April 24, 2015

page turner

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | burdastyle bustier dress

The moment we climb into bed, I suddenly find ALL OF MY ENERGY and talk nonstop. Last night the subject was books. I used to collect them, reading favorites two or three times over, displaying little carefully chosen piles of them around the house. Ruggy called them my trophies.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | burdastyle bustier dress

I yammered at my sleepy eyed man: I USED TO LOVE BOOKS!!! I'd get so excited to get into bed and read, then I'd get so excited to wake up and find out what was happening next, then before I'd know it the book was done and I'd get SO EXCITED TO START ANOTHER!!!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | burdastyle bustier dress

And now I get so excited to get to my desk and sew, and I get so excited to see what happens next, and when it's done I get SO EXCITED TO START ANOTHER

Bonus: unlike a poorly chosen title, when you're making the rules, every garment is a page turner, a choose your own adventure story. At the moment, this silk burdastyle bustier dress is capturing my attention. I underlined the fabric with muslin instead of organza! How will that change the drape? Will those convex and concave curves fit?! SHOULD I HAVE NEON ORCHID OR SAFETY CONE ORANGE NEAR MY FACE? DID I GET THE PIVOT POINT RIGHT?!!! I WILL NOT KNOW UNTIL I TURN THE PAGE!!!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | burdastyle bustier dress

(The Center Bodice and Bust Cup did meet up at The Pivot Point. I'm so glad those two found love.)

It's all consuming, I barely crack a book open anymore. Ruggy deemed my sewing-for-reading substitution A Most Excellent Realization. I mean, it's great to be so passionate about something that you honestly can't wait to see what happens next, right? But I miss reading, I really do. I even tried to get back into it on a six hour bus ride, bringing along one of my all time favorites, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. (Heads up, I plain old linked to it, and then was like um, duh, it's one of your top three reads, that's Amazon linkworthy.) Still, even at number two on my hitlist, couldn't get further than twenty pages. There was a floral cotton dress waiting for more hand embroidery in my bus bag of tricks, it was staring at me, and it won. I thought I would get bored, but no, it was like watching a story unfold.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | burdastyle bustier dress

And then there are those times, those nerve wracking times when you're pretty sure things are going swimmingly for all the characters in your garment, but you feel something might be lurking around the corner, and you won't be totally sure till you turn the page...

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | burdastyle bustier dress


The plot thickens. I spent a full day carefully choosing the print placement on this, I could've read like twenty chapters in that time, I even cut Upper Right Bodice Cup out twice, and my brain still didn't see that angular ghost of a giant white flower coming. Yes, I have more fabric, but I refuse to do a rewrite! IT WILL BE SO MUCH MORE FUN TO DEVISE A PLAN. I'm thinking a combo of fabric paint & markers. And a very hot iron. 

I love a good cliffhanger.

April 21, 2015


oonaballoona | a sewing blog | vogue patterns magazine star blogger

And gals, of course, hey #girlbosses wassup #runtheworld and all that jazz...


Yep, someone over at Headquarters got a little tipsy and I said YES before they sobered up. No really though, I was pretty sure they meant another oonaballoona, but the truly lovely writeup proves otherwise. (The "onnaballoona" in the title does give substance to my theory, but hey, they got Harriell right! THAT'S a tough one! Thanks, Great-Great Grandfather Ruggy, for being too proud to admit you spelled your own last name wrong when signing up to work on building the railroad. WE WOULD HAVE LIKED EACH OTHER!) 

(Admittedly, both handles have far too many vowels and consonants for their own good.)

I was shocked, and of course honored, to be asked. I know people say that all the time when receiving any form of recognition, but really, I was. And even moreso when I read the beautifully written article and saw the colorful layout.

(As I went through pics to send their way, I stressed: these aren't colorful enough! These aren't dressy enough! Sometimes I think I need my eyes checked. There are over 25 dresses in my closet, and only one of them is black.) 

It's out now, iffn you want a read, and there's a preview of the issue up here. Thanks Vogue, for the honor, and for all the party dress enabling!

April 8, 2015

bosum buddies

Over the past 24 hours I have had more concern about the veracity of my bust measurement than I can shake a measuring stick at, AND I LOVE IT! Since posting about the jump up in cup on my Watson bras, peeps have hollered in all manner of media outlet, worried for the comfort of my girls. 

But seriously, let's reflect: ladies I've never met (and several I've been very fortunate to meet), are pondering the size of my knockers, and not in a sexy way. Wild. (Actually, I guess I'm used to the lack of sexy thought when it comes to my mammary glands. For real, there's a complete absence of cleavage going on around these parts. I hear that attribute makes up like 80% of the "sexy" equation. I once lost a very awesome role due to only having 20% of the goods.) 

So of course I had to measure again, for the sake of science, and here are the results per Amy's chart: 

Rib cage 33" = Band size 36
Full Bust: 38" minus Upper Bust: 35" = Difference of 3", Cup size C

Yes, that 38 is a shocker. Hanging out in tabletop gives me a full bust of 38, versus 36.5 standing! And maybe this table is different if one is making a wired bra? I'm a babe in the lingerie woods, dudes, you tell me. Here's how she fits...

(Sorry, Rugster. I know you thought you'd escaped me posing in my undies on the web. It happens.)

I really love the fit. I also added 2" of length to the band for more of a tankini feel. I'm looking down my own shirt right now as I type, and there's not a bit of gap. But maybe you see something else?

What I've always hated about bras is the absence of fabric where bust meets upper armpit--wired bras push on me and create a display of what Jennifer Lawrence so charmingly called "armpit cleavage" on the red carpet. All that time I spent cramming my tatas into a teeny size probably displaced some mass-- K line wrote at length about that awhile back, she writes fascinating stuff about bras, and it was an aha! moment for me (which obviously didn't stick). So that could be the source of my bra rage.

Maybe the surprise of size has something to do with all the ballet and singing? My erect dancer's back definitely presents fit issues, so why wouldn't the years of dance play tricks on my boobage? Holding my arms in second position during barre work... years of filling up my lungs to capacity from the top down for those held high notes... hell, even doing my hair might contribute to those numbers. (You wouldn't believe the arm definition I've acquired just from coiffing my MASS of locks every morning. It's a workout.) And, my broad, straight shoulders are the widest part of me. (Well, in a 2-D view. The booty is a small planet.)

And types of boobs! Maybe they're perky and sit straight out? Or carry most of their weight in the bottom? SO MANY QUESTIONS! LINGERIE IS A DEEP DARK RABBITHOLE!! 

And do remember, Ruggy is a whiz at making me look twelve inches taller. Maybe he's working unknown juju on my hooters? Well, I can answer that question, but it's a PG blog.

All that said, I LOVE that y'all felt comfortable jumping in and telling me I might be off base. Please do that! That rocks! The wealth of knowledge out in the blogisphere gets me giddy, and sharing it constructively is gold. I may even take my new-to-blogging friend up on her offer to get remeasured by a fancy bra shop in town. 

I haven't had time yet to respond to everyone from that first post, but do you have more thoughts? Maybe there are work or hobby related activities that affect your fitting, that you hadn't thought of till now? Maybe you know of some patterns for our better endowed H cup ladies? (HH. That exists?!) Do tell!!! LET'S TALK BOOBIES YO!