Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How we bought an affordable 3-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. (PSST: SEWING ROOM)

Me, painting our new three-bedroom apartment bright orange and turquoise, as one does

Yeah, so, we bought a three-bedroom prewar apartment in Manhattan through an affordable housing organization. It was all rather sudden. We couldn't afford our neighborhood in Brooklyn anymore (see here for explanation of the below image)...

So we started hunting around in June and it looked like we were going to be moving to New Jersey or high up in the Bronx, and we kept applying to housing lotteries with no luck and all the waiting lists for Mitchell Lama buildings were YEARS long and then I randomly started reading about income-restricted HDFC coop affordable housing apartments...

And I came across an article about UHAB, a non-profit organization that fixes up dilapidated buildings and then sells the occupied apartments to current tenants and vacant apartments to moderate and low income families. What's especially cool about these apartments is that they are permanently affordable — they are real homes, not market-rate investments. Under new HDFC rules, they can only EVER be sold to families who fit the income restrictions for pretty much the exact price paid (plus inflation).

And I randomly called this organization and they had ONE three-bedroom apartment left for a family of our size and income in a building in Harlem and it could MAYBE be ours if we got our application in right away. So we stayed up all night assembling a massive pile of documents and bank statements and landlord letters and identity papers and paystubs and I messengered it over the next day.

After months of additional paperwork and various hurdles, it was done. We moved in September just in time for the start of kindergarten for Ms. Z and here I sit today in our new home in a 1910 elevator building in beautiful Hamilton Heights, Harlem.

So what about that sewing room, you ask?! Do such things exist in the isle of Manhattan?

Well, sort of. It's really a bedroom for one of the kids, but the little baby dude is still in a crib in our room for now, so I am going to temporarily luxuriate in the feeling of having an actual sewing room.

Except that it is just a big pile of boxes at the moment:

And the only thing I've actually sewn in there so far was a gusset to expand Z's Ghostbusters Halloween costume because we didn't have time for a new costume idea this year.

Because life these days has been all about the sleep-deprivation of being a full-time working mom with a nursing-through-the-night baby, plus some unpacking, painting, and assembling of furniture...

Ruby the Riveter: My dad helps Z assemble her IKEA Kura bed.

I can't complain though. I may be a sleep-deprived half-functioning zombie, but the little dude is CUTE. And massive. And outgrowing all of his hand-knits which I have not had time to replace with newer, bigger knits.

P.S. Dressmakers, Tailors, Milliners and a Cartoonist

AND to top it all off, the building has a cool history. Z loves that we live just blocks from the former home of famed Harlem Renaissance anthropologist and writer Zora Neale Hurston. Plus my amazing mom put her genealogy skills to use and dug up the census records for 1910, 1920 and 1930. Upon which I learned that amidst the early residents of our building were quite a few:

  • dressmakers
  • milliners
  • tailors
  • silk and fabric salesmen
  • ... and even a well-known cartoonist!

So there you have it. It was MEANT TO BE. Now if I can just get around to hemming the curtains we hung up more than a month ago...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Finished: Fuschia Floral Maxi Dress (McCall's 6070 hacked for nursing with Simplicity frankenskirt)

So a few months ago I made this dress and went back to work before I could blog it. I wear it all the time and pretty much love it BUT I have to say my memory of its construction is rather hazy at this point.

I do know that I used my trusty McCall's 6070 for the bodice but did a (1"?) FBA to make room for a nursing mama's bust. Fabric is ITY jersey from -- where else? -- Spandex House.

The skirt was sloppily adapted from a random midi-length Simplicity dress I got free in a pattern swap — and I realized after sewing I could not actually walk easily, so ripped the seam back to make an improvised walking slit. (I folded the seam allowances to the side, ironed them down with fusible webbing, and sewed them too for good measure).

I needed the neckline to hold up to repeated nursing, so I bound the surplice edges with foldover elastic — it totally works.

I really agonized over the hemline. I tried searching for maxi dress hemline advice (having never made anything non knee-length before) but found all these goofy articles advising me to let the dress drag on the ground or to wear it with high heels to "elongate" the figure, because it is apparently a woman's duty to always look as thin and tall as she can possibly manage even if she has to tear her dress and cover it in dog leavings in the process. Definitely neither safe nor practical for my lifestyle (on New York City streets? while carrying a baby?) so I hemmed to wear with my favorite flats.

