Sewcialists, you are the best!

Wow, guys. I’m blown away at the response to my post this afternoon! Thank you SO much to all the people who stepped up and offered to help. (And of course, more help is always welcome!)

Through a flurry of tweets, comments and emails, we now have the following sewalongs to look forward to!

  • August: Make something based on a blogger that inspires you! (Hosted by Inge from IngeMaakt and Alison from Another Little Crafty Creation!)
  • September: Scraptember! Turn your scraps into something eco-friendly and wearably awesome! (Hosted by Morgan from Crab and Bee!)
  • October: Grease! Inspired by the classic movie. (Hosted by Claire from Sew, Incidentally and Jo from Sew Little Time!)
  • November: Sew costumes or everyday clothes inspired by Disney and Pixar! (Hosted by Becky from Sew and So and Katie from KatieKadiddlehopper!)
  • December: Take a break – nothing on this month. 
  • January: Polka Dots! Everyone needs polkadots, right? (Hosted by Marrie from Purls and Pleats!)

There’s also talk of a costuming/cosplay challenge in the winter or early spring… would anyone like to help Lady K out with that?

On top of that, several people have offered to help with posts and roundups, including Eileen from Crafty Little Secret, Nisha from Blue Sunday Blog, and Charlotte from English Girl at Home. (Gosh, I hope I didn’t miss thanking anyone there! Let me know if I did!)

I really can’t explain how much it means to me that people want to take on the challenge of writing posts and running challenges – except to say that this morning I was thinking of giving up on the blog, and now we’ve got 6 months of awesomeness lined up! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sewcialists, you are the best! If anyone else feels inspired to write a post, start a series of posts about something, or run a theme, just leave a comment below or email me at . There is always room for more awesome!


Want to write for the Sewcialists?


I’m looking for people to write the next round up posts for #Oonapalooza!  Anyone interested? It’s easy – you tell me your email, and I’ll invite you to be an editor on the blog. (I can even help you import all the pictures to a blog post, if you aren’t familiar with WordPress.)

This blog was always meant to be a team effort, with lots of diverse voices from around the blogosphere: a central location we could talk about sewalongs and challenges.! Since the blog started in November, we’ve done, Red October, the Grunge Sewalong, Green December, Blue February, Shieldmaiden March, Pink April, and Oonapalooza!  We’ve got almost 200 members in the Flickr pool, and over 700 pictures… Wow!

Along the way, posts have been written by:

I know we’re all busy with our own lives and our own blogs, but if you enjoy theme months then I hope you step up and join in! (Wow, did that sounds like a PBS promo?) I’m heading into a busy year at school this September, and I just won’t be able to do it on my own. If you’d like to run a monthly theme, I’d be happy to help! We’ve talked about sewing yellow, orange, or purple to continue our colour challenge, or doing stripes, dots or metallics. It could also be a  costume theme (getting ready for Hallowe’en?), or really, whatever floats your boat! One great things about the Sewcialists as a community is that we never say no to any idea.

If you’d be interested in writing an #Oonapalooza wrap-up, or organizing a themed month for August, September, or October, please let me know in the comments!


More Oona-insight, from Wanett at Sown Brooklyn!

Today is the third and last of my get-to-know-Oona interviews with NYC bloggers. Today we’ve got the seriously kind-hearted, creative and passionate Wanett from Sown Brooklyn. I love following her Instagram feed, because it’s a constant stream of art, social critique, awesome family art projects, killer daily fashion and of course, sewing! Clearly I’m not her only admirer, because Heather Lou from Closet Case Files named her Nettie body suit after Wanett!
(Wanett, on a Mood shopping adventure with Oona and others…) 
Here’s what Wanett has to say about Oona:
Oona in three words: delightful, kind, colorful.
Classic Oona: Oona’s style is all about print, pattern, color and textures. In large doses and in as many combos as possible in the one outfit ;o) In my mind, she is so connected with those elements of style that I instantly think of her when I see certain looks. Usually, it’s how she would rock it with more flair than the current representative. Despite knowing her well and appreciating her unique sense of style, her combos still surprise me. Fabric shopping with her is never, ever dull.
Borrow from Oona: This one is tough! Because she has made some seriously, amazing and awesome stuff! Choosing just one isn’t the only hard part, imagining anyone but her in her makes is near impossible. If forced, if pushed, if cajooled into choosing one thing…this her By Hand London maxi length Victoria coat.  oonaballoona: seen through the eyes of iris….Majorly stunning!! So much so, I’m inspired to use cuss to adequately express my admiration (and I would, if I were posting on my blog ;D)!
Thanks Wanett! 
On a side note, I want to say how important I think it is that the sewing community is celebrating itself and each other with things like the Nettie Bodysuit, or  the Sew Dolly Clackett challenge for Rosin’s wedding this spring. We ARE awesome, both as a team and individuals, and I dream of our community being confident and caring enough that we can celebrate inspiring individuals without making anyone feel lesser in comparison. I want us to be brave enough to say “Yes, I AM good at that!” and “Yes, I AM particularly talented at something!”  I really admire Wanette, Roisin, and Oona for letting the community celebrate them, and for supporting people who are taking joy in their inspiration. That’s not easy to do, but it gives the rest of us an chance to experiment and helps build the community stronger. So thank you, awesome people, for being awesome. Whether or not we have a month or a pattern named after us or not, we are awesome, unique, talented and important. Let’s celebrate that together.

A little (more) Oona insight… from Jennifer of the Workroom Social!

The other day Oona posted about how the praise-fest of Oonapalooza was giving her some twinges of guilt that compliments for her meant less compliments for other. But fear not! There is more than enough love to go around for everyone who is part of this awesome community. My hope is that we’ll continue celebrating the talents and skills of many different sewists, through rounds up, interviews like these, guest posts (Please lemme know ANYTIME you want to write something!)  theme challenges and so on. 


