Silk Holidaze

silk holidaze | mcccalls 7387 | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Things have turned crazyface around here! Alongside the ramp up to the holidays, the business side of life suddenly woke back up and I'm a little (happily) swamped. So, I'm just going to dive right in. On my last Mood Sewing Network post, I talked about the fabric, now I'll tell you about the pattern...

This is McCalls 7387, which I've sewn up twice, and failed at twice, if you consider the fact that I lost a good foot and a half of fabric on each make a fail. I DO. Cuz I did it twice. Twice, people. That's three feet of fabric. THAT'S LIKE A SHIRT'S WORTH OF FABRIC.

silk holidaze | mcccalls 7387 | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

I lost said footage from the hemline. That damn hemline is supposed to be far more dramatic, but each time it came out looking like a Beta Fish tail. Which actually sounds much cooler than it looked. Don't let the description fool you. After a time-out to mull over the fact that I had repeated my error, I lopped it off. (It originally hit just below my calves, the side seam hitting right about where it is now.)

silk holidaze | mcccalls 7387 | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

I omitted the front fly facings after reading several pattern reviews about how wonky those directions were. Maybe I had been influenced by the general opinion, but after one glance at the fly instructions, I decided to bail on it. Instead, I cut an extra 5/8ths, using the selvage as the edge of the shirt. I then interfaced & folded it under once to the back, and once to the front, accordion style, to create a placket. The selvage is the front edge of the shirt. (There's also plenty of triple-stitched fuchsia rayon topstitching, but did I get a shot of that? I did not. Here, squint at this next shot, mebbe you can spy it...)

silk holidaze | mcccalls 7387 | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

As for those sleeves. HEY. Can someone tell me why a dropped sleeve would have so much ease? You don't need the extra movement, since the seam isn't on your shoulder, right? Also: why do we press the seam towards the sleeves on a woman's shirt, but towards the bodice on a man's? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. 

After inserting the sleeves, I pressed the seams this way and that, trying to figure out which draped best (man's way did), but still, they hung a bit...poofily. That extra ease at the "cap" on my bicep just wouldn't lie flat. I hacked the sleeves off, losing about 5/8ths from the armsyce, and added the fold over band option instead. Those little interfaced suckers stick out like I'm a silk crepe de chine'd line backer. Football and silk. I'm down.

silk holidaze | mcccalls 7387 | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

They really do wing out! I love them. Finally, I went haywire on the neckline (which does indeed hang straight) and encased it in bias, rather than adding the collar. I didn't see the need for buttons on this go, it feels more artsy this way. 

silk holidaze | mcccalls 7387 | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Oh yeah! One last thing, I did a center back pleat, rather than the diagonal, swooshy, très artsy pleat in the pattern. Because there's only so much art I can take.

Well y'all, hopefully some of this sew-speak makes sense to you. I'm mainly sharing the details in case you want the same outcome! Although I love my new topper, I'm still looking for that perfect, open shirt-dress pattern, with no waist seam. Got any suggestions?

this silk crepe de chine topper was made with my fabric "allowance" as part of the mood sewing network.


In Need of Beauty: Three Rizzoli Books You Must Possess.

In Need of Beauty: Three Rizzoli Books You Must Possess.

We had a gorgeous Thanksgiving, during which time the world stopped, and we were able to live in a private universe of family and food and love and beauty. On Sunday, our world was whittled back down to our dynamic duo. We readied ourselves for Monday--Rob with football, and I with a floral mesh swing coat inspired by Dior. We ended the weekend together on the couch, with the final episode of Friday Night Lights (our second time through), and Rob sighed,  I want more Good stories.  There's not enough of them.  I replied,  I think we'll see more soon. Actually, I think we're about to see a lot of beauty over the next four years.

We're about to see a lot of *everything*, no doubt, but don't you feel a push, a wake up call, to make it clear that you are Good? Even in the commercials we saw during Sunday games--the COMMERCIALS--people, corporations, are making themselves clear. Walmart had an ad up with Thanksgiving tables mixed with every race, color and creed--a black female soldier declaring to her platoon that you are my family, it doesn't matter what color you are. Zales showcased a lesbian couple joyfully tying the knot, showered with love from every direction. Amazon has an ad that's gone viral, in which two old friends with different beliefs share the same aching knee problem, from the kneeling they both do for their separate religions. Beautiful.

