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.

48 comments:

  1. A perfect bit of loveliness in a difficult sea! Thanks. Here's to romance!

    ReplyDelete
  2. As usual, I'm caught between saying nothing because you've said it all, and posting a 14,000 word opus on every aspect of your dress, your writing, and you in general. Try to imagine my self-restraint as I simply say: thank you for providing a haven of romance and beauty during these ugly days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome, and thank YOU for that lovely compliment.

      Delete
  3. It's so fresh and pretty. Love the details of the bodice back. Truly lovely.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Barbara! And that Koos jacket is coming up soon.

      Delete
  4. Thanks Marcy! Here's to a long romance between you and The Confident Stitch!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know I love to dress for a hot date!! Thank you for the absolutely lovely time!

      Delete
  5. This dress is the gorgeousness I needed today! Also I had to listen to a fine romance sung by Ella Fitzgerald (my favourite version)because of your title, so I one hundred percent thank you for that :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Ella. I believe she was made of honey. I love Joe Derise's version too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIeuM82_6BM

      Delete
  6. That barkcloth looks luscious - love the print, and the design you chose to make it up in. Now that it is heating up down under, I have a hankering for some hibiscus and leaves and tiki times myself ;o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When summer ends here I'm devastated, and I mean that in all seriousness, especially this year...if I had the funds I'd chase summer around the globe. Make some tiki for me!

      Delete
  7. Beautiful dress! I just recently made a dress with no where to wear it too and then decided I could wear it where ever I wanted and who needs a special occasion to wear something romantically scrumptious! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, we should just wear our dresses around the house, to the drugstore, whenever we need a moment of fancy!

      Delete
    2. I wear my dresses around the house and to Walmart. I like to think I am classing up the joint.

      Delete
  8. Oooh Oona. You make my life happier ❤️ Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. Double ditto Katrina. Now I want some sumptuous barkcloth. Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jean! By the way, I love your handle-- one of my (many) childhood nicknames was "moosiecatoosie" :)

      Delete
  10. Omg. Everything about this dress is so stunning. That print is wow, but the back is OBVIOUSLY THE GAME CHANGER. That tiny bow??? Good grief. It's so, so good. It is SOOO ROMANTIC! And! speaking of, I wanted to share a bit of information on something you mentioned in your post! Aromantic isn't a movement, it is an identity- it is one of the things that the "A" in LGBTQIA stands for. Some people are asexual (or "ace) and some people are aromantic ("aro" but I've also seen it spelled with a different shorthand) and there are a whole slew of other, perhaps unfamiliar, terms for identities in between. Those are terms that some people might ID with who don't experience sexual attraction (asexual) or romantic attraction (aromantic). It's not a movement because, generally speaking, it's not really a decision that people have made for themselves to be ace or aro, but rather a way that they inherently feel in their bodies/hearts/minds (in the same way that queer/lesbian/gay/bi/trans people haven't made a choice to "live" a certain lifestyle, but have simply been born the way they are...although I also think that people should have the choice to identify with whatever gender and be attracted (or not attracted) to any person that they want, whether they were born that way or not- but that is a conversation for another day LOL! There is lots of great information about these topics on the internet, particularly blog posts by people who ID as aro and/ or ace who articulate their experiences beautifully and offer a lot of insight into the lives of people who journey through the world in a different way than what is usually assumed. Although Bojack Horseman (tv show) recently had one of the characters (SPOILER ALERT, SORRY!) come out as asexual, and it was a huge deal, because you just don't see that kind of portrayal in television very often, if at all (that character is the first asexual I have ever seen in tv/film). Aromantic and asexual people, from what I have read, spend a considerable amount of time thinking that something is wrong with them, and having people also tell them that something is wrong with them (much like gay/trans/bi people), so it seems important to have discussions and educate ourselves of different facets of the human experience so that they, and all other sexual and gender divergent people, continue to be normalized and hopefully feel validated and seen! I hope this felt helpful and not preachy- I know not everyone is schooled on all the different colors of our LGBTQIA+ rainbow, but I do hope that people continue to open their minds and hearts to the spectrum as it continues to expand and show nuance in all the ways we identify under the umbrella. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad someone else commented this!
      I've been admiring this blog for a long time, (though I never comment), and when I read that line, my stomach dropped.