Next up in our get-to-know-Oona series, I found out a little more from Jennifer of the Workroom Social!

Jennifer runs the Workroom Social sewing studio in Brooklyn, and man oh man I wish I could go take a class there!  After google chatting with Jennifer recently, I can promise that she is just as friendly, funny and sweet as she seems online. Read her post on the joys of the sewing community, and I’m sure you’ll agree! I’ve been envying her floral Kate and Laney Tap shorts  since she posted about them – but I’m still waiting to see her Fat Quarter Challenge from Oona final project revealed! 

(Here they are together at jennifer’s Sewing Swap Meet & Party this spring!) 

1. How would you describe Oona in 3 words?

Warm, kind, and fun.

2. What style elements make something classically Oonaish?
Bold color, bold print, and great fit.
3. If you could borrow something from Oona’s closet for a day, what would you choose?
These wrap pants! I love everything about them. I think we might be of a similar size too…
Thanks for your answer, Jennifer… and watch out, Oona! Sounds like Jennifer might be coming for your wrap pants!
*Pictures courtesy of Oona and Jennifer’s blogs. Jennifer’s party pics were taken by Esvy Photography.

A Little Oona Insight… from GingerMakes!

Oonabaloona: Who is this woman, really? Could she possibly be as bubbly as she sounds in her blog? When Oonapalooza was proposed as this month’s theme, I thought I’d better dig a little deeper. After all, I’ve never met her!  With that in mind, I called on a few NYC bloggers who know Oona (Marcy, though my brain CANNOT think of her as with name!).
First up is the equally exuberant Ginger from GingerMakes! (Her coffee-fueled expressions from Me-Made May cracked me up every day!)
(Ginger in the red, Oona on the far right, with bonus Suzanne of beau baby, Wanett of sown brooklyn, and Peter of male pattern boldness
1. How would you describe Oona in 3 words?
Oona, in three words, is vibrant, vivacious, and larger than life (OK, that’s a few extra words… sue me!).
2. What style elements make something classically Oonaish?
Her personality and her style really go hand-in-hand.  A typical Oona piece, to me, is experimental and playful. Bold prints and bright colors are her signature, usually both in one piece! She’s not bound by a particular silhouette or shape, although I especially love her in draped, flowy styles.
3. If you could borrow something from Oona’s closet for a day, what would you choose?
I really love her mini mountain dress, [above] but if I could abscond with just one thing from her wardrobe I’d grab her Anna Sui maxi [below] and run! That dress is a perfect example of her gift for maximizing fabric’s potential. She always makes it work for her!
Thanks so much to Ginger for answering my questions! And speaking of inspiring bloggers… Ginger is certainly one herself! So genuinely kind and supportive of others in the sewing community, and a really active commenter on tons of blogs. Always trying new silhouettes and ideas, from tomboy to chic. (Also, apparently far taller than I guessed!) Girl, I wish you lived near me!
Next up, some insight from another NYC blogger! Until then, happy sewing!
Photos thanks to  Oona’s blog.

#Oonapalooza Projects: A 1st Roundup!


I’m so glad to see people get excited about Oonapalooza! The Sewcialist Flickr group is filling up with awesomeness already, so I thought I’d better do a round up! (Click on the pictures to find out more from the Flickr group.)

First up: Maddie sewed this outfit just before Oonapalooza was announced, but this is definitely Oona-inspired!


Anja sewed this Centaurée in a  fabulous knit, instead of a woven. I really would never have thought the pattern would work so well in jersey!

photo 1

Sue’s nearly-neon jungle bird fabric is SO bright, and so fabulous on her!


Amanda used the same SImplicity wrap pant pattern that Oona pulled out lately, and they look SO CUTE on her!

Simplicity 4192 wrap pants

Carmencita’s “space babes and rockets” fabric makes me grin and giggle every time I see it!

#oonapalooza No2 shot, because this dress is so much fun, I want another one! #sewcialists

And with the best Oona pose, it’s Debbie in her seriously hawt high-fashion utfit!

And for my most Oonalicious pose...

And her daughter can work it, too!

A little bit of Oonatude

Are you planning on joining in for our Oona-inspired month? It’s wide open to interpretation, so make anything you want – but let it be loud and joyous, either in terms of colour, shape, or improvisation!

Don’t forget to upload your pics to the Flickr group, and tag/label them as #Oonapalooza!


Oonapallooza Inspiration!


Ready to get inspired? As I posted about yesterday, we’re declaring July to be Oonapallooza – a celebration of bright, bold, and joyous clothing!

Oona has a great “closet” page on her blog with links to all of her makes . (I wish I was that organised!) Here are a couple of my favourites that just scream OONA!

(Click on the picture to link to her blog posts)

What I personally love about Oona’s me-mades is that they run the whole gamut from retro fitted formal wear to everyday jersey maxis, right through to fashion-forward gotta-be-brave-to-wear-that ensembles. There’s something for everyone! After all, we’re not suggesting you make an Oona costume – but it’s the perfect chance to try something new! Experiment, push boundaries, and get out of the comfort zone.

How about:

  • a bold colour scheme (like lavender and orange!)
  • print mixing (like this or this)
  • using a pattern Oona has used, but in a  fabric that works for you
  • matching a ladylike pencil skirt or dress with an unexpected fabric
  • improvise a pattern on the fly! (like this!)
  • POSE LIKE OONA! Do it. I double dare you!
  • add the colour orange!

I hope that gives you some ideas!

Of all the outfis above, which one overlaps most with your own personal style? See anything you’d like to steal from her closet? 

(Myself, I’d take the floral navy maxi and the Aladdin onesie! ;)