sleeves

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This will be the last Free Pattern Friday for the next two weeks -I’m blowing this popsicle stand and heading to the Eternal City. That’s right, I’m going on spring break in ROME! SPRING BREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK,YEAH! I’ll either be getting very rowdy or face existential crises while looking my sharpest. Why Rome? It’s got the most history crammed into the smallest space for your euro, plus they have way better coffee than Paris.

For anyone else gearing up for a visit, do not do what I did and watch the following movies:

‘Mamma Roma’ (Pier Paolo Passolini) – a bleak tale of a mother willing to sacrifice everything for love of her son in poor, postwar Rome. It does not go so well.

‘The Bicycle Theif’ (Vittorio DeSica) – a bleak tale of one man’s quest to get back the bicycle on which his and his family’s livelihood depends. It does not go so well.

‘La Strada’ (Frederico Fellini) – a naîve young girl joins a man in a traveling roadshow, bearing his many cruelties. It does not go so well.

“La Dolce Vida’ (Frederico Fellini) – a jaded newspaper writer hangs out with a bunch of nihilistic rich hedonists as they try not to stare too hard at the void in their lives. It does not go so well.

Each film painted a more harrowing picture than the next. So instead of a long, dark journey into night, I recommend watching ‘Roman Holiday’, starring the always-charming Audrey Hepburn.

It highlights the beauty of Rome without using it as a backdrop for humanity’s cruelties, though it is sort of bittersweet. This week’s pattern is the sort of dress she might wear if she had another day free to wander. Well, she doesn’t because she’s a princess and they have responsibilities, dammit. But you can whip this up and trot about to your heart’s content!

Molto Bene!

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Urban Outfitters, flagship of a generation’s trends. If you see it here in the morning it’s all over the streets of Williamsburg by evening. Sure, their prices are a little ridiculous ($88 for a cotton skirt? I don’t care if it has a Navajo eagle printed on it), and they keep pushing the extraordinarily irksome glasses-as-pure-fashion-accessory (you know those glasses ads where people who clearly don’t need glasses are wearing glasses and you think ‘gee, they’d look better without the glasses on? Welcome to New York), but it can’t be denied that Urban Outfitters clothes those who put way too much effort into looking effortlessly hip (visible effort/enthusiasm = move to Portland).

puffsleeveblazerstrongshouldertunicstrongshoulderdress

While a lot of their catalog reveals a shift from ironic 80s to completely straightforward 90s appropriation (moving past Kelly Bundy and on to Season 1 of ’90210′), something about this latest ‘strong shoulder’ craze seemed…familiar. Hmmm…big shoulders…big….shoulders…biiiiig…….shoulderrrrrs…..

Handicrafter VolX No3 44
Oh, that’s right, the 40s*, which was sniped by the 80s, and now again by the…uh, can we call ourselves the aughts? Is that cool? We can call ourselves the Teens next year, ending this whole etymologic dilemma. Yes, during the War Years fashion reacted much like a frightened owl, sending shoulders soaring outward in defensive trajectory, adding angles to curves.

Considering we’re at war (both overseas and on drugs; how’s that one going by the way?) and dealing with numerous long-term natural disasters, it’s hard to fault fashion for reverting to a defensive posture, but it’s irksome when the new guard pretends they thought it up first.

You could land a plane on those shoulders.

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