11.11.2014

boom boom boom

oonaballoona | #bpsewvember | early make

I'M SO 2000 AND 8. YOU SO 2000 AND LATE. I GOT THAT BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. 

oonaballoona | #bpsewvember | early make

THAT FUTURE BOOM, BOOM, BOOM.

oonaballoona | #bpsewvember | early make

Anyone? Anyone? Black Eyed Peas at Superbowl XLV 2011 simultaneously dating themselves with a past hit whilst trying to prove how modern they were 3 years later? Actually pretty impressive, if you think about it.

Also pretty impressive: the rawring beast created by Amanda of Bimble and Pimble, the thing taking over your IG feed, your internet, YOUR LIFE, #bpsewvember.  Today, the challenge is "early makes," so I thought it appropriate to take a closer look at two of my earliest makes-- the second and third dresses I ever made, blogged in March 2008. (Thing One was a mud brown fiery phoenix print that never got photographed. Or worn out. It felt like wearing polyurethane.) 

Both dresses were made from the Danielle pattern, a Burdastyle jam from waaaaay back, when we used to walk uphill to school both ways and the patterns were free. Both were made from quilting cotton, both caused my head to swell in the most terrific way, and both had invisible zippers of PHENOMENAL QUALITY

oonaballoona | #bpsewvember | early make

I GOT THAT BOOM BOOM BOOM!

oonaballoona | #bpsewvember | early make

THAT FUTURE BOOM BOOM BOOM!!!

oonaballoona | #bpsewvember | early make

Even though I cringed like my thong was showing at a cotillion when I pulled these dresses out of a storage box, I'm still proud of them. They were going to be a What was I drinkThinking post, but I decided that wasn't right--after all, they're level appropriate when you're teaching yourself to sew through the internet circa 2008, n'est ce pas? 

I now possess them only in memory. The last cross country trek left them in a donations box. Hopefully they've regenerated themselves into napkins. My memories of how I felt when I made them, and wore them, are much better than having them in my closet.

And I had So. Much. Fun. Making them! Deciphering the patterns, talking in the Burdastyle forums with fellow newbies (guys what the hell is a facing?), uploading headless projects, giving advice I had no business giving...seriously. I learned to sew on Burdastyle. Did I learn well? Obviously the evidence proves otherwise. But I learned voraciously and with GREAT INSANITY. I dove into fabric and patterns and made something new to wear every evening. And eventually (at least, in my opinion) I got better. Some of y'all share that opinion, as in a bit of full circle, I was recently voted a Burdastyle top 50 blogger. Now that it's (apparently?) official, I haven't properly said thank you yet-- so thank you, very much, for that. And thanks, Burdastyle, for starting me off in the deep end before I knew how to swim. Maybe one day I'll master a couture stroke or two...

Are you swimming with us in #bpsewvember? How did you learn to sew?

49 comments:

  1. what a fantastic trip on the memory lane...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think these are pretty impressive! I wish I had a photo of the stretch velvet with sheer sleeves monstrosity I made for 8th grade picture day in 1995. And then I spent my 20's making really punk (aka poorly constructed) refashions. From the looks of it you definitely got right into that deep end and were floating calmly while I was flailing in the kiddie pool for the better part of a decade. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another internet learner here, although I worked on mostly bags and stuff for the first year. I think it was much better to honor your early makes in this way vs What was I DrinkThinking! And thanks SO much for that ear worm...when I'm boom-boom-booming still two days from now you might hear about it... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I still love the colour and pattern combinations. Every "mistake" is a hidden learning opportunity...the teacher in me :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like the first one. Maybe it's mainly because that color has been speaking to me lately.

    Sewing - it's all about having fun and having something to wear that is not exactly like anything anyone else has. I learned to sew over 30 years ago when I inherited my grandmother's antique sewing machine but I would have learned one way or another because it was expected. My mom, grandma, and aunts all sewed and they would get this LOOK on their faces whenever they would talk about women who don't sew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i love the idea of that LOOK. like someone walked in wearing white after labor day?

      Delete
    2. Exactly! I knew you would know The LOOK.

