A Trio Of Tributes


HI SEWCIALISTS! Marcy Harriell of oonaballoona here! So happy to see you rocking it in these parts again, and thrilled to pay tribute to a handful of my personal daily inspirations.


Saying “yes” to this challenge required very little thought on my part. Almost every piece I work on draws inspiration from the over 700 (YIKES) blogs I follow, not to mention Instagram, so I could pretty much start ANYTHING and know that the tributes would present themselves.

Sometimes the people in my head speak up at the beginning, sometimes midway through… you know how it is! You’re in the fabric store, or at the ironing board, talking to the voices, asking how they’d do this or that, maybe wondering which print they’d choose, or what pattern might fit….


No? Just me-in-my-head?

Cool. Coolcoolcool.

Lemme introduce the ladies I “spoke” to for this dress…


This is Sarah Webb (Sarahjw70 on instagram), and she makes the most wonderful, architectural creations, full of color and shape and life. She makes solid colors interesting to me! (No small feat.) Her use of insets and drama hugely influenced my draped design. AND JEWELRY! She makes great big bunches of that too, and I was remiss in not donning a dramatic birthday necklace I just received for this shoot! (My photographer suddenly had a free window, and I was ready to go in a frantic five minutes flat. Blogger fail. I now have full outfits prepped for such occasions. It feels super fancy.)


My girl Carolyn, the author of Diary Of A Sewing Fanatic, shares my love for border prints, but she can also look at a garment (or hear some harebrained idea I have about a piece I’d like to make), and she will think for 0.05 seconds before calmly telling me the exact order of construction in which to accomplish my goal. She’s a construction whisperer. I often talk to her at my sewing desk, especially when going patternless and draping my own design. Although I try to think ahead when going my own way, I almost always see a left turn I’d like to take, at a point in the journey when a left turn will really mean DANGER: DE-CONSTRUCTION AHEAD.


You know her, you love her…my final inspiration actually came first: Gillian, of Crafting a Rainbow, of Instagram, of ALL THE STRIPES AND FLOWERS. Even when Gillian wears a flowerless stripe, she still finds a way to get a bloom in there! I was 100% influenced by her love for this mix when I saw this bolt. Although the color may scream “oona” to you, this is actually something I never would have picked up, if not for Gillian’s beaming, beautiful creations.


When the wind picks up, so does a bit of that Sarah drama!


Here’s a close-up of Carolyn-in-my-head: after draping the whole shebang, and getting the print placement exactly where I wanted it, I realized that even with my highest heels, the hem of the dress would be too long. I didn’t want to lose the hem, as I felt it balanced the thicker stripes below the hip. Construction Whisperer to the rescue: add contrast casings up the side hem and gather that skirt up! This rescue required a little seam ripping, but I listened to the whispers, took my time and planned out all the steps. I like the result!


And isn’t that head-sized gerber daisy a bloom our beaming Gillian could be proud of?

Thanks for having me by, Sewcialists. I’ll be thinking about you (and probably hollering at you) as I stitch!