8.29.2018

Vogue 9253 & Clothes Making Mavens!

Vogue 9253 & Clothes Making Mavens! | oonaballoona | a sewing blog by Marcy Harriell

I'm under the wire for another top-secret misson, so it's a very quick one for my last post on series 1 of Re:Fashion on bluprint! 

Vogue 9253 & Clothes Making Mavens! | oonaballoona | a sewing blog by Marcy Harriell

Episode 5, The Festival Robe, dealt with refashioning a garment you've sewn from scratch. I know that many of us are loathe to remake something we've already made, but I myself am far more loathe to make something, dislike it, and decide the time spent on it was too precious to hack into it again! I wanna wear the shizz I make, man! One could say I also say I am far too stubborn to fail. One would be right. Vogue 9253 saved the day, no surprise, the pattern is glorious, and if you haven't tried it out, lemme say it again, DO. This is the second time I've sewn this in a sheer, but the first time I've done it on camera. Oooh, sounds kinky.

Vogue 9253 & Clothes Making Mavens! | oonaballoona | a sewing blog by Marcy Harriell

I am about out of time for typing, but oh, my friends, you are in SO MUCH LUCK if you're feeling cheated out of my usual nonsensical jabberings, as I can currently be found yammering with Helena and Lori on their Clothes Making Mavens podcast! The aforementioned Top Secret Mission began right before the podcast launched, so I haven't had time to holler about it yet. 

Laughter and NY Noise aplenty in our conversation--I've followed both their blogs for years, so it was like talking to old friends you've never met. I apologize in advance for the deafening, uncontrollable cackling that came out of my maw when Lori said I was a fashion icon.

Vogue 9253 & Clothes Making Mavens! | oonaballoona | a sewing blog by Marcy Harriell

Over and out, and back to the mosh pit! If you'd like to see the truly horrible "before," and complete visual steps of how I turn V9253 into a sheer open robe (and yes, almost wreck it again), check out Episode 5 of Re:Fashion, The Festival Robe! If you aren't a bluprint member, you can view the first episode for free here, and try the whole site out for free for a 7 day trial period here. OKAYBYEIHOPEYOUGUYSARESEWING!!!!!

8.22.2018

On Wednesdays, We Wax.

On Wednesdays, We Wax. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

The first time I heard about AKN Fabrics, I was certain I was being led to my death.

Whaaat? I can hear many of you cry, having experienced first hand, at PR and MPB days and meetups, the glory that is AKN. Don't worry, the story ends well, I love the jam-packed joint as much as you do.

On Wednesdays, We Wax. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

It was 2014, the year of my first wax print--a gorgeous, megawatt yellow spray can print sent to me by Sarah. It was so vibrant! So weird! So stiff with wax! I hammered out an Anna dress and lived in it the rest of that summer. 

On Wednesdays, We Wax. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

One hot August day, I was stomping through a particularly seedy section of the city. This neighborhood is unexpected, almost right in the middle of Manhattan on Broadway between 27th to 35th streets. I wanna say it's the perfume/costume jewelry/wig district. I don't know why it feels so off, but it's one of those Stephen King zones. Know what I mean? All strangers suddenly feel dangerous, even the buildings are eyeing you. Shadows are thick and make you invisible even in broad daylight.

It was high noon and plenty of summer sunshine, my favorite kind of day--but I was in that area, and had to cross the gauntlet from the subway to a casting office on 28th. A stretch of two blocks populated with, as SK would call them, low men, possessing far-too-appreciative glances and bestowing "compliments" upon pretty much anything with legsIt was a no-smile zone. And although I had my spray can dress on, a dress which screams happiness, I also had my game face on. My I am not a friendly person face. Focusing on a dot in the distance, I passed an "admirer." From behind me, I heard a suggestive: you like wax print?

On Wednesdays, We Wax. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Huh? Did he just comment on my fabricThis gave me pause. I slowed to a stop and cautiously turned. Yesss...?

He gestured to a dusty, six-story building behind him. A building with papered windows and a dark, unmanned entryway. I have wax print. For sale. Come upstairs with me.

OH HAHAHAHAHA, I answered, bubble burst. I'm sorry, but there is ZERO way I am following you into a building, by myself, to a high floor. I'm not saying you're a creep, you know, you could be great, but you could also be trying to kill me. You understand. Thank you though. I'll bring some of my sewing buddies next time, and if you happen to see us in a gang of three or more, ask again. 

On Wednesdays, We Wax. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Follow him into an unmarked building! From a street! I laugh out loud at it even now. Who knew he was referring to an ACTUAL store?! Not I! The only fabric stores I knew of at that point were ten blocks north! Years later, when I finally found, and ventured up into, AKN Fabrics, I saw my old friend on the street, working the passersby, and rode the elevator up with him. He's great. Zero creep factor. He could work on his sidewalk sales pitch, though.  

Speaking of creep factor. What is it with me and once a week Wednesday goals? That damn Wednesday creeps up on you like its running a perfume joint on 28th street! Mr. Hump Day especially likes to creep on me when it's the end of summer and all hell breaks loose when things are normally quiet and the only thing on the to-do list should be SWEAT IN THE HEAT! ALSO WHERE DID ALL THE HEAT GO?!!


