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

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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The Laughing in Taffeta Birthday Dress

For my birthday this year, I wanted something insane. I like to get what I want. I paired this Oscar de la Renta Silk Taffeta (sold out, but peep these Oscar silks) with Magenta Dotted Organza (don’t be fooled by the picture, it’s magenta for sure!), meaning to use the organza as a crinoline… but, well, plans (as usual) changed once I stared the yardage in the face. I also paired up patterns: Cynthia Rowley 1802 and Simplicity 0320, heavily modified to get the look I wanted at the shoulder and back. One could almost say ham handedly modified.  I definitely [...]

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So-fa, So Good

I walked in the door Monday at 5:50.  By 6PM I had to sew SOMETHING.  But the Charles James inspired draped silk organza on my dressform was looking far too challenging for the hour. I SHALL SEW MY HOME DEC POST, I thought (in all caps, as I am wont to do), WITH AN HOUR APPROPRIATE LIBATION.  THAT WILL BE EASY! Sure.  Super easy. Especially when one sews right side to wrong side. Everyone knows that’s how you make a simple rectangular pillow. Even with the math, even with the seam ripping, even with the handsewing, by 8pm yesterday we [...]

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Silk Crepe De Chine Romper

Last week we housed 5 adults and 2 children for 24 hours. And all I got was this awesome Silk Crepe De Chine thingamajig. One of said adults, the six-foot-fifty-eight one, was sporting a fabulous, flowy, silky pants-thing that had holes for your footsies and shirring at the top.  This dame, let’s call her The Diva, wore them because she knew I would specifically be fascinated by them.  Indeed I was.  I made her take them off that evening so’s I could study ‘em. With two screaming nutjobs in the house in various states of undress, it wasn’t weird at [...]

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