click on the apron to visit her shop and see the other aprons available.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Free Apron Patterns!

I looked up some free apron patterns online for everyone's edification. Some are plain, some are less so, and a couple are vintage!

Quilt Block Apron (girls): http://www.allfreecrafts.com/sewing/quilt-block-apron.shtml

Plain Historical Apron : http://www.1771.org/cd_apron.htm

One Yard Apron: http://sewing.about.com/od/aprons/ss/oneyardapron.htm

Apron Bonnet Pattern (vintage) : http://tipnut.com/vintage-apron-bonnet-pattern/

Make your own vintage style apron pattern: http://www.girlistic.com/diy/apron.htm

Ten Vintage Apron Patterns (must be printed in miniature and transferred by hand onto grid paper. It would be a pain, but they are pretty cool.): http://www.dorothyshomegoods.com/articles.php?tPath=12

Oh, and a bonus oven mitt pattern: http://www.allfreecrafts.com/sewing/oven-mitts.shtml

Also I found this excerpt from a vintage sewing lesson book on aprons:

" Did you ever stop to consider how many different kinds of aprons there were? A great, big, roomy, coverall apron for mother when guests are expected and important things are happening in the kitchen. A wee bit of a lace apron for the person who is in charge of the tea-urn at five o'clock. A smart bungalow apron to make household duties seem pleasant, and a rather petty apron with deep pockets for the sewing room. And, of course, sweet little aprons for the kiddies—gaily colored and bound with an almost grown-up regard for smartness."

Apron Week!

I've decided to make this week Apron Week on my blog. I actually was going to start yesterday, but had kind of a blah day and didn't get it done.

I'm going to start with my personal apron collection. I like vintage aprons, but don't really have that many. Part of it is that having three (and one more waiting to be made) I don't feel I have a really good excuse to buy any more. I don't need a lot of things cluttering up my house, even actually useful things.
This green one is my baking apron. It is not actual vintage, but was a sort of experiment I did, to see if the front half of a vintage dress pattern would make a good apron. Answer: well, it's got plenty of coverage (thus the reason I use it for baking) but there is a reason most aprons don't have bust darts. The back of the dress being gone throws things off kilter, and the bust darts slip down and look odd.

This apron is not an actual vintage apron either, although the swirly green and blue fabric is vintage that I got at a garage sale years ago, and the pattern is traced off of an apron that my great-grandmother made. This is my "hostess apron". I use it when I'm having people over and am going to be cooking. That way I've got somewhere to wipe my hands, but it looks cuter than the other aprons.

This apron is actual vintage, and is probably my favorite. It's my "everyday" apron. I've gotten in the habit of cooking in an apron now, and if I forget to put one on, I tend wipe my hands on my clothing, out of habit. The design is cross-stitched onto the gingham. I keep thinking I'm going to trace this off and make a similar apron, but haven't got around to it.

I hadn't worn an apron to cook in since I was a kid, until about a year and a half ago, when I was having a birthday dinner party for myself. I was cooking, wearing an old tee-shirt to keep from splattering my good clothes, and planned to go change before the guests arrived. Well, the guests arrived early and I never got downstairs to change. I wore the grungy tee-shirt, and it wasn't a big deal, but I was the least dressed up at my own party. I thought, if I'd only had an apron (but I've never liked the ugly canvas barbecue aprons), then I stumbled across some vintage apron websites and an obsession was born.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Finishing Touches

I did in fact get the lining hemmed on my new dress. Here is a pic showing the lining hem and the one extra little "couture" thing I did on this dress. On the flounce, the directions merely called for sewing the flounce halves together the normal way and pressing the seam out flat. Having made a similar skirt and been driven to distraction by the seam allowances raveling and leaving little strings hanging down my legs all the time, I finished sewed the flounce halves together with a french seam instead. Much neater, no fravely edges to catch on things and hang down.

For comparison, here's a pic of the other skirt flounce. It is polyester charmeuse, which is horrible about raveling anyway, so much so that if I sew with it again, I'm going to do the whole garment in french seams.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Close Enough for Government Work

Okay, so the dress is technically not finished. But it is finished enough to take a picture of. I still have to turn the lining under and tack it down around the bottom, but that is it. Before I do that, however, I want to get out my Vogue sewing book and look it up to decide how to do it.

