on why i am a (very bad) ass

would you look at this loot of loveliness from the luscious lexi (who just happens to have a fantastic blog you should be reading.  can't you tell from the taste level of this bounty?  go on, click that link).  i won her giveaway for six sanjou eiffel tower thread cards (that's right, i gave you another link, CLICK IT) and she felt the package was too small.   so she threw all of this in.

do you see that belt buckle?  those buttons that i'm loathe to separate from their perfect card? le bombshell vixen avec personalized music mix to swoon for?


this is why i suck at giveaways.  this is why my pay it forwards are still quite backwards.  i WANT to fill up packages like this.  i just don't have the enthusiasm required for trekking around the city and finding the fantastic goodies to put into the package.  and i wouldn't call myself the crafty type anymore, so it's not like i can fill a box with wee handmade gifties.  i'm more into making full out party dresses that hang sadly in my closet, waiting for their dance card to fill up.

for debi's sew grateful challenge, i had planned on finishing up those pay it forwards, sending out boxes of cheer, being the bad ass i so frequently insist i am.  so i'm making a public list right here of what i owe.  to guilt me into it. will it work?  it took me eight months to write the promised double agent dress tutorial, you tell me.

one nursing cover
two pattern tracings
three swappy prizes 
four shots of vodka (that's for me) 
five pay it for-waaaaaaaaarrrrdsssssss!



and the winner is....

you know what i want? a little widget that looks like a lotto machine, you know, the kind with the tennis balls and the air, i guess it would be a gif, but i could be mixing that up with peanut butter.

i tallied up the entries and threw them in the random generator:

then counted down to....  coppertop doll!!!  who said, "WANT! i liked shabby apple. and i follow you, obvi."

you guys.  check out her icon.  she's a redhead.  this is gonna be a KNOCKOUT on her.  

thank you all for playing along, i loved reading all your comments and meeting new peeps.  i hope to bring you more goodies in the future (lexi, i'll work on that plane ticket.  i already haz the tequila.)  miss coppertop, please email me your info and i'll get you in touch with the lovely dress ladies at shabby apple, who i thank for letting me be santa.   being santa is FUN.

happy monday!



for miss fry's stupendous sew grateful challenge, i've chosen a pattern snagged during our NY meetup extravaganza.  i couldn't think of a better fit for this challenge than using something from that big old christmas present of a day.  the fantastic pattern swap portion happened per lisette's suggestion, and to boot, this pattern is from the glowing lisette's very own heeooooouge giveaway stash.  it's simplicity 8699, yonder auburn maned lady.  

(most of the swap passed me by. as we were starting, i ran into an old friend, and we gabbed through the whole shebang.  actually, we talked sewing.  he's a sound engineer, and a big lovely cheerleader for me.  he always makes me feel like i really know how to sew, because he takes such an interest in what i make.  but i digress.)

as Head Cheerleader made me feel like a million bucks, swapping went merrily on.  ah well, i thought, i didn't bring any goodies, so i shouldn't take any anyway.  but no.  SOMEONE LEFT THIS GEM UP FOR GRABS.  for the sheer brilliance of prints on the envelope model alone, i was in.  lisette was so happy i saw all aspects of its glory. this envelope is so pretty, i may frame it.

oh my god i'm so going to frame it.

the fabric is also from the meetup day, another example of me setting a rule for myself then immediately and brattily breaking it.  as the only host living in the meetup city, with regular access to the stores, i'd decided i would keep my bags empty.  i filled it with this at the very first stop.

man that day was a blast.  and now the pounds of fabric purchased seem annointed in magical waters.  it must be residual good juju of all those lovely ladies, i haven't had a fail with a single piece of it.  well, yes, there's the purple box, but that just needs some more seams.  and of course this poof of a skirt might be a fail in someone else's eyes.

there's truly no accounting for taste.

could anything go better with this asian influenced print than my heart enclosed elvis t shirt? methinks no.

to my delight, i found i had the perfect coordinating zip in my stash.  fat purple plastic.  sewing life is so much easier when you're not worried about matching the zip.

attaching the leather waistband was pretty easy, though the insane amounts of gathered fabric make the seam a little thick.  i left my universal 12 needle in and let kenny have at, stitching leather side down with a long stitch. (stitching leather is easy, yo, read more about it here if you're game.)  it's like wearing a belt without the added step of choosing a belt-- a process that can prove time consuming and room wrecking for me, as belts fly everywhere in an ever down-to-the-wire attempt to get out the door on time.

