Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 2: Jeans + Auditions

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 2: Jeans + Auditions | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

I had an audition. A callback, to be exact. And as Murphy's Law would have it, this callback needed to happen when I was scheduled to be fully engaged elsewheres, and would have to move mountains to make it work. Usually when I get this kind of ask, it's a last-minute, NEED IT YESTERDAY "self-tape," and Rob and I are suddenly wrangling every source of light in our house into a jerry-rigged mini studio in our bedroom at the midnight hour, fifteen lamps blazing us into a sweaty mess while the camera rolls. (Sounds kinky, but we are not that professional.)

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 2: Jeans + Auditions | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

This time, the day before we left for our bluprint shoot, we got the ask for a skyped callback, to be scheduled sometime during our first shoot day. ?!!! Pretty much out of the question, I told them, we'll cross our fingers and see if the lunch break jives with it.

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 2: Jeans + Auditions | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

It did not. Instead, in the middle of the very first day of a very short week, the crew at bluprint stopped the shoot, set up a quiet, air-conditioned, beautifully lit corner for me, and removed themselves to the blazing outdoor heat while I skyped a callback, in which I improv-ed dialogue that should have lasted twenty seconds into twenty minutes of comedic banter. I WAS COUNTING EVERY MINUTE. I was sick that these beautiful new people had halted production for my ass! WE HAD SHIZZ TO SEW, MAN!!!!

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 2: Jeans + Auditions | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

WOMP WOMP, I did not get that part (it happens), but the circumstances, being a regular life occurrence, made it into the second episode of Re:Fashion, Jeans + Tee. A segment of the show is devoted to a last minute callback 😂. Our wonderful-jump-up-and-down-I-love-him-so director was all about bringing our real life into the series, and that first day was full on art imitating life. 

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 2: Jeans + Auditions | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

What's unreal about the episode is the fact that I'm wearing jeans and a tee shirt! WHO IS THAT WOMAN?!! I guess I wanted to try my hand at life imitating art? Really, what I wanted to do was give this everyday staple some twists, maybe inspire some fellow sewists into upgrading some basics, and definitely entice some civilians into breaking into what's already in their closet, busting out a needle and thread, and joining the fold! WE WANT ERRRRRRRYBODY SEWING YO!

You can see how I did what I did on episode 2 of the series. I hope it inspires you to add some awesome to your basics...

Re:Fashion launched on NBC U's bluprint last July, and for the month of August (my birthday month!) I'll be highlighting each episode with a little behind-the-seams. Now, unlike the first episode, the rest of the series isn't a freebie. If you're already a member, you can see episode 2 here, but if not, you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here and binge watch whatever you like! I would suggest you use that week to devour everything on the site, because there is A LOT OF DELICIOUS STUFF TO EAT. 


Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 1: Of Glue And Girls

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 1: Of Glue And Girls | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

It was my first Girls' Night Out, and I was TERRIFIED.  My co-workers, a bevy of Broadway beauties, had planned an evening of debauchery, and I had no idea what to wear, let alone how to behave in the midst of all...those...ladies. My career in feminine friendship at that point was pretty much nonexistent, having had very little to do with the female beast since childhood. My prepubescent interactions with most girls involved them making fun of my mix, my hair, my off-the-wall fashion choices, or just mistaking my shyness for disdain. As a kid, I would grab all manner of color and print and swath myself in statements of cloth, but my yapper was pretty much shut if I was confronted with a classroom of new faces. Unless it wasn't, which was whenever I was onstage. All in all, a confusing mix that did not lend itself to gal pals.

Come to think of it, I did have a few kiddo versions of a girls' night out! You know, sans adult debauchery. Most were with various little bands of merry misfits, but the one that comes to mind was the terrifying sort: I was invited to a sleepover party, by one of the most popular girls in school, somewhere around the 5th or 6th grade. I was shocked by this invitation; all we had in common was the receiving end of a rolled eye.

The party kicked off at a small carnival, where I stood holding Miss Popular's Mom's hand, too scared to go on the roller coaster or the Ferris wheel. (That earned me major points, lemme tell ya.) Later on, in a cavernous shadowed living room, I was careful to keep my movements quiet and small (so as not to alert the natives to my presence), as we made tiny bottles of perfume, ate pizza, and climbed into our sleeping bags for the night. Around 3am, I woke up and assumed I'd been crying, because I couldn't get my eyes open. This didn't surprise me, as the few sleepovers I'd been to at that point usually ended with me sobbing myself awake from homesickness. #WINNING. But I really couldn't get my eyes open, and that really revved up the waterworks, which brought Momma Popular in, who washed my face, got my lids unstuck, and asked gently if I wanted to go home. N-n-n-n-noooooooo, I stammered, determined to GET. THROUGH. A. SLEEPOVER. I gratefully received an encouraging hug from Momma Popular, climbed into my sleeping bag, and willed myself to sleep.

In the morning, I was the first to leave, and when I reached for my tiny bottle of perfume, Miss Popular said I couldn't have it. I whispered in my defense: but Allison said she's keeping hers...at which point all of the crew verbally descended upon me in the way that I was very much accustomed to at school. DAMMIT! Rookie mistake, opening my yapper! I'd been hiding in plain sight for fifteen hours and blew it in the last five minutes!

