11.13.2017

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

A light drizzle falls, as I pat myself on the back for having had the foresight to take these pictures last Friday.

However, that self-satisfied feeling has simmered down a bit, as I realize I did not have the presence of mind to take notes on this, now almost one-year-old, coat. Let me dig into my noggin:

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

I know that I used a very simple, vintage, raglan sleeve coat pattern. I know that the pages were yellowed with time (unlike my freshly cleaned, megawatt chompers). 

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

I know that I was inspired by Jasika, and I know that I promised Sarah pics, because I said so on Instagram


I know that during the time of making this coat, I was also stitching a baker's dozen of holiday prizes, and by prizes I mean full on garmentsfour of them being jackets, for every one of my lady friends in attendance at a holiday dinner. I know this because once again, I snapped that ridiculously stressful endeavor on Instagram.

(Fair warning, lady friends: I'm not doing that again. THAT WAS A THREE RING CIRCUS OF CRAZY.)

I know that Instagram is a lifesaver for jogging one's memory, when one was insane with holiday prize making, and wasn't in one's right mind......because all this sleuthing made a lightbulb go off in the recesses of my brain, and I just recalled and dug out the vintage pattern! HUZZAH, INSTAGRAM!

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

It is, drum roll please, Simplicity 3449, a lovely little thing, which includes a "primer" with some simple tailoring instructions. I have no idea if I employed those instructions (see: three ring circus), but the coat is warm and heavy and sturdy! Instagram also confirms that this yardage is Alice & Olivia, from Mood...and a beautiful, soft, hairy fabric it is. The collar, sleeve & hem edges are bound in wool remnants. I definitely underlined it for added warmth & structure. I don't know with what, as it's hidden under a polytastic, purple, midweight slippery lining from Ye Olde Janky Store. 


What it doesn't have is a snap at the neck! I either ran out of sturdy brass snaps, or ran out of time, in the Circus Of Christmas 2016. Probably the latter. At the moment, she closes up with any number of vintage pins from my grandmothers' box of costume jewelry.
Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

Well, it's climbing back up to 57 later this week, so maybe I'll run out and see if the circus is around to provide a backdrop for some lighter fare. I can't promise it will be seasonally appropriate, but hey, what is anymore? (Side note: have you heard that our good efforts to close the hole in the ozone layer have maybe been working? And that our equally bad contributions to global warming also possibly have a hand in this shrinkage? This is a very strange equation, and my Instagram is of no help in this brand of mystery. Sewing scientists, your thoughts are sought.)

11.09.2017

Change of Seasons: Change of Wardrobe

Our closet is an anomaly in New York apartment living. (At least, *our* brand of New York apartment living, I'm sure GOOP has it different.) Defying reconfigured brownstone blueprints, it runs the length of one full wall, with double hanging rods, his & hers shelving, and an extra little walk-in area to boot! For real, I keep expecting to unearth some portal to another dimension every time I open the curtained doors. When we first found our Hell's Kitchen home, I was thrilled with the space, but did not know just how essential it would become, having only RTW threads to fill it with at the time.


Enter sewing, and each new addition of a handmade garment felt like the spoils of some fantastic, happy war! However, at present, the rate at which I fill our rods with handmade technicolor is beginning to push this magical wardrobe to its limits. Rob would go so far as to say WE ARE WELL PAST PUSHING. So lately, I've been manhandling my older, unworn items. If I'm not wearing it, it has got to go. Obviously, RTW was the first to walk the plank. I'm pretty much judge & jury on my own garments at this point. I can get super sentimental about a hand-me-down, a piece of vintage jewelry, a ticket stub, but apparently, if the tag says "oonaballoona" it's fair game for my seam ripper. And the change of seasons is when I really get serious...


Hey guess what. I do not wear this cape!! Have you met me? I mean, in person? Have you experienced the flailing of appendages that can occur at any moment, without warning? I might as well be Kermit the Frog when I see a bolt of fabric. I need my arms, man. So this cape is getting a few new holes here and there. That sounds saucy. It kind of is. I believe this sauciness will be ready before Old Man Winter really rolls in...


