Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

After 8 full days of hollering with family and friends, I am worded OUT! My brain is in need of the kind of recharge where you spend all day at home in a robe.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

Unfortunately, I’m not one to spend all day at home in a robe. It's problematic for me, on many levels.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

1: Robes in our house are historically not fancy enough. Yes, I can solve this problem. But, 
2: I don’t really sew things to chill in. And, most difficult of all, 
3: Even if I'm spending all day at home, I change clothes five to six times (to suit my mood, naturally). 

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

So I need like nine fancy robes to have the appropriate amount of viable options for a day spent in "a" robe. (Rob calls it my costume change. I sort of look up, perplexed, from whatever I'm doing, shake my curls, and stomp merrily off, while he calls out costume change! )

Luckily, I tricked myself into sewing one fancy robe. I'm set for coffee and/or cocktail hour, at least.

Vogue 9253 has now been made by the entirety of the sewing population. (Please dispute this fact in the comments so that we may enable you to climb on board.) I don't think I've seen it in a sheer yet, though! This silk chiffon, gauzy metallic beastie was actually made (and worn!) for the stage, accompanied by a little black tank and short shorts. Rob thought it looked like I was heading straight from the boudoir to the theater, but I was singing “Cabaret” in a cabaret (how meta), so it fit the bill. After the concert, I thought I’d wear it over jeans to document it for the Mood Sewing Network, but since its debut appearance, I’ve been swanning about in it solely behind closed doors.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

At that point, I’d made the pattern several times, so I decided to whip this thing up in under 24 hours (as evidenced by that handy pictorial diary, instagram). The whole shebang is baby french seamed, so all those exposed seams look neat in a sheer fabric. At the eleventh hour (literally) I decided to add a design element to the sleeves: ties & loops made of plain 1/4 inch black twill. They're untied here. I may add some more twill to CF for a tie closure.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some recharging to do. (That probably means sewing.)

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing | Vogue 9253 : In the Boudoir!

(Or maybe just twirling.)

Happy New Year, folks! May you have good reason to swan about in a robe (or seven) for a bit.


Sewing Gifts to get YOU for the Holidays.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Sewing Gifts to get YOU for the Holidays.

I love these "gifts for sewists lists" that are popping up everywhere! I love them because they masquerade as advice for civilians! Ninja, please (we've been watching iZombie, which is wonderful), civilians ain't reading these holiday gift list posts! EVERYONE KNOWS WE SEWISTS ARE THE ONES TAKING COPIUS AND DETAILED NOTES OF SHINY NEW SEWING ITEMS FOR WHEN WE RETURN THOSE NOVELTY SLIPPERS AND BATHROBES!

Let's be real here: this list is what to get YOU for the holidays. Or ME, if you like me.

I'm pretty sure I could be forgiven for decorating Ye Old Rainbow Yarn Bombed Christmas Tree with two dozen of these, and repurposing them immediately as sewing shelf decor, when the mistletoe has wilted.

They say it's a gift for barbers. I say they're missing a whole world of uber obsessed people with good money to spend.

Tape. Dispenser. Caddy. One is a cat, the official mascot of sewists.

Listen, don't get your hand made panties in a bunch, if you're a dog person, that's cool too. I mean, I don't get it, per se, because y'all have to, like, GO OUTSIDE IN RAIN AND SNOW AND SLEET AND PICK UP THE FECAL MATTER OF ANOTHER ORGANISM, but really, that's cool. You do you. While you're doing you (and doo doo), slap something sewing related on your mutt so you can zen out on the half finished party dress that awaits you, once you finish tying up that plastic baggie.

The best inexpensive scissors, if your hands hurt from cutting out that party dress with those shiny metal jobs.

The best expensive for what it is solution to stopping said hands from snagging and pulling the expensive fabric you bought for that party dress.

Of course, you'll want to have the proper decoration for those hands, especially when shooting your fabric haul on youtube and whatnot. (But no really, click that link, the product picture needs a little cleaning up and it's making my eye twitch and I have to know if it makes yours twitch too.)

Maybe you're thinking, HEY MAN, I like to keep my nails tidy with CLIPPERS, and don't categorize me in your DOG AND CAT WORLD, man, I'm a FISH person, fish never lie down on your fabric and they make wonderful sewing desk companions. And I'm all STOP YELLING.  I got you, fishy fishy.

