Simplicity 8013: Sanity Sewing!

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Simplicity 8013: Sanity Sewing!

YOWZA. I'm back from a shoot in Pittsburgh and playing catch up! I've been rabid to show you this dress since I finished it a month ago, so I'm going to give myself a pass on creating my usual, slightly incoherent paragraphs to go along with it.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Simplicity 8013: Sanity Sewing!

Or maybe I have a couple of things to say.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Simplicity 8013: Sanity Sewing!

I DO NOT DO WELL AWAY FROM ROB. That would be the first and main thing. Although I had a wonderful time with the people of Pittsburgh (the phrase "salt of the earth" is not only applicable but proven there), don't let my wackadoo grin fool you: when apart, we simply wilt like plants that need sunlight. 

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Simplicity 8013: Sanity Sewing!

Also, we make questionable choices. Anyone around here remember Rob's One Man DIY Bathroom Renovation of 2013?*  Well, a month ago, when I careened through this dress, it was Rob who was out of town, and me making bad choices. While none of them involved a sledgehammer, I got drunk on a heady mixture of power and loneliness, and rearranged the entire apartment into my sewing domain. 

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Simplicity 8013: Sanity Sewing!

The kitchen table was shoved out into the middle of the room, fully extended, covered in rulers and blades! Rob's desk was commandeered, all flat surfaces held a sewing machine! Small mountains of Ankara were piled on sofa and chairs! Lamps, railings, drawer pulls, ANYTHING HOOKABLE was repurposed as hanging racks for a dozen or more projects! Stitch centric podcasts blared! (with the occasional break for King of The Hill and Jill Scott.) It was a creative war zone, made to keep my sad brain occupied. But in the end, my war zone only reminded me that I was filling up all the space that Rob wasn't using, which just made me miss him more.

I've got three finished Ankara maxi dresses from that week to show you, and all of them are evidence of questionable choices made when apart. On this diddy, ooooo, take a gander at that back view! That's not just twinning, that's quadrupleting! The passerby might not mind it, but it makes my right eye do the boogie woogie--and not in a good way. 

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Simplicity 8013: Sanity Sewing!

Nevertheless, I obviously feel good in it! (And I did make the very good choice of packing up some dresses to shoot during my downtime in Pittsburgh, as evidenced by the ever present remote in my right hand.) I'm happy to be back home and together, and happy to give myself a pass on a happy dress sewn to ease a state of sad brain!

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Simplicity 8013: Sanity Sewing!

Pattern: Simplicity 8013
Fabric: Anakara from AKN Fabrics --a VERY early birthday gift from my girl, Carolyn!!💕❤️
Reduced the width in each skirt panel, eliminating the gathers at the waistline. 
Used only the "flat" side of the bodice
Straightened the front bodice side seam by adding 1/2" width, tapering to nothing at armsyce
Shortened the sleeves, and added a 1/2" horsehair in the sleeve hem
Added a box pleat to the back skirt panels
Cut the CF panel in 2 to make the faux wrap appear less faux
Cut a deep V back 
Added twill tape to the V neck , front and back



The Trees for the Forest

Heeeeere's to the LAAAAYdies who LUNCH, Rob crooned when he caught a glimpse of my getup. I hollered back laughter. Yep. Not my style, is it.

I don't know how to explain my fascination with this fabric. It's my Mood Sewing Network April offering, a scuba print from Anna Sui, found in-store. The more I looked at it, the uglier it got, and the uglier it got, the more I had to have it! Do you know what I mean? I truly can't explain it!

Making something for yourself that ultimately turns out to be not your style can be a bummer. And, in the middle of #fashrev week, it also points out the waste that we sewists can produce. But I like to look at the flip side of the coin. I enjoyed every minute of making this--I tried new techniques, and I made it well. Is that wasteful?