I finished the dreaded zipper and hem. I set the iron down on the middle joint of my pinkie while ironing the hem out, yay! The zipper didn't turn out perfectly, but it turned out better than some past zippers I have done. I just haven't perfected the technique, though I do a lot better on short zippers, like for skirts. The instructions that are in the pattern are better than the ones that are packaged with the zipper (except one vintage zipper I used had really good instructions, but of course I lost them). I looked at the instructions in the Vogue book, too, but didn't use them because the ones with the pattern seem better.

One nice thing about black is that stitching mistakes in black thread don't show up. That's also the bad thing, that it's hard to see the stitching, and makes it a pain to rip stitches out. That's one reason I didn't go for solid black for this dress.

I sewed on one of the new labels I got for my Etsy stuff. Isn't it cute? I was very pleased with how they turned out.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's Getting There!

The jumper is coming along nicely. I finally was able to sew up the side seams and it looks like a dress! I tried it on with various shirts underneath, and I think it will look even cuter than I had thought, which is always nice. I still have to insert the zipper and attach the flounce and hem it (Inserting long dress zippers is not my idea of fun, and often procrastinating on it will add weeks to the completion time of a dress, but I want to get this dress ready to wear when Brandon and I take a few days away to celebrate our 6 month anniversary, which was this Monday, so the "deadline" will hopefully help me to just push through and do it.) I also hate hemming, but the flounce is hemmed with a narrow hem, and it isn't a terribly long hem, so it won't be that bad.

I think I like the structure that the lining gives the dress, but I hate putting it in. The lining material is all staticy and ravels something awful, so little strings are sticking to everything and catching my scissors, but soon all those little ravely edges will be enclosed and I won't have to worry about them. Happy thoughts. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Department of Product Testing and Development

I like to play around with making new things. That's probably why my shop has such a wide range of things, and not as much focus as I'd like. Anyway, my latest little obsession came to me yesterday. I was thinking of making little drawstring bags (to use as holiday wrapping) and I took out my big bag o' ribbons, to see if I had any suitable for using as drawstring. Then I had the idea of making little envelopes out of some really wide pink ribbon. I thought "They'll make great jewelry pouches!" and I decided to whip up a group of 5 and list it on Etsy. Well, the little tiny snaps have to be hand-sewn, which when I charge for my time, makes the final cost of each (including shipping) $2. I posted a thread in the forums asking about it, and the general consensus seems to be that that is too expensive. So I laid awake last night thinking about it (that's what I do, lay awake thinking about ways to make new things. I come up with some good stuff that way. Well, and rehashing every embarrassing incident since second grade and coming up with witty rejoinders, but who doesn't?)

This is what I came up with: little felt bags. No fraying = less sewing, no snaps = less sewing, less sewing = lower price. They aren't as cute, IMHO, but they cost almost half as much.

The littlest one I can sell 5 for $4.25, plus $1 shipping (to the US), making the final cost of each $1.05. The biggest one I can sell 5 for $4.60, plus $1 shipping, making the final cost of each $1.12. For larger quantities the price is slightly lower. I don't know if they are too expensive still for most Etsy sellers, but it's a big drop.

I want opinions on my newest creations, so I'm having a drawing. The winner will get one small gray jewelry envelope (or I have pink felt, if you prefer). Leave me a comment here or on this thread on the message board, giving your opinion, suggestion, or why you would or wouldn't buy these, and I'll enter you in the drawing, which will take place tomorrow at noon (Oct. 18). Make sure that if you're on Etsy, you give your seller name in the comments, so that I can contact you if you win. If you're not on Etsy, make sure there is still some way I can contact you through your comment.

Thank you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Still in Progress...

One of my favorite parts about sewing clothing is that moment when you have sewn all the major seams and what you've been working on goes from a pile of unrecognizable fabric pieces into something that resembles the finished product, and you can start to see how it is going to look on you.

Unfortunately, I'm not there yet on this jumper. It looks all nice and neat laid out, but none of the side seams are sewn (due to some strange way they want you to construct the lining. I'm sure it will all work out, but I want it to look like a dress. And now!) so it's all loose and flappy and just a mess. I spent quite a while working on it yesterday (although a portion of that was spent ripping seams and cutting 2" off the hem, which I should just do before I even start, since I am a good bit shorter than any of the models that they use for these things) and was quite disappointed that all that work still didn't get me something I could try on. If I'd left out the lining, as I originally intended, I'd be a good bit closer to finished. But I'm sure once it's all over with, I'll appreciate the lining and be glad I took the time.