This maxi length floral rayon dress had an accident involving an encounter with the dryer, poor thing. That hot piece of machinery took a whopping 2 feet of length from her lower half, so she needs some reconstructive surgery. Maybe some prosthetics, in the form of fluttery sleeves. And a full lining, to make her ready for colder weather. Listen man, she's high maintenance, I don't know about her odds.


Oooooooh I bet you didn't see this one coming, but after wearing this uber comfortable faux wrap dress for New Year's Eve 2016, she languished in my closet untouched, diva that she is. She is currently sliced up the front, refashioned into a floor length duster--the only problem is, the reverse side of this ponte is not so attractive (I mean, it's plain white, but it's obviously the reverse side), so I have to do some thinking on how to solve that complication...hacking her off at the knees would give me enough fabric for a short self-lined jacket, but I love the drama of the length as-is. The patient is convalescing. Maybe she'll remain in convalescence, and make a wonderful lounging robe. Like I said, she's a diva.


Speaking of divas, get me, Miss Haughty, putting lots of words out there into the world, and getting lots of words back, and then not replying...I put a little thank you note in a certain post that garnered the thoughtfulness of 103 beautiful people, but I'll put it here as well: Thank you all so very much. I'm at a loss at how to respond to everyone, but if we run into each other in a bar, drinks are on me. (And apparently, we'll need them, especially if those of you in the Bar Fight Brigade are around. It will certainly be the most fashionable fisticuffs ever.)

10.31.2017

A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

GET A LOAD OF MY HALLOWEEN COSTUME. I mean, seriously, right?! WHO IS THAT?! 

I don't know who it is, but it is most certainly not the person usually stomping around these parts. This chick is so...so chic. So SOLID.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

 SO WRINKLY.

Maybe I had everyone else's fabulous, in-progress Halloween costumes in mind when the overwhelming urge to first choose, and then sew this neutral cotton hit me. Maybe I was bedazzled by the parade of beautiful Kalles out there in the blogisphere. Maybe, specificallyLauren & Sallie's denim hued versions in linen & chambray made that trendy little edison lightbulb go off for me: I had the power to make the costume for the ever-present role of "Woman; Chic; Yet Not Overdressed For This Audition."


AND MAYBE I ALREADY PLAYED THIS ROLE A COUPLA TIMES BUT HAVEN'T ACTUALLY FINISHED THE DRESS YET.
All of those Maybes are true; especially the last one. As I pinned it for button placement, I realized I preferred the clean look of it. However, I didn't think ahead, and went for the exposed button placket, so...I'm sewn in here. Those wrinkles in the front are from mine own hands! (Yeah. I personally steam myself when auditioning, but apparently y'all don't rate.) In my October post over at Mood Sewing Network, I asked for a better option than stitching myself closed whenever I have to lawyer up, and got some wonderful suggestions: a strip of buttonholes, a small hidden zip near the neckline (essentially making it a pullover), and invisible snaps-- G of Lin3arossa suggested adding a single exposed snap at the neck. Which sounds super chic!


I REALLY TRULY DO NOT KNOW WHO THIS WOMAN IS ALL UP IN THIS JOINT THROWING AROUND WORDS LIKE SUPER CHIC.

But I can tell you who I hope I am; from ogling my peers in casting offices...a well heeled attorney on insert popular edgy tv show here. For real, this neckline & shape is everywhere in NY! Specifically, calls for lawyers. 

I changed up the curve at the side seam to conceal the leg a bit more--though too much leg is really not a problem; TV lawyers have different rules, dontcha know. I once played a high powered attorney in an insanely fun David E Kelley show, whose closet consisted of candy colored, teeny jersey swingy dresses that barely concealed my rear. The show never made it to the light of day, sadly. The fantastic costume designer and I had a BALL trying on dozens of outfits and picking our favorites--teeny dress was tops on the list. Ah, wardrobe! My Disneyland.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

Sewing had firmly set up shop in my heart by the time I shot that pilot, and I devoured that rack of beautifully curated clothing like a carnivore digs into a porterhouse. If this had been on offer, I would have exclaimed over the shoulder cuffs. They slope so beautifully. They make me want to rip back into this silky artsy McCalls jammie and redo those wings...

