Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Eyelet Without A Face


oonaballoona vintage simplicity 2222

My outdated camera refused to allow Ruggy to focus on the live girl. It wanted the hottie in the poster. Literally kept zeroing in on her face. Though I'm sure she's charming, I had to give her the hand.

oonaballoona vintage simplicity 2222

Despite the impressive size of my mouth, I’m a bit at a loss for words…could be that this marks the end of summer sewing, could be the casual vibe...

oonaballoona vintage simplicity 2222 rayon binding

oonaballoona vintage simplicity 2222 rayon binding

Could be that at one point I wanted to set fire to this dress, since I decided to use rayon binding on all TWO HUNDRED AND TWELVE SEAMS (I might be off by about two hundred). Although this project was involved, it went together simply... just a bit... mind numbingly

oonaballoona vintage simplicity 2222

In an effort to get some everyday wear into my extremely gussied-up closet, I snagged this warm reversible cotton eyelet at Mood Fabrics online, for my MSN September project. I found the lavender snaps at Vardhman Trims on 39th, which really pair nicely with the print IRL, camera be damned-- the owner and I both let out an audible sigh when I held up the swatch. I love that lady.

 oonaballoona vintage simplicity 2222

As you can see, she's a holy girl, the reason for the rayon. Serged seams would get ugly, and french or flat felled seams would've been too bulky with the embroidered aspect.  Couldn't bear to line it, as the eyelet provides the opportunity for all manner of technicolor slips peeking through...


Unfortunately my technicolor slips stop at a demure pecan tone. Must fix that. Wouldn't Sky Blue be amazing under this?  Safety Cone Orange! Or that old chestnut, Radiant Orchid?!

Next time I’d throw some pleats in the back skirt too. The pattern (vintage Simplicity 2222) only provides for the front. Helps with the casual vibe, I suppose? And as Amy pointed out, it's a flattering effect, which makes sense-- this pattern is one of the "Slenderette" line. C'est vrai! BUT I WANTS MORE VOLUME. Willows are for Buffy.


I'd also love it if Ruggy would occasionally hop up off the ground.


Ah, that's better. Thanks Ruggy!

(Really, I'm sure she's charming.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

four square feet, forty pictures

oonaballoona sewing studio

Actually, as it turns out, I have 25 square feet of space. I thought a 4 by 4 square measurement meant 4 square feet. Doubly wrong; my footprint is a 5 by 5 square. Math. I haz it. Also, there is no way in hell this feels like 25 square feet of space. Disbelief. I haz it.

During the Project Sewn hullabaloo, when I was frantically sewing in every spare minute I could find, I promised a peek into my tiny New York apartment sized "studio", which lives in the corner of our living room. The absence of a door means I keep it pretty neat--though to be honest, if I had doors, it would still stay fairly controlled. I can't work in mess, it's like the clutter seeps into my head and laughs at my puny efforts to ignore it.

oonaballoona sewing studio

The grandaddy of my setup is my standing drafting desk. I found these old school (literally, old high school) guys years ago at the online site of an LA vintage store. The proprietor liked my New York vibe, and sent me two desks, completely disassembled, for a thousand bucks. Including shipping. That's kind of bananas. He taped numbers to each part and I hammered and screwed them back together like a jigsaw, all by myself. There were 50 parts for each desk. GO ME.

Ruggy & I stand side by side at our identical desks, him typing away, me sewing away. Though the contents of my drawers are considerably more colorful. What can I say, it's in the genes. 

oonaballoona sewing studio

oonaballoona sewing studio

oonaballoona sewing studio

oonaballoona sewing studio

One must always have a good selection of neutral toned serger cones.

Ziploc bags keep my trim neat inside my drawers. For real, the traffic from that sentence alone.

oonaballoona sewing studio

oonaballoona sewing studio

And now, for the stash. Get ready to have your Mind. Buh-LOWN.

oonaballoona sewing studio

BEHOLD! BEHOLD MY GREAT AND POWERFUL STASH! SURELY MY STASH BEATS YOURS! I WIN AT EVERYTHING!

I'm well aware of the laughable state of my stash. Having seen some truly magnificent collections in person, I'm not sure you can call this a stash. Or perhaps, this is a stash, akin to some furtive junkie's little habit hidden away in a corner, the precious, and those of you with shelves of yardage and freshly peeled grapes, well, you've got a BOUNTY. And my neverending jealousy.

