Top 5 (Okay 6) Posts for 2015

2015FebSLiving

My top-clicked image of 2015! Okay, weird.

In my previous life at TFAW, I was a sucker for analytics. I could get sucked down the rabbit hole of Google Analytics and make all kinds of pretty charts! So when I realized I’ve been blogging long enough to see a whole year of data, I thought I’d dig into my top five posts for 2015.

But Elisabeth, you say, there are six posts here! That’s because one of my top posts was an anomaly (you’ll see why), so I’m kind of not counting it. But it was interesting to see what people actually read and found on my blog–and I was surprised by what popped up!

#6: Fire Walk With Us: Twin Peaks Dinner Party

This was a fun one–and it reminds me, I never wrote a post for our follow-up, our Twin Peaks Brunch! Putting it on the editorial calendar now, especially with the new Showtime series coming up in 2017.

ClassicXMen33_3

My second-most clicked image of 2015! Classic X-Men #33, page by Ann Nocenti and John Bolton.

#5: Why Jessica Jones Is the Hero We Need

This post was really close to my heart–I love the Alias comics, and I was really excited to watch Jessica Jones (I’ve seen it all now!). I really wanted to articulate something I needed to hear when I was younger–that it’s okay to fail–and I’m glad it resonated with a lot of you as well.

Real Lilly Pulitzer

My third-most clicked image of 2015! Image from Lilly Pulitzer.

#4: The Myth of the Desperate Woman: Go Get What You Want, Ladies

Another soul-searching, gut-wrenching post! Thanks for not leaving me hanging, guys. It was triggered by my favorite ex-boyfriend getting married. I was super happy for him and his wife, but I admit, it brought me back to the end of our relationship, when we split up . . . in part because he didn’t want to get married.

#3: Thanksgiving Pre-Prep: Your Secret Weapon to Less-Stressful Entertaining

Ha ha ha ha! Listen. This is a really good post–if you’re into entertaining. But the reason so many people read this article is because Gerard Way, a friend who’s a musician and comic book writer, retweeted this on Twitter and he has many, many thousands of followers who probably thought he was doing his grandmother a solid.

#2: Make Your Own Lilly Pulitzer Dress

I wrote this post on a lark after the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection sold out so quickly. I became obsessed with the idea of finding a sewing pattern and fabric so I could (hypothetically) make my own. This post gets a lot of organic traffic, so there must be a lot of would-be sewers out there. I think this is just the excuse I needed to make one this spring–I’ll document it here, dear readers.

ClassicXMen33_1

My fourth-most clicked image of 2015. Page from Classic X-Men #33 (aka Uncanny X-Men #127) by Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Terry Austin, and Glynis Oliver.

Target Lilly Pulitzer

My fifth-most clicked image of 2015. Image by Target. You all like dresses!

#1: 10 Days, 10-Item Wardrobe: The First Five Days

Wow! So my top two posts this year were . . . fashion? This got a lot of play because it was featured on Jennifer L. Scott’s Daily Connoisseur blog. I got the 10-item wardrobe concept from her books, so I’ll take the plug! This reminds me that I need to write a winter 10-item wardrobe post–I’ve been waiting until after Christmas and my birthday (next week) to collect a few final pieces. Most of my clothes hit the two-to-three-year mark this winter and needed to be replaced, but I’m almost there. Maybe next week?

So enough about me . . . what do you think about me? Heh. Seriously, if there’s more types of things you’d like to read about, give me a holler!

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Real Lilly Pulitzer

Make Your Own Lilly Pulitzer Dress

By now, you’ve probably heard of the incredibly successful (or disastrous, depending on your point of view) Lilly Pulitzer line at Target. Whimsically patterned women’s dresses, girls’ clothing, and housewares sold out the very first day by 8 am in stores–and demand crashed the Target website. $40 dresses have been cropping up on eBay for $650–especially ridiculous when you can buy a non-Target Lilly Pulitzer dress from the designer’s website for about $200.

Target Lilly Pulitzer

Oh my god Veronica, I’m having so much fun hanging out in my Target Lilly Pulitzer dress!

Now, a lot of bloggers are not only annoyed at the aftermarket-fueled frenzy–and Target’s supply, which was apparently only a fraction of the demand–but they’ve been critical of the Lilly Pulitzer look itself, calling them “phenomenally boring and showily tasteless shift dresses” for vapid, wealthy, status-conscious women.

Real Lilly Pulitzer

Nice knockoff, Betty, but I’m having even more fun hanging out in my Paris original* Lilly Pulitzer!
*Not a real thing.

You know what else Lilly Pulitzer dresses are? They are colorful, classic shift dresses. You know what they’re good for? Everything. Especially in the summer. Throw on one great-fitting shift dress–just one piece of clothing–on a summer day, and you’re ready for everything from a day at the beach to a frickin’ wedding.

Even better: if you know how to sew, shift dresses are easy and (relatively) economical to make, which means you can avoid eBay and make your own Lilly Pulitzer dress yourself.

Now: I cannot teach you to sew via this blog. The very idea of the time and effort (and photos) involved makes my hair stand on end, and at the end of the day, they still probably wouldn’t help a novice sewer in the long run. I myself was taught by my lovely mother–her mother sewed all of my Mom’s and her sisters’ clothing in the ’50s and ’60s.

So if you don’t know how to sew and would like to learn, find a friend, family member, or class that can help you. It is a worthwhile skill to learn, and not terribly difficult. It’s just much more effectively learned in person, from a person. But! If you know how to sew, I’ve found some patterns and fabrics that are quite Lilly Pulitzer-esque, and I’ll share them with you!

Lilly Pulitzer Dress Pattern 1: New Look 6176

Lilly Pulitzer Dress Pattern

The sleeveless version of New Look 6176 looks very Lilly Pulitzer-like: a simple, classic shift dress that can be made with about two yards (or less) of material. The sleeve and pocket variations offer some flexibility, too.

Lilly Pulitzer Dress Pattern 1: New Look 6095

Lilly Pulitzer Dress Pattern
I like my second “Lilly Pulitzer” pattern, New Look 6095, even better for three reasons: one, it doesn’t have the banded neckline that 6176 has, so it looks even easier. Two, I like the different contrast band options at the waist and hem. And three, you can make a matching bag if you want!

Now as any sewer worth his or her salt can tell you, finding a pattern is one thing–finding the material is another. Luckily, Amy Butler is known for her gorgeous, colorful fabrics, and I found a few on her site that fit the bill nicely.

Henna Paisley Pink

Amy Butler Belle Fabric
Henna Paisley Pink is a gorgeous print in a classic Lilly Pulitzer green and pink color scheme.

Daisy Shine Confetti

Lilly Pulitzer Fabric
Daisy Shine Confetti is another colorful floral print that would be perfect for a Lilly Pulitzer-type shift dress.

Leaf Lines Jade

Lilly Pulitzer Fabric
Leaf Lines Jade might be my favorite choice–I love the cool green tones and the graphic simplicity of the shapes.

There’s a store locator on the Amy Butler site, but any local fabric store should be bursting with colorful prints right now! I’d estimate that you could make one of these dresses for around $40 (the Target price)–figuring fabric at about $12 per yard.

However, your “Lilly Pulitzer” dress will have the advantage of fitting you just right (if you’re at a level where you can make basic pattern adjustments) and you can choose the patterns and colors you like best. It would also be pretty simple to add lace and other trim to get the look you want.

Okay, I’ve convinced myself: I may have to make myself one, if I can do it while Sarah takes her naps. I’ll post pics if so!

Did you run out and get a Lilly Pulitzer dress at Target? Do you think they’re the anti-fashion? Post your comments below!