      Delete
  6. Yeah I would say that you learned a thing or two! *LOL* Keep the memories of those treasured dresses!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I enjoy looking back at old projects and seeing how far I've come, and the prints from those dresses were fabulous and it sounds like you got a lot of enjoyment out of them.
    I'm too busy for Sewvember but hopefully next time!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I loved the burda style forums! And I have the Danielle...wanted to make it for my daughter, but she wasn't having it. I learned to sew in 7th grade home ec. I was so excited to make a red wrap skirt, with matching vest. Still remember cutting it out as though it was yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that outfit sounds fabulous. i'm imagining it in red wool...

      Delete
  9. It's fun to look back and see where we all started. I still have (and wear) my first real project of pj pants. My second project was a nightmare in crepe back satin. I'm pretty sure my aunt who was teaching me to sew did all the work on that one and explained why it's not the best fabric for a total beginner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, i think i dodged a bullet starting out on quilting cotton!

      Delete
  10. I too learned from blogs and the interwebs, and I am loving this post so much! I really dig the fun and unapologetic way you celebrate your humble sewing beginnings. I think that having fun trying new things and learning new skills is way more important than the end results. Sure, I prefer when my projects are well made and they look nice, but I benefit most when I am having fun, not when I am scolding or judging myself for past (or present) mistakes. The same goes for blogging: the people I like to read most are those who, like you, are genuinely having fun, whatever they are doing.

    Thanks for sharing this: it made me remember why I started sewing and why I am keeping it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you're so welcome! and thank you--i need a reminder that the fun of this is the most important part, for me.

      Delete
  11. I learnt sewing and patchwork from my grandmother. I only started dressmaking about eighteen months ago, after she'd already succumbed to Alzheimers. The foundation she gave me is invaluable, and I have found the transition incredibly easy. She cannot teach me anymore, but she loves seeing what I have sewed with her old fabric and notions

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what a fantastic gift to pass on, and for her to be able to still enjoy it through you-- just beautiful.

      Delete
  12. I think your first makes look pretty fabulous - your love of awesome patterns and colors and mixing it all together was just starting to show :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha! yeah, third time's a charm i guess, that red & green had three prints in it!

      Delete
  13. I self taught myself to sew in the sixties, before internet and blogs and tutorials! One of the first dresses I made was an ice blue crepe one shouldered fully boned and lined evening dress with self shawl. Loved that dress. Love reading everyone's blogs and hints, would have loved all these years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm loving the description of YOUR dress! sounds diiiivine!

      Delete
  14. What a cool post! It's fun to look back on early makes and see how far we've come. I also started sewing consistently in 2008 and am Internet/self taught also. It's been a fun ride!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That's the good thing about having learned to sew as a child. Everything in my memory looks fantastic! As for that #bpsewvember, gee, it makes that early morning IG post soooo much easier!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I feel like I didn't know about #bpsewvember until it was too late to jump in! Oh well, maybe next year. As for when I learned to sew, I definitely don't have any pics of my earliest makes, because my mom started teaching me when I was 7. It's probably for the best that I don't have any pics of those wonky elastic-waist skirts and neon shorts....I mean, it was the 80s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hey, but isn't it in style now? nevermind, i have no idea what's in style...

      Delete
  17. I love the wonky zippers! How many times did I wonder how the heck two pieces could start out the same length and end up with one edge sticking out alone. No pictures but so many images seared into my memory, especially the overworked, grubby, stretched out bits that seemed to stand out like red neon zits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. red neon zits. HA and also EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!

      Delete
  18. awww these dresses are so awesome for what they were. it is nice to see where we started, right? i used to eat. up. burdastyle. everyday... didn't miss a thing over there! and yes, your skills have improved! i've loved following your blog over the years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. same here, on all counts!! those purple rouleaus.... yummmmmmmmmmmm...

      Delete
  19. I really loved going back and looking at my early makes too. I still love them, even though I am now so much better at most of the techniques I used. I had so much fun then, and I still have so much fun sewing now! Thanks for sharing Oona!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Like Becky I have been sewing for ages,my mum was always sewing stuff for her,me and my brother and when we had a different opinion I simply took over the machine.Glad there aren't any pics of that 'cause('80s teenager you know),skirts with elastic waist and shirts waay too big.Eventually I got better trough trial and error and now I can be proud to say:I made that.yours definitely pass the inspection though,I'be seen a lot worse!