To the side of this magnificent stack lives patterns I'm currently working on, pressing roll, swedish tracing paper (which is glorious), my ironing board, my wolfie dress form (also glorious, she rolls out when I'm working) and a By Hand London tote stuffed with pieces of PIPs. Handy for when I'm working on eighteen things at once and need to find a missing part...

oonaballoona sewing studio

Up top are technicolor writing instruments in questionable cans. 

oonaballoona sewing studio

oonaballoona sewing studio

And serious ceramics. My favorite jar! All the way from Italy, and brattily secured from Mommaballoona, it survived my childhood and hopes to survive my adult years. I snag ceramics from my travels, the little white jar with my most used tools is from Dallas, the floral coaster (which usually holds a fancy libation) hails from LA.

The high ceiling helps with the small space, though I'm not using it for much else than a lofty feeling. The walls are decked with photography from Mama Ruggy, embroidery from Mommaballoona, and fingerpainting from my nephew, the next Picasso (sans the ear stuff). [ETA: VAN GOGH! What. I was just making sure y'all were actually reading the copy. WELL DONE.]

oonaballoona sewing studio


oonaballoona sewing studio

Kai. Pride of place.

oonaballoona sewing studio

Apparently there is a decent amount of disbelief surrounding the continued existence of these chocolate bars. Yes, we are just that disciplined. Also, I have restocked the Mint, Brown Butter, and Sea Sat bars an undetermined number of times.

oonaballoona sewing studio

You know what's awesome? Ruggy, are you listening? You'd better be, I switched to Proper Capitalization for you... IKEA. IKEA IS AWESOME. My other half frowns upon that Swedish Giant. But IKEA been berryberry good to me. Stash shelf, desk shelf, orange magnetized doodad holder (guarded by Toulouse, thankya Lisette!) and desk lamp were all acquired at the Orange n Blue Beast.  My zippers are arranged on the three knobs by invisible, separating, and short.  Little tins hold ball point and silk pins.

oonaballoona sewing studio pfaff

And finally, the Crowning Achievement and Undying Disaster... like Yin and Yang, like Cain and Abel, like Whiskey n Coke (people, don't sully good alcohol with soda).... the machines. In the left corner!  Weighing in at 15 pounds! The Elna Pro 5 DC! Ready to horribly maim me at any moment! Seriously guys. Thing One never really worked in the first place, and when she does work, it's because she thinks today will be the day she gets to kill me.

She won't even do knits anymore. YOU HAD ONE JOB. I'm in the market.

However, the sight of my Pfaff makes it all okay. Good lord I love that machine. I actually literally kiss her on the hood several times a week. Lean right over, and kiss her. Which reminds me, Lucille "Baller" Tiptronic is due for her three month review post...

Well! Did you think it possible to require SEVENTEEN PICTURES to get an idea of my tiny space? And I didn't even show you the windowsill! Obviously, my snap happy fingers betray me. Though I dream of a studio with big french doors and a cutting table, I still adore it. Et vous? Happy with your space?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

practicing preaching


The good (and also the Bad, and sometimes THE FUGLY) thing about making declarations on the internet is you're held accountable. 

In the early hours of yesterday morn, I cut out vintage Simplicity 2222. Today, I savored adding rayon seam binding to the guts, and coming up with interesting substitutions for interfacing, and working out the collar... seconds ago, I looked at it and went nuts. Couldn't take another heartbeat of it. Couldn't even throw an iron on it before posting a PIP shot. COULD HARDLY WAIT TO FOLD THE MONSTROSITY UP AND GET IT OUT OF MY SIGHT. The Good: I stopped working and turned to something else.

The Bad: I didn't turn to any of the last three PIPs posted. And the Fugly: Eventually, if I keep up with this accountability thing, you are really going to see just how addicted I am.  I'm diving into my seventh By Hand London Anna. Whaddayagonnado. Yo, I need Anna the Seventh for OWOP!!! I don't have a problem! I CAN QUIT ANYTIME I WANT! Hey, let's change the subject! Are you playing? Once again, I'm turning to instagram to avoid bombarding you, and will do a wrap up later. Today, for a few brief morning hours, Errand Anna, an unblogged red & purple striped raw silk job, pranced about town. She made a lot of new friends, especially in Whole Foods. WHOAH, I said to the butcher, who was giving me an appreciative and respectable gaze, but was nevertheless picking the oldest sausages he could lay hands on,  How 'bout giving me those nice pink guys up top? Ya think?!

He seemed surprised. I MEAN. I KNOW MY MEAT. I'm not sure I've even ever been to the fish counter.

Apparently someone out there thinks I know a little bit about sewing, too (though that belief at times is as questionable as shellfish in summer) because somebody nominated me for a bloggy award at BurdaStyle. Thank you, very much, to anyone out there who did that, it was a very pleasant end of the week surprise! There are a lot of new-to-me blogs on the list, and friends who inspire me daily, as well as a lot of blogs missing that are hugely inspiring... it just goes to show, there's so much out there.

Speaking of, I have some ~unnumbered~ pips to get back to. Ahem. Several hems, actually. Happy weekend y'all!