cross examination

by now you know the ravishing rachel, of house of pinheiro, is releasing a new (free!) pattern come christmas day.  i was thrilled to test this beauty's debut beaut of a pattern, the brasilia dress, which i can now see, after taking pictures, is in wearable muslin form.  cue sad face.  no, scratch that, cue rachel face:


you can't test a rachel pattern without giving a rachel pose.

hooray!  crazy face print pulling to-the-left on off-grain stretch cotton!!!  AWESOME!

okay, so this has been knocked down to wearable muslin status because of the fabric, not the pattern. lemme put it in bold red letters for speedreaders: THE PATTERN IS TERRIFIC.  the fabric, not so much.  after adjusting the pattern for a shorter waist (yay for included lengthen/shorten lines!) & one inch swayback, i eyeballed my print placement.  no bandana targets directly on my ass, please. unfortunately, the fabric had gone so off grain in the wash, all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't yadayadaYADA.  

par example, behold the center seam, from far away, ok:

from close up, non baby non:

it's pulling in the front as well, and generally causing me pain.

i also think i might not be a fan of stretch cotton.  i like the stretch factor.  but it's sort of stiff... maybe i'm using it for the wrong thing, as i've only tried it with dresses.  this bandana print is from mood, if you absolutely must have it.  and if you must, lemme know what it's good for, m'kay?

but call me a fangirl and give me some pom poms for the brasilia dress.  yes, you have to hope your measurements are close to rachel's, or get out your grading cap, but did i mention it's free?   

i'll be making up the real thing soon...mayhaps in a stretch wool.  mmmmmm wool.  thank you rachel, you knocked it out of the park, i hope to do you justice on my next try!


little black up n' at em

have you been wondering what my recently mentioned, but never-caught-on-kalkatroonaan-camera, Little Black Dress looks like?  I KNOW YOU HAVE!   IT HAS CONSUMED YOUR EVERY WAKING THOUGHT!    I MIGHT EVEN BE IN YOUR DREAMS!!!!

well, dream no more, it is live over on the mood sewing network, and you might want to catch it in its current incarnation of caterpillar, as i'm planning on adding some wings to it.   behold the black bouclé here!


WOW: would you like some wiggle with that hem?

Since asking if y'all test out in the wild, it has occurred to me that most of the things I make aren't everyday wear. Therefore the query probably seemed a little um yeah, DUH. You make clothes in order to wear them, oona.  

But, especially when the weather gets colder, all I want to make is party wear. NEED MORE SHINDIGS. That said, I had occasion for another Worn-Out-in-the-Wild trial (WOW, if you will forgive the sweeping under the rug of prepositions and articles). My Denim & Velvet wiggle dress had its first outing last night at the 2013 Steinberg Playwright Awards. The beautiful and dreamy eyed Rajiv Joseph was honored, along with the amazing Annie Baker and dazzling David Henry Hwang, and I was eager to get all dolled up with Ruggy. Fair warning, this is not a fast walking dress, I breathed in my most classy voice as we began our stroll down our tree lined, holiday lit street. No worries, my gentleman offered, taking my arm, his wrapped in cashmere. We can mosey.

A ten block walk took us twenty minutes.

and I'm looking at the hem culprit. more evidence here.

After cocktails in Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse lobby, we descended the staircase into the theater. It was then that I realized my wiggle dress might have a bit too much wiggle. The hem, specifically, which was not allowing for much vertical movement. Getting back up these stairs might take some doing...I thought, with only a sprinkling of gimlet infused concern.

Scenes from the honoree's plays were performed, and I had the privilege of reading the stage direction for a gorgeous scene by Rajiv, full of night sky and poetry, involving the Taj Mahal and beauty and terror and pretty much awe-someness. And in order to reach my spot on the stage, I had to climb a stair. Just one little stair. Which, at this distinguished event, I literally hopped over, LIKE A MINI HURDLE. Apparently there's a reason for a back vent, I shrugged later. Ruggy raised his eyebrows. Yes, I don't know why you continually decide that pattern companies know less than you do.


