Behind the Seams of Re:Fashion, Season 2: Fancy With Feathers!

Rob & Marcy Harriell, Handmade Vest, Feathered Cap & dress

If you didn't catch yesterday's Sunday Sewcial, check it out, cuz THIS THE PAYOFF.
(He. Made. That.)

Rob & Marcy Harriell, Handmade Vest, Feathered Cap & dress

And this is us in our naturally silly state after we try to be all fashion model-like.

Feathered floral dress

Hey y'all! Welcome to our photoshoot for episode 2 of Re:Fashion Series 2, in which I get crazy with feathers! I'll be honest with you, I decided to tackle this look because I've had a burning desire to get it right ever since trying it out in...oh, let's see...

Feathered floral dress

HOLY COW NOVEMBER OF 2012! YOWZA! Almost 7 years ago, back when I was with the Mood Sewing Network (and back when I wrote my blog posts ee cummings style), I thought it would be super cool to make a body con skirt out of feather trim. Here's the link to that post (you've been warned regarding Proper Capitalization).

Feather trim

When stomping 'round the garment district, I'm often asked where to buy feathered fabric. This happens more often than you would think. I suppose I come off as the kind of chick who would know this information, which pleases me. The answer (which is much the same as the answer to "where do you buy pretty bias trim") is: you make your own!! The how of it is detailed in the episode, and if you're looking to nab some feathers of your own to give it a go, these are the ones I used

The 2012 skirt wasn't a fully bad idea, but it had its problems--for example, sitting was not an option. In this jammy, sitting is no problem.

Feathered floral dress

Walking is another story. As usual in my sewing journey, I run into problems and figure out solutions as I go. Just, on camera this time. The end result is: the only walk you get in this garment is a wiggle. Which is just fine, when you have this guy on your arm helping you teeter down the street...

The handmade Harriells

This dress in its natural state ended just short of where the feathers begin, and oh, the back...let's just say it didn't leave much to the imagination. You can, of course, get your Sewing TV fix and see the A to Z Re:Fashion on Bluprint. This is one of my favorite episodes, it's a great way to add drama (and length) to almost any garment--and of course, we do fun things to Rob. Naturally. 

Feathered floral dress

It's a short post today, as I'm typing this from my lunch break on a shoot in downtown Boston. This summer has been a flurry of work, which is honestly unusual for the business! 

Re:Fashion 2 is live on Bluprint, as you prolly know from my yammering. If you're in need of a summer sewing fix, and fancy some feathers, catch episode 2! 


Sunday Sewcial: What Scares You in Sewing?

Sewing for Rob, Blazer fabric

My birthday just passed with nary a bratty word from me here, mainly because Rob was giving me a stupendous birthday week. Family, food, sewing, unplugging, and MOUNTAINS OF FABRIC. 

And, drum roll please: the go-ahead to make some wilder options for his closet, which is PRETTY MUCH THE BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT HE COULD GIVE ME. Y'ALL. HE'S GIVEN ME THE THUMBS UP FOR A BLAZER OUT OF THAT YARDAGE!! I mean, I don't need his permission to stitch up any of my cray, let's be real, BUT HE SAID HE'S ACTUALLY GONNA WEAR IT!!

Osgood Textiles Fabric Haul

Only the bottom two prints, snagged at Osgood Textiles on a birthday weekend road trip, are Not Rob. When he realized there was nothing on the cutting table for me, he made me walk around the cavernous store and pick more out for myself. Was mad, in fact, when I only came up with two prints. The bright green is destined for a gown, the paler green-- well, actually, don't tell Rob, but I feel like he needs some floral linen pants. Shhhh. That's just between us. 

Most of these surprisingly vivid options were given the thumbs up for vest fabric, something I've been wanting to make for Rob since our last Re:Fashion shoot, when he wore a sweet wool vest for one of the episodes. Hey, did you know Rob knows how to sew? Yep. He learned long before I did. What's more, Rob knows how to sew WELT POCKETS. The first thing he ever stitched was a fully lined wool vest with TWO of those bad boys! (You'll see evidence of this tomorrow.)

Now, this might come as a surprise to peeps who have been around here for a minute, as I normally jump into anything sewing related with wild abandon, but I have avoided learning how to sew a welt pocket LIKE THE PLAGUE since I started stitching over a decade ago. I decided it was high time to conquer that fear, and where better to start than a pile of birthday fabric. Comparing Rob's handmade vest to Simplicity 8023, I did a quick toile for fit, then got ready to tackle those pockets. Except. EXCEPT. That's there's a false welt on 8023!!! OOOOOO I WAS SO MAD! I was ready to go ahead and faux it up-- I mean, what is today's vest wearer even putting in those tiny pockets-- but then Rob's vest looked at me. Mocked me, even. You've been sewing for a decade, hoss? Huh. You must be pretty good. Rob put welt pockets in me. Right out the gate. I think he'd maybe been sewing about a DAY. 