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

But I'll save that for another day, as right now I want to sew about 80 other things. Happy Halloween, hope you're in costume today! (But you know me. I hope you're in costume EVERY day.)

10.09.2017

Good Morning Monday


Aaaaaaanyhoo! This is a dress I made! FROM SUPER LONG AGO, LIKE SPRINGTIME LONG AGO! 


I was reminded today that I forgot to share it with you here, when Pattern Review announced the talented sewists moving through to the final round of the PR Sewing Bee... a round in which I'm the guest judge. (Yes, I'm surprised too.) But it's gonna be fun! I'm gonna be on those entries like white on rice! There are some stitches being THROWN DOWN MAN. Did you see the sleeves round?!


I was also surprised to be asked to speak at a PR weekend on an illustrious panel, last spring, to which I wore this very dress. Hence the lightbulb moment regarding the  MIA posting of this 6 yards of Ankara.


This is probably what I looked like for most of that highly entertaining day: pointing at seams on my dress. Hey guys, this pattern has really awesome godets that you totally can't see in this crazyface wax print lemme just point em out for you!



You'd see them better if I'd carried my contrast piping down into the skirt, but that's a loooooottta piping, as I maxi-fied this pattern (Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 1802, plus a self drafted princess seamed bodice).


I might don it again tonight, for a reunion concert I'm about to jet to rehearse for. Anyone remember Lennon on Broadway? Yep, one night only at 54 Below. It sold out before we could even tell people where to get tickets! YIKES! 

Well, that's all for the moment, nice to have a short and sweet post once in awhile, 'innit? Be well, hope you're twirling on this Monday.

10.07.2017

Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.




This skirt, made over the course of one day in early June, became an instant favorite of mine. I reached for it every chance I got. Sadly, it fell into abandonment just as quickly as it took to stitch it, because the last time I wore it, I was in an unfortunate situation with a difficult, offensive personality. And it takes a lot to offend me. I wore it as armor, but it suffered battle scars. In the space of one day, this once adored garment became a tinged reminder of that event.


I gave it a cooling-off period, and the memories of that obnoxious personality have now faded, just in time for the crisper weather which this heavy metallic yardage is actually best suited for (I mean, should Mother Nature decide that we get to keep seasons).

Beautiful People, I'd like to keep this space as a favorite spot. I don't want to have to give this small corner of the web a cooling-off period. But lately, I've been giving it the side-eye, wondering what offense I might unintentionally provoke.

I've recently had a nice little run of offending folks, unawares. From the description of my closet, to the use of the term spirit animal. The latest in a string of self-set booby-traps happened last week, in the form of a typo.

This gorgeous, clear blue-skied week, we woke up daily to the next atrocity that somehow impossibly overshadowed the previous impossibly terrible thing, which overshadowed the last thing, and the countless things before it, and it feels insurmountable. There are too many things in this world that we cannot fix, so we focus on the things we can fix. I GET IT. But we lose sight of the people behind the things we're fixing.

I'm not easily offended. I'm confident. I'm vocal. I'm strong. Which is not to say that others are or are not any of those things. But those qualities in me, coupled with the fact that I'm (racially speaking) a little bit of everything and not enough of anything, make up a person who wears what she wants, says what she wants, and doesn't get too concerned about what others think of her.

The latter part of that sentence hasn't been the case lately, mainly because the last thing I want to be perceived as, in this quivering world, is an agent of more sadness--even unintentionally. So I spend hours worrying and responding (hopefully, thoughtfully) to over a hundred comments on months worth of posts where landmines loomed unseen.

YEAH, SO WHAT. Blog comments. What a silly, inconsequential worry in the face of the world we live in.

But it is a worry, small as it is. A worry that I do not have the energy to carry, especially when the conversation ends out in the ether of the internet, and I’m left wondering if my thoughtful responses have even been read by those that started the ball rolling. I've considered turning off the comments altogether, but in this age of mindless, unconnected interacting through screens, the sewing world is an anomaly--we want to have a discussion. And blog discussion, despite being down elsewhere, is still very much happening here.

