July 2, 2015

put a bird on it and call it SUMMER.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | linen rayon summer maxi dress | mood fabrics

Ruggy's back behind the lens, y'all, and wonder of wonders...he covets this insane fabric for himself! I AM FINALLY RUBBING OFF ON HIM!

How glorious is this print?! Everyone, but EVERYONE, at Mood Fabrics thought I'd already snagged this fabric. Maybe the NY staff is creeping into my dreams, because before I stumbled upon this linen rayon blend on the magical top floor, that's where it existed.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | linen rayon summer maxi dress | mood fabrics

I snatched three yards from the delicious Kway, who did a burn test for me on the spot. (I mean…peeps, if your eyes ever need an afternoon pick me up, run on up to the top floor and have Kway do a burn test. You're welcome.) 

He posited that he'd already cut this print for me weeks ago, which led to our usual highly enjoyable banter ("What time of the day was it? Is it possible I'd had a cocktail at lunch?"). On the way down the stairs, three Mood peeps said they were "glad I was getting more of it." Diane greeted me at the counter, wonderful Diane, who loves fabric as much as we do, and she too was certain she'd previously bagged this for me.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | linen rayon summer maxi dress | mood fabrics

Do I have a twin out there? Surely I would remember stomping home with this stuff! It has the most incredible silky hand, but not watery silky, more like windswept hay silky, know what I mean? No? When they invent the app for tactile screens, I'll update the post. Surely, in a world where this fabric can exist, that app is not too far off.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | linen rayon summer maxi dress | mood fabrics

The birds, however. THE BIRDS. The birds were positively Hitchcockian in their efforts to wound me. Kway jokingly deemed them Vultures Of Death, and THERE MIGHT HAVE BEEN TRUTH IN THAT JEST. The fabric repeat made the pleated draped skirt a lesson in insanity. I actually painted a few of those yellow beaked parrots black down center front, under the box pleat, so that the wind wouldn't reveal a glitch in the matrix.

In the end I finally gave myself a pass on the repeat-- for some reason, summer sewing feels more enjoyable, less need for perfection, maybe? 

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | linen rayon summer maxi dress | mood fabrics

However, I went nutso on making perfect piping. Can you spy it round the cups & front waistband? My first crack at making it myself with actual cotton cording, and not whatever crazy neon round elastic I've got on hand. The proper material is more mushy. Fun and slightly dangerous. Self-made piping: Let's sew through a finger together! 

No, let's don't.

I used the reverse of the fabric for the piping, so it's barely noticeable, but I love what it does to the bodice, which is fully lined with fashion fabric-- thankfully so, since it gave me multiple cracks at which feathered breasts would rest on my own.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | linen rayon summer maxi dress | mood fabrics

Some pattern info: I used Burdastyle's Danielle dress, bodice portion only, as a starting point, hacking the pattern until I had what I wanted, then draped the skirt on my dress form. Then, when I went a little too close for comfort on the fit, I abandoned the invisible zip and installed an exposed gold big toothed zipper. 

It's like I've got a mac daddy pimp on my back.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | linen rayon summer maxi dress | mood fabrics

Speaking of mac daddy pimps, photographeur Ruggy got some good close ups, no? Truthfully, this wide angle shot is where he spent most of his time. RUGGY, I pleaded, YOU DO ACTUALLY NEED TO GET THE DRESS.

This is an often repeated cry, usually answered with a grunt and maybe a don't bother me I'm composing a shot. This time he let me in on his madness: But you're going to love this, you can tag the wall with OONA ROCKS.

?!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | linen rayon summer maxi dress | mood fabrics

WELL OKAY THEN.

How bout y'all? Do you loosen up the rules for summer stitching? Letting a bit of perfection go seems easier in the warmer months: relaxation is the rule...

this bird brained frock was made using my monthly fabric "allowance" as part of the mood sewing network. 

June 29, 2015

a pocketful of LOVE

oonaballoona | a pocketful of love | moschino midi skirt | a sewing blog

WHAT IS UP PARTY PEOPLE!!! CAN I GET A WHOOP WHOOP FOR ONE OF THE BEST WEEKENDS IN RECENT AMERICAN HISTORY?!! FLAGS CAME DOWN! BANS CAME DOWN! AND GOOD THINGS COME IN THREES YO, SO WHO KNOWS WHAT IS NEXT!!!!

oonaballoona | a pocketful of love | moschino midi skirt | a sewing blog

I MEAN. FOR REAL. I'M TRYING TO STOP SHOUTING BUT I CAN'T. HOLD ON A MINUTE.

oonaballoona | a pocketful of love | moschino midi skirt | a sewing blog

Okay, I've disengaged the caps lock. But I'm still hollering inside. 

This past weekend, I used every inch of the communal joy going around to make one of the loudest, happiest, silliest things I've ever stitched. My beloved janky store (39th street, red trim, handwritten closing signs up for the past five years) currently has three bolts of this Moschino print in stock. I went in last week for some regular old denim, and this stuff scream whispered at me from the back left corner of the store, burning itself into my brain until I went stomping back to snag a yard and a half.

