St. Patrick’s Day 2019

DARQ: Top o’ the morning to ye and —

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

CATHERINE: And the same to you, Darq. Oh, my, I know where you are in the world!

DARQ (with a puzzle frown gracing her brow): You can’t possibly know where.

CATHERINE: Okay, I can’t precisely know where you’re at, but I know it’s got something to do with the tropics.

DARQ: How can you tell?

CATHERINE: First, your sign has palm fronds on it. Secondly, you’re not wearing “winter-wear.” Third — the water in the frog pond isn’t frozen, and there’s a giant frog sitting on the edge of the pond. Man, that’s some frog!

DARQ chuckles, then says: You missed the leprechaun behind the hat.

CATHERINE: Did not. And just why does he have his hands behind his back?

DARQ: Magic! All this is his magic to put me ankle deep in shamrocks and greenery so I would have a sensational picture to send to you. Just look down —

CATHERINE mutters something about blinged out shoes covered in bling before saying: You’re in such good spirits. Any chance you’re tipsy on green beer?

DARQ stifles the urge to laugh: Not yet, but the party’s only just beginning. I have to go. Have a great St. Pat’s Day!


NOTE TO SEWERS: Darq’s pants and the darker green trim on her top are corduroy. The green top has a V-yoke with a 4-leaf clover decal. Nothing fancy but Darq is a-wearing GREEN!


Darq will be off somewhere in the world for Easter. Stop back and see what she’s wearing .

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Posted by on March 17, 2019 in Uncategorized


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Valentine’s Day 2019

CATHERINE: Now just who’s behind that little ol’ hat?

Why it’s — Darq!

DARQ: Hi, Catherine, and yes, it is me. Don’t you just love the hat?

CATHERINE: Being a Red Hatter, of course I love a blinged out hat!

DARQ: Can’t stay to chat, the tea’s being served out on the lawn. Some lawn! It’s as big as your front corn field. They’ve got long rows of tables filled with cleverly crafted and brightly colored mignardises (which they tell me is another name for petit fours) and a whole bunch of tiny sandwiches on six-tiered platter towers. Gotta go!

CATHERINE: What? Go? Without showing off your shoes?

DARQ: Oh, right. They’re not too fancy, but they are comfortable and practical for traipsing on grass. (Darq lifts the hem of her dress to reveal — )

DARQ: Now, I really must go! (And she dodges the hearts strewn about the walkway to the gates and onto the lawn.)


Stop back on Saint Patrick’s Day to find out where in the world Darq is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and what she’ll be a’wearin’!


NOTE TO SEWERS: Sometimes the simplest gown can be remarkably pretty. This is a white on white cotton fabric with pink trim. The print on the fabric is a heart made of hearts and love birds.


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Posted by on February 14, 2019 in Uncategorized


2019 – Happy New Year

DARQ: Happy New Year 2019! As you can see, the midnight hour was a gay one and this mansion’s filled with streamers and confetti!

CATHERINE: What’s that horn-like thing against the wall?

DARQ: It’s not a horn but a cannon, well sort of a cannon. (Darq chuckles.)

CATHERINE: What do you mean by sort of a cannon?

DARQ (who stifles her chuckles): It was filled with streamers and confetti. When they hit the blast button, it went off with a POOF, not a BANG. Most of the streamers just plopped out. So funny! Oh, and I have been getting awesome compliments on my outfit! The fabric is so fluid and drapes like a dream. Thank you for making it for me.

CATHERINE: You’re very welcome, Darq. So tell me, did anyone remark on your shoes?

DARQ: I doubt anyone even noticed them, but that was the point, wasn’t it?
— not to have my shoes distract from the impact of the outfit?

CATHERINE: Oh, definitely! So, go, enjoy the party —

DARQ: And breakfast and the New Year’s Day Parade?

CATHERINE: Exactly. See you when you get back to the farm.


Note to Sewers: This is another Erte-inspired outfit for Darq. It’s also the easiest one I’ve ever created. Here’s the original sketch—

The fabric is gold crepe satin, underlined with tulle (which made making the hems look nicer without creating bulk that would keep the crepe from draping well. The actual Erte design was for a 2-piece pajama outfit, with the jacket having the sleeves laced to the jacket. Since I didn’t have such small grommets available, I sewed the sleeve in, then laced gold cord over the seam and topped the jacket side with gold beads (mimicking the grommets). As to the culottes— Darq got pants because the original culottes had slippers incorporated. Yeah, slippers, and those slippers had soles of multi-colored woven straw! That’s way beyond my couture abilities. Also, I didn’t include initials on the jacket nor put in a pocket on Darq’s pants. For the curious, the jacket pattern is just two big rectangles with a back seam and the front opening. The sleeves go in along the top edge (shoulder seam). I truly enjoyed making this project (but I certainly did not enjoy tying those itty-bitty front ties!).


