are you tired of seeing my ass?  I SURE AM!  i've hollered about it once per all the usual social media suspects today, but my beloved has informed me that i would be remiss if i didn't mention here, on le blog: today is the final day to vote in the final round of project sewn.  so here i am, doing my civic duty, shakin' my ass. 

if you haven't already, peep all three amazing ensembles over at project sewn, and go with your heart's delight. me, i'm looking forward to 5 of the clock and a french gimlet.


orange colored purple striped prettygreenpolkadot sky

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

The last week of Project Sewn, y'all. THE LAST WEEK! HOLY TOLEDO!!! For the final challenge, we were asked to showcase our signature style, specifically: make something that is your strength as a seamstress and is unique to your style.  

Stylewise, I'd brand meself wild, with a side order of classic. Or maybe it's class. That's classy. In that case it's a soupçon‬ of class. A condiment sized portion? YESSSSS. I'M CLASSY LIKE DIJON MUSTARD

What lies screaming beneath the coat is definitely the wild side.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

Now, if we're talking about my strengths as a seamstress, I'd say my willingness to throw fabric at my dressform and hack away, sans pattern, is a strong point for me. Though others might say this reckless, self taught, no-net abandon is a weakness. Ah, but give me my adventurous delusion! 'Cause that's what I did with this here sunny hue-d Land of Oz gal.  

Tuesday evening found me with two yards of cotton pinned to my dressform, and the following three eves transfigured the Hancock's yardage into this...

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

TEEHEE AND TRA LAAAAAA!!! Every time I look at this dress, I laugh loud and heartily at myself! That's usually a sign that I like what I'm doing. There's an industrial-strength-sized sense of self deprecating humor in my style. Is it self deprecation if you decree it so yourself? It should be, right? After all, you're calling yourself out on calling yourself out.

Speaking of talking to yourself, those same three nights found Ruggy sadly alone on the couch. I gots some remedy'ing ta do, for real. I LOVES YOU RUGGY. I LOVES YOU MORE THAN SEWING.


This dress went from maxi to midi to mini... hell, in the beginning, the bust cups were actually angled 90 degrees clockwise, so that the piping ran vertical along the girls. Iffn ya turn your head sideways you can kinda see what they used to look like! Go ahead, no one's watching!

Thursday eve I turned them around and did a little no, let's be real, A VERY LOUD AND EXTREMELY BRATTY HAPPY DANCE. Might have caught some side eye from the sofa. Upon making the shift, I cut along my side seams to morph the cups into this angular strapless dealio. The darts that used to lie at center lower bust swung perfectly into side bust darts. MAGIC.  

Well, no. Not a perfect spell at first, I did rip them out no less than eight times to get them there, cause I'm a type A kinda sewist. (You just hush about them li'l wrinkles. Like the lladybird says, that'll steam out.) The cups are padded, bodice is boned, and they're piped till the cows come home in self made piping... neon pink elastic cord encased in SUPER SLIPPERY bias strips of gold chiffon.

As you do, when you decide to drape a dress from scratch in four nights' time.
oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

Gold metal zipper...

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

And bien sûr, horsehaired satin bias blindstitched hem for twirling! I haz more twirling shots, but my healthily libido'ed photographer, my distant couch lover, was low on the ground for these. Dance pants, anyone?

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

GODSAKES COVER UP WOMAN. Alrighty! Now for the condiment sized dollop of classy. Le coat. I went with this scrumptious, loverly boiled gray wool to balance out the wild, retina searing color of the dress. Jekyll n Hyde.

Like my split personali-tied style, shears to my head, I'd say my strengths as a sewist are also dual. I love to fly by the seat of my pants, but I also love, love, LOVE to fly through beautifully drafted indie patterns. I know I can make them quickly, even when I veer off the path, because I trust the pattern, and the pattern maker. I started this whole shebang with beloved By Hand London's Victoria blazer, and I'm finishing with Ralph Pink's cocoon coat.

