3.22.2016

To Hell Gate And Back

oonaballoona | african wax print maxi skirt | hell gate fabrics

Before I left New York's sudden, early Spring for sunny, dry Cali last week, I told Ruggy in no uncertain terms (and in all caps): I WILL KILL SOMEONE IF IT IS COLD WHEN I GET BACK.

I don't like to be a liar. But I also don't like jail. So I took my murderous intentions out on the greenery of last week. (No fabric was harmed in the amateur photoshopping of these shots. I'm not a savage.)

oonaballoona | african wax print maxi skirt | hell gate fabrics

So, yes, I was in Cali last week--several parts of that sun drenched state. It was all work, Very Excellent Work, actually, that best of completely fulfilling jobs which really can be qualified as Play...but it left very little room for sewing meetup play. Next time!! I did wear my own clothing every day, naturally, and when I could, I stole a minute to skulk around the apartment & theater complexes looking for a quiet place to shoot. You Californians, with your perfect photo opportunities, your sun and your soft breezes, your complete lack of water! My hair was a constant battle! NO TIME FOR CONDITIONER! MUST SAVE THE EARTH!

oonaballoona | african wax print maxi skirt | hell gate fabrics

Wow, that's some bad patterning on that there foliage. But check out the pattern on that pleated skirt! I wore this to rehearsals the day after a particularly eventful 24 hour jaunt to LA. This was the "when-work-is-work" part of the week. Most of those hours were spent navigating a candy coated Airbnb (I'll let you guess what the filling was), and 480 minutes of freeway traffic. I slalomed through that surreal day in my Birkin flares, and when I escaped lalaland, I rewarded myself with a 2 minute shower and the virgin voyage of this maxi skirt. This maxi skirt was like my wearable sage stick! 

oonaballoona | african wax print maxi skirt | hell gate fabrics

As I swished about rehearsals in three yards of african wax print, I could feel my teeth unclenching. Of course, multiple compliments from my co-workersplayers added to the fabric therapy, and the required, shouted response THANKS I MADE IT will, of course, always bring a grin to any sewist's face. The fact that we were singing brilliant music didn't hurt none neither.


More patterning! Look away! Direct your attention to the skirt! HEY! I guess you'd like to know about the skirt, eh? The fabric comes from Hell Gate Fabrics (a name which tickles me every time I hear it), the proprietress of which I am so very lucky to call Friend. I asked Parental Balloonas for a Hell Gate gift card for Christmas (HA! See?! Most excellent phrasing!), and directly spent it on this wax print. So immediate was my love, I draped this skirt during one of our winter snowstorms (WHICH HAD BETTER BE OVER), knowing full well I'd have to wait months to wear it.

oonaballoona | african wax print maxi skirt | hell gate fabrics

I LOVE THIS FABRIC!!!! And there's still more of it in the shop. I've got eyes on this large scale baby too. 

The exposed woven zip is a years-old gift from Lladybird Lauren. Appropriately, she sent this to me during an LA exile! Lots of exposed elements on this jammy. I draped the skirt on the cross grain, the selvedge is pleated and left visible at the waist. Unfortunately, I'm a few inches too short to have left the selvedge hem exposed as well. Also exposed: the 1/4 inch navy blue trim, which wraps around the waist of the skirt, kind of like an exposed waist stay. At the moment, the loose ends of the stitched down trim tie in the back, but after the wearing test drive, I believe I'll get back in there, hack off the tie ends and add them back to the waist, making the stay wider. Right now the loose ends compete with the exposed zip.

oonaballoona | african wax print maxi skirt | hell gate fabrics

Exposing! Competing! Shades of my 24 hour LA trip are coming back! MUST GET A SAGE STICK OF AN OUTFIT ON ASAP! Maybe I'll swan about in a maxi dress for a hot minute. I could totally do that while I'm doing post-trip laundry. I'm sure the neighbors won't think I'm any crazier than they already think I am...

