Good Morning Monday

Aaaaaaanyhoo! This is a dress I made! FROM SUPER LONG AGO, LIKE SPRINGTIME LONG AGO! 

I was reminded today that I forgot to share it with you here, when Pattern Review announced the talented sewists moving through to the final round of the PR Sewing Bee... a round in which I'm the guest judge. (Yes, I'm surprised too.) But it's gonna be fun! I'm gonna be on those entries like white on rice! There are some stitches being THROWN DOWN MAN. Did you see the sleeves round?!

I was also surprised to be asked to speak at a PR weekend on an illustrious panel, last spring, to which I wore this very dress. Hence the lightbulb moment regarding the  MIA posting of this 6 yards of Ankara.

This is probably what I looked like for most of that highly entertaining day: pointing at seams on my dress. Hey guys, this pattern has really awesome godets that you totally can't see in this crazyface wax print lemme just point em out for you!

You'd see them better if I'd carried my contrast piping down into the skirt, but that's a loooooottta piping, as I maxi-fied this pattern (Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 1802, plus a self drafted princess seamed bodice).

I might don it again tonight, for a reunion concert I'm about to jet to rehearse for. Anyone remember Lennon on Broadway? Yep, one night only at 54 Below. It sold out before we could even tell people where to get tickets! YIKES! 

Well, that's all for the moment, nice to have a short and sweet post once in awhile, 'innit? Be well, hope you're twirling on this Monday.


Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.

This skirt, made over the course of one day in early June, became an instant favorite of mine. I reached for it every chance I got. Sadly, it fell into abandonment just as quickly as it took to stitch it, because the last time I wore it, I was in an unfortunate situation with a difficult, offensive personality. And it takes a lot to offend me. I wore it as armor, but it suffered battle scars. In the space of one day, this once adored garment became a tinged reminder of that event.

I gave it a cooling-off period, and the memories of that obnoxious personality have now faded, just in time for the crisper weather which this heavy metallic yardage is actually best suited for (I mean, should Mother Nature decide that we get to keep seasons).

Beautiful People, I'd like to keep this space as a favorite spot. I don't want to have to give this small corner of the web a cooling-off period. But lately, I've been giving it the side-eye, wondering what offense I might unintentionally provoke.

I've recently had a nice little run of offending folks, unawares. From the description of my closet, to the use of the term spirit animal. The latest in a string of self-set booby-traps happened last week, in the form of a typo.

This gorgeous, clear blue-skied week, we woke up daily to the next atrocity that somehow impossibly overshadowed the previous impossibly terrible thing, which overshadowed the last thing, and the countless things before it, and it feels insurmountable. There are too many things in this world that we cannot fix, so we focus on the things we can fix. I GET IT. But we lose sight of the people behind the things we're fixing.

I'm not easily offended. I'm confident. I'm vocal. I'm strong. Which is not to say that others are or are not any of those things. But those qualities in me, coupled with the fact that I'm (racially speaking) a little bit of everything and not enough of anything, make up a person who wears what she wants, says what she wants, and doesn't get too concerned about what others think of her.

The latter part of that sentence hasn't been the case lately, mainly because the last thing I want to be perceived as, in this quivering world, is an agent of more sadness--even unintentionally. So I spend hours worrying and responding (hopefully, thoughtfully) to over a hundred comments on months worth of posts where landmines loomed unseen.

YEAH, SO WHAT. Blog comments. What a silly, inconsequential worry in the face of the world we live in.

But it is a worry, small as it is. A worry that I do not have the energy to carry, especially when the conversation ends out in the ether of the internet, and I’m left wondering if my thoughtful responses have even been read by those that started the ball rolling. I've considered turning off the comments altogether, but in this age of mindless, unconnected interacting through screens, the sewing world is an anomaly--we want to have a discussion. And blog discussion, despite being down elsewhere, is still very much happening here.