At any rate, I won't belabor you with half baked deep thoughts on every post, but it did seem to me that beauty is more important than ever right now. So I'll end the musings there, and give you an eyeful of beautiful books I've been meaning to share with you since last Christmas, as part of my Sewing Goodies series. Because these books will make you want to Sew. Beautiful. EVERYTHING.

In Need of Beauty: Three Rizzoli Books You Must Possess.

I don't like to say "never," but I can firmly say that I will N-E-V-E-R be a person who can read a book on a Kindle. Books, real books that you can hold in your hand, there's no comparison for me. Yet, I was completely blind to the use of fashion books for years. I mean, you can google inspiration from any number of designers! Turns out, having that paper in my hands is pure ambrosia. Beats a computer screen right to death. 

Hands down, Rizzoli books are my favorite. It's gotten to the point that if I see their mark, I'm sold. This large format book, Valentino: Themes and Variations, is glorious.

I've had this huge tome since last Christmas, and I haven't even gotten through the whole thing yet. Partly because I want it to last, partly because the inspiration is so overwhelming, I can only take so much at a time before I cry UNCLE VALENTINO and run to my sewing desk. It's just that stunning. 

In Need of Beauty: Three Rizzoli Books You Must Possess.

When I added Lanvin to my wishlist, it was purely for the fact that it was published by Rizzoli. (See? I wasn't lying!) When my parents gifted it to me, I thought ehhh this isn't my style even as I proved myself to indeed be a liar, as I drooled over the beadwork and thought up ways to incorporate it into my hamhanded machinations....


In Need of Beauty: Three Rizzoli Books You Must Possess.

And last but not least, Dior Impressions. The one that started my little collection. I checked this book out from our local library--it was actually the first designer book I ever leafed through in the quiet of our home, and as Rob read his "book" in bed next to me (on an Ipad, BLASPHEMY) I couldn't keep my reactions quiet. In fact, he got very little reading done that night, as I kept punching him to look at each new page.

It was the first designer book I decided I had to own. Not quite coffee table size, this cloth wrapped gem is smaller than the rest, and hands down my favorite. It ties Dior's work to inspirations of his own: art and nature.

(Speaking of coffee tables, these don't actually reside there, as that is reserved for eating in our small apartment. Nope, they live atop our electronics cabinet. Yesterday, Rob shocked me by asking if I could move them, as they're staring to pile up and block the speakers. I think you know what my reaction was.)

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into some of my favorite "trophies," as Rob rightly calls them (you'd think such a perceptive man would know better than to pose the aforementioned question, eh?). We readily plunk down cash for sewing books, but poring over these tomes is, in my opinion, a gold mine. It's like having a carefully curated exhibit in your home. If you're like me, and late to the party on the value of having one or two or TWENTY around, I hope you'll give them a try, whether it's through these links, or your local library (actually, the library is a great gateway drug for these! I have a pile of books that I check out every time we trek home for the holidays, and I pretend they're ALL MINE for a whole week.)

And for those of you who are already designer bibliophiles...got any recommendations? Our electronics cabinet needs piling up, dontcha know.

the links in this post are amazon affiliate links, so let your fingers do the googling if you're not into that! pennies earned go towards keeping up the sewing and blogging habit... and maybe another book or two...


A Statement: Purse.

oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | A Statement: Purse.

Welcome to my bag of crazy.

Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Firstly, thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful thoughts on my last post, and the beautiful stories you shared. To be honest, I felt like typing out my (true, and heartfelt) thanks to each comment would seem hollow for the repetition, so I'll say it here: I really and truly appreciate every word written. That kind of communication gives me hope in what is, undeniably, a turbulent time. 

Secondly, with everyone feeling unsure about the future, it feels a bit ridiculous parading photos of a giant technicolor fringed bag-- like belting out a showtune at a wake. But I'm determined to try my best to inject color and fun into this space. And maybe, hopefully, brighten a day or two with my insanity. We don't know what's ahead, but for now, I'm going to (as Rob put it) keep my worry levels low and my action levels high. 

A Statement: Purse.


This bag.

A Statement: Purse.

