Simplicity, With a Little Complication.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

When we venture South for the holidays, my suitcase is stuffed with 20% everyday, 80% special occasion. Not that I don't dress for every day as if it were a special occasion! I do. I really do. But, this is the kind of bling that even I can't justify donning for what is, mainly, at-home family gatherings. 

Bling that has a slit up to here...

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

And that likes to get frisky...

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

With any little hint of a breeze...

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

It just doesn't say "holiday brunch and Scrabble," you know?

Still, I pack the things I can wear for all of 15 minutes, in anticipation of documentation in more forgiving temperatures. It was 64 degrees when Rob & I ran joyously outdoors to snap this dress, and I am 100% basted into it.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

YES YES Y'ALL, I had my first zipper fail of my sewing career!! Hair and makeup ready, jewelry set, I went to zip her up, and the coil came FULLY away from the tape, right in the middle of the seam. It wasn't too tight, it was too old. At the time, the only zip I had of an appropriate color was my "basting zipper," a plastic job that had been used and reused so many times, I've lost count. 

It could've been worse, it could've happened during its maiden voyage, while I was singing in it 😳

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

When I trudged out of the guest bedroom in defeat, holding the wounded brocade in my clenched fists, Rob wouldn't take no for an answer. "You have a needle and thread? You have no problem."

I MEAN REALLY. He knows exactly how to goad me into competition with myself.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

But I think I'll be inserting a nice, new, unused zip, now that we're home. 

Bodice: Mimi G for Simplicity 1115 (great!!) which I joined at the waist to...
Skirt: Simplicity 1099 (not great!! Why do I keep using this pattern?! I've made the skirt here and top here, and the draft on both cause gnashing of teeth at some point in construction. On the skirt, I always have to change the weird pleats on the front at the last minute.)
Fabric: Brocade from Janky Store in NY's garment district, lined with silk CDC from Chic Fabrics.
Zipper: In a trash bin somewhere in Arkansas.

Happy New Year, peeps! May you have all the closure you require... and needle & thread, should it fail you.


Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

After 8 full days of hollering with family and friends, I am worded OUT! My brain is in need of the kind of recharge where you spend all day at home in a robe.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

Unfortunately, I’m not one to spend all day at home in a robe. It's problematic for me, on many levels.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

1: Robes in our house are historically not fancy enough. Yes, I can solve this problem. But, 
2: I don’t really sew things to chill in. And, most difficult of all, 
3: Even if I'm spending all day at home, I change clothes five to six times (to suit my mood, naturally). 

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

So I need like nine fancy robes to have the appropriate amount of viable options for a day spent in "a" robe. (Rob calls it my costume change. I sort of look up, perplexed, from whatever I'm doing, shake my curls, and stomp merrily off, while he calls out costume change! )

Luckily, I tricked myself into sewing one fancy robe. I'm set for coffee and/or cocktail hour, at least.

Vogue 9253 has now been made by the entirety of the sewing population. (Please dispute this fact in the comments so that we may enable you to climb on board.) I don't think I've seen it in a sheer yet, though! This silk chiffon, gauzy metallic beastie was actually made (and worn!) for the stage, accompanied by a little black tank and short shorts. Rob thought it looked like I was heading straight from the boudoir to the theater, but I was singing “Cabaret” in a cabaret (how meta), so it fit the bill. After the concert, I thought I’d wear it over jeans to document it for the Mood Sewing Network, but since its debut appearance, I’ve been swanning about in it solely behind closed doors.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

At that point, I’d made the pattern several times, so I decided to whip this thing up in under 24 hours (as evidenced by that handy pictorial diary, instagram). The whole shebang is baby french seamed, so all those exposed seams look neat in a sheer fabric. At the eleventh hour (literally) I decided to add a design element to the sleeves: ties & loops made of plain 1/4 inch black twill. They're untied here. I may add some more twill to CF for a tie closure.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some recharging to do. (That probably means sewing.)

