May 21, 2015


As I was scrolling through the archives, looking for a possible throw-back post for this hashtagged day of the week, I came across a me-made-made trio of duds from 2012...

       oonaballoona | a sewing blog | Kon-DONT!   oonaballoona | a sewing blog | Kon-DONT!oonaballoona | a sewing blog | Kon-DONT!

They've all gone the way of Goodwill, for various reasons which now seem overly harsh. I loved that drapey maxi dress! Yes, it was a bit clingy! But purple! With PRINT CONTRAST! What about that tribal romp of a dress? Who cares if my overzealous fittings birthed a waist two inches too short? And even when I go for refashioned RTW I do it in readily available yardage! I'VE SPIED THE PRINT OF THAT SILK TANK TOP IN NO LESS THAN THREE FABRIC STORES! WHY ARE THESE ITEMS NO LONGER IN MY CLOSET?!!!

I'm sure I agonized over the decision to give these up. Scratch that, I'm sure I didn't. We were in LA, we were moving up and down and around the country, and we were at the point when packing ONE MORE ITEM WOULD BREAK OUR SPIRIT. So yeah, we Kondo'd the shite out of everything, before we knew this ruthless practice existed. Oh, whatever! You can package it in pretty paper and speak in soft pleasing tones but IT'S RUTHLESS! So you looked at the item and thanked it for giving you joy?! HOW NICE OF YOU! I'M SURE YOUR OLD TEDDY BEAR DOESN'T FEEL LIKE AN ABANDONED TODDLER!  

I'm quite yell-y today. I have a prediction: this current craze is going to leave a lot of people with feelings of ragret. And one should never have ragrets. (That will never not be funny to me.)

There are pieces in my closet from my mom, my mom-in-law, my grandmothers, I've even got a supremely awesome Joe Namath print button-down shirt from my dad-in-law (which I am not allowed to hack). If they had Kondo'd their lives, these would probably not exist. Save for pictures, I wouldn't know of their existence. And though the three items pictured here are not heirloom quality, or of vintage worth, it fills me with regret that they now exist only in pictures. 

I mean, not life altering remorse, you know, just, sometimes I get a little harsh. Last night, in a bit of a rage getting dressed, I tried Kondo'ing my closet, asking myself what brought me joy and what didn't. Though my process was less "thoughtful questioning" and more "Sipowitz Interrogation." DO YOU LIKE THIS?! NO??? SHOVE IT IN THE BAG! This "bag" now resides in the back of my closet. That's right! QUAKE IN FEAR AT THE THOUGHT OF MY GIANT LAUNDRY BAG FULL OF MIRTHLESS ITEMS, KONDO! I'll be saving that bag, and going through it again at a later date with a fresh set of eyes! Maybe several times! It could take YEARS! KONDO! YOU DON'T GET TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO!  

May 13, 2015

so sui me

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | anna sui | vogue 9076

Anna Sui. You temptress. You magician. Queen of Kaleidoscopic Prints! Even when I don't know I want you, I WANT YOU! YOU CONSUME ME!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | anna sui | vogue 9076

In a totally platonic way, of course.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | anna sui | vogue 9076

When I saw this famous designer border print silk chiffon at Mood Fabrics online, I weirdly pounced. Weird, because let's face it, she is black, cream, and pastel. WHO AM I.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | anna sui | vogue 9076

Upon arrival, the selvedge revealed that the famous designer was Anna Sui circa 2012, cue angels singing, and suddenly I was all oh THAT'S why. One of my very first (and still favorite) MSN projects was a draped silk panel print maxi dress by that luscious lady. I'm like a moth to a flame for that minx!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | anna sui | vogue 9076

I ordered 3 yards, not knowing what it would be, and once again I was left with fumes of fabric. But playing with this border print was SO much fun. Which way should the cascading roses go? Black diamonds pointing up or down? Cut on the cross grain? Color or cream near my face? Both print and pattern delighted my brain and my peepers the entire weekend I sewed it up!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | anna sui | vogue 9076

OOO YEAH let's talk about that pattern. I knew I wanted Vogue 9076 the minute I saw it, and it did not disappoint. I will point out, for you short waisted sewists out there: you'll want to reduce the length of the bodice. And you'll want to do it before you cut out the metallic gold lace that you're planning on layering over pale sea foam green leather (leather from FIT, lace from Paron, I think, as they've both been languishing on my shelf for years). 

