Hot! oona does it!: scary movie

this week's challenge came, unwittingly, from the goddess tanit-isis of tanit-isis sews.  you prolly know her here in the sew weekly community as well, she churns out garments daily (i think she uses her children as a mini sweatshop), and would rather make a fully lined coat than most anything else. (i mean, REALLY.)

over at le blog, i lamented my misguided use of some beautiful laser cut leather as an embellishment on a denim print maxi skirt.  it turned out quite western, with a side order of little house on the prairie.  i was able to salvage the denim for a wearable muslin of a petite burdastyle pattern, but the mutilated leather remained, dejected, on the forsaken waistband. miss isis commented:

Good save, although what a shame about the leather lace!  I hope you can salvage it for something else (individual applique motifs maybe?)

this comment turned my stomach like i was watching the exorcist.  (have y'all seen it? when she flips out and crawls down the stairs backwards on all fours? NO MA'AM.)  i have come to realize that "abject terror" is exactly what an oona does it! challenge is supposed to evoke in me.  the thought of ripping out all those tiny stitches made me want to run screaming, so it was on.


looks like freddy krueger went to town on it.  i wish he had, would've saved me some eyesight.

going through the stash, this crazy unknown origins fabric hollered at me.  the print is bananas, and although that is usually the golden rule in my choice of fabric, for years i didn't know what to do with it. 


what they were thinking when they made this print? did they have curtains in mind?  were they really wanting to design wallpaper for a living? 

i grabbed some gold chiffon too, and forked over another fiver for burda's petite sized gathered jersey dress.


i am now seriously considering knocking myself back down to beginner on my burdastyle profile.

i guess i'm a visual learner, because without the help of drawings, the instructions for the intended buttons and flap were greek to me.  so i abandoned ship on that.  oh yeah, and after carefully tweaking the paper pattern (sway back, short waist still by 1.5 inches even on petite sizing, widen shoulders, add the GODFORSAKEN SEAM ALLOWANCE) i dove into cutting… and cut the front 2x instead of on the fold.  that was fun.  i spent so much time making sure that the bird motif didn't end up on my rear, i ended up slicing wee hummingbird heads off on both center seams.  i have also discovered:  i do not like gathering. no, let me rephrase:  I ABHOR GATHERING.  it looks cool but it is a complete killjoy for me.  i'm always gathering to the perfect length, then my big orangutan hands tie the knot too hard and suddenly my perfectly matched yoke is too large for the bodice.  so i appliqued the leather to the yoke, and went to pleat town on the bodice.


i also gave control of the camera over to ruggy.  ruggy does not really like to take pictures, but i thought what with our snazzy new canon it would be a different story.  as a matter of fact, he tried to get all fancy with it.

(it is a hot summer day.  oona and ruggy have found a spot of shade amongst the columns of new york's historic 34th st post office.  ruggy begins to rapid fire shots while turning the camera on a drunken angle above oona's head.)

oona:  why are you holding it over my head?  you have to get the dress.

ruggy:  because you'll look like a madden girl.

(oona reflects on this statement.  ruggy is a football fan, to be sure, but she is not sure how to take this.  does this dress make her look like john madden?)

ruggy:  you know, a steve madden girl, back when they had those ads with the big heads and big eyes and teeny bodies.

(oona smiles.  ruggy is a mystery, wrapped in an enigma.)


you may have noticed, i am not showing you the back.  there is no back.  it is back-less. ruggy had to walk behind me the whole day.

okay, we forgot to get the back.  it is exactly like the front.  truly.  cut off bird motif and all. in our defense, we were suffering from severe dehydration at this point.  it's hot like cujo up in here.

speaking of terror, got a challenge for me?  holler at me with your horror stories!  i'll make the popcorn!



oonaballoona, from kalkatroona, first started visiting the sew weekly in 2011. since then she's made new clothes, new friends, and many many new drinks.


Comments are closed.

  1. I really like how the yoke turned out with the leather applique. I’d probably beat myself up over accidentally cutting off the humming bird heads, though. I don’t know that I would be able to wear it!

  2. Love this! And I love that you were able to use the leather lace pieces – they looks awesome. PS You take the best pictures – you should do an online tute for the rest of us who need some modeling assistance :)

  3. Actually, I was the first to suggest you salvage that leather.
    Either way, wow, you also salvaged a lingering stash fabric! That’s good. Even with cut off hummingbird heads. Because all in all, the dress is pretty.

