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Copy Wrongs

September 30th, 2007 by tatterdemalion

I just got my first issue of Vogue Knitting. It’s hard to know what kind of a magazine it really is, because this is their 25th Anniversary issue, and all magazines are a “different” for their anniversary issues. Although in some ways it felt more like a really big source book (it’s the only magazine I’ve ever seen that has several state by state directories for various specific yarns), I actually had to read it. I mean, read it not give a brief skim, look over the pictures and be done with it in about 15 to 20 minutes. In some places, this magzine had text, and text that was on the small side at that. There was actually substance. I call that good place to start. I’m interested in seeing what the next issue looks like.

The most interesting thing (text-wise, to me) in this issue was the interviews with the “old gaurd knitters” and the “new gaurd knitters”. They covered a lot of ground, and there are many different things I could pick up on, but I guess what I feel like talking about today has to do with that hot-topic of copy rights and money and the internet (all three. In the same conversation). The hard part is knowing where to start and how to arrange my thoughts.

Trisha [Malcolm: Editorial Director, Vogue Knitting]: You know, I’ve witnessed a distinct disrespect for copy right in a lot of cases. . .I have a bit of a personal vendetta on the copyright issue. . .I always use Debbie Bliss as an example. They all know her, and I say, “You know, she has two children to support. If you give away her patterns or don’t buy her books, she can’t eat.

Ok, can somebody out there quickly and succintly describe copyright law? Your average lay person tends to understand copyright law as thus—“If I’m not taking credit for myself that someone else deserves, and if I’m not making money at it, I’m respecting copyright law.” But everything I’ve ever read basically boils down to “It isn’t as simple as you think, if you’re doing anything with anything that someone else has designed you can get your butt sued off; always consult your lawyer.” When it gets to the point where the average person doesn’t understand what counts as legal and what doesn’t, you know there is something wrong with the laws. Naturally, we can all understand the more extreme examples, like the one Meg Swansen offered.

Someone, qoute, “redesigned” the Baby Surprise Jacket in seed stitch and called it their own.

Everyone can easily see the offense in that. But did you know that, for instance, if you buy a sewing pattern from one of the major pattern companies, it’s against the law to sew that pattern for more than one person? If you’re a seamstress, and you are sewing bridesmaids dress for a client, and all of the bridesmaids can fit in the same size range of that pattern, you are still obligated by law to buy a seperate pattern for every dress you sew. Otherwise, you’re not respecting copyright, you’re not giving the pattern company the money they are due, and you’re using a pattern in a manner it was not meant to be used.

The more people try to find out about copyright law so they can be good law abiding citizens, the more resentful they get. The list of things you “cannot” do grows longer and longer and longer and longer. Nearly anything you want to do, which does not give you credit you don’t deserve and doesn’t make you any money, is still illegal. You find out you are not buying a product at all; you are merely buying very limited temporary rights that the company can revoke any old time it it wants to.

It’s a bit like gun control. If people want guns, and you want them controlled, you can out-law all semi-automatic guns. People might grumble and whine and complain, but generally speaking, it means that semi-automatic weapons are harder to get a hold of, and people give the law a bit grudging observance. But if you out-law all guns, then it doesn’t matter if they get a hold of semi-automatic or guns or not, they’re still breaking the law. Instead of enacting more restraint, it gives way to less. If they’re going to get in trouble regardless of what kind of gun they have, they’ll go for whatever one they want.

Or you can think of the time of the Prohibition. All alcohol was utterly banned; it was all agasint the law. The result wasn’t that everyone quit drinking; it was just that everyone became lawbreakers. Perhaps they might have had more success if they had tried to only limit alcohol and only banned the hardest, strongest stuff. But once you tell people that no matter what you do, you’re a lawbreaker, they feel no restraint to even follow even the least strict guidelines. If it’s all illegal anyway, they might as well do what they want. What’s the difference?

