Buy Fabric On Amazon.

Yep. On Amazon. And damn if I don't already see more pieces I want!!

Two weekends ago, I treated myself to some internet window shopping (hey--WINDOW shopping! GET IT?). I wanted to gaze at some rayon prints. I love me some rayon. It feels like a kitten's kiss on your bod and slinks while you walk like some sultry snake of a thing.

I don't know why I'm mixing mammals and reptiles.

My eye landed on the gorgeous saturated spongy rayon crepe you see above, from Designer Fabrics Warehouse. Then I started scrolling. THROUGH EVERY SINGLE PAGE OF THEIR 3,010 OFFERINGS. And I thought, why am I only window shopping? Didn't I say I'd use my Amazon affiliate pennies to keep up the sewin and bloggin habit? ISN'T BUYING THIS FABRIC THE RIGHT THING TO DO?! IN FACT, DO I REALLY HAVE ANY OTHER CHOICE?! 

Successful in my rationalization, I loaded up my cart. This lightweight denim slub chambray, which is exactly as described in their shop, was added to make me feel better about the amusement park of technicolor print I'd chosen. You know, trying to beef up the casual wear section of my closet. A shirtdress? A jumpsuit? Is a jumpsuit casual?

Here's the only headscratcher of the group...it is, once again, exactly as described. So I should have known that this lightweight "non drapey" "crisp poplin" with a "papery feel" was not the droid for the button up summer maxi skirt I envisioned. This is the only one I didn't wash yet, because I'm considering using it as a photo backdrop and I want to keep all the length & width I can. Tee hee, and tra la.

Unlike DWF's shot of this beautiful poly ponte-like knit, this ain't exactly the color--the background is more gray than blue. But, again, kudos to DWF, what you see on Amazon is what you get. I love this color combo! I'll probably use it for a pencil skirt. I think! I JUST DON'T KNOW! DELICIOUS INDECISION!

It's a great shop. The descriptions are precise, like someone who sews, or at least cares about fabric, wrote them. The cuts are generous, and the fabrics came out of the pre wash beautifully. Though each fabric page states its own shipping charge, once you fill up your cart it's a flat 6.95 shipping charge. And orders over 50 bucks get free shipping. They ship from LA (maybe they have a garment district brick & mortar?) and Mr Postman delivered these on Saturday (a full week ahead of Amazon's prediction), I had them in the wash by dusk, and once they were out, I knew I was hollering about them ASAP. I spent Sunday playing with the rayon crepe. I want to live in that rayon crepe. Part of me didn't even want to tell y'all bout that rayon crepe.

But go. Go, my friends. Buy the crepe. Love the crepe. BE the crepe.

ETA: A word of caution, do be careful about what's in your cart--I can only vouch for my fabric experience with Designer Fabrics Warehouse, which is smaller third party seller. Amazon's crafty layout makes it easy to navigate to fabrics from other sellers. Here's DFW's Storefront!

This post includes affiliate links. Pennies earned will be used to keep up the sewing and blogging habit (and occasionally buy a trinket for my photographer. I'd get him some fabric, but we all know whose body that'd end up on.)


More. Casual. Wear.

Still with the separates! STILL! And not just separates. I'm venturing into the realm of CASUAL. Ugh, casual. HOW I LOATHE THE WORD. Here's how Webster's defines those six little letters:

ca su al

happening by chance : not planned or expected
designed for permitting ordinary dress, behavior, etc : not formal
not regular or permanent, in particular
made or done without much thought or premeditation

EGADS WHAT A DIRTY LITTLE WORD. But it's a necessary evil in my audition closet, and since hand made jeans came into my life, I'm no longer satisfied with wearing RTW everyday wear. I get ready for "work" and eye my hand made separates with a sigh, the print/color/shiny-ness nowhere near casual enough to work on camera. (Not that this eye searing neon and floral explosion will work on camera either, but I'm getting closer.)

You can see the full outfit & details at The Mood Sewing Network...