This coat was made on saturday night in three hours. THREE. HOURS. YO.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

All of her seams are topstitched in neon pink, which you can see a hint of here. The neckline is where I decided to take a left turn. Rather than encase the edges of the coat in facing, I went raw, and highlighted the sharp corners of the neckline with a plastic placemat.


oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

The bits of placemat are handstitched to wool underlining....

And the little gold sew-on studs make a double appearance at the neckline corners-- like those earrings you see on the younguns, where both sides of the ears are pointy. MY NECKLINE IS A HIPSTER SPOCK!
oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

Speaking of hip, the ever TRULY classy Nat King Cole's utterly wild "orange colored sky" blared in my skull nonstop throughout my hammerings...and I swear y'all, I think the soundtrack in my head COMMANDED the sun to come out on Sunday. It was almost like spring.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

...I even fell asleep, happily, with the tune roaring full blast between my ears.

Like the song says, FLASH! BAM! AAAAAAAAA LA CA ZAM! and goodbye to four weeks of insanity stitching! Woooooeeeee! Cannot believe this is the final round, and cannot believe I'm part of it! Thank you so much for suffering through this endless post, clearly I haz no editing brain left after this month of sewing. It has been a wild rollercoaster ride, and a supercharged inspirational blast from all of the wonderfully talented dames, and I'm thrilled to say... I kind of can't wait to start my next sewing project. That must be love, no?

Head on over to project sewn and view the final three, see which one knocks your socks off!  


for those with guts: lotsa innards!


back as promised with lacy guts, and just to keep things status quo, i am also once again only 10 % done with my look for next week's final round of project sewn!  YIIIIKES.  keepin' it real.  should i be so lucky, of course.  i'd like to say, quite honestly, the ladies i'm playing with are amazing, and it has been soooo inspiring to sew "against" them.  but really for the most part, i feel like i'm sewing with them.

alright no time for waxing poetic!  that 10% crazy currently on my dressform ain't gonna finish itself, especially as the midnight elves i ordered are out of stock.  damn walmart.

here, for your viewing pleasure, is le armhole, from the outside.  every bit of that curve was cut, pieced, and handsewn to make the armsyce, and the opposite side is an exact match.  once i decided on the jigsaw piece i wanted, i cut its mirror image out as well, so i'd be ready for the next side.

opposite side!  TOTALLY PIECED!  y'all, i'm kind of monumentally proud of that.  i'm also working on too little sleep and too little vodka, so take that patting on the back as you will.

speaking of piecing, i did take shots mid process to keep track of where those bits were going, because really, once sewn in, the seams vanished and i couldn't find where i'd started.  here's an example of a before/after, the only shot that turned out bright enough at 2 in the AM for public consumption.

2AM.  that's an hour made for many things, and when there's a ruggy to be had, stitching is not one of them.    

okay.  let's rest our eyes with the fiesta guts for a hot second.

i love the look of that hem! teeheeeeee!  the super wide, hot pink horsehair is nestled inside, stitched to the satin bias tape, which was then handsewn to the skirt, in the littlest stitches i could manage.  i once wore a 1950s style silk dress in a musical, and every time i twirled, my heel would catch in the hem and take me down, because of the GREAT BIG GALUMPHING BLINDSTITCHING.  had i known how to sew back then i mighta fixed it myself.  so. teeny hemstitching, please.

some peeps asked how i got the stripes/chevrons to match.  i cut each pattern piece out singly-- nothing on the fold, and used several colored pens to draw directly onto the tissue pattern, marking where the boldest of stripes started and stopped.  that helped me match up my mirror images.  when pinning pieces together, i made sure the pin was inserted exactly where two stripes met, and that those points were the same on each side--sort of the same principle as the way some (me included) like to sew a dart, pinning directly on the seam line rather than perpendicular.  