This bag came into being at the end of October, when M&J Trimming asked if I might like to play with some goodies of my choosing. M&J has been a landmark in NY's garment district for, good lord, I want to say almost two decades? Early on in my sewing adventures, I ventured in a few times, but always left overwhelmed and empty handed. Now, they've gone through a makeover, and the store is bright, beautifully laid out, and happy. In early October, the staff was jovial, the owners gracious, the mood energetic-- made all the more so by the fact that The Khaljeesi was in town, guiding a group of sewists shopping for trim for Chanel jackets. 

(I *might* have harassed a few of them into showing me what was in their fabric bags. Oh, the bouclé...)

A Statement: Purse.

Back to this fabric bag! It's two giant curved panels of red boiled wool, with trim basically quilted to it in long gently curving swaths. The wool (which you can see in the belt and strap loops) matched the trim pretty well, and when I was done with the front panel, I considered leaving the back free of decoration. 

WHERE IS THE FUN IN THAT, I barked at myself. And away I went. 

A Statement: Purse.

The lining is some yellow mystery stuff from my stash, attached to a denim facing. Mystery Yellow was salvaged from this dress, which was only worn once. The skirt of it always felt thin-- like it was meant for lining. So the flimsy fabric finally found its purpose in life...

A Statement: Purse.

The blue rope trim, used for the strap, and the floral "belt" of the bag both hail from the vintage wall at M&J. Oh, I could have set up camp in front of the vintage wall of trim! There's about four yards for the strap, and a sensible yard of the floral motif for the belt, which is simply tacked down under the woven buckle.

I wish I could tell you how many yards of red ridiculousness went into this thing, but I lost track in my creative haze. I spied four large spools of it in the warehouse clearance section of the store, and I pounced. (My first thought was to make a bag covered in small fur pom poms. That bag would have cost about nine hundred dollars. This soft decor trim was the perfect compromise... not to mention, far easier to sew with). 

A Statement: Purse.

Total weight of bag: two and a half pounds. YEP. It's so heavy that putting items into it is something I have to seriously consider. It's like a small statement purse, meant only for keys and phone and lipstick, only it's half the size of my body. Completely irrational. I ADORE IT.

I'm very grateful to be able to partner with small stores and show my love by creating, when I can't necessarily show it with my wallet-- I do hope y'all don't mind it. And if you're inspired by my insanity, M&J would like to pass the love on and offer a 15% discount code for you. Just use "OONA15" through December 15 on the site (no affiliation).

And now, I've got some creating to do. I hope you do, too. Lemme know if you're making something completely irrational. I'm ALWAYS looking for good harebrained ideas...

this boho bag was made to make me smile, and hopefully make others smile too. i'll even take a laugh or two. thanks to m&j for providing the supplies!


To the Veteran I Never Knew.

oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | To the Veteran I Never Knew.

This is my granddad. I always believed that he did not love me.

One summer, long after he had passed away, long after both my Grandmothers had passed away, my parents put together a photo album for me as a birthday gift. The bulk of the shots were true and believable memories. But I stared in surprise at my Granddad, me cradled in his arms. The love on his face was undeniable. And unbelievable.

But our beliefs are not always truth. 

Granddad was a quiet man. I shared maybe a hundred words with him over the years, most of those in the form of hellos and goodbyes. He was a Veteran. He served for four years in the Navy during World War II. I know next to nothing about him. This is what I learned today:

In 1941, my Nana had moved from Virginia to New Jersey, where she met my Granddad. Her brother, Eddie, was a Marine, and when my Granddad first met him, Eddie was in uniform. Granddad thought this man was an unbelievable sight, and he enlisted in the Navy in '42 -- mainly because he didn't want to give up the curl in his 'do with the mandatory buzz cut of the Army and Marines.

Granddad served in the South Pacific, but whenever they were docked stateside, Nana would go to visit him on his ship. His crew mates were incensed that a Black man was involved with a woman who, by all appearances, seemed White. They had to assure them that she was not.

When he returned from the war in January of '46, they were married by the end of the month. Twin girls arrived in November of that year. 

His first job after the war was short lived. When he asked for a raise, his boss said, no problem, you'll have your raise starting tomorrow. He arrived at work the next day to find that his boss had placed several pallets by his workspace to stand on. He quit on the spot.

He was incredibly hard working. He had multiple side jobs on top of his full time job at Western Electric, which he got because he was a veteran, in spite of the color of his skin.

