Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Fat Quarter: Look Out Project Runway


The challengers are hellbent on proving me wrong. First, Devra's Unicorn playset. Then Amity's Zombified Peplum blouse. Now comes this stripey self-drafted number from mastermind Jennifer of Workroom Social, complete with a Project Runway recap of her work in the challenge.  She basically Tim Gunn'ed herself.

I think I need to go lie down.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


oonaballoona oscar de la renta birthday dress

For my birthday suit this year, I wanted something insane.  AND I LIKES TO GET WHAT I WANTS.

Ruggy was informed mid-July that I didn't care what the venue was, I would be thrilled to eat a hog dog from a cart, so long as I was doing it in a simple yet extravagant girly frock. August's MSN allowance provided me the materials for my plans: Oscar de la Renta silk taffeta (all gone, sad face hey! it's back!), and magenta dotted organza (almost gone...and don’t be fooled by the picture, it’s magenta for sure!). But plans, as usual, changed once I stared the yardage in the face.

oonaballoona oscar de la renta birthday dress

And changed. And changed. I wanted a cap sleeve vintage silhouette with crinoline. I wanted a mermaid ball gown. At one point I thought I would make an actual three piece suit.  But after seeing the Charles James exhibit, curves called... although I was ready to start a good old fashioned slice 'n dice drape session, something made me stop. August is the craziest month in all of Kalkatroona (like 86 birthdays, for real, ancestors got tres happy round Thanksgiving), and my brain was too full!  I wanted to be told what to do.

oonaballoona oscar de la renta birthday dress

Cynthia Rowley 1802 gave me my manifetso for the skirt, and Simplicity 0320 was the plank I walked for the bodice. A TNT pattern, it was heavily modified to get the look I wanted at the shoulder and back, which was also inspired by a giant of fashion, Christian Dior. 

oonaballoona oscar de la renta birthday dress

Christian on top and Charles on the bottom! SMELL ME.

oonaballoona oscar de la renta birthday dress

oonaballoona oscar de la renta birthday dress

oonaballoona oscar de la renta birthday dress

But don't inhale too deeply. Yikes, some of those could almost say ham handedly modified.  I definitely manhandled the bodice!  Did I muslin? No. I used the “stitch, rip, repeat” method. You can see the silk was getting a little vexed with this decision on the front bodice. And either the dress is too tight in the back, or the just-off-the-shoulder-look meant I needed boning...

oonaballoona oscar de la renta birthday dress

It fits comfortably enough for an evening of pizza though, so I’m not complaining!

Yes, the venue was birthday pizza, in a magical back garden of a Greenwich Village joint, and I felt splendidly overdressed.  Ruggy, I soothed, I can always trim the magenta away if I want a less costume-y frock. 

But I literally cackle every time I look down at this combo, so I do believe they’ll be mates for some time.

oonaballoona oscar de la renta birthday dress

Have you ever heard taffeta move? Such a delicious rustle! It’s like a slightly hollered whisper, egging you on to shake and shimmy and sway…which we did, to some seriously stirring after-pizza blues.

No surprise, my guy treated me right. Mais, as a photographer, he is not so into the details, he’s a big picture kinda guy. But I do like his eye. Both of them, actually. So allow me to throw a few close ups into this picture heavy post, it is my birthday dress, after all...

This little bow is an extension of the shoulder hack-- fully lined and sussed out over a cocktail or two...

Three thousand inches of rolled, serged, topstitched edges, the topstitching done with a smile by my baller Pfaff, the serging done under threat of pain by the old Elna (which will only do wovens now). The dress is so insane, I didn't fret over the exposed serging. Having too much fun to fret.

This lining & invisible zip are actually neon coral pink in hue. My extremely old camera refuses to accept this fact.

oonaballoona oscar de la renta birthday dress

This one was a joy to make, and that’s exactly what I wanted for my birthday dress..FUN!  I find more and more that I truly only want to sew FUN things. And if wearing them out means going for pizza, hey, that only adds to the FUN.

Phew!  I can hear the sound of that taffetta right now, sweet music! What’s the last thing you sewed purely for fun?

Monday, August 18, 2014

oonapalooza winners!

Do you know how hard it was to choose from 70 oonapalooza makes? NOT HARD AT ALL! BECAUSE I SICCED MY FAMILY ON THE JUDGING, YO!

If that doesn't say brat, I don't know what does. And brat is synonymous with oonapalooza.

Furthering my spoiled ways, I asked some of my favorite people to supply some prizes! AND THEY SAID YES TOO!!! Do you think perhaps I should just ask whoever is behind the table at the next audition to never mind the actual booty shaking, just go ahead and hire me? And they'll say yes? It stands to reason, rule of three and all...

But for now let's focus on the six peeps that The Family found the most Kalkatroonaan. Let me say, I thought this would be a quick thing for them-- that their picks would just pop out, their eyes well trained to spot a technicolor relative in a room full of strangers, but no! To a person, they each spent several hours scouring blogs, instagram, flickr, and deliberating. They had the exact same problem I did: EVERYONE IS AWESOME. Thank you family. I owe you a great big pitcher of drinks.

Let's get on with it! The bombtastic Heather Lou of Closet Case Files has offered up her carnival ride of a pattern, the Bombshell swimsuit (really, it's just that fun to make). For her death defying posing on jungle gyms in eye searing print, the swimmie goes to...

Penny Librarian! Girl, that dress is TOO MUCH FUN!!! And too much is never enough.

Whoop! My gals at By Hand London donated four bookshelf worthy patterns (holy shiznet thank you gals!). For her tapalicous Katy & Laney Tap Shorts, the structural and chic Elisalex goes to...

Sew Stylist! I swear, I'd wear those shorts into the ground. ESPECIALLY WITH DEM SHOES.

One of my favorites of the BHL collection-- but let's face it, they're all up there in my book-- the Victoria Blazer, goes to...

Cari Homemaker! Again. Y'all. Really. I want this dress. All of my cocktail glasses want this dress.

For her maiden journey into maxi land (and not near her last, I believe she has half a closet full of full lengths now), the Anna (of which I have infinite versions) goes to...


And lastly in the By Hand London Bounty, the wiggly Charlotte skirt goes to...

The Quirky Peach! Oh please make it with the ruffle, my swirly friend!

And finally, I asked my friends at Mood Fabrics to join the prize party. I've grown so fond of so many people there, it feels like a party every time I walk in the store. Oh yeah, AND THE FABRIC.  With the most votes out of The Family deliberations, a fifty dollar gift card is on its merry way to...


I can't say enough how amazed I am by all of the vibrant, beautiful, out-of-the-comfort-zone creations that came out of this crazy scheme. And how much I learned about the way that I sew through what y'all made! My mind is literally blown. And I haven't had a drop today. Sewcialists, you merry band, and ringleaders Gillian and Lady Katza, I salute you.

I wish I could send each and every one of you somethin' somethin' (and my stressed out family feels the same. Again, thanks for doing the hard part, family).  For now, a virtual clink of my glass and a face splitting grin are what I can give. I hope you are all stitching something INSANE!