of feathers and frankensteined frocks

the feathers, they are done.
DONE! i scream from the mountaintop. i am Captain of Mount Accomplishment! never has ruggy been so inundated with my trumpeting!

on occasion, i know if i begin a hairbrained project, it will turn out the way i expect it to. in this case, i had a completely botched muslin of a wiggle dress, made from a stashed medium weight satin, i believe. this thing was overworked to death. for weeks, i thought i could wrangle it into a skirt and get something out of all that work, but the idea of measuring and slicing was leaving me cold. then, the ever inventive adri suggested that I make the feathered bombshell dress as a skirt instead, to get more mileage out of the whole shebang. eureka. last weekend, i woke up and decided to marry the botched wiggle dress and feathers in a frankenstein bill. i would do it. hack across the waist, and see what happened. cut into five yards of mood feathers. i'd had them for over three months. JUST DO IT ALREADY.

after slicing the dress in half, i removed the center back zipper, and laid it out flat on my table. marking a line all the way across at natural waist, i then measured down four inches from that line. and again, to get four loooong horizontal lines in all. working from the bottom up, i folded the skirt fabric around the feather trim edge, enclosing it. as i finished each line, and it began to take shape, i started to get excited.

and then there comes that point when you get a little too excited. things are working out, and you keep going even though you've been crazyface tunnel vision on a saturday for eight hours straight and you know you shouldn't attach a pleather waist band over sazeracs. but you do anyway. y'all, i ripped this waistband out countless times. i knew the self-made bias tape was not wide enough, but icouldn't be bothered to cut more. no, no, fifteen minutes of cutting more bias tape is MUCH more irritating than sixty minutes of seam ripping and reattaching. and once i caved in and cut more tape, did i decide to fix all of my errors in judgement and figure out a lining first? nope. i decided the guts were pretty enough and i would leave them as is.

guess who has a seam ripper and some lace lining in her future.

although it was meant to be paired with a bustier top, upon accessorizing, i found ruggy's dress shirt to be the best match. i love that it dresses down the absolute audacity of the thing. it is a delicate flower, this birdy skirt, made for standing-only events. you know the kind: where your hand is never without a glass of champagne. the kind of event i always seem to be beleaguered by, the life of a kalkatroonaan: it is fabulous.

this standing-room-only skirt was made using my monthly fabric "allowance" as part of the Mood Sewing Network.


dos and don'ts of a diner

we snuggled into our table, hungry like bears are hungry, as our distinctly mouthy friend likes to put it, and drooled over the diner menu. our savior arrived, looking like the quintessential motherly host, and requested our order. i went first. i always seem to have to go first. i'd like the blueberry pancakes! i chirped. special or buttermilk? she quipped. oh, i didn't know there was a difference-- does the buttermilk come with clotted cream? with a grand roll of her eyes, a la napoleon dynamite, she barked if you WANT it.
who does not want clotted cream?
as she impatiently awaited my decision, which at this point had taken up a good ten seconds of her time, i looked to the table for help. do i want buttermilk or special? godsakes people, BUTTERMILK OR SPECIAL?! i am, surprisingly, not a pancake aficionado. accordingly, i like to make the most out of these dessert breakfasts when they come along. silence filled the table. i turned back to Surly. umm, which do you like? i ventured, hoping to appeal to her with flattery. silence, avec irritated glare. finally ruggy muttered i don't think you'll go wrong either way and i stammered out special. special! just dear god STOP LOOKING AT ME.
what is it about surly servers (yes, i'm using the word server, it has a better ring in this case) that causes the most loudmouthed of folks to clam up? lemme tell ya, this was not a table of shrinking flowers. but clam up we did, i didn't give her an ounce of sass for her ample attitude. we enjoyed the hell out of our dishes, buttermilk or no, throughout the many rolled eyes and heaved sighs of Surly Server. it actually became a piece of enjoyable performance art.
at the end of the meal, Mouthy Friend said i thank you for your hospitality. he said this in all seriousness, he often says such things. what do you MEAN, she glared, as three friends and a Bebe looked anywhere but in her direction. i mean thank you for hosting us, it was delicious.
she eyed him suspiciously, ready for the kill: oooooooookay. you're.... welcome, she breathed, and rewarded him with what i can only call the most well intentioned smirk i've ever seen.
charmer, that Mouthy Friend.
it got me thinking: what is it about disgruntled waiters, waitresses, servers, restaurant professionals, that makes us do everything in our power to assure them we will bend over backwards to insure their good experience? is it the knowledge of their crappy wages? the thankfulness that we are not on the other side of the table? it ain't the lack of tipping, i'll tell you that.
at any rate, all of those perfectly reasonable theories bore me. what say you?

