3.30.2017

Throwback Flares

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | embroidered birkin flares

Well, hello, Thursday. How YOU doin'. What's that, baby? You wanna throw it back? All right mama! I got you! It just so happens I have a handful of pictures and a mouthful of words all ready to go, from way back in spring of 2016. Lay back, Thursday. Let's #tbt this.

Take it away, voice of Marcy past...


oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | embroidered birkin flares

HI PEOPLE FROM THE FUTURE!

Lemme get right to it, I'm not sure how long my time travel layover will last. What we have here are the Birkin Flares, done up in a non stretch denim. I KNOW! This is my third dance with this beauty of a pattern, and I have yet to use the actual suggested denim weight. What can I say, I fall in love with a fabric, and I make it do what I want.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | embroidered birkin flares

And I fell very hard for this fabric: a lovely, medium weight, all cotton denim that looks like it went through an Instagram filter. It hails from Chic Fabrics. (Future Me would like to note that they are indeed still open, go and give them some love. I wish I'd bought the whole bolt, because Future Me would also like to note that I NEVER run across denim like this. Le sigh of hindsight.)

In order to accomplish this zero-stretch matchup, I cut two sizes larger than my suggested size, and used 3/8ths SA. I find this gem of a pattern to be very fit-as-you-go friendly, so I just used basting stitches at the appropriate time, and then did a good amount of testing by walking around Ye Olde Apartment: sitting, squatting, karate kicking…after an hour or so with booty & side seams still intact, I sewed them up for real, complete with periwinkle topstitching.


Only I kept the basting in at the knee down to the hem, because I planned on absolutely covering the lower legs with flowers.
oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | embroidered birkin flares

Would that I could have basted-in my first embroidery try!! I decided on a heeeoooouge vase full of holly hobby-ish flowers, and at, oh, about the second to last color change, I realized it wasn’t the look I was going for. Many an instagrammer lamented the impending carnage that was about to happen with my trusty seam ripper, but I knew what I had to do. 

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | embroidered birkin flares

My next route was a collection of patterns from Embroidery Library: a handful of beautiful free floating blossoms, which I merrily hopped back and forth betwixt. Basically, I painted with thread wherever I wanted. 

Watching those flowers appear was like a magic show.  I didn't want it to end! Yet, just before embarking on the other leg, I recalled the hours spent ripping out poor embroidery decisions (y'all, I even went at it with a shaving razor). I quickly consulted my own personal Tim Gunn. “More? MOAR??! SHOULD I DO THE OTHER LEG?” I panted, drunk on embroidery. It was Rob’s opinion that the cacophony should be confined to just one gam: “Otherwise, it would be clear that you bought these instead of crafted them.”
oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | embroidered birkin flares

This gave me pause.

WHOOOOOSH. Oh, bye Past Marcy! Bye Girl! That's where you stopped typing! You take yourself too literally, Past Marcy. But thanks for coming by! Now let me tell you what, y'all... Present Marcy is seriously considering ripping out some stitches again. The denim is perfect...the flowers are perfect...but the variegated pastel thread makes me melancholic. MELANCHOLIC, I TELL YOU! There's enough melancholy out there, yeah? Who needs more on their jeans?!

So. You may agree with me, you may try to talk me out of it, but you should know that all versions of me are quite stubborn. But I'm open to suggestions before I grab my razor...

45 comments:

  1. Insert heart eyes emoji here! Love the embroidery. This reminds me I need to make another pair of Birkin flares...

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    1. Thanks Meg! Finding these pics made me want to start another pair too. They're just so much fun.

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  2. Haha, I love your blog. Ripping out embroidery... this cracks me up. Nuts! But I've been known to rip back perfectly acceptable fairisle yokes in fingering weight because it wasn't just what I wanted, so I get it. What about mismatched embroidery on the other leg?

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    1. :)) I think if I got the other leg right, it would make me positively rageful over that first leg!