I feel that the same is happening toward copyright issues and intellectual property and the like. People are feeling increasingly more that “everything” is being outlawed—and if they’re going to have to be an outlaw anyway, they might as well do what they really want to do. People seem to think that if they just make copyright laws stricter and more serious, they’ll be able to crush this problem for once and for all. I think the opposite is true. Oh, you’ll always have those who are out to truly take what isn’t theirs, but for your average Joe Blow who isn’t trying to do any harm, I think it would be more profitable to simplify the copyright laws. It would do away with a lot of the grudges and bitter tastes in the mouths of the consumers which make them so loath to follow the fullness of the copyright laws to begin with.

I am reminded of an article I saw once, written for entreprenuers. It was something like “The Five Hard Truths Of Entreprenuership”, or something like that. I unfortunatley didn’t save the aritcle and can’t find it, and I can’t even remember what all of them were. But if I remember right, the first one was something like:

Don’t try to sell your orginality. You don’t have any; there is no such thing as original. And even if, by some wild freak of nature, you do happen to have something orginal, everyone else can do the same thing and do it better to boot.

How hard! But how true. Everything can be and will be knocked-off. You can cry, kick, scream, bewail the unfairnes of the universe—or you accept it as fact, and sell something other than “orginiality”—like quality, promptness, courtesy. If you think you can have one brilliant idea, and be the sole porpritor for that brilliant idea, and live off that single idea—you are destinied for dissappointment. Generally speaking, if you have to resort to the line “But I have a family to support!” you are fighting a loosing battle, and you are out of touch with reality. It may not be nice, but capitalism is survival of the fittest. If you are running a business in such a way that you can’t live off it—that’s your problem.

I am not, by any means, encouraging copyright infringement; I am merely stating the situation as I see it. When people build skyscrapers, they don’t build them to resist and stand strong and rigid in the face of every breeze. Instead, they design them to move in the wind—to not fight so powerful a force, but rather to realize it is not a force to be fought with. They must learn to live with the ever-present reality of wind, however unpleasant they might find that fact.

You may very well find it very unfair that seamstresses accross the world are taking the one pattern they bought and using it to make clothes for more than one person—pants for their husband and their father, shirts for all three of their boys—but no matter how unfair or illegal you might find it, I can assure you it is being done. If you ask my opinion (and you shall get it wether you want it or not), it would be far more constructive, conductive to good customer relationships, and much more profitiable to stop fighting it and find profitable ways to co-exist with it—even gain from it.

A profitable business is one who realizes that thier customers are more valuable than their products. People can always find the same thing, or something similar, from someone else. And what makes a valuable customer is not making sure the costumer pays every last red cent that you so richly deserve, but a loyal customer—a customer who comes back time and time again for the pleasure of doing business with you, a customer who tells everyone about you. It does not take a business degree to figure this out—you need only be a consumer yourself. Where would you like to shop? How would you like to be treated? Why do you keep going back to the same place?

The indignant response is that it looks totally different from the other side of the fence, that of course the customer thinks it’s all about him, but really it’s not.

Naturally everyone thinks they are the center of the universe. But it is my desire to start my own independant pattern company someday, and my intention is to use Creative Common Liscences. Because I want people to swap my patterns, and have “pattern libraries” of my patterns. I want people to build on them and share them, and spread them around.

But then how will I make any money?

Because if you get a book out of the library and you like it enough, you buy your own copy so you always have it on hand when you want it.

Because copying patterns is a pain, and it’s easy to click on the “Download now!” button and a pay a little money.

Because it’s even more convinient to get a printed patterns shipped right to your door.

Because I want to do custom drafting, and if the pattern your borrowing fits your friend Mary perfectly, you’ll want a pattern that fits you perfectly, too.

Because sharing, using, changing and enjoying patterns is the best advertising in the world.

Because people are basically lazy, and they’d rather pay a little rather than go through the bother of doing it themselves.

And maybe, say, a major pattern company will knock-off one of my designs. . .but they’ll be following me, and I’ll be first. I’ll make other designs, and they’ll trail me. And my customer service will be better than theirs ever could be, because it’s a rather well known fact that the larger a company is, the worse their customer service is. And if I loose a little market share to them, that’s okay, because I’ll be a small company, and having all the world wanting my glorious product would be more than I could handle. A small bit of the pie is easier to savor. People have some how got it in their heads that the end goal of any business is to conquer the world, but I don’t want to. I want to serve a small niche market that values quality and custom work. Ruling the world is utterly un-appealing to me.