Luckily the front row was filled with our cohorts, so the hop was doubly enjoyable, and perhaps I was not meant to be completely classy that night--the stage directions involved my hollering out crazed bird calls. And as long as there weren't stairs involved, the dress worked. Meaning, I could still sit, stand, and breathe after three cocktails and a plateful of every hors d'oeuvre I could get my mitts on. 

But I'll be adding a vent. Or re-adding, rather, since I was the one who tooketh away in the first (appropriately) bird brained place.


out in the wild

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | out in the wild

I find that as much as I may love a project, I don't really know if it works until I've worn it in real life. You know, for more than blog pictures. For stomping around and eating in and ‪bien sûr‬, drinking in. That's the mark of a keeper or a clunker. Apparently this test run should also be applied to projects I've hastily labeled clunkers.  

I threw this doomed shinariffic polytastic blazer on for a girls' night out with the absolute Good God Perfection that is Sarah Deming (who snapped this shot), and suddenly it's my favorite piece in my closet. Partly because it's now soaked in amazing memories, but also because...it worked. We ate six tons of pork and cheese, we drank korean vodka, we marched up to strangers and demanded to learn their dance moves (happening above). 

This jacket was in my giveaway section five days ago. Never worn, even for blog photos. I guess I threw it on that night because I was already going out of my comfort zone. Party. With complete strangers. WITH NO SEWING IN COMMON. Why not go whole hog and wear a completely uncomfortable, completely untested garment?

By the end of the night I wanted to hug that club full of strangers. We did hug about half of them, before happily stomping off down the street, wondering why New York was so deserted on a Wednesday night at 2 am...

Do you test in the wild?


seductive sleeves

ooooh aren't i pretty.  i think soooo much of myself.  i am the most beeyootiful girl in the whole wide world!  you love me!  you want to marry me!  YOU KNOW IT!

just look at my cute little sleeves, they are so coy, so flirtatious, they tempt you with their unexpected pleats, you didn't even see them coming and now you can think of nothing else!!!

never mind the fact that i probably put them in backwards which resulted in an armsyce (that's armhole for you laypeople) that's lower than the dead sea.  just never you mind that, lovey!

wooooeeeee and wider than the grand canyon.  avert your burning hot gaze!  look, instead, upon the pleats!  the delicious pleats!  THEY ARE EXQUISITE!  aaaaaah, le sigh, you are too entranced by the sight of unintended flesh: is that an arm bulge?  is that her back?  armpit cleavage?  that is SO hot.


now, i made this about two weeks ago, and i do wish i could remember if the extreme dip is the fault of the pattern or the fault of the gin...so maybe y'all can tell me.  anyone out there tried this diddy?  don't get me wrong, i lurve it, i'm keeping it, i've rocked it not once, but twice in public now, leaving people lying in my stunning wake because I AM AWESOME I THOUGHT WE ALREADY ESTABLISHED THAT, but maybe i'll just raise that curve a li'l bit next time we dance.

(although it is a little snug. i may have dried it on hot while i was on vacation.  i guess i could wear it soaking wet and try to stretch it out again--)


notes of notish notiness:

pattern: simplicity 2337, of the project runway line
fabric: medium weight sweaterey jerseyish knit from the ever janky, ever closing It's A Material World
notions: twin needle, jersey needle
tips: don't dry sweater knit on hot. 


a blast in black

draping contest, in anything but black

after madly blindstitching the hem on my little black dress, i raced out the door at 5:55 to pick up my date for the evening.  carolyn looked scrumptious in black, green and pearls.  as she changed from work to party shoes, i lamented my motorcycle boots. no black pumps in my closet, but whaddayagonnado.  the fact that i made a black dress was earth shattering enough.

our absolute gentleman of a host

we headed to elliott berman textiles to celebrate pattern review day, and were immediately and warmly greeted with wine, goodies, and a STUNNING view of some of the most gorgeous fabric i've ever seen. although we were encouraged to roam the aisles with glass in hand, i did not trust myself (dropsies, much?).  

