Tuesday, April 15, 2014

so sexy, except when it's not.

last week, both of my machines broke.  called it quits.  my ricky was serious, and that hateful elna was semi-serious (she will now move at a snail's pace under fear of decapitation.  mine, not hers).  many sewists came to my aid, there was a trip to the amazing sew-right in queens (with an equally amazing sale going on RIGHT NOW, get thee to the magnificent harvey & co if you've got the urge)... but i remain machineless. more on alllllla that, including that terrific trip, later this week.  but for now, let's talk about sewing sexy, shall we?  OH YES LET'S DO.

this ensemble is the one that broke my ricky.  maybe it was too sexy for him.  or maybe, like most men, he does not find crop tops and baggy pants sexy and called it quits in protest?  ah, but ricky!  ALL WOMEN LOVE A LOOSE CROP TOP AND BAGGY PANTS!

especially when it makes them feel like MC hammer.


this outfit was totally inspired, ripped off, stolen, from one of the co-hosts of this bootylicious blog party, nettie. completely.  not even gonna sugarcoat that.  the pants are simplicity 2477, and the top is the (free!) polly top from my girlfriends at by hand london.  

are you beginning to think i sew exclusively BHL?  you would be beginning to think right.  i just can't get enough of them.  i can do whatever the hell i want to their patterns, and they just.  don't.  crack.  for my polly, i did away with the front insert and made the side seamline on the front a little less angled to compensate for my hackery... instant swingy crop top.

but you know i love my blue envelopes too.  cuffs!  pleats!  totally disguised by the crazyface rayon print from chic fabrics!  these guys are way too much fun to be paired with anything other than yellow suede wedge sneakers, dontcha think?

this was a quick make, meant to be carefree and casual, which in my book is super sexy.  as it was my first go at a true fly-front zip (i did okay, i'd give myself, oh, a b+) i sort of treated it like a wearable muslin.  so, yeah, i wasn't as obsessive as i usually am about pattern placement.  what could go wrong? 

oh here, would you like to see all of the angles?

from left to right:

side view: pretty good! 

front view: that stem across the fly, unexpected bonus!

back view:


still happy with it though.  no really, i'm not beating myself up about it or anything like that.  that's a different kind of sexy.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

come sew with me!


wouldja like to sew up a li'l sexy chic slouchy dolman top with me?  wouldja like to have a drink after and gab with sewists and swap fabrics and patterns and make general merriment? WELL COME ON THEN!

jennifer of workroom social is hosting a special manhattan pop up event, this may 2-4, and saturday boasts not one, not two, but three classes dedicated to sewing knits.

knits get a bad rap.  i fell in love with jersey before anyone could tell me "oooh that's hard to work with."  it's super NOT!  this wonder material and i have had affairs on straight stitch machines (yes it can be done) on zig zags (where it can be done even more so) and of course with ye olde serger (where it can be done once you wanna drop a dime or two).  all three machines can produce great results, so long as you play with jersey the way it wants to be played with.  then it'll take all the fondling you can give.

in this two hour class, we'll be working with a zig zag, and the pop up studio will be filled with all the tools and equipment we'll need. you'll be supplied with oak tag paper patterns and a class guide chock full of resources and fabric suggestions.  the class is small: 6 seats, plenty of attention, and the end of class will find you in a brand new me-made ultra comfy super chic top, which of course you should wear to the party directly afterwards.

oh, did i mention, jennifer set my class up riiiiight before the cocktail party?  good thinkin, gal.  GOOD THINKIN.

here's the full line up:


again, that's saturday may 3rd.  together we shall sew up a warm weather wardrobe and positively FORCE spring to come out of hiding.  this vixen is in need of some coaxing.  come sweet talk that lass with me!

Monday, April 7, 2014

technicolor noise

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona by hand london

there's a guy on a neon green crotch rocket who revs up directly in front of our home about three times a day.  i think he's delivering soup.

 oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona by hand london

in the middle of shooting a garment (my betty drunken dress, to be exact), i teetered up the stairs behind me and appeared out of 1952 (with a dash of 2012) to have a conversation with the lad.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona by hand london

hellooooo, hellooo there i purred, and when the purr wasn't sufficient over the roar of the idling engine, i put a little betty in it.  

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona by hand london

it must have been an interesting sight, two people who probably had around a dozen races between them, one straddling 90s metal & chrome, one in 50s cotton & curls, one coaxing a friendly conversation out of the cautious other.  when you ride around on a rocket that needs ten minutes of idling to produce an inch of movement, you're gonna get some shade.  i know, i've seen my neighbors giving him the business these past months.  i was ready to throw my hat in that rude ring.  but ruggy thought my brand of sugar could be a better answer.

i squinted my eyes.  i am not the droid you're looking for.  but the day was warmish, and the outfit was ladylike. 