Or maybe you just drink like a fish. And since you're a sewist, the liquid is probably gin. I am equal parts thrilled and utterly dismayed by gin's resurgence, as gin has been my thing since before gin was cool. I have a hard time with things getting cool. Example: Harry Potter books. I loved them, they got cool, I felt oddly tricked, I abandoned Harry Potter. However, gin, being a delicious alcoholic beverage, has escaped this fate. My favorite under-the-radar, inexpensive (comparatively, gin now being cool) choice that beats many craft-hip-gins out there is Broker's. It comes with a little plastic bowler hat on it! I'm not linking to the gin, because I think that makes this a 21 and over joint. Drink responsibly, yo.

Speaking of drinking, here are some vessels that aren't adorned with the prerequisite kitty (or the lesser known dog or fish). Have a skull shot glass for that gin (please sip, don't slug. I'm not as much worried about your health as I am your level of classiness). Caffeine your go-to? Here's a mug that will let everyone know you will level them if they come between you and your sewing juice.

You can't have a sewist's gift list without touting a few of these. Sewing machines that: operate your ceiling fan, decorate your tree, make music, and produce fire.


I'm out.

the amazon links in this post are affiliated, and most of them will make you laugh. some of them will make you realize that there are ridiculous things out there that you never knew you needed, until that crazy girl you follow, who sometimes talks about sewing, got it in her head very late last night, and with the help of some gin, to write a gag post which turned into a list of ridiculous things SHE never knew she needed.  


Vogue 1493 Tips!

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Vogue 1493 Tips!

Hello elves. I know you're out there, churning out handmade holiday gifts to beat the band and fight the consumerism power! Might I suggest, if you're in need of a pattern for someone special on your list, something more than an eye pillow, something with a little bit of WOW factor: Vogue 1493 by Koos

I haven't seen very many of these in the wild, and I think it's because it looks super fussy on the envelope. It's complicated, but it doesn't have to be quite so complicated. Allow me to persuade you. 

1. Let's talk bias binding. Oh hohoho! Sewist, skip aaaaaall of that extra bias binding applique! Yes, it's cool, but if you pick a wild pattern or a textured fabric, you're not going to need that all that extra. (And, even if you use a solid, it still looks super cool, especially if your "solid" has texture.)

2. Are there really 13 pattern pieces? Nope, not if you're following my previous sage advice...then you're only using pieces 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 & 12. The other six pieces are bias binding & duplicates with markings on them for all of that extra applique that you're merrily skipping. You're welcome.

3. This is a great pattern to make for others, as it's sized in ranges. Size ranges are great for gifting. Especially when the receivers, you know, don't get that we need to measure them every once in awhile. It does have quite a bit of ease-- the envelope puts me at the larger end of M, but I cut XS. I'd say go down at least one size.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Vogue 1493 Tips!

4. Save some fabric! Hey, who's going to see that inside seam on the sleeve? Thaaaaat's right. Save a little fabric, especially if it's super pretty fabric that you only have so much of. Add seam allowance to the foldline of Lower Sleeve 8, and cut a contrasting bias facing for the sleeve hem. Overlock your inner sleeve seam, and you've saved a seriously good amount of fabric. Really need to scrimp? Leave off the side vents, and sew the side seams up as one long seam. MORE SCRIMPING, SCROOGE? Reduce the width of the front facing, as I did here--it's just one long rectangle of fabric, joined at center back.

5. Mark. All. Your. Notches. And. Dots. This pattern loves a good mark, and rewards you for taking the extra 3 minutes to transfer them to your yardage. Definitely mark your seamline at that triangle point on piece 6. You'll do a little dance of joy when you finish that seam perfectly at first go.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Vogue 1493 Tips!

5. Think about how you want to handle those raw edges in advance! Koos calls for each seam to be bound, which is a beautiful thing, but you can also get away with other treatments. Some of my seams are overlocked, as the fabric is spongy and hides thread, some are turned under & stitched, some are bias bound. The pocket is the only section that'll throw a wrench in your timesaving plans if you're opting out of bias binding (ask me how I know), and in that case, you can always sew up the side front seam and leave the pockets out. 

