what did you do new year's eve Eve

so, you might have noticed last week, i made colette's taffy blouse.  and also a self drafted skirt from the scraps of pajama bottoms made for Hot Mama.  this ensemble was actually worn in public, to see the billy hart quartet during our kalkatroonaan christmas.

i would've liked to have worn it last night to our new year's tradition of seeing the bad plus at the village vanguard, but in order to get the best seats there, you have to be first in line outside the joint.  warmth trumps blouse made of air. 

we spent the first set with our friends, at a modest distance from the stage.  Dapper Friend had red corduroy pants on, and many of you will be interested to know: the grain ran horizontally rather than vertically.  my mind was blown.  what was left of the blown bits of my mind were then shredded as our favorite band in the world voraciously ripped into their newest creations.  

the neck was pretty wide, and of course not having made a muslin, i just pushed and pulled until i found darts that made me happier.

i had a teacher who talked a lot about the basketball effect: you're watching a game, and a player makes a particularly stunning move, and your body moves with it unintentionally, pushing and pulling an invisible ball. lots of basketball going on last night between the athletes on stage, and in the audience.  both parties were also guilty of excessive grinning.

for the second set, we were able to move up front to our favorite table, and during the break ethan copped a squat and we talked about blogs, lawyers, and buffy the vampire slayer.  at this point the rest of my mind was phaser blasted to happy dusty particles. 

i just serged lots of strips together until i had a tunnel shape that would accomodate le booty.  there are six seams altogether.  speaking of serging, i finished the arm edges like so.  i'm not into the bias tape much.

being that close to the stage is amazing sight and sound wise, which is why i love that particular table, but you're also very aware of being almost a part of the stage.  i mean, my foot was resting on the lip.  you are actually sitting in the light of the stage at this table.  it starts to feel like you're invading something very private, like maybe you're on safari and you don't want to make any sudden movements and disturb the wild life.  

again, seeking an alternative to bias tape, i handstitched some trim around the serged neckline.

until i was comfortable enough to steal glances at their faces, i was fascinated by their hands.  their hands are insane.  ethan's on piano, his fingers sort of do backbends and then the CGI technicians come in for his solos. reid's on upright bass, his hands meld into the wood like they're made of liquid.  dave's on drums, his digits alternately choke and caress sticks, cymbals, brushes, playskool toys and rubber ET dolls.  it was so cool to see their hands do their work that close.

my hands have now got to get busy on new year's eve preparations, though my ears are still full of music.  have a great night, y'all.  drink one for me, i'll certainly drink one for you. 


two cool

burdastyle sent their christmas card out this week, and i was an elf on it! as were drinking buddies don and liza jane

but what's really cool is: click on the card, and you're whisked to thing link, where each image in the montage has a nifty little rollover button.  the button takes you to the specific link.  you could, say, upload all the garments you've made this year, linking each shot to your blog / flickr / facebook / burdastyle studio, and have a complete year end card.  i haven't looked too far into it, so i'm not sure how many images you can put in a card, but i'm sure some industrious soul will contemplate this over a post holiday relaxing irish coffee. 

or you might rather contemplate a thrifty shopping cart. in that case, shabby apple just sent a sale link out for my peeps! thanks shabby :) just click here for twenty percent off sale items and free shiparoo, and enter code WINTERSALE.

i'd get this stripey number, if you can't already tell where my tastes lean...

hope you're having a moment to relax before the next holiday craze!


face it.

my facing is flipped over.

the latest oona does it! is up over at the sew weekly.  i really enjoyed this particular challenge, you can read all about the details in the column.  the inspiration for it was difficult but fun, and once i figured out the way to go i was absurdly pleased with myself at the outcome.  chuffed, one might say.  mais, the camera does not lie.

my frigging facing is flipped over.

you're going to see this dress again in a month or so, when i change the length from maxi to T and pair it with a blazer. i'm pretty excited about that.

perhaps at that point i will have fixed the GODDAM FACING.

