May 31, 2012
Readers, here's a quote from Tim Gunn from his recent book, Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style:
Look at any photo taken at a nightclub in the forties and fifties; many a flabby upper arm can be seen going to town on the dance floor, no doubt its owner feeling just fine about her appearance. Today we gasp because we are constantly told that unless a body part is toned it should be kept, like the crazed wife of Mr. Rochester, locked away to keep from offending the new governess."
Labels: clothing and culture
May 29, 2012
Men have them, women have them. I speak of the highly contentious concept of "figure flaws."
Or do we?
How, exactly, can a figure be flawed? We're not talking factory seconds here, we're talking about bodies, our own bodies, and every one is different; we come in all shapes and sizes.
May 26, 2012
Readers, it's hard to imagine today, but there was a time when putting a lobster on a dress was seen as pretty out there.
You've probably heard about Schiaparelli's famous dress (pictured up top), and perhaps know that there's a big show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York comparing Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, which I haven't seen yet. Today, you could wear an actual lobster and I don't think it would raise too many eyebrows, but such is the world we live in.
May 24, 2012
Readers, do you trust your own taste? I mean, if you don't like something that's popular, do you wonder if you're just too small-town and unsophisticated to get it, or like the boy in The Emperor's New Clothes, are you able to confidently call it like you see it?
May 23, 2012
Friends, my apologies for my absence for the last day or two but I've been out of town due to a serious illness in Michael's family. Happily I returned home to find my $12 vintage 1955 swimsuit pattern sitting in my mailbox.
May 21, 2012
May 19, 2012
Readers, you know how I am: once I get an idea in my head I can't let it go. My new obsession is the swimsuit pattern above, McCall's 3165, which I bought yesterday on Etsy for $12 (mine comes in a slightly more beaten up envelope) -- quite cheap for this type of thing.
May 17, 2012
So today's New York Times has an article about the popularity of the vintage pinup aesthetic, "A Sly Wink to Pinups of the Past" by Ruth La Ferla. Do take a look.
I know most of you are going to be, like, So what else is new? But it's always interesting to see how the mainstream press covers trends, especially a trend that, in sewing-blog land at least, has been around a long time, and probably longer elsewhere.
Labels: clothing and culture
May 16, 2012
|Cecil Beaton, "Unseen Vogue"|
Readers, today I want to talk color.
If there were one sewing-related skill I wish I could master overnight, it would be my color sense. I think mine is OK, sometimes even good. But occasionally I see someone walking down the street in an outfit that knocks my socks off, not because of the clothes themselves but because of the wearer's use of color, and I wonder how they do it.
May 15, 2012
Friends, to say I have taken to Pinterest like a duck takes to water would be inaccurate, since a duck doesn't actually live in the water, whereas I am having a hard time prying myself away from my new favorite website without gasping for air.
Labels: sewing basics
May 14, 2012
Readers, today my rusty, crusty Elna Lotus goes back to British Columbia -- good-bye and good riddance, as they say.
While that eBay purchase was a bust, another recent transaction was a success. By now most of you are probably familiar with the vintage comic-book style instructional pamphlet "Home Sewing is Easy" by a certain Sally Stitch. Images of it are all over the web, and I nearly fell off my zafu cushion when I saw this creation of Sarah's over the weekend.
May 12, 2012
Friends, when it comes to buying vintage sewing machines, I am not what you would call a novice. In fact, I have even written a series of articles for Vogue Patterns Magazine specifically about purchasing used sewing machines on sites like eBay and Craigslist -- what questions to ask, what to beware of, and so forth.
May 11, 2012
May 10, 2012
Readers, have you ever thought about sewing a man's coat in a small size? If so, I have good news for me and bad news you. Last Tuesday I scored this fabulous men's coat pattern -- Vogue 9308 (above) -- in a size 36 on eBay for, like, $6 USD. Sorry!
May 9, 2012
So much to cover today, readers, so let's get to it.
Yesterday I quickly stitched up a muslin of my Style 3263 slip pattern, which you'll recall most closely resembles the original dress my SIL Prachee requested way back when.
May 8, 2012
May 7, 2012
Friends, there are two kinds of people: those who prefer to buy new and those who prefer to buy old.
I was in suburban New Jersey this weekend at Michael's parents, and let me tell you -- as if you didn't already know -- the suburbs are full of people who prefer new. New cars, new houses, new appliances, new stores -- new, new, new.
May 5, 2012
Dear hearts and gentle people, occasionally I do something so stupid that, rather than hide it behind a facade of perfection, I put it out there for all the world to see, as a cautionary tale for others.
Or perhaps you already knew not to throw three yards of inky raw silk into the same washing machine as your white towels?
May 4, 2012
Readers, I am truly enjoying juggling multiple projects at once; it keeps things interesting. I hope it's not confusing for you. I'm not sewing different projects on the same day, of course, though I certainly have enough sewing machines to do that. (Silk pajamas at Sewing Station 4...)
May 3, 2012
OK, so the SIL dress project (SIL stands for sister-in-law, for those not accustomed to acronyms) is underway, right on schedule. And friends, I have the most awful confession to make, which may be difficult for those of you who have vowed never to sew for others due to feelings of exploitation and abuse at the hands of friends and family: I like it. I mean, it's fun!
May 2, 2012
Readers, today I challenge you to dig a little deeper than usual. In fact, you might want to lie down on your couch, close your eyes, and free associate. I want to know how you feel about matchy-matchy dressing.
May 1, 2012
Sewing machines are a lot like cars. How we feel about them is entirely subjective. Regardless of the official product description or what online reviewers may say, if we like it, we like it and if we don't, we don't.