6. OH STOP YELLING I KNOW YOU LOVE POCKETS. Ok, irritable elf, why don't you sew up that side front seam, and throw some patch pockets on the front? Or, you know, you can stay up till 3am drinking egg nog and muttering about why you always do this to yourself, as you bias bind each and every seam. I won't judge. I especially won't judge if that "someone special" you're sewing for is yourself ;)

(You can see the full frontal of this Koos jacket today, over at the Mood Sewing Network. Now I gotta go sew like 800 things. Probably while drinking egg nog. Happy weekend, y'all! Don't' bias bind anything I wouldn't bias bind!)


Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

A light drizzle falls, as I pat myself on the back for having had the foresight to take these pictures last Friday.

However, that self-satisfied feeling has simmered down a bit, as I realize I did not have the presence of mind to take notes on this, now almost one-year-old, coat. Let me dig into my noggin:

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

I know that I used a very simple, vintage, raglan sleeve coat pattern. I know that the pages were yellowed with time (unlike my freshly cleaned, megawatt chompers). 

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

I know that I was inspired by Jasika, and I know that I promised Sarah pics, because I said so on Instagram

I know that during the time of making this coat, I was also stitching a baker's dozen of holiday prizes, and by prizes I mean full on garmentsfour of them being jackets, for every one of my lady friends in attendance at a holiday dinner. I know this because once again, I snapped that ridiculously stressful endeavor on Instagram.

(Fair warning, lady friends: I'm not doing that again. THAT WAS A THREE RING CIRCUS OF CRAZY.)

I know that Instagram is a lifesaver for jogging one's memory, when one was insane with holiday prize making, and wasn't in one's right mind......because all this sleuthing made a lightbulb go off in the recesses of my brain, and I just recalled and dug out the vintage pattern! HUZZAH, INSTAGRAM!

Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

It is, drum roll please, Simplicity 3449, a lovely little thing, which includes a "primer" with some simple tailoring instructions. I have no idea if I employed those instructions (see: three ring circus), but the coat is warm and heavy and sturdy! Instagram also confirms that this yardage is Alice & Olivia, from Mood...and a beautiful, soft, hairy fabric it is. The collar, sleeve & hem edges are bound in wool remnants. I definitely underlined it for added warmth & structure. I don't know with what, as it's hidden under a polytastic, purple, midweight slippery lining from Ye Olde Janky Store. 

What it doesn't have is a snap at the neck! I either ran out of sturdy brass snaps, or ran out of time, in the Circus Of Christmas 2016. Probably the latter. At the moment, she closes up with any number of vintage pins from my grandmothers' box of costume jewelry.
Simplicity 3449: Investigating with Instagram

Well, it's climbing back up to 57 later this week, so maybe I'll run out and see if the circus is around to provide a backdrop for some lighter fare. I can't promise it will be seasonally appropriate, but hey, what is anymore? (Side note: have you heard that our good efforts to close the hole in the ozone layer have maybe been working? And that our equally bad contributions to global warming also possibly have a hand in this shrinkage? This is a very strange equation, and my Instagram is of no help in this brand of mystery. Sewing scientists, your thoughts are sought.)


Change of Seasons: Change of Wardrobe

Our closet is an anomaly in New York apartment living. (At least, *our* brand of New York apartment living, I'm sure GOOP has it different.) Defying reconfigured brownstone blueprints, it runs the length of one full wall, with double hanging rods, his & hers shelving, and an extra little walk-in area to boot! For real, I keep expecting to unearth some portal to another dimension every time I open the curtained doors. When we first found our Hell's Kitchen home, I was thrilled with the space, but did not know just how essential it would become, having only RTW threads to fill it with at the time.

Enter sewing, and each new addition of a handmade garment felt like the spoils of some fantastic, happy war! However, at present, the rate at which I fill our rods with handmade technicolor is beginning to push this magical wardrobe to its limits. Rob would go so far as to say WE ARE WELL PAST PUSHING. So lately, I've been manhandling my older, unworn items. If I'm not wearing it, it has got to go. Obviously, RTW was the first to walk the plank. I'm pretty much judge & jury on my own garments at this point. I can get super sentimental about a hand-me-down, a piece of vintage jewelry, a ticket stub, but apparently, if the tag says "oonaballoona" it's fair game for my seam ripper. And the change of seasons is when I really get serious...

Hey guess what. I do not wear this cape!! Have you met me? I mean, in person? Have you experienced the flailing of appendages that can occur at any moment, without warning? I might as well be Kermit the Frog when I see a bolt of fabric. I need my arms, man. So this cape is getting a few new holes here and there. That sounds saucy. It kind of is. I believe this sauciness will be ready before Old Man Winter really rolls in...

