you want the quilt? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE QUILT!

oonaballoona | you can't handle the quilt | samsonite train case

Recently, I've been able to admit that Patience is a virtue I do not possess. And yet, delusion-ally, I've been thinking about quilting. The reasons for this are threefold:


I have a lot of scraps. A LOT. The most precious of which are housed in Ruggy's grandmother's pink Samsonite train case.

(This is fitting, as we also have eleven quilts made by that pink lady's mother, safely stored at Mama Ruggy's. And when I say safely stored, I mean she would not let us bring them home with us when she realized I didn't have the proper understanding of the value of great grandmother's quilts.

Weeeelllllll, to be fair, she was right, I was going to use them for ACTUAL BLANKETS THAT PEOPLE COULD SLEEP UNDER but now I get it, they're heirloom and couldn't really take that kind of handling. It would be like wearing a vintage cocktail dress as a bath robe.

That sounds kind of awesome actually.)

oonaballoona | pfaff 1171 sewing


I know I haven't done my roundup of my beloved Pfaff yet, and I swear I plan to.  I do wonder about having enough space below the presser foot for multiple bulky layers-- do newer Pfaffs have more real estate there? But, can I give a ear splitting SCREAM OUT for the IDT system? It just works. I've quilted three jackets so far (only one has made it to the blog, more to come). No slippage, no bubbling, no worries. It could make quilting a joy.

(I hope I have not jinxed myself there.)


Along with the discovery of my complete lack of Patience, I have also recently been able to admit that Jealousy is a High Octane Fuel for me. I see the quilt you have made; I love it; I want it; I cannot stand that I don't have it too. This is a healthy sort of vibe, don't get me wrong, because I also Greatly Admire What You Did. (There's a word for it in Italian, it's akin to twisting a knife in your side whilst genuinely complimenting your friend. Anyone know this word?)

Got an opinion on quilting? Will someone with my absence of patience be able to handle this?


Waldo In Winter

oonaballoona | vogue 8773 pencil skirt & self drafted sweater | sewing blog

Yeah, I know. I kind of went Sgt Pepper's on these photos. January will do that to me. Lack of light, lack of warmth, lack of photographer. The trifecta. But let's play Where's Waldo and find my garment in this riotous, out of focus, ham handed, amateur photoshopped collage!

oonaballoona | vogue 8773 pencil skirt & self drafted sweater | sewing blog

Can you find the rectangle of sweater knit above? That's my "self drafted" H&M knockoff, made with some novelty knit. I succumbed to Black Friday and bought a couple of drapey sweaters at The Beast, and upon further perusal, found they were really two large rectangles with two smaller rectangles attached at "midarm" (top corner of the large rectangle) for sleeves. Four rectangles. I CAN DO THAT MATH.

oonaballoona | self drafted sweater | sewing blog

The RTW sweater has ribbing, but my neckline is self faced, hems & such turned under and carefully catchstitched. I went on a catch stitching bender for this January MSN ensemble... it's such a fun stitch. I don't know that it's the right stitch for what I wanted, but fun usually beats out right in my book. 

Oddly enough, the color of the sweater is washed out here. In this field of neon flowers, GO FIGURE.

oonaballoona | vogue 8773 pencil skirt & self drafted sweater | sewing blog

But the skirt is literally this bright in real life! (I also walk in fields of giant moss under a sun made of godzilla sized petals IRL, it's pretty awesome.)

This super nubbly tweedy tactile boucle was swooped up at Mood Fabrics NY, top floor, during a trip with Devra. We shouldn't be allowed in store together, we enable each other into all sorts of insanity. I obsessed over my yards for several weeks before deciding to give it a try with a virgin pattern, Vogue 8773. No muslin no waiting. Luckily for me & my boucle, an instant TNT pattern! (And it hails from the pattern stash of another homegirl, Clio... HEY LADIES THANKS FOR THE OUTFIT!) 

oonaballoona | vogue 8773 pencil skirt & self drafted sweater | sewing blog

Let's go find Waldo again! Can you spot the flowers inside my skirt? No, that's not a clone stamped technicolor rose petal, that's some Oscar De La Renta silk organza underlining.

oonaballoona | vogue 8773 pencil skirt catch stitching | sewing blog

YIKES. I spy some missed stitches on that seam binding! You get the gold if you can spot them...

This louder than life organza gives the skirt a wonderful weight, and helps the loose weave hold the shape of this six paneled pencil skirt. A great anchor for my catchstitching bender, too. Again, since I have no plans to line this, surely not the right finish.