Stop back Valentine’s Day to see what Darq’s doing and wearing!

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Posted by on January 1, 2019 in Uncategorized


Christmas 2018

Happy Holidays to All !

DARQ: I’m enjoying a winter wonderland Christmas. Best gift I got from Catherine is my newest blinged out shoes!

CATHERINE: Be sure to stop back on New Year’s Day to see the new Erte-inspired gown Darq will be wearing.

***NOTE TO SEWERS from Catherine: I was inspired to make Darq’s tunic from a picture of a sweatshirt that had such a ribbon-bow configuration. The striped tunic Darq wears is a cotton stripe. The pants are sparkly white denim (the photo doesn’t do the sparkles justice).

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Posted by on December 25, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Thanksgiving 2018

DARQ: Greetings Catherine — hope you’re having a better Thanksgiving than I am.

CATHERINE: What? Oh, right. Freezing weather for the northeast and the winds might mean the balloons won’t fly for the Macy Parade.

DARQ: It’s not about the parade or the weather. It’s that some ashraf  —  some idiot — overbooked me for this day.

CATHERINE: What do you mean?

DARQ:  Remember me telling you I needed an outfit that could weather me traveling to two different locations?

CATHERINE: You said the outfit had to go from cold to hot climes, but as usual, you and the Men in Black never tell me exactly where in the world you’re going, security and all that.

DARQ: Right.  Well, instead of breakfast and freeze-my-butt-off at the parade and then travel to a sit-down dinner in the tropics, I’ve done breakfast —  Turkey and eggs, who knew, and—

CATHERINE: You’re digressing.

DARQ: Right. Sorry. Okay, I leave the breakfast and then found myself detoured to a Friendsgiving Brunch sponsored by Ambassador —  never mind who — that included twenty turkey dishes from twenty different nations, plus a dessert buffet of at least a  hundred different kinds of miniature fruit pies and sweets. 

CATHERINE: And you sampled and sampled?

DARQ: Of course! Everything was wonderful. But if I had known about the rest of the day, well —  

CATHERINE: You wouldn’t have chowed down so enthusiastically?

DARQ: Exactly. I’m now en route to a brunch, then the parade, then a Post Parade celebration. A couple hours later, the MIBs will whisk me off to a Thanksgiving High Tea! Followed by a late afternoon-early-evening buffet,  and then, finally,  finally, I’ll end up at the sit-down dinner.

CATHERINE: I’m guessing turkey will be the main course at all of the events, along with pumpkin pies?

DARQ: Exactly.

CATHERINE: As the sign you’re standing beside says, give thanks with a grateful heart.

DARQ mutters something under her breath that sounds like Wysotti profanity, then says:  Don’t remind me. And, yes, I am grateful for all the wonderful people I’ve met and befriended in my role as my world’s ambassador here on your planet.  But if I don’t partake of what’s offered at these Thanksgiving events, people will likely consider me rude and not very thankful. By the time I get back to your farm, I will be one over-stuffed turkey! 

CATHERINE (stifling chuckles):  You could just peck at your food.

DARQ: Yeah, right. Look, I must go. See you tomorrow – Happy Thanksgiving.

****** Darq will blog again for Christmas, so if you’d like to be notified of her activities, follow this blog.

CATHERINE:  Hmmmm. Darq, the notorious shoe-a-holic, got so upset with the events of the day that she didn’t mention her shoes. Not that they were all that fancy. Ah, well, she might make up for the oversight in her Christmas post.  Lastly, here’s —

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Posted by on November 22, 2018 in Uncategorized


Halloween Masquerade 2018

Catherine’s screen winks on and an image flares in brilliant color  — 


DARQ: Hi, Catherine! Happy Halloween! And, yes, that’s me behind the mask. The 1830’s Themed Masquerade Ball has wound down. Soon I’ll be escorted by my MIB team to the airfield, and on my way back to your farm.

CATHERINE:  Happy Halloween to you, too. How was the party? Can you show me how your costume looks on you?

DARQ: As you wish —  [She hands one of the Men In Black her cellphone and steps back to the ballroom’s decorated wall. The MIB takes the picture.]

IMG_7613 Use (2)

As soon as the MIB returns the phone to Darq, CATHERINE says: Oh, wow. You look like you stepped out of the 1830’s!