So, I'm not going to turn the comments off. I’m not going to delete comments. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have your response and share it (although in this age of public "calling out", the occasional private "calling in" might be a more productive choice). Speak your mind! This is, contrary to unpopular belief, a free country. But, if your very first comment here is about the ways in which I have hurt or offended you, or if your comment's sole purpose is to tell me how I am wrong with no explanation, or even if I just don't have the energy: I am going to give myself the option to pass on putting myself into a tailspin. I will instead direct you to this post, specifically, this last bit:

It is impossible to live a life where you offend no one. Although it is my wish that you have a Great Good Time while you're here, I also understand that my sense of humor, sense of style, and sense of English may not be everyone's cup of tea. (Or coffee. Or gin. Or room temp water.) But if my off-color humor doesn't suit you, if I misstep, if I use a word that is a trigger for you, if there is a new word in our ever-changing lexicon that I misuse, it is most certainly NOT my intention to hurt or offend you. I intend to make you laugh. I intend to inspire you to live colorfully. I intend to provide you a breather in the middle of the madness.

And once in a while, I'll even talk about sewing.

eta: Thank you all so very much for your thoughtful words! I'm at a loss at how to respond to everyone, but if we run into each other in a bar, drinks are on me. (And apparently, we'll need them, as we'll be preparing for possible fisticuffs. It'll be the best dressed bar fight ever.)

9.26.2017

A Fine Romance

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

Amongst the many things I wish for us, as a people, floating around on this little blue planet: I wish for us all to have a little romance.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

A little Frank Sinatra singing Jobim. A well mixed cocktail (or a tall cool seltzer, if that's not your thing). Probably flowers. And dancing. Always dancing.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

I'm not just talking about romantic gestures, though. I think romance means caring for someone, and caring for something. Caring for everything. Caring about how you go about life. Your actions. Your implications. Caring about what you create. The details. The process.

I tried to stop myself from making romance, from creating dress after dress with no specific event to don it for, and then I decided it was boring.  Maybe even verging on aromanticism. (Have you heard about this movement? I learned about it last weekend, amongst ALL THE OTHER THINGS THAT HAPPENED LAST WEEKEND. In general, I do not care for last weekend.) (eta: I did not mean to reference aromantic as an identifier; though I absolutely see how it was taken that way, as I used the word aromantic and not aromanticism! Apologies--Aromanticism is the title of statement album I heard over the weekend, and is the word I should have used, and has been corrected. Thanks very much to the commenters who brought this to light.)

But this dress! I care for this dress very much. I have nowhere to go in it, yet, but I made it as if we'd be renewing our vows in it (now there's romance).


The fabric is a sumptuous barkcloth (yes, I used sumptuous and barkcloth together, and I'd do it again) from The Confident Stitch, who quite warmly reached out to me to offer this collaboration. I am always delighted to be enabled to make a dress for no reason other than that I want the romance of it; to make something beautiful. You know how I feel about beauty.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

For the design, I chose to marry two Simplicity patterns: 1099 for the skirt, and 2180 for the bodice (which I believe is out of print). I've made, and abandoned, the bodice of 2180 before. Something about the look of it was off to me. I think I might have yelped out loud when I realized all I had to do to fix my squinky eye was omit the neckband. Although this meant I'd be rudderless when I reached that back closure (which is supposed to close with a tie stemming from said neckband), I went ahead and sewed on my merry way. As usual, I decided I'd forge ahead and figure it out when I got there.