I added an l/s line about 2 inches above the waist, and shortened by 1 1/4 inches. So, out of the package, this section is longer. Also didn't use the placket, opting for a leather strip on the reverse to enclose the leather loops for these EXQUISITE vintage buttons, a giftie from Pandora Sews. LOOK AT THOSE LITTLE TREASURES! Thank you girl! These were meant to be together!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | anna sui | vogue 9076
And I went AWOL on the skirt as well, going maxi length with rectangles of gathered yardage to make the most of the print. The sweep of this baby is glorious! One of those fabrics that requires constant fondling. I decided I wanted a layering piece, and so left the front skirt open… any little breeze catches it and sends it flying...

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | anna sui | vogue 9076

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | anna sui | vogue 9076

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | anna sui | vogue 9076

In the final moments, the initial hem was giving me Little House On The Prairie. I had one long strip of selvedge left, which I reattached with a french seam at the hemline to create a double border.  

Speaking of prairies, over at MSN I bemoaned the janky corner of NY I minced about in for pics, and the choice of ensemble (the detail shot of the yoke is circa my solo shoot, all of which you can see at MSN). Though we could not find the southern french field I had in mind, Ruggy's reshoot still made me feel like a spring prairie princess. 

Which has everything to do with having my guy's eyes on me, and nothing to do with the active driveway.

this sweepy floral whatchamacallit was made, in part, using my monthly fabric "allowance" as part of the mood sewing network.

May 11, 2015

monday mayday

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | me made may 2015 mmmay15 week 1

WELL. Let's make this Monday better than last Monday, shall we? Same day, better breeze!

As many of us are, I'm playing along with me-made-may, but I'm letting my wolf form #standinselfie for me over on Instagram. It's a very Cher approach, I highly recommend it. What strikes me this time around is that I'm pulling more things out of the closet, and not relying on six or seven staple dresses. A little less obsessed with making the outfit ONE HUNDRED PERCENT STITCHED, and a little more comfortable with throwing some RTW in the mix.

A friend of mine raised her eyebrows at the notion that sewists would exclusively wear handmade garments. That's like a chef only eating food he cooked. Even Batali goes to McDonald's sometimes.

Does Batali really slum it like that? Probably not, but I guess when I'm "eating out" I'm FULL ON GOING TO MICKEY D'S. That would be H&M, TJ Maxx, and Rue 21, all three of which contributed tops for this first week of our little game. A trifecta of fast fashion! This is undoubtedly contrary to our me-made-mistress, Zo's philosophy on clothing. But, it makes me happy to sew the things I want to sew, and it makes my wallet happy to buy a few fillers without breaking the bank. I suppose I have a very Penn & Teller outlook on it. Their episode of "Bullshit!" on recycling had me yelling at the TV, on both sides of the argument. 

And really, how does one resist a t-shirt that infuses THUG LIFE with a floral print?

I digress.

Last week was all about the sewing community on my bod. YEAH GET ON MY BOD SEWING FRIENDS! Numeros 1, 2, 4 and 5 were all made possible by the neverending generosity of the sewing blogisphere. (Why do we say blog-o-sphere? It's hem-i-sphere, so... anyway. Also, a made up word. So.) We've got fabric from 1. Little Green Orchids, Burdastyle Laura dress, 2. Vogue wrap dress in Etro jersey from a giveaway during the PR LBD Party at Elliot Berman, 4. A refashioned maxi dress from Cynical Carnivale, and 5. Vintage rayon from Lladybird for Christine Hayne's Derby dress (my favorite First Warm Day dress!). SEWING FRIENDS ARE THE BEST FRIENDS. Numeros 3 & 6 are fabrics from my beloved janky store, may it live forever. And yes, you might spy my medallion of power on its new home, a denim vest from TJ Maxx. My back is SUPER warm, like my own little sun. The only blogged item here is Sewaholic's Gabriola skirt! Hey New York, can you port into another universe for like 15 minutes a day so I can get some uninterrupted pictures of things? THANKS!

I'm off into the wild of the concrete jungle, in another me made that I am CHOMPING AT THE BIT to show you... 'til then, happiest of mondays, peeps!