(this is me contemplating the fact that my facing is flipped over.)


evil dead christmas

our holidays started december first, when we visited our much missed hollow legged amigos in their new abode. full of unstoppable christmas cheer, we decided to try a seasonal lights hayride.  we brought The Child.  at the very beginning, one excited patron stood up to take a picture.  SIT DOWN NOW, the head farmhand blared.  Hot Mama and i muttered merry friggin christmas to each other, and we were off.

the first stop was santa's workshop, where elves who obviously pulled double duty for halloween hayrides stuck sharp objects into mysterious boxes.

this one needed no weapon.  just rocked gleefully up and down, hands poised for choking.  

they parked us in santa's lair for a good five minutes.  i think their goal was to scare us into submission.  it worked: even though head farmhand disappeared some time during the workshop layover, no one dared to get up again.  

the ride continued.

that unoccupied swing by the obviously haunted mansion swung slowly back and forth of its own volition.  listen, ruggy breathed, you can hear it creaking.  indeed you could, loud and clear over the christmas tunes blaring on the cart we were all prisoners on.

killer clown racing across the steaming fields.


nothing says christmas like the holiday classic "proud to be an american".  complete with lighted flag.  the withered hands appeared somewhere around the last verse. 

on the left: unsuspecting fools.  on the right: freedom.

we left scarred for life.  The Child left asleep.


hubba husband

i made ruggy a shirt.

this is not the shirt.

but we were all dolled up for a night out on the town with parental kalkatroonans and i had to get a picture.  (and i did make my shirt.)  it was a wonderful boozy jazzy night, surrounded by the lights of the city and the billy hart quartet (the man has a syncopated metronome implanted in his brain, and dizzy's needs to get on this tip.  ethan iverson explains it much better.  MORE OF THIS PLEASE DIZZY'S.)  would that i had grabbed a shot of the four of us: kalkatroona dad donned a green plaid shirt with yellow accents, a gray sportscoat, and a silver and black tie. in case you're wondering where i get my pattern matching skillz from.

luckily the shot passes muster with ruggy, because there's no way i'm going through the negroni photos again for an extra oona does it! wrap up here.  no, this is just to let you know there's some man candy going on over at my column on the sew weekly.... ruggy takes center stage.   


whoah (!)

do you ever talk like a newsie?  i find myself doing it all the time, honestly.  well, a cross between a newsie and jean arthur.  i actually said yowza the other night when i spilled my wine, and let out a rather audible whoah! when i saw my double agent dress on burdastyle and realized it was not my studio page, it was the front page....

which reminded me, i have yet to show you my contribution to the burdastyle book!

back in aught 10, when we walked uphill in the snow to school both ways, i was asked to hand in some sketches for alison's blouse and skirt patterns, along with fabric choices, and burdastyle would pick the one they liked best. would you like to see them?  really?  that's so nice of you to take an interest in me.  

i'll even leave my dorky captions in there.

one skirt variation, and four blouses.  can you tell i was hoping to get a blouse variation?  the maxi insanity was my favorite, but i'm glad they didn't choose it because at the time, i had no idea how to do buttonholes.  or work with the slippery fabric i'd chosen for it.  (hey, the skirt reminds me of a kazz creation!  though hers is way more cool.)

they went with the stretchy brooklyn-y i'm going to the gym but really i'm just gonna walk around and look cool vibe.  i forgot to color in the sleeves on one side, and my photoshop and mac are no longer friends, so blemished it stays.  

the fabric was really the prettiest jersey i'd ever laid hands on, from britex fabrics (you can see the work in progress post here).  i cut it like i was performing open heart surgery.  and i saved every little scrap of it, eventually morphing it into my green green dress.

it ended up on page 138 in the book, as a dress variation... mais non, it was based on this:

i abandoned the hood when i realized the model would look like a wood elf.  now i wish i had done it.  maybe i'll throw one in there.

it's like a size negative zero, my thought being it had to fit a model and not a curvy kalkatroonan.  so. there's no way i'm putting it on right now, as my head is sufficiently swelled and i don't feel like deflating at this moment (double thanks from ruggy, burdastyle! i am impossible to deal with at the moment!).  maybe i'll try it on after the holidays.  you know, after the weight gain and the crushing depression of january. it is stretch jersey, so i might get away with it.  

okay. that's enough bragging for today.

who am i kidding.  i'm off to make a taffy blouse and then see two thirds of the bad plus in concert.  i rule the world.  WHAT AN EXCEPTIONALLY BRATTY POST!  i outdo myself, i truly do.

so, what'ch'y'all up to?


you dress like a tourist

no for real, you do.   if you dress up, that is.  

i decided the best way to wrap up my oona does it!s on le blog would be to talk about where i wear them.  that way i might actually wear them somewhere, as opposed to my current abysmal average

so!  i wore my goldschlagger dress out to a birthday dinner with Holy Cow She's So Freaking Brilliant Friend and her husband, I Can't Believe You Cooked That Awesome Shit Chef.  (they were our thanksgiving guests.  we had a LOT to be thankful for.)

