3.07.2018

Four Faux Fronts.

oonaballoona | Four Faux Fronts.

It's been a minute since I posted a What Was I Drinking, but it's certainly not because it's not happening. I'm just not documenting it. Last weekend, however, I had the pleasure of cutting out a center front bodice for a strapless halter dress FOUR TIMES without a satisfying result. I snapped a pic, I threw my arms up in the air, I stomped away before I did more damage. 

Three were cut on the bias to create a chevron effect, one was cut on the fold, all are going in the "figure it out" pile. 


It's a Dutch wax print, actually labeled as a "Kente print" on the selvedge. This printed fabric is very different from a true woven Kente cloth, which hails from Ghana, and is made of interwoven cloth strips (here's a very cool short video on how Kente cloth is woven). It was originally reserved for Asante/Ashanti royalty only. And damn if I didn't end up making some sort of plaid tartan out of it. Not that I'm not down with plaid. Or tartan. Or mixing up cultures and races. Peanut butter and chocolate. Sauvignon and steak. Whathaveyou. I'm down with it. Obviously. 

BUT UGH WITH THOSE CENTER FRONT PANELS. I think what's really tripping me up is that forest green, a color I've never really gone for. So I must have been drinking something super strong when I put this jammie in my cart, because forest green is ALL OVER this stuff.

I'm probably going to cut my losses (a phrase borne out of sewing if I ever heard one, but probably having origins in accounting) and make a voluminous maxi skirt out of it, to keep the green out of my immediate sight. If I can work out how to keep just that orange up near my head, I'll go maxi dress. But that's another great thing about wax print, with all that yardage at hand, you have some room to play...

And play I will, as today looks to be all weather and not much else. I'm thinking of building a blanket fort out of all the ankara I've got. It would be like Planet Color. Where it is perpetually summer. 

Have you experienced a true Kente cloth? I'd love to fondle the real thing someday!

2.07.2018

Ten Years In Fabric: A Decade of Sewing!

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Ten Years In Fabric: A Decade of Sewing!

Well HELL'S BELLS! (I've been listening to a lot of AC/DC). It's my ten year blogging anniversary today! TEN YEARS! A decade of oversaturated photos accompanied by occasionally coherent yammering, and I have nothing prepared for this moment! ONLY MY CAPS LOCK BUTTON, BOLDFACE, AND MULTIPLE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!

When I started this space, it was for my parents. Social media hadn't hit, and plastering your face all over the world wide web was still questionable. But a cross-country move made carving out a little visual corner of the internet a no-brainer, just to keep in touch with something a little more than a phone call, you know? It's grown into much more than I ever thought it would. I feel I ought to do something to mark the occasion, and I will...I just need a minute to figure out what that is. Because, y'all, I been BUSY. Like my mom says, when I'm radio silent on the blog, she knows I'm busy. (Cuz they still read my blog. I love my parents.)

For now, I thought it would be fun to whizz through my virtual closet and pick a sewn item for each year I've blogged. Up above, you've got from top left corner: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008. Everything in yonder collage still exists in my closet (save for the leather belt, which was for my Etsy adventures in 2009). The nice thing is...it got harder to pick a favorite as I got further along in my sewing escapades! I think that means I know what I like now. And I like what I sew.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Ten Years In Fabric: A Decade of Sewing!

As for 2018, I haven't made my favorite thing yet, but the wax print on my dress form is driving me happily bananas. Although I'd sewn with it before, 2017 was the year I fell fully in love with this wonderful stuff. In fact, 2017's pick was the hardest...so much Ankara! HEY. HEY!!! I know what I want to do for my celebratory gesture! 

Okay but I'm not telling you yet. I gotta figure some shizz out. Soon! Until then...thanks for hanging out with me, beautiful people. Here's to future cocktails, capers, and above all, color!

1.04.2018

Simplicity, With a Little Complication.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

When we venture South for the holidays, my suitcase is stuffed with 20% everyday, 80% special occasion. Not that I don't dress for every day as if it were a special occasion! I do. I really do. But, this is the kind of bling that even I can't justify donning for what is, mainly, at-home family gatherings. 

Bling that has a slit up to here...

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

And that likes to get frisky...

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

With any little hint of a breeze...

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

It just doesn't say "holiday brunch and Scrabble," you know?

Still, I pack the things I can wear for all of 15 minutes, in anticipation of documentation in more forgiving temperatures. It was 64 degrees when Rob & I ran joyously outdoors to snap this dress, and I am 100% basted into it.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

YES YES Y'ALL, I had my first zipper fail of my sewing career!! Hair and makeup ready, jewelry set, I went to zip her up, and the coil came FULLY away from the tape, right in the middle of the seam. It wasn't too tight, it was too old. At the time, the only zip I had of an appropriate color was my "basting zipper," a plastic job that had been used and reused so many times, I've lost count. 

It could've been worse, it could've happened during its maiden voyage, while I was singing in it 😳

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

When I trudged out of the guest bedroom in defeat, holding the wounded brocade in my clenched fists, Rob wouldn't take no for an answer. "You have a needle and thread? You have no problem."

I MEAN REALLY. He knows exactly how to goad me into competition with myself.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | a sewing blog

But I think I'll be inserting a nice, new, unused zip, now that we're home. 

Bodice: Mimi G for Simplicity 1115 (great!!) which I joined at the waist to...
Skirt: Simplicity 1099 (not great!! Why do I keep using this pattern?! I've made the skirt here and top here, and the draft on both cause gnashing of teeth at some point in construction. On the skirt, I always have to change the weird pleats on the front at the last minute.)
Fabric: Brocade from Janky Store in NY's garment district, lined with silk CDC from Chic Fabrics.
Zipper: In a trash bin somewhere in Arkansas.

Happy New Year, peeps! May you have all the closure you require... and needle & thread, should it fail you.