Some people sew for the process. I sew for the finished product, although the process can be enjoyable at times. Generally, though, the process is just something that gets in my way.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Advanced Mud Pies

Here I am, stylin' in my cowboy boots and baseball cap. This weekend my husband and I went home to Texline to help my parents stucco the house. My sister and her husband went as well, and even my brother made a brief appearance. See, years ago (probably four or five years ago) when I was away at college or something, they started to stucco the house, got the first coat of cement on. Then my dad got busy with other things and the house has been sitting there partially finished ever since.

Everything we've done on that house went slowly, since it's a weekend/vacation project. When I was in junior high we started work on it, dug the basement and moved an old house in, then knocked all the interior walls out and re-did the inside. We built a porch all the way around. By the time I was a senior in high school, we finally moved into it. When I was in school, I hated to work on that house. I've hung sheetrock and mudded the interior walls, helped with roofing and laying shingles, and painted more than I care to think about at the moment, along with whatever other odd jobs were going on.

Anyway, us kids figured it was about time to finish the outside, already. Even if no one outside the family sees it much (my parents live out in the country) it would just be nice to have it done. So we all set a date and got together, and it was hard work, ya'll. Of course, if any of us had had much experience stuccoing it would have helped. My sister Sam's husband Jonathan had done some in high school, because his dad and grandad did a lot of stuccoing, but he couldn't remember much about it. We did have a couple of phone consultations with his dad on how to do it all right.

In the end we didn't finish the house. Two days is kind of pushing it, especially considering that things were done in the traditional Crum way, you know, inadequate preparation and several last minute trips to the hardware store. Then we got rained out Sunday afternoon. We were down to the last wall, but I guess it will have to wait.

Stuccoing basically involves lots of splatting cement up on the wall and smoothing it out. Brandon said "You know, if I were two years old, I really would have enjoyed this." The cement really dries your hands out. Even though I wore gloves, my hands are peeling a little. My biceps are hurting. And my back. But not as badly as I expected, actually. Yesterday I was predicting that I would barely be able to get out of bed, and would hobble around like a little old lady all day.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Etsy Shop Feature: Nutmegs

Nutmegs is a new shop on Etsy, but has a very cohesive, elegant feel to it. I really like her Autumn Walk Cable Clutches, so I asked Megan about them first.

"My Autumn Walk Cable Clutches are new designs of an item that I created for myself during my first Fall season in New York - it marked the months when I first fell in love with the city for all its sights, sounds and aromas.
The clutches are each original designs, and have not been duplicated. This type of design requires some math and geometry (yikes!), pattern-making, a lot of sewing, some basic woodworking and staining, and of course quite a bit of complicated knitting. The unique shape and style of the clutch is created by making several fabric and knit pieces which are later worked together with knitting, crocheting and sewing. The cable designs are worked on each side of the clutch; a relatively thin yarn and small knitting needles are used in order to create a tightly woven knitted fabric - this means lots of stitches! These clutches require the most adept skill of all Nutmegs Fall 2007 items, and are certainly the most time consuming - clocking in at an estimated 20 hours! They are intended, however, to present as simple yet elegant, unique and striking. My personal favorite aspect of the clutches are the contrast between the earthy knitted outer pieces and the elaborately patterned fabric linings."

I think everyone has a unique story about how and why they started knitting. This is hers:

"I grew up and attended high school in Chicago. As suggested by jokes and rumors, winters in Chicago are quite cold! When I was a sophomore in high school, the heat in my school building was inexplicably shut down for a short period of time. During this time, due to the silly no-coats-in-the-building policy, scarves instantly became an indoor wardrobe staple. It made me look at scarves in a whole new light, and I began scouring the city for unique pieces with a lot of personality. I was never able to find a scarf that I really loved, and immediately decided that I needed to learn to knit. I found all of the interesting independent yarn shops in the neighborhood and taught myself how to create the perfect scarf from the pages of an assortment of library books. And that was the beginning..."

What kinds of art/craft do you do?