In other news, no idea why my daughter decided she had to throw a dress OVER her rashguard, but whatever.

I also made a lot of hats and other odds and ends I have yet to post... but for now I will leave you with this photo of me and baby D at a free outdoor summer concert (I made the hat, too, but that's for another post).

P.S. This is still early but it is possible we might be moving very soon. Which may mean a sudden onslaught of sewing... curtains. And pillow covers. I'm sure you can't wait!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A 10 Item Wardobe? (Or: It's OK to wear the same outfit over and over!)

This orange dress (shown in 2011) survived multiple closet purges over the years because I loved the color and shape. But I hated the length and never wore it—and now it's finally gone.

So I still haven't had time to blog several sewing or knitting projects, but thought I'd drop in quickly to share a little video. We're doing some triple super ultra major decluttering in preparation for an apartment move, so I decided to watch some downsizing/minimalism TED talks for inspiration (found via Apartment Therapy: Flirting with Minimalism or Downsizing? These TED Talks May Just Talk You Into It).

Anyway, thought I'd share this little one here — blogger Jennifer L. Scott on the 10-Item Wardrobe:

A lot of this material you might already have thought about if you've followed along with Colette Patterns' Wardrobe Architect Series (or read one of Sarai's blog suggestions, the minimalist capsule-wardrobe-building blog Into Mind.)

My big takeaway? It's OK to wear the same items of clothing or the same outfits multiple times in the same week. Really. If it looks good and you love it — wear it and wear it over again (change your accessories if you like), clean it, repair it, and take care of it. Quality and fit and style over quantity.

That's why one of my goals for Me-Made May has never been "no outfit repeats."

A minimalist wardrobe approach has another bonus — even though I only have very limited sewing and knitting time, if I make the RIGHT things, they can still make up the vast majority of my mini-wardrobe.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fabric (and other shopping) discount referral code!

McCall's 6070 fuschia maxi dress

Don't be too impressed now — I sewed the above maxi dress back during Me Made May and I STILL haven't found time to blog about it. Give me a few more weeks!

Just popping in quickly to share a quick eBates discount referral code offer that expires at midnight (you get $5 when you sign up and use the code and I get $5, plus various bonuses if more than one of you sign up).

You might have noticed that I'm something of a frugal type (especially now that I have two kids and have just returned to work after the unpaid half of my maternity leave)... and while of course the best way to save money is to avoid buying unnecessary stuff, when I do buy something I try to get it the cheapest way possible — by buying secondhand when I can, and at a deep discount when that isn't an option, and always using a bonus point credit card* that I autopay each month in full. Every little bit helps, because when you save even just 5% you had to buy anyway, that's like getting a 5% raise.

Anyway, on top of any coupon code searching or other budgety schemes you might already have going, there's eBates, a simple online shopping rebate site that seems to have discount links for pretty much every site I shop on, from eBay (1% rebate) to (3% rebate). You just visit eBates, find your shop, click the referral link, buy your stuff and a month or so later, you get a nice fat rebate check.

And that's it — sorry for any spamminess, but I discovered the site via another sewing blog (Erika Made It) and am super into it as part of my overall Thriftiness Strategy.

Meanwhile, I am back at work, baby is not sleeping (predictably, he's making up for my daytime absence by nursing all night long), and I'm so tired that I keep stubbing my toes or burning myself or having other ridiculous small accidents (I think I put my bra in the fridge the other day?). I even ended up at the ER for a few hours not too long ago because I grabbed a hot pot without a potholder:

So sleep-deprived these days I grabbed a hot pot off the stove without a potholder and spent last night at the ER being treated for a second-degree burn. My sweet baby keeps waking up every 30-60 minutes (teething? Misses me when I am working?) to nurse t

So maybe I shouldn't go near the sewing machine any time soon?

But you know, the kids are awesome (I love saying "the kids"!) and life is good. I can't complain.

Tagged for #widn (what I'm doing right now) by @cliophineas : watching my 4-year-old read a bedtime book to my 4-month-old after a long day at work. What are you doing now @theslowsteady @moonthirty @melissajeangibson ?

