pleased ta meetcha

Well howdy, and hiya, and OH HAI.

I'm oonaballoona from kalkatroona, oona for short, also known by my civilian handle Marcy Harriell, Marce for short. But I'll answer with wild abandon to any name you call me, especially if you're calling me to cocktails.

I started up this corner of the web as a way to keep our family and friends close during a cross country move to the West Coast. Before the great trek, a dear friend told me: if you're gong to stay sane out there, get a hobby, and get one fast.

Though I rarely do as I'm told, I had been itching to learn how to stitch.  Conveniently, just before Ruggy and I went all lalaland, parental balloonas shocked me with a sewing machine, Mama Ruggy surprised me with a dress form-- even auntie got into the game with pinking shears. 

We hauled three cats, surprise sewing booty, and an SUV full of belongings to the other coast, and I dove into my first pattern: New Look 6557.  I had picked out some horribly synthetic, astonishingly flammable stuff: turquoise!red!orange!yellow!PHOENIX! motif on...mud brown. I didn't bother reading much about how to do it (reading instructions makes me feel I am being Told What To Do; see above), I just placed the pattern pieces where ever they'd fit and got cutting.

On the bed.  On top of a fluffy comforter.  You can imagine how that worked out.

However, sewists are a supportive bunch--we know it takes time to stitch something, and more than that, it takes more time to get it right.  So, with a community of like minded friends, I hammered on, learned the rules, learned which rules to forget, learned there is always more to learn.  

My obsession survived the move back to NY, and I'm still learning every day.  When I'm not acting (the civilian side of oonaballoona) I'm sewing in four square feet of space, right next to my very best friend. You can find us here most nights after five-ish, having a Ruggy crafted libation, probably laughing.

I hope you'll join us.


  1. Hi Oona
    Glad to have found your postings .My name is Lou and live in the UK.I am hoping to learn a new skill of sewing.I have beautiful material big space to work in, a pattern. Finding it hard just to get going.Not sure what Im doing...dont want to spoil the fabric and I have no one to ask.Be grateful of some tips for a beginner.
    Kind Regards L

    1. Hi Lou! I'd start with a muslin (toile) - get some cheap fabric of a similar type as your fashion fabric and use that to make mistakes/learn fixes. Then the fashion fabric version will be so much easier and better fit. Good luck!
      KeriCan in CA, USA

    2. great suggestion kerican!

      the first pattern i ever cut, i went straight for my fashion fabric, and it did *not* turn out. i'm not as big a fan of muslin, i find that it never really mimics the fabric you're actually going to use. if you can't find cheapo fashion fabric to practice on, old vintage bedsheets have a lovely soft drape! and above all don't beat yourself up in the process. have fun at the stage you're in, each garment takes you to the next level!

  2. Lucienne- great question and KeriCan and Oona thanks for the replies. I am a newbie as well :)

  3. Hello sew sister I am so glad I found your blog on the Burda style site during the fan favorite top 50 sewing blog contest to which I was also nominated. You seem to have such a great spirit that comes through on your bog not to mention your beauty! You are simply amazing and I love your work!!

  4. Just found your blog!! Merry Christmas to me!! thank you! Love your sense of style!! and FUN!


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!