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  3. I just know you have other more fun things to do. Don't you????

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    1. This is hands down THE BEST argument I've ever heard. I laughed out loud.

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  4. oh melancholic marcy do not rip! Perfection has been had- leave it be. You look so ah-mazing in those pants!!!!

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  5. dang, you make me laugh. i remember when i looked like you in pants like that in the 70s and yours are GORGEOUS!! i have never seen a more perfectly fit pant. kudos!

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    1. well thankya! it was a finger-crossed-situation with that woven!

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  6. It's funny--when I first saw the photo of these jeans, I thought to myself how much I liked the delicate peachy lacey look of the embroidery... and then thought, it's a bit of a departure from your usual boldness and shock of color. I'm not telling you to seam-rip--because they look great as they are--but I can also see that these might yet have some more "psychedelic" potential. And you nailed the fit on these! It's a perfect blend of pattern+fabric!

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    1. They really aren't my colors, right?! Hrm. Thanks for noticing the fit, I got so caught up in the embroidery I forgot about all the work in that area!

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  7. Maybe you could use fabric pens to colour the existing embroidery?

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    1. Yes-- I've been hoping for some sort of neon fabric pen, but both of my usual sources for that have closed (the bookstore at FIT, and Lee's art shop). I'll do some digging...

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  8. Oooops, forgot to actually type the main thought in my head, which was something along the lines of "Wow! What a great fit, what gorgeous denim, what fantastic embroidery!" 💖

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  9. Great fit and look! Please do not rip!!!

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    1. I will add you to the voices in my head fighting with each other when next I hover over these with a seam ripper :))

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  10. What embroidery machine are you using for the lovely florals?

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    1. This was on the purple beastie, the pfaff creative 4.5.

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    1. I just got a picture in my head of me throwing a can of red paint at these! 😂

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  12. I think the stitching so so pretty and better on one leg than 2, but do as you wish (you will i know). Coloring the threads as someone suggested is a good idea. Maybe it would work and save your seam ripper.

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    1. You know me well :). And...if the coloring doesn't work, maybe it would at least soften up some of that thread for surgery...

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  13. Your flares are perfect, don't do anything ! Just enjoy them !

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  14. Personally, I think they're great as is, but if you feel like you've gotta do [i]something[/i], I'd color them a bit with fabric markers or sharpies. Keep it simple--an outline here, the center bit there, just enough to brighten them up a bit without being too crazy.

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    1. oo, that gives me an idea too-- maybe some beading on top of those lines, here & there?

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  15. I think your Tim Gun was wrong. I have a jumpsuit from Vogue patterns and I am going to do both legs. I think your one leg is beautiful but two, STUNNING.

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    1. ooo, a jumpsuit! you've gotta holler when you get those legs done!

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  16. Howdy Marcy - Waco here (though I'm having trouble posting - been out of the sewing thing so long nothing recognizes my credentials anymore!). 3rd attempt to post, here, sorry if this is a repeat. As I was saying before Wordpress decided I don't own my own identity (hurmpf ...) is this: I 100% agree with you and think your pants leg could use a shave. And then, I think you should go Mexican Peasant top (style) embroidery all over that gorgeous denim. Use a little. Use a lot. Use SirenSiren as inspiration (love their color combinations). But whatever you do will be gorgeous - in fact, those jeans are already gorgeous. I just happen to not dig pastel colors over hot summer flowers.

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    1. HEY GIRL! dang, sorry my blog is going narc on you. Also sorry you suggested that style of embroidery, because now I REALLY TRULY HAVE TO rip it out and do that. That's exactly what I want!

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  17. Oh my goodness these could not be more perfect!! They look fabulous on you too. With that said, if they make you feel anything but ecstatic, you should totally change them up!

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    1. Thank you! And I mean, right? People should feel good in their clothes... but people who *make* their clothes should feel exuberant!

