golden slumbers

I've had a bit of tunnel vision over the past couple weeks, where the stress reliever of sewing somehow became the victim of said stress. The embellished fabric you see above was the star in my own private horror flick. THE THINGS I DID TO THIS FABRIC. 

I didn't realize that stress played such a major role in this garment until after I wrote the post, so there's no mention of the driving force behind hacking these golden rows to pieces. (And no worries on the cause of stress, simply life things that happen, yadda yadda, let's sew.)

See what I Frankensteined this monster into at The Sewing Party, for my second post. Comments are now locked & loaded over there, I'd be interested to hear if you think this garment turned out to be a dream or a nightmare...honestly!

(Also, RIP Wes Craven. Thanks for the screams.)


ain't no hat for that

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | linen guayabera | colette patterns negroni

I have recently become aware that blue is my Dad’s favorite hue, and so for his birthday, I attempted a linen Guayabera that compliments his (*not* blue, *not* pictured) eyes.

Thaaaaaat's right, my model was willing to pose only with a stealthy straw hat shield. At least I didn't slap a horrific visage on him like last time. Here endeth the Live Human Model shots for this post. Sorry, but Big Daddy is a child of the sixties, and not so into putting his good looks on the internet. Bright side: for once, you get actual detail shots of actual sewing!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | linen guayabera | colette patterns negroni

This loose woven linen was unearthed on Mood Fabric’s lower floor, a level that I must admit, I don’t frequent! Jerseys & Shirtings live there. I banned myself from Jerseys vis-a-vis MSN, and banned men from asking me for shirts vis-a-vis my sanity. But this past 4th of July weekend, everyone was gearing up for the holiday and it was a party atmosphere in Mood. I visited every floor, and found a small pile of linen bolts languishing by the Liberty prints (I also don't understand Liberty, guys, I just don't get it!). I snatched several linens up immediately, although I thought the loose weave and solid color of my Dad’s bolt might give me brain pain. But with proper handling the yardage was a pleasure to work with, even without a technicolor print to keep my attention.

Though I did go technicolor on the under collar and inner yoke, teehee and traalaaa! The bits and pieces of my birthday-come-anniversary dress made my eyes happy. Here it is flipped inside out. I did NOT try and turn that button loop, nosiree bob, not on this loss weave, that's a topstitched bias strip. 

Colette’s Negroni is like, the only man's shirt pattern I make. Mayhaps I could mix that up a bit. I’ve previously modified it into a Hawaiian shirt, and now into a Guayabera. The mods included boxing out the side seams & adding little 3 inch vents (to accommodate the hem). I chose coconut buttons for a summery feel, and added an extra to the inside of the turned-under-and topstitched side seams.

There are several seam finishes going on, depending on what the seam needed to do. I serged the sleeve seams for fear of fraying (and fear of my life during serging) but turning & stitching was best. Here, on the facing, I turned under 1/2 inch and topstitched along the raw edge with a zig zag, so that it would lay flat under the shirt.

My newest needle obsession: the wing needle. SO MUCH FUN. Three rows of machine hemstitching (courtesy of my new purple lover) in rayon 40w with a wing needle down either side of the shirt gave it a Guayabera(ish) feel. I was going to get way more fancy with that stitching, but decided to keep it simple once I realized the shirt might…never…get…worn…

Let me explain. Whilst pondering how many pockets to add, Ruggy had a feel of the fabric. Um, oona…he began, with great hesitation, knowing he was poking a violent beast with a dull stick, after all, I was sewing MENSWEAR…this seems a little heavy for a summer linen shirt.


Yeah, it’s a little heavy. Adding two breast pockets meant adding two more layers of this awesome, but heavy, stuff, right across the chest. And as you can see above, there's already two fairly wide layers right down the front. No bueno. (Hey man, at least I’m picking a more manly shade of fabric. You should see the stuff I try to put Ruggy in.) Pockets abandoned, I decided to call it a Fall/Winter Dress Guayabera, and presented Big Daddy with his prize– along with the promise of another summer shirt before he even opened this one. But he put it on immediately and called it good!

(He’s still getting a lighterweight shirt, because I don’t trust him.)

NOR SHOULD HE TRUST ME! Whoops, sneak attack back view! Look, he should know better than to turn his back on me when I’ve got a camera in my hands! Don’t worry, Dad, the internet still doesn’t know who you are. Your secret agent persona is safe.

(I am going to get in so much trouble for that last shot.)

this guayabera, and my impending punishment, was made possible by my monthly fabric "allowance' as part of the mood sewing network.


happy hair

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | happy hair

Things that this post does NOT include:

1. Zombies*
2. Sewing
3. Affiliate links

*I just really like this towel, circa our 2013 LA jaunt, and wish I would have absconded with it. So I haz made it the focal point.

This post was prompted by two recent events, one, an email from a new curly girl reader, asking what I use on my curls, the other, an at-home dye job that progressively turned my curls the shade of Little Black Dress.

I realize that this is a strange diversion from the regular talk in these parts, but a quick google of blog reviews is what helped me fix the err of my ways. So I'm paying it forward and adding a few favorites of my own. And speaking of pay, nope, none of these links are paid, it's just what I currently love!

Guys, I hate salons. I FRICKIN FRACKIN HATE SALONS. I've been their unwilling victim for years due to the cut/color/yaddayadda requirements of various jobs. Every time, I drag my heels like I'm going to the dentist. (Actually, my dentist's office is a way more pleasant experience.) I hate the aloof vibe, I hate the gossip, I hate the HOURS UPON HOURS of sitting under a dryer and being sold a mass of expensive product, meant to suddenly transform my mass of hair. All those years of getting color for job requirements means I have to keep on truckin' with it during auditions. However, the last time I went to a salon on my own, they charged me $250 for a terrible haircut and a dye job that left me with a swath of color across my forehead.  The swath was only revealed when I headed into an audition looking like an outpatient.