to wit: the only runway shot i got of clio.  approximately three glasses in.

although i'm a member of pattern review, i wouldn't call myself active.  no, i think i fall more into the leech category.  there's no other way to describe it, i suck all the information i can out of countless reviews and give zilch back.  that needs fixing, though to be honest, i'm not sure what information i can provide that will actually be helpful.  really, it would just make me feel better about the balance of things.  no matter, i was all too thrilled to escort my girl carolyn!

draping winners nabbed beautiful 2014 yardage...  and YES THAT IS YOU KNOW WHO, THE MYTHICAL SHARON!!!!

in honor of PR, i thoroughly combed reviews for a cynthia rowley pattern, and made a mashup LBD with by hand london's elisalex bodice.  do i have any pictures to show you?  no.  will i be taking it apart this weekend?  YES. dress: check. black: check. I TOOK THE WORD LITTLE WAY TOO SERIOUSLY.  good god, after three glasses of vino, burgers, fries, and a salted carmel milkshake, i felt like a twinkie with too much cream filling.

hostess eugenia, mistress of the fabric guessing game: HOW CUTE ARE THESE CUTIES

my bandage of a dress was not a winner, but i did manage to snag one of the extremely generous and exceedingly beautiful prizes in the Fashion Intelligence Game portion of the evening, courtesy of elliott berman: a huge cut (maybe 6 yards?  it's morning, i'm on the floor with coffee, and the tape measure is oh so far away) of jersey that feels like magic water.  i know because it's draped over my lap.  another reason to not get up.

thanks for the help melanie! GO PR!!!

like the leech i am, i did not snag this bag legitimately.  i simply repeated (BARKED, WITHOUT SHAME) the right answer upon learning that a prizewinner could not win twice.  this did not work the first time; i earned a raised eyebrow from our game hostess, and intelligentsia melanie earned an extra bag.  the second time around, however, there was no refusing my brattiness.  i could only hear does anyone else know the right answer? for so long.  one second, to be exact.  y'all i don't even remember what the question was, let alone the right answer 

hopefully, i sufficiently embarrassed my date, since SHE DIDN'T VOTE FOR ME IN THE LBD RUNWAY SHOW.

no, the winner of the little back dress contest wore purple.  oh, you know who she is. THAT CATHY. 
winners circle, style me mary in gold almost didn't even walk...

i just... i don't... i can't.  that collar.  those notches.  i believe i greeted her with you bitch.  the delicious michael, however, was met with glee, i'm not sure how peter lets him out of the house alone with a dame like cathy. WHO, BY THE WAY, WAS MY "DATE'S" CANDIDATE .

she treats me badly, she wins missoni fabric...but i just can't quit her...

what a raucous, awesome evening.  thank you deepika (pictured throughout in knockout red dress) and elliott berman for a wonderful time (i'll be back at a more sober hour of the day...y'all, it is ever so pretty up there), and please do holler if you were at the shindig last night, i'd love to know where to find such lovely company online as well!


in another life

i am often amazed at myself, and not always for the right reasons.

it would not be quite so stupefying if oona circa 2012 hadn't repeated the same instruction to futureoona on back bodice as well.

(you do see that i corrected 8/8ths to 9/8ths, right?  riiiiiiiiiight.)

when i dug this cynthia rowley pattern out and found what horror i had wreaked upon it (lopped shoulder seams diagonally, took an inch tuck out of the pattern at bust level, made new darts that pointed anywhere but said bust) i thought, wow, i must've done this craziness, like, WAY early in my sewing career.  silly young oona, how far i've come!  but nope, i made this shining example of pattern adjusting up just over a year ago.

you can see more of it here on kollabora.  in real life, who knows where you can see it.  it went out to goodwill in The Second Great Escape From LA, during my purge of Things That Did Not Fit And/Or Looked CrazyFace On Me.  

looking at the shots, i do tend to don my rose colored glasses.  it wasn't that bad.  but no.  this pink lady hung unworn that summer, which is truth enough. 

do you hang onto such creatures?   have you abused patterns?