*My favorite is the Chase Sapphire (referral link), which has up to a 50,000 point signup bonus (translates to $500 in cash rewards)... though of course if you run a balance or forget to cancel before the fee kicks in, it's not as great of a deal.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Quick Blue Ponte Pencil Skirt (Burdastyle Melissa Skirt) + Twin Needle Hem Troubleshooting

Burdastyle Melissa High-Waisted Blue Ponte Pencil Skirt

In the interests of blogging the unblogged, I'll keep this brief.

Burdastyle Melissa High-Waisted Blue Ponte Pencil Skirt

After all, why take longer to blog about something...

Burdastyle Melissa High-Waisted Blue Ponte Pencil Skirt

Than it took to sew it?

Burdastyle Melissa High-Waisted Blue Ponte Pencil Skirt

The details:

Pattern: Burdastyle Melissa high-waisted knit pencil skirt. It doesn't get any simpler than this dartless, three-piece (front, back, waistband) PDF pattern, a mere $3.99. I've made this before in a red knit maternity version and a sparkly spandex mermaid version, but this is my first really wearable useful version.

Fabric: Bright blue ponte doubleknit rayon/poly/lycra, I think, from Mood a long time ago. A stash-busting win! As noted above I had made this skirt five years ago in a red single jersey but it was too clingy and thin — this is a much more substantial and appropriate material for a tight-fitting skirt.

Notions: None — it's an elastic-free waistband.

Sizing: I cut a straight size 38, which corresponds to almost two sizes smaller than my actual measurements. It's slightly snug, but I'm still slowly changing size in a downward direction almost four months out from giving birth to little D, so I'm sewing at a moving target.

How I found the time: This required just one baby catnap (for cutting time) and one short late-night sewing session after baby was asleep.

Anyway, even in my sleep-deprived time-pressed state, it was a quick sew. I basted the sides to check fit (better than unpicking serger seams later!), serged it and hemmed it with a stretch twin needle. No modifications needed.

I'm trying to get back to twin needle hems after backing away from them in frustration and resorting to zig-zags for a while... this hem actually popped the first day I sewed it, but I redid it after playing with tension and putting wooly nylon in the bobbin and it's holding up much better.

I read this little twin needle hem tutorial by Maria Denmark and it gave me the confidence to get back into it, though I've generally used Steam a Seam Lite 2 or washaway stabilizer instead of the strips of knit interfacing she recommends. I even finally hemmed my Tiramisu knit dress two years after sewing it:

Me Made May 17: Red & White Stripes

Me-Made-May gave me the extra push I needed to hem this thing... but baby pooped all over it while we were taking this photo, so I'm still trying to sun the stains out.

So yes: another fitted blue skirt. Not as playground-worthy as the stretch denim trumpet skirt I just made, but I go back to work in less than two weeks and I needed some versatile basics. It also made a perfect date night skirt for when my parents watched the kids and husband and I went to see the Avengers movie (eh, it was OK... not my favorite Whedon thing).

The little wool felt rose pin was made by my awesome Aunt Becky and the belt came with a cheap ready-to-wear dress I bought ages ago — I'm trying to broaden my accessory palette beyond just simple bright shoes and necklaces, but it really doesn't come naturally to me. Hmmm...

Another thing that doesn't come naturally to me? Posing. I read recently that the thing to try is pointing your toes in, and I wanted to try something new, but... this is just kind of awkward:

Me Made May 13: new blue ponte pencil skirt

Will I make this pattern again? Probably, though I'm tempted to do something to it to keep it interesting — add some seaming or a flounce, or use a bold print.

What's your take on twin needle vs. zigzag hems? (And I don't want to hear about coverstitch machines, there is no room in my budget or apartment for such things!)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

SHB Sew-Along Baby Clothes Roundup: Sweet, Cool and Geeky

Block-printed Lego Blocks Onesie/Bodyshirt
Baby D in his way-too-big-but-he'll-grow-into-it Lego bodyshirt

Our Small Human Being Sew-Along has come to an end (OK, technically it ended two weeks ago, but since your hosts all have small babies, let's overlook that, shall we?), and it's time to round up the final projects for Category 1: Baby Clothes! Cindy of Cation Designs will be rounding up Category 2: Baby Accessories and Clio of Clio & Phineas will be featuring the Category 3: For Parents projects.

We were impressed and inspired by what our participants made — especially since some of you had multiple small children running about, were tired and pregnant, and/or were working mamas to small babies.

I know I personally was so fired up by the sew-along I've kept the momentum going, and have really learned to work in tiny baby-catnap-sized time chunks — tracing a pattern here, sewing a few seams there, doing a little handsewing.

And on to the projects, in no particular special order. I do think I've captured everyone's clothes submissions here, but please let me know if I missed you, as we'd like to feature at least one piece from everyone. (Where I have used links instead of photos, it's due to photo permission issues, not because I didn't want to feature a piece).

The sweet

Lindsay (aka lindsaystitches on Instagram) made a sweet pair of harem pants style leggings for her baby girl due in July, using heart print knit leftover from another project:

Laurel (aka Dart & Gather) made this adorable appliquéd rabbit tee using scraps from old maternity clothes, as well as the Oliver + S layette set and coordinating hats I featured previously:

Rabbit tee 12M

Lisette of What Would Nancy Drew Wear? made this fantastic rickrack-trimmed romper from a 1950s vintage pattern, Advance 6063:

Advance 6063

Dina fought through her pregnancy nausea and exhaustion to make this adorable bear-eared jacket and pants (similar to our sew-along logo!):

Sew-Along co-hostess Clio made a sweet elephant print baby sleep gown for her little Taco baby with a convertible mitten cuff, and wrote up a tutorial for the cuff, too!

Brianne Ramirez made a little floral ruffled romper — oh goodness this is cute!

Finally, Flickr user a2assiramarah made a raglan tee with a hand drawn elephant and coordinating leggings for her second baby girl.

The cool

Which is not to say the sweet items aren't cool, but only that I needed to make some categories here, so... these are cool.

Emily Breck says she feels meh about these footed baby pants, but I think they are pretty awesome:

baby got back leggings + feet

Masha at the Itinerant Seamstress blog made some awesome outfits for her fourth (not yet arrived) baby — I love her use of stripes!

The free Brindille and Twig raglan hoodie pattern was pretty popular for the sew-along. My friend Lee made two awesome versions—the red is my favorite, I love the striped hood lining:

second hooded raglan

Laurel made one too!

Brindille & Twig Hoodie 12-18M

And I made a bicycle-print one, with matching bicycle fabric pants:

My first sewing project since D was born 9 weeks ago. Little dude doesn't mind it's two sizes too big. #SHBsewalong #brindilleandtwig #raglanhoodie #sewingforboys #bicycleprint

Elena of Randomly Happy loved her Grainline Hemlock Tee so much she made her little guy a mini version:

Ms. McCall of Brown Paper Patterns blog copied a ready-to-wear cardigan and added a hood to her cute striped version:

And Flickr user oes1 made several fantastic outfits using patterns from Ottobre magazine — I love the knee patches here especially!

The geeky

Given your hosts, how could there not be a large component of geek-tastic baby clothes made for the sew-along?

We are huge Miyazaki fans here at Polka Dot Overload headquarters, so I may actually have squealed out loud in excitement when I saw adorable Totoro costume that AJ at Confused Kitty Creations made for her 9-month-old baby (and a matching one for her 2.5-year-old) using an online tutorial. (Like me, she mostly sews late at night when the kids are in bed):

(I am definitely tempted to copy her with a set for my kids... but I know my daughter would far prefer to dress as Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service.)

Becky of Sew and So blog guesstimated what size T-shirt her (not yet born) baby Jedi would fit into when the new Stars Wars movie comes out in December, and made this adorable colorblocked Star Wars quote top using scraps and freezer paper stencils:

Yoda shirt

Hannah of Making Rivendell in the Desert made a gorgeous LOTR-inspired baby eleven dress for her baby-to-be. Also: not only is she pregnant, she has three small children, so we were all in awe of her ability to find any time to sew at all. Here's how she did it:

With 3 kids under the age of 4, and being pretty pregnant with the baby that I'm actually making these things for (thus, needing sleep), I found with this sewalong how to get sewing time in: firstly, to sew in little chunks of time (15ish-25ish minutes) during their snack times or when they're in quiet play, the key being always being willing to walk away in a second when the kiddos were unhappy. This meant that I had less negative feelings about sewing, and the kids were happier, and I was happier (and less frustrated)... Also, exchanging my 1 hour or so after the kids go down that I used to spend on Pinterest/internet, for sewing time instead. I would have "sewing days" which were no internet days.

