In the land of Kalkatroona, oonaballoona sews, drinks, plays, curses, creates, and generally has an excellent time. See more from oonaballoona »

City Breezes in Silk Chiffon

I’m smiling but I don’t mean it. Really what I’m doing is grimacing at this janky, but quiet, corner of the city I minced about in for 30 minutes, trying to grab a few uninterrupted timer shots, my photographer having Actual Things To Attend To. Here’s me looking at the cop parked a few feet away. This is Vogue 9076 in Famous Designer Silk Chiffon. I imagine this dress wafting about in a sunlit field in the south of France, not so much grazing the mix of concrete, dirt and graffiti at hand. Hey, here’s me NOT sitting on the ground! [...]

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Stretch cotton border print set!

  Man, is my man good at making me look tall! Went for my annual physical last week, and was, as always, SHOCKED to be told I am just barely all of 5’2. Surely there’s something wrong with their equipment. I mean, look at me. I’M GIGANTIC. You know, I enjoy my delusions. Like the assumption that I can keep track of multiple sewing projects. I cannot. As my beloved grandmother always used to say, I got a head like a sieve. Actually my noodle is pretty good at multitasking. I’m at my most happy place when I’m infatuated by multiple [...]

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A Trio of Wool, Fringe + Leather

  This outfit took longer to make than it’s taking for Spring to decide to show her face. Mostly because I spent two days agonizing over how to place this wooly, almost blanket like, large scale print on a long sleeved Burdastyle balloon coat pattern. Had to hack oodles of length off the bodice to get away with my yard and a quarter…was left with whispers of fabric and a somewhat satisfactory placement… AND IN THE END I CUT THE DANG SLEEVES OFF THE THING ANYWAY. Then it was necessary to go to crazytown and zigzag topstitch over several yards [...]

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A Stripey short sleeved Blazer

Lately, all I want to make is outerwear (though really, isn’t everything except underwear outerwear?). Though I easily permit myself benders of neverending party dresses, I’ve been having a hard time accepting the desire to stitch coats and jackets and blazers. Usually around this time of year, I’m making warm weather dresses, and lamenting the fact that I HAVE NOTHING APPROPRIATE TO WEAR. This is my third topper in the new year, and I fought it all the way. The great stripey yardage stared at me acusingly until I zigzagged and fringed the length, intending it as a winter wrap. [...]

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A Bright Winter Ensemble

Yeah, I know. I kind of went Sgt Pepper’s on these photos. January will do that to me. Lack of light, lack of warmth, lack of photographer. The trifecta. But let’s play Where’s Waldo and find my garment in this riotous, ham handed, amateur photoshopped collage! Can you find the rectangle of sweater knit above? That’s my “self drafted” H&M knockoff, made with some famous designer novelty knit (similar here). I succumbed to Black Friday and bought a couple of drapey sweaters at The Beast, and upon further perusal, found they were really two large rectangles with two small rectangles [...]

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A Quilted Party Dress!

  This is the dress that Ruggy made. No really, though he didn’t stitch an inch of it, it wouldn’t have happened without him. (And by the way, he has sewn, I’m talking wooly welt pockets and silk skirts, but that’s a subject for another time.) When I came home with this riot of peach and black batting-filled quilted poly organza, I laid it out on the floor and laughed and laughed. RUGGY! I guffawed. THIS IS GOING TO BE THE BEST WINTER PROM DRESS EVER! I took his bemused silence as total acceptance. However, as things progressed, he found [...]

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Hooray for Houndstooth

I often succumb to trends, in that I squirm uncomfortably over an endless parade of a suddenly coveted item, break down and snag everything I need to make it mine, then sit on my supplies until the trend is over and make something else. This ginormous houndstooth wool sent me in the opposite direction. When she arrived from Mood Fabrics, I thought I’d make a sleek tailored blazer out of her (but you know, super chunky. Obviously). However, when we got home, she whispered to me—actually she yelled at me, I mean, look at the size of that print: DON’T YOU [...]

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Bereft From Brocade

Hands down one of the best things about temperatures dropping: brocade. A few short years ago I would have laughed like hell if you told me I’d say that. Now Fall hits and just about all I can think of is brocade. I walked into Mood Fabrics for something, I really don’t remember what, but I do clearly recall I had a list, a gameplan, and all carefully laid out thoughts left my head at a full tilt boogie when I saw this Zac Posen Floral Silk Brocade. SILK Brocade. Gaaaaaaaaaah. I can haz SILK Brocade?! I squeezed the pathetic list [...]

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Floral Eyelet For Fall

  In an effort to get some casual everyday wear into my extremely gussied-up closet, I snagged this warm reversible cotton eyelet at Mood Fabrics online.     Despite the impressive size of my mouth, I’m at a loss for words… although this project was involved, it went together simply and relatively quickly. A shirtdress with a princess seamed bodice, pleated front skirt…     And I guess you’d call it a gored back?  Next time I’d throw some pleats in the back skirt too, the pattern (Simplicity 2222 vintage) only provides for the front. Helps with the casual vibe, [...]

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