  4. Cute yoke! You made me laugh with Ruggy’s photographing! hehehehe! love it!

  5. Oh, dear! I don’t know whether to be thrilled about being your source (however misplaced since I would not want to deprive Hana-Marmota of her primacy) of divine(?) inspiration or to feel guilty about your poor eyes! And the poor hummingbirds. Although I fear it’s not the worst decapitation I’ve been part of… :( (don’t ask.)
    I will definitely be keeping the sweatshop model in mind for the future, although since at the moment I still don’t trust either child to sew a straight seam without supervision it’s not currently very efficient.
    The dress is adorable, and you look like you’re having a ton of fun with Ruggy’s photography. It reminds me of the days my husband and I spend idly strolling the streets of New York… (OK, that was like three days and it was more of a dazed stumble that probably screamed “small-town tourist” to every soul on Manhattan.)

  6. Wow, the print on the fabric is out of control! But, you actually make it look GOOD! If you had described it without pictures, I would have never believed it. Great job!!!

  7. I can’t get over how gorgeous your creations always are! I’ve decided they’re like fine art or food and as such, should be enjoyed and paired with suitable alcohol (I’m stretching an analogy – just go with it). As such, I’m enjoying this evening’s dress and associated post with an Indian Pale Ale from the Lobethal Bierhaus (mmm, local-ly). Or maybe I’m just looking for another excuse to drink… no, I don’t need excuses.
    I share your disgust of all things requiring gathering – I have a theory that every metre of gathering destroys 1.5cm of your soul (metric system, sorry). My inner sewing perfectionist doesn’t cope unless all ruffles are completely evenly distributed and that never occurs first time round (which every perfectionist knows it should). Alcohol helps, as does having a pre-prepared arsenal of satisfyingly creative curse words.
    How is your Type A personality coping with the decapitated hummingbirds? Maybe it wasn’t a native New York Hummingbird, is therefore an introduced pest species and decapitation a suitable outcome. If still struggling, find an arty friend – I’m sure they could tell you how it’s an artistic representation of the state of the health care system (or something).
    Coming to the end of my verbally meandering path though, I LOVE this dress. The yoke and leather are absolutely gorgeous. Amazing work once again, do take care of yourself xx

  8. I love how your stories are always so disaster prone! And yet you always end up with pretty clothes!

  9. That yoke is gorgeous, and I love the crazy striped/bird fabric. You are magic, for realz.

  10. Ohh this is so gorgeous. I love the mix of fabric types.

  11. Haha! this post made me feel so much better. I need to hear other people have sewing days like this.
    Wait, you’re supposed to tie knots when you gather?

  12. *lol* Honestly, Burdastyle patterns are evil. Whacky instructions and NO seam allowances! Honestly!
    But awesome save on the leather, and the material mix looks very haute couture!

  13. well, that’s a cute dress.. and a good way to use leather lace.. and i guess you have some leftovers for future challenge (or two.. i remember it being a part of a huuge skirt).. i’ll have to think of some weekly challenge for myself, to finally start doing something.. being so lazy these days, heat is killing me.. i have few started sewing projects, but can’t force myself to start working on them again

  14. actually i maimed myself over the whole bird thing. i’m trying to be more gentle with myself, however.

  15. hah! i’ll try to put together a wee somethin somethin…

  16. oh no hana!!! well, you are always coming up with bright ideas so i’m sure you’ll spark another challenge very soon…. however my type A is not dealing with that snafu very well…. :((

  17. yes, we laughed, in order not to yell at each other…

  18. you know i have to ask. pray tell, decapitating miss?

  19. thanks katie!! seriously, bananas. i think i was so glad to finally use it it made the bird fiasco easier to take :)

  20. I enjoy the bit about the Madden Girls. I remember those ads, they were…interesting, lol. It is a cute dress, so it is a shame about the birdie heads. I’ll bet if you appliqued a wide lace band around the middle and kept on belting it it would hide the severed birds. And match the neckline!

  21. WELL. you know i’m in love with the thought of pairing my creations with alcohol. c’est parfait. your choice of india pale ale seems just the thing.
    evenly spaced ruffles: exactly. they are never even enough!
    my type A has been told to deal with it. if she gets mouthy later, i may do something about it. either cut the dress up, or as you suggested, have my politically minded dad come up with an appropriate scenario…

  22. i really do take a lot of wrong turns, don’t i? :))) thanks girl!

  23. that’s reminding me of a 70s song…. what is it?

  24. just about every sewing day is like this for me. i need treatment.
    apparently, you’re supposed to knot each end of your basting stitch once you’ve tightened it up– at least, that’s how i learned years ago via burdastyle. if i’m doing it wrong and there’s a better way i would LOVE to know…

  25. haute couture! maybe that’s my justification for dead birds!

  26. i do have leftovers, but they have been banished for the time being. yesterday in the garment district i saw more of the bird fabric, though. tempting.
    perhaps a gin and tonic to beat the heat?

  27. argh.