DARQ: I’m not sure I would have wanted to live in that era.  You wouldn’t believe the problems I and the other women had with our costumes.

CATHERINE: I might. So, what kind of problems?

DARQ: Where to start —  ah, yes. At the top  — with the hairdos and elaborate feather headpieces. It took an hour for the maid to do up my hair, but the style was very becoming, don’t you think?

CATHERINE: Indeed I do.  Now, what about the fascinators?

DARQ: Fascinators?

CATHERINE: That’s what we humans currently call such hat-like concoctions. They’re back in popularity these days, particularly in England and for Derby Day here in Kentucky.

DARQ: I didn’t realize that. Anyway, to answer your question  —  no, the fascinators were not the problem  —  it was the feathers that were part of the headpieces. My headpiece has only a few tastefully arranged feathers, but the party hostess had such an elaborately feathered piece that the meter-long ostrich plumes curled forward. They drooped and bounced onto her face. Then there was the woman who kept shedding her headpiece’s little feathers, which made many a guest sneeze and jokes abound about snow falling indoors in these tropics —  oops. Forget I mentioned tropics.

CATHERINE knowingly smiles that no one is supposed to know where in the world Darq travels: Done. No problem. So —  how did the feathers on the masks work out?

DARQ: I didn’t notice any problems with mine or others. Those feathers seemed to be held down tighter than the chocks on a Ky fighter.

CATHERINE: Any other problems?

DARQ: Plenty.  Take the shawls. Nearly all the woman had a lacy shawl, ones like mine. Trouble is, the ballroom was cold. Lace is not warm. And besides, no one dared to put a  shawl around their shoulders.


DARQ: Because they didn’t want to squash their gown’s elaborate sleeves or get the lace snagged by jewelry.

CATHERINE:  You do realize that an 1830’s ballrooms was likely lit with tons of candles, which give off heat? Add to that the body heat of the crush of attendees and ballrooms back then seemed like hot houses. Therefore, a lace shawl was more about propriety than usefulness.

DARQ: No, I didn’t know that. Which explains a lot and makes me ever so grateful for your modern air conditioning  — just not appreciative of how cold things got. But, onward, let me tell you about the problems with the dresses. 

CATHERINE: Big skirts?

DARQ: Exactly! Such flared skirts, held up by tons of lacy petticoats  like mine  —  [Darq lisfts her skirts and takes a selfie.] 


CATHERINE: Oooo, nice shoes.

DARQ, dropping her skirts: They’re custom made. I wanted more bling. but I took the shoemaker’s advice. He said that in the 1830’s a woman wore ballroom slippers. So, I ended up with slippers and darned little bling. Anyway, back to what held up and flared out the skirts  —  petticoats, hoops, and “cages.” In other words, no one could get close to anyone without smashing into a skirt, hoop, or cage. Thus the noise level was louder than a rock concert. 

CATHERINE chuckles.

DARQ: And what do you suppose is under all the petticoats, hoops, and cages?

CATHERINE: Bloomers? 

DARQ: Exactly!  Some women even had stockings under their bloomers that were anchored to their corsets. Two woman had what the MIB told me were wasp waists. [Darq stifles her own chuckles.] You wouldn’t believe the problems all those underpinnings generated when someone needed a potty break!

CATHERINE [smiling]: Did they bring out chamber pots?

DARQ grins, then says:  That was suggested.

CATHERINE: Did you have problems?

DARQ: I had the foresight to wear panels  —  fighter pilot nappies.

CATHERINE bursts out laughing. After her laughter subsides: What else? 

DARQ: Of the hooting-laughable variety? Well, there were a few instances of skirts getting tipped, legs exposed, while going through a doorway.

CATHERINE: So, what’s on the non-hoot-worthy list?

DARQ: Let’s see. There was plenty of bling in the form of jewelry about bare necklines. A considerable amount of gems dangled like chandeliers from earlobes.  Speaking of the lighting,  wall sconces emitted candle-glow light. That light reflected on the gowns and jewels, making things seem more magical than spooky. 

CATHERINE: You didn’t wear a necklace?  

DARQ: No, I didn’t, and my earrings were conservative but elegant. As elegant as my dress and the lace of my sleeves. To which, that little pumpkin you saw me holding was my prize for winning the Billowing Sleeve Award. No one had bigger, poofier sleeves than me!

CATHERINE: They gave out prizes? Not candy?

DARQ: Yes, they gave out prize cauldrons and yes, the cauldrons were filled with various gourmet chocolates and wine samplers, but I only won the one prize. There was the Deep Throat Award that went to the most daringly low neckline.  The French widow, whose big breasts strained the confines of her gown’s neckline, won that award. [Darq chuckles.] When she reached for the cauldron-prize,  one of her breasts popped out!