Urk. This has gotten quite far a field from the Vogue Knitting article. One thing I found amusing in the article was when Mari Lynn Patrick said:

. . .And I don’t care how good a knitter you are, you have to have something to work from, technically, to get it right. You can knit off the cuff and do all kinds of things, but there are so many factors that go into putting it out in the right way. And it has to be nurtured through all the stages of getting it out in the right way.

I do find it amusing. It’s rather arrogant, I think. That there is “the right way”, that you must be “nurtured through all of the stages”, that you must get instruction from everyone else. It was even more amusing, because just a few pages before there had been an interview with Barbara Walker, who is apparently quite famous for her innovations and “discoveries” in the field of knitting. I wish I could qoute the entire interview, because I just loved it. Carla and Adina are VK editors.

Carla: How did you figure out a technique you’d never done before? Did other people help you?
Barbara: No, I’m entirely self-taught.
Carla: That’s amazing.
Barbara: I don’t know why that’s amazing. The directions are there to be read. The thing to do there, I found, was to try it a different way and see what it looked like. That way, you learn to do things differently.
Carla: That’s how you stared to invent your own stitch patterns, I assume—by doing somethign in a different way and saying “this looks great.”
Barbara: Sometimes. Or sometimes I just wanted a different-looking technique and I tried it various ways until I got what I was after.

Every little bit needs to be nurtured along to come out the right way, indeed. I also like this bit:

Carla: Tell us about other innovations of yours.
Barbara: I invented the slip-stitch color technique that I named mosaic knitting. Antoher thing was the SSK. Slip 1, knit 1, psso looked so cumbersome. I thought, There’s got to be an easier way to do that, so starting with the first treasury, I changed it to SSK. And then Elizabeth Zimmermann picked up on it and put it in her books, and from there it just spread everywhere. So now it’s the common use, right?
Carla: It is. So many people prefer it over the SKP. I didn’t realize you had introduced so many of these techniques.

Can you imagine what it would have been like if Barbara Walker had made a fuss over Elizabeth Zimmermann using “her” technique, if only certified Barbara Walker patterns could use SSK, if every desginer who wanted to use SSK in their designs had to pay Barbara Walker royalty money, if Barbara Walter spent the remainder of her time chasing down people “unlawfully mis-using” her work instead of spending her time on new knitting methods? Actually, she didn’t even spend “the remainder of her time” on new knitting methods. She moved to a warm place where sweaters were almost useless, and basically quit knitting. Her most recent obsession is mineral collecting, instead.

Adina: You’ve inspired so many designers. Do you follow the work of any in particular?
Barbara: Well, there you’re talking above my head because I have followed absolutely nothing for the past eleven years.
Adina: You’ve followed nothing! You must have been in Wal-Mart maybe? What do you think of all these crazy novelty yarns.
Barbara: I don’t even look at them.
[Everyone laughs]
Carla: You only knit with wool?
Barbara: No, I used all kinds of yarns, but I haven’t been buying yarn, so I haven’t bothered to look. So I’m passe, a dinosaur.
Adina:To us you’ll always be a rock star.

I love that being brilliant in knitting hasn’t made Barbara apathetic about trying new things or bitter about not getting the recognition she deserved, or being properly respected. And I think that Barbara pretty well illustrates the fact that the knowledge we have now is because of knowledge being freely taken and freely given. Times of learning and progress come in times of openess and sharing, not times of closely gaurded secrets and well-defended rights.

The “old gaurd” seemed more defensive of “getting what they were owed” than the “new gaurd”. I think the discussion of the “new gaurd” inadvertantly touched on that. In the “old days” you really had a lot of business overhead. It was mail order, you had to print your patterns, it was tough getting the word out about your business. Everyone photo-copying your designs could mean the difference between going out of and staying in business. But as Vickie Howell said, now “you can start a business with 100 bucks and a computer.” Debbie Stroller says “It’s interesting that it took the Internet to bring back the possibility of running a cottage industry again in an industrialized era. You don’t have to run from store to store to see who might be interested in buying your stuff; you can immediately make it availiable.”