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

(Or maybe just twirling.)

Happy New Year, folks! May you have good reason to swan about in a robe (or seven) for a bit.


Sewing Gifts to get YOU for the Holidays.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Sewing Gifts to get YOU for the Holidays.

I love these "gifts for sewists lists" that are popping up everywhere! I love them because they masquerade as advice for civilians! Ninja, please (we've been watching iZombie, which is wonderful), civilians ain't reading these holiday gift list posts! EVERYONE KNOWS WE SEWISTS ARE THE ONES TAKING COPIUS AND DETAILED NOTES OF SHINY NEW SEWING ITEMS FOR WHEN WE RETURN THOSE NOVELTY SLIPPERS AND BATHROBES!

Let's be real here: this list is what to get YOU for the holidays. Or ME, if you like me.

I'm pretty sure I could be forgiven for decorating Ye Old Rainbow Yarn Bombed Christmas Tree with two dozen of these, and repurposing them immediately as sewing shelf decor, when the mistletoe has wilted.

They say it's a gift for barbers. I say they're missing a whole world of uber obsessed people with good money to spend.

Tape. Dispenser. Caddy. One is a cat, the official mascot of sewists.

Listen, don't get your hand made panties in a bunch, if you're a dog person, that's cool too. I mean, I don't get it, per se, because y'all have to, like, GO OUTSIDE IN RAIN AND SNOW AND SLEET AND PICK UP THE FECAL MATTER OF ANOTHER ORGANISM, but really, that's cool. You do you. While you're doing you (and doo doo), slap something sewing related on your mutt so you can zen out on the half finished party dress that awaits you, once you finish tying up that plastic baggie.

The best inexpensive scissors, if your hands hurt from cutting out that party dress with those shiny metal jobs.

The best expensive for what it is solution to stopping said hands from snagging and pulling the expensive fabric you bought for that party dress.

Of course, you'll want to have the proper decoration for those hands, especially when shooting your fabric haul on youtube and whatnot. (But no really, click that link, the product picture needs a little cleaning up and it's making my eye twitch and I have to know if it makes yours twitch too.)

Maybe you're thinking, HEY MAN, I like to keep my nails tidy with CLIPPERS, and don't categorize me in your DOG AND CAT WORLD, man, I'm a FISH person, fish never lie down on your fabric and they make wonderful sewing desk companions. And I'm all STOP YELLING.  I got you, fishy fishy.

Or maybe you just drink like a fish. And since you're a sewist, the liquid is probably gin. I am equal parts thrilled and utterly dismayed by gin's resurgence, as gin has been my thing since before gin was cool. I have a hard time with things getting cool. Example: Harry Potter books. I loved them, they got cool, I felt oddly tricked, I abandoned Harry Potter. However, gin, being a delicious alcoholic beverage, has escaped this fate. My favorite under-the-radar, inexpensive (comparatively, gin now being cool) choice that beats many craft-hip-gins out there is Broker's. It comes with a little plastic bowler hat on it! I'm not linking to the gin, because I think that makes this a 21 and over joint. Drink responsibly, yo.

Speaking of drinking, here are some vessels that aren't adorned with the prerequisite kitty (or the lesser known dog or fish). Have a skull shot glass for that gin (please sip, don't slug. I'm not as much worried about your health as I am your level of classiness). Caffeine your go-to? Here's a mug that will let everyone know you will level them if they come between you and your sewing juice.

You can't have a sewist's gift list without touting a few of these. Sewing machines that: operate your ceiling fan, decorate your tree, make music, and produce fire.


I'm out.

the amazon links in this post are affiliated, and most of them will make you laugh. some of them will make you realize that there are ridiculous things out there that you never knew you needed, until that crazy girl you follow, who sometimes talks about sewing, got it in her head very late last night, and with the help of some gin, to write a gag post which turned into a list of ridiculous things SHE never knew she needed.