how a town dresses

we spent the better part of the weekend in middletown, connecticut, with our friends and their angelic bebe, for their annual christmas tree getting. the day starts and ends in this colorful place. every brick is fair game! here, my lavender house could never be out of place.
according to tradition, the day begins with a diner breakfast to end all diner breakfasts, and ends with a beer at the pub across the street. Bebe and crew thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.
(yes, we actually decorate the tree as well. in my mind, all activities begin and end in food and drink.)


come to new york, i'll break your camera!

i should look far more chastened here than i do.

i had the pleasure of meeting the gorgeous goodbye valentino yesterday at mood, before she flew to lunch with the equally exquisite frabjous couture.  she glows just as she does in her pictures, as you can tell from this shot i swiped from marina.  sarah has no pictures of her own, as i broke her camera several minutes into meeting her.

(actually, it's her husband's camera.)

as usual, i got bit in the ass at the very moment of thinking just how amazing i am.  i had framed up a lovely shot of sarah & her man at mood (whose name has gone completely out of my head, my brain fritzed immediately following the electronic murder), and as the image popped up on the screen, i thought really i am SO good she is just going to love this picture oh the praise i will get i am TOTALLY an A student.  reaching out to hand the camera back, i simply let it drop from my fingers.  i didn't trip over anything, or get bumped by a bolt of fabric, wasn't attacked by a hoard of bees, WASN'T EVEN HUNGOVER, i just let the damn thing fall.  

i've been doing this a lot lately.  seriously, i've begun to wonder if dropping things is a sign of le preggos (no, i am not).  ruggy believes it is a sign of moving too fast.  that's highly possible.  i raced over to mood on a full day and maaaaaaybe i shouldn't have crammed so much in.  but i couldn't miss meeting sarah!  and just look at the joy i brought into her life!  now she gets to go CAMERA SHOPPING!

(i suggested the canon g12, which i did not bring, and never let anyone else hold for fear they'll drop it.  ironic.)

sarah was very gracious about the whole thing, and when marina arrived and innocently suggested our third of the mood sewing network ought to snap a picture, she got a great laugh out of the recap.  to be honest, it seemed a knowing laugh... at this point, we've met IRL enough for her to know the cut of my particular jib.  this time, she was stuck in traffic and i only got to bask in her warmth for a minute.  

(really, i could blame it all on marina's lateness.  we all know that she would never drop a camera.  come on, those delicate couture hands?  no dropsies there, baby.)

so the couture queen brought her olympus out to save the day.  i eyed it nervously and offered up my iphone with a request that someone throw it against a wall with gusto, but no takers. 

(OH FABULOUS i just took a wee proofreading break, checked my reader, and um, IT WAS HER BIRTHDAY.  GOOD LORD IN HEAVEN ABOVE.  erm, happy birthday sarah.  need a link?)


the bow-ie shirt

the first installment in my sewing with a semi half assed plan is finished! accordingly, it did not go according to plan.

the perp: mccalls, 8348.  you see, the bow tie, she was too big.  or rather, too weighty.  that keyhole neck opening did not exist until well into sewing.  when this shirt had a collar and two-inch wide ties, the neck looked like it was trying to do me bodily harm.  so i snipped out a keyhole opening and enclosed the raw edges with self made bias tape.  et voila! 