i think you can see it's a pretty simple pattern, but i loved using it, especially since it reminded me of the day and all beautiful peeps involved.  plus, once you've been sewing awhile it's nice to go back to rectangles and once piece waistbands and realize how much easier that rocket science is now.  do you have simple patterns you return to and marvel at your own prowess?  if you don't, get you some.  marveling at your own prowess is good for you.

debi, i marvel at YOU, you lovely huge hearted vintage slip of a whiskey drinkin gal!  please make it an annual event.  next year, i'll be prepared with tutorials and giveaways of my own to spread the sew grateful spirit. (ooh! hello segueway! this year you still have time to enter my shabby apple giveaway, which ends basically when i wake up monday morning and throw everybody's chances into one of them random generator jobs. get your dress yo!)


facial relation

when i read the cries for muppet pinup in the last post, i did many little dances, knowing the column was already saved and waiting to go live.  i will do my OCD thing shortly and respond to Each And Every Comment from the ODI wrapup, but right now i'm too proud of these pictures not to have them on my blog.  and since i am a brat i get what i want.  they're over at the sew weekly as well, avec story, but i think i'm going to start putting those installments up here too, with a different story and different pictures.  

since i am still on a sugar high from two straight days of cordon bleu cooking, coherency is going to be an issue, so please forgive the rocky start.

this is a far cry from the headless pictures i'd post when i first started le blog.  i never thought i'd throw my face on here, much less 70% of my body fabric-less. 

ruggy:  those pictures are great, babe!  did you photoshop them?

i think y'all know the answer to that question.  i think you also know how foolhardy the man was to ask that question.

i actually used picnik (the free version) and a whole lot of iphoto tricks to create the pinup look.  photoshop would have been my first choice, but apple's OS X is being a pain is the ass and not playing with older versions. get with the program, apple.

for those of you who haven't read the original post, the challenge: do a pin up girl as a muppet. thrown down by mena trott.  i chose animal, with a second or two of thought given to ralph the piano playing dog.  musical muppets seem to be my favorite.  

speaking of music, we had the great good fortune to hear ethan iverson of the bad plus play with a new trio this thanksgiving eve, do the math.  BEST THANKSGIVING EVE EVER.  tiny little jazz club, appropriately named smalls, and my favorite in the city, with mismatched chairs, blissed out bartenders, and mirrors hanging everywhere.  at one point in the set, ethan lightly touched the keys in simple, soft, but completely otherworldly combinations, corcoran drew a long bow across his bass, and that was it.  a slow collective intake of breath made the club sound like a yoga practice as everyone relaxed into a gorgeous blanket of sound.  it was like walking in a forest where you knew you were about to stroll headfirst into your true love.

que waxing.  allow me to try to wrap this post up:  at the end of the set, we walked over to shake hands and say thank you as always-- at this point we are obvious and recognizable groupies and are greeted near the territory of friends, which always makes me want to fall off my chair-- when ethan said, "oh hey, i know you.  you're oonaballoona.  you're all about fashion.  i've got you figured out."

for that moment alone, face on the blog was a good call.  

(ps: you still have three days to win a small package of your own... get le shabby apple dress, go throw your hat in the ring!)


so far...

permit me to be wistful for a moment, won't you?  i haz my suitably tranquil and reflective gaze on.

i've been enjoying debi's stroll down memory lane so much, i thought i'd look back on my oona does it! feature over at le sew weekly.  here is all the shite i've made so far.  i'm sorry, shite is not wistful enough.  creations.  

out of 21 creations, 10 have been worn in public,  6 are waiting for the right opportunity/season,  3 are on probation, and 5 have been scrapped completely (that holey black job in the fourth row being high on the THIS BLOWS SET FIRE TO THIS NOW list.  there, i've gone and lost my tranquility again.  damn black.)  

that math doesn't add up.  could be the irish coffee.

if you don't know about this feature (and you might not, i usually just post a shout out that it's up), i make something based on a challenge throw down by peeps in the blogoshpere.  some of them have included snakeskin, peacock feathers, carny rides, and 6 foot long zippers. after almost six months of ODI, i have to say my favorite part of this venture is getting a challenge from a blogger, whether it's one i know, always wanted to meet, or brand new to. while i'm hacking away on a piece i'll think about their style, their sense of humor, the town they live in, their favorite drink... it's like i'm sewing with an invisible friend.  