This is the hacked bottom half to Salme's Yoke dress. The fit on the bodice gives me grief, but the skirt is perfection, especially when one flares it out a bit for a swoopier silhouette. As drafted, it's more fitted. I've made it with minor tweaks a ton of times. I used this momentous weekend as an excuse to try something I've always wanted to try on a skirt, but never did, due to the side eye it would surely incur from the Rugster...

oonaballoona | a pocketful of love | moschino midi skirt | a sewing blog

CRAZY ASS HUGE STRUCTURAL HIP WIDENING PLEATED PATCH POCKETS.

And yes, when I walked out of the house in this, I got major side eye from my man, accompanied by an appreciative laughter that bubbled up uncontrollably. Got the same response from several complimentary ladies and gents on the street! If the print doesn't make you giggle the pockets will...

oonaballoona | a pocketful of love | moschino midi skirt | a sewing blog

oonaballoona | a pocketful of love | moschino midi skirt | a sewing blog

To be honest, size-wise they feel just about right for my gorilla paws. They held my phone, keys, and huge camera-- and that was only one pocket! It was like having an assistant ON MY CLOTHING! 

However, I took these shots solo...because....

oonaballoona | a pocketful of love | moschino midi skirt | a sewing blog

THIS IS NOT A RUGGY SILHOUETTE.

oonaballoona | a pocketful of love | moschino midi skirt | a sewing blog

That's okay, there's another guy in my life who is all in on this project. If you happen to follow me on instagram, you've seen the new purple man. I can't wait to introduce you to him properly, but for now we're having a secret love affair. 

This skirt was our first date, a getting-to-know-you make. A spiked coffee date, if you will. TNT pattern, lots of straight & topstitching, a buttonhole, and fun with bar tacks. And of course playing with mixed materials, as the top left corner shows: super soft home dec trim from Vardhman on 39th.

oonaballoona | a pocketful of love | moschino midi skirt | a sewing blog

QUE DEMURE OONA! I caught myself mid-twirl here, and so did the bros at the gym across the street. Bros! Focus! Those abs aren't going to six pack themselves!

This is the skirt I make every Thanksgiving, usually in maxi length. And if this weekend wasn't cause for some Thanks-giving, I don't know what it. Man, we're a blip in time here in the scope of things. A mere 48 years ago, SCOTUS ruled anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. UNDER FIFTY YEARS AGO. Does that not blow your mind? Pretty much ALL of my family was committing a crime, depending on where they set up their home & hearth. Where will we be fifty years from now? Hopefully shaking our heads bemusedly at how it took us so long to get to this next step. Hopefully in a country without pieces of cloth that remind us of how we are divided, rather than how we are human, and so very much alike.

Love. Might sound cheesy, but it's undeniable: we've got lots of that in common.

June 24, 2015

Sewing For Muses

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | sewing for muses

Although I thoroughly enjoy Facebook as my sewing superheroine alter ego, I avoid it under my civilian handle like the plague. Ruggy is the same (though he has no happy secret identity to scroll by). We'll both jump on for about five minutes a month, tapping out after liking all the pictures of kiddos and anniversaries we can stand.

On one such five minute spree, I came across a post from a wonderful chick that I had the pleasure to work with acting-wise, the kind of chick that I won't get that pleasure with much, because the handful of times I've seen her since have been in audition waiting rooms, up for the same part. Chicks in waiting rooms are usually something to be avoided. But every time we stumbled upon each other, we had the kind of easygoing, fun conversation that is borne of a person who is confident and relaxed about the situation, who knows that they can do the best they can, and if the part is hers, it's hers. If not, it doesn't change your rockstar status. So why not enjoy the awesome superheroine sitting next to you?

I try to be that person in the waiting room. Krysta is that person in the waiting room. And she's carried that confidence into her latest challenge, a battle with breast cancer.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | sewing for muses

When I read the update on Krysta's diagnosis, I headed over immediately to her just christened blog, and knew I wanted to make something for her. I understood, on some level, what she meant when she said she wanted to make her life beautiful. I've dealt with some pretty difficult health issues-- actually, during the time that Krysta and I worked together, unbeknownst to my castmates. Nothing so serious as what she is dealing with, this is not about metoo metoo metoo, that's SO cliche actress in a waiting room. But it struck a major chord with me because I know, on a minor level in comparison, how a sickness can define your life, and how something as simple as what you put on your ailing body can change how you feel. 

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | sewing for muses

You know what? I might not like to stitch for others, but I LOVE to sew for amazing women. Over the past year I've sewn up almost a dozen garments for a handful of muses. It's nerve wracking, my desire for perfection is increased by a bazillion when I know it's meant for someone else, but man, oh my god, it's so rewarding to see it on the inspiration!

You can see what I made for this fabulous lady over on her blog, Chemo Couture. She absolutely one hundred percent disproves that shite about the clothes making the person-- she makes these clothes. And might I suggest reading from the beginning of the "whole long boob story?" You'll see why anyone would want to sit down and gab with her in a waiting room and forget about the audition completely.