    ReplyDelete
  21. That is so fucking weird. Those photos are the reason I made Danielle 3 times. Did you even blog back then. The world feels really small right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. crazy! yep, i was uploading to my burdastyle studio for about a year before i started blogging in 2008. have you still got your danielles?

      Delete
    2. Haha yes 2 of them. One is made with a pirate skull and crossbones fabric, and one is tartan. Have to dig those out and have a look at my sewing skills back then.

      Delete
  22. I took clothing class for 2 years in high school, so it was nice to have a teacher in the beginning, I still feel that I am not as neat of a sewer as I should be- YOU on the other hand, have mad skills laday, you have really come a long way! It was so sweet to see what you started with, and it's pretty impressive that you've taught yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. angela thank you! thank god for google ;)

      Delete
    2. I read your comment as "thank God for people" at first. And you know what, it's true. Nevermind Google, thank God for amazing people who put up tutorials. (Another self-taught Sewasaurus here.)

      Delete
  23. There is something awesome about looking back at early makes and feeling that pride and excitement and sheer badassness that you got from taking a piece of fabric and making it into a garment! Though the pastels threw me a bit ;) Ahhh quilting cottons- you seduced us all!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I totally remember those posts... does that date ME? :)

    -Marnie

    ReplyDelete
  25. Aww, brings me back to when I first discovered your blog! I'm still digging through photos to see if I can find past projects. It's hard when one's sewing dates to the way-pre-internet! Improving was all about books and mom and patterns and then questioning the pattern's judgement, haha...

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm so 2008 I didn't even know about Sewvember outside of your posts!! I learned to sew by choosing a pattern at random, grabbing some fabric, cutting with wild abandon then using Google like an addict to drag myself out of whatever corner I'd backed myself into. I cut the pattern based on my bust size only so the fact that that thing fit me at all is some kind of Festivus miracle. By all accounts it should have been waaaay too small at the waist. I've had no such luck since so have been lazy sewing patterns that don't require grading. Laziness dictates that loose fitting is my style.

    My Flickr photo pool is still densely populated with the headless shots, mainly due to my being afflicted with both APFS (Awkward Photography Face Syndrome) and BRFS (Bitchy Resting Face Syndrome). I figure spare the world the awkward, crop that shit out.

    Congratulations on the Burdastyle award! The blogosphere is all the more awesome for you being in it. Thanks for inspiring me to extend my skills and live less monochrome, more tetrachromat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i just listened to that radiolab podcast again, i can't get enough of it!

      now...if i could just get you to post those headless shots with your blogworthy thoughts...in a blog format.....

      Delete
  27. Aww, dood... my first real dress for myself was a BS Danielle, too! (c. 2010, though, obviously I was a bit late to the party... ;) ) I still have it, though, and I confess I wear it at least a couple of times a season, even though it's at least a size too small and my darts weren't terribly well-shaped. I tend to wear it over jeans and a long-sleeved tee... :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I learned to sew by diving in, which is something I haven't managed with swimming yet.
    And I've clearly already missed out on half this particular fun. But I'm not on Instagram anyway.
    Ah, BurdaStyle. The wonderful exciting beginnings. I was there, too. Giving advice I had no place giving. Meeting Oona. Good times. I don't even go there anymore, mostly, if I remember correctly, because at one point, I kept getting bugs in all kinds of places and I got tired of it and then when I came back, everything was completely different. And I discovered historical sewing blogs...
    Congratulations on the award from me as well. It's well earned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i feel like we met at burdastyle! happily :).

      Delete
  29. Congrats on the top 50!! Well deserved, and how entirely appropriate ^__^

    I like the comment that your memories of how you felt when you made them, and wore them, are much better than having them in your closet. Most of my first makes are gone now, due to improper fit, or sad fabric choices but I remember how proud I was when I first completed a garment, and I still feel that way when I finish something today. I still sometimes sew wonky zippers, pointy darts, and uneven hemlines occasionally - but if I've stayed true to a style and fabric that I love, I wear it anyway, mistakes be damned LOL

    Oh and as for Sewvember, I am so dense it took me until last week to figure out what the heck was happening on Instagram all of a sudden with everyone posting the same things - HAHA!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks m'lady!

      i have to approve of mistakes be damned (sometimes;)-- especially after seeing couture makes at the Met with wonky zippers and bubbly seams! we're too hard on ourselves sometimes.

      Delete

i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!