Baby Elven Dress with Belt

SHB Sew-Along host Cindy went into geeky baby sewing overdrive, and made her little Hobbit a ... Hobbit costume. To wear in front of a mini Bag End. While chewing on his Cindy-made teething One Ring. WOW.

In front of his hobbit hole

Not to mention a slew of geek-tastic fabric marker decorated tees, including a Firefly "Blue Sun" logo tee:

Geeky SHB shirts

Meanwhile, I made my little dude a way-too-big blockprinted Lego-inpsired onesie to coordinate with the Lego dress I made for his big sister:

Block-printed Lego Blocks Onesie/Bodyshirt

Phew, I think I got at least one baby clothes project from everybody in here? Please let me know if I missed you and I'll edit the post.

Thanks so much for joining us, whether you sewed just a little baby bib or a whole pile of elaborate baby outfits!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

SHB Giveaway winners coming soon!

Baby D dressed for Free Comic Book Day

Just a quick note to let you know we'll be announcing the winners of the five giveaways for the Small Human Being Sew-Along soon. We were so impressed by all of the awesome projects that you all made that it is taking us longer to judge the Ottobre subscription winners than we thought.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos of baby D — above in his Free Comic Book Day outfit (a hoodie I made for his sister with cartoon doodle fabric and a Doctor Who onesie I made with an iron-on transfer), and below in a bib I made him from some scraps.

Decked out in his new #memade bib. 3 months old! #scrapbusting

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Me-Made Garment Graveyard

I still miss my colorblocked wool jersey skirt (eaten by evil moths in 2013)

Baby D isn't feeling like going to sleep tonight so Mommy can sew something new for a Mother's Day outing tomorrow.

So as I sit here in the dark snuggling with him I thought I'd take a quick moment to say goodbye to some of the me-mades I used to know that aren't here for Me Made May 2015 any more because they've been lost or donated or recycled.

Some of these I am sad about, and to some I say: good riddance! My goal is to have a tightly edited closet/drawers full only of things I actually love to wear, and I can't hold onto the ill-fitting or unwearable just because I made them.

Goodbye wide-legged blue corduroy Vogue trousers (you didn't hit at the waist properly and my husband always hated you):

Trouser Triumph

Goodbye McCall's 5529 chartreuse cardigan jacket — you did not fit at all and that doubleknit from was just the WORST:

McCall's 5529 Chartreuse Cardigan Jacket Fail

Oh where are you now my beloved reversible shirred skirt in Maggy London purple geometric lawn on one side and black swiss dot lawn on the other? I lost you on vacation two years ago and I still miss you to this day. Come home to me, please!

Me Made May 23: Green and purple

Goodbye Burdastyle Melissa red pencil skirt — you wrinkled like crazy and always showed underwear lines. But I'll make you again — in ponte knit this time!

BurdaStyle "Melissa" High-Waisted Knit Skirt--Red Maternity Version Side View

Oooh, baby is sleeping now! Time to sew.

P.S. You can see all my me-made-May outfits in this Flickr gallery — I don't know that I will have time to do weekly roundups this year.

A Simple Stretch Denim Skirt (With a Secret) - Simplicity 5914 review

Simplicity 5914 gored stretch denim skirt

So: I made a plain solid-colored skirt in a neutral color with no embellishment. Somewhat out of character for me but I really needed this wardrobe staple to balance out all the wild print tops in my drawers. And, well, I love it!

Inspiration: Ten years ago I had a sudden urge to make a polka-dot skirt (as one does) and pulled Simplicity 5914 and some cheap $2/yard polyester woven from my then-small stash. The result was this simple gored skirt with petersham waist facing (a special type of flexible hat ribbon you can steam into a curve and use instead of a self-fabric facing):

Thrifty remix 8_15_06

I didn't actually adjust the pattern or check for fit, so the size 14 was way too big at the time. It was the first pattern I reviewed for Pattern Review, and I was able to wear it as recently as last Me-Made-May:

Me Made May 19: Bottom of the drawer (running out of me-mades!)