This maxi length floral rayon dress had an accident involving an encounter with the dryer, poor thing. That hot piece of machinery took a whopping 2 feet of length from her lower half, so she needs some reconstructive surgery. Maybe some prosthetics, in the form of fluttery sleeves. And a full lining, to make her ready for colder weather. Listen man, she's high maintenance, I don't know about her odds.

Oooooooh I bet you didn't see this one coming, but after wearing this uber comfortable faux wrap dress for New Year's Eve 2016, she languished in my closet untouched, diva that she is. She is currently sliced up the front, refashioned into a floor length duster--the only problem is, the reverse side of this ponte is not so attractive (I mean, it's plain white, but it's obviously the reverse side), so I have to do some thinking on how to solve that complication...hacking her off at the knees would give me enough fabric for a short self-lined jacket, but I love the drama of the length as-is. The patient is convalescing. Maybe she'll remain in convalescence, and make a wonderful lounging robe. Like I said, she's a diva.

Speaking of divas, get me, Miss Haughty, putting lots of words out there into the world, and getting lots of words back, and then not replying...I put a little thank you note in a certain post that garnered the thoughtfulness of 103 beautiful people, but I'll put it here as well: Thank you all so very much. I'm at a loss at how to respond to everyone, but if we run into each other in a bar, drinks are on me. (And apparently, we'll need them, especially if those of you in the Bar Fight Brigade are around. It will certainly be the most fashionable fisticuffs ever.)


A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

GET A LOAD OF MY HALLOWEEN COSTUME. I mean, seriously, right?! WHO IS THAT?! 

I don't know who it is, but it is most certainly not the person usually stomping around these parts. This chick is so...so chic. So SOLID.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle


Maybe I had everyone else's fabulous, in-progress Halloween costumes in mind when the overwhelming urge to first choose, and then sew this neutral cotton hit me. Maybe I was bedazzled by the parade of beautiful Kalles out there in the blogisphere. Maybe, specificallyLauren & Sallie's denim hued versions in linen & chambray made that trendy little edison lightbulb go off for me: I had the power to make the costume for the ever-present role of "Woman; Chic; Yet Not Overdressed For This Audition."

All of those Maybes are true; especially the last one. As I pinned it for button placement, I realized I preferred the clean look of it. However, I didn't think ahead, and went for the exposed button placket, so...I'm sewn in here. Those wrinkles in the front are from mine own hands! (Yeah. I personally steam myself when auditioning, but apparently y'all don't rate.) In my October post over at Mood Sewing Network, I asked for a better option than stitching myself closed whenever I have to lawyer up, and got some wonderful suggestions: a strip of buttonholes, a small hidden zip near the neckline (essentially making it a pullover), and invisible snaps-- G of Lin3arossa suggested adding a single exposed snap at the neck. Which sounds super chic!


But I can tell you who I hope I am; from ogling my peers in casting offices...a well heeled attorney on insert popular edgy tv show here. For real, this neckline & shape is everywhere in NY! Specifically, calls for lawyers. 

I changed up the curve at the side seam to conceal the leg a bit more--though too much leg is really not a problem; TV lawyers have different rules, dontcha know. I once played a high powered attorney in an insanely fun David E Kelley show, whose closet consisted of candy colored, teeny jersey swingy dresses that barely concealed my rear. The show never made it to the light of day, sadly. The fantastic costume designer and I had a BALL trying on dozens of outfits and picking our favorites--teeny dress was tops on the list. Ah, wardrobe! My Disneyland.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

Sewing had firmly set up shop in my heart by the time I shot that pilot, and I devoured that rack of beautifully curated clothing like a carnivore digs into a porterhouse. If this had been on offer, I would have exclaimed over the shoulder cuffs. They slope so beautifully. They make me want to rip back into this silky artsy McCalls jammie and redo those wings...

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Kalkatroonaan Kalle

But I'll save that for another day, as right now I want to sew about 80 other things. Happy Halloween, hope you're in costume today! (But you know me. I hope you're in costume EVERY day.)


Good Morning Monday

Aaaaaaanyhoo! This is a dress I made! FROM SUPER LONG AGO, LIKE SPRINGTIME LONG AGO! 