The Internet does change a lot. The ones who will be successful will be the ones who understand the best way to use it, instead of fighting it or misusing it. The “new gaurd” got to talking about Local Yarn Stores.

Adina:. . .Yarn shops do have to adapt to the Internet, but the Internet has to respect from whence it came, which is the yarn shop.
Debbie: Adina, I don’t think that can actually happen. I think the LYS needs to think about what it can offer that the Internet can’t, and focus on that, for better or worse.

I think Debbie hit the nail on the head, though the others felt that “it’s our obligation to keep people going to the yarn stores,” and that “that’s an excellent point: keeping in mind that this is a profession for the owners.”

I’m sorry, guys, but capitalism is survival of the fittest. It doesn’t care what would be “nice”. If you’re trying to make money, it’s your responsibility to see to it you offer something people will buy. If no one is buying, that’s not the customers fault, it’s yours. Adapt or die. Nobody “owes” it to you to keep you in business.

Clara [Parkes]:That’s what we’re fighting against—that all-for-one, one-for-all, free-patterns, we-should-be-helping-each-other, it’s-women-after-all. That it’s almost crude to introduce filthy lucre into it.

Kinda sad, I think, to live in a day in age where it’s virtous to fight against that “all-for-one, one-for-all” mentality. I think the yarn shops just have to get with it. They have to decide if they’re a warm and fuzzy community or a business. If they’re trying to be warm and fuzzy, well, I don’t think they do have much place to be charging money for teaching. It’s a called a knitting guild, it’s a community, and people help each other. Maybe they should just turn it into a coffe shop and sell coffee instead.

If they’re a business, then they should charge—it’s called “classes” or “one-on-one tutoring”, and there’s nothing nasty about it, as long as they don’t treat their students in a nasty manner.

I suppose that shall have to be all for today, though there’s lots more I could say, and I’m sure it’s all in desperate need of editing and proof-checking. My mind is frizzled, my eyes are sick of the computer, my back is tired of this lousy computer set-up, and it’s utterly glorious outside. Hopefully it has been good enough to inspire a little thought, regardless.

Posted in Articles, Contemplations, Magazines | 8 Comments »

Miscellany

September 23rd, 2007 by tatterdemalion

First and foremost, I apologize to Laura for neglecting her comments. I always appreciate comments, and I always have lots of good intentions about responding to them, and even responding promptly. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at the follow through. I have just responded to them, but it was long over-due. Sorry, Laura! I really do like hearing from you, even though my written response are few and far between.

Other Miscellaneous Things:

  • Last week I visited my aunt (and two of my cousins) for a few days. I fixed several pairs of pants, sewed up a hole in Huggy Bear’s head, helped my cousins (7 and 5) use the sewing machine to make designs on paper, and saw a trunk show by this lady.
  • I sewed the button back onto my favorite shirt, and replaced the zipper in the fancy blue dress. It was the most awful horrible job anyone has ever done at replacing a zipper, but guess what? She can wear the dress now. And also, I’m wearing my favorite shirt again. Actually, I’m wearing my shirt more often than she’s wearing the dress.
  • My grandfather (not the one with Alzhiemer’s, the other one) has diabetes, and for several years it went very poorly treated, so he has very little feeling at all in his fingers. He asked me to replace the zippers in several of his pants with velcro. So I did–6 pairs of pants. I wouldn’t say it’s totally unnoticable (you can tell it’s had velcro sewn in, I think), but it does help him quite a bit. So yesterday he dropped off another 5 pairs of pants.
  • I’m trying desperately to get shelves put up in my sewing room, but life keeps getting in the way.
  • I actually finished, completed, and otherwise concluded my first dress for me at the end of June. This is not only the first dress I’ve ever sewn for myself, it’s also the first time I’ve ever drafted a sloper from scratch and used it it draft my own pattern. And so naturally I had no instructions on how to put it together, either. I haven’t posted about it, because I still need to take a few pictures, and then prepare the pictures for the internet (I compress them for faster download times, and of course I need to upload them). So it’s been months and months since I finished this project, and goodness only knows how many more months it will be till I get written about. Nagging me might help. I respond well to guilt.
  • I’ve been experimenting with dying yarn with comfrey, with the aide of this book. It’s supposed to dye yarn green, and in one sense, I suppose it is. A general polling of people has resulted in descriptions such as these:
    • ochre green
    • goose poop green
    • putrid green
    • sick green
    • over-cooked aspargus green

    You can tell some of those polled were brothers, can’t you? I was even told “But it really is a color! I’ve seen a lot of clothes being sold that exact color. But it is really gross.”