that sounds sad.  not in a boo hoo way, more in a "bless your heart" way.  more in a "high school loser" way.  a category i was firmly ensconced in: very VERY busy but with little to no social life.  don't get me wrong, i loved it.  i rocked the shit out of high school.  but it's nice to grow up and have friends, tangible and virtual both.  

so, on debi's thanksgiving week of sew grateful, i'd like to say thank you to to mena for thinking it up, and thank you to everyone who's challenged me so far. thanks, invisible friends.  i look forward to sewing with you today.


hey thanks karen that was GREAT.

miss didyoumakethat asked if anyone has had any sewing stress related dreams.  and then listed all the other normal stress related dreams she's had. of which i had had none. since i like to win in EVERYTHING, my brain decided to put me and ruggy in a rental car all night long while monstrous universe sized tidal waves engulfed mountain passes, valleys, living rooms, you know, wherever we happened to be on our wild trip. and each time i'd see the wave coming i'd know, ALL OVER AGAIN, with abject horror, in a moment we would not be able to breathe.  eventually america was the only joint left above water (perhaps having something to do with my u.s. specific shabby apple giveaway?  yeah, i threw that in there.  don't hate the playa.  hate the game).  but we knew the waters were coming, because, you know, it was the end of the world.  and oh did i mention pentatonix's rendition of "video killed the radio star" was screaming through my head all the while?

they are jaw droppingly talented.  we're catching up.  only on episode 5.  don't tell me what happens, or i will come to your house and hide under your bed and give you nightmares (karen's already on the list. even though she likes my ass.  juliet liked it first though.  hey, thanks for the ass love y'all!  my eyes might be sleepy, but my booty feels fantastic.)



(ETA 2015: Oh, past oona. You're so cute, with your complete disregard for Capitalization, and your completely incomprehensible tutorial. I can't even understand this! I'm leaving it up for entertainment value, but do follow this one at your own risk. Basically this dress is two long jersey rectangles with armholes. And now, back to the actual post.)

that's right, bitches.

about 3 yards of four way stretch jersey, 60 width (you can get away with 2 way if you're careful)
polyester thread
ball point needle & pins
tissue paper
ruler & measuring tape
some good tequila 

measure: (my measurements in parenthesis for example)
armhole, just loop your tape loosely from top shoulder, under arm and back to top shoulder  (16)
waist  (28)
bust at widest point  (34)
hip at widest point  (38)
dress length:  from lower point of underarm to wherever.  knee.  ankle.  thigh (slut).  (28)

A: armhole divided by 2 = __    (8)
B: waist measurement divided by 4 = __    (7)
C: bust measurement divided by 4 = __    (8.5)
D: hip measurement divided by 4 = __    (9.5)
E: length stays the same = __    (28)

that's a lot of math for me.  at this point, i suggest you get your tequila out and have a good swig. DON'T SHOOT IT, GODSAKES THAT'S QUALITY TEQUILA.  done sipping?  let's make the pattern pieces.

using your new figures, make your top and bottom pattern pieces:

TOP: one rectangle, on the fold, measuring E by B  (28 x 7)
BOTTOM: one rectangle, on the fold, measuring E by D  (28 x 9.5)

these are SO not to scale.  i drew them about forty times and finally gave up.

now make your BUST piece:  draw a straight line equaling A (for me, 8 inches long).  this is your center fold.  now draw a line equaling D for the bottom edge, and a line for the upper edge equaling B.  at the midpoint of A, measure across equaling C.  it should look like this:

now connect those dots by drawing in a nice little curve on the open edge.  this is where your arm will go.   

you now have all three of your pattern pieces!

add your seam allowance all along the edges of all pattern pieces, except on the fold.  unless of course you're a hoochie mama and you want it tight, then forget the extra room.  you may also want to make it in hot pink spandex.  or dizzying stripes.  no judgement here.

you'll need to cut each piece out, on the fold, twice.  

sew bottom edge of BUST piece to upper edge of BOTTOM piece.  sew upper edge of BUST piece to lower edge of TOP piece.  it will look like this:

you now have one half of the dress.  do the same for the remaining pieces.  join front and back at side seams, matching bust piece seams, remembering to keep that nice little curve you created for your armhole open on the BUST piece.  duh, who would sew it all the way up without armholes.

now dance around in front of the mirror while you shimmy in and out of its myriad looks.  try it upside down to start off with.  at this point, you should have had enough tequila to come up with some interesting combos...

