hello, i love you, won't you tell me my name

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell

Once, when I was stuck in ubiquitous Los Angeles traffic, my beloved Tank moments away from overheating, I asked out loud and quite simply: L.A. Why do you hate me?

L.A. replied in my head: Well, you don't love me. Why should I love you?

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell

Geographic locations speaking in my head aside, I thought that was a damn fine answer. Well said, L.A.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell

I've been sitting on these pictures for about 2 weeks now. They were taken over my birthday weekend in New Hampshire, where a brilliant foursome of friends stomped around in the sun every day, and ate out on the lawn every night. As we drove home, and inched closer to New York, I could feel my good mood evaporating. Summer fun almost done. The Fall audition grind ahead. Subway rides, and pages of sides, and 3 inch heels. It's not a hard job, by any means, but pounding the pavement as an actress can be, let's say...unappealing. Listen, me and NY had a good thing going! I actually used to love pulling from a closet of bargain RTW, getting dressed up as whatever I was supposed to be that day, and racing in and out of casting offices! But we've hit a roadblock in our relationship. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN'T WEAR ANYTHING IN MY NOW 90% HANDMADE NEON CLOSET FOR THAT NEWEST HOSPITAL-LAWYER-POLICE-DRAMEDY. DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO WEAR, NY.

And I suddenly thought: New York is going to turn on me soon if I don't do something about it.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell

I really do believe in thought creating matter. Not in a weird cult way, I've just personally experienced it: when I concentrate on something, the fruits of my thinking are pretty obvious. Over the past few years, I dove into the sewing community, and this online nickname, both of which I LOVE. Though all of the things created from "being" oonaballoona have been so much fun, I've put my real name and the things that come with it in a bit of a corner. I often tell sewists I'm happy to be called oona over Marcy. When I see people who actually know me as Marcy on the city streets, they're surprised to see me in town--they have zero idea who this "oona" is, to be honest, they think I'm social media illiterate. This guy, for example, was shocked to know I had a Twitter account. I was all, YOU SHOULD SEE ME ON INSTAGRAM YO.

But most of my sewing peeps know exactly where I stomp around, IRL and online. Because that's what I'm putting out there. Of course my oonaballoona-sewing-life is more fruitful.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell

I'm not getting all floopy on you here (I mean, maybe I've already jumped the shark on that count when I admitted that States talk to me in my head...), I just came to the realization that it's important for me to start using and enjoying my actual name, and all the things that come with it, again. So I did an @marcyharriell bomb on just about everything. IT FELT WEIRD. But almost immediately, random people started stopping me again on the street because they recognized me from my acting work, rather than my sewing hijinks. 

I'm not knocking hijinks. I LOVE HIJINKS. I just want to get back to loving ALL OF THE HIJINKS.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell


SO HERE'S THE SEWING SCOOP! This is a draped job, I went nuts on my dress form about a month ago, right before a really wonderful musical workshop ate up a large chunk of summer, in the very best way. (You'll hear more about that sort of thing, now that my spilt personalities are one.) It has leather straps enclosed in a mitered facing, a back yoke, CB invisible zip, and hip level godets at the side seam. The hem curves into a mini train, the better to swan about in. I finished the MIND NUMBINGLY LONG SWEEP of said hem just before leaving for The Birthday Weekend Of Sun And Food. And it was the perfect dress to lounge in after the final delectable meal of the trip! (Guys. Strawberry Shortcake Waffles for breakfast. And it only got better.)

The yardage is some sort of heavyweight, possibly drapery quality linen from Chic Fabrics. It has a slick feel to it, even after washing--it swishes in the most wonderful way, like heavy water!

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell

I used my "birthday brat card" to get Ruggy to snap some shots on my iPhone, before dinner on the lawn.

(Oh by the way, his real name is Rob. But I'm pretty sure you didn't think his real name was Ruggy. He's charmed to meet you. He came up with this post title. He would also like you to know that he fully supports my, and any gal's, non-wearing of bras. He just doesn't cotton to NYC creeps and weirdos viewing my breasts sans any fabric whatsoever, and possibly acting upon untowardly thoughts. He thinks my tatas are glorious. I'm paraphrasing here. He also had a super fancy camera all wrapped up and just waiting for me to open it when we snapped these shots. Which I mention because I ironically hollered: WOW, these phone pictures are better than my old beat up camera!)

See? Still chock full of parenthetical asides. Same oona, new Marcy. Which reminds me! Old social media links in posts might lead you to a temporary page, I'll be slowly working through those. But, I've changed all my handles to @marcyharriell. New links for instagram, twitter, pinterest and my facebook page are all in the sidebar now, for those of you actually viewing this in blog format--but if you follow my accounts already, you're all set. It's just a name change.

That feels really good.


Ogden Cami Guts!

This is a public service announcement.

If you don't know what to sew this weekend, and you want to make approximately 400 things, go get the Ogden Cami from True Bias and get cracking, you mini sweatshop of a sewist, you.