      I'm aro and ace, I'm not attracted to anyone, never had a crush, and I thought people dated because it's what was expected of them, not a thing they generally wanted to do for the longest time.

      Explaining it to people is always a gamble, bc some people are like 'yeah whatever, you do you', and from others I've heard 'soulless', 'messed up', 'sad', 'boring', etc., usually because they don't understand what it means or can't imagine how it feels to just... not have crushes? And especially when it comes into romance or sex repulsion, where the idea of being in that kind of situation makes me really uncomfortable. It kind of hurts, to have something I have always been, something I can't control, something I'm completely a-okay and content in being, dismissed like that, like it's something to be pitied. I know you in all likelihood didn't mean it like that, as I've said, I've been a reader for a long time, and I can see romance is a major theme in your posts, and this is likely an unfamiliar thing to you, but I see this so often everywhere, it kind of hurts still.

      Delete
    2. tlhup, oh my goodness, I wish I had posted my reply to Miss Sugar Booty before heading out, but I wanted to check my ramblings for typos first! Dismissing identifying as aro or ace is not at all what I intended-- let me post my first response and hopefully make it clear......

      Sugar Booty, that back was likely highly influenced by your garments, you beautiful rainbow of a human!

      THANK YOU for that explanation of aromanticism as an identifier! I had no idea it was the A in LGBTQIA (side note, I also had no idea there was now an A included. I envision that in the future we are gonna have an alphabet of letters there, I say that with zero sarcasm, our umbrella should be universe encompassing). This is absolutely helpful and not preachy at all. I should explain where I was coming from, which is something I’ve been *trying* to do more lately (you know, let people into the unexplained scenes in my head, rather than assume they are mind readers, and use some punctuation...).

      So, what led me into the kind of aromanticism I'm referencing was the musician Moses Sumney, and his interviews about his new album "Aromanticism." His thoughts behind the music read more like a political statement; a cause to get behind-- I don't *think* that he's using the term as an identifier, he refers to romance as a political tool & a capitalist device. Over the weekend, when googling the name of his album, I did dip briefly into a few unrelated articles that explained aromantic and asexuality as identifiers, and really thought they were completely unrelated, save for the choice of title. (I could be totally wrong there…but one of the lyrics to Sumney's songs are "I’m not tryna go to bed with you, I just wanna make out in my car", so especially after reading tlhup’s comment, I am assuming he really wasn't talking about being aro--but then again, maybe this feeling fits with the way that some identify as aro.) After listening to his (beautiful) music and watching his (disturbing—though I'm not saying that necessarily in a bad way) videos, and reading about the intent behind his music, that’s what I took from it, that it’s an -ism, a movement, for him. Here’s a couple of his interviews: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/arts/music/moses-sumney-aromanticism.html ~ http://www.thefader.com/2017/09/04/moses-sumney-aromanticism-interview

      (Also, side note, scientists have recently found that people who experience shivers when listening to music have more connective fiber between the auditory cortex and the area that processes emotion. STRANGE SIDENOTE MARCY! But I've always been deeply affected, to the point of shivers, by music, so Sumney affected me great big bunches, especially these last few days...I think maybe I should expand on that in another post. And also watch BoJack Horseman.)

      tlhup, thank you so much for sharing your self here. I hope my rambling explanation makes my sentence clearer! I do also feel badly that the suggestion of romance in the form of dancing, cocktails, could also be an uncomfortable situation for you...but I hope you know that it's a lovely thing to me, it's part of my life, and so, part of the blog. However, I'd never want to discount your being, and hope you understand that wasn't my intention to dismiss aro as an identity.

      Delete
    3. (PS: Well, after all of that explaining, I went to add an ETA in the post, and realized I typed aromantic instead of aromantiCISM. THAT definitely didn't help matters! Ugh. That's corrected now.)

      Delete
    4. I’ve been a long-time reader and emailer with Oona (there is a contact button right at the top of the blog). I prefer to converse privately, but now I feel the need to to write in the public comments, because I know that Oona is far too wonderful and caring to call people out.

      First it was the schizophrenic closet that got someone riled up. Then it was the person taking umbrage with African wax print being Oona’s spirit animal. And now this?

      Is this really what you all are complaining about?

      What a shame that you, tlhup, who are a self-described long-time admirer, decided that your first post on Oona’s blog would be something like this. Have you ever emailed Oona to tell her how much you like her blog?

      And yes, Sugar Booty, your missive does come across as “preachy” and didactic. Identity politics are obviously very important to you. Great. But this kind of condescension does far more harm than good when you throw someone under the bus publicly.

      If both of you have really read Oona for so long, you would know that she would never intentionally lash out or try to hurt someone. You even say that you “know you in all likelihood didn't mean it like that”. Why not reach out privately and get the whole story, instead of airing things in a public forum?

      There are life and death issues happening in the US and around the globe, but both of you (and the aforementioned offended) have chosen to spend your energy schooling someone who only tries to bring a little light into this world.

      PS Oona: again, you have gone above and beyond to reach out and try to take care of “The Offended”. I commend you for you love and patience … you obviously have far more than I.

      Delete
    5. Oona! I had no idea that you had commented on my comment so I am just now reading it after reading your latest post! For some reason I didn't get an email saying there were comments to this ( I think I forgot to click the "notify me" button, argh) , so apologies for that! Anyways, I ALSO LOVE THAT MOSES SUMNEY ALBUM SO MUCH (have you also listened to Gabriel Montano Garzon's album??) But more importantly I appreciate your explanation and thanks for taking the time to clarify it. Again, I was nervous about coming off as accusatory or condescending, but thank you for saying that I wasn't (you are kind and sensitive!) and ultimately I'm glad I wrote the comment because even though you didn't have the same intention behind using the word as I thought, I got to share a little more information about the LGBTQIA community that you weren't specifically familiar with, so that's cool (fyi, the I stands for Intersex, the Q is for queer and/or questioning, and the T is for trans obvi, but also Two-Spirit- I, too see a long alphabet in our future, it's pretty awesome!) Tlhup- thanks for sharing a little about yourself in the comments, and sorry if I stepped on your toes at all with mine! Just wanted to say I see and support you! All love, Miss Marcy!!!!

      Delete
  11. So lovely--you and the dress. Keep 'em coming.

    ReplyDelete
  12. love all your makes, you really do have a great way with fabrics, this is soooo classy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm actually quite fond of that word :) thank you!

      Delete
  13. Love it...and thanks for the heads up on The Confident Stitch fabric site. What beautiful choices, great prices... Enabler! but I'm enjoying cruising their offerings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Coco! Love your style, glad to enable it!

      Delete
  14. I use this word a lot in your comments but here goes again: Gorgeous! The dress is gorgeous and you are gorgeous in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lynn! I probably won't get tired of hearing it ;)))

      Delete
  15. This dress is amazing. Edith Head is spinning with envy!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well aren't you a vision of beauty???????

    ReplyDelete
  17. So, so.... Oonalicious! I am always amazed the way you can pair the fabric with a pattern (design) idea and Poof! Magic. Now if only I still had that pair of deep red satin platform wedge sandals to lone you.
    "It's a fantabulous night for romance, 'neath the cover of October skies" (Van Morrison)
    As always, thank you for sharing the love and your talent.
    Yours,
    Merry Pinbender

    ReplyDelete
  18. Gorgeous! Clicked through from IG to see the back. I was not disappointed.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am a hopeless romantic,I mean a watch "The Notebook" at least once a month, Hallmark channel loving romantic. This dress and your writing is romance wrapped up in a beautiful package called Marcy. You are amazing, inspiring, and so gifted.

    ReplyDelete
  20. My absolute favorite rendition of the song is Louis and Ella's duet, which was playing in my head the entire time I was reading your post and admiring yet another one of your absolutely gorgeous creations! Thanks for proving that there are some solutions to problems that CAN, quite literally, be wrapped up in a neat little bow. :) At least in the world of handmade if not Humanity in general.

    P.S. As always, you handle absolutely everything life throws at you with the utmost sensitivity and grace. I refer of course to the identifier issue, but you probably already knew that. ;-)

    P.P.S. Thanks so much for visiting my nail polish marbled mug post! I somehow mistakenly added a plugin contact form into my post templates, so your comment got sent to my WP admin feedback inbox that I never check, rather than appear as a comment on the article. Thanks for alerting me (even if inadvertently!) to my error, which is fixed. Still working out the kinks to this new world of blogging that I've re-entered. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  21. You are the epitome of classy---in your words and your sewing. I love that you make these gorgeous dresses even if you have no where (in the near future) to wear them.

    ReplyDelete

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!