Last-Minute Holiday Sewing

I'm not. Doing any last-minute sewing, I mean. (Especially not for my sister Kate, if she's reading this.) But if I did have to make a holiday dress (for myself) at the last minute, I would want a pattern like this one, from Vintage Martini. It looks SO EASY; and if you made it up in a nice bright cotton velvet with a little lace or satin bit at the front, it would be just perfect. Right? And those little bag pockets look just like presents, anyway.

Of course, the minute I put on a velvet and/or satin dress I immediately am handed 1) an unwrapped, briefly sucked-on piece of hard candy; 2) a cup of hot cocoa, upon the acceptance of which I am bumped into by either a wildly gesturing adult or a screaming and running small child; 3) a drippy canapé involving either grease or capers or both; 4) someone else's wet coat. It never fails. Which is why I have a lot of velvet and/or satin fabric which, Schroedinger's-cat-like, is neither dead nor alive as long as I don't sew it up.

Although I want to say that this should finally be the year I make myself a green velvet skirt. I could be drafted as a last-minute elf fill-in, right? And if I make it with pockets I can always chip the stuck-on hard candy out of them later.

Do you have a holiday dress? Where are you going to wear it?

Drabble #15

She almost bought me. She grabbed me right away, a woman intent on wearing the wrong dress. I made her pleasant pear shape an outright gourd. My blue-green yellowed her olive skin. That witch of shop assistant said “You’re stunning!” Which was technically true, but not in the way she meant. Thank goodness for her husband. He took one look at me on her and laughed. “Celia, no,” he said. “Where’s a red one? Find a red one. You’re gorgeous in red.” He kissed her, and the assistant went scurrying. She took home a plunging red number. I’m still here.

Drabble #14

Everything about her is crisp. There’s me, the crisp white uniform, and her crisp white cap (both heavily starched). Crisp instructions, with crisp sharp consonants. Crisp movements, nothing wasted. A crisp nod to the doctor on his rounds. If you hugged her, she’d crackle like a piece of cellophane wrapping. At least, that’s what I always thought. But then that boy, just back from Korea, grabbed her hand and squeezed it. Grabbed it with his only hand, the one missing three fingers. She finished changing his dressings (gently, not crisply at all) and ran to the closet, where she cried.

Beyond the Glass Slipper

… is the glass dress. Thanks to for the link!

This is called "Evening Dress with Shawl", and is by the artist Karen LaMonte, and is at the Corning Museum of Glass (click image above to virtually visit) which has this to say about her:

Her subject is the dress, which is always life-size, whether it is for an infant, a young girl, or a woman. She explores a variety of styles of clothing in her work, from stiff and frilly Victorian dresses to idealized classical drapery. Her fashion choices reflect changing notions of beauty, how women view themselves, and how they have been viewed by others.

More images of LaMonte's work are .

The conceit of making transparent glass sculptures of garments that are supposed to be opaque really appeals to me … the dresses are gorgeous and the molding process she uses, combined with the glass, serves to make the absent bodies that wore them somehow more present (if that makes any sense).

Drabble #13

Last night was terrible. Instead of reclining languidly on a chaise, cigarette (in holder) in one hand, scotch-rocks on the other, she was hopping up all night. She got people drinks. She took coats. She even hugged people. I am not a dress for hugging—it breaks the beads. I used to belong to her sister, who had people she paid to do that kind of thing. Catch her mixing her own drinks! I suppose it’s my fault, for going out of style … I thought I was a classic, until I wasn’t anymore. So now there’s hugging. And cheese logs.

Stumped for a gift?

Usually by Dec. 20 there's at least one person (Hi, Dad!) whose Xmas present has me completely stumped, and often there's more than one such unfortunate recipient on my list. These are usually the folks of whom one could say that the last thing they need is MORE STUFF … but by Dec. 20 I'm already in panic mode, and I forget that.

Not any more … there's this great new site, — it's one-stop charitable gift-giving for everyone on your list. They have not only my beloved sheep, but all sorts of other non-things. Environmental causes. Help for the disabled. Women's issues (which are really human issues, but never mind … ) This image here is shown to illustrate that $50 will educate 100 girls in the Congo. One hundred girls!

They include all the usual suspects charities, so it's extremely convenient — one cart, one payment, one site. And you can create a registry or a wishlist, too, if you want to be on the receiving end of some girl-educatin' giftiness.

So if it's reaching critical decision time on your holiday shopping list, go try it out … it can't be worse than this gift (from the site's Stupid Gifts list) — the inflatable dog hat. (This dog must have been sedated; I've never met a dog who wouldn't have had this half-eaten by the time it took you to click the shutter on the camera!)

Drabble #12

You know, at first I was happy about being worn so often. I was proud. I was barely dry from being washed before she had me under the iron again, and then off we went. Everywhere. The grocery store, coffee with the girls, a Saturday afternoon movies with him … it was fun, for a while, but then it got exhausting. Go, go, go, with my pockets full. A lipstick, some mints, a golf pencil and the daily list. A bobby pin. A washer to replace. So what else could I do? I developed a hole. I needed the rest!

note: dress in picture does not actually have any holes.