11.13.2017

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

A light drizzle falls, as I pat myself on the back for having had the foresight to take these pictures last Friday.

However, that self-satisfied feeling has simmered down a bit, as I realize I did not have the presence of mind to take notes on this, now almost one-year-old, coat. Let me dig into my noggin:

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

I know that I used a very simple, vintage, raglan sleeve coat pattern. I know that the pages were yellowed with time (unlike my freshly cleaned, megawatt chompers). 

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

I know that I was inspired by Jasika, and I know that I promised Sarah pics, because I said so on Instagram


I know that during the time of making this coat, I was also stitching a baker's dozen of holiday prizes, and by prizes I mean full on garmentsfour of them being jackets, for every one of my lady friends in attendance at a holiday dinner. I know this because once again, I snapped that ridiculously stressful endeavor on Instagram.

(Fair warning, lady friends: I'm not doing that again. THAT WAS A THREE RING CIRCUS OF CRAZY.)

I know that Instagram is a lifesaver for jogging one's memory, when one was insane with holiday prize making, and wasn't in one's right mind......because all this sleuthing made a lightbulb go off in the recesses of my brain, and I just recalled and dug out the vintage pattern! HUZZAH, INSTAGRAM!

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

It is, drum roll please, Simplicity 3449, a lovely little thing, which includes a "primer" with some simple tailoring instructions. I have no idea if I employed those instructions (see: three ring circus), but the coat is warm and heavy and sturdy! Instagram also confirms that this yardage is Alice & Olivia, from Mood...and a beautiful, soft, hairy fabric it is. The collar, sleeve & hem edges are bound in wool remnants. I definitely underlined it for added warmth & structure. I don't know with what, as it's hidden under a polytastic, purple, midweight slippery lining from Ye Olde Janky Store. 


What it doesn't have is a snap at the neck! I either ran out of sturdy brass snaps, or ran out of time, in the Circus Of Christmas 2016. Probably the latter. At the moment, she closes up with any number of vintage pins from my grandmothers' box of costume jewelry.
Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

Well, it's climbing back up to 57 later this week, so maybe I'll run out and see if the circus is around to provide a backdrop for some lighter fare. I can't promise it will be seasonally appropriate, but hey, what is anymore? (Side note: have you heard that our good efforts to close the hole in the ozone layer have maybe been working? And that our equally bad contributions to global warming also possibly have a hand in this shrinkage? This is a very strange equation, and my Instagram is of no help in this brand of mystery. Sewing scientists, your thoughts are sought.)

11.09.2017

Change of Seasons: Change of Wardrobe

Our closet is an anomaly in New York apartment living. (At least, *our* brand of New York apartment living, I'm sure GOOP has it different.) Defying reconfigured brownstone blueprints, it runs the length of one full wall, with double hanging rods, his & hers shelving, and an extra little walk-in area to boot! For real, I keep expecting to unearth some portal to another dimension every time I open the curtained doors. When we first found our Hell's Kitchen home, I was thrilled with the space, but did not know just how essential it would become, having only RTW threads to fill it with at the time.


Enter sewing, and each new addition of a handmade garment felt like the spoils of some fantastic, happy war! However, at present, the rate at which I fill our rods with handmade technicolor is beginning to push this magical wardrobe to its limits. Rob would go so far as to say WE ARE WELL PAST PUSHING. So lately, I've been manhandling my older, unworn items. If I'm not wearing it, it has got to go. Obviously, RTW was the first to walk the plank. I'm pretty much judge & jury on my own garments at this point. I can get super sentimental about a hand-me-down, a piece of vintage jewelry, a ticket stub, but apparently, if the tag says "oonaballoona" it's fair game for my seam ripper. And the change of seasons is when I really get serious...


Hey guess what. I do not wear this cape!! Have you met me? I mean, in person? Have you experienced the flailing of appendages that can occur at any moment, without warning? I might as well be Kermit the Frog when I see a bolt of fabric. I need my arms, man. So this cape is getting a few new holes here and there. That sounds saucy. It kind of is. I believe this sauciness will be ready before Old Man Winter really rolls in...