Sorry. I'm typing this at 2am with the windows open, because although it is oddly cold, IT IS AUGUST, and I refuse to close them! And I am chilly! CHILLY I SAY! Let me return to the point. It occurred to me, the hump day having crept up on me once again, that setting myself the task of sharing the finished garment for each of the five re:fashion episodes every Wednesday for a month was much like setting myself the task of putting up a work-in-progress every Wednesday for forever and ever amen. I abandoned ship fairly quickly on the latter, but with one more finished garment to go, imma power through the former... and the final episode features a sewn pattern that you'll likely recognize (and one that I bet you WON'T). Oh! And yes, the gorgeous floral print you see here hails from AKN, but you have to venture up into the store to get it. It's behind the cash register. Whatever you do, don't go pulling colors off the shelf. They've got a system. Ask my guy to help you out.

If you'd like to see how I made this flowery gal and you're a bluprint member, episode 4 of Re:Fashion is here. If you know how to sew, it's fairly easy...I added a full circle skirt to an RTW crop top on which I taped the seams for a little "extra." However, it is almost never smooth sewing for me, and I had a pretty awesome, ahem, flower placement snafu. Rob is also showcased in some lovely prints as well. He is, how do you say, a VERY good sport.

8.15.2018

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 3: Come Join the Cult of Sewing

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 3: Come Join the Cult of Sewing | oonaballloona by marcy harriell

Let's watch "Wild Wild Country," Rob said. MEH, I said.

I need my TV to take me away from real life, if you know what I mean-- alien races, superheros, out of this world circumstances for ordinary people. A cult in a dusty, faded, early 80s Oregon? Not so much. But I like to pepper my penchant for escapism with something a little more meaty for the Robster, so I resigned myself to an evening of mind-sewing whilst snuggled up on the couch. I can have a lot of fun mind-sewing. Escapism at its finest!

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 3: Come Join the Cult of Sewing | oonaballloona by marcy harriell

To be fair, I'm stitching in my noggin' no matter what's on the screen-- a seamline catches my eye, and my head is off to the races. This time, I began with a totally off-topic dress, already in progress. But about halfway into episode one of this seemingly drab documentary, the haze lifted, and I realized a trend was happening on the screen in front of me...I was seeing a lot of pink...a little orange...and EVERY SHADE THAT HAD A SPECK OF RED IN IT. I rewound in my brain and realized those warm delicious tones, floating in blurry old footage, were the colors of the cult in question. From that moment on, I was ALL IN.

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 3: Come Join the Cult of Sewing | oonaballloona by marcy harriell

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want to start a Hell's Kitchen chapter of Rajneeshees, and I'm not going to get into the finer points of the documentary, per se. Nooooooo, my friends, this is not that heady. I JUST LIKE PINK AND RED. And when video footage of the ACTUAL CULT BOUTIQUE was revealed? FORGET ABOUT IT!! My brain went on a merry trip to the land where I was the owner of said boutique, and I began to mind-sew garment after garment for those sunset colored racks. On this journey, the boutique was the main reason for the cult's existence. Not the other way around. Facts! PFFT! Who has the time to pay attention to the TV when there's SEWING TO BE PONDERED?!

(Rob has to hit pause quite a bit on our nightly small screen adventures, dontcha know. Hey babe pause it I need to see that peasant blouse. Hey babe pause it why is the FBI in this scene. HEY BABE PAUSE IT WHY ARE THERE EXPLOSIONS HAPPENING. Et cetera, et cetera.)

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 3: Come Join the Cult of Sewing | oonaballloona by marcy harriell

So, maybe I was wearing rose colored glasses, ahem, please forgive the cherry-picked inspiration (see what I did there?), but when it came time to think up a garment for episode 3 of Re:Fashion, I decided I needed to make my cult dress a reality. My brilliant friend & colleague, Elaine, dubbed it The Culture Dress ;). 

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 3: Come Join the Cult of Sewing | oonaballloona by marcy harriell

The actual fashion inspiration, though fabulously hued, was FAR too plain for my tastes. (You can imagine, fashion not being the main priority of the real-life jam.) That's where this beast of a maxi dress came in--she started off floor length, and quite plainly in solid red (that's plain in my book). I got obsessed with some pom trim, some blingy mesh, some embroidery, and went nuts. Along the way, I severely botched it (this happens on just about everything I make) but I think I figured out a save! We show you what I did (and redid) all in the episode.

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 3: Come Join the Cult of Sewing | oonaballloona by marcy harriell

HI MOLLY! This is Molly. She had about six titles on our shoot...set decorator, stylist, and wardrobe supervisor are the three that come to mind. But again, I'm usually thinking about sewing and missing pertinent facts, so don't quote me on that. I CAN tell you, without a doubt, she's awesome. This was halfway through our fashion shoot day, and it was about 300 degrees outside with no shade, hence the shawl. I have no reason storywise for including this shot, other than it makes me happy!

Hope you're feeling happy, and rocking your colors. I like to think we're all members in the cult of Sewing, where our obsession makes the world a more beautiful place, individual garment by individual garment. I guess the "individual" bit defies the definition of a cult? Facts! PFFT!  

Re:Fashion launched on NBC U's bluprint last July, and for the month of August (my birthday month!) I'll be highlighting each episode with a little behind-the-seams. Now, unlike the first episode, the rest of the series isn't a freebie. If you're already a member, you can see episode 3: The Culture Dress here, and see how I saved me from myself on this red tent of a dress! If not, you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here and dip your toes in for a whole week. You're gonna wanna swim around.