It's a faced hem, I used the selvedge of the boucle. And speaking of misappropriated techniques...

oonaballoona | vogue 8773 pencil skirt & invisible zip | sewing blog


oonaballoona | vogue 8773 pencil skirt & self drafted sweater | sewing blog

It's held up so far, unlike my non-focusing camera... then again, I didn't drop this skirt on its head. So there's that.

this wintry rainbow was made using my monthly fabric "allowance" as part of the Mood Sewing Network. no fabrics were harmed in the 'shopping of these photos.  some psyches may be harmed by the viewing of them.


Knit One, Phone Off

oonaballoona | knit one, phone off

I've fallen victim to the glow of my phone on subway rides. It's the perfect place to let my fingers do the walking, stuck in a metal box that is becoming ever more fully equipped with WiFi (I quake in fear at the thought of Actual Underground Phone Calls becoming a normal thing)... but it's also the perfect prison to BE HERE NOW and avert my gaze from the glow of the screen. So I made a resolution to stay off the phone when riding the rails. 

The first week I put this pledge into practice, I glanced loftily around the car, full of humans plugged into their devices, and felt pretty superior about my Life Changing Decision. Weak creatures! In such need of petty entertainment! PHONES GRIPPED LIKE ADULT PACIFIERS! Plastic cords in every every ear! What ho, what's this. A guy with a cord made of fiber. Hello Knitting Guy. Guy that I surreptitiously snap a photo of. And promptly instagram using the fancy WiFi on the N/R line. Which then gets the most likes I've ever gotten

This is...ironic? Yes? The definition of irony has always eluded me, but I think that's what we've got here.

Ah, Knitting Guy. Using your subway ride PROPER. What if you dropped your device of choice for 30 minutes a day? Your commute? Your lunch break? Even if you don't know what to do for those 30 minutes... sit without it until you do... so far, I've sketched a few ensembles, had a conversation with a friend I wouldn't have spotted otherwise, and caught Knitting dude. 

(Since Knitting dude illustrates my point, I'm cutting myself some slack on that.)


weeee three kiiiiiings be stealin' the goooold...

oonaballoona | BWOF Nov 93 Wrap Shirt

I can watch a movie and forget 90 percent of it, but sing me a song and it's in there forever. Even if it's one line long. Every Three Kings Day I hear Mark Wahlberg yodeling Weeeee three kiiiiiiings be stealin' the gooooooooooold on a loop.

Not that I celebrate Three Kings Day or anything, I'm more of a mish mash in my leanings. But it provides a good excuse to keep the Christmas Tree up. Also, I always thought the Wise Men were super cool. I was "Rainbow Striped Bed Sheet Wise Man Number Three" for like five years running during my altar girl phase.

oonaballoona | BWOF Nov 93 Wrap Shirt

A colorful under collar stands in for my rainbow. Is your head spinning? Are you worried I might be sick? This somber silk/linen blend, with bits of gold toned nubbly weft yarns, was actually purchased for Ruggy, at King Textiles in Toronto. He couldn't see it as a man's shirt. I'LL BE STEALING THAT GOLD.

oonaballoona | Gathered Maxi Skirt | BWOF Nov 93 Wrap Shirt

Such a conservative fabric needed an element of surprise to survive in my closet. Solution: Burda WOF November '93 Wrap shirt, grabbed from Vicki at that long ago Sew Weekly NY Meetup. Wait for it....

oonaballoona | Gathered Maxi Skirt | BWOF Nov 93 Wrap Shirt


oonaballoona | Gathered Maxi Skirt | BWOF Nov 93 Wrap Shirt

And the skirt brings the tacky factor to a far more appropriate level! The avalanche of novelty quilting cotton holiday wear that invaded my blogroll last December irreversibly infected me on Christmas Eve. I raced to Hancock's, and had a skirt for dinner the next day.

(In particular, Rosie WednesdayMiss Clara, and a third cutie I cannot find got me. Wise Woman the Third, are you out there? You posted before Christmas, you were looking lovely, probably by a tree...ETA! It was Erika, by a Santa!) (FURTHER ETA: I told you there was an avalanche, I also saw Aleksandra's Cardinal Cotton and even commented that I was going to make a run for Hancock's!)

oonaballoona | Gathered Maxi Skirt | BWOF Nov 93 Wrap Shirt


Yeah, I didn't get very far into the beading. The skirt is just two huge rectangles, french seamed & gathered into a waistband. Really, I'm wearing a bolt of fabric. My aim is to continue blinging it throughout 2015, and refashion into a knee length party dress for next December.

Is it wrong that my mind is already on December party dresses? Is my mind ever not on party dresses?