CATHERINE chuckles, then: Any other prizes?

DARQ: One for the Most Unique Headpiece, one for the Most Authentic Reproduction Gown, and one for the Most Elaborate Sleeve. That sleeve award went to a woman wearing a plaid gown, the sleeves were a beribboned, pleated-smocked short sleeve with a froth of heavy Guipure lace underneath.  [Darq shrugs.] My sleeves weren’t all that elaborate, just puffy.  [Darq beams a smile.] All in all, it was a fun party.

CATHERINE: Will you save me some chocolate?

DARQ looks off to the side then back at the screen and Catherine: I’ll try, but with an escort of six MIBs, I’ll be lucky to eat a couple pieces myself, but I’ll try to save you some. Oh, there’s the signal. Have to go.  See you in a couple days and we’ll talk about Thanksgiving.

CATHERINE: Have a safe flight home. 

………the screen winks off.


NOTE TO SEWERS: This is the inspiration for Darq’s 1830’s ball gown  —  


Darq’s gown is shantung and pink satin with velvet ribbon and a little trim along the neckline collar. There are three sleeves, sewn down as one: The cap sleeve, the billowing lace sleeve under it, and the mutton-chop sleeve beneath. 

To won and all who read and enjoy this blog, Darq and I wish you a  —  



Stop back on Thanksgiving Day to see what Darq is wearing and where she’s celebrating the holiday.  

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Posted by on October 31, 2018 in Uncategorized


Darq is back!

CATHERINE:  A week ago, the MIB (Men In Black) gave me the heads up on Darq’s ETA to my farm. With such advanced information for a change, I decorate the dining room to welcome Darq back to planet Earth and her stay at my farm.  Oh, darn, the dog’s barking up a riot. Excuse me . . .  (Catherine looks out the window and sees the stealth helicopter landing. It doesn’t take long for Darq and her luggage to be deposited on Catherine’s porch and the government men take off in the helicopter.)

After joyful hugs, Catherine and Darq enter the house   —   and Darq is surprised with balloons!


DARQ (laughing and batting away a stray balloon): Thanks for the welcome!

CATHERINE: Just thought some balloons would be a nice touch to welcome you back to the farm.

DARQ: Well, I really appreciate it, and, I have something for you. (Darq goes to one of her travel bags and takes out a shell dotted with flowers. She presents it to Catherine.)

CATHERINE: This is lovely. You shouldn’t have —

DARQ: Nonsense. You like vases and you like flowers. That shell, by the way, is from my home world.


CATHERINE: It’s as glittery as Mother-of-Pearl!  Oh, and the big knobby end looks like a conch shell, but that long shell tail is something else. Are the flowers from your homeworld?

DARQ (scowling): No. Customs said I could bring the shell to Earth but no flowers. I had to settle for Earth posies. Those blooms are from the tropics.

CATHERINE (sets the shell-flowers in the center of her dining room table): Well, it’s a lovely decoration. Thank you. Now, tell me about that outfit you’re wearing.

DARQ (smiling with pride): Do you like it?  It’s a fashion statement from my homeworld. And it’s very comfy for traveling. Especially the shoes.


CATHERINE (muttering under her breath) : Always the shoes!

DARQ: What did you say? I didn’t hear that.

CATHERINE: Nothing. I was just clearing my throat. And, yes, I like our outfit and your  shoes. But you do know it’s fall here, right?  Cool, as in my-furnace-just-kicked-on-again to keep the house warm?

DARQ: I was informed it would be sunny and warm here today.

CATHERINE: Ah, not necessarily. Seventy degrees is on the high side of cool, but I’m sure when the sun does comes out it will be a lot warmer. No matter. Point is, YOU’RE BACK! Welcome to your Home Away from Home for the next seven months and all the galas you get to go to!  (Catherine gives Darq another hug.)

DARQ (pulling away from Catherine’s bear hug):  Speaking of galas, the first special occasion outfit I’ll need is for Halloween.

CATHERINE: Oh, ho! What’s the party theme? There is a theme, right?

DARQ nods: The Earth time period is 1830-ish, and it’s a Masquerade Ball! Not only do I need a dress, I need feathers and flowers or something for my hair.

CATHERINE: 1830’s?  I’m not sure what a ball gown of that era entails, but, com’mon, let’s go to my office and rev up my computer. We ought to find a garment design I can work with at Pinterest.


Stop back on Halloween and see what costume Darq wears.



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Posted by on October 1, 2018 in Uncategorized