June 20, 2016

Simplicity 8014: The Not-So-Rambunctious Dress

oonaballoona | simplicity 8014 | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

This is the dress that makes people behave.

oonaballoona | simplicity 8014 | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

Richie. RICHIE. WE GOTTA LEAVE. WE GOTTA LEAVE RIGHT NOW, I GOTTA SEE THIS HAIR. LET'S GO RICHIE.

oonaballoona | simplicity 8014 | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

I smiled despite my New Yorker game face, and turned to acknowledge the pair of gentlemen suddenly following me.

oonaballoona | simplicity 8014 | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

Are you filmin' sumthin? My hair admirer asked. No, I'm shooting my dress, I made it.

oonaballoona | simplicity 8014 | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

YA MADE IT? WELL THAT'S BEEYOOTIFUL! Oh, beeyootiful! Wouldn'tcha liketa shoot it in front of our buliding? Come on, it's right here, hop up on there on that planter! Here, I'll do it for ya! HEY WHAT BUTTON DO I PUSH?!!!

Maybe it's something about the solid color, but this is the dress that makes people behave. And act wonderfully. Could it be that all this time, all I needed was a solid maxi dress to tame the beasts of New York? Right after meeting my artsy gentlemen (who did, indeed, take a picture of me in front of their artsy installation, and then led me back to their 4 building wide courtyard chock FULL of whimsical color, to take another--sadly, blurry--photo) wait, that was a really long parenthetical, lemme start again.

oonaballoona | simplicity 8014 | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

Right after meeting my artsy gentlemen, I walked through a throng of 50 teenagers covering the sidewalk, then a battalion of construction workers on break. Such exemplary behavior! Girls and boys stepped to the side! Hard hats gave nods of gentle appreciation! Only one whistle! On the way home, a man stopped me in the middle of the crosswalk to tell me how fabulous I looked!

oonaballoona | simplicity 8014 | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

I'm not saying this to toot-toot-hey-beep-beep my own horn, I'm saying this because YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT SOLID COLORS. I told Ruggy about the magical powers of this dress, and when he opened his mouth to say you should make another I literally cut him off by stomping my feet on the floor in resistance. Babe, he continued, you should make another in a print, I think the dramatic silhouette is what's hitting people.

oonaballoona | simplicity 8014 | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

WELL LAH DEE DAH TIM GUNN! 

By the way, this is Simplicity 8014, maxified. It almost looks like I need an FBA in this, TO WHICH I LAUGH HEARTILY. I actually have a teeny safety pin above the super low neck snap, for audition purposes (you know, you like them to look at your face when you sing, and not necessarily your left boob when you turn to the side). But normally, I'd wear this indecently open. The pockets gave me a bit of grief-- way too small for my paws! I went back in after the whole shebang was finished, and sewed them in to the side seams at 5/8ths-- they were making a weird curve at the hip with the suggested 3/8ths. 

I also took the back in a bit, adding a center pleat on the back bodice.I had a little instagram vote on sleeves, and once again went with the advice of my own personal Tim Gunn, who weighed in on the opinion of the Cut In Sleeves party. They say it'll be too Rambo. 

He raised an eyebrow. And that's a bad thing because....?

oonaballoona | simplicity 8014 | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

(Rambo at the ready, in front of the art installation! Perhaps when I make one in a print, I'll head back to the courtyard for a shoot...)

I do think I'll be making another. I feel elegant walking around in this! Do you have an ensemble that makes people behave differently than you'd expect?

June 6, 2016

The Sprout + Kielo Wrap, Squat, Bend and Leap Dress

oonaballoona | kielo dress | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

This was the hardest working dress in New York City last Friday afternoon.

oonaballoona | kielo dress | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

Not that Friday's activity was hard work, I mean, it was technically work, but I had a BLAST. Wore it to an audition which turned into a movement call. Which turned into a dance call. HEY GUESS WHAT. I WAS REALLY GLAD TO BE WEARING A HOT PINK SPORTS BRA.

AND A MATCHING THONG.

(That last bit might be facetious. My apologies to those who were sitting at hip level.) 

oonaballoona | kielo dress | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

Yeah, so, this dress was seriously road tested! It got high marks from passersby, from waiting room compatriots, from peeps behind the table... and what was the thanks it got for being so dang pretty? Manhandling! Downright VANDALIZATION at the hands of yours truly! Hiked up and tied into all manner of knots, when I realized the movement call included attitude leaps and deep squats!

I used the extra long, skinnified ties to keep it at an (in)decent level, and hoped the poly CDC wouldn't bust under pressure.

Because y'all. I love to dance. Even under threat of popped seams.

oonaballoona | kielo dress | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

But she stood up to the squats! All seams are intact. Of course, this baby is going to need a good washing after all that booty shaking...and of course, I added leather embellishments to the tie points, which will now need to get soaked. Whaddayagonnado.

oonaballoona | kielo dress | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

That back split was very helpful! But I might open it up some more, now that I know this poly CDC is basically made of stretchable iron. MOAR DANCING.

oonaballoona | kielo dress | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

Hey, you know what dress this is, right? The Kielo Wrap dress from Named patterns, buuuuut it's via Sprout Patterns, and offshoot of Spoonflower. Caroline, creative director (and a woman possessed of absolute charm and actual powers of ESP), contacted me awhile ago about trying out their new service: customized cut & sew. You choose the fabric and pattern, and the pattern is printed in your size directly onto the fabric. I'm going to go completely off the rails on this "sewing" blog and actually review the experience! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

I spent a good long while playing with Sprout's project builder, where you choose from Spoonflower's vast collection of prints (I assume you can also upload your own, but I fell in love with Kociara's Jungle Lily print). You can play with the actual placement of the print in a little preview of the pattern layout, which is super cool. Under Caroline's advice, I chose Poly CDC for the stretch factor (THANK GOD). The fabric arrives with a white margin and a thin black line for cutting. The first thing you do is prewash the fabric. Of course, I wondered if the sizing would shrink, but nope, they factor that in, and it remained true.