I made two in a four hour session, one in this linen pictured, and one in a silk CDC. AND NEITHER WERE FOR ME. WHAT THE WHAT Y'ALL. So, I can't attest to the personal fit yet, but the blogisphere of selfish sewists love it, and man is it a quick and pretty sew! 

And methinks there haven't been many shots of the innards, so...


Really, it's 100% legal for the ladies to go topless in NYC. Did you know this? I SO want to do this. But again, husbandly blood pressure.

This is a great satisfying sew for the advanced sewist, but I think it would also be a fantastic sew for the beginner-- you can take your time on it, and employ all of the proper techniques (staystitching, grading, clipping curves, understitching, and of course, pressing all the livelong sew) without reaching that point of just wanting your party dress finished, know what I mean? It's great practice with an excellent chance of win.

I used the wildly popular Colette instagram video to turn the beautifully thin straps, and used french seams on the side seams. Tip! If you have gorilla paws like me, when you insert the strap through the facing on the back, use a large safety pin to give yourself something to grab onto.

Kelli sent me this pattern gratis cuz we're buds, but this is my honest, unbiased weekend PSA-- I'm not into sewing things that don't make me happy! Seriously, I have to go make fifty more of these. Or at least two more, since I snagged some pretties whilst out with some banging chicks yesterday. My size is up next! I *think*. I don't know what's come over me...I've sewn no less than 5 garments for others since August 1, a date generally recognized around these parts as the start of MY BIRTHDAY MONTH IN WHICH ALL OF THE UNIVERSE REVOLVES AROUND ME.



Blame It On The Sun

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | halter panel print maxi burda dress

I blame this dress on Stevie Wonder, and my inability to keep dates straight when it's SUMMERSUMMERSUMMER.

Last weekend, I suddenly realized it was the end of July, and I with no MSN project for the month! I mean, I'd planned not one, but two projects for this Hotter-Than-July, and hadn't touched a scrap of fabric on either. Both were panel prints--I do like a theme--and both were jersey. This gal is an Italian Poly, and her mate was Italian Cotton. Again, themes.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | halter panel print maxi burda dress

I went for the cotton first, as the fabric content was a bit higher brow. BECAUSE I'M CLASSY. However, the Cotton jersey went south quickly. Welllllllll...not quickly...more like a marathon day of sewing's worth of south. It ended up in the What Was I Drinking bin, which mainly holds cooler weather projects at the moment. Glad to have something summery to stagger down memory lane with! It'll be coming up shortly.

I gnashed my teeth and stomped my feet a bit, loaded all of Stevie's albums, and cut into the second panel print to the tune of "Did I Hear You Say You Love Me."  By the time I got to "All Day Sucker," I was shaking my booty in front of the bedroom mirror like I was at a barbecue with seven spritzers in me, slight heat exhaustion, and my all time favorite song on.


YEEEEEEAH PRINT PLACEMENT!!!! You know I love those (intentionally) placed cascading flowers, right?! YOU KNOW RUGGY CAN'T STAND THEM, RIGHT?!!!

He’s not a fan of the back. But it makes me laugh so hard it hurts. One could almost say I am exploding flowers! (Or, one could say I am "farting flowers." And that one would be Ruggy. Hey man, Everybody Poops.)

Shall we talk about the sewing for a minute? OH LET'S DO. After the botchery of my first panel try, I needed something quick that would make good use of the second print. Burda Magazine 07-2009-124 Halter Tie Dress to the rescue. It’s supposed to have a wrap back, but to make it even easier on myself, I modified the pattern into 2 on-the-fold pieces. I just used the CB placement marking as my foldline. Two pattern pieces, two panels, add slits, make a tie, whambamthankyama’am, July project saved!

I also used a good bit of Steam-A-Seam Lite in this jammy. This poly wasn't about to keep a crease on its own! Which reminds me, I need to get another Sewing Goodies post up in here. For now, here's the link to my favorite size, a two pack of 1/4" Steam-A-Seam Lite. (That link is affiliated, so cut & paste if you're not into that!) I'll have a proper review up soon, but I've already had three orders of this stuff--I love it. It's a reposition-able double stick tape that sets permanently with steam and heat--like Wonder Tape, but I prefer SAS! You don't lose the stretch of the fabric with this stuff. I used it on the side slits, hem, and neckline of this dress. I suppose you could heat set it and forget it, but I use it to keep the fabric nice and flat for topstitching. If you don't have a serger or coverstitch, this really helps in keeping things looking professional. Make sure you get the "Lite!"

(Side note, anyone else hate the new Miller Lite commercials? Being the inventor of the phrase "Lite Beer" doesn't make light beer any more palatable.)

Nothing Lite about this panel print, that's for sure. I find panel prints not only make you think out of the box, they almost do the work for you. And this one sure saved my tuchus this time around! Ever tried one?

this dress was made with my monthly fabric allowance as part of the mood sewing network. thanks for the (wonderful) stevie earworm, mood!