(yes, it still drags.  but it's no longer choking me.)  

the cuffs weren't much more pleasing.  they were also trying to kill me.  and doing a piss poor job of it, as strangulation around the mid arm is a hairbrained way to do anyone in.  judge and jury, i sentenced the ill willed cuffs to death and hacked them off.  guillotine.  old school in kalkatroona, baby.  after evening up the slice, i blind stitched a nice wide one inch hem at cuff, and told the sleeve it was better off without that bad influence.

oh, why yes, that is a horse of a different color.  while i was playing around with photoshop to coax the silk shirt into the right shade of IRL purple, i found i wished it were another hue altogether.  i can't have my way in my closet, but i can haz it here...

wouldn't it be so great in this colorway?!  i love how the blue plays with those ikat shapes.  are they ikat?  eyes? navajo thingies?  

the sleeve cap had about 5 inches of ease, which i mostly took out.  in hindsight i was probably overzealous.  the shirt wins that decision, it lawyered up.  

OH I WISH IT WAS WHITE.  it's so clean and chic and it matches the glass beads i chose for fun!  and, you know, no one ever finds a white shirt guilty.

but no, it is purple.  for you peeps who just look at pictures, let me reiterate, it is indeed purple, i did not make four colorways of a botched vintage bow tie shirt.  and although i still like it, i'm gonna have to let it do a little time in solitary confinement.  i blame it on photoshop, but the shirt is taking the fall.


too many things

i have about three hundred things to blog about and no clear way to begin.  there are three reasons.

1. i like to type in lowercase.
2. i have too many gadgets.
3. i have watched more news in the past two weeks than i have in the past twenty years.

i'm not a bad news kind of girl.  in that i don't watch the news.  because it is All.  Bad.  years ago, ruggy and i sat curled up on a thin mattress in a brooklyn basement, in our first apartment, my mind filled with every horrible thing my parents said could happen in new york, watching the eleven o'clock news.  i do believe, in the grand scheme of news hours, this is probably the worst sixty minutes of news to watch.  STAY UP!  the eleven o'clock airing commands. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THE HORRORS GOING ON!  SLEEP AND YOU WILL CERTAINLY BECOME SAID NEWS!  as a video shot inside a deli played, a newscaster muttered oh by the by this is graphic as the tape rolled through the killing of a man.  all o'clock news officially done for oona.  while some might say i've got my head stuck in the sand, i say i've got it up where the air is actually breathable.

that said, i had no idea hurricane sandy was headed our way.  indeed, ruggy stays on top of things and informs me on a need-to-know basis (ruggy! what did that senator say?!), but when we left town that friday to hang with friends in vermont, miss sandy was not the monster she was to become.  as the bars on our phones began to creep back sunday afternoon, we found we had a couple hours to get back into the city before they shut 'er down.  caught the last train in, stocked the fridge with what little was left on the market shelves, and lamented the paltry amount of bottles in our liquor cabinet.

and... watched the news.  kept it on just about non stop.  we were horrified at so very many things, most of them not having anything to do with the storm: the makeup on the anchorwomen. the sportscasters stationed on docks.  the absolute flood of graphics and musical swells designed to make your eyes widen and your heart race. the incredibly stupid banter (here you see a helicopter keeping an eye on the situation!).  it was like my first sip of coca cola afters years of quitting the stuff:  EGADS! THE TOXICITY!  SURELY THIS IS KILLING ME!  KILLING ME RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE!

but we were unable to turn it off.  very serious news actually did happen, still is-- it is supremely disconcerting to be in the middle of manhattan, business as usual, while the surrounding areas are Apocalypse Now.  and then of course the news had to stay on for election day.  my alarm clock was set for 5am, but i couldn't tear myself away from the boob till we had some good news.  finally i had to get some sleep and settle for -ish, and this morning a very groggy kalkatroonaan read the news on a tiny phone while sitting on the porcelain throne.

i will always remember where i was when i found out president barack obama was re-elected.

with two crises averted, i believe our vast music collection shall resume its rightful place as ruler of the sound system.  once ruggy figures out what happened to our itunes, that is.  it crashed.  in protest, i think, against the never ending blathering coming from the talky side of TV.

if it keeps up this mutiny for very long, i fear nor'easter She-Ra will set up shop on our screen.  



who ever said NYC is unkind to bikers.

just popping in to quickly say we're fine here, thank you for the shout outs!  it's been bumpy but certainly we're VERY lucky in kalkatroona.  the news from Sandy is astounding, and i hope you and yours are well.

now i'm off to do some subway investigating.  sewing coming soon!