fortunately, in the midst of the stripes craze, i had the perfect neutral color already waiting in my stock of serger thread: turquoise. i have eight different shades of neutral, and none of them are black or white.  or grey, for that matter.  

grey matter. heheheheheheheeeeeh.

okay, obviously what's left of my wits is going fast, it's crazy eddie's up in here, here come the rest of the lacy guts yeahyeahyeah:

here's the shoulder seam, from the inside.  on the reverse (front) it is equidistant from where an actual shoulder seam should lie, so the entire shoulder is almost a little pad, and sits perfectly centered.

from the front: the back wraps around and is stitched to the "shoulder pad."

hey whaddaya say we go hunting for that sleeve seam again?


phew.  if you'd like to peep the whole outfit on, clickety here, and if you'd like to vote over at project sewn, clickety here!   see y'all on the flipside, and many happy clinks of my imaginary glass of 9am vodka for staying with me this far!! 


‪ménage à‬ shoes...

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona


scusi, been listening to de la soul 24/7 and there it is.  my brain, hip hopped up on tunes and natural remedies.  


oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

i'm actually feeling mui better now, but man, last week?  during the stitching of this?  WAS A DOOZY.  this was another case of a challenge i tried to prepare ahead for, with not one, but two outfits inspired by my sky high wedges... and another week where my left brain disagreed with my right and went merrily off in its own stubborn, woozy direction.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

during what was certainly the height of my strep, i made the lace bolero/shrug out of guipere trim.  the lovely carolyn gifted it to me months, maybe even a year ago, and it was glaring at me.  i wanted to use this competition to push myself to be a better sewist, and hand piecing lace fit the bill.  see that triptych at the bottom?  lacey didn't come like that.  after draping the front sections to my liking, i held my infectious breath, cut into the lace...

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

and dove in.  once the cut was made at the shoulders, i pieced the back section together (unfortunately, my stylist did not catch the one little dangling blossom stuck in my dress, MEH INVISIBLE STYLIST).  tack on eight more hours of playing jigsaw with carefully dissected bits and bobs, reattaching them by hand to the lace to create shapes and seams: triangles at bottom front, waves round the underarms, the armhole, the shoulder & sleeve seams....and you have my sickly saturday. 

do me a solid and scroll back on up and see if you can find the sleeve seam.  I CAN'T YO.  

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

but let's talk about the kicks!  the inspiration for le challenge!  i don't know if you've noticed, but i don't like to be matchy matchy.  ruggy has certainly noticed.  babe, he said,  i like your outfit.  

really?  i'm really worried about this one!  REALLY REALLY!  (we've been saying everything twice like the olympics sports announcers.  "that was tremendously tremendous!")

no babe, it's great.

so you like the shoes?  you get it?

no.  but i never like your shoes.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona


the pairing makes perfect sense to me, but then again i'm a bit nonsensical.  i love print mixing, and i love print matching...what can i say, imma mixed chick.  these shoes provided the opportunity for all kinds of interfabic harmony!

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

lookit the care they took in wrapping those cottony babies!  the shoes are perfect examples of print placement.  i wanted to put the same thought into this mexican cotton from hancock's, and man. SO MANY CHOICES.  i draped and redraped the skirt meself, being careful to match the more pronounced stripes up with the princess seams of the top, till i came up with the right stripey combo. pockets are a wonderful thing, i gots em. and these ones are big enough for a pint.

to play with the outlandish proportions of the supertall shoes, i went with midi skirt and teeny top.  i horsehaired the hem, can't seem to get enough of the stuff, and ironed it at the pleat edges on the bottom, creating a permanent crimp so the skirt would balloon out a bit without the help of a crinoline.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona


i highly recommend yarn bombing some earrings.