I know this because I am omniscient. No. Not really. 

oonaballoona | kielo dress | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

The only markings not printed on the fabric are the darts, because you don't want to be left with a permanent dart marked on your pretty dress. (Actually, on this technicolor insanity, it might not have been an issue, but if you're going all chic and beige like Named's sample, that would be no bueno.) You're instructed to print out only the pages needed for the darts (a PDF copy of the pattern & instructions is included in the Sprout kit), and lay them out over the fabric to mark the darts. Yes, I grumbled over printing those 4 pages. But it proved there was no shrinkage, which turned my grumble into a surprised happy dance! (And I'm making more of these anyway. Fo sho.)

oonaballoona | kielo dress | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

I was on the fence about trying a pattern that I couldn't adjust first, because obviously, if you're getting the pattern printed right onto the fabric, fit adjustments are going to be minimal. But if you're not posessed of a straight-sized bod, the loose, easygoing Kielo is a perfect match for Sprout. Even with the cutting lines already printed, I was able to play around to account for my short waist. I took the back shoulder up about 5/8ths, and increased the seam allowance on the CB seam. Style wise, I cut the premarked ties in half horizontally, to keep them skinny & extra long, and lowered the neckline and armsyce for more breathability, as I tend to sweat a li'l bit in poly.

ESPECIALLY WHEN DOING DEEP SQUATS AND ATTITUDE LEAPS.

oonaballoona | kielo dress | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

I gotta tell ya, I'm thrilled with the outcome. It's no secret that I adore maxi dresses, but I really do hate finagling the space to cut them out in a small NY apartment. It was luscious to be able to cut right into the fabric with no shimmying around on the floor.

Was it karma that made me eventually shimmy around on the floor anyways? Mebbe. BUT I HAD FUN, KARMA. I MUST BE A VERY VERY GOOD GIRL.

this dancing dress was made possible through a collaboration with sprout patterns. 

June 3, 2016

Big Apple, Big Overalls: The Schnittchen Rachel!

oonaballoona | schnittchen rachel overalls | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

I don't really know how to explain myself. I saw Schnittchen's off-the-wall overalls pattern and fell in love. They (quite rightly) did the sample up in a chambray... something chic and understated, to balance out the crazy.  


BUT WHO NEEDS BALANCE WHEN YOU CAN HAVE AFRICAN WAX PRINT CIRCLING YOUR REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS LIKE A ROADMAP

oonaballoona | schnittchen rachel overalls | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

It happens on the back, too. But this is the best shot my photographer got of the back. I think she was day drinking.

Highlighted female parts aside, I was actually quite thoughtful in my print placement! One could even say it was INTENTIONAL! This wax print was scored at Metro Textiles. Kashi has really been killing it with the selection these days. I used both sides of the yardage to get a mirrored balance-- the cotton is so saturated, there's only a slight difference on the reverse side, not enough to tell. One of the things I love about quality wax print! My main goal was to avoid a yellow hole at center front & back, if ya know what I mean. Mission accomplished in that respect.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

oonaballoona | schnittchen rachel overalls | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

Phew. I do enjoy a good laugh. And I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this project! Perhaps I should tell you how it came about, eh? You know what my problem is? I DON'T KNOW HOW TO TELL A GOOD STORY. Well, I mean, I can, if I really put my mind to it, but 87% of the time, you would think English is my second language. Ruggy will often ask me to explain something, and then glaze over as I murder poorly constructed sentences at a loud, fast pace, finally ending with: ENGLISH. I CAN'T. 

Ahem. 

I'm the next blogger in Schnittchen's Sewing Around the World tour, and despite my tenuous grasp on the official language of my country, I represent 'Murica! I've sewn up a Schnittchen pattern before (the Eve jacket) and I was so pleased with the outcome and the quality of the design, saying Yes to this invitation was a no-brainer. This pattern was no different--well drafted, with super fun details! I followed the instructions included in the paper pattern (which, to be honest, means I glanced over them and then went full steam ahead. What can I say, I "grew-up-sewing" on Burdastyle instructions).


I didn't find the photo instructions on the website, but I did use the line drawing to visualize the "bodice," which, as you can see, has multiple pieces that get lost in all my print mayhem! I'm going to need to do a colorblocked version of this, for sure. I did run into one hiccup: there's one little line in the drawing, on the front, that shouldn't be there--that teeny horizontal guy I've circled in pink. The actual pattern pieces match up perfectly, no worries there, just ignore that guy if you're sewing this up. 

I made two changes to the pattern: left the pocket flaps out, and added a pleat to the side after the whole shebang was finished. I just pinched the fabric in by about an inch and a half at the side seam, folded it towards the back, then blind stitched it down by hand. I love the original wide shape, but giving it a wee bit more shape gives it a wee bit more chance of it being Ruggy friendly.

oonaballoona | schnittchen rachel overalls | a sewing blog by marcy harriell

Because I think you know where my body-con man stands on this jammy. 

BUT I LURVE IT. 

Thanks for asking me to hop on the train, lovely ladies of Schnittchen!

this raucous romper was made through a collaboration with schnittchen, who provided the pattern and a stipend for fabric.