So, new rule: when it's up to me, I handle my hair. But a when a box meant to produce Brilliant Highlights and Warm Tones All In One! gave me Addams Family Morticia!, I found myself surfing the web in the aisles of the drugstore.

Before I get to the fix, here's my regular regime: shampoo my hair 1-2x a month, with Dr Bronner's Rose Castille Soap. Condition every other day with Alaffia Lavender Conditoner (this is also called co-washing). I leave it in for 2 minutes, towel blot the excess water with a jersey t shirt (the soft fibers protect the curl pattern), and rake Dr Bronner's Lavender hair cream through from root to tip. You can toss your head upside down for a few of those rakes, it helps the curls to form. Then I stick a couple clips around the crown of my head and let it air dry. Blow it dry, if I'm in a rush, otherwise, shake it out once fully dry to get maximum volume. And that's it. Sometimes I add a little gel or hairspray if my hair is in a bad mood, but I haven't found favorites in that area yet. (Got any? Do tell!!!)

It might sound like a lot, but you're talking to a gal who used to buy product by the bag full, finger curling each strand and chanting to the hair gods whilst hopping on one foot, forking over cash like an offering. (GUESS WHAT I SPEND THAT MONEY ON NOW.)

As for the Liz Taylor snafu, Color Oops! is a freaking miracle in a box. You have to follow the instructions to the letter, and you'll be rinsing your hair out for a full 25 minutes (I felt like a mermaid by the end of it) but it works. My last uber-accessorized garment post shows my hair pre-fix. You'll notice I'm smiling... 'cause it's just hair. It grows back.

Weird search traffic for this post be damned, I had to share!!! We're all DIY'ers here, so I'm pretty sure y'all have some hair horror stories. What's your worst hair story? Did it have a happy ending? 


now THAT'S class.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | BHL Kim dress and fascinator| a sewing blog

I have decided that we need to bring parasols, fans, and fascinators back. This is a lot to bring back all at once. As the golden rule of accessorizing clearly states you should remove one object before walking out the door, I have abandoned the fan for this ensemble.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | BHL Kim dress and fascinator| a sewing blog

Brilliant Chica and I are actually the co-authors of this movement. During an early summer visit, I was showing her some beautiful fascinator supplies, sent to me by Vibes and Scribes, and that set us on our adventure. We always have some sort of crafty and/or treasure hunt adventure when we're together, that involves hours of yelling and searching and hypothesizing. And always accompanied by fist shaking! Why have we abandoned the parasol?! PARASOLS ARE WONDERFUL! Why are fascinators not part of our daily ensemble?! WHY IS EVERYONE ON THEIR CELLPHONE?!!!! WHO ARE THESE CLASSLESS PLEBES SURROUNDING US?!

I, without a bra or accompanying bra stays, am clearly the definition of class.

I could use a little boning as well.

The dress dates back to 2005. Not, not really. But I made it so long ago I can't remember! It's the BHL Kim dress, so we can chart its birth from sometime around that release. As you can see, the back bodice would benefit from the recent steel boning kick I've been on. So sad. I should remedy that.

But I'm loathe to rip out that handstitching! This poly was treated with such care! Well above its station! 

Cinderell-y flowers are underlined in some mystery blend with a delicious hand, both are from Janky store, hence the mystery. 

You know, I think I should add that to the Classy List: A Sense Of Mystery.


I really enjoyed knocking this fascinator out, and wouldn't have went near the idea had Vibes and Scribes, a small indie shop in Ireland (and online too), not reached out to me. When they asked if I'd like to try a few goodies my eyes immediately went to millinery. MILLINERY! A whole new level of class, itching to be learned! I positively devoured the screen!

Oooooorrrr...... maybe I could just go with a fascinator, which seems to be the scrappy, slightly tipsy chick of the millinery world, where the only rule is more is more.


oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | BHL Kim dress and fascinator| a sewing blog

I'm totally serious about the Call to Class. In fact, three gorgeous gals donned handmade fascinators for some birthday festivities last week, all created in a mere sixty minutes, and mostly by Brilliant Chica. She has an EYE for this stuff, yo!

(I'm sorry, "yo" should probably be off my list. At least for this post.)

I'd like to thank Vibes and Scribes for sending me down this classy path. Really, these goodies have sparked a whole new section of accessories. Expect more fascinators, and fans. Oh yes, there will be fans...

What's your favorite classy accoutrement? Have I missed something? GLOVES!!! A LADY NEEDS GLOVES!

the supplies for this fascinator were sent to me by Vibes And Scribes, who have unwittingly opened a new door of horror for Ruggy. 


man shirts for everyone!

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | the refashioners | by marcy harriell

Last night I enjoyed one of the best birthday dinners in recent memory, surrounded by three of my very favorite people, and everyone at the table was wearing something I made. That means two of those garments were MAN SHIRTS. 

I KNOW!!! 

I have no evidence of this, because not a single one of us brought any kind of device to dinner. WHICH IS EXACTLY HOW WE LIKES IT. During the meal, mommaballoona mentioned a few cool spots they saw on the drive, that might be good for blog photos...  there's a green wall that says "Love" on it! Yes indeedy there is! Good eye, psychic mommaballoona! Big Daddy has a part in this story too, and you can read about it over at Makery, where I'm playing in Portia's series The Refashioners (there's also a metric ton of prizes to win ifffn you want to get in on the refashioning craze yourself).

I've been everywhere but here this birthday week, partying with #sewphotohop and The Sewing Party, but I would really like to say thank you for all of the birthday wishes, right here on the blog, where I've met so many friends. Sewists are the sweetest. Have a great weekend, see you here next week with some dresses!