Couture Lunacy

Exploring Fashion One Thread At A Time


A Top that LOOKS Simple Can Drive You Nuts …………..


I really like this top. It’s a Katherine Tilton pattern for Butterick and it’s 5891. The only problem for me is that the pattern is too small. Hmph.

I spent a good bit of time yesterday cutting out the pattern pieces and measuring things up. Things being in particular TWO things that the shirt has to close around, if you get my drift. I humphed and mumphed and scratched my head. This top has 15 pieces. There are directions on the pattern pieces that if you alter it, move all the markings. Well shoot – first I have to figure out how to alter it. I mean I really do. Some of these pieces are parallelograms and just imagine slashing and cutting a parallelogram and adding inches to it. I quiver in dread. I am stymied by lack of pattern enlarging experience. I keep looking at it and deciding to slash it here and there and finally I folded it all up and put it back in the bag.

My concentration level is sadly diminished these days. So I marveled around at it and finally decided the top is too simple looking to be that much trouble. Which means I’ve ditched plans to make it for now. I need to wait until my brain is sharp again – hoping that won’t be next spring ……….

So now what to make? Of course I’ve found a great pattern that lives in Australia at Style Arc but I won’t be able to get that for a while. So I can either figure out how to take all of these different pattern pieces and increase this top by 4″ or I can find another pattern in the stash …………

Here’s the Style Arc pattern I crave


It’s called the Lizzie Wrap. This too will look simple but I think the construction on this will truly BE simple. I have a great teal jacquard, a black raised design jacquard and a cool multi-colored on brown jacquard. It will need lining so I’d have to decide on a color and get that too. That’s the bad thing about sewing ………. you always need one more thing …………


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Wrapped in Fabric ………..

Make that my BRAIN wrapped in fabric. I am super inspired to create these days. Spooky inspired. I have lots of new patterns and a whole new roll of pattern material to adjust them and/or draft my own. There are more patterns I want. For instance Style Arc’s Marie Jacket and this month the cutest May top is the freebie. MUST.HAVE.

I found the fabric for Marie in Australia too – at Tessuti Fabrics. I think this link will work here And I found a jersey that’s cute for a top –

And there’s more – I have a huge shipment of Emma One Sock hitting the door soon. Silks and jerseys and all sorts of lovely stuff.  Here’s two – the rest I bought are sold out – which is why with EOS you punch that checkout button FAST.

knit_FRpanelflowerblue knit_BJflor


I saw a cute shirt with the dusty blue panel print with the flower running down one side ……………. it will be mine!

And then there’s a rose silk print here

Silk from Elliott Berman Textiles New York

Silk from EOS

So many choices. I approximately two months to work on these and churn them out. I haven’t been sewing a lot for a couple of weeks – working on Ebay selling to fund the fabric addiction.

I’m also trying to conceptualize some shirts/skirts/pants that will not be BAGGY and will still flatter the less than svelte form. I do see rather chubby people online in tighter fitting clothes. I’m not sure I like the look. I tend to oversize everything – which is a habit from my teens when the boobs were breaking out and looking humongous. I don’t think I ever got used to having boobs. And certainly not a D cup set. Thank God I don’t have a G cup – it could be worse.

I’ve found a bra that makes these puppies stand up and pay attention. It’s called Anita Twin – twin? – and I have it in a couple of colors. I also found that Chantelle is supposed to be good – but I think they are all underwire bras and I like those about as well as I like 6″ heels. I can’t spend my whole day with my midsection being poked by wires. Underwear is no problem – I got a ton of Jockey micro-fiber briefs in different colors – no white please. They fit well and are smoothing under clothing.

I see shape wear is the biggest thing. Question – doesn’t this stuff kind of remind you of girdles? Those of you under 50 may not remember girdles but they were contraptions from Hell. They were made out of some horrid elastic material. I tended to bump out below and above the damn things. They came down about to the middle of your thigh. And they had these weird hooky things for you to attach your nylons to. Front and back. Those things made indentations in your legs. The girdle itself was like being boiled in oil all day. Boiled is the word for sure – the elastic did not breathe.

Another trend I’m not sure I’m seeing right. Do people really wear dresses without panty hose even when it’s kind of cold? Am I seeing pure leg polished up with some kind of oil or moisturizer? Or tanning stuff – which makes you look orange? Is this what I’m seeing?

Ok. Enough of that – off to the grocery store – see how much I can save for fabric ………….

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Today Might Be Thursday ………

Michelle Lesniak Franklin's Awesome Design

Michelle Lesniak Franklin’s
Awesome Design

Hello! Today may be Thursday to the rest of you but for me ………IT’S THE PROJECT RUNWAY FINALE!

I will admit that I am a little bit of a LUNATIC about this show. I haven’t watched it for a couple of years …….. never turned it on. I think because 1) I was working full time and in bed before 8:30 pm and 2) I was in a bad damn mood because I was working full time.

Needing my time to create – I get pissed when I don’t have that time. Two days off isn’t enough time to do all the chores, rest the brain and create at the same time. I managed during those two years to cut something out one day and then sew it up over a couple of weekends. But it wasn’t enough down time for me.

I started watching this season when Samantha was knocked off. I thought she had some great ideas and her last outfit probably wasn’t that awesome. And then Richard – I think Richard is out there. He’s not bad as a designer at all. I think he has to work in his comfort zone – not doing weird stuff. I sympathize with him, being a person who sews knits A LOT too. I love knits. I like solid knits, printed knits and I’m nuts about the new digitally printed knits too. You can find some great ones at Tesutti Fabrics online. Google it because it’s a site in Australia – free shipping over $150. Even to us.

You all probably know that I am enthralled with Michelle Lesniak Franklin’s work. The shapes, cut, meticulous finishing and style of her clothing speaks of Eileen Fisher to me. Well maybe Eileen on drugs – but classic, edgy, clean and wearable.

You all also know that I don’t get why Patricia Michaels is still there. I haven’t liked any of her designs, I use that term loosely. The designs don’t work as clothing. Fabric and paint manipulation is one thing. Fashion is another. What is she thinking? A jacket with a black dickey over it is not style. She went to Paris? And Michelle stayed home?

And Stanley – I love Stanley – I would want him to win if I didn’t want Michelle to win. His clothing is classic and forward leaning all at the same time. He can construct better than anyone. He does complain too much about his helpers though. He needs to calm that down.

Tonight we’ll see who wins ……………………. I’ll bet Swatch from Mood Designer Fabrics gets to stay up late to watch the show!