This maxi length floral rayon dress had an accident involving an encounter with the dryer, poor thing. That hot piece of machinery took a whopping 2 feet of length from her lower half, so she needs some reconstructive surgery. Maybe some prosthetics, in the form of fluttery sleeves. And a full lining, to make her ready for colder weather. Listen man, she's high maintenance, I don't know about her odds.


Oooooooh I bet you didn't see this one coming, but after wearing this uber comfortable faux wrap dress for New Year's Eve 2016, she languished in my closet untouched, diva that she is. She is currently sliced up the front, refashioned into a floor length duster--the only problem is, the reverse side of this ponte is not so attractive (I mean, it's plain white, but it's obviously the reverse side), so I have to do some thinking on how to solve that complication...hacking her off at the knees would give me enough fabric for a short self-lined jacket, but I love the drama of the length as-is. The patient is convalescing. Maybe she'll remain in convalescence, and make a wonderful lounging robe. Like I said, she's a diva.


Speaking of divas, get me, Miss Haughty, putting lots of words out there into the world, and getting lots of words back, and then not replying...I put a little thank you note in a certain post that garnered the thoughtfulness of 103 beautiful people, but I'll put it here as well: Thank you all so very much. I'm at a loss at how to respond to everyone, but if we run into each other in a bar, drinks are on me. (And apparently, we'll need them, especially if those of you in the Bar Fight Brigade are around. It will certainly be the most fashionable fisticuffs ever.)

10.31.2017

A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

GET A LOAD OF MY HALLOWEEN COSTUME. I mean, seriously, right?! WHO IS THAT?! 

I don't know who it is, but it is most certainly not the person usually stomping around these parts. This chick is so...so chic. So SOLID.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

 SO WRINKLY.

Maybe I had everyone else's fabulous, in-progress Halloween costumes in mind when the overwhelming urge to first choose, and then sew this neutral cotton hit me. Maybe I was bedazzled by the parade of beautiful Kalles out there in the blogisphere. Maybe, specificallyLauren & Sallie's denim hued versions in linen & chambray made that trendy little edison lightbulb go off for me: I had the power to make the costume for the ever-present role of "Woman; Chic; Yet Not Overdressed For This Audition."


AND MAYBE I ALREADY PLAYED THIS ROLE A COUPLA TIMES BUT HAVEN'T ACTUALLY FINISHED THE DRESS YET.
All of those Maybes are true; especially the last one. As I pinned it for button placement, I realized I preferred the clean look of it. However, I didn't think ahead, and went for the exposed button placket, so...I'm sewn in here. Those wrinkles in the front are from mine own hands! (Yeah. I personally steam myself when auditioning, but apparently y'all don't rate.) In my October post over at Mood Sewing Network, I asked for a better option than stitching myself closed whenever I have to lawyer up, and got some wonderful suggestions: a strip of buttonholes, a small hidden zip near the neckline (essentially making it a pullover), and invisible snaps-- G of Lin3arossa suggested adding a single exposed snap at the neck. Which sounds super chic!


I REALLY TRULY DO NOT KNOW WHO THIS WOMAN IS ALL UP IN THIS JOINT THROWING AROUND WORDS LIKE SUPER CHIC.

But I can tell you who I hope I am; from ogling my peers in casting offices...a well heeled attorney on insert popular edgy tv show here. For real, this neckline & shape is everywhere in NY! Specifically, calls for lawyers. 

I changed up the curve at the side seam to conceal the leg a bit more--though too much leg is really not a problem; TV lawyers have different rules, dontcha know. I once played a high powered attorney in an insanely fun David E Kelley show, whose closet consisted of candy colored, teeny jersey swingy dresses that barely concealed my rear. The show never made it to the light of day, sadly. The fantastic costume designer and I had a BALL trying on dozens of outfits and picking our favorites--teeny dress was tops on the list. Ah, wardrobe! My Disneyland.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

Sewing had firmly set up shop in my heart by the time I shot that pilot, and I devoured that rack of beautifully curated clothing like a carnivore digs into a porterhouse. If this had been on offer, I would have exclaimed over the shoulder cuffs. They slope so beautifully. They make me want to rip back into this silky artsy McCalls jammie and redo those wings...

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

But I'll save that for another day, as right now I want to sew about 80 other things. Happy Halloween, hope you're in costume today! (But you know me. I hope you're in costume EVERY day.)