DARQ: Hi, Catherine. As much as I wish you a Happy Easter, it isn’t the best of Easters with your world suffering the COVID-19 virus, but do enjoy your Easter Day.
CATHERINE: Thanks, Darq. I see the wreath and the three black, Wysotti funerary flowers . . .
DARQ: The virus took the life of a few of the MIB security detail that escort me. [Darq pats the head of the pink rabbit.] RR was fond of rabbits . . .
CATHERINE: He the one with the white hair and mustache?
DARQ nods: I also have to tell you— I am being recalled to my homeworld.
CATHERINE: What! Why?
DARQ somberly says: I got the virus and—
CATHERINE: You got the virus?
DARQ: Calm down. I got a very mild case—
CATHERINE: But you never said —
DARQ: Couldn’t. You know how the MIB [Men in Black] are. Security and all that. I was quarantined, got better, stayed healthy. As of yesterday, the doctors and all the tests cleared me to return home.
CATHERINE: So you’re coming back to the farm to get your things?
DARQ (shaking her head sadly): No. Sorry. I’m returning to my homeworld tomorrow.
DARQ nods: Just hang onto my trunk of clothes and stuff for the time being. And, Catherine — it’s not certain when I will return to your planet. All depends on the course of the coronavirus and how quickly things for you and your people return to normal. So—
CATHERINE: We play it by ear?
DARQ smiles and nods: Hope to see you come October. Stay safe and healthy.
A NOTE TO SEWERS: I had planned to make Darq a yellow Easter gown for a Spring Tea, but the coronavirus has forced cancellation of group events, travel, self-quarantining, etc. And, in light of the ever-mounting death toll from the virus, it seemed best that Darq wear something more somber for Easter. Her gray tunic is a wool-suiting blend. Her slacks are black linen-rayon. No bling on the shoes. As a matter of fact, those black leather shoes she’s wearing are from a previous outfit.
It is my sincere hope that fall will see things return to normal and that Darq will return to blog anew.
Wishing you sunshine and the joy of spring flowers in bloom this Easter day.
CATHERINE: I received this photo from Darq. Her message was brief. Seems she got all dressed up for a dinner-fund-raiser and at the very last minute, the event was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Her security detail, the MIBs (the Men In Black), whisked her off to a safe site where she’ll be under quarantine.
Her outfit consists of two pieces. The top is gold lame, the skirt is lace underlined with crepe satin. As to her shoes . . .
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day may be low-key this year because of the CDC and government recommendations about “hunkering down,” staying home with family, limiting group gatherings to 10 people, practicing good hygiene habits, etc. Still, Darq and I wish all who celebrate it a —
DARQ: Hello! I am grateful for all who follow this blog and extend to you a heartfelt wish for a Happy Thanksgiving!
CATHERINE: I’ll second that – Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And, Darq, how do you like the 1920’s style gown I made for you?
DARQ: I love it! Especially because everyone can see the shiny bling on my shoes — — —
CATHERINE mutters: You and your shoes.
DARQ: What did you say?
CATHERINE: Enjoy the ball and Thanksgiving . See you when you get back to the farm.
NOTE TO SEWERS:
Here’s the inspiration for Darq’s gown —
This came from a cut-out book of 1920’s paper dolls. The gown is brown satin with metallic confetti. The contrasting tabs are synthetic suede lined with the same satin as the dress. Sewing all those point on the hem of the dress and sleeves was a challenge. I ended up using tulle for a facing because lining the dress would have made things far too bulky.
What will Darq wear for a “Winter Wonderland” gown for the Christmas charity ball she’ll attend next month? Follow this blog and find out!
DARQ: Well, Catherine, and all you have dropped by this past year and in previous years, it is once again time for me to go home to my husband and children. As the sign indicates, I’ll be back October 1 to resume diplomatic relations with Planet Earth. Of course, the running joke with this blog is that I’m a shoe-aholic and love bling. The above photo is misleading. There’s plenty of bling on my shoes. Let me just lift my pant legs a bit —
So I’ll see you all come fall! Have a great summer, Catherine.
CATHERINE: Have a safe journey home!
NOTE TO SEWERS: The fabric is faux-suede. The “flower sprays” are iron-ons. The larger daisies are sewn down. The blouse is a cotton print. Nothing fancy, but all of it is comfortable wear — and very travel worthy!
Stop back October 1 and greet Darq when she returns for another season of fashionable outfits and gala events!
NOTE TO SEWERS – the jacket is a circle folded back and has arm holes. The flowery trim is a self-adhesive I found in a bargain bin – and I used all three yards on the spool because the trim went on the inside and outside of the jacket. The pants are linen. The purse opens and is actually a charm that could have gone on a bracelet.
CATHERINE: Darq was whisked away by the MIB (Men in Black) a couple days ago for a jaunt overseas. However, Darq sent me a few pictures of her in her Halloween costume, one she’s wearing to some ritzy villa in Italy. Good thing I replicated the “Lady of Siena” costume from 16th century Italy so she fit right in with the medieval-themed masked ball.
The dress has sleeves attached to the bodice but those gorgeous, flowingly-long, outer, over-sleeves, are detachable, as was befitting the custom of the era. Oh, and, as always, Darq was in alt at the shoes that matched the outfit.
*****This blog will be updated at Thanksgiving time. Will Darq be back home with Catherine for Thanksgiving? Check back and see or subscribe to this blog.