the green and purple bits took center stage to contrast the tone of the shoes.  and heya heya... guess who used a facing.  YEP.  that little V in simplicity 1803 needed something, and it wasn't gonna be a full lining as i'd like to wear this medium weight cotton dress come summer.  (y'all remember summer?) much as i hate me a facing, the insides are PRETTY.  turquoise overlocked seams and magenta bias enclosed armholes!  i'll have some gutsy shots for you later in the week, along with some lacy operation bits...

and wouldja like to see the outfit that didn't make the cut?  mebbe i'll show ya?  it's PANTS!  I WAS HELLBENT ON SHOWING YOU I COULD MAKE PANTS!  at one point on saturday i said to ruggy i could hack this skirt off and make it into culottes.  ruggy gaped.  No.  No  One  Likes  Culottes.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

french lace, mexican cotton, and ikat shoes... or are they more native american?  tribal?  either way, that's my threesome, my ‪ménage à‬ shoes for week the third, and i've got my fingers and toes crossed y'all like it enough to throw a vote my way.... EEEEEEK!   or as the olympic announcers say, EEK EEK!  week three is here, head on over to project sewn and make yer choice!


grandmistress flash

the look on my face has everything to do with the sleeves on this jacket.  those white liiiiiiiiiiiiinesssss runnin through mah miiiii iiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiind!!!!!

you will excuse me please, i've been battling strep throat since wednesday of last week and my brain is a bit sunny side up at the moment.  i'm forcing myself to chill this president's day, perfect time to park my ass (pictured above) in front of the computer and share this month's MSN project.  

so!  i found this HOLYCOWFASCINATINGGLORIOUSTAKEMEHOMERIGHTNOW wool on mood fabric’s magical upper floor, immediately hugged it to my chest and guarded it with my life.   one other (very fashionable) lady snagged some as well, and like 80 people wanted to swatch it, WHICH MADE ME WANT TO SOB.  i went directly home with my treasure and spent the afternoon on the floor with it, laying it out every which way to come up with a placement for this burdastyle maxi coat pattern.  

never been so happy to be on the floor.



you’ll notice i didn’t go maxi, or even collared, with the jacket.   had enough to do the job, but i was just so happy with the print placement at that point, i thought more material would take away from the effect.  sometimes more is just more.

can’t believe I just said that.

the pattern called for darts at the shoulder, but i opted for tucks instead, as the wool is pretty thick. doesn’t fray too much though, so i finally tried a technique i’ve been wanting to wrangle, the blanket stitch.  i could stand to get better at it, but it’s fun!  i’d even call it therapeutic!  especially when done on a saturday morning, with spiked coffee and jazz, when the bulk of the weekend is rolled out before you like a glorious bolt of unfurled fabric....

as hugh grant circa notting hill would say, whoopsie daisies,  sorry about that major wrinkly in the lining, but i wanted to show you a bit of guts.  the jacket is fully lined in this metallic mystery blend, courtesy of my stash via hancock's.  it's folded under at all edges, and hand stitched down.  speaking of sleeves, my ricky was all HEY GIRL YOU WANNA TOPSTITCH SOME SET IN SLEEVES?  


yes, virginia, there is also a dress– you've spied her 'round these parts before, a princess seamed sheath from one of my favorite blue envelopes, simplicity 2337.  i went with a TNT for this medium-weight, safety cone orange wool (which has a slightly scratchy hand on the face, but is totes comfortable against the skin).  and this is a solid my closet desperately need--i've worn her to two auditions already. let's just say i stand out.  hoping that's a good thing.  between pounding the pavement, pattern placement, and project sewn, i needed a quickie!  

speaking of which, THANK YOU for you for all the love on my pink powderpuff alien overlord dress (aptly named by miss cashmerette)!  i live to stitch another day in project sewn!!  i'll be back tomorrow with challenge the third, and hopefully back to 100% stomping power.  does like half the country have strep throat?

this wooly ensemble was made using my monthly fabric "allowance" as part of the Mood Sewing Network.


pinky and the brain

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

update: WOW y'all thank you so much for the love!! i've been able to check your words as the day went on, via my tiny device, and will holler at everybody properly soon. but i just had to say THANK YOU. for now, back to a glass of bordeaux, and the original post....