So, I'm not going to turn the comments off. I’m not going to delete comments. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have your response and share it (although in this age of public "calling out", the occasional private "calling in" might be a more productive choice). Speak your mind! This is, contrary to unpopular belief, a free country. But, if your very first comment here is about the ways in which I have hurt or offended you, or if your comment's sole purpose is to tell me how I am wrong with no explanation, or even if I just don't have the energy: I am going to give myself the option to pass on putting myself into a tailspin. I will instead direct you to this post, specifically, this last bit:

It is impossible to live a life where you offend no one. Although it is my wish that you have a Great Good Time while you're here, I also understand that my sense of humor, sense of style, and sense of English may not be everyone's cup of tea. (Or coffee. Or gin. Or room temp water.) But if my off-color humor doesn't suit you, if I misstep, if I use a word that is a trigger for you, if there is a new word in our ever-changing lexicon that I misuse, it is most certainly NOT my intention to hurt or offend you. I intend to make you laugh. I intend to inspire you to live colorfully. I intend to provide you a breather in the middle of the madness.

And once in a while, I'll even talk about sewing.


A Fine Romance

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

Amongst the many things I wish for us, as a people, floating around on this little blue planet: I wish for us all to have a little romance.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

A little Frank Sinatra singing Jobim. A well mixed cocktail (or a tall cool seltzer, if that's not your thing). Probably flowers. And dancing. Always dancing.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

I'm not just talking about romantic gestures, though. I think romance means caring for someone, and caring for something. Caring for everything. Caring about how you go about life. Your actions. Your implications. Caring about what you create. The details. The process.

I tried to stop myself from making romance, from creating dress after dress with no specific event to don it for, and then I decided it was boring.  Maybe even verging on aromanticism. (Have you heard about this movement? I learned about it last weekend, amongst ALL THE OTHER THINGS THAT HAPPENED LAST WEEKEND. In general, I do not care for last weekend.) (eta: I did not mean to reference aromantic as an identifier; though I absolutely see how it was taken that way, as I used the word aromantic and not aromanticism! Apologies--Aromanticism is the title of statement album I heard over the weekend, and is the word I should have used, and has been corrected. Thanks very much to the commenters who brought this to light.)

But this dress! I care for this dress very much. I have nowhere to go in it, yet, but I made it as if we'd be renewing our vows in it (now there's romance).

The fabric is a sumptuous barkcloth (yes, I used sumptuous and barkcloth together, and I'd do it again) from The Confident Stitch, who quite warmly reached out to me to offer this collaboration. I am always delighted to be enabled to make a dress for no reason other than that I want the romance of it; to make something beautiful. You know how I feel about beauty.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

For the design, I chose to marry two Simplicity patterns: 1099 for the skirt, and 2180 for the bodice (which I believe is out of print). I've made, and abandoned, the bodice of 2180 before. Something about the look of it was off to me. I think I might have yelped out loud when I realized all I had to do to fix my squinky eye was omit the neckband. Although this meant I'd be rudderless when I reached that back closure (which is supposed to close with a tie stemming from said neckband), I went ahead and sewed on my merry way. As usual, I decided I'd forge ahead and figure it out when I got there.

That was a bit easier said than done-- I hemmed and hawed for several days over buttons, and loops, and even brooches, until I settled on a small length of elastic and a bow to save the day. The elastic is encased in the triangle points of the back bodice, and that wee bow is securely tacked to the center of the elastic. It solved the problem of getting in and out of the dress, but it does make this an over-the-head-only situation. Which is just fine, as it means Rob has to help me out of it, furthering the cause for romance. WHY SLIP OUT OF SOMETHING SOLO WHEN SOMEONE CAN HELP YOU TAKE IT OFF, MAN.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

The waistband of the skirt is faced, catching just the front bodice. I went handsewing everywhere, and could really do another post on the details of this baby. Her insides are all rayon bemberg, in a combination of lining/underling, also from The Confident Stitch. Kate, the enabling proprietress, suggested the bemberg. Would you believe I've never worked with it before? The slippery stuff had me wrinkling my brow at times, but it was a love-hate relationship that turned into adoration. The insides look like pale cloud cover, and the feel of it is luscious.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

I do feel like I'm stepping back in time when I step into this dress--or rather, pull it on over my head. (Fashion-wise, that is. Let's limit our time traveling to fashion, okay? We're going back in time enough as it is.)

Many thanks to Kate and Jane for sponsoring this post, and providing a truly welcome distraction. It was a lovely experience, and I can't recommend them enough! A closet full of barkcloth evening gowns is in your reach, as they have several gorgeous prints to choose from. I actually made THEM choose the print for me, as I couldn't pick my favorite.

That's all for the moment from my neck of the woods. I hope you're finding the time to fit a little romance in, wherever you are.