I was reminded today that I forgot to share it with you here, when Pattern Review announced the talented sewists moving through to the final round of the PR Sewing Bee... a round in which I'm the guest judge. (Yes, I'm surprised too.) But it's gonna be fun! I'm gonna be on those entries like white on rice! There are some stitches being THROWN DOWN MAN. Did you see the sleeves round?!

I was also surprised to be asked to speak at a PR weekend on an illustrious panel, last spring, to which I wore this very dress. Hence the lightbulb moment regarding the  MIA posting of this 6 yards of Ankara.

This is probably what I looked like for most of that highly entertaining day: pointing at seams on my dress. Hey guys, this pattern has really awesome godets that you totally can't see in this crazyface wax print lemme just point em out for you!

You'd see them better if I'd carried my contrast piping down into the skirt, but that's a loooooottta piping, as I maxi-fied this pattern (Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 1802, plus a self drafted princess seamed bodice).

I might don it again tonight, for a reunion concert I'm about to jet to rehearse for. Anyone remember Lennon on Broadway? Yep, one night only at 54 Below. It sold out before we could even tell people where to get tickets! YIKES! 

Well, that's all for the moment, nice to have a short and sweet post once in awhile, 'innit? Be well, hope you're twirling on this Monday.


Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | Declaration of Intent: Commenting on Your Comments.

This skirt, made over the course of one day in early June, became an instant favorite of mine. I reached for it every chance I got. Sadly, it fell into abandonment just as quickly as it took to stitch it, because the last time I wore it, I was in an unfortunate situation with a difficult, offensive personality. And it takes a lot to offend me. I wore it as armor, but it suffered battle scars. In the space of one day, this once adored garment became a tinged reminder of that event.

I gave it a cooling-off period, and the memories of that obnoxious personality have now faded, just in time for the crisper weather which this heavy metallic yardage is actually best suited for (I mean, should Mother Nature decide that we get to keep seasons).

Beautiful People, I'd like to keep this space as a favorite spot. I don't want to have to give this small corner of the web a cooling-off period. But lately, I've been giving it the side-eye, wondering what offense I might unintentionally provoke.

I've recently had a nice little run of offending folks, unawares. From the description of my closet, to the use of the term spirit animal. The latest in a string of self-set booby-traps happened last week, in the form of a typo.

This gorgeous, clear blue-skied week, we woke up daily to the next atrocity that somehow impossibly overshadowed the previous impossibly terrible thing, which overshadowed the last thing, and the countless things before it, and it feels insurmountable. There are too many things in this world that we cannot fix, so we focus on the things we can fix. I GET IT. But we lose sight of the people behind the things we're fixing.

I'm not easily offended. I'm confident. I'm vocal. I'm strong. Which is not to say that others are or are not any of those things. But those qualities in me, coupled with the fact that I'm (racially speaking) a little bit of everything and not enough of anything, make up a person who wears what she wants, says what she wants, and doesn't get too concerned about what others think of her.

The latter part of that sentence hasn't been the case lately, mainly because the last thing I want to be perceived as, in this quivering world, is an agent of more sadness--even unintentionally. So I spend hours worrying and responding (hopefully, thoughtfully) to over a hundred comments on months worth of posts where landmines loomed unseen.

YEAH, SO WHAT. Blog comments. What a silly, inconsequential worry in the face of the world we live in.

But it is a worry, small as it is. A worry that I do not have the energy to carry, especially when the conversation ends out in the ether of the internet, and I’m left wondering if my thoughtful responses have even been read by those that started the ball rolling. I've considered turning off the comments altogether, but in this age of mindless, unconnected interacting through screens, the sewing world is an anomaly--we want to have a discussion. And blog discussion, despite being down elsewhere, is still very much happening here.

So, I'm not going to turn the comments off. I’m not going to delete comments. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have your response and share it (although in this age of public "calling out", the occasional private "calling in" might be a more productive choice). Speak your mind! This is, contrary to unpopular belief, a free country. But, if your very first comment here is about the ways in which I have hurt or offended you, or if your comment's sole purpose is to tell me how I am wrong with no explanation, or even if I just don't have the energy: I am going to give myself the option to pass on putting myself into a tailspin. I will instead direct you to this post, specifically, this last bit:

It is impossible to live a life where you offend no one. Although it is my wish that you have a Great Good Time while you're here, I also understand that my sense of humor, sense of style, and sense of English may not be everyone's cup of tea. (Or coffee. Or gin. Or room temp water.) But if my off-color humor doesn't suit you, if I misstep, if I use a word that is a trigger for you, if there is a new word in our ever-changing lexicon that I misuse, it is most certainly NOT my intention to hurt or offend you. I intend to make you laugh. I intend to inspire you to live colorfully. I intend to provide you a breather in the middle of the madness.