    Needless to say, I think we can all agree that I didn’t quite get my desired results. I’m not sure exactly why, but that’s because I can think of so many different places where things might have gone awry. It might have been because I was starting with “natural” wool, instead of wool that had been bleached white. My aunt who has an art degree with an emphasis on fibers and textiles says that yarn will dye differently even just depending on what the sheep had eaten. I think it could also have a lot do do with the comfrey—I’m willing to bet it yeilds different shades depending on what stage of growth the plant is in, what the weather has been like, and what kind of soil it was growing in.

    On the plus side, I want to use this yarn to knit myself some fingerless gloves for working in the garden in spring and fall, when you still need your fingers free, but would like a little extra warmth. This color would hide dirt quite well. However, since I can’t quite look at that color with out curling my lip, I’m thinking I’ll go borrow a bunch of black walnuts and over-dye the lot a dark brown, which hopefully won’t look so ill.

In the meantime, life goes marching on. We narrowly avoided our first frost last weekend, but the trees are already attempting to turn color. Fall is wonderful, but winter lasts too long, and it is much too dark. It’s the main reason I painted my sewing room yellow. I continue to hand-quilt the Anniversary quilt for my parents. My grandfather with the Alzhimer’s has begun needing be moved about in a wheel-chair. I’m learning to play the piano, and I’m approaching it the same pig-headed all-or-nothing method I use in my sewing and knitting: I’m practising pieces far above my skill level simply because that’s what I want to play. My piano teacher (the same lady who taught me to knit), is quite confident I’ll pick it up quickly, just like I did knitting. I’m not half so sure, myself. I feel a good deal more overwhelmed and uncertain with the piano than I did with knitting, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? I’ve always wanted to learn how to play piano.

Speaking of biting off whatever it is you want to chew, regardless of the size, I was recently struck dumb with wonderment. I was reading the second issue of Isaac’s Stylebook, and someone had written in describing a dress they would love to make, but finished by saying it was far above their skill level to make it, so they, alas, would never have it. It’s times like these when I realize exactly how different I am from most other people. I don’t think that last thought ever crosses my mind. Concieving of ideas far above my skill level is always where I start, yes. But I’m not sure that I ever even stop long enough to consider what my skill level might be, or exactly how much higher my proposed project might reach above it. Generally speaking, it means it takes me a long time to accomplish what I set out to do—years, often—, and looking back I can see quite clearly how far above myself I’d reached, and yes, how crazy I am. But I never really change my approach; I never really hesitate because something is “above my skill level”. Skill levels can rise, but when I am struck with inspiration, I feel bound to latch upon it and never let go. It may take quite some time for my skill levels to catch up to what I’ve seen—if it ever does. I think that we never really manage to totally grasp what we’ve imagined to do in all it’s completeness. But we have to try; we have to reach. There is no other way to grow.

Posted in Contemplations | 1 Comment »

'Fashion Shows Are No Longer About Clothes'

September 15th, 2007 by tatterdemalion

I am sometimes a little afraid of sounding a bit like a broken record. But it’s been more than a year since I did a post like this, so I think I can comment on Thursdays (Sept. 13, 2007) WSJ article, “Shunning the Runway at Fashion Week”. I have long felt that my interest in design clothes was at complete odds with the fashion industry. This article by Christina Binkley completely reinforces that. In it, she says,

That’s because fashion shows are no longer about buying and selling clothes. Instead they have become major marketing events to generate buzz, establish images, and win good play in the all-important fashion magazines.

The public-savvy Marc Jacobs could be the poster child for this tactic. . .The collection that the exuberant Mr. Jacobs showed was Dali-esque—heels protruding horizontally from the sole at the ball of the foot, strips of fabric draped over satiny lingerie that evoked the 1920s rather than today’s engineered brassieres. It was romantic, artful and thought-provoking—but exactly the sort of thing that would scream “fashion victim” if worn on the street.

Emphasis mine. Reading that big about how it was “romantic, artful and thought-provoking” makes me once again realized what a drooling, uncultured barbarian I am. Not that it makes me even a tiny bit sorry that I am, mind you. Here is the collection in question. If you are a drooling, uncultured barbarian, look through it at your own risk; you will find it painful on many levels. If you are cultured, enlightened and modern, no doubt you will find it romantic, artful and thought-provoking. Being the uncultured fool that I am, I am quite willing to give up romance, art, and anything thought-provoking if it will spare me having to looking through this hideous montage again.

Binkley continues,

Asked backstage if his clothes weren’t inaccessible to most consumers—the ones who have made him rich and famous—Mr. Jacobs said, “They’re supposed to be—nothing is for everyone.” Yet the collection did its job. Its shock value received admiring reviews, and the glam attendees and after-party generated big publicity for the Marc Jacobs label.

To me, asking someone who is interested in sewing if they’re going to be part of fashion shows is like asking a writer if they hope to write trashy tabloids. The goal for each is shock, ‘glamour’, and partying, after all. But quite honestly, I think that everyone agrees that to ask someone who was interested in seriously pursuing the craft of writing if he would be “honored” to write a tabloid would be just plain insulting. Even if that was the way he’d get the most amount of readership. So why is it assumed that it would be an honor for a seamstress to have her work going down a runway?

Oh, and about that glamour.

Increasingly, the New York fashion shows have become events not just for fashion companies but for those hoping to be associated with the glamour of fashion.

The thing is, I can never find any glamour in fashion. Or else, as an uncultured barbarian, I’ve given up on glamour, too. But to me, all the models always look like chemotherapy patients. I find no glamour cancer. I’ve known enough people who’ve had it; some who survived and some who didn’t. But I can tell you that there is no glamour or beauty in cancer, or chemotherapy treatments. I find it greatly disturbing to see so many people being paraded about who look seriously ill and depressed—and that people laud this as “glamour”. The models look ill-treated and abused. If it means I have to be uncultured and give up glamour to feel compassion towards the women and revulsion towards those who tout this as a look of beauty, I am all too glad to give it up—culture, art, romance, glamour, fashion, enlightenment and anything else which glorifies it as any sort of ideal.

There are still, apparently, a very few designers who agree with me. Or at least one, anyway. Elie Tahari has “eschewed fashion’s runway shows for more than 20 years,” though with his goals for expansion he fears he might have to begin. He confesses to preferring women who actually, well, “look like women”. (Which, when you put it that way, makes you wonder exactly what sort of creature the women on the runways look like.)

Should Mr. Tahari begin holding runway shows, he’d need to fundamentally alter his buiness. Since runway models are very, very thin, Mr. Tahari, who designs for real women, would need to cut another set of patterns to fit the six-foot-tall, size-2 women. “If I were to do a show, our entire fit would have to change,” he told me this week. “It would affect the whole psychology of how I do business.”

Here is Mr. Tahari’s Spring 2008 collection, which is much, much less likely you to leave you screaming and tearing at your eyes in an effort to relieve yourself of the horribleness of it all.

I do understand how, in some ways, clothing can be an art and can be used to express things. Isn’t that what costumes are all about? But even costumes have to fit and be worn by real people, in all different shapes and sizes. Fashion is simply absurd. I suppose people would say it is an art, just an art categorized under modern art, which I believe is defined as “that which is harsh on the ears, hard on the eyes, unpleasant to the taste, and widely admired by those who wish to feel superior.” The art of the common man, the un-modern man, the barbarian, is so accessible as to be uncouth. Particularly smirked upon is the work of the folk-artist, the one who actually uses the pieces of art one makes. The intricately pieced quilt, capable of not only being a breath-taking study in color but also of keeping one warm through the winter? How quaint. Baskets hand-woven in pleasing and practical shapes? How droll. These things are not high art.

