Remember Your Roots

It’s important to remember who you are and where you came from.  Where you’ve been makes you who you are.  And only a few are lucky enough to have been raised in and around (dramatic pause)…

The Jersey Shore.  Like the one on TV.  Exactly like the one on TV.  These kids are my inspiration when I think about my teenage years.


No matter what naysayers tell you, these people really do exist.  And I am heading to their haven for the weekend.  Mayors and governors can deny their existence, but I prefer to embrace it.  So take out your sequins and pull on your mini skirt!  This weekend we’re headed down the shore!


Hot Pants

Today’s story brings us to the land of Can I Sew That?  I have never seen a pattern for pants quite like this, but I LOVE them!  I *think* I saw them in the window of Versace, but I could be wrong.  I was late for work.  Not late enough to stop and take a picture.  Just late enough not to look up at the sign.

If you and any tips on how to pull this off, please let me know!  Until then, I might just have to try to replicate this on my new dress form!  (Sewing nerds rejoice!)

Broadway or Runway?

Look out!  The models have taken to the streets!

Upon closer inspection, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.  They’re only mannequins dressed to the nines for Sidewalk-Catwalk.  Along the Broadway median in the Fashion District, you can catch the installment.  If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, just find the human-looking things that aren’t moving and are decked out in everything from dresses to American flags.

Perhaps you need a little taste of downtown.  You may like Christopher Ciaccia & Aerial Penzer’s studded dress.  They say it’s fashioned after the Chrysler Building, but I really just dug it because it’s shiny.

If you prefer something a little more avant-garde, perhaps Yeohlee Teng’s piece would interest you.  Gives new meaning to, “She’s a brickhouse.”

Stay tuned.  If I find myself in the Fashion District again before the display ends on September 3 (i.e. wait a few days), I’ll be sure to snap the Flag Lady.  I love her the most!

I Don’t Do Diets

I read a stunning article in The New York Times the other day.  It wasn’t politics or corruption or explosions or despair.  It was fashion.  Some people decided to go on a “diet,” and cut back on their calor– uh, clothes for a month.  Each person picked six items, and those were the only six items they could wear for a month.  As it turns out, nobody really noticed that they kept wearing the same things over and over…including one participant’s husband  —  WHO DOES THE LAUNDRY!

So now I’m taking a hard look at my closet.

I don’t buy a lot of clothes, but I tend to hang onto items for a verrrrry long time.  I have more than one item that has been around since high school.  This dress: 13 years old.

When am I ever going to wear that again?!?!  (In fact, I did wear it to a wedding a few years ago, but it’s still debated whether that was a good idea.)

But anyway, now that I’ve been sewing up a storm – 99% of it for myself – all of the new duds are just adding to the pile.

I always figure if I wear it, there’s not reason to get rid of it.  But if the Fashion Diet experiment is any indicator, nobody is paying much attention anyway.  Guess now would be a good time to put together a giveaway pile, because Lord knows there are people who need these clothes more than me!

I Can Sew That…Psych!

So I’m walking down Madison Avenue the other day, and right across from a rumple-fest at Donna Karan, I spotted an obvious “I Can Sew That.”  It looked just like McCall’s 6069, which I had just picked up.

After I took the following photos, I finished view A in two short days..quick and easy!  Anyway, back to my walk.  So I see a teal dress screaming at me from across the street at Joseph.  Goodness knows the price (the store was closed when I walked by.)  But it’s on the right stretch of property to be out of my budget!  Anyway, check it out:

Drapey:  √

Sleeves:  √

Cinched waist: √

Tight skirt: √

Looks like I should be able to bang this puppy right out.  Buuuuuut…now it’s time to take a closer look:

There’s a seam right where that arrow is pointing.  So this is no quickie-dickey pattern-tracer.  This is a draft-your-own.  Now, there may be a pattern out there, but it’s not sitting in my closet right now, and frankly I have no idea where to find it.  I love that detail, and I bet it’ll have a lovely drape on some lucky girl.  Just not me…yet.

Selfish? Who?

Let it never be said I don’t make sacrifices for those I love.  So in the ultimate small-scale show of love, I have gotten rid of the scrap bag.  Let’s go back for a moment…

I was given The Fabric Hamper when The Photographer and I moved in together.

