30 December 2008


Want. Want. Want.

Firstly, I would like to note how very similar it is to a pink dress given to me by one Ms. Julianna Rose Dow, that to this day is one of my favorite items of clothinks.

However, I am more obsessed with it because of its similarity to the dress worn by Deborah Kerr (swoon!) here:

Yes, there are dissimilarities, but mostly on the plus side, don't you think? The sleeves are definitely better on this pattern, and the tiny jacket that isn't a bolero is kind of all sorts of awesome, don't you think? Unfortunately, the Etsy seller currently holding this beautiful Kimono-sleeved delight hostage has it in B36. (And, yes, I know that I could just resize it. But seriously, if I buy it intending to do that I will just sit around not doing it for years and the whole thing will go to waste. I'll only be depriving some bustier lady the joy of using it)

A more accurate version of the Kerr dress is this one:

Which I have been keeping an eye on for a while, because it is my size, and then it dropped in price and I almost bought it, except that it is a pre-cut perforated pattern and I don't know if I could handle the technical aspects of it in a perforated pattern.

Sigh. I guess my dreams of singing in French to Gramma Janou are all for naught. At least for now.

29 December 2008

I can't even imagine what to say about the above. Blue Dress is deranged, clearly, so maybe the rest are just phantoms of her imagination? If she weren't in the picture, I would say that Grinning Man is about to approach White Pantsuit, and that Green Dress is her future self, running from a time warp located at the other end of the bridge to warn her what an awful mistake it will be to give him the time of day. Blue Dress kind of puts a wrench in that scenario, right? I mean, from the neck down she's an all-American tourist, but from the neck up she's a mummified corpse.

What city do you think they are in? I'm inclined to say Paris. Maybe because I think Paris is the only city in which a girl can wear a white pantsuit and get away with it.

This picture is a few days old, and there is no longer snow here, but I like this picture, even though I look kind of ridiculous and even though you can't see the turkeys in the back yard. I feel like I've betrayed all my snow-deprived Southern compatriots because I didn't fully utilize my snow access--you know, building snowmen, making snow angels, having a snowball fight, finding a large and dangerous hill to slide down on some sort of make-shift sled and thereby injuring myself gravely. This photo is pretty much all I have to show for myself.

On a note more suited to my climactic tastes, I hear it's going to be in the 70s in Alabama next week. I'll skip right over my guilt at global warming and right into my glee that I can perhaps wear the cardigan that Lady gave me for Christmas.

26 December 2008

Insomnia Post

I can't sleep, so I decided now is as good a time as any for x-mas updating (with pictures, of course) (Side note about me and websites and blogs: despite better intentions, I have about a 3rd grade level taste for webpages, in that I tend to go for ones with lots and lots of shiny pictures, regardless of content. You have been forewarned.)

I may be making this up, but as far as I can tell or remember, this is the first time that I have ever missed Christmas with my dad's family. Instead, I had a lovely Christmas with Lady and her parents--a double blessing as it allowed me to make up for my Thanksgiving illness by making some pies:

I just got my hair cut, which is why it is so shiny and not like a limp mop of gross in this picture. This is not one of my aprons--but isn't it a nice one? So sunny and yellow.

I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie

This is the pecan. Remember: the best pecan pie is made with Golden Eagle Syrup . The reason it's all extra-brown is that I was telling a story when I poured the filling into the crust, and the filling sort of overflowed on one side. So it isn't burnt, it's just a bit of sugary browning on one side. Also, I added some walnuts, because I didn't think I had enough pecans.

sweetest potato

Here's the Sweet Potato. I also made an Apple and a Pound Cake, but I didn't get pictures of either (which is a shame, because the lattice on the Apple was the best looking thing I did all night).


Lady and Pie

That's all for now.

For those of you trying to track my whereabouts, I'll be back in Birmingham on the 31st--just for a few days to see my mama and Shiloh on their birthdays, play with kittens, and dig through some boxes. After that, it's back to Phila, where I'll be looking for a job like nobody's business and re-wiring the new sewing machine.

I already have my plane-read (well, re-read) lined up: Sexing the Cherry, Jeanette Winterson.

Night, y'all.

25 December 2008


I think I might have suffered an aneurysm. Reason? After a lifetime of being totally opposed to mod shoes (the squarish toes, the squatty old-lady heels, the overall feeling of frump that they effect), I have suddenly started sort of liking them.