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona by hand london

he promised to be quieter.  he was sorry he'd been so loud.  as i turned to go, i introduced myself.  still slightly baffled by the friendly tone, he shook my hand.  i'm ed, he said.  nice to meet you ed.  

no.  ahmed. 


in fact, there he is right now!  he's trying his best to keep it to a soft rumble.  ruggy tells me he is "choking the bike," and in his expert opinion, he truly is doing it as quietly as he can.  A for effort, but IT'S NOT THAT QUIET.  it's about at the level of chainsaw in resting mode.  let's see if he's done by the time i hit publish.  this is minute one.

i toddled back down the stairs and into this outfit, gotta take advantage of a warm day, no?  OH YEAH THE OUTFIT!  wanna know about it?  you may recognize the top from yesteryear: she is the by hand london elisalex dress with circle skirt.  i've been wanting to try the peplum-with-fitted-skirt trend since it started, so i hacked off the half circle skirt at the middle, and paired it with BHL's charlotte skirt! YEEEEAH INSTANT SEPARATES WIN!  the charlotte skirt pattern is a lovely prize from the BHL ladies for project sewn,  just made it up two sizes smaller to account for making it up in a stretch jersey. this prize makes my collection of BHL patterns currently complete. (now i just need BHL fabric to go with it.  they are sooo close y'all!)  

(hey! three minutes, aaand he's off!)

(but he's now doing laps around the block.)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

your love is like bad medicine

i've hyperventilated over this sequined silk more times than i care to count.  it was purchased, under extreme pressure, whilst romping round the garment district with compadres in couture.  throughout the course of the sunniest, loveliest day of last week, i would occasionally remember what was in my plastic bag (it seems a crime that something this exquisite would be placed in a plastic bag, but i don't bring tote bags to meetups, in the hopes that I WON'T BUY ANYTHING TO PUT IN THEM. this theory was discussed at length and disproved by the sheer amount of plastic bags in our mitts).

our gorgeous guest of honor told me i needed to chillax on the buyer's remorse.  she was right.  after all, she'd dropped the same amount of dough in chic fabrics, and her faaaaancy zippers coulda bought the sequined sexiness alone.  however, i was unable to swallow the pill at the time.  

returning home, after a cocktail or two, i came upon karen's beautiful post on spelling out sewing to civilians.  i was the one who needed justification, and karen was happy to enable provide it.  as the best of sewist friends do. this fabric was totally worth it!  REGRET NOT THE EMPTINESS OF YOUR WALLET!  it will be a material reminder of a very full, very awesome day spent with friends.  it won't be drunk away, or eaten and remembered wistfully.  i'll be able to put it on and smile, every time.  

THAT IS IF I DON'T RUINABALLOONA IT.  (thanks again ruggy for coining that gem.)  after counting my dollars, i went with one and a quarter yards, intending a bomber jacket.  some pale denim stretch had already been cut, and the peer pressure of how delicious a sequined bomber would look paired with 70s style high waist jeans sealed the deal.  

and now it's sunday, it's sunday funday, and the day is full of yardage and blue skies and everything one needs to rejuvenate and reset and awake on monday morning happy.  yeah.  worth it.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

in a draper world, it's always cocktail hour

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

happy april fool's day!  i'll tell you right now, i'm not good at this day.  i fall for everything, and my jokes are stupendously lame.  i give to you my april fool's: i made a mad men dress for julia bobbin's mad men challenge!

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona


i told you. lame.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

actually, she was made for miss bobbin's challenge, circa 2012, as you can probably tell by the style. a self drafted pattern in the form of betty draper.  she was just never photographed.  (obviously not current day bets.  i'm not wholly sure what current day bets looks like, as i have some major mad men catching up to do.)  

once upon a time, 6 inches of a dotty white cotton lived 'round that hem, and though it made the look properly betty, it annoyed the bejesus out of me.  after a swift hacking on a gin fueled night, it became one of my very favorite dresses.

alcohol infused impetuousness.  how very betty of me!

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

i applaud oona-past for her choice of stretch mesh bias binding 'round the neck and arms...

but i cry foul on the "invisible" zip insertion and the complete absence of hook and eye.  SERIOUSLY OONA HOW ARE YOU EVEN SMILING IN THIS SHOT.  ARE YOU TRYING TO DISTRACT THE JUDGES.

however, sewing-poolside-oona did a pretty good job on the guts.  blindstitched bias tape and faced hem, enclosed edges, teeny gathers... let's face it, the poor lass was equipped with only a straight stitch. she didn't even have the will to clip a stray thread.  THAT'S A TWO YEAR OLD DANGLING CHAD, YO.  i decided, that very summer, that no one should ever have to sew each seam three times, Every.  Time.  yes, that madness is sometimes necessary, but give this heathen a serged edge once in a while.
oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

has betty's hemline walked north yet?  is she embracing the trend?  i'd rather like her to be collapsed on the floor of her walk-in closet, in a mountain of her floral frocks, several half empty choice bottles within arm's reach, refusing to accept the micro mini, swearing like a banshee.

and doing it all like a lady, of course.