One hot summer day, the young family of four all got on the bus to Olympic Park in Irvington, NJ. They were excited to ride the roller coaster and cool off in the pool. But when they arrived at the gate, they were denied entry because of the color of their skin.

During the Newark riots of '67, now a family of five, their car was stopped by the police, who then searched the vehicle. The police found a hammer in the trunk, there because Granddad did all of the repair work on the two homes they owned. The police considered the hammer to be a weapon and said something to my Granddad, something my Mom did not hear. But she felt it when he suddenly hit the gas and sped off and she heard it when the police shot at their car. 

Or was it the National Guard? My shock at these stories, at once completely believable and absolutely unbelievable, makes it hard to remember the facts.

Granddad once caught an electric eel when fishing in the Raritan River. What did he do?! I asked. He threw it back! my Dad replied. The thought of my stoic Granddad reacting to an electric fish is unimaginable and yes, unbelievable. 

oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | To the Veteran I Never Knew.

Everything I've just told you comes from a conversation I had with my parents this morning. I didn't hear any of these stories from my Granddad, who I rarely saw anywhere but in his domain: the basement TV room and bar. There, he would sit in his recliner (though never in a reclined position), watching TV. We would kiss him on the cheek. He would grunt a hello. We would leave him be, and go outside to play with our cousins. The only thing that changed as we grew up was that I would go upstairs to debate with our cousins, while my brother would stay downstairs and sit with him. I know no other small tidbits about him. 

I do have one memory of my brother and me, sitting on bar stools, while Dad and Granddad made a couple of rum and cokes for the ladies upstairs. (Nana said no one made a rum and coke better than my Dad. EASILY BELIEVABLE.)

oonaballoona | a blog by marcy harriell | To the Veteran I Never Knew.

This might seem like a story about race. It's not-- but it is. I said at the beginning of this lengthy post that I believed my Granddad didn't love me. I suppose I should tell you why. My extended family looked like a Colors of Benetton ad, but it sure didn't act United. We were opinionated, and funny, and loud, and passionate, and ever-slightly-feuding--and though every single person in that house was born of a mixed race marriage, a lot of those holiday feuds were centered on race. What race you were, what race you claimed, what race was better than the other. Neither of my grandparents ever joined in these conversations, especially my Granddad, who sat downstairs as the hollering went on. His silence made it easy for me to believe he didn't care enough to talk. I believed my particular racial blend held both of my maternal grandparent's love for me at a quiet arm's length. 

But maybe my Granddad simply wanted quiet after the weight of so many struggles. The worst of which had to be losing his 33 year-old daughter. Maybe my Nana was just shocked to see a teenager with natural hair the size of New Jersey greeting her at the door, when she had to wrangle her hair into a small, straightened shape every day of her life in an effort to appear a little bit more "acceptable." Maybe I was just an unbelievable sight to her. 

Race plays an enormous part in the story. You could easily say it is the cause of it, but it is not the sum of it. It is a story about strangers, brought on by a day which honors a man I didn't know. 

I've been reading this over and over, wondering what the hell I'm trying to say. Just now, I heard some yells, some drums, coming from up the street, and my mind immediately went to thoughts of protestors and trouble. I believed this imagined scenario instantly and completely. Looking out the window, I saw a troop of 30 young Black kids dressed in some sort of school military uniform, carrying marching band instruments and carefully rolled flags. They walked happily down the street, obviously heading somewhere in honor of Veteran's Day. I wrote a story in my head that I instantly believed, and which turned out to be the complete opposite.

Would I have gotten these stories directly from my grandparents if my own beliefs hadn't clouded up every encounter I had with them? My beliefs became truths that made no room. They colored every hello and goodbye. And they made my grandparents strangers to me.

We all have strangers in our lives: neighbors who vote the other way, family members we just don't get, countless people we only know through half-thought-out opinions on social media. In honor of this man I didn't know--this man, who by sheer virtue of the magnificent daughter he raised, was obviously a man who had great love inside him--in honor of this man, I'm going to do my best to question my beliefs. To hear a siren and consider that it might mean help is on the way for someone. To consider that a stranger's sideways glance might not be condemnation--maybe it's a commendation on my latest oona creation. To let my beliefs be pliable enough that I can give small and large kindnesses to those that I see every day, and those that I'll never see again.  

