December 8, 2014

I never get my shoes in the shot.

oonaballoona | vintage vogue dress | sewing blog

Two things this dress gives me: Bigger Mouth, and Bigger Boobs.

oonaballoona | vintage vogue dress | sewing blog

For real, look at the size of those things. I'm like a 48D version of Steven Tyler.

oonaballoona | vintage vogue dress | sewing blog

The front neckline was originally supersized as well. It had the refs throwing flags for intentional horse collar.

oonaballoona | vintage vogue dress | sewing blog

But they gave extra yardage for the bow. To go with the linebacker proportioned boobs and yapper. 

oonaballoona | vintage vogue dress | sewing blog

Luckily, I already had the appropriately voluminous derriere.

Pattern: Vintage Vogue 1084. Um. If you feel like sticking into something satisfying, grab a Vogue reprint at the next Joann's sale. I'm on my second envelope and am wildly eyeing my stash for ways to frankenstein bits and pieces into the required yardage for the handful of reprints I snagged at the last sale-- most of these eat up at least 4 yards. And that's pre-crinoline, which of course now, I must haz. (Hey vintage ladies, any good sources for cheap but decent RTW crinoline?)

Changes: Shortened the sleeves and lowered front neckline by about two inches. Used silk organza to reinforce the top bodice corner (as you would a gusset). Made an extra larger bow shape, layered with organza, and threaded it through the original bow. There was a little sagging in the back with just that one sad bow, and the added bow created a tighter backline! Bonus! There's no lining in this, which is...aggravating. Instructions let the exposed seams slide, so I ended up binding each and every seam.

Fabric: Both fabrics were Christmas booty circa 2013, snatched up at Mood, and HOLY IMPOSSIBILITY, both fabrics are still there. This never happens with my MSN posts, which I feel pretty bratty about ("hey I loved this fabric whoopsy daisies sorry it's all gone kaybyyyeee!") so leave it to me to make a non-MSN dress where the yardage is still in existence. Here's the main dress, and here's the contrast bow.

Photos: Flagrant Foul called for Overuse of the Surface Blur Option; to give a vintage feel, and make up for Revolting Injured Camera. Apologies. No dress was harmed in the 'shopping of these photos.

Have you got a holiday dress on your table? I'm on my fifth. HOLIDAY SUPERSIZE ME, YO.

December 6, 2014


On the train last night, there were six or seven cops at one of the doors, looking out at the tracks as the subway operator made a jerky way down the rails. The operator stopped too abruptly at the station, and one of the male officers fell forward. Ruggy immediately put his arm out to stop his fall, a knee jerk reaction of a gentleman, though it wasn't seen or needed by the cop. A female officer did notice it, and said Thankyou as the small group left the train.

Ruggy told me this story late last night after he got home. He'd been at a play, and I'd been at dance class, afterwards enjoying the (relative) quiet outside after the past week. We've had nightly nonstop helicopters and sirens since Tuesday, and of course you know why. So... it was, simply, nice. And Ruggy's story was also, simply, nice. But I did wonder aloud if his arm quickly extending out like that would have been taken as a threat if it were a different shade. 

I'm not getting into any facts, whole or half truths, or lies, in any of the recent events. I don't even think "event" is the right word. I don't have a word for this week. It just seems wrong to continue parading holiday dresses when the days bring more unnamable happenings. Yes, I'll be back with another dress on Monday, because we live, but I do feel the need to say something. 

We are, simply, trying our level best to spread joy. Protests, marches, arguments, we've tried those in the past. For us, they don't work, though much respect for those who choose that.  For us, walking down the city street together, holding hands that span a dozen races and twenty years together, is one of the most joyful acts, and peaceful protests, that we can think of. 

If you don't mind, I'll leave the comments off on this one. Sending much love and joy to you all.

December 2, 2014

running my mouth.

oonaballoona | by hand london kim dress

Okay so here's the thing. I'm sort of worded out at the moment. And I'd like to let the pictures do the talking for me, but my camera is imaged out at the moment. It no longer wants to play. It has taken its toys and it has gone home. This may have something to do with the fact that I dropped it from the top of a fully extended tripod height, popped the jammed lens out as one would a dislocated shoulder, and left it with a squinky eye that no longer closes.

oonaballoona | by hand london kim dress

(Sarah, recognize the story? This is exactly what I did to your camera.) 

oonaballoona | by hand london kim dress

But semi blurry pictures be damned, I MUST TELL YOU ABOUT THIS DRESS. This is my tester version of By Hand London's newest party girl, Kim. Normally I don't parade my test version until I've sewn it up again from the actual released pattern, but this gal was such a joy to stitch, I took maybe three notes on the test run. I've heard tell most testers had this experience, so I'm shouting now.

oonaballoona | by hand london kim dress

DO YOU LIKE THE CRAZYFACE LUREX?!!! I got it at Hancock's like 4 years ago. And the burnout velvet is a major 3 year old score from an unintentional LA sale! Both had been cut into and set aside when previous plans went wrong. I dug them back out for this.


I chose the sweetheart neckline with faux wrap skirt. Traced her up in a straight size 10/14, took 5/8s off the back shoulder to account for le back du sway, and pegged the skirt in 2 inches. I took another 5/8 off the back shoulder during sewing, and probably should do those extra eighths at the waist next time. 

I've been thinking about back length on me. The size and shape of my booty obviously creates a peak, right? So that peak makes my back measurement shorter. This is news to no one. Like I said, words.

oonaballoona | by hand london kim dress

Please do grab a magnifying glass and check the print matching on the center back zip. Camera was exacting its (justified) revenge on me, and this is the best back shot I gots, yo.

The skirt is underlined with a satiny burgundy viscose (not per pattern instructions; the velvet is sheer), and the bodice is lined (per instructions) with the viscose as well. Even with grading, that's a lotta bulk in that poor waistline seam. But the insides are purty.

oonaballoona | by hand london kim dress

At the last minute, right before cutting the skirt panels, I decided to take two inches of length out of the skirt. You know, accounting for the BHL temptresses being of tall stature and all. I SO DID NOT NEED TO. While the back hits the sweet spot...

oonaballoona | by hand london kim dress

The front, she is not made for a breeze. Of any sort. Like, a gnat could sneeze and it's R rated up in here. Since then I've added the inches back.

Well, listen. I wish I had a better story to share, and better pictures to boot, and I wish these things 'cause that's the kind of ship I prefer to sail around here, but the Kim dress is quickly reaching Anna heights on my sewing desk, and as the festive season is upon us, spreading the word trumps my self imposed post quality control.


'kay bye!