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!



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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!

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Up and Down

The good news is my other blog “A Little Fluff” was nominated by spinkykitten for the Leibster Award – so excited I almost woke up the whole family – which is a no no because if I wake them up I don’t have any time to myself!

I went to LL Bean today to see the nurse – to get approval to go back to work – hopefully I can and DH‘s living arrangements will be straightened out by July 1. I doubt it but I might have to leave him with DS anyway even though DS is making burnt out noises.

I wore the