Monday, October 24, 2011

Santa Fe and back, all for Burda, really.


 I thought I was joking when I told people I was driving 1,400 miles roundtrip to get my Burda collection out of storage, but it ended up being more or less true.  I'm not sure WHAT I thought I had in storage, but it turns out that it was mostly tired old furniture, clothes that should have been retired years ago, and a ton of sewing related things.

I retrieved 10 Burdas (my current living situation is very transient, and there isn't room for whole collection), some skiing clothes, and various other bits and pieces that were slightly depressing and existential-crisis-causing.  Is this all my life adds up to?

The Burda in the top right-hand corner is 11/04, and is one of my favorite issues ever.  It is falling apart, and dog-eared and wrinkled and coffee-stained.   It has the perfect peacoat, a great military inspired jacket, as well as a beautifully designed full-length coat.  This was the issue that blew my mind when I saw it on a Hollywood Blvd newsstand.


November 2004.  I've loved this peacoat (101) forever, might have the ability to tackle it, finally.  I started the double breasted jacket (104) years ago and alas lost the half-finished garment.  But it is gorgeous and worth trying again.

November 2004, perfect coat.  So simple, so elegant!
March 2005.  This issue is packed with fantastic, vintagey, styles.  I've made more pieces from this issue over the years than any other.

103 is the coat that Miss Cidell made to beautifully.  I believe 9 / 2006.
On the way back through Colorado I stopped at a little junk store and picked up this 1996 Vogue.  Lately I've been nostalgic about and fascinated by, 1990s fashion.  Part of this is simply that it looks good again, but part of it is also the natural urge to be nostalgic about your youth.  I seem to remember that being young felt pretty hard, but it also felt alive with potential.  In fact it was nothing but potential.
 I didn't remember how crazy the shoes were in the 90s.  The Mary-Janes with the strange flared-out heels... did you wear these?  I'm sure I lusted after them, though I couldn't have afforded them.

 Gorgeous dress that I would wear today in a heartbeat.  Check out that laptop.





And when I say that "I" drove, I lied.  Mr. X. worried that a 1,400 mile drive was too much for me to handle solo, and came out to help.  He was much appreciated...

And before he left he gave me a quick demo on how to use my Colt Automatic.  It was made in 1925, is nickel plated and has a mother-of-pearl grip.  I'm a great shot it turns out.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

November Burda

I've been on the fence about Burda recently (like many of you...) I rarely like their summer issues; they are too heavy with simple, repetitive shapes.  The last few years of fall / winter have lacked the sense of "cutting edge" that 2005 - 2008 seemed to have.  In fact I am currently considering a COMPLETELY INSANE 1600 mile round trip drive that basically boils down to pattern-magazine-seperation-anxiety.  I have nightmares that my impossible to replace Burda WOF collection might be getting mildew, or burning down, or just plain missing me.

Having said that, the November issue looks great; this dress could have been right out of the "glory years," love it's modern take on Mad Men style:





There's also a somewhat confusing party dress section.  The shapes are great, but the model is certainly "plus" by Burda standards...



Yet their party section is generally standard size.
There is also a cute little peacoat and some great jackets...



My other reason for not keeping my subscription going year-round is simple fiscal prudence.  My agent is having a hell-of-a time selling my current book proposal; something that would have sold in one phone call a few years ago.  Suddenly I'm realizing that I may not be getting another check for a long, long while.  So BurdaStyle is falling down and down the list of priorities.
Any thoughts?

Monday, October 10, 2011


Since the vintage 1960's mod mini has become my go-to, TNT dress pattern I decided to take a chance on another:


Do you remember that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry is the dating the girl who only wears one dress?  Jerry doesn't even really like her that much, but he is determined to date her long enough to be invited into her bedroom, in order to open her closet and see if it consists solely of multiple copies of this same distinctive piece.
My TNT has very distinctive seam lines, and I dread becoming the more mature version of her.  So, I'll shake it up with an equally distinctive dress with completely different seam lines.

These are the thoughts that are currently occupying my head, for what it's worth.

Death

In the last three weeks two ex boyfriends of mine have died, neither really unexpectedly.  Both men were very much loved by me at an early part of my life; when you're technically an adult but still very much a juvenile when it comes to love.  I was able to reconnect, and spend some time with, one much loved boyfriend-turned-friend before he died of cancer earlier this month. The other, who disappeared from my life years ago, died of a drug overdose.  He was a semi-well-known musician in the 90s, and it was a shock to see him on the front page of perezhilton.

I guess that's what happens as you get older.

My dying friend asked me what I thought happens after we die, and I did what most agnostics probably do, waffle and hedge that "there must be more."  But truthfully life seems such a blessing that it seems insanely greedy to demand or expect more after we die.  I suspect our sheer good fortune to have been born, and experienced living at all, is the only reward we can expect.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Bombshell Dress in action


A few construction shots... you can see the cotton batting bra cups, the twill tape before it was sewn down, the inner corset, and the final corset attached to a black lining (added primarily to make this dress work as a fall piece with tights).  It worked fantastically well, and oddly enough did not feel that labor intensive.  



 The dress in action, in Las Vegas.




And after a week of glamour and high living it's back to Jackson, WY.