Ladies, color me impressed. You really stepped up to the challenge in the name of free vintage patterns, and you do me proud. Your essays had it all- mean-spirited backbiting, gross exaggerations of the truth, elite-level ass-kissing, tearjerking sob stories, and all other manner of emotional manipulativeness. Truly, you are all very selfish seamstresses and you are ALL winners. Well, except that that’s not really how a contest works. The Selfish Seamstress isn’t running a kindergarten here, people.
Let me start with a few honorable mentions, essays that were just too good to go without credit (honored essayists should feel free to drop me an email at selfishseamstress[at]gmail[dot]com and maybe I can find another goody in my collection for you).
Honorable Mention for Brute Force
This one goes to Mimi, who offered this remarkably concise entry and made me realize how lovely it would be to have a henchman (henchwoman?) or two on my side:
“if you give to me I’ll kick your nemisis’s asses!”
Brilliant! So much emotion in so few words! I imagine Mimi wordlessly snapping the needles off of the machines of my nemeses and it’s very very good. There’s really not enough violence in hobby sewing, if you ask me.
Honorable Mention for Pure Selfishness
Many contestants cited their own selfishness as the reason why they deserve the pattern, pledging that they would sew them for themselves and no one else and believe me, I appreciate this sentiment. But Liz really took this approach above and beyond, demanding the patterns just so you can’t have them. That is truly a rare and admirable brand of spiteful selfishness and I have to offer up my respect:
“Elaine, I must have one of these patterns, simply because there are others who want them, too. I want to be the victor, rather than the poor schmuck watching her ‘automatic bid’ smashed to oblivion with 2 seconds left in the auction. Plus, the dress reminds me of the cute plaid one that your mom wore, =] and the top is just plain adorable.
The Selfish Seamstress
Pitied ME so give up, gals,
I am the winner!”
This essay has it all- vindictive spirit and the desire to have something just so others don’t have it, a delightful haiku geared towards crushing the spirit of the competition, and a nice pat on the back for the Selfish Seamstress’s mommy. I have to admit, I have a soft spot for a girl who isn’t just out to win, but is also out to make sure everyone else loses! (Incidentally, I wouldn’t be surprised if I am the person smashing Liz’s bids in the last 2 seconds, so thank you for being that poor schmuck, Liz, such that I can get what I want.)
Honorable Mention for Sticking it to Nosy Wedding Guests
Empathy is beyond the emotional capacities of the Selfish Seamstress. But let’s just say that if I *could* empathize, I would empathize with fellow alliterative blogger The Slapdash Sewist for this bit of so-true-it-hurts:
“Having a 31.5 inch bust (I round to 32, but I’m not really 32) is an asset only when it comes to selfishly hoarding vintage patterns. I have many vintage patterns, but not that particular wrap dress and therefore I need it. It will keep my other vintage patterns company.
I have a wedding to go to soon. I’m 35 and have been to an endlessness of other people’s weddings. Always the guest, never the bride. I deserve to look as fabulous and unspinsterly as possible and having that pattern will help. Even if I don’t sew it.”
Ahh, but when are YOOUUUUUU getting married? Hmmm? HMMM? Seriously, what part of the brain is removed at the time a marriage license is issued that makes some married people forget that this question sucks? Obviously the best remedy is looking hot in a hot dress. And cake. Ahhh, Ms. Slapdash, I trust that you will make me proud by being an absolute firecracker at the wedding and taking more than your fair share of the cake. [Handy Selfish Seamstress wedding survival tip: If the question comes from your boyfriend's friends or family and you really want to mix things up a bit, try out this response: "Oh, I don't know. I guess when the right one comes along, I'll know." Ha! Who feels awkward now?? Hmmm?]
Honorable Mention for Unbridled Megalomania
If I didn’t already say it, you guys are just amazing at sucking up. The sheer volume of hyperbole and disingenuous platitudes about the Selfish Seamstress’s talent had her cackling with glee for hours on end and hulk-smashing all of her stuffed animals because she felt like a giant. But surely no one was more delusional about the omnipotence of the Selfish Seamstress than Len, who offered up this bit of totally awesome:
“I need those patterns because I hope that in receiving something from the mighty selfish seamstress that somehow a fraction of your impeccable taste, humour and mad sewing skillz will inexplicably transfer to me via osmosis. Hopefully then I’ll be able to sew auf Deutsch without a problem! I think either one of those patterns would look KICK ASS on me, so much so that I shall reduce the citizens of Dortmund to DUST with my newly-gained Selfish Seamstress powers.”
Not only is my taste “impeccable” (thank you very much!), but simply receiving a pattern in the mail from me will enable the recipient to pick up a foreign language and DECIMATE THE POPULATION OF A MID-SIZE CITY IN CENTRAL EUROPE. That, my dear Len, is freakin’ awesome. But in all fairness, if I were really that powerful, don’t you think I’d have already taken out a few cities? As it stands, even on a really good day I can only do minor structural damage to small suburbs with my sewing skills. But I’m glad you’re thinking big.
Okay. And now….
Second Place for High Maintenance Anatomy
This goes to the amazing Sue for her simple plea:
“I will keep this short, sweet and to the point. I want it because you found it first. The girls (all 33 inches of them) want it because they are all about making themselves look better. The fact that you claim this pattern is “way too big for you” is a little tough on my ego…I am usually the one making that claim…but the girls and I will find a way to cope with your cast-off. Did I mention my birthday is coming and I would totally rock that dress?”
Why do I adore this reasoning? It’s simple- she wants to win the pattern so she can give it to her breasts. That is brilliant. BRILLIANT. Her “girls” want the pattern, so she wants to give it to them. And the “girls” are all about making themselves look better. Honestly, I can’t question the genius of anthropomorphizing one’s rack and subsequently making demands on their behalf. The only question, Sue, is will they be satisfied with a pattern for a sailor top? If not, I’ll see what other goodies I’ve got under the bed for your 33″ ladies because…
First Place for Holy Crap That’s Funny
… goes to Dei! Granted Dei didn’t follow conventional essay format, but instead went for theater. And this has to be one of the greatest plays I have ever read:
“Why should I give it to you?” she asked.
“Because I want it.” I replied.
“What will you do with it should I part with it?” she sniffed.
“Cherish it for the magnificent vintage find that it is. Craft a glorious garment in its honor. And laud the giver for her gracious ways and immense talent.” I sang.
“Ah. Well said.” she smiled.
“Your Highness.” I bowed.
Admittedly, I think the Selfish Seamstress character is portrayed as being somewhat more benevolent than in real life (What’s up with the smiling? And why am I not using foul language?) but I understand that Dei took some liberties in the name of art. And I think I almost peed my pants when I read that last line. Masterful. Oh, how I love the theater!
Winners please drop me an email at selfishseamstress[at]gmail[dot]com with mailing addresses. And everyone, thank you for indulging me in my puppetmaster fantasies. I’m going to go find more things to hulk-smash now.