Everyone has their line in the sand. Leaving aside the myriad (important, ethical, needed) reasons for the focus of this week, my personal #fashionrevolution is about taking the reigns of my style, and making beautiful (or in this case, INSANE) armor with my own two hands. Do I save every scrap and try my best to use every inch of what I have? Just ask the bags of remnants waiting for their purpose in life. But my revolution also leaves room for discarding the things that keep me from moving forward. It leaves room for guilt free "failures." Creating, and trying, and succeeding, and failing, are all part of constant growth--the positives of creating something almost always outweighs any final outcome. As far as waste goes, time well spent isn't a waste.

What's more: the fact that I made it with my own two hands means it isn't going anywhere soon. Had I bought this piece RTW (likely at a fast fashion, cheap store, because that's what my wallet allowed when I shopped), it would be so easy to discard it. But when you know by execution the amount of work that went into it, it's not so easy. Luckily so! Just last week, I did a 180 and fell in love with a silk shirt dress that had languished unworn in my handmade closet for a full year.

Maybe a year's time will change my mind. Maybe this weirdo jacket would look exceptional on someone else! Who knows. It's not going in the bin, at any rate. There's too much thought in it for that. You can see it in a more sensible photo setting over at the Mood Sewing Network, including detail shots of the fancy bits that gave me hours of such tremendous glee.

What's your line in the sand for your Fashion Revolution?


Hemp time: Summer in the city.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | hemp negroni

Ain't he handsome? That's my Dad, all decked out in a Hemp Linen Negroni, with mother of pearl buttons. (I know, I know, you can't really see that sharp mug. He's keeping it incognito. Because of The Man.)

This rare sighting is many layered. Dad is wearing not only a solid color, but NON color. I inherited my sense of technicolorality from my parents, dontcha know. Come summer, Jams are his jam. So the request for this neutral shirt was a bit of a shock.

Not a shock: the desire for hemp. For years now, Dad has had a 100% hemp shirt on his wishlist, despite my protestations. Because LISTEN. I searched here, there, and everywhere for hemp fabric, and all I found were cardboard rolls of scratchiness, in the most unsatisfying color palette imaginable. Holidays would roll in, and I would hand over psychedelic Negronis in barkcloth...linen...rayon...cotton...his Charlie Brown closet was starting to fill up nicely, but there was a large hemp shaped hole. (I'll let you imagine what that might look like.)

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | hemp negroni

Then Organic Cotton Plus contacted me, and the heavens opened up and sang. Well, I mean, they didn't sing for me, the color palette is obviously very much out of the oonasphere, but OH SO MANY CHOICES for my Dad! I'm delighted when I can collaborate to sew something up for my people! (And although solids are not my style, I assume the range of color choices is excellent for about 99% of the population. I should perhaps dip my toes into the realm of "solids." I hear they are good for "coordinating.") 

This is exactly the classic, lightweight summer shirt my Dad wanted, hue and all. He went for this hemp linen (which is far less yellow than pictured, at least on my screen). 

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | hemp negroni

And although I hollered over the lack of color, it was seriously sweet to work with. It had such a crisp, lofty drape upon arrival, I decided to go the RTW route and sewed it up before washing the yardage. SHOCK AND HORROR! My reasoning was twofold: the hand was so beautiful, and it pressed so cleanly, I thought leaving it alone would make the sewing of it a delight. (I was correct). Reason number two: Dad prefers a slouchy Negroni, and although I've told him many times that we could go down a size and still get the slouch factor, he will have none of it. 


So, I thought, if I lose a little ease in the post-wash, no biggie. And since this is a cold wash, lay flat to dry fabric, going the post-wash route wasn't a problem at all.

LOOKIT THAT POSE! Where did you think I get my skillz from?

I can already hear what my Dad will say: You shoulda posted this on 4/20. Yep. Missed opportunity, that. Luckily I've found my hemp source for future themed posts. Stay tuned for 4/20/2018: The Return Of The Hemp. 

But don't expect to see his mug. That's top secret stuff.

Organic Cotton Plus supplied the fabric for this post. Thanks OCP, for making my Dad's hemp dreams a reality!