May 4, 2016

party crasher

I dreamt last night that Karen of Did You Make That had to drop out of Me Made May, and challenged me via Instagram to take her place. It was a hashtagged dare, something like #oonaisapussy. (Sorry, that's what she said. Guttermouth.) Fiona of Diary Of A Chainstitcher then immediately messaged me, begging me not to take the bait, as my participation would mean she'd have to join in the fray, and she just didn't have the time.

Either I have a bit of (obviously silly) residual stress over not participating in #memademay for the first time in years, or I have an obsession with London bloggers. One could also say that I think the world, or at least the sewist world, revolves around my choices.


Big head and big need to wear and holler about my own makes notwithstanding, so far, in this dreary gray rainy May, I have worn ONE handmade item out into the actual world. ONE. You see it above, devoid of color, and indeed, it is black in real life. It was angrily stitched over a year ago, during an equally dreary February, when I was  d o n e  with winter. And today was its virgin outing. Could have something to do with the lack of color...but come on! OVER A YEAR IN MY CLOSET?!!!

The dream popped up into my consciousness when I looked for something appropriate for today's drizzly errands, and on it went, in an attempt to appease the part of my brain that apparently feels like a draft dodger. I've loved participating in this May Parade for that very reason-- it's always forced me to wear something that I might be on the fence about. Some of my favorite outfits have come from trying to think up pairings!

Although I'm late to the party, I think I will do a little challenge of my own (after all, I'm a Leo, but I'm no pussy). I'll be donning an item that has yet to see the light of (public) day, once a week for the duration of May, and I mean for actual activity, not just for blog photos. BOOM! TAKE THAT BRAIN!

Care to be late to the party with me? I could use some more crashers! And those of you with lampshades on your head already--how's the shindig going? Are we good on booze?

April 29, 2016

Vogue 1482: The Apartment Dress

oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | sewing vogue 1482

If you come to Kalkatroona for dinner, I will most likely greet you with a shriek, possibly a fan, and very little on. IT'S ALWAYS HOT IN KALKATROONA.

oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | sewing vogue 1482

I'll be wearing something vaguely dressy, and vaguely roomy, the better to eat everything in. And I will probably be hopping around on my toes en relevĂ©, because when I am happy, I hop around on my toes en relevĂ©. Obviously, I'll be happy because you're coming over for dinner. And we'll all kick our shoes off and lounge on great big fuchsia pillows while Ruggy mixes cocktails and Al Green makes us boogie.

It wasn't all boogying with this jammie, though. You guys, I was on the road to failure with this silk jersey for so long, I thought the trip would never end! It started at Mood, when I turned from the cutting table and came face to face with this beauty. She was in my arms within seconds. Foot on the floor, I screamed north with my new companion, racing to Drapey Town. But I made a wrong turn at Cuttersville, and when I found myself at the junction between Maxi Skirtland and Tank Top Turnpoint, there just wasn’t enough lane for Waist Line.

oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | sewing vogue 1482

The trip was bad, yo. Probably because I left no time for rest stops. ALWAYS LEAVE TIME FOR REST STOPS.

Ruggy was thrilled that my trip went awry, since he loved the print and wanted me to use it for myself anyway (I was selfless sewing with this beauty. My first wrong turn!). Sadly, the new route I chose was a man repeller pattern. My bosum buddy Suzanne just happened to drop Vogue 1482 in my lap, an artsy ditty with lots of seaming and little pieces. Her note cautioned: One of those patterns your husband will hate but all your lady friends love…

But the note ALSO said: very cool construction, fyi.


oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | sewing vogue 1482

I needed a good road map after all that botched traveling! And she was right, the construction IS really cool… but I only followed the directions for the front left pocket. UGH FOLLOW DIRECTIONS OONA! WHY DO YOU THINK YOU GET LOST SO MUCH?! Listen, I had to veer off course, mainly because I jigsawed the center back out of the carnage from the draping, and had to cut it on the fold, losing two inches of width, and then had to account for the stretch of the jersey, and then add sleeves, and then remove sleeves, and then change the neckline, and then taper it in to make it slightly more Ruggy friendly, and then shorten it to make it even more Ruggy friendly, and then gnash my teeth certain that I'd basically botched 4 yards of silk jersey, and then throw it on for one more peek...

oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | sewing vogue 1482

...and then DANCE AROUND LIKE A DOOFUS when I realized that, in taking the scenic route, I had suddenly stumbled upon THAT DRESS that you can wear out to summer dinners, or wear in to winter affairs hosted in your blazing hot NY apartment.

oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | sewing vogue 1482

Sorry, I'm still shaking my booty here. BOOGIE BOOGIE! In our 15 years of living in this little slice of the sun, I have only one other handmade garment that can pull this kind of all-seasons duty. As it is mandatory that I greet my guests in handmade, more options are always a bonus.

oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | sewing vogue 1482

And even more bonus, I finally have the perfect match for this beauty from Tweak! I love big bold necklaces, have oodles of them actually, but they seem to need a soul mate. This one has been waiting over a year for its perfect partner!

oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | sewing vogue 1482

Hopefully my perfect partner will come around on this dress, because it's a keeper.

So listen, if you decide to partner up with this pattern, keep in mind that I did a LOT of hacking! The pocket and the diagonal front seam are as-drafted. The pattern as-is has a much longer hemline, sleeves that come in two parts, neckline facings, and a CB seam with a neck opening. Recommended fabrics include both wovens and jersey, which is fun and all, but you ought to consider the stretch factor if you go for jersey. I went down to the smallest size (even more, really, with all the fabric jigsawing and tapering), and you really won't need that back neck opening unless you like the look of it. The instructions call for french seams, which you also won't need on a jersey--I abandoned that once my brain switched on and realized what was happening. Directions are great, but sometimes the scenic route is the way to go!

this apartment dress was made with my monthly fabric allowance as part of the mood sewing network.

April 22, 2016

See you backstage

So, apparently, Prince has been more of an obvious influence in my life than I would have suspected I'd made you aware of. Yes, I know you'll have to read that sentence several times to understand my meaning. Most of the time, I have to hear *my own thoughts* several times to understand my meaning.

I mean. Yesterday I got phone calls, emails, texts, all wondering if I was okay. I said to Ruggy: I don't understand. It's absolutely terrible that the world lost Prince, but why are people wondering if I'M okay? I wasn't actually connected to him. 

Ruggy looked at me as if I had two heads. UM...because people know what he meant to you. You've talked about how you painted stars on your face and wore lace pants, and dressed like him, and your Mom took you to his concerts, and you watched Under the Cherry Moon until you were able to quote even the ad libs, and you've made like seven outfits inspired by Prince, and you made a Raspberry Beret, and you made your family sit for listening sessions of his new albums, and you'd sit alone and listen to his songs on repeat, following the horn line then the piano line then the guitar line until you knew every note by heart--

The list of evidence continued, but at that point I was glazing over, thinking about my favorite Prince songs, and how I would have directed the video for Raspberry Beret (which, indeed, I'd just described to Ruggy a week ago. It involved Prince as a well meaning, slightly lazy teen, wearing a jaunty cap, being interrogated at the local small town police station. Lots of sunshiny dusty haze and pointed fingers. Of course it all worked out in the end. I would have kept the blue-sky-suit concert for cutaways).

You feel you know the people whose music and art you adore. They are singularly special to each fan, because the best artists create something that speaks in a different language to each person. The best and worst moments in our personal lives can be remembered and marked through music. So, in a sense, the creators of those soundtracks to your life, they're yours. They're family. When I got the first mysterious Prince text, my initial reaction was Oh no, what did Prince do NOW, in the tone of voice you reserve for an Uncle whose minor insanities you forgive, because of his incredible genius.

I guess in light of the fact that, without even trying to, I've made my fandom for Prince very clear, it would be weird not to say something. He shaped a good, crazy, fearless chunk of what I am. As a fan, he's mine in some way. But he truly belongs to the family that has lost him. So I don't have the slightest clue what's appropriate to say.

I will, however, be following the horn line, then the piano line, then the guitar line, for what will hopefully be a very long time to come.