Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Coiffed Quaff

oonaballoona | silk brocade skirt and crop top | mood fabrics | zac posen

Hands down one of the best things about temperatures dropping: brocade. One of the worst: I'M BACK IN THE DAMN ALLEYWAY AGAIN.

A few short years ago I would have laughed like hell if you told me I'd say either of those things. Now Fall hits and just about all I can think of is brocade. Yes, I'm back to taking frozen pictures in the alleyway, but I'm in brocade. Past oona, the oona who would laugh in your face, never touched the stuff. Appropriately, not till Mood, to be exact: evidenced here, in July of 2012.

oonaballoona | silk brocade skirt and crop top | mood fabrics | zac posen

Several weeks ago, a wiser oona walked into Mood Fabrics for something. Something for my October MSN make. I really don't remember what. But I do clearly recall I had a list, a gameplan, and all carefully laid out thoughts left my head at a full tilt boogie when I saw this Zac Posen Floral Silk Brocade.

Then the Pinkness whispered to me from a low shelf, and my allowance was gone.

I have since lost the list. I am 100% okay with that.

That said, I'm only 50% happy with this ensemble. The top, she does not fit well (Cynthia Rowley 1873 bodice). I knew those bust and waist darts were too angular (especially considering the weight of the fabric), I knew I should have taken a little more care around the neck curve, I knew I should have basted a zipper in to double check for fit before setting those snaps... but I didn't.

oonaballoona | silk brocade skirt and crop top | mood fabrics | zac posen


(That should actually be coiffed. Considering the author, it works both ways. So I'm leaving it.)

oonaballoona | silk brocade skirt and crop top | mood fabrics | zac posen


oonaballoona | silk brocade skirt and crop top | mood fabrics | zac posen

Sigh. That top. It's like a tragic romance. I'm sad about it in the most wistful way. I've been feeling wistfully sad lately. It may have something to do with Kalkatroona's current fascination with The Vampire Diaries. Oh, multiple Elenas loved by multiple brothers, will a pair of you ever find happiness? 

You can barely see the seven snaps up the back, they match so well, but you can surely see the pulling occurring. Crop Top! I succumbed to your powers, and you have defeated me!

oonaballoona | silk brocade skirt and crop top | mood fabrics

You can see the defeat better in these inside-out shots. Whole shebang fully lined, except for sleeves, which were fished with satin bias tape from Pacific Trimmings. The skirt is lined with some truly glorious satin, also from Mood, and comes in lots of colors... when it arrived, the weight and the loft of it tempted me to use it solely for a dress, especially at the price. BUT. Me n' solids. You know how that goes.

oonaballoona | silk brocade skirt and crop top | mood fabrics | zac posen

You can see the surgery is going to involve undoing a bit of work. Luckily the work I put into the skirt paid off, lots of handstitching, and cooing and petting. Like vampires do. I will try to remember to coo and pet when I dig back into that top...

oonaballoona | silk brocade skirt and crop top | mood fabrics | zac posen

After all, I do think they deserve to be together.

Monday, October 20, 2014

perfect student

I love school. I really, really do. If I could prove the 1/16th of Lakota Indian running through my veins and go back to school full boat, I totally would.

Because let's face it. SCHOOL AIN'T CHEAP. And at the moment, that DNA daydream is the only way this gal is getting back in class.

For now, I shall content myself with the School Of Google, the Further Education Of Sewing Blogs, and the worthy cause of helping kiddos and teachers out there who are in the thick of the repeatable truth that SCHOOL AIN'T CHEAP.

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

It's time for Pattern Parcel 6, that beautiful beast thought up by Jill and Danny of Made With Moxie, and I'm happy as a geek in Staples at the end of August to be a part of getting the word out again. Last time around, I played in Pattern Parcel 3, which raised over $5,100. Go on, peep the snazzy infographic and breakdown of the supplies galore that were donated through Donors Choose. To date, over $12,000 has been raised. Awesome.

This time I chose to dive into Jennifer Lauren's Bronte top. Though there are many beauties to choose from, my school supplies are dwindling over here, and I had just enough for this top. University of LIFE, yo. SCHOOL. AIN'T. CHEAP. It took about an hour to make up, including taping the PDF together. Which Mizz JL gets an A+ for! I would call myself a PhD in PDF taping, always working out my own thesis on how to make the ginormous maps work with the little space I have-- Jennifer Lauren did all that math for you. Brilliant pattern, easy top, and no, you don't need a serger, this was all done on my beloved Pfaff.

