Today's Pattern Story (and Sale): Simplicity 7804

Floral: Look. Look into my midriff mandala. Lose your "self" and become one with creation.

Yellow: I represent the Sun, and thus life itself.

Green: I represent all other living things, given life by the Sun. Or, possibly, avocados. It's hard to tell. I mean, my midriff triangle could represent the avocado seed, right?

Floral: Focus, ladies!

—and everything else at —is 50% off (today only! Coupon code GL400YAY50 will get you 50% off everything in the store, from 1 a.m CST Friday to 1 a.m. CST Saturday. ) 

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By The Numbers

I love this (admittedly blinding) vintage cotton numbers fabric from Etsy seller , but there's only a yard of it. What to do?

There is no excuse to ever be bored, by the way, if you have internet access and can type "novelty fabric" into Etsy's search window. You are sure to find stuff like this:

and this: 

My favorite thing about Etsy is that it seems to run to quilting-lengths, which I'm hardly ever tempted to buy (my fabric-buying philosophy being "go big or go home"). So it's pure window-shopping. Even when confronted with . 

Dresses in Literature: Imprudent Purchases Edition

When did the "imprudent vain purchases" trope stop being so prevalent in stories intended for girls? I seem to recall quite a lot of it in Alcott (Eight Cousins, Little Women) but I don't think I've seen it in modern YA books. Is it the credit culture? Too many vampires? People having actual sex? Or have I only been reading –? Not too many descriptions like this in those books:

Now Grandmama is a very prim old lady, sweet and neat, and dainty as can be, but still rather precise and severely plain in everything; and this frivolous, fussy little costume, with its low-cut neck, trimmed with many rows of dainty lace, and little more than a few flounces of lace to serve as sleeves — no, nothing about the little dress seemed at all like the Grandmama we know.

Anyway, this image comes from a story called in an issue of St. Nicholas. 

Can I Throw A Party At Your Place?

So, if you haven't noticed, the US edition of is coming out February 10. 

I thought it would be fun to have a vintage-themed dressup party for the launch that day (it's a Thursday night), but I need what they call a "venue"! Does anyone know a friendly Bay Area [CA] vintage-store owner who would like to help me out?

The idea would be that I'd show up with copies of the book, invite folks to come in their vintage finery, match-make vintage from the store for customers (as Dora does in the book)  and make up mini-Secret Lives for things on the spot. 

If you have just the right place, please email me and let me know — I'd love to get this set up sooner rather than later as things are getting really busy, all of a sudden! (Aren't things supposed to be SLOW in January? So far, that's Not Happening.)

 

Just in time for Holiday 2011

I didn't realize had a website until last week — I was doing a little belated Santa-ing and there it was. And it's a nice site, too. 

I know you're probably sick of holiday dresses at this point, and are planning to spend the next 30 days in , but — hey, fully-lined silk taffeta (in sizes 4-18!) for $113.99? That's hard to beat. With the unusual square neck and cap sleeves, it's not another super-bare LBD, that's for sure — but still nicely festive. And think how smug you'll feel next Thanksgiving knowing you have a lovely holiday dress already in your closet?

And — thanks to you all, we hit the $1200 fundraising target! (Not by Dec 25, but hey, folks were busy.) New "secret lives" story imminent — and I'll keep the "writing prompts" poll open until I actually start writing. 

Still time to vote — the story will include the top-two vote-getters below:

Today's Pattern Story (and Sale): In Uniform

 

I don't know what this dress is the uniform for, but please point me to the recruiting office (to picket it). The mitered tab-like thing at the front (partnered with the inverted pleat-entrance on the skirt) makes me think that something attaches there. Tab A, meet Slot B. But what is it? A cigarette-girl tray? Climbing harness? A front-mounted jetpack? 

Obviously, the woman in red is a commanding officer, and the woman in blue is … confused? Although, now that I think about it, a uniform that came in floral print would have me doubly-signing-up. Signing up for a double hitch? Something to that effect. 

You can't see it, because the illustration is unclear, but the ornament pinned to red-dress's shoulder is the Order of Confusing Uniform Merit, first class.

This dress is part of current SALE, which runs Friday through Sunday night, 15% off.  The coupon code is MERRY. (Oh wait! Maybe she's a Mad-Men Era Elf! Still doesn't explain blue-floral.) 

The Dress A Day Dozen Gift Guide: #12 Diana Eng's Fortune Cookie Purse

Have you seen 's fortune cookie change purses? So cute … 

They're made of recycled leather and "branded" with a number, and come with a little dust bag (and have a fortune ribbon inside). They're $45, and Diana's made 425 so far. [Full Disclosure, she sent me one, and I sent a copy of my book back to her. :-)] They even smell lovely, that new-leather smell … the kiss-clasp is nice and tight, too. I hate a sloppy kiss-clasp. 

Remember, if you give a purse as a gift it's traditional to put a shiny coin in it first. (I like to use Susan B. Anthony dollars.)

(If you like my blog you will really like Diana's book, . She and I have had the best conversation about LEDs that it is possible for two people to have.)

[And we're still on the fundraising drive/Secret Lives poll:]

If we reach $1200 in donations by December 25, I will write a new "secret lives" story, that will include the top-two vote-getters below: