The Sewist

I sew, knit and crochet hats. (Not all at the same time. Whaddaya think I am - a machine?)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Ashland Avenue, Chicago
I think this smartly-dressed woman was on her way to the Metra stop in her Diane Von Furstenberg separates. I thought it was a dress at first, but now I think these are two pieces because I could see a hint of her midriff while I was uploading these photos. In any event, this outfit looks very comfortable, smashing for the summer scorcher we had today. The sunglasses are by D&G if you're interested in such things....

Seen On The Streets....
Central Street, Evanston

Just barely grazing the knees, these cheery shorts are manufactured by Paul Frank. They were purchased at a Chicago shop. I adore the bold plaid print. These could be worn into the fall with the right top.

2721 Woodbine, Evanston

This woman was taking shelter from our hotter-than-an-oven heat yesterday in Cottage Living's Idea House at the abovementioned address. Her dress is from Hubba Hubba in Chicago.

Pork pie vs. Fedora

It would seem quite odd that a dictionary that was last copyrighted in 1966 would not have definitions for a fedora or a pork pie hat. I know the millinery industry was floundering by that time thanks to John F. Kennedy (didn't wear a hat to his inauguration) and his wife, Jackie (didn't want to mess up her hair with the aforementioned). Still you would think a Webster's Dictionary from this time would still have entries for these words. We're talking about a tattered tome that I use when I'm too lazy to log onto the Internet. For crying out loud, I was able to find definitions for a porkpie hat (:a hat with a low telescoped crown, flat top, and flexible brim) and a fedora (:a low soft felt hat with the crown creased lengthwise) at Merriam-Webster Online. I don't believe the hat on this young fella shown above is a pork pie, judging from its definition. I'm not sure what it is. It is definitely a vintage straw topper, according to its young owner. This teenager says it was his grandfather's. I love the bias-cut, muted plaid trim around the crown. I don't see many young teenagers sporting hats, but when I do, I'm thrilled. How would this guy look in a cap? Tell me you what you think.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Way You Wear Your Hat...
All this talk about global warming has me thinking. Not just about the practical ramifications, but also about fashion and style. Sunbathing just might become less popular since people won't want to fry in the sand. We might become more like the Victorians and actually cover up more. I'm thinking hats, particulary straw ones with a brim, will become de rigeur. Look at this gent in his hat. It's not a baseball cap, thank goodness. See how good he looks in it. He has presence and confidence. If he wore a baseball cap, he would look ordinary. Here he looks extraordinary. What do you think? How do you feel about men wearing hats?

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Real Deal

I kid you not, but this woman's name is Dimple Dang. I'd like to tell you she's a doula, a dancer or even a doughnut shop owner to keep the whole alliteration thing going, but she is actually the president of Fashionista Nail Spa & Image Consulting Inc.
I snapped her picture at the party because I liked her ensemble. All that orange! Somehow it didn't overwhelm her petite frame. (By the way, the jacket's is from Dolce & Gabbana in Las Vegas, the European shoes from a local shop, and I forget who made the handbag. Can anyone help me out here?) Anyway, Dimple told me her parents named her after an Indian movie star. Get this - Dimple really has dimples. (Sorry I don't have a close-up. But I can indeed verify she has adorable dimples on her cheeks.)
Now how many of us are given first names that pay tribute to our physical attributes and actually share the same initial with our last names? The only one I can think of is a fictional character, the ill-fated Bonnie Blue Butler in Gone With The Wind. Rhett named her after her blue eyes. The one alliterative moniker that takes my best features into account bents the rules because I have to misspell a word: Klefty Klatt, to honor my cleft chin. But I don't like that name one bit. Sounds a baddie out of the Wild West. How about you? What first name could you come up with that shares the first initial of your last name and plays to your unique, cool characteristics?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hurry Up!
We'll ignore for the moment that this 1930s-era black-net jacket measures 32" at the bust, 26" at the waist. Just check out those square, mirrored buttons. The puffy sleeves! The pointy collar that's just begging to be ironed or at least steamed. Isn' this 1930s black-net jacket breathtaking? The leavy black-on-black motif on the fabric? If you were a teeny gal with nearly a flat chest and skinny arms, this jacket would be just the thing to wear out on the town. I see it with a matching camisole and jeans to catch a movie, a longer glossy gown for a fancy-schmancy dinner with the boss and colleagues. However you wear it, it would be a conversation piece. For $65 it can be yours at This top and plenty of other vintage dresses, shoes (!!) and sewing patterns are brand-new at the online store. Well, at least as of yesterday. Many of those patterns and some of the dresses will disappear in a flash. So hurry along...get shopping!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Here are some detail shots of the earlier West Loop post. The dress, lovely legs and bag belong to Regine Rousseau, owner of She was at a event promoting her client, Melanie Nicole. Yes, the dress is by her client. I have to say I found it difficult to find this particular dress on the web site, although it's featured on a postcard for an Aug. 5th trunk at 410 S. Michigan Ave. If you like slinky, clingy, jersey dresses, check out the web site.

West Loop

Main St, Evanston

There's something cute about couples that dress a like. This one said they didn't plan on just happened. Do couples that dress like twins stay together? Is it kind of like the family that prays together stays together? I sometimes wonder about that. Or are look-a-like couples headed for disaster because they look like they're invading each other's wardrobes? It's certainly more fun to think about this then the latest headlines on Yahoo's homepage. What do you think of couples that dress a like? Do they make you ill or happy?

On the Streets...Clybourn Metra Stop
This girl carried her Chihuaha in her handbag onto the train. When the conductor saw what she'd done, he told her "Never again!" Even so, fellow commuters giggled and oohed and aahed over her pet. I think the little dog is her best fashion accessory. And she does look comfortably chic in her white pants, fluttery Lindsay Lohan top and sandals.

Monday, July 24, 2006

North Avenues

Seen On The Streets...
Damen Avenues Intersection

I think this girl was waiting for the no. 72 North Avenue bus. I just love how naturally she posed for me! This was such a great shot...I think it's the best photograph I've published so far on The Sewist. Everything about her is great...the hair, her mirrored sunglasses, the pink lipstick, the strappy white shirt...I could go on.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

At The Pearly Gates
Elinore had been waiting for this moment her entire life. She'd been making a list checking it twice, changing it every couple of years, naturally. They told her on Earth that she could only bring a backpack filled with her belongings. They said St. Peter was very strict about what you could bring into Heaven. Just a backpack, nothing more. So Elinore's black nylon Great Outdoors rucksack bulged with her Most Important Stuff. Strapped onto her back, this pack really, really hurt. She wished that someone would hurry it up and answer the door bell.

Slowly someone opened the door. Someone with a long straggly beared peered out.

Elinore (E): Are you St. Peter?
St. Peter (SP): I am.
E (said a bit tremulously): Here I am, ready to meet God.
SP: It's nice to meet you, Elinore.
E: Oh, you know my name? I forgot you're an angel.
SP: I'm not angel. My staff told me you would be coming.
E: Who's your staff?
SP: Archangels and dominions.
E: Oh.
SP: I hate to break it to you, but you can't bring that sack into Heaven.
E: But they told me I could! This is my Life!
SP: They?
Elinore (softly): My mom, dad and my CCD teacher Mrs. Pankos.
SP: You can't bring anything into Heaven.
E: Nothing.
SP: Nada.
E: Can I bring at least bring my family photos?
SP: Why do you need them? Your family is here.
E: My fabric. I'm got this expensive dottted swiss from Metro Textiles. Surely I can bring that.
SP: I'm sorry. No.
E: My vintage patterns? I've a 1980s Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress pattern that I spent more than $100 on eBay.
SP: I'm afraid not.
E (getting desperate): How about my Stitch in Time book?
SP: Stitch in what? No.
(E sits down at the curb, crying. SP sits next to her, carefully arranging his robes)
SP (pointing to her backpack): You can bring that.
E (looking bewildered): I can bring what?
SP pointed to a bronze Cover Soft Touch size F crochet hook sticking out of her backpack.
SP: That.
E (overwhelmed with gratitude, hugs SP): Oh, thank you. St. Peter. Thank you. I love you!

Friday, July 21, 2006


Oh how the camera rebelled at the Phoebe 45 party for designer Rebecca Taylor. It just didn't want to take any pictures. It turned sulky every time I turned it on. It took only one picture - this one - and I really had to cajole it. "Come on! I'll give you a Snickers when we get home." and "Yes, we'll go see 'My Super Ex-Girlfriend' this weekend." But, my little Kodak EasyShare 530 wouldn't have any of it. I wanted to photograph Ann, who works at p45. Ann wore this wonderful dress she designed and made out of a lightweight celery fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics. She even lined it and stitched in pockets. I was very impressed with how carefully she matched her zipper to her lining. I just wanted to study that dress all night. But the little digital camera didn't care - it didn't even want the yummy pastries on the table or have a taste of the pinot grigio either. So there's no picture of Rebecca Taylor or any of the other party attendees who wore the cutest outfits - of course, you wouldn't expect nothing less at one of Chicago's most well-known clothing boutiques.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ogilvy Transportation Center
I'm in love with chartreuse so I really like how this girl made her cheery top the center point of her outfit. Her instinct to wear a light-colored jacket and a dark skirt is right on target. She's certainly dressed for the humid weather we're having these days.

Monday, July 17, 2006


This girl was keeping cool in a crochet cap she purchased on Melrose in California. I'm assuming she's referring to Los Angeles, Calif.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wacker Drive

State Street

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Outside the Hotel Allegro

Wearing a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress, this woman was waiting for a cab.

Inside the Loop

Downtown Chicago

More Out takes from the Mediabistro party. I love the contrast between the black dress and the chartreuse shoes.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Downtown Chicago

Out takes from the Mediabistro party: the guy on the right is wearing a shirt from French Connection in San Francisco. Our man on the left? I have no idea where he got his black shirt and pants.

Keepin' Cool

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

For the Writer Or
Artist Within?

There's something quite romantic about this fabric. Who doesn't want to be surrounded by red roses, paint brushes, ink pens and paper? The neatnik within me wants to gather up those roses and put them in a vase, but for the purpose of this lovely voile fabric, roses scattered on a white background seems so right. It makes me think of the flowers that often get tossed onto the ice after an ice skater wins a competition. Anyhow, I see this Italian fabric stitched up into a dirnd skirt. You could wear and spill paint or ink on it, and it shouldn't matter because the splotch will look like it's intended to be there. You could tell people, "I'm an artist." You'd look so different from others in your field who always, always wear head-to-toe black. Anyhow, there's apparently a LIMITED amount of this fabric available so it's sure to go quickly. I don't have the funds to purchase it right now, otherwise, I'd hit the purchase button. My loss is your gain. Go ahead, buy it. Feed your inner artist or writer.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

If the Shoe
Fits, Wear It!

There is something about these 1940s suede platform shoes that is utterly darling. For one thing, I'm in love with brown, an oddity considering I had to wear a brown check uniform skirt with a heavy brown cardigan sweater in junior high. For years afterward, I loathed brown. I didn't want to touch it. Brown and I were kind of the cousins make eye contact at parties yet politely ignore each other at the buffet table. But things have changed in recent years. I had a lightweight brown knit A-line skirt nearly every day. We only parted ways when it became faded and I found tiny holes in the fabric. Now I have a brown silk blouse. I used to think brunettes couldn't wear brown, and that this hue only looked striking on blondes, but I've changed my thinking. I think brunettes can look completely fantastic in chocolate tones, especially when they have a tan. Back to these 1940s platform shoes, they are $265. They look a bit narrow, but suede will stretch out. I know because I have a another pair of 1940s putty suede platform shoes that have nearly died nine times only to be rescuscitated by the cobbler. I wear these shoes all the time, even without stockings, so I know these chocolate platforms are wearable, and hey, they're a size 8. With a strap in the back and a peephole in the front for extra room, I know girls with a size 8 1/2 foot can wear these!

Monday, July 10, 2006


Take These Sandals Please!

Because I can't. They are just too small. Aren't these the cutest sandals you have ever seen? And they're vintage! They're not new even though they look very contemporary. These size 5ish (waaah) sandals, are probably from the 1960s, maybe even the '50s. They're from Italy too, which just adds to the allure. I just adore the little tiny leather bows on the straps, and the Neapolitan ice cream colors. I could see these lovely little shoes with a white linen or blue chambray sleeveless jumper. However, it's too painful to think about a pair of shoes that don't fit me. I mean, what's the point? They're too small. I tried them on, testing them out on the linoleum floor at Viva Vintage. Luckily I didn't go flying across the slick surface. Alas, one look in the mirror told me these sandals were meant for another Cinderella. So, go, please to Viva Vintage and buy these shoes if you have small feet. By the way, I have no idea what they cost (I don't pay attention to such things when shoes don't fit), but they have to be a great deal considering a bought a never-worn 1950s Kamehameha skirt at the store for $30...

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Friday, July 07, 2006

Main Street Metra Station

This girl was on her way to a wedding. She got off the train wearing this fantastic black straw cloche, but I saw her a few minutes later walking down the street without it on. She looked like she was hot. I hope she put it back on. It just looked so beautiful.

Ogilvy Transportation Center

This pretty assymetrical striped jersey skirt can be bought at Forever 21, according to this girl. She says she just bought it recently, so there's a good chance it's still available.

Chicago Avenue, near the Magnificent Mile

This woman was crocheting on the subway, stitching away as the train rocked back and forth o the tracks. She said she was making a kimono, creating the pattern as she goes along. I love how the yarn matches her jacket.

Rogers Park

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bucktown again