BACK IN BLACK + giveaway

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | marimekko midi skirt | back in black

Guys, we have every AC/DC album ever produced, and it is GLORIOUS. I can throw on the dulcet tones of Bon Scott at ten in the morning, and still be slam stitching to Brian Johnson's serenades at ten in the evening.

That bit of information has nothing to do with this skirt. Except that, considering the amount of horrifically wrong turns that I took in the making of it, one would assume I was imbibing Bon Scott levels of intoxicants.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | marimekko midi skirt | back in black

Hey, easy pleated cotton midi skirt! Look how simple you are, with your six equally spaced pleats!

Record needle screech. It took me roughly 30 days to make this skirt, during which time, said skirt was shoved back into the bag it came in, for some truly furious time outs. Sometimes, the bag hid the remnants of a dress. Sometimes, a cape. Before the final product, the bag held 8 pieces of ripped cotton rectangles, all trued up and waiting for a reincarnation.

Why would I work so hard to save a print that was obviously trying to kill me? Well, like Sonja of Gingermakes, I was contacted by Always Mod with the tempting offer to play with some Marimekko yardage, and like Sonja, I screamed yes.

Unlike Sonja, I did not pick a a pattern perfectly suited to fabric, I did not consider that the iconic black and white print I chose was not comprised of perfectly aligned ovals, I did not, I did not, I did NOT.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | marimekko midi skirt | back in black

Hey, easy pleated midi skirt! Why, you don't even have anything going on in the back save for two flat panels! WAY TO BAIL!

Yeah. As much as I hate it when the back is an afterthought, I actually did put quite a lot of thought into the derriere region. The carefully pleated ovals created the super pleasing effect of Baboon Ass. Away they went.

Oh wait, there's more! I also intended a super chic, colorful little motorcycle jacket to go along with the black-n-whiteness! And then switched to a vintage 50's cropped cape coat! Made out of PVC! PVC IS SUPER CHIC! 

If this isn't a candidate for What Was I Drinking, I don't know what is.

(I invite you to picture that jacket with Baboon Ass skirt.)

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | marimekko midi skirt | back in black

The PVC coat, she is still folded up, and awaiting rebirth as a giant purse. But I soldiered on with the skirt, and I'm glad I did. I wish I'd had the foresight (or the strength) to take a shot of the giant box pleated monstrosity I tore up-- when I left the print as designed, the off centered ovals created some very unpleasing shapes, and not just in the behind.

It seems completely ridiculous to rip up fabric, only to rejoin it to create, essentially, the same length of fabric, but my god, it worked out so much better. You'll just have to trust me.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | marimekko midi skirt | back in black

And I do love how each side reveals a different form of hacked up print. Kind of M.C. Escher-ish!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | marimekko midi skirt | back in black

Or it could be that I'm just relieved to have escaped with a wearable skirt, free from baboon ass.

Okay, are you scratching your head at my machinations? Would you like to try some Marimekko machinations yerslef? Always Mod is offering up a giveaway of one free yard of your choice of fabric! Click here for the (very official looking, kind of scary) giveaway page (ETA: as mentioned in the comments, fine print says US peeps only. Sorry international friends, I'll be on the lookout for ways to show you some love!), enter your email address, and you're in. The contest closes Oct 8 and they'll announce the winner Oct 9ish.

Just, please, when stitching, remember the cautionary tale put forth here. Remember the Ass, my friends.

Always Mod supplied the fabric in exchange for this post. I'd like to thank them for letting me ruin some really beautiful stuff.


been awhile

After a long and furiously lovely week of workshopping a musical that renewed my love for the word, I had a day off to relax, and try to fight my body's desire to break down completely in a mess of allergy-slash-cold. 

I won.

Netflix was partner in this battle. Although I hadn't stitched in well over ten days, Ruggy left the house on Sunday with the order that I would chill and take it easy. This was a struggle. My petite stash called to me with its siren song, Gorgeous George gleamed purple, reflecting the light of the soft fall day outside the window... 

I turned on the TV.

(I hate to turn on the TV.)

I scrolled through Netflix.

(I HATE to scroll through Netflix.)

And then...after endless categories created to lure you into mindless bouts of bingewatching, I landed on Iris, barked WELL YEAH to the empty apartment, and settled in. About three quarters of the way through, the parade of color and texture was undeniable. I got up to cut out a bodice or two. The film ended, and Netflix slyly suggested Advanced Style. I shrugged my shoulders and I left it on, thinking I'd keep stitching with background noise. Two minutes in, I realized this required my full attention, even more than the Liberty tana lawn on my table. (Yeah.) I ordered some fajitas and sat my ass in front of the boob tube.

If I ever see Ari Seth Cohen on the street, I'm going to hug him, and ask if I can walk with him for a few blocks. Well, no, first I'm going to tell him that we shared the same best friend growing up. Then I'll continue with the inappropriate physical contact. What a beautiful film! I felt like I spent the evening with my Nan, or with the fashionable gal my Nan was, but could not be. Don't get me wrong, she had style, but she had too much generosity of spirit to embrace that style fully for herself. And too many years of making ends meet to be comfortable with spending a dime on herself.

She was a huge enabler of style for me, though. Almost every weekend, my Mom would drop us off at the mall, or we'd take the bus sometimes, and arm in arm we'd hit the stores, her applauding my choices and using her Social Security check to fill up bags for me, accompanied by a slice of S'barro pizza midway through. And chocolate cake to finish, of course.

If you've read the yammering around here, you've heard this story before. But what struck me last night was a deep regret, that I didn't know how to sew when she was with us. I think she would have delighted in it, in a way that a best friend would have, in a way that someone whose every Saturday was spent, literally arm in arm, in a New Jersey Mall would have: You can make those things for yourself now? IN ANY COLOR YOU CAN DREAM OF?  

I would have made her such things. I would have had to assure her that the cost wasn't much, I would have had to assure her that the time was so well spent, as in hindsight all our time together was, I would have had to tempt her into taking those things, but I would have draped her in color. 


the met + meeting iris apfel: regrets

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | meeting iris apfel at the met

I will do my level best to never miss a Met Costume Institute Exhibit again. And if I happen to run into Iris Apfel (and I mean LITERALLY RUN INTO IRIS APFEL), I will simply tell her she's amazing and leave it at that.

I actually don't bother celebrities, much less ask for pictures. People are people, man. Some are famous, some are not. There are many Wondrous People worthy of a brief interlude, or a photo, in every walk of life. Several of y'all would get leveled by the sheer force of my hug were we to unexpectedly meet on the street. But still, in the Celestial Celebrity Realm, there have been a few I couldn't resist...

(lotsa museum shots in this one... click "read more" below to hear the rest of the story!)