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  18. Such cool flares, and great placement of the embroidery! :)

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  19. I do understand the desire to rip and revise. I make necklaces, and occasionally will cut them up to remake them into a slightly different, hopefully better, style. But many stay. Not because they're the most gorgeous ones, but because they perfectly hit the mood I was going for. So I'm in love, out of love, in love, etc. with some. But they stay and don't get cut up, because now and then I like wearing them a lot and enjoy having that original "feel" and "mood" evoked again. So if these jeans made you joyful when you finished them and could still evoke that original feeling that got your creative juices going in overdrive, keep the embroidery the way it is. It looks gorgeous. You can always score more denim, but you can't easily replace this embroidery. And the one leg only is eye-catching fashion. But if you're "enh" about it now and don't think the magic will ever return, then rip away. Destroying part of a creation is often cathartic -- just be certain you're really "certain." Cindy (Creative Hormone Rush)

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    1. Ah, Cindy, well said, I know what you mean about the "in love, out of love" feeling with creations-- it definitely changes, and sometimes I don't know I've fallen back in love until, say, 6 months after I've hacked a maxi skirt into a mini skirt :).

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    2. Hahaha, same here. But I'm rethinking my response. If this color scheme is really depressing you, then out it should go. Life is too short to voluntarily subject yourself to anything that depresses you, no matter how much work you put into it or how nicely it turned out. It sounds like the joy on this one was really in the creating stage, and that you aren't feeling that "WOO, what a keeper!" imperative here nor will you ever due to the colors just not being right for you. Temporarily not loving something that fits well, looks good on you AND is gloriously in your color palette is categorically different than not loving something that is waaaay out of your color palette on a good day, regardless of how well-made. If you'd embroidered using white-white, black-black, blood red, hot pink, sunshine yellow, emerald green, turquoise, cerulean, bright amethyst and bright royal blue, for example, keeping it would be a no-brainer, because you'd still get a happy rush looking at those perfect colors in your closet or storage container and knowing you've got that pretty garment that looks fabulous on you in reserve. I think that's the distinguishing thing here - the color is just plain off, and unredeemably so. But the jeans fit you like a second skin, so defininitely keep them and guilt-free pull out all the threads. If some threads in the jeans got broken, no worries, turn them into shorts or some utterly fab capris. Nor was this a wasted effort! There's always a consolation prize: since you did such a brilliant job stitching those flowers, you've got the skill and technique down. If the spirit ever moves you again, start saving magazine pics of eye-catching designs and accumulating a well-curated collection of big-eye needles and thick embroidery or luscious needlepoint thread in your favorite bold colors during sales, and stash 'em in a project bag for the day that embroidery imperative fires you up again and you want to embroider a vest, a fabric shoulder bag, skirt, top, jeans, etc. with fabulously colorful flowers, giant paisleys, leafy vines, etc. If it doesn't, no biggie. There was joy in accumulating all those pretty embroidering materials, too. ;)) Cindy

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  20. Throwback indeed, to B.L.E., Before Lycra Era. I needed to get some reality-check jeans this winter and ended up thrifting a non-stretch pair. Only place I could find some. Non-stretch keeps me honest during the big sweater/shut-in season, but I could not wear them all the time. Your lovely project brought back fond memories of hand embroidered jeans, c. 1975 B.L.E.

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  21. Oh it's gorgeous just as it is! Save yourself the trouble and love it. :-)

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  22. Super impressed with these jeans. I've never ventured into denim for anything of my own. That embroidery is absolutely fantastic. And the fit. Looking good!

    Cheers,
    Natalie

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  23. O so good!!! They look hand made in the BEST way

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  24. I love these, what a fab make, well done hun. Although the colours are lovely, you really sound as if you want something different! Brighter? Sooo many different flower styles to pick from, a floral choccy box of fun and sunshine :-) I found myself thinking that those roses done in deep red would look lush. Have fun hun!


    Thanks for all the smiles 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!