The rugster and I lay in bed on Saturday evening, spent. Friday found us at a superb birthday bash till 4am, and the first official (groggy) day of the weekend was filled with the hollering of my overlocker, which is making a TERRIFICALLY harrowing knocking noise in protest of constant use.  Babe, Rob began the pillow talk, you really need to think about accessories for this next outfit.

I sat bolt upright, suddenly energized.  whaaaaaa?  YOU WANT TO TALK ACCESSORIES?! TALK TO ME BABY! TALK DIRTY TO ME!! YOU KNOW WHAT I LIKE!!!

Ahem. Per Rob's supersexy bedtime request, I went with afro for this second Project Sewn challenge: make it pink.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

However, I went demure on the rest of the accessorizin', because, well. It is, how you say... kinda bright.

The challenge, issued from mistresses Elizabeth and Liz: "from rose, fuchsia, to blush, bubblegum, or neon--think pink!"  Yes. Well. After this second week, there's not much else I can think of, as I took the description quite literally and used every shade of pink I could find. The inside of my brain looks (and at the moment, feels) like cotton candy. Especially since I gave my first flushed attempt walking papers and started the new pink this time last Tuesday, finishing her twenty minutes before I took these photos Sunday.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoonaoona by marcy harriell oonaballoona
Ever reminisce on your sewing journey and give yourself a pat on the back for all you've accomplished? I do. ALL THE TIME. AND IT ALWAYS BITES ME IN MY FORMIDABLE ASS. In my fledgling year, I was given a birthday subscription to Burda magazine. Minimal instructions, great drafting, I made a hot mess out of most of what I tried, and canceled after twelve months.

oona!  I said to myself. Isn't it wonderful you didn't toss these magazines when you didn't produce gold in that first year! Your skills are many and varied now! You whip through these patterns! You choose petite sizing, you add the correct seam allowance, you are a MASTER!

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

I think you know what path I was skipping down. In the limited time I had to sew this week, I ripped the perfectly stitched bodice entirely apart in favor of going smaller, and oh yeah,  I kinda forgot to interface the collar, collar band, and zipper facing.


oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

I'm glad I wouldn't accept the brainfart as it was and took the time to (re)do it right, because I adore this dress, right down to the guts.  Clockwise from left: 1. contrast cotton brocade facing, 2. the overlocked innards of the dress, 3. magenta horsehair for the hem, blindstitched by hand, and pastel pink crinoline, 4. seams of draped skirt matching up with bodice (squee!!), topstitched in teal buttonhole glace.

Over the weekend, I draped the skirt portion. At first I went with an a-line, but in a shocking turn of events, Rob gave the wider silhouette a thumbs up. He declared it fun. She's 5 pieces, with gathers echoing the bodice gathers on cuff and insets. The crinoline is gathered and attached at the dropped waistline. SO MUCH GATHERING. The bodice zipper extends down into the skirt, as well as the contrast facing (I'll throw afull-lengthh guts shot up if y'all so desire). I was extremely chuffed that the topstitched seams all matched up exactly, but was careful not to pat myself too heavily on the already battered back.

oona by marcy harriell oonaballoona

Keeping in line with the way my brain works, I used the wrong side of this lurex, bought at Mood Fabrics online-- the cobalt blue pops through in an icier shade on the reverse, heightening the cornucopia of wildly blushing color...wow oona, que fancy description...at least to my brain it does. Confession: I get bored with a project 99% of the time, usually on the home stretch.  This fabric entertained my tetrachromat eyes non stop.  

Alrighty, if the spirit moves you, head on over to the competition and take a gander at my blushing compadres... i swear you'll end up with a cavity, SO MUCH SWEEEEEEET AMAZING...(eta: sadly, the posts from this season are lost to the void of the internet!)