It also occurs to me that this deviation into sewing bread might be a little strange for longtime visitors of Kalkatroona. Maybe you come here for party dresses and brocade dusters and you're all WHERE'S THE SHINY. Or MAYBE you're all DO YOU EVER WEAR NORMAL CLOTHING. That said, thank you for your comments on my last separates post! I haven't had time to respond to everyone, but I'm going to try the vinegar wash suggestions on those jeans. I will be pinching my nose shut with the grip of Hercules the entire time. Good god, I hate the smell of vinegar. I hate it about as much as the word Casual! Probably because it reminds me of spoiled wine, which is a crime against humanity. Vinegar, that is. Well, Casual might be a felony too. I THINK CASUAL WEAR AND SMARTPHONES MIGHT BE THE DEMISE OF OUR SOCIETY.

*obviously incoherent, oona walks away from the computer in search of coffee.*

Happy Sunday, y'all! Hope you're sewing!


Sewing Bread: BHL + Birkins.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | Birkin Flares + BHL Sarah shirt

Jeans are the Gateway Drug to Separates.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | Birkin Flares + BHL Sarah shirt

My closet is filled with all manner of sugary cake, frosting, and every treat in between, with very little bread. But since forcing myself into sewing up the Birkin Flares as a holiday sew, suddenly I want stuff I can wear with my jeans. I have heard that this type of garment, that pairs with another garment, this thing is called a "Separate."

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | Birkin Flares + BHL Sarah shirt


I wasn't going to test the latest BHL pattern, because, Not A Sparkly Dress. Not only Not a Sparkly Dress...a top. I'd go so far as to call it a BLOUSE. A quick check of my closet reveals that in eight years, I've made about a dozen things that can be counted as some sort of top. And none of them can really be called a blouse. Plus, I don't own blouse material! I haz brocade, and velvet, and gazar...so, I thought I'd pass.

And then this Liberty of London silky cotton, meant for a maxi length copy of Sallieoh's bohemian midi dress, screamed at me from its place on my party shelves:


Mouthy fabric, that Liberty. I finally get what y'all have been hollering about. This print, Anna's Garden, is a reissue from the 70s. The flowers are large format and organically placed, which is what sold me. The fabric is whisper soft and floaty, the kind that you don't want to prewash for fear of changing the hand. But prewash I did, and dried it in the dryer, because I like to be honest with myself: I'm not laying my separates out to air dry. I will mistreat about 90% of my separates. Mainly because 90% of my separates are RTW, so maybe that will change now that I'm hooked on the Bread Drug...at the moment though, I'm mistreating. I mean, check the snaps I hammered into this poor stuff. Those snaps are too heavy for such a delicate fabric! Lookit how they're pulling the organza interfaced placket! I will forever have to daintily pry them open with a fingernail! 

But I do not care. I like the look of them.

Also not caring: that my second pair of Birkins still do not have rivets, or back pockets, or a proper button. I liked how this wooden guy paired with the deep indigo, so I went with it.

A deep indigo which incessantly rubbed off on my hands. If Marc Jacobs actually stocks this yardage in RTW, it definitely comes with a warning tag: do not sit on light colored furniture in your new jeans. Ever seen that tag? I used to think it was BS before I started to sew.

I added two loops on the center back, because, well, where the yardage for my first Birkins did not have enough stretch, this fabric has way too much stretch. Perhaps I will Goldilocks myself into the proper denim for my third pair, but I'm not holding my breath. I had a little war with the waistband, when I had to take everything in to account for the stretch factor, which you can see in the front shot.

This denim would be better suited to a pair of skinnies, and I should have just hung onto it for the release of the Kendalls, but I couldn't wait. I really was frothing at the mouth to sew another pair, so I considered it a science experiment. They wrinkle at the front and absolutely need a belt-- and hey. They need pockets. To be honest, I was so tired of washing dye off my hands, I abandoned ship on pockets. Let me get my strength back, imma add them in, and take about a quarter inch off that back hem, too.

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | Birkin Flares + BHL Sarah shirt

Let's talk more about the blouse! When I test, I try to sew up a straight size with as little modifications as possible. So, this is a straight size 8/12, with no fit modifications. My short waist wasn't an issue with this swingy shape. And, it is a beautiful swingy shape! WHICH YOU WILL SEE NO EVIDENCE OF HERE! I will never wear this loose. I SAID NEVER. Something about the equation of my big hair + my badonkadonk + a wide shirt hem just doesn't equal good. However, I'm thinking about lengthening it to summer dress length and wearing it full swing. 