(ps! my jet lagged booty forgot what day it is... happy anniversary, parental balloonas! thanks for getting married. and deciding to have kids. and for gifting the female kid sewing shizz. in no particular order.)

34 comments:

  1. Such a pretty skirt! I didn't realize that she was carrying more fabrics! I will check it out soon - I'm due for some spring fabric shopping.

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    1. 4 pages of fabric! the wax fabrics are on #4 ;)

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  2. Oona, I love this skirt. It reminds me of an awesome skirt my mom had 20 years ago. And, yay for work in LA! Does being out there make you fully aware that you are that an east coaster?

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    1. A.L.W.A.Y.S. though LA usually dupes me momentarily, i am usually rudely awakened ;)))

      didn't our moms have the best clothing ever?

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  3. Oh how I love this skirt! I wish I was skilled enough to make it. Even though I'm a beginner sewer, I'm going to order yards and yards of that beautiful fabric (because I'm a hoarder).

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    1. well, when i say "draped," i mean "pleated it on my dressform till it looked right." with some minor adjustments, sure.... but if you happen to have a maxi skirt pattern, slow and steady always wins the race!

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  4. Glad you made it back here for salaried work, that skirt should get you even more!

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    1. maybe it can be my magic work skirt as well as my sage stick!!!

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  5. The only word that comes to mind is GLORIOUS!
    Hell gate has some nice fabrics ... too bad I live on another continent :(

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  6. Oh MY GOSH...THIS IS GORGEOUS! Before I read the post, I thought this was an upholstery fabric...which would have been fabulous too, but several pounds heavier.

    I thought the blue trim was a zipper pull...if you take if off, maybe consider attaching it to the zipper itself for fun?

    In addition to sage sticks, clapping also dissipates negative energy....I'll follow you around....you in your magical sage stick skirt, me clapping gleefully! Double the power!

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    1. that would be a wonderfully strange sight! i'm in.

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  7. what a magical skirt, you look like some mighty sorceress in it! gorgeous fabric

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  8. Drool... so good so dang good.

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  9. This is a dream! Would you post the pattern? Please? Amazing fabric choice too...

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    1. sorry, no pattern, i draped it on my dressform... but simplicity has a few new maxi skirt patterns out, i think!

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  10. I felt your world was askew with the jeans you have been making. The casual tilt had to be corrected and this was the clearly the remedy. I feel the balance now. Universal fashion harmony.

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  11. OH MY GOSHHHHHH I love it! You ROCK and that fabric is FABULOUS!
    Hugs
    Shari
    MyDailyThreadz

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  12. Love it!!! The exposed zip is the icing on the cake for me - pattern smashing win!

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  13. I love your skirt! The zipper with the large pull ring is fantastic! Always look forward to your posts!

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  14. cute skirt!!

    I have so much wax print remaining from my mom's trips, and mine. Lol. I actually used almost six yards to make one of my favourite skirts. my mom couldn't believe it!

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  15. Beautiful use of that wax print. I really like the silhouettes you choose for your projects. I don't think I'll ever be able to pull off a full skirt, but they look so comfy and swirly! Also, I was looking for a purple wax print that seemed to be sold out everywhere else, and Hell Gate had it so I just ordered a yard for a summer top. Score!

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  16. Gorgeous! The only way to do a maxi skirt is with a huge pile of fabric.

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  17. Oh, it's fantastic. So fantastic. I bet you were the center of attention swishing about in that fabulous skirt!!

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  18. I adore this spacious pattern. It feels like you are the Queen of Nature.

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  19. Maxi skirt power: ACTIVATE!!

    Thanks for the inspiration boost with this. And for showcasing Sonja's fabric. I love her business model.

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  20. Gorgeous skirt. I love it and the Photoshopping

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  21. What an incredible skirt, I'm so impressed! Lovely lovely photos too.

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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!