That was a bit easier said than done-- I hemmed and hawed for several days over buttons, and loops, and even brooches, until I settled on a small length of elastic and a bow to save the day. The elastic is encased in the triangle points of the back bodice, and that wee bow is securely tacked to the center of the elastic. It solved the problem of getting in and out of the dress, but it does make this an over-the-head-only situation. Which is just fine, as it means Rob has to help me out of it, furthering the cause for romance. WHY SLIP OUT OF SOMETHING SOLO WHEN SOMEONE CAN HELP YOU TAKE IT OFF, MAN.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

The waistband of the skirt is faced, catching just the front bodice. I went handsewing everywhere, and could really do another post on the details of this baby. Her insides are all rayon bemberg, in a combination of lining/underling, also from The Confident Stitch. Kate, the enabling proprietress, suggested the bemberg. Would you believe I've never worked with it before? The slippery stuff had me wrinkling my brow at times, but it was a love-hate relationship that turned into adoration. The insides look like pale cloud cover, and the feel of it is luscious.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

I do feel like I'm stepping back in time when I step into this dress--or rather, pull it on over my head. (Fashion-wise, that is. Let's limit our time traveling to fashion, okay? We're going back in time enough as it is.)

Many thanks to Kate and Jane for sponsoring this post, and providing a truly welcome distraction. It was a lovely experience, and I can't recommend them enough! A closet full of barkcloth evening gowns is in your reach, as they have several gorgeous prints to choose from. I actually made THEM choose the print for me, as I couldn't pick my favorite.

That's all for the moment from my neck of the woods. I hope you're finding the time to fit a little romance in, wherever you are.

9.15.2017

wax on, wax off


A surprising sidebar came up in a recent post, the original topic of which was surprising in itself (however, said surprises were most likely surprising specifically to me, which is unsurprising, as I am surprised by A LOT these days.)

Of course, the post was about anything but the wax print dress pictured (and after 143 comments, I'm tapped out on that discussion). However, Gillian, one of the most thoughtful members of our stitching community, brought up a sewing dilemma:

Gillian: I've never decided if it's ok for a white lady like me to use Ankara fabric. Cultural appropriation, or awesome print used with knowledge of its history? I don't know, and it's not the kind of thing any one person can decree is ok or not, so here I am, Ankara-less!


Well, my friend, my FRIENDS, as Mixed-Chick-Party-Of-One, I am here to resoundingly decree this ever so much more than "ok." In fact: GO FOR IT!


Go for it, because it is fabric, and who better to treat a beautiful fabric with the respect it deserves than a home sewist?  A commenter pointed out:

Anonymous: as a white lady who appreciates the beauty of African and many other ethnic patterns I would hope that when I employ its use in my own creations others will perceive it as a thing of beauty and my joy in presenting it as such.


Go for it, because, as several commenters were quick to add, its backstory is as mixed as the chick who runs this here blog: it is of Dutch origins, but intended as a knockoff of Indonesian Batik. The "flaws" in processing spoke not to Indonesia, but to Africa, and the colors and prints were changed to suit the audience--geometric shapes and vivid colors, rather than the more muted floral design of Batik. It's now produced in Africa & China as well, and you could call those knockoffs, or you could say the original was intended as a knockoff in the first place. Is it distinctly an African fabric now? Yes. But in my opinion, it's more of an as-tweed-is-British and denim-is-American sort of thing, not a question of racial appropriation. Don't get me wrong, I understand, and am often hindered by, the lines in the sand drawn over race. Some are real, some are manufactured, some grow by perception. Two out of three of those lines should be crossed.

Karen: I am very aware of the multi-cross-cultural journey these patterns have made from Indonesia to West Africa, while both were under Dutch colonial subjugation, and are still being made in The Netherlands! Culture and language are very complex things, continually evolving to reflect current conditions. Let's keep our minds open to other peoples' truths.


Go for it, because, as its origins prove, MIXING IT UP A WONDERFUL THING. And something we are in dire need of today. Yes, I understand the ignorance of wearing a ceremonial Lakota war bonnet to a music festival, but I don't think any sewists wanting to dip their toes in wax print waters are talking about sporting a Kente head wrap.

Leigh: It's just fabric, unless you exact copy a traditional african dress. That could look a bit odd as they're kind of distinct, but you know what? They look comfortable, and how many people have made "kimono jackets" and didn't get crucified in the press?


Go for it, because of the joy you will create around you. Another commodity we are in dire need of today. It is impossible not to smile when you see 12,000 colors walking towards you. And if you don't want to wear 12,000 colors, choose a more docile print like the one I'm sporting here! YES IT'S DOCILE I MEAN IT'S PRACTICALLY A SOLID IN COMPARISON.