It was a compromise.  I was happy to store cuts of fabric in a the heap on the floor.  He thought it would be fair to throw out anything I wasn’t currently working on.  The compromise was if it fits in the hamper, it can stay.  It was going well until I really got into sewing and began to crank out pieces left and right.  That makes for lots of scraps.  And what a waste to throw out so much fabric when:

  • a)  there are people out there who surely could use it, and
  • b)  I’m just going to have to buy more for trim & small projects later on.

I was storing all the little bits and pieces with the large cuts of fabric.  It became a big mess and very hard to find stuff, so I separated the unused fabric from the scraps.  The bag full of scraps was large.  Really large.  And for months and months it sat in front of the hamper taking up our precious Manhattan real estate.  The Photographer begged and pleaded for me to get rid of it.  He threatened to make it disappear (Where?  The East River?  I’ve never heard of the Fabric Mafia.)

Finally, an angel came to me.  One of my sewing buddies.  She told me about the Textile Arts Center.  It appears to be a non-profit studio for those who love to, or want to learn how to, craft.  And they said they’d be happy to take it all.  So here is my final good-bye to the Scrap Bag.


Get Ready to Wrinkle!

Wrinkles:  Not just for grandmas and bachelors anymore.  A stroll down Madison Ave. is all you need to figure out you can put away your irons this fall.  Check out the window at Donna Karan:

All of those little red circles show off the wrinkles (ok…and pleats) that are going to be so hot.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the green dress up close:

If you don’t want to drop the bucks on this dress, I’d be willing to wash and crumple your clothes for a much more reasonable fee.  Laundry day comes every week and a half.  Mark it down.

Did You Lose Your Galoshes?

What’s up with galoshes?

As a child, I refused to put the big, goofy rubber shoes over my own.  Because that’s how they used to be made.

As a college grad, new to the big bad, smelly, grimy especially when it has just begun raining city, I cherished them.  I wore my purple spotted pair until the tears in the bottoms of both boots made them about as useful as flip-flops.  Five years ago everyone had them in ever color and ever heal size.

As a working woman who just wants to get to and from home without ruining my cute shoes, I realize I really need to invest in a new pair.

Over the last two days here in New York, there’s been lots of sporadic rain.  And nary a galosh to be seen.  So I ask, where did all of the galoshes go?

Easy Breezy

Since I have now accepted clothes are a necessary part of live, something light and airy sounds like a great idea.  Too short, and I’ll flash New York City (just like the poor girl I saw trying to hail a cab today).  Too long could mean too hot.  Unless the dress lets the air in.  Just Cavalli got the message.  Check out this dress:

If you can’t tell it’s a light fabric with lots of print, which could make it harder to see through.  I’m not sure if there’s lining.  Unfortunately, the $1,300 (or so) price tag puts this lovely dress way out of reach.  But I have a hunch I could find some gauzy animal print over in the West 30’s.  And I have my July issue of Burda at hand.  Just flip to page 18 and we’re on our way:

There are a couple of major difference here which I have to point out:

  • The Burda version had a slit up the front.  The Cavalli does not.
  • While both dresses are halter tops, they connect to the bodice differently.  JC used a metal triangle.  Burda seems to knot it.

The slit seems like an easy change.  The connector may require you to redraft the top to get rid of the extra knotting material.  But if you leave the pattern as it is, trust me…people won’t be looking at the knot.  They’re going to look at a nice, cool you and your ultra-flowy skirt breezing past their hot sweaty selves.  Maybe you should carry a squirt bottle (turned to the mist option, of course) to give them a little cool down on your way to someplace, hopefully, well air conditioned.

In The Fold

I’ve been eying up this top in the window of Blanc de Chine.

I’m not sure how it would look on a busty lady, such as myself, but I dig the idea.  It would be a whole lot of work to make all of those pleats, especially for a shirt that may not even look good on me.  BUUUUUUUUUT…as luck would have it, I have just the thing.  Something only I (and Express) could have seen coming…

This skirt has been gracing my closet for more than a decade.  It’s always been a little  big and a little longer than I prefer.  Now, with all of that black pleated material at the ready, it may finally be time to say good-bye.