To consider that my belief isn't always truth.


it begins

Voting, and coverage of it, has begun. Although I don't talk politics here, I've been completely unable to keep my mouth shut in public--lobbing out a soft ball to test the waters, and then jumping in with both feet regardless of temperature. In waiting rooms at auditions. In ballet class between exercises. In Mood at the cutting tables. In my neighborhood grocery store. I've run into more than a few peeps who have decided to sit this one out, but who at the same time have unbendable opinions about who should win.

This year saw two of the most watched Presidential debates in our history. It's easy to watch--well, let me rephrase, I watched all three from tip to tail, and it was not easy to watch whatever that was at all. What I mean is, watching is passive. Typing out 140 character rants on social media is worthless if you don't back it up and vote. I'm not here today to take sides, I don't think you're going to have to stretch your brains very far to guess what side I'm on. I'm here to implore you to take your side and make it official. Of course I wish you'd vote for the one that I want (doowop-shoowadawada, oo, oo, oooo). But more than that, I want you to physically make a choice. Even if our voting system is a mess--make this the biggest voter turnout in our history. 

And we'll see what history has in store for us in the morning. 

(Tonight, I'm going to leave a pretty piece of fabric folded up on my desk to greet me alongside the AM results. I highly recommend it. And right now, I'm going to turn the comments off because it's the day of the show, y'all. Stop typing. Go vote.)


Sewing for Kids ?! The Building Block Dress

sewing for kids | oonaballoona by marcy harriell | the building block dress tour

How calm the child looks! Wistful, even! A lazy day, a tree swing, a new dress. And a cocktail for the photographer.

sewing for kids | oonaballoona by marcy harriell | the building block dress tour

Wait, child. I don't think I like that look on your face...

sewing for kids | oonaballoona by marcy harriell | the building block dress tour


sewing for kids | oonaballoona by marcy harriell | the building block dress tour


sewing for kids | oonaballoona by marcy harriell | the building block dress tour

Thank god for oscillation.

sewing for kids | oonaballoona by marcy harriell | the building block dress tour

And for inanimate subjects.

sewing for kids | oonaballoona by marcy harriell | the building block dress tour

This little beauty (yes, I am talking about the rambunctious child and not the docile doll) is my friend Olivia, and we spent a good chunk of a September weekend running around her yard. 

sewing for kids | oonaballoona by marcy harriell | the building block dress tour

She was pretty happy to be dressed up just like her "Marcydoll", which was presented to her a few years back. Marcydoll is done up in a Betsey Johnson jersey print, and years later, I still had enough for a matching dress. (Honestly, I think I bought about 10 yards when I came across a bolt in my beloved Janky store. I also have a Marcy sized two piece ensemble out of it.) Although the pattern doesn't recommend jersey, for this energetic kid, the combo is a winner.

sewing for kids | oonaballoona by marcy harriell | the building block dress tour

BUT WHAT IS THE PATTERN AND WHY ARE YOU MAKING CLOTHING FOR CHILDREN, you ask? (I imagine you're asking it in all caps. It's more fun that way.) Well! This is my version of the dress from Oliver & S's newest book, The Building Block Dress: A Sewing Pattern Alteration Guide, and I'm the last stop on the tour (eta: there are more stops next week!). Olivia is graciously modeling her variation, which includes the customizations of Cap Sleeve, Peter Pan Collar, Flared Gathered A Line Skirt, and Keyhole Opening. (The more experienced among you will realize the err of my ways in thinking I could get flat detail shots of the dress after giving it to her. Once on, Olivia was having none of taking the dress off again, which I took as a seal of approval.) 

The book includes a block dress pattern (size 6M to 12) which is super cute right out of the gate. But it also includes detailed instructions for customizing the pattern to make ridiculous amounts of versions. I imagine if you've got a permanent kiddo, and want to sew as she grows, this book is gold. Having no kiddos myself, and knowing my past experience with sewing for the younger set, I suppose you're still puzzled as to why I'm talking about this book. I confess, I was confused when Liesl reached out to me, too! There are several reasons I wanted to climb on board, and several reasons why I love this book.

One: I'm becoming ever more aware that the young ladies in my life are getting to the age where they actively choose what goes on their bods--and 99% of the time they're choosing technicolor. (The other 1% is for screaming through the house naked after a bath. True story.) HAPPY TO HELP. Happier to do so with one customizable pattern that can easily change and grow with them!