The Fall 2007 collection currently in my shop features an eclectic assortment of knitting, embroidery, sewing, crochet, jewelry, and handmade paper. ...I’m excited to offer an ever-changing selection, full of surprises, which always represents my process, and contains lots of heart because it evolves alongside my own passions.
I’ve created art for most of my life, and obtained a minor in studio art... Some of my other favorite media are ceramics and sculptural arts, mixed media collage, and various types of fiber art. I am currently teaching myself to spin yarn and make small rugs from my painted designs!

Which is your favorite?

My current fascination is all sorts of fun fabric creations. That said, as various forms of inspiration come and go, I tend to cling to new favorites every few months, and this new fabric kick is immediately following a year-long yarn and fiber obsession. I seem to be doing at least a little bit of everything at all times!

What things are important to you as you are making an item?

Many of my ideas come from my own quests for unique, beautiful, and high quality items, and all of these features are extremely important to me. I strive to create items that, though typically made from common materials, stand out as having entirely unique design or function. ...Each item I create embodies the vision and style that defines me as a person and as a designer. My ultimate wish for Nutmegs products is that, while eclectic, all of my items will contain this common stylistic element that ties them all together. I’d be thrilled if one day I heard someone say “Hey, that looks like a Nutmegs design!”

What are your influences or inspirations?

New York City is an amazing place to create any type of art because of the incredible diverse masses of people and places. Much of my inspiration comes from color that surrounds me - I am endlessly attracted to earth tones and particularly the rich tones found in nature and during cool Autumn months. I also find inspiration in my favorite environments...cobble stone streets on rainy days, rows of brownstones with lampposts and front stoops, crowded coffee shops with people playing scrabble, momentarily serene blocks in the middle of such a busy city...this type of imagery sticks to me, swims around in my head, and eventually comes trickling out into the little somethings that I create.

How has your life experience influenced your work?

Recently, my professional mission has been the most powerful influence on my Nutmegs products. Within the mental health field, I consistently advocate for and provide creative therapeutic interventions. I passionately believe that creative expression is essential for self-care and paramount in individuals’ process toward self-fulfillment. I have worked with art therapy quite a bit... Furthermore, my work allows me to be exposed to the most inspirational and unique parts of people’s selves, which provides me with an infinite supply of creative fuel. The work I do as Nutmegs is my refuge and my happiest mode for self-fulfillment.

How did you discover Etsy?

I discovered Etsy when I began planning my move from Manhattan to Brooklyn after finishing graduate school. Thoroughly excited about living in my new neighborhood, I began researching local art shows and craft fairs that I could pursue. Somewhere in the middle of this search, I stumbled upon Etsy and was completely inspired by what I saw. After years of contemplating starting a website, but never feeling completely up to the task, I was instantly taken in by the opportunity to become part of this incredible community of artists. I’m so excited to be at the beginning of what I hope will be a long-standing involvement in the Etsy community.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Waiting in the Wings

The fabric store in Clovis (the fancy expensive fabric store, not Hobby Lobby) is clearing out some fabric for $3 a yard. And I finally couldn't resist, and I bought these two pieces of fabric, one yard apiece.

I think I will make a little girl's dress out of the pink one, to sell on Etsy. The Christmas fabric I will use to make Christmas potholders. I have been experimenting with paper piecing, to make a baby quilt for my sister, who is expecting. The square with the teacup was my first square, not bad for a first, I think. It's not the pattern I am using for the baby quilt, but will make nice Christmas potholders.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


This necklace from 3SistersCrafts on Etsy is just beautiful. The starfish pendant is Hill Tribes silver, and when I asked her about it, Chelse told me "I contemplated hanging the piece on my wall as I think the charm is such a work of art. I was inspired by the Hill tribe Silver charm. I love Hill tribe silver, it is so original. I love the sea. I hope to one day live near it in Barcelona, Spain. I have always been a water worshiper . I live near lakes and spent many a summer day swimming in the lake at my grandparents home. No starfish there, but starfish are like the international sign for water in my eyes. " Check out her myspace page.

I like this necklace because I love starfish, and there are happy memories connected to them for me. I went to several beaches up in Maine and Massachusetts that were cold and rocky and not much fun, and never really understood why people like to go to the beach so much. Then I went to a beach in Ecuador. Warm, sandy, lots of shells and starfish. I so wanted to live on the beach.