CinderellaRidvan: I will say that my ambuyas (grandmothers and aunties) are delighted to see my white friends wearing it, they say the everyone looks better in beautiful prints...


If a civilian raises an eyebrow? Politely divulge the bio of this glorious mixed up cloth. (You could also ask if they're into Rock n Roll, and if so, how much Little Richard do they have in their collection.)

Erika: I am a white lady, who has lived in Zambia and Uganda, who has several garments made of US patterns with African fabrics. I figure it will upset some people, and not others, and my job is to be ready to have a conversation with people who are upset, with a humble open heart.

If a sewist chastises you for using the improper name for it? Again, go for the origin story. There are many names for this stuff, and they are all proper. However. If you've chosen to call it Dutch wax print, and a homesick lass compliments you on your fabric from Ghana? Um, do not inform her of the technicalities of the origins of wax print. Recognize, as I did not, that she's lonely, and it lifted her day to spot some fabric from her homeland. Hey, Professor Sewist: technicality isn't always paramount.

CinderellaRidvan: culture is more about nuance and belief than technicalities.


Well, if you've been on the fence, I hope I've convinced you to jump in, along with these thoughtful words from my fellow sewists! If I had my way, wax print would be everywhere... and all the buildings would be painted in technicolor, and pizza would be free, and we'd have little wine spigots on the streets that popped on every day at dusk...

(One last GO FOR IT: Because you get 6 yards in every cut! Now, if you're like me, you will dive into your bounty with wild abandon, and come very quickly to a point where you realize that while you can make 3 garments out of 1 cut, you cannot print match across seams if you didn't plan ahead. That happened here, with Vogue 9253. Patience and planning. Who knew. Now go sew some wax print.)

8.25.2017

Construction (not the kind you think).


As I sit here with my morning cup of black gold, soft breeze drifting through the open window, reveling in the sounds of the NONSTOP, DEAFENING BUZZ of a circular saw cutting through brick (a cacophony that has gone on ALL SUMMER LONG), I look to the weekend with equal parts anticipation and melancholy. The last weekend in August! IT CANNOT BE.

This weekend will be 50% creating and 50% celebrating, which equals 2000% awesome (because that's how kalkatroonaan math works). I'm also hoping to get some shots of the many things waiting to be documented...about fifteen outfits, I'd say, more than enough to make my photographer quake in his flip flops. We're getting pretty good at doing this quickly, though. Rob has two rules when he's snapping: he doesn't speak, and he shoots from the ground up. We now have a handsignal to allow passersby to safely cross without fear of being captured:



There's my guy, on the ground! Not talking, like a weirdo!

(He sings, though. Beautifully. Just not in public. At the moment, he's serenading me with a ukelele rendition of Ozzy Osbourne's "Goodbye to Romance," lyrics adjusted to reflect my current murderous mood.)

You'll excuse the haphazardness, won't you? Blame it on the table saw. I'm really just here to tell you about my Tribute dress, made for the Sewcialist's first challenge after their re-launch. But considering the NEVERENDING NOISE AFFECTING MY BRAIN FUNCTIONS, I'll leave the explaining to my previously crafted post: check out the dress & inspiration for it, over at the Sewcialist's blog. So happy to see them up & running again!

Ah, they're lowering the construction cage system! I sense a construction break. I'm off to take advantage of it. 

8.03.2017

Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

WELL NOW. Unfortunately, it seems I must say some things about my the use of the English language, in order to continue to say anything at all in these parts.  It is unfortunate mainly for me, because to be quite honest, I DON'T FEEL LIKE IT. I'd like to just talk about the six yards of insanity I've got on, but, there's the rub, I shouldn't be describing a dress as insane... and so, the post goes back into the Realm Of Draft... again. Not because I can't think of another opening sentence, but because I DON'T WANT TO.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

Let me explain. Following my last post, a reader (quite politely, actually!) suggested to me via Twitter that I rethink the usage of certain words, which is fair enough. It's not the first time my off-color sense of humor has chafed, and it probably won't be the last. If you're looking for a calm, sterile, and properly punctuated use of the English Language, I am not your huckleberry. 