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 1: Of Glue And Girls | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Momma Popular intervened, handed me my eau de sleepover, and sent me on my way. She had a slightly disapproving look fixed on her little crew of pre-teens.

Years later, Miss Popular showed up backstage at the very Broadway show that started this whole tale, to congratulate me and get me to sign her playbill. I was still pretty shy at that point, but bold enough to tell her we weren't friends and she was never nice to me. Major burn, I know. Still, I raced home to tell Rob about my small victory, including the Saga of the Sleepover, as backstory. Babe, he said, you know they glued your eyes shut, right?

WHAT?! THIS IS A THING THAT KIDS DID?!!! I yelled, shocked. Well, yeah--kids did stuff like that all the time, flour and water paste, a hand in a bucket of water, you know, sleepover stuff. 


So there I was, thinking I was hiding out, quietly infiltrating, when really I was an activity for the party, like those teeny bottles of perfume. That gave me a good laugh, which instantly turned to fear, as I was faced with my first adult invitation to an evening with the girls. Beautiful, popular, strange women. I was that naive kid all over again. ROB! I yelped, wide-eyed. What do women DO at these things?! How do they act?!! What do they wear?!! SHOULD I EXPECT HOMEMADE GLUE?!!!

Re:Fashion on bluprint, Episode 1: Of Glue And Girls | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Rob had no answers for me, being versed only in the strange rules of pre-teen sleepover parties. So I steeled myself, put on some floral jeans and an ill-fitting tee from Gap Kids (I didn't sew back then, and thought Gap Kids was the bomb for my short-waisted frame), and headed into the fray.

Once again I was that kid at the carnival, only this time, the rides were a pitcher of something with a dozen adult liquids in it, a table with an inset grill upon which live jumbo shrimp were thrown on to "dance" before finally dying and being consumed, and several rounds of "marry/kill/bang" (the answers to which would surely be repeated to the wrong people at the theater the next day). GOOD GOD SO MUCH MORE TERRIFYING THAN A FERRIS WHEEL.

And the outfit? I got it dead wrong. My new gal pals were all in something barely grazing the curve of their collective booty, dancer's legs shining and free, faces sparkly with glitter and jewelry. It was like I was an alien visitor to the planet of Girl.

99% of the time, when I sew something, I'm thinking about where I'm going to wear it. As I was coming up with this maxi-to-mini dress for the very first episode of Re:Fashion, those dancing gals (and dancing shrimp) popped into my head, and it hit me that I was making an outfit for that Girls' Night Out. And suddenly I wanted to jump in with both feet...and pretty much alllll of my legs, and go MICRO mini. I'd never tried it before and saw no reason not to!

Today, of course, I know what to wear to an escapade with friends, because many of those friends--female, male, human--were met through sewing, that wonderful art which has provoked me into willingly venturing into many a night out, with roomfuls of strangers, met through the internet. I wear something handmade. Everyone will be in something handmade, the better to exclaim over whilst emptying that pitcher. And no one's gluing anything...unless we're talking glue guns. All bets are off with those things.

Re:Fashion launched on NBC U's bluprint last July, and for the month of August (my birthday month!) I'll be highlighting each episode with a little behind-the-seams. Click here to watch the first episode, Girls' Night Out, for free on bluprint, where I actually talk about sewing this garment, and see how I went from maxi to mini (and almost botched the whole shebang!) 


Behind the Seams with Re:Fashion, our new series on bluprint!

Behind the Seams with Re:Fashion, our new series on bluprint!

WELL HELLO DRESSFORM OF MY DREAMS. Y'all, dreams *do* come true in Hollywood!

Though that leggy dressform didn't make it home with me, I really do mean that bit about dreams, because in the past year, sewing and acting have come together for me like fine champagne and dark chocolate; it's a dream come true that I didn't even know I had. Our new series, Re:Fashion, just launched on bluprint, and I am actually beside myself. I am most certainly and ridiculously happy to be beside Rob, who also stars in the show, bringing his special blend of sewing insouciance to the mix. (The looks, people. THE LOOKS.)

Re:Fashion is about, well, refashioning, but it's also about getting into what works for your closet, upcycling, looking past a pattern envelope, trying something new, shifting gears when something goes awol...it's Re(garding) Fashion. We wanted this show to be an extension of the blog, and so over the month of August (my birthday month!) I'll be highlighting each of the five "series 1" episodes in my usual blog style--i.e, a finished garment post, in which I talk very little about actual sewing. If it ain't broke don't fix it, eh? Don't worry, over on the series I do talk actual sewing.

We had an amazing team of stupendously creative people behind this, and hopefully, our efforts will inspire you to bust into your closet, your patterns, your building's recycling center, and wreak some havoc with fabric.

Most importantly, we hope to give you a break from the world, and make you smile.

(The detail type stuff: for those who don't know, Craftsy Unlimited is now bluprint, an extension of NBC U, the network that is also giving us the gift of Amy Poehler & Nick Offerman in Making It *YES IT HAPPENS TOMORROW NIGHT AND I DON'T CARE IF I SOUND LIKE AN AD, I AM DANCING WITH UNABASHED JOY OVER HERE*. Craftsy as we know it still exists-- you can still buy à la carte classes and enjoy your life there.  But for the cost of a handful of Craftsy classes, you can subscribe to bluprint, and get unlimited access to all of those Craftsy classes, plus new series like Re:Fashion. Details over! See you August 1st with the first behind the seams ;)