Welt pocket

Using a combination of vintage sewing books, internet sleuthing, and a cocktail or two, I made two practice runs before going whole hog. I figured out a few little tricks along the way that make for a neater finish, which I'll share soon...

And now I can't wait to make eleventy billion welt pockets. Luckily I've got plenty of yardage at hand.

Sewing for Rob: fabric haul!

(Yes, even the magenta plaid is his!)

I don't run from much in sewing, but I sure ran from welt pockets. I'd love to know what sewing techniques make you hide in the corner. Maybe it's something you've never tried, or something you do repeatedly and hate every time...Horsehair hems? Gathering fabric? French Seams? Dish!


Behind the Seams of Re:Fashion Season 2: Sequin Two Set!

Mermaid sequin gown refashion with Marcy Harriell oonaballoona on Bluprint

Actual shot of my face when I had to delete this post last month.

If you're experiencing déjà vu, mea culpa! I'm still learning YouTube, and human error meant I had to erase my Re:Fashion Series 2 kickoff posts across multiple platforms. Which is such a 2019 sentence. Then, you know, the whole acting-career-thing meant I had to push my course corrections back even further. SO. If you caught my July glitch, and wanna get straight to watching the first sparkly episode of Season 2 for ab-so-lute-ly free, you can head on over to our new Youtube channel! It's not going away this time, I promise.

Now let's get back to pictures & ramblings!

Sequin gown refashion before and after with Marcy hHarriell oonaballoona on Bluprint


It made perfect sense to me to kick off the new season with a sequined, ombre, off-the-shoulder mermaid gown. SUCH AN EVERYDAY PIECE. But don't we all have that specialty item? The monster that haunts us each time we open the closet door? You know, the kind of beast one is *requested* to buy, in order to complete a bride's wishes...the kind of beast that lurks in the shadows, after its one day in the sun? Yeah. THAT BEAST. 

What, you don't have a horror story in your closet? Want one of your very own to refashion? Who am I to stop you.

True Bias Ogden cami and pencil skirt sequin refashion with Marcy Harriell oonaballoona on Bluprint

RTW beasties aside, you might imagine my technicolor racks are overflowing with sequins of the handmade variety. Nope! Nary an item! I'll tell you the truth, every time I fall in love with some blingy yardage, I dive straight in, sparkle flying everywhere...and when something goes horribly and immediately wrong, I keep stubbornly stitching until I've fitted the thing to within an inch of its life, and several inches smaller than myself. Then into the Time Out Corner it goes. I've got a whole pile of botched bling just waiting to be saved.

Sequin cami and skirt Refashion with Marcy Harriell oonaballoona on Bluprint

Sequins require extra work, extra patience, and extra cleanup. I'm down with two outta three of those. Depending on the fabric, you might need to remove each sequin from the seam allowance, so that you don't have great big galumphing lumps of seams running up the side of your bod. Lining is a necessity, to keep necklines and armscye scratch-free. And sequins. Get. EVERYWHERE. In fact, they are now a permanent part of the ambiance of our apartment. 

Sequin cami and skirt Refashion with Marcy Harriell oonaballoona on Bluprint

With all that in mind, I wanted to choose a project that would end in success, both for myself and for y'all! The gown I refashioned has an allover, scattered pattern of miniature sequins, sewn onto stretch mesh, with a separate poly lining. These guys were so tiny, I could do away with the painstaking removal of each little speck from the SA. And the stretch mesh fabric meant no fraying edges--an even cut was all I needed for my hems. Remove any amputated sequins from those edges, and voila!

Oh--recognize the top? It's the beloved Ogden Cami from True Bias, saving the day! I flipped the script on this gown and used the gold that was once the mermaid hem for the new top.

Sequin cami and skirt Refashion with Marcy Harriell oonaballoona on Bluprint

I went nose-to-tail on this refashion, using every bit of the gown to make my new look. The lining, zipper, and even that great big floofy shoulder tie, were all saved and used. The only new item was a length of petersham for the waistband treatment. It gave me an elegant, easy finish for this little two set.

Sequin cami and skirt Refashion with Marcy Harriell oonaballoona on Bluprint


Rob and Marcy Harriell Sequin cami and skirt Refashion on Bluprint oonaballoona


We were thrilled to be back on set with our Re:Fashion gang! I'm pretty sure I was in Godzilla Hummingbird Mode the entire week. The nonstop Nitros definitely aided and abetted. SUCH HAPPY RAMPAGE! Watch me tame this blingy beast (the dress and Rob), and cover every surface (the apartment AND Rob) in sequins, in the Season two premiere on our brand spanking new Youtube channel

If you're jonesing a binge of all 6 episodes, and get your sewing TV through Bluprint, they are all LIVE now. You can also sign up for a free trial and play around for a full week. More to come on each episode, with loads of pics, my usual ramblings...and a couple of surprises, including a giveaway or two ;) It is my birthday month, after all!

Have you tried your hand at sequins? Maybe you've got a beastie in your closet that has you stumped? Do tell.....