Catching Up: 9 Months of Sewing

Quite a few things got sewn in the past nine months, and only a handful made it to this space. It's easy to lose track, innit?! I keep thinking this past summer was our summer down South. Also, Christmas was yesterday. And maybe comes again before Halloween? LIFE IS A GAME OF JENGA AND TIME IS A ROUND OF WHACK-A-MOLE. Is it summer? WHACK. Nope, it's autumn. Is that murmur the sound of a gentle breeze in Fayetteville? WHACK. Nope, that's the dulcet tone of a New York City garbage truck.

This carnival game isn't helped by the multiple time-sensitive balls in the air. My creative life is one big piece of content, whether it's shooting for sewing, or film/tv/theater work. That might sound a little whiny--actually, I prefer holding the reigns on what goes out there. But when your main job is almost always ruled by an NDA, and your side gigs are a jumble of deadlines for future projects, the timeline gets a little blurry.

Some of these things might eventually make a proper appearance on le blog, but *just in cases*...I think it's time for a stroll down topsy turvy lane.

A Linen Jumpsuit | Sewing by Marcy Harriell

Pattern: Bootstrap Cinch leg jumpsuit

Fabric: @chicfabricsnyc 247 W 38th street, NY

Spring had burst out at the seams when we were gearing up to leave Fayetteville, much like this poor linen jumpsuit. Cut in March 2020, finished in January 2021, shot in April 2021, and promptly ruined when I accidentally washed it on hot. I loved this thing so dang much! It saw me through a sew-jo boosting video and several self-tape auditions--and got me into the final rounds on a few (one of which would have cast me as a rollerskating queen. Dream job). I might have to see if Chic has more...

How to sew a Half Circle skirt

Pattern: Half Circle Skirt

Fabric: NY's garment district (a store I don't usually frequent. Shopping there made me remember why.)

The merry month of May found us back in the city, and our return came with an avalanche of deadlines, one of which was the Sewing Weekender, hosted by The Fold Line and Charlotte Emma Patterrns. I taught a class on using wax print to make a half-circle skirt. Since everyone attending was there to sew, longer classes were welcome, and it was actually a relief to make a thirty-minute-long video and not worry about the usual YouTube attention span!  A shorter version of this tutorial lives on our channel. You see me use a half-circle skirt CONSTANTLY. It's got one seam, y'all. Fast track to drama. 

Marcy Harriell: Wax Print Maxi Dress

Pattern: Simplicity 9041. Muchly hacked. Muchly.

Fabric: @fabricsusainc

After two online galas, a demo recording for a freaking brilliant new musical, and some general malarkey (unpacking and busted pipes), the end of May found me hellbent on JUST SEWING SOMETHING FOR NO REASON AT ALL. Like in the olden days. But it took me until June to finish this yellow baby. I must have spent a full eight hours on the floor placing the print, which of course I loved every minute of. Come warm weather, she's getting a proper shoot.

It started out "as drafted," with sleeves--oh wait I'm lying, this was a trial run for an autumnal dress for Threads, there was a reason for sewing this. Why else would I be sewing sleeves with the promise of Summer around the corner? I am not that chick! The armsyce was hella tight, and the center front was hella frumpy, so sleeveless she went.

Sewing lesson: The Centered Zipper

Pattern: Self Drafted & Draped

Fabric: @fabricsusainc

More June, more wax print, more sewing for the channel...this was my demo dress for the centered zipper tutorial, which includes a serenade from Rob. I cut the bodice of this one seven times until I got the print placement I liked. No exaggeration! I have evidence I'll share here someday...

Quilted Dress with Mister Domestic x Marcy Harriell

Pattern: Self-drafted bodice + half circle skirt 

Fabric: Stonewall from the Love is Love collection (affiliate link)

June ended with this little baby-hued number, a collab with Matthew of Mister Domestic, to celebrate the launch of his fabric line. This pattern was designed in honor of Stonewall--I have it in the red colorway as well and am still considering a matching purse. Matthew unknowingly beat me to the punch on that one with a woven clutch, and I'm glad he did, because weaving a clutch would be waaaay more fetch than just sewing a few rectangles together. 

Although it's quilting cotton, it's quite drapey and worked well with this combo. I don't know what drew me to these hues, but I feel like a pretty pretty pastel princess, as can any human of any persuasion. Shout out to all my humans out there being who they are!

You can see the dress in action in this Baby Hem Tutorial.

Butterfly Rayon Dress with Joann Fabrics | Marcy Harriell

Pattern: True Bias Ogden Cami

Fabric: Joann

The return to NY was a shock to the system, I'm not gonna lie, and shooting four tutorials in four weeks in four square feet of space had my brain over-easy. So we welcomed the chance to house sit in Connecticut for some of our oldest friends. Whilst listening to July birdsong and scrolling through my insta feed, I stumbled upon the Ogden Cami Hack month hosted by Kelli of True Bias. It reminded me that 1: it was JULY, and 2: I hadn't made my annual Ogden maxi dress! I found this butterfly fabric at Madame Joanns, and lemme tell you what, the Madame, she was maybe a little tipsy when she released this fabric. The print is obviously my jam. But the hand of it feels like a cross between vellum paper and popcorn. I refuse to do a burn test on it cuz I don't wanna know.

There's a decent chance I'll modify again, and hack this up into a floaty-sleeved top before I ever get a full-length snap of it....

Sewing a Swimsuit with Makerist

Pattern: Camille Swimsuit by Sirena Patterns

Fabric: Stretch House, NY, 218 W 37th street

I guess my penchant for modifications is showing....in July, Makerist invited me to be a guest ambassador for their "Make It Yours" challenge. The brief was to modify a pattern and, you guessed it: make it yours. I was looking forward to jumping in a creek during our staycation, but ten thousand mosquitos had other ideas, so maybe next year she'll get wet.

(yes, that is what she said.)

The Handmade Harriells

Pattern: Pants, RTW Shorts Copy. Dress, Self Drafted

Fabric: @waxprintslacesnmore

WHACK! Suddenly it was the first week of August! I was in a race against time to sew for my birthday! Twelve yards of wax print arrived at our very temporary address, and I cut two dresses, one pair of pants, and a pair of shorts. In other words: MATCHING OUTFITS. Over the course of 24 hours, I sewed two out of four: this dress (another practice run for the bodice tutorial) and Rob's pants. Rob's pants suffered for my sewing delirium, that pose unwittingly disguises some very questionable print placement.

I didn't get the other dress and shorts knocked out in time, so we got...coordinating outfits? Cuz these prints so go together.

I got my matching outfit moment anyways, at the end of the long-promised bodice modification tutorial. This is also where I finally noticed, during editing, the unfortunate crotch area.

These might be #oonapants now.

Sewing lessons on Youtube: Stitch to Finish

Pattern: Self drafted bodice + half circle skirt

Fabric: Outdoor canvas from Madame Joann

Rob, probably seeking a break from all that matching, went away on a Rude Red adventure, and I was all tutorial-ed out. I spent a week eating like a frat boy and making this dress, for a stitch-to-finish video. I have to say I love doing these speed ramped semi-music-videos. I know they're not step-by-step, but they give me a little breather, and hopefully they're inspiring!

And now, it's time to sew something! Unfortunately for me, the "something" is hemming Rob's dress pants. Fortunately for me, this means we are about to dress up. Silver lining, baby. SILVER LINING.