Post-baby #2, I can't squeeze into it any more, but when a thrift store denim skirt hunt turned up nothing good, I decided to turn to this well-loved TNT. When I first reviewed it in 2005 I answered the "Would you sew it again?" question with "Yes, I think I'll make again, since it's so simple. You can never have too many comfy skirts." And now I have and I'm so glad because I cannot stop wearing this thing!

Simplicity 5914 gored stretch denim skirt

This time I made View B, the flared hem trumpet version.

This is my ideal skirt. It's everything I love and need in a skirt for both my casual workplace (that I'll be returning to in less than a month) AND the playground — a spitup-proof cross between polished and casual, with the best features of a pencil and A-line skirt combined.

  1. Fitted through the hips, but loose at the hem for running around.
  2. Tight but comfortable thanks to hidden elastic waist facing.
  3. Can sit on the playground floor or grass if necessary without fear of stains or showing my underthings.
  4. Resistant to spitup.
  5. Stretch woven BUT with a "tummy tuck" or pocketless "pocket stay" style interior woven panel so I can wear my tops tucked in without fear of being thought still pregnant.

Anyway, FINALLY not looking pregnant AND having an awesome new wardrobe staple is definitely a booster on the self-image front, and I'm feeling a bit better than I did in my previous post about it all ("What to Wear and Sew When Nothing Fits"). Taking Me Made May photos helps, even if posing always makes me feel super awkward (what the heck am I supposed to do with my camera-proximate arm? why does it look weirdly distorted?).

Simplicity 5914 gored stretch denim skirt

OK, basic details:

Pattern: Simplicity 5914 (out of print, but easily available on eBay), View B. A 6-gore woven fabric trumpet skirt with side zipper that hits at the natural waist.

Fabric: Dark wash stretch denim from Mood, I think it is the Theory denim everyone raves about. When I saw Nettie of Sown Brooklyn recently she was wearing some amazing Ginger jeans in the exact same fabric. This stuff is AWESOME, the perfect medium weight with great stretch and recovery ... but I bought it in the store and have no idea which website item corresponds, sorry!

Notions: 7" invisible zipper, hook and eye, 1" waistband elastic.

Sizing: Since I can no longer squeeze into my size 14 version, I figured I would make the 16, but I forgot to factor in that I was using a stretch woven this time, so... OOPS. I basted the side seams, checked fit and wound up taking them in by at least 1.5" (so about 6" total) to get a nice snug stretch fit. I'm sure it would have been more accurate to take some of that width out of the gored seams, but I didn't feeling like it at the time—maybe I'll do that if/when I need to take the skirt in again.



  1. I used an invisible zipper instead of the lapped zipper recommended.
  2. I was going to use petersham for the waist facing (a technique covered in Sandra Betzina's wonderful Power Sewing: Step by Step book), but hated the idea of something rigid at my waist when my size continues to fluctuate... so I pretended that a piece of 1" elastic about 3" shorter than my waist circumference was the petersham and it totally works, even if it looks messy inside.
  3. I sewed in a double layer of quilting cotton as a tummy tuck panel or pocketless "pocket stay" on the skirt front (I first got this idea from Fehr Trade blog, Heather Lou discusses it in her Ginger Jeans sew-along and Jenny/Cashmerette has blogged about it as well).

Here's what the innards look like:

Simplicity 5914 gored stretch denim skirt

The skirt has already passed the spitup test several times, and I was able to clean it no problem. Phew!

Simplicity 5914 gored stretch denim skirt

(I realize that looks oddly precarious but I swear I was holding my precious little guy securely!)

Back view...

Simplicity 5914 gored stretch denim skirt

Skirt happiness... the end!

Simplicity 5914 gored stretch denim skirt

Will I make it AGAIN AGAIN? Maybe, though I'm running out of time for sewing while on maternity leave and will probably be too tired to do much once I go back to work. This stretch cotton woven from the stash might do nicely, though the pattern matching might make me cranky.

Ink paint turquoise stretch cotton

P.S. It is bizarre to think I first started sewing regularly 10 years ago. I did take a five year hiatus and didn't really pick it up again until 2010, but I still feel like somehow I should have more to show for 10+ years of owning my own sewing machine... but here I am, still making basic daywear skirts instead of, I don't know, tailored wool jackets and elaborate evening gowns. Maybe someday!