some other thoughts:  

don't have a serger?  you should be able to zigzag the seam with great results.  make sure your seam allowance is wide enough so that the zig zag is at least 1/4 of an inch away from the seam edge.  this will help keep it from bubbling.  don't have a zig zag setting? stretch your jersey at both ends while sewing with a looooong stitch.  but really, straight stitch sally, get a zig zag.

if you cut carefully, you can leave your edges raw, as stretch jersey doesn't fray-- just look at anything made by american apparel.    

always use the right machine needle!  ball point, jersey, or, in trampy spandex land, stretch.  and 100% poly thread is your friend.  your very good curve loving friend.

my biggest difference in measurement is ten inches.  i have no idea if this will work with a wider differential. again, get your tequila out, and try it.  the worst that could happen is you'll end up with a cool cowl scarf and a nice buzz.

lemme know if you do it, and above all, please tell me what you chose to imbibe whilst doing.  priorities.

(ps: feeling too lazy to sew?  slacker.  enter my shabby apple giveaway to win a candy cane dress! now closed)

candy cane cutie: a present for you *CLOSED!*

want a dress?  

shabby apple, online candy store of women's dresses, asked me to pick a wee treat from their cruise-slash-holiday-getaway line to giveaway to YOU!  (that is, you living in north america EDIT: you living in the US of A.  sorry canada and world.  hopefully shabby apple will rule the international waters soon.)  i'm so not into cruises.  something abut falling into water and not being able to breathe.  but i do like me some holidays.  so i chose the bacciami dress because it looks like a candy cane.

mmmmm candy canes.

i'd wear this with green suede pumps and call it a christmas party.

to enter, comment on this post, and holler at me that you've done these things:

1) "like" shabby apple on their facebook fan page
2)  for a second chance, follow me, or let me know how you follow me if you already do. 

you must complete numero uno to enter!  following me is optional, but gets you a second entry.  and it makes me feel popular.

seeing as how i still owe five pay it forwards and one tutorial, i'm psyched to host a giveaway where it's on someone else to cough it up.  really, i do love to give things.  i just have trouble with the minutia of it.  i'm fairly certain shabby apple will be more timely than me.  giveaway will close november 28, which coincides nicely with debi's sew grateful challenge (more on that, and how it will save my slacking ass later...)

ho ho ho!


jimmy crack corn

i have to go to the gym.  i truly do have to go to the gym.  i haven't been to the gym in 4 weeks.  that sounds better than one month.  while my insides gurgle and scream for me to take them to the gym, i thought i'd give you a peek of this week's oona does it!, which is up over at the sew weekly.  i'm pretty proud of it.  and pretty sure i won't be able to fit back into it if i don't get myself to the gym.



booty shakin earth quakin

oona:  i wanted to make a boxy dress, like a piece of art.

ruggy: you succeeded.

but doesn't everyone like to add ten extra inches of width to their side view?

two canceled flights, three earthquakes, one missed burdastyle book launch party, countless missed blogger meetups, and two bad airport sandwiches later, i now see the err of my ways on this dress.  photo credit goes to mama ruggy, who loved the dress, and accessory credit goes to sis-in-law, whose birthday gifted moma necklace is the saving grace of this outfit.  i love this necklace so much, apparently i felt the need to create a dress that would flatter it over me.

i used burdastyle member pixielink's free batwing top for my trickery.  please don't let my results stop you from downloading it right this minute.  this purple doubleknit jersey was destined for two parties, but made it only to a museum opening.  it missed the book launch.  (see: canceled flights.  have you seen the photos from that shindig?   i gnash my teeth in jealousy.)

lumpy booty is also an important design feature.

i was going to ask your opinions on this dress sack, but after 20 minutes of cropping these photos i have my answer.  if you have to ask, does this look good on me?  you KNOW the answer.  you just don't WANT to know the answer.  this dress requires sergery.  i'm not misspelling that, it has a date with my red threaded ellie.  the red headed stepchild of my sewing menagerie.  i could go all day.  

i might still be jetlagged.


for angie a

snake bite juice (oona's knock you down margarita recipe)

2 parts tequila (herradura or cabo wabo.  not patron.  definitely not cuervo.)
1 part cointreau
1 part grand marnier
juice of 1/2 lime
shake and pour over ice in a salt rimmed glass.   serve with the snake tamer of your choosing.