—-NOTE TO THOSE WHO SEW: Darq’s over-sleeves were easy to make because in the History of Costume book that showed a sketch of the Highborn Lady of Siena, they also included a sketch of the decorative, over-sleeve’s pattern. That outer sleeve attaches at the shoulders with rolls. In the era, those sleeve “bolsters” were attached with ribbons/ties. The hardest part in making the outfit was getting the lace gathered and sewn onto the collar, which necessitated hand sewing. Below is the sketch of what I worked from. Now if only recreating an Erte design were as easy! — Catherine
*****This blog will be updated at Thanksgiving time. Will Darq be back home with Catherine for Thanksgiving?
CATHERINE: I managed to get a snapshot of Darq packing her things for the trip back to her homeworld of Wysa. If you are wondering like I was about all the two towers of shoes fitting in the trunk along with her clothes, well—
According to Darq, the MIB (Men in Black), have this molecular and atom compression gizmo that will get everything down into some sort of weightless, flat thread of light-energy. Not being a techno-geek, the process sounded to me a lot like the transporters used on Star Trek. Okay, so fiction is fiction and as long as you can suspend your disbelief, it’s kosher. Right?
Darq will be back this fall . . . new shoes, new clothes.
****SPECIAL NOTE: HEARTS AKILTER – Catherine’s fantasy/sci-fi romance is coming soon – Get on the “early bird” notification list for the release date and you could win a $25 gift card. Details are HERE
DARQ: I wish all who stop by a Happy Valentine’s Day – mine is going to be sensational because Catherine sewed another Erte-inspired gown for me so I could look fabulous at the dinner party I’m attending tonight in – oops, can’t divulge the location, national security and all that. Here’s the sneak peek at the gown–
There is nothing like velvet on my planet, Wysa, but I am totally in love with this fabric, and the satin lining. And the color. And, yes, peeping out from the front hem is a pair of velvet and satin shoes!
I couldn’t believe how sumptuous this gown turned out to be. I love it, love it, love it!
And here’s the Erte illustration I picked out for Catherine to work from:
Oh, so you want to see the back of the gown? Well, here ‘tiz–
The “train” is attached to the back of the skirt, which is pleated. Catherine says the pleats allow the train to be wider than the regular skirt would have been. The train folds up and is draped over my shoulders.
Since the dress is fully lined, Catherine did something interesting to the velvet side of the train–she twisted the fabric around to showcase the satin. . .
And then she had a brilliant idea to flip to the velvet side, which she decorated with a butterfly–
So, one outfit, many ways to wear it!
As to the clasp, it flips so it works for either the satin or velvet side.
What’s the gown look like with the train is down? Why–
Notice the V-neckline of the front and that the back one is decadently deeper.
CATHERINE: Your husband will appreciate that.
DARQ chuckles, then says: He’ll appreciate more undressing me after he discovers that plunging back V.
CATHERINE: I thought you had a limit on things you can transport when you ship back home.
DARQ: This is a must-have item. I love this gown more than the white and silver Erte outfit you made me for New Year’s Eve, 2013.
CATHERINE: Wow, and double wow.
DARQ: Besides, Catherine, this gown makes me feel and look ultra-classy. So, what’s the plan for St. Patrick’s Day?
CATHERINE, shocked expression on her face: You need another gown?
DARQ: No. I thought maybe I’d take you and your hubby out to dinner, someplace local. So, I guess all I need is regular wear.
CATHERINE: As in a uniform?
DARQ: No silly, civilian wear will do.
CATHERINE: What’s Wysotti civilian wear like?
CATHERINE: I mean, how different from Earth fashions is your civilian Wysotti clothing. Can you show me a picture or two of what you normally wear?
DARQ: You know, it would be nice to wear fashions from my homeworld . . . When I check in next week with fleet HQ, I’ll see about downloading pictures of current fashions so you can work from them. How’s that?
CATHERINE: Sounds good to me.
*** Stop back on St. Patrick’s Day to see Darq’s civilian Wysotti-wear. In green, of course, because St. Patrick’s Day is for the wearing of the green!
NOTE TO SEWERS: Darq’s Valentine’s gown is rayon velvet. I bought the fabric more than 10 years ago for the bib and sleeve cuffs of a dress I made for my local Morgan Horse association’s awards banquet. There was a lot of fabric left over. I used some a couple of Christmases ago, when I made my daughter an “old fashioned” Christmas Stocking. Still there was an L-shaped piece left, and that’s what I used for Darq’s gown. I used all of it. No scraps left.
Interestingly enough, the longest side of that L-piece of velvet remnant was just long enough to make the train–from shoulder seam to tip of the train is 40″. The gown is fully lined with metallic, stretch satin. The hardest part about sewing the gown was hand sewing the hem and attaching the lining to the sleeves at the cuffs. I must have tried six different hand-sewing needles before I found one that would pierce the tough rayon, slinky satin, and the metallic threads in the satin.
Now my only problem is how to preserve the gown without crushing the velvet. So if you have any ideas, please let me know.
DARQ: Well, I returned to find Catherine had sewn outfits and done a few craft and flower projects for entry into not one but two county fairs. One of those fairs was the awesome Crawford County Fair, billed as the largest agricultural fair in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
And, as you can see, Catherine did very well indeed–a total of 25 entries and 24 ribbons (mostly blue, which is first place!). And, she found time to sew me a new “summer” outfit. I love the daisy print blouse and it’s gauze sleeves!
CATHERINE: You love your new shoes more.
DARQ (smiles): True. So true! And they’re blinged out with sparkles.
CATHERINE: Hey, don’t get any of that cotton candy on my ribbons!
DARQ: Wouldn’t dream of it.
CATHERINE: You know, you could cut a few calories by not pigging out on that stuff.
DARQ (with mouth full of cotton candy): Can’t stop myself. It’s so sweet, and it melts on my tongue. We don’t anything like this on my homeworld.
CATHERINE: So, what did you think of the Erte outfit that took a blue ribbon at both fairs?