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

But, I also don't intend any harm, with my random capitalization and colorful talk. So let me clarify, when I call my closet "schizophrenic and delusional," I am referring to the general, and not medical, definitions of the words, which are; schizophrenic: a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements, and, delusional: based on or having faulty judgment, mistaken. 

To wit: in the past, my closet held many inconsistent, contradictory elements of style, having everything to do with the fact that I had to be able to pull different looks for whatever role I was auditioning for. And in the present, where I am still a working actress in need of many looks, I THINK my closet still has those inconsistent or contradictory elements, but my judgement is faulty and mistaken: IT DOES NOT, because now that I sew pretty much all of my own clothing, there is no longer any room for RTW lawyer/nurse/cop wear. Yet I delude myself into thinking I can don something like this African wax print maxi dress to audition as a Suburban Mother with an Edgy Vibe. (The hair gets me to edgy all on its own, folks.)

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

Hrm. Four paragraphs later, I guess I do feel like saying some things about this subject. But I don't. LET ME CAPITALIZE: I REALLY, REALLY DON'T. And contrary to what four paragraphs of rambling would suggest, I truly don't want to make a big thing out of it! Raising my pitchfork because someone doesn't agree with my yammerings about the idiosyncrasies of my closet would be, how do you say, blowing things out of proportion.

But are we, as a whole, maybe blowing things out of proportion in general? The (again, gentle and friendly) tweet came complete with a link to an article warning the reader against using words like Grief, Depression, and Insomnia as descriptors, unless you have truly personally experienced those afflictions. (That was about halfway through the article, and also where I tapped out).  

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

Again, not meaning to start a Riot, party of one, over a tweet. It was simply a small reminder of the much larger liberal minefield that we've become, in the face of the impossibility of what we are. Our opinions and ideals have become our most precious possessions. Words are what the bulk of us have right now to protect those possessions. Words have become both weapons and prisoners. And on the liberal side, specifically, we're imprisoning words to protect our possessions from those who probably aren't out to damage an already beaten and bloodied society with an innocent turn of phrase.

But, words are loaded things with meanings that can shift entirely based on personal experience. There are plenty of nasty words out there that should be obliterated, and plenty of words that have taken on new weight when we weren't looking. That's just it, isn't it? Even if you think you're clear on the meaning, you have no idea how your words will affect someone else, because you are not living their life and their experiences.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

As for myself, there are plenty of words that conjure up real life experiences for me, that rub me the wrong way. Words that are mine in a way that they are not yours, because I have experienced them. They're innocent enough to others, and they're not going anywhere, and that's just fine. When humor is your weapon of choice (whether you're skilled at wielding that weapon or not), I think you have a wider...allowance. 

I know that in our current climate, the great good bulk of us are trying to be more careful with each other, and I applaud us for it. But can we try to assume that the person to our left, and I do mean left, most likely has our back? Because it's getting censored around here. And by here, I don't mean my small nonsensical corner of the web, I mean out there. There's no room for humor, no room for questions, no room for language, there's no room to talk about anything. When everything is sacred, nothing is safe.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

WELL. That's just about enough of that, although I do 100% invite you to share your thoughtful comments. Let's talk for a minute about the pattern, Simplicity 1687 (who, by the way, after a deserved backlash over their lack of ethnicity in vintage patterns have since made strides to correct that, and from what I can see have received no kudos for it--so kudos, Simplicity. And yes, I can already hear my fellow liberals fire back that a couple of pattern envelopes and reposts are not enough, but to this liberal, steps forward are steps forward.)

TOUGH TO GET OFF THAT SOAPBOX, EH, MIZZ BALLOONA? The pattern. I maxi-fied this midi dress, and shortened the waist by about an inch--and in doing so, made the pockets useless for actual hands. They will hold a phone, keys, and dinero, tho. The yoke was abandoned in favor of adjustable straps. I flat piped some of the shorter seams with remnants from this Vogue wrap dress, and both prints hail from AKN Fabrics. I feel like Holly Hobby in some alternate universe, which is just how I want to feel some days.
And with that, I believe I'm out of words.