And once in a while, I'll even talk about sewing.

eta: Thank you all so very much for your thoughtful words! I'm at a loss at how to respond to everyone, but if we run into each other in a bar, drinks are on me. (And apparently, we'll need them, as we'll be preparing for possible fisticuffs. It'll be the best dressed bar fight ever.)


A Fine Romance

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

Amongst the many things I wish for us, as a people, floating around on this little blue planet: I wish for us all to have a little romance.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

A little Frank Sinatra singing Jobim. A well mixed cocktail (or a tall cool seltzer, if that's not your thing). Probably flowers. And dancing. Always dancing.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

I'm not just talking about romantic gestures, though. I think romance means caring for someone, and caring for something. Caring for everything. Caring about how you go about life. Your actions. Your implications. Caring about what you create. The details. The process.

I tried to stop myself from making romance, from creating dress after dress with no specific event to don it for, and then I decided it was boring.  Maybe even verging on aromanticism. (Have you heard about this movement? I learned about it last weekend, amongst ALL THE OTHER THINGS THAT HAPPENED LAST WEEKEND. In general, I do not care for last weekend.) (eta: I did not mean to reference aromantic as an identifier; though I absolutely see how it was taken that way, as I used the word aromantic and not aromanticism! Apologies--Aromanticism is the title of statement album I heard over the weekend, and is the word I should have used, and has been corrected. Thanks very much to the commenters who brought this to light.)

But this dress! I care for this dress very much. I have nowhere to go in it, yet, but I made it as if we'd be renewing our vows in it (now there's romance).

The fabric is a sumptuous barkcloth (yes, I used sumptuous and barkcloth together, and I'd do it again) from The Confident Stitch, who quite warmly reached out to me to offer this collaboration. I am always delighted to be enabled to make a dress for no reason other than that I want the romance of it; to make something beautiful. You know how I feel about beauty.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

For the design, I chose to marry two Simplicity patterns: 1099 for the skirt, and 2180 for the bodice (which I believe is out of print). I've made, and abandoned, the bodice of 2180 before. Something about the look of it was off to me. I think I might have yelped out loud when I realized all I had to do to fix my squinky eye was omit the neckband. Although this meant I'd be rudderless when I reached that back closure (which is supposed to close with a tie stemming from said neckband), I went ahead and sewed on my merry way. As usual, I decided I'd forge ahead and figure it out when I got there.

That was a bit easier said than done-- I hemmed and hawed for several days over buttons, and loops, and even brooches, until I settled on a small length of elastic and a bow to save the day. The elastic is encased in the triangle points of the back bodice, and that wee bow is securely tacked to the center of the elastic. It solved the problem of getting in and out of the dress, but it does make this an over-the-head-only situation. Which is just fine, as it means Rob has to help me out of it, furthering the cause for romance. WHY SLIP OUT OF SOMETHING SOLO WHEN SOMEONE CAN HELP YOU TAKE IT OFF, MAN.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

The waistband of the skirt is faced, catching just the front bodice. I went handsewing everywhere, and could really do another post on the details of this baby. Her insides are all rayon bemberg, in a combination of lining/underling, also from The Confident Stitch. Kate, the enabling proprietress, suggested the bemberg. Would you believe I've never worked with it before? The slippery stuff had me wrinkling my brow at times, but it was a love-hate relationship that turned into adoration. The insides look like pale cloud cover, and the feel of it is luscious.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | A Fine Romance | simplicity 1099 + 2180

I do feel like I'm stepping back in time when I step into this dress--or rather, pull it on over my head. (Fashion-wise, that is. Let's limit our time traveling to fashion, okay? We're going back in time enough as it is.)

Many thanks to Kate and Jane for sponsoring this post, and providing a truly welcome distraction. It was a lovely experience, and I can't recommend them enough! A closet full of barkcloth evening gowns is in your reach, as they have several gorgeous prints to choose from. I actually made THEM choose the print for me, as I couldn't pick my favorite.

That's all for the moment from my neck of the woods. I hope you're finding the time to fit a little romance in, wherever you are.