Starfish fascinate me because when you pick them up and then put them down in the sand, you can't really see them move, but all those little hairs and nubs that cover them (if I remember my Life Science right, they're called cilia) are moving, and they just slowly bury themselves, sinking into the sand.

When Brandon and I went on our honeymoon we found some starfish, so I could show this phenomenon to him. We didn't get any pictures, though, since he dropped my camera in the ocean pretty soon after we got there. :) This is a picture I took at Canoa, a beach in Ecuador.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Work in Progress

These are some pics of my work in progress, a pattern I've had for awhile. The fabric I originally intended to use for it got lost, so I had sort of stalled out on it. But I've got some fabric now that I want to make up, and the cold weather is inspiring me. It's a grey and black houndstooth flannel, which doesn't seem to go with the pattern, but hear me out. I'm going to make it sleeveless to wear as a jumper, with long sleeves underneath, and with a black cable sweater I have. It will be quite cozy.

I wasn't going to line the thing, as I have never done a lined dress, although the pattern called for lining, until I saw the crazy blue and grey geometric print lining material, and had to have it. Good thing this was all two dollar a yard fabric from Wal-Mart. Not the highest quality, sure, but definitely in my price range. And I hate to make the first thing I make from a pattern in expensive fabric. Basically I do it in cheap fabric to have a wearable muslin.

Monday, October 8, 2007


I am the featured artist this week on Q Branch Ltd.'s website! Check it out at http://qbranchltd.blogspot.com .

Q Branch Ltd. has some really interesting stuff in their store. One of the items I've been looking at is called a lucet (see pic below). It's a wooden gizmo to make cords. Totally reminds me of my Renasaince Club days at the College of Santa Fe.
They've also got turned wooden needle cases that are nice, but I don't know that I'd really use one enough to justify buying it. Click on the lucet to visit their store.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Quote

Looking through all these old patterns and seeing how clothing styles have changed over the years (and sometimes changed again to be in style once or twice more) I'm reminded of this quote:

"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months"
---Oscar Wilde

Hats Off!

When I first saw this pattern, I cracked up. The pink one looks like something a nun would wear. The striped one looks like something a Bond girl would wear while skiing down the mountainside with Russian spies in hot pursuit. And the others, I just don't know, I can't imagine anyone wearing them who was not from somewhere in the Middle East (yes, forgive me if I have inadvertently offended anyone from the Middle East, or anyone who likes these hats).

But I listed it in my Etsy shop anyway, and it sold that night. Which goes to show, there's no accounting for taste. Someone liked it, evidently.

The thought did occur to me that someone undergoing chemotherapy might use this pattern for cover-ups or something.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I used to work in a bank. I do not miss working in the bank(except I got to see nearly everyone in town), but I kind of miss dressing up for work in neat little jackets. I have four or five now and I never wear them. Actually, I wore a lot of other things to work, too, but I felt most pulled together and professional in a jacket. Although, to be honest, when I first started I hated the whole dressing up for work part. I had just come from a two year stint in the Peace Corps in Ecuador followed by two months of goat herding, and dress code was non-existent, so I wore jeans literally every day, or corduroy pants, and whatever sloppy tee shirt or sweater I felt like. When I first started at the bank (and the bank I worked in was small, and the dress code was pretty relaxed), I felt like a cat in a dress.

But this is such an elegant little suit, so minimalist and chic. Very Jackie O, I think. If I had much call for this sort of outfit (and it was my size, which it isn't, but it's very close) I would make it up in a heartbeat. With several different coordinating shells. I like the idea of all the SWAPs that I see being done online (Sewing With A Plan) but I just don't need that many new clothes.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Space Case

I love this 70's pattern with its futuristic, Star Trek feel. It's especially strong, of course, in the purple and the silver views.

I kind of wish it was my size. I used to have this fabric from Hancock's (which inexplicably disappeared, along with the rest of my stash, during the move to my new home), which would have been PERFECT for this dress. I intended to make it into a dress, too.

Funny how all of those old shows with clothing like this don't look "futuristic" or even contemporary to us; they just look like dated clothes from the 70s. Now that's what you call irony.

We Interrupt this Blog for an Announcement

Everything in my Etsy shop (including all the vintage patterns) is 15% off until midnight (CST) tonight. Just check out and then don't pay immediately by Paypal, wait for me to send a revised invoice reflecting the discount.

Thank you. You may now return to your regularly scheduled blogging.