It all started with entering the search term "vintage buckle" into Etsy. Among other things, it produced this:


so blue

There's something about them, isn't there? Yes, they're a bit costume-y, and the pearlized blue is potentially cloying. But look at that blooming grosgrain ribbon! And what's wrong with costume-y anyway?

silver space shoes

The more I look, the more I find pairs with which I am in love. Bright colors, giant buckles--I could have a pair to match every dress I own (and, honestly, who doesn't love a matched dress-shoe combo?). These, for example, would match both a dress I am in the process of making and my glasses:

matchy shoes

If I owned these, however, I would definitely (a la Dorothy in the Emerald City) "dye my eyes to match my gown":


So skewed has my brain become that I even liked the color combination displayed below, even though it was clearly stolen from the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile :

my bologna has a first name

Luckily for my bank account and my soul, perhaps, none of these were in my size. Did I dodge a bullet, or is this a page full of awesome? I can no longer tell!

I have pictures from Christmas, which I will probably upload later on, but I needed to get the guilty secret shoe obsession off my chest first.

Also, it's been requested that I write an obit here on Eartha Kitt, for which I must gather some materials.

23 December 2008

zombies, terminators, sexy secretaries of your dreams

Currently in CT with Lady --she is writing a paper and I am fiddling around on the interwob. There are probably about 15 things I could be doing (unpacking. emailing you back. working on my novel).

Instead, I've been debating about whether or not to write a new entry for this blog, which is very new and therefore shiny and fun to update. The debate goes like this: "Sure, this is shiny and new and therefore fun to update, but if I update three times a day now, then it'll only be more sad when it's old and dull and I never update except to say, 'gee, sorry interwob for not updating more often.'" It's sort of like when you are dating someone new, and they seem so fancy and awesome you want to spend every second with them, but are afraid to seem too desperate for attention. You know?

Then I came across this:


For serious, I want to be the woman in the glasses on the left. And I don't mean that I want to wear that outfit, 'cause I'm fully aware it would look stupid on me, I mean I want to be that woman for a day. Or maybe a week. You know she must have a cool job--something really specific and random that involves Dossiers and Number Two Pencils. She lives in a Modest Flat. She has a cat named Grover Cleveland. She might in fact be a spy--or, judging from the completely inhuman and incomprehensible location of her right leg, perhaps a Terminator From the Future(s). She appears to have tied Annie Hall there up with a thin leather thong (wrapped around her waist and then tying her wrists?). Will Annie Hall survive? Are her glasses some sort of hi-tech device? Are those polka dots inside polka dots? And stripes inside stripes?

And speaking of Zombies who want to eat your soul:


What is even happening here? Although (no lie) I kind of like those shorts. And that headband. No go on the matching striped shirts of doom, though.

I heart smocks

As for this one--I don't even know. Roving artists/vampires/furies? I mean, clearly the "2-hour sampler" is warning you that if you cross these ladies, then your soul will become their appetizer platter du jour. Maybe the smocks are for easy clean-up after Red skewers your eyeballs with her threatening pointer finger.

That's all the pattern snark I can muster for the moment. More soon--perhaps about Christmas and its glories. Hopefully all of it at least a bit more substantive.

Happy Holidays!

22 December 2008

I've got the Red Blues

Recent trends in movies I've been watching: Communism, Russia, Dancing, Singing.

The films: Shall We Dance? (1937), Cradle Will Rock (1999), and Silk Stockings (1957). Two of these films are set in the 1930s, two star Fred Astaire, all feature bad foreign accents perpetrated by actors who should know better (Susan Sarandon, I'm looking at you).

I'm not going to get into Shall We Dance or Cradle Will Rock, because mostly I want to talk about Cyd Charisse, but I feel obligated to share the following information:

* Cradle Will Rock is a legitimately good film. Go see it.
* Shall We Dance is only arguably a good film, although it does contain some excellent dance sequences.
* However, it does include a plot line involving a creepy full-sized doll version of Ginger Rogers, and a woman who speaks with this accent.
* Additionally, you know that cliche line about Ginger Rogers and how she does everything Fred does but backwards and in heels? I hate that line. Firstly, because Ginger was a HUAC supporter. Secondly, because people who say that have never seen a Fred and Ginger joint--if they had, they'd know that in the burst-off-the-screen-awesome numbers, Fred and Ginger dance side by side and in unison, not partner. That said, the line should be revised for the scene in this film where Ginger does everything Fred does backwards, in heels, with rollerskates strapped over her heels.