Brilliant Chica's birthday falling frequently on or about thanksgiving seems to have meant little to no birthday plans in the past.  as you know, in kalkatroona, this will not do.  i coaxed her into my campbell apartment dress (which fit Her Hotness like a glove), we raided the vintage jewelry stash, dressed the boys up as much as we could, and headed to one of our favorite french restaurants.

as we strolled down the avenue, i imagined us singlehandedly (well, double handedly.  quadruply? there were two of us) bringing back the age of style.  something like mad men, but without mad men acting like asses.  just very sane men like ruggy and Mad Chef bringing gallantry back.  they've already got sexy, in spades.

we got stares.  from several drag queens.  do you know what it takes to get noticed by a new york city drag queen?

i mean, my dress was faced in faux lavender leather.  (yeah, that's understitching, yo. i got skillz.)

check the orange and gold zipper.  and what UP matching gold shoes?!

she in teal lace, and i in sparkly gold?  truly we were the epitome of class, and should have been treated as such.  

mais, non.  we arrived at the restaurant and were seated by the kitchen.  birthday girl's entree was a total hackjob, which had to be sent back.  after our waiter, some new upselling species of shark, gave birthday girl the third degree on what was wrong with her moules frites, i decided i truly did not like him.  i lost all betty draper composure and barked GOAT CHEESE TART at him when he returned for the new order.  twice, as he tried to upsell Brilliant Chica to the special.  i did not want him talking to Brilliant Chica any longer.  he had lost that privilege.

eventually the owner, whom ruggy & i know and very much enjoy, came over and made everything nice again.   shark attack was all smiles after that. 

i would have liked to bash his teeth in.

were we too dressed?  did shark attack take us for rubes?  as i glanced at our surroundings, i saw peeps dressed in tattered jeans and t shirts, bags of black friday loot by their feet, looking at us like we were a little loco.  when did these tables turn?

oh yeah by the way, this is simplicity's project runway line, numero 2444, and holy cow do i love this line.  this pattern has pockets, always a plus, and was hella fun to sew and wear.  the home deco fabric i scored at joann's is the highly flammable bomb to work with.  but maybe better suited for drapes.  it itches like a motha.  i did the sleeves, mainly because i wanted to prove to myself i could do sleeves (i can't, those poofy pleats are totally born of me shrugging my shoulders and forcing the caps to fit), but now i think i might hack them off.  i feel a little too girly in it.

it's hard to kick a shark's ass when you're all girly.  next time, all sharks in the vicinity will see my guns.  

but they will be gussied up guns, dammit.  GUSSIED.  UP.


nothing says christmas like 36 inches of steel

ruggy learned fairly early on in our relationship that i adore, with the passion of a pit bull, all aspects of the gift experience, which frightened him a little bit.  i learned he called them prizes, which thrilled me to no end.  our first christmas together occurred two months after we met.  i bought him 18 prizes, including black silk pajamas and a samurai sword.

i have no idea why i thought he would want a samurai sword.

but i felt christmas would be ruined if i did not buy it.

we're surrounded by some of our dearest friends in the known and unknown universe, celebrating a birthday and starting christmas off very right.  i've been paging through the holiday issue of real simple, our friends' adorable baby (Child The Second, to be exact) in lap and drink of the moment in the other fist.  drink of the moment is ever changing and completely up to the whim of Hollow Leg Birthday Dad. over a peach bellini, i read letters describing the best present you've ever given someone.  i thought that was interesting; i'll frequently ask what's the best you've received but not the other way round.

i'm not sure what that says about me.

but i do love to give, even when it's a borrowed minivan full of prizes having nothing to do with the intended recipient. (really, i'm shocked ruggy didn't wash his hands of the whole situation that first christmas.  samurai sword?  appropo of nothing?  psycho.  thank god i met him six days after his birthday.)  but i don't think i've ever given a best gift.  thoughtful, yes, storebought or handmade, but nothing like these folks have done.  dog dna tests,  a single singular chocolate from childhood, a recorded set of recipes for an elderly relative.  i couldn't think of anything i'd done that fit the bill.  and because i like to win, now i really have to give the best prizes i've ever given this season.


what's the greatest prize you've ever given?