As usual, you only have a limited amount of time to snag your package. School doors close on this parcel October 31st. And wouldja lookit that, I made it super easy for you and threw a buy it button in the sidebar! Well, further on up the sidebar. But how cute would that have been if I was looking right at it?

Click on over and see if a thing or six strikes your fancy. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What was I (drink)thinking #1

So! Welcome to What was I drinkthinking, a little series dedicated to wadders. This gem has gone to the great Thrift Pile In The Sky, so it's of no use to tell me how cute it is. ALSO I WILL NOT BELIEVE YOU. I MIGHT EVEN CALL YOU A LIAR! FRIENDS DON'T LIE TO EACH OTHER! (Of course, there's the danger that someone out there might truly think a wadder is cute, in which case, no offense, but this thing felt like I was wearing a candystriper's hairshirt.)

Let's begin, shall we?

In one of those recycled fashion stores that are all the rage in LA, I was in the dressing room, going through the aggravating experience of finding appropriate audition attire. It wasn't always so vexing. 

But at that point I knew a bit more about fit. A BIT. Because this romper, this janky carnival ride, this was what I thought photo worthy. Come on, y'all.  Feast your eyes on that front crotch curve and the sumptuous excess baggage. FEAST. Plus too tight legs! I WAS A POSTER CHILD FOR FIT!

Even so,  I had just enough knowledge about how things should fit to make me dangerous, and the RTW dressing room was therefore not the Candyland it used to be. Mais, I had no desire to sew audition appropriate clothing (still don't). So there I was, looking for bargain priced designer hand-me-downs.

(Ooo look what a badass I thought I was. I invite you to gaze at my crotch. That's not a shadow. Hey oona, for all your careful placement, how'dja manage to get the two DARKEST STRIPES in the yardage RIGHT IN YOUR FRONT CROTCH? Embarrassing tampax commercial every time I stood legs akimbo. Which I often do.)

Where's my waist. Anyone?

How does my butt look?! How many calories were in that dessert?! Did that guy from last night call you?! This was the stimulating conversation wafting from the dressing room next to me. Well, honestly, it wasn't that inane, it's absolutely appropriate dressing room talk. But I was so utterly disgusted, I could feel my eyes roll back in my head. The kind of roll that makes your eyelids twitch from the force of it. Dressed in my ridiculous attempt to look like a lawyer, I caught the roll in the mirror, and laughed at myself. I hated those chicks because, at the time, I had zero girlfriends in LA. And I wanted to go shopping with my girlfriends, and laugh in dressing rooms, and go eat ice cream.

I bought zilch, called a girlfriend on the walk home, and yammered about every silly trivial thing possible.

It was a good reminder that most people who are hating on you for seemingly no reason have reason of their own, usually having very little to do with you. 

This romper ended up on the counter at that very same store, along with a pile of clothing I couldn't imagine carting back across the country. Unsurprisingly, the buyer behind the counter did not bite.

What Was I Thinking: 
The fabric was way too heavy for this pattern (Suede Says 2222), a medium weight cotton with zero drape.
The print placement! EGADS!
Extending the crotch curve out and crossing my fingers didn't work.
The Armsyce extends down to Mexico.

What Was I Drinking:
I believe Ruggy was very into perfecting the perfect Manhattan at the time. Mostly due to the fact that we missed New York.

What I Learned:
Even though I failed miserably on that crotch of questionable color, I did take my time with those stripes. I was starting to think seriously about print placement (and doing lots of failing. No really, lots). And I was beginning to figure out where my real waist sits, and where the pattern should sit in relation to it. For a while after this, I was hiking errrrrrrthang up to my natural waist, a la Ed Grimly. Also, I learned that Suede Says he is not the pattern maker for me (although that lesson took some time, and several more tries of several more Suede Says patterns). 

I sincerely hope you found this little gem as catastrophic as I did! And lest you think all the candidates in this series will be ghosts of stitches past, just wait. I've got a wadder from last week that's amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing.