8.22.2018

On Wednesdays, We Wax.

On Wednesdays, We Wax. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

The first time I heard about AKN Fabrics, I was certain I was being led to my death.

Whaaat? I can hear many of you cry, having experienced first hand, at PR and MPB days and meetups, the glory that is AKN. Don't worry, the story ends well, I love the jam-packed joint as much as you do.

On Wednesdays, We Wax. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

It was 2014, the year of my first wax print--a gorgeous, megawatt yellow spray can print sent to me by Sarah. It was so vibrant! So weird! So stiff with wax! I hammered out an Anna dress and lived in it the rest of that summer. 

On Wednesdays, We Wax. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

One hot August day, I was stomping through a particularly seedy section of the city. This neighborhood is unexpected, almost right in the middle of Manhattan on Broadway between 27th to 35th streets. I wanna say it's the perfume/costume jewelry/wig district. I don't know why it feels so off, but it's one of those Stephen King zones. Know what I mean? All strangers suddenly feel dangerous, even the buildings are eyeing you. Shadows are thick and make you invisible even in broad daylight.

It was high noon and plenty of summer sunshine, my favorite kind of day--but I was in that area, and had to cross the gauntlet from the subway to a casting office on 28th. A stretch of two blocks populated with, as SK would call them, low men, possessing far-too-appreciative glances and bestowing "compliments" upon pretty much anything with legsIt was a no-smile zone. And although I had my spray can dress on, a dress which screams happiness, I also had my game face on. My I am not a friendly person face. Focusing on a dot in the distance, I passed an "admirer." From behind me, I heard a suggestive: you like wax print?

On Wednesdays, We Wax. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Huh? Did he just comment on my fabricThis gave me pause. I slowed to a stop and cautiously turned. Yesss...?

He gestured to a dusty, six-story building behind him. A building with papered windows and a dark, unmanned entryway. I have wax print. For sale. Come upstairs with me.

OH HAHAHAHAHA, I answered, bubble burst. I'm sorry, but there is ZERO way I am following you into a building, by myself, to a high floor. I'm not saying you're a creep, you know, you could be great, but you could also be trying to kill me. You understand. Thank you though. I'll bring some of my sewing buddies next time, and if you happen to see us in a gang of three or more, ask again. 

On Wednesdays, We Wax. | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Follow him into an unmarked building! From a street! I laugh out loud at it even now. Who knew he was referring to an ACTUAL store?! Not I! The only fabric stores I knew of at that point were ten blocks north! Years later, when I finally found, and ventured up into, AKN Fabrics, I saw my old friend on the street, working the passersby, and rode the elevator up with him. He's great. Zero creep factor. He could work on his sidewalk sales pitch, though.  

Speaking of creep factor. What is it with me and once a week Wednesday goals? That damn Wednesday creeps up on you like its running a perfume joint on 28th street! Mr. Hump Day especially likes to creep on me when it's the end of summer and all hell breaks loose when things are normally quiet and the only thing on the to-do list should be SWEAT IN THE HEAT! ALSO WHERE DID ALL THE HEAT GO?!!


Sorry. I'm typing this at 2am with the windows open, because although it is oddly cold, IT IS AUGUST, and I refuse to close them! And I am chilly! CHILLY I SAY! Let me return to the point. It occurred to me, the hump day having crept up on me once again, that setting myself the task of sharing the finished garment for each of the five re:fashion episodes every Wednesday for a month was much like setting myself the task of putting up a work-in-progress every Wednesday for forever and ever amen. I abandoned ship fairly quickly on the latter, but with one more finished garment to go, imma power through the former... and the final episode features a sewn pattern that you'll likely recognize (and one that I bet you WON'T). Oh! And yes, the gorgeous floral print you see here hails from AKN, but you have to venture up into the store to get it. It's behind the cash register. Whatever you do, don't go pulling colors off the shelf. They've got a system. Ask my guy to help you out.

If you'd like to see how I made this flowery gal and you're a bluprint member, episode 4 of Re:Fashion is here. If you know how to sew, it's fairly easy...I added a full circle skirt to an RTW crop top on which I taped the seams for a little "extra." However, it is almost never smooth sewing for me, and I had a pretty awesome, ahem, flower placement snafu. Rob is also showcased in some lovely prints as well. He is, how do you say, a VERY good sport.

17 comments:

  1. Love your story...and that print. How come (bad english I know) I never see marvelous stuff that like on their website? IJS...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are so right-- they have a lot of stock that never sees the light of day on the site. And I'm all about bad english ;)

      Delete
  2. Will have to check out AKN Fabrics next time I'm in the city! Love the new lip and shoe game, per the last bluprint posts! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a must see! And thank you for the lip & shoe game shout out...our makeup artist was SO WONDERFUL.

      Delete
  3. A wonderful, dramatic skirt. Utterly astounding – as you, yourself are. And thanks for the link to the spray can dress. It's stellar too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so glad you didn't become someone's skin suit! That fabric is everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 😂I've felt that tinge of fear in too many fabric stores here, tbh.

      Delete
  5. So the floral beauty is from AKN fabrics? Any more of it left?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can tell you exactly where the heat went. It went to us. I would gladly return it if I knew how.

    I have yet to encounter wax prints in physical form outside of something worn by a friend and off limits, but that skirt is glorious and certainly works as a pitch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am all about pitching and enabling the preponderance of wax print. Maybe your friend will let you try it on...

      Delete
  7. Of course I was looking forward to your techniques on handling pits and shins, but this post was wonderful, and it introduced me to your "episodes" and your man (face with a name!). Episode #4 proves that you are fearless and chock full-O-talent (it went from a slipcover masquerading as a dress into a chic casual statement piece).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How I love your turn of phrase!!!

      (And thank you 😊)

      Delete
  8. Ooooo! Gorgeous! I think I saw that fabric (or one very similar) on Etsy. Can't remember the shop name.

    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!