Friday, September 25, 2009

Where is Michael Kors?

And don't you think he and Nina would have voted for Epperson's gorgeous cowgirl fantasy instead of that floaty white princessy fluff?
And don't even talk to me about those awful judges! My daughter and I talked back to them the whole time. They gave a pass to that silly vampire bride monstrosity, for example. I miss Michael and Nina. They wouldn't be swayed by any silly Victorian vampire bride nonsense.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sewing with Knits Tutorials

Here are some interesting tutorials posted by sewing teacher and designer Marcy Tilton with some creative ideas on sewing with knits.
I am going to try the mesh idea this weekend. I especially like the idea of using the fold as the hem - brilliant!
Also don't miss her tshirt gallery for creative tshirt ideas.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Not Interested

I saw so many copycat gowns at the Emmy Awards, I decided that the Global Fashion Cabal had infiltrated the League of Hollywood Stylists and enforced their version of a Style irade: "Wear a strapless or one-shoulder gown", their ransom note read, "Or we kill this miniature poodle!"
And after a long and puzzled look at contemporary fashion, I have come to the following conclusion: Fashion is no longer interested in dressing regular people.
For example, does Fashion really think the average working woman will go to office meetings with painted on tattoos and see through skirts? See-through blouses? Tedious floral prints? (Oscar de la Renta, how could you?) Of course the Fashion Apologists (they have also been infiltrated by the Global Fashion Cabal, don't listen to them) say, "Oh those designs are for the runway only! They look totally different when they get to the stores!" To which I reply, after hearing this reply for 30 years, "Bah Humbug", or as the kid said, "I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it!"
The Global Fashion Cabal has made it abundantly clear that they are not even remotely interested in dressing women over 18. Even though we all know that women 12-30 can only afford to shop at H&M unless their daddy is Tommy Hilfiger.
Of course we read in the NY Times and elsewhere that women and their pocketbooks (last year's pocketbook, could not afford a new one this year) are staying away from stores in droves. It is like a big game of Chicken: the Fashion Cabalistas get more and more outrageous, and the buying public buys less and less. We all know who is going to win this game- except the Fashion Cabalistas are still in the Denial Stage of the BreakUp.(I know she still loves me! She's just busy, that's all. She didn't get my message!) Most women have enough clothes in their closets to last them until the Rapture, and as long as it is culturally acceptable to wear last year's fashions, and there are no cool new things to buy, they will continue to stay out of the stores. The Global Fashion Cabal thought that their little "Fashion's Night Out" event would tempt. Yawn. Or as Miranda Priestly might say, "Bore someone else with your fashions."

Sunday, September 20, 2009


When I was at the Doctor last week for a check up, she said something that really bothered me. I should clarify here that I LOVE my Doctor. She saved my life. (After a year and a half of going to other doctors and useless tests and still being sick, I paid one visit to my gynecologist and she knew what was wrong with me, and sent me to the neurologist for treatment. Problem solved. Lesson learned - don't skip your gynecologist appointments - ever!)
But I digress. she was telling me about these cool key lanyards that some other doctor friends had, and I commented that making a lanyard for her keys would be easy! Matter of minutes! Piece of cake! And she said, "oh you're one of those crafty people!"
Crafty? Me? This from a woman who took a sledgehammer to a closet to do a little room remodel?
I don't know why I was miffed but I was. I guess the term "crafty" bothers me. I've made my share of quilts and decorations along with clothes and home dec. Maybe I shouldn't have been offended. Maybe we need to take back the term craft and
make it mean something special again. Like the old term craftperson. (I am NOT making little trees with gumdrops - ever. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)
Has anyone ever said something about your sewing that bothered you? Would it bother you if someone called you "crafty"?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Modellina Extra

Lucky for me, my daughter speaks fluent Italian. When she was in college she had to take a foreign language, and she took Italian; it seemed like more fun than French or Spanish and the classes were small. When she graduated her University offered a chance to study in Italy at the Universita per Stranieri. We thought this was a great idea and offered to pay for a couple months of school there, thinking that she might learn better Italian, and also learn something about the country. It turned out to be a life-changing experience - for all of us. She spent a month taking classes at the Universita, then for the second month she traveled around Italy by train, staying in hostels, meeting people and seeing the sights. There is no better way to practice Italian. While she was there, she met the Italian gentleman who is now her boyfriend. Now she visits Italy a couple times a year, and she always brings me European sewing magazines. This last visit she found Modellina Extra, which is their special issue for plus sizes.
Here is their size chart - click to make it larger. It is a magazine similar to Burda in that the patterns are stapled in the center and look like road maps.

I noticed that the longer jacket is featured in several of the recent European magazines; I saw similar in Burda, and also in the European lines from summer. This is a very slimming look if you have somewhere to wear such an elegant coat. Italian ladies probably wear it while shopping. I never saw such elegant people as the Italians. They would be cruising by on their little scooters, wearing Prada and looking impeccable. (They must have a gene I don't have.)
They offer several sleeve options (this is a late summer issue), recognizing that ladies of a certain age might not want bare arms for all occasions.

I've never sewn from Modellina, so I'll have to compare with the Burda sizes and see where I fit in. What I'll do is pick a size that seems closest to mine, trace a pattern and lay the pieces on top of a pattern I know that fits and compare them. Then of course, a muslin and we'll see what happens.
It's fun to sew something that's different from the usual Vogue or Simplicity. The European patterns have interesting details and a different sensibility. I feel more chic just reading them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Exhibit A - the 50's sleeves

My dad was kind enough to send a picture of my mom in her glorious dress. Doesn't she look beautiful? Please note the sleeves: cute, tasteful, totally appropriate for church and reception.
Also I love the hoop skirt.When I was a child I always wondered how the skirts poofed out like that. "a special petticoat", my mom would say. Oh, how I wanted one! But the dresses of the 70's were pretty much hoop free. Sigh - the 50's gals had all the fun. And no one would ever have suggested that they wear strapless or sleeveless dresses in the fall or winter. There were Rules back then. In some ways I kind of miss them. Without rules, the saying goes, we have chaos.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Lost Sleeves

My daughter has been to a few weddings lately and when she shows me her pictures (after the third wedding) I suddenly notice a disturbing trend: all of the dresses are strapless! What happened to sleeves? I'm a child of the 70's, don't get me wrong, I'm all for freedom of choice in what a bride wears. But I feel that sleeveless wedding dresses are inappropriate in church. Yes, it's true, I have turned into my MOTHER. Her dress, if I could find a picture of it (Dad, do you have one?) was very full and poufy and had cute little 1950's cap sleeves.
My dress had sleeves. But even a cursory look at the New York Times wedding pages shows the same sad story: the majority of the brides are wearing the bustier dress. It's as if a law was passed a few years ago and said all brides must now look as if they were attending the Oscars afterwards.
Then Tuesday morning the nice people at Nordstrom sent me an email and advised that they had new fall and winter party dresses in stock. So I looked, and 95% of the dresses were strapless or sleeveless! For Winter! I have nothing against sundresses. But strapless and sleeveless dresses for winter just seem wrong.
It was then that I realized that it was a Global Fashion Cabal at work. For some reason eliminating sleeves is part of their World Domination Conspiracy.
Join the Revolution! We have the right to Not Bare Arms!