Anyway, Cyd Charisse.

She died this summer, and that's extremely sad. If you have never seen Silk Stockings you should go and rent it tonight and watch it. Some of it will make you tear your hair out (the repetition of the line "The urge to merge with the splurge" might, or perhaps the excellently problematic "a woman to a man is just a woman/but a man to a woman is her life."), but other parts are fantastic. Peter Lorre dancing with a chair? Check. Cole Porter soundtrack of insanity? Check. Janis Paige? Check, check, and check.

In terms of politics, this movie is kind of a train wreck--it gets pretty much everything wrong. But then, then there is this:

and this:

and this:

R.I.P. Cyd, you are more awesome than possible.

21 December 2008


A few weeks ago, just after moving here to the City of Fraternal Affection (as Lady calls it), I bought a sewing machine used off of Etsy. She needs a little work, so I haven't been sewing much yet, but have spent a lot of time (almost obsessively... well, let's be honest, actually obsessively) reading dress making blogs and looking at patterns online. I've bought a few, ranging from the simple to the complex, and I've pretty much convinced myself to hold off on buying anymore for at least the next month, but regardless I can't stop looking. It's so. very. addictive.

Why? Partly it is because vintage patterns are beautiful--pretty lines, lovely colors, amazing hats--but mostly it is because they are hilarious. For instance, what is going on in this pattern:

Why is Blue Lady so angry with Orange Lady? Maybe because she has a better blouse than Blue? And I love that Orange is all, "I ain't even care." Meanwhile, Green Lady is having her own personal conversation with no one, and she clearly thinks she's being incredibly witty (we know better--those greens are not even complimentary. She looks like The Jolly Green Giants hot but vegetable obsessed wife).

It's like a soap opera!

Then there are the 60s and 70s patterns where they have included a Real Life Fashion Model to show you how easy it is to look like a space alien/cylon/terminator/Stepford wife:

If this lady isn't backlit by a landing mothership, then I don't know space aliens. Also: what is in Pink Lady's left hand?!?!?!

And just so you are assured that this isn't a fluke, check out Simplicity 7903:

She is clearly thinking, "I killed your brocade couch to make my infiltrator dress. Show me to your leaders and your Laughing Cow miniature cheese wheels or I will kill you with my perfectly coiffed hair."

This one, however, is my absolute favorite evar:

Maybe it's a holdover from my pre-teen obsession with A Separate Peace, but I have definitely developed something of a taste for clothes that look like they are prep school uniforms. Additionally, doesn't this look like the cast of a really awesome tv show about snotty rich girls? The brunette girl in the tan jacket is clearly the show's protagonist. Unlike her cohort here, she's on--gasp!--a scholarship to Snooty-Snooterville School (hence her angsty expression and no-nonsense tie). The girl to her left is her one and only friend, the down-to-earth and perfectly preppy BFF, kicked out of the it-crowd for being smart (she wants to eschew social life and deb balls for something like math or marine biology). Plaid Shorts Ensemble Girl with the Pink Bow is the Queen Bee Bitch. You can tell from the Bow. And the Hideous Shorts. Because all Bitchy evil princesses have bad shorts and giant hair bows. White Beret is the Quirky One. She likes fashion (obvy, she has a beret on) and is the nicest of the Plastics here. Sometimes she shows up in ridiculous outfits and she is inexplicably biffles with Pink Bow--probably due to some childhood kindness that will be revealed via flashback near the end of season one. The two on the end are also Plastics, but the ones with no actual interiority. Houndstooth Skirt looks like she might be The Sporty One--she's the physical enforcer of Pink Bow's evil plots, but secretly she just wants a boy to think she's pretty. And the one on the end? She's the class-prez, a grade-grubbing good girl who is obsessed with being the perfect student. Everything she owns is monogrammed.

Ok, so maybe I just convinced myself I need to make that show happen. Wouldn't it be amazing. I have a feeling I'd find Tan Cardigan really obnoxious, but I'd be really in love with her BFF there on the far right.

What do y'all think?

20 December 2008

New Space, New City

Reading the Lady's blog post today reminded me that I had been meaning to do that myself--not just write a blog, but move to a new space on the interwob. New space, new city.

More soon, but for now a simple hello.