Remember Summer? Yeeeeeah. Like right-above-the-knee breezy summer dress, strappy flat sandals, a couple bangles, triple scoop of gelato around 4pm in the park...

oonaballoona | a sewing blog by marcy harriell | Birkin Flares + BHL Sarah shirt

I digress. Changes I made: the pattern has two collar options, neither of which are my style, and unlike the swingyness of the shirt hem, that's not so easily changed by a tuck-in. So, I measured the neckline at the SA and freehanded a standing collar, which fully encases the button placket. And instead of buttons, just three snaps on the front, since I only want to wear it tied or tucked.

Changes I made, not so much on purpose: the sleevehead is actually supposed to be a bit gathered, but some testers (me) thought it was supposed to be a smooth application, and some testers (ME) reset the sleeve 4 times trying to get all the puckers out. The gals at BHL have changed the main illustrations to reflect the gathers that should be there, but the instructions only note that it's a fuller sleeve, so keep that in mind if you're sewing it up. However, I like my mistake, so I'll probably remove a bit of ease from the sleevehead when I go for that summer dress.


Sorry, I gotta go think about Summer now.

Pattern: BHL's Sarah Shirt, final PDF pattern provided to me in exchange for testing
Fabric: Liberty of London (sold out, another colorway) and Marc Jacobs Denim, both from Mood Fabrics.


Raspberry Bereft

oonaballoona | a sewing blog | ojolly sweater knit

Well. Let me introduce the latest oddity off the sewing machine: a sweater knit skirt and matching hat. A SOLID sweater knit skirt and matching hat. A solid sweater knit skirt and matching hat that was supposed to be a CARDIGAN.

When Olgalyn asked if I might like to play with some yardage of a decidedly Kalkatroonaan hue from her shop, O! Jolly!, I leapt at the chance. I love her bespoke sweaters. Olgalyn can make sweater knit cascade like it's spun silk. And what's more, her blog is filled with advice on creating your own sweatery make. Would that I had followed some of it. I planned on making this lovely, deep raspberry wool into a cropped cardigan, the better to pair with all my maxi skirts, and I announced this plan at one of the gazillion Prets in the city, she in a bespoke sweater, looking like a model, me in audition gear, drooling rabidly over wool and cappuccino.

Unfortunately, the best way to guarantee that I will go off the rails is to make a plan. Announcing the plan pretty much seals the deal. Although I know this about myself, I have not truly learned it. Am I really that stubborn, that obstinate, that I even balk against MYSELF when I perceive that I am being Told What To Do??? I SET THE DAMN PLAN MYSELF! FOLLOW YOUR OWN ORDERS, WOMAN!

Because, look. This yardage should not be a bodycon skirt. Sure, it has the stretch factor to accommodate such a shape, as you can see in the super awesome blurry shot above, but I guess the side seams will bunch with movement by virtue of the sweatery ribby goodness. Although both seams are true and all that good stuff, you can see what happens to them when I move. 

See? Lots of ribs and glorious waves in this stuff. After my brain broke on copying my vintage cropped fitted cardigan, I moved to a giant free cut boxy sweater, and then the crazy train just kept going.

But that color! Maybe I got drunk on color and all hell broke loose. I mean, it's gorgeous. As you can tell from the photoshopped background, this knit had me singing Prince on repeat. Which is why I tried to make a beret to salvage the ensemble.


Beret or not, I have worn this little cap out in the recent furious winter chill, and it is toasty. In fact, I think I'll have another go at reincarnation...I think I want a ...wait lemme ask Ruggy what I'm thinking of...a USHANKA! OOOOO! And I just happen to have some faux fur lying around! The ear flaps could extend down and wrap around the neck if needed! THE TIES COULD HAVE POM POMS! POM POMS, Y'ALL!

An excellent plan. Forget I said it.

Many thanks to Olgalyn for the beautiful fabric, I hope I have not hurt your knitted soul too much...I do plan to reinvent it. I just don't plan to let myself know it. I hope you sewists out there head over to O! Jolly! and grab some for yourself-- bonus, it's on sale through Valentine's Day. What would you make???