Couture Lunacy

Exploring Fashion One Thread At A Time


Washing Buttons


I recently purchased this pile of buttons and buckles from a nice lady on Ebay. There are some real treasures here and I am pleased. They all felt just a teensy dirty though. Kind of like they’d been in the garage or attic for years.

I put them all in a dishtowel this morning and tied the dishtowel. I am soaking them in dish soap and hot water and I will get them out and let them air dry once they are clean.

Before I stuck them in the towel, I separated out the fabric-covered buttons and anything I thought wouldn’t survive the swimming trip. Most of them are not fabric-covered so I will be able to get them clean and fresh.

I’ve been doing quite a lot of drawing using this book as a reference

fashion illustration


and I am going to take pictures of my work for you all to see. I hope to post those pictures later today. I still have the problem of the Nikon D50 residing upstairs in my sewing room while my Mac is downstairs ………… I think I need two computers and two cameras. Or I need not to be so lazy.

I am cutting out a new shirt today. I haven’t decided yet if it will be this



or if it will be this



For the first shirt, I am using this fabric

Whew this is cute


and I have several for the second – here’s a few of them

Alas I have more ……………… my fabric buying in April and May got a bit out of hand …………… I think I’m stocked up for a LONG time – especially since I still have the entire order of fabric from way back in 2011 AND fabrics I bought longer ago than that. I have marvelous fabric ………………

Update with pictures of the drawings and pretty purple shirt later!




Purple Sari Silk Shirt Done! Brownies Baked!

Well except for sewing on buttons – then it’s totally pressed and into the closet. I’m very happy to finally get this done so I can cut out a knit tee to serge. I love my serger and I want to use it!

I’ve been scouring websites for buttons lately. I need nice buttons for shirts and jackets and new ones are so ah plain. They just look  – ordinary. I want bling boom fireworks. So I went looking and today these arrived in the mail!

These are fun. I need to wash the big lot of buttons – they have been stored somewhere a long time. There are some real beauties in the bag!

Given the new styles, it doesn’t matter so much if the buttons on your shirt don’t match. They purposely don’t match on some RTW. If I have buttons of the right size and shape but don’t like the color – woosh out comes the Lumiere paints and I paint them. I’ve used lots of Grandma Nannie’s buttons this way and I love the look. Nothing like a bunch of silver buttons to perk up a gray shirt or a nice metallic indigo on a navy shirt.

After I finished the shirt I whipped up a bunch of Sinful Brownies – oh boy. They have 1 and 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup cocoa,  1/2 pound butter,  2 cups of sugar, 4 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla  and a pinch of salt – you melt the butter with the cocoa in the microwave and then stir the other stuff in until combined. You bake these in a jelly roll pan (15 x 1) for 20 minutes at 350. While they are still slightly warm you spread them with frosting made like this – 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/3 cup cocoa, 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and enough milk to make it thick and spreadable. I use about 1/3 of a cup of milk but I don’t pour it in all at once – I want to get the right consistency so I play with splashes of milk. After these are frosted I let them cool completely (because they will kill you with richness if you eat them warm!) and they are the best brownies I’ve ever eaten – really.

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Finding Those Special Notions – Button Button Who’s Got the Button?

From time to time I will be working on a shirt that needs buttons. Let me tell you, you do not know boredom until you have tried to find the perfect buttons for your new shirt on the internet. Forget going to the store – we only have a Walmart and JoAnne Fabrics here for buttons and neither of these stores carries anything you’d want to put on a shirt that took your time to sew.

I also knit and have completed a vest that requires buttons. That was several months ago and I haven’t found the buttons yet. I need 9 and they must be special. I’m haunting websites trying to figure out what will work.

I have purchased some cute buttons from Waechter’s Fine Fabrics and some from Sawyer Brook. They’re better than okay but they are nothing particularly special.

As I mentioned on A Little Fluff – I’m back on Ebay – well I was pissed for a while – like four days – and got off – now I’m back on because it is a good way to make money even though they hold the cash for 3 days after the buyer receives the item. Sad but true. Come July that won’t be applied to my account anymore, thank God.

I had purchased a ton of buttons back in the day when I started my business, Cotton Jenny Antique Quilts – I sold buttons along with vintage fabrics, lace and of course, quilts, tops and blocks.

I still have a few of those and when I need buttons I go into the stash and look around. I have Lumiere paints too so if the colors aren’t right but the shape and size is – I paint them. Works a treat! I have Grandma’s and Mom’s old buttons too – my Grandma collected more than Mom. Mom had a lot of shirt buttons ………..

To my chagrin I just remembered that I’d bought some buttons off Ebay back in the 90s. Yesterday I got into that addictive bidding that comes when you don’t want to lose. Cheez. Like never lose. Here’s some of the buttons I bid on – some I won – some I’m winning –

These will be absolutely perfect on the several blouses I have planned. And jackets and tops and whatever. My stash has grown exponentially since yesterday. I need someone to stop me. Now.

Here’s something I haven’t bid on. This reminds me of being at my first Cotton Jenny show at my friend’s quilt shop and the lady who came to me wanting to sell some old jewelry. There was a rhinestone necklace that was 2″ and just a band that fit tightly around the neck as well as a matching bracelet. I sold that set for $600 – that was back when we had an economy that wasn’t whimpering along. I probably couldn’t give it away now ……. But here’s this group


They are asking $189 for the first bid. Well I don’t have $189 to spend on glitz – but if I did – whew. I’m almost glad I’m not back at LL Bean yet because most of a paycheck would go on these …………

If you have time go on Ebay and bid against me – please …………..we might need to eat next month!