And so it follows that the “high” art of clothing must also be ugly, uncomfortable, unsuitable, and unpleasant, and those clothes which are both becoming and practical to be scorned as “low” and unworthy work. Yet I still cannot help but think that latter takes more skill and effort than the former—and if I am wrong, it is twice the tragedy, that so much should be spent on so little.

Interested in sewing and in clothes that I am, you won’t be seeing my work on the runways. I am far too uncultured for them, which I do not regret.

Posted in Articles, Couture, Design, WSJ | 2 Comments »

Pictures of Piggly-Wiggly

September 8th, 2007 by tatterdemalion

People are all the same.

For piggy number one, girl number one insists upon calling it “Piggy”, and mother number one tries to convince her to give it an actual name (in this case, “Rose”).

For piggy number two, girl number two insists upon calling it “Piggy”. Her mother is currently trying to convince her to give it an actual name, in this case, “Piggly-Wiggly”.

So both piggies have the same name right now.

And Abby sent me photos!

Here’s the piggy:

piggy

Here’s the clothes:

clothes

And here’s the girl:

love

together

hiding a smile

Piggly-Wiggly has embroidered eyes. . .

eye

. . .and snout (which has been set in crookedly, but don’t notice that).

snout

Millie studiously dresses the piggy. . .

studious

in clothes that have been lined and pinked. . .

pinked

hemmed. . .

hem

pleated. . .

pleat

trimmed with aging lace. . .

old lace
and close with velcro.

velcro

Also, I just really like the bow detail on the apron.

bow

I’m particularly pleased, because it was a mistake. I cut my length of ribbon in half and attatched it to either side of the apron. It looked terrible. I realized I should have kept the ribbon as one length, and just sewn it to the top of the apron. I didn’t have any more ribbon, and it would look a million times worse if I tried to sew the ribbon together. So I knoted the ends of the ribbon to keep it from fraying, tied the to pieced together, and sewed it along the top of the ribbon. And now it looks really, really nice!

Also, if you are a really long time reader, you may remember my post from last year around this time, on my old blog. I had made this same girl a fancy dress, that fit her so perfectly (much to my shock) I was sure it wouldn’t be fitting her in another year. Well, guess what?

It still fits!

dress

more dress

more dress

Abby apologized that she hadn’t gotten to ironing it, but I was pleased as punch just to watch Millie wearing it hard:

biking in a dress

on the monkey bars

hangin' out

The party was outside, and Millie and several of her guests chose to eat inside the play fort.

dining in the fort

When it was ice cream time, Abby went up to serve them! You can barely see it, but she’s got a tray full of ice cream in the other hand.

Cool Mom

Abby’s a cool mom.

And those are the long awaited photos!

Posted in Animals, Completions | No Comments »

Aww, no!

September 6th, 2007 by tatterdemalion

What else can I say? That’s all I can think right after getting an email that “Denverfabrics.com will soon be changing hands. All fabric on our web site must be sold to make way for the new owners.” I love the service I’ve always gotten from Denver Fabrics, and I’m very, very sorry to see it changing hands. I guess the owner’s felt like they had enough of their hands with their brick-and-motar shop in Littleton (which is on the other side of the country from me, so I’ll never be shopping there). But it makes me sad because Denver Fabrics really stood out from most any other fabric store for their wonderful costumer service—their honesty, helpfulness, and straight fowardness. I honestly can’t see any way for Denver Fabrics to improve by changing hands. I always felt like Denver Fabrics meant it when it said “we would like to hear from you”, and I can’t help but think that once it changes hands it will just be one more “business” out there, instead of the very personal way Denver Fabrics was run.

It was my favorite place to buy fabric, and I was looking foward to buying a lot more from them in the future.

I suppose you might think I’m reading too much into a simple changing-of-hands, but I don’t understand why all the fabric has to be sold off unless this changing-of-hands is a bad thing. There was nothing wrong with Denver Fabrics fabric, and if they’re selling it all off, it means the new hands aren’t interested in doing things the way Denver Fabrics did. That’s a real shame. Denver Fabrics knew what it was doing better than just about anyone else out there.

I wonder who is buying it, and what on earth they’re planning to do with it.

Oh, well. Figures the good stores would be the one’s to go down.

Posted in Merchants | No Comments »

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