Two: I was intrigued by Liesl's suggestion that this book would be useful to my own garment sewing as well. She was right. What's great about making these child sized dresses is that you can practice pattern customization on one small block--and the size of the pieces makes the manipulations super quick and manageable. Liesl's instructions also make these customizations foolproof. Before I knew it, I was addicted, and made 3 dresses of different options, hollering inappropriately to Rob all the way: CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW CUTE THESE FRIGGING THINGS ARE. Slashing & hacking up the kid sized block pattern is great fun, and great practice. You suddenly view all those adult sized patterns with a customizable eye. I’ve used the instructions on sleeve manipulation for myself already. 

Three: Woman gave away a kidney. THAT'S RIGHT. Strange reasoning? Well, I thought, there are people out there who willingly give away organs. Mebbe I can find the time to try and MAKE A DRESS FOR MY NIECE. (And I did-- two in Ankara, which you'll see soon.) 

Basically, what I'm saying here is that Organ Donation is akin to Sewing For Children.

My logic there *might* be flawed.

As part of the tour, I was gifted a copy of The Building Block Dress Book (not an affiliate link) and honestly, I enjoyed the hell out of it. I cackled at every little fluttered sleeve and ridiculously cute collar that came out of my machine, and I love all my little customized patterns! I'll be making more, so long as these young ladies continue on this most righteous path to an Oz closet. 


tunic tricks & giveaway treat!

Well hey y'all! How *you*? We've been watching Friday Night Lights for the second time through, and I just want y'all to know, I appreciatcha. I really do. Aaaa'ight? Before getting to the nitty gritty, I thought I might answer a few questions that came up about my tunic. Scroll on down if you just wanna know who won... 

tunic tricks & giveaway treat! | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

First up! Those earrings! WHERE DID I FIND COORDINATING EARRINGS? I'd like to tell you I made them out of the tunic fabric, but no. However, I did kind of make them. I covered a pair of hoops (from "In The Heights," actually! They were my first pair of Vanessa hoops, before we moved on to a size I could put my fist through.)  I simply took some circular knit trim, slid it on, cut it, stitched it closed, et voila. Kind of like yarn bombing on a miniature scale.

tunic tricks & giveaway treat! | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

That quick trick never would have flown with the tunic fabric. Like I said before, it unraveled the second it was cut. Some of you applauded my taming of the beautiful beast (thankya!), and I wanted to share a slightly more involved trick for this one. I found this crazyface pink weft interfacing at Steinlauf & Stoller (in NY's garment district) and bought 3 yards Just. Because: PINK WEFT INTERFACING. For this project, I cut yards & yards of 1" wide strips on the bias, and carefully fused them to all the cut edges before sewing the whole shebang together. Had no idea if it would work, like most of my ideas. It took forever. But the fray stopped there.

tunic tricks & giveaway treat! | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

The body of the fabric was weighty enough on its own, but I did interface the bias cut placket as well. From the looks of this shot, it would seem I didn't go all the way, but what you're seeing is the right side SA of the placket attached to the trim, which has been trimmed. Har dee har har. As you can tell, the interfacing stopped any threat of loose yarn!

tunic tricks & giveaway treat! | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Thirdly, why yes.. that is lace used as seam tape. As I recall, I was getting bored of hug snug, and wanted something fancier to peek out of those side slits. My sis Mokosha sent me this purple cotton lace a few years back, and I thought this project was deserving of a strip of the hoarded yardage. I cut away one long edge, following the motif. The cut edges were handsewn to the woven fabric, which hid the stitches wonderfully. The woven fabric hails from the ever popular Kashi at Metro Textiles, but as it's over a year old, I'm pretty sure it's all gone...

Lastly: Yes, I'm pretty sure MJ is 13 feet tall. I fact checked it.

Now on to the winner! I counted comments (omitting my own & others replies, duplicate entires, and anyone who opted out), took that number on over to my man Rob, and tried to use him as a random number generator by asking him to pick a number between 1 and 162. It did not work, as it was immediately clear to me he was merely choosing the number of his favorite Steelers defensive back. SO! Computer chooses... number 27. Congrats to MJB! 

If you didn't win a copy and you want your own (and I highly recommended that you get one!) you can find it here on amazon (affiliate link) or over at C&T Publishing (non-affiliate). It's already in its second printing!!!

Well y'all, I'll be back on Friday wth another little something unexpected-- I mean, nothing as unexpected as Tammy's surprise at the end of Season 1, but still. Out of character, for sure. See y'all then aaaa'ight by'now!


A Gallery Tunic, + Giveaway!

A Gallery Tunic, + Giveaway! | oonaballoona by marcy harriell


A Gallery Tunic, + Giveaway! | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

I took these shots exactly one year ago, and I sure thought I was going to take updated ones (with my glorious, new, BARELY USED birthday camera) for this post. But, although I've gained more hair, I've lost two inches everywhere else (which I am completely stumped by). This tunic needs some alterations! Do you know how much I don't want to handle this gorgeous woven fabric again? I mean, yes, the fabric is delicious. Like, threaded through with ribbony-neon-satiny delicious. But those threads also want to come loose if you breathe the wrong way. So rather than mess around with this again, I might just wait and see if those mysterious inches come back. Enter dressform!

A Gallery Tunic, + Giveaway! | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

Ah, and my dressfrom doesn't pull wackadoo poses that alter the line of the stripes. Thanks Wolfie.

BUT WHAT IS THE PATTERN, you ask? This is my version of The Tunic from the latest entry on your sewing bookshelf: The Tunic Bible, by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr. (Don't they sound like they should be a duo of sleeper spies in a Bond movie? Their weapons are their Ginghers.)

A Gallery Tunic, + Giveaway! | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

I met Sarah through the Mood Sewing Network, and have had the pleasure of hanging with both she and her squeezable husband several times. Lovely. People. She even let me break her camera when we first met, on her birthday, no less! When asked if I would like to contribute to a secret project, there was no question.

The reveal: a tunic tome! Admittedly, tunics are not the norm in these parts, but then again, nothing's normal in these parts. I jumped in. I never knew tunics could have so many OPTIONS. Choosing and making the placket was huge fun-- 

A Gallery Tunic, + Giveaway! | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

I added a trim made out of, I don't know, hay? I sees a rogue straw that needs clippin'!

The book shows you how to customize these to the hilt. My choose-your-own-adventure was: outside facing wide split placket, angled collar, side splits, short sleeves, side zipper, back darts, dress length. PHEW. My only addition was to add front darts (which, after I took the initial photos, I felt was a little unnecessary).

My heart's desire was maxi length, with a thigh high side split, but I didn't have enough fabric. I always think I have more fabric than I do. Funny story: I was trying to explain the height of Michael Jackson's concert stunt double to Rob last night. I was an unwilling audience member, and I was sneak attacked by his doppleganger afterwards. As I hollered at my cousin about how it was totally bogus that the last number was lip synched, the Man In The Mirror was suddenly floating by my side, looking exactly like Michael Jackson. You know, he just gets so tired, he exerts a lot of energy, he breathed in a weird lilting voice. I blinked at the alien creature. And you know this because...?     Oh. I'm his stunt double, for the magic trick when he disappears onstage. It's fun he intoned, approximately eight feet above my head. 

You understand Height and Distance the same way you understand Children's Ages, was Rob's response. Michael Jackson was short.

All this is to say, I always think I have more fabric than I do.

A Gallery Tunic, + Giveaway! | oonaballoona by marcy harriell

SO! Back to the book! Would you like a copy? If you just can't wait, you can grab one on Ye Olde Amazon (affiliate link), or, if ya feel lucky, leave a comment on this post and you'll have a shot at winning a free copy courtesy of C&T publishing. The lucky winner will be announced October 11! I believe there's a winner for every step of the book tour this October, so follow along here...

ETA! Giveaway will close on Tuesday October 11 at 9AM EST, at which point I'll close the comments. Though it's hosted by C&T publishing, I'll use a random number generator to choose the winner (and possibly employ some detective work to track you down. If you haven't got a web presence linked to your profile, be sure to check back here, or attach info to your profile. Good luck!)

3: C&T, Pattern Review
4: Cloning Couture, Generation Q Magazine 
5: oonaballoona ,Featherstitch Avenue
6: Allie J, Thanks I Made Them
7: Sew Busy Lizzy, Jennuine Design
8: Inside The Hem, Girls in the Garden
9: Sew Manju, My Love Affair with Sewing
10: Evolution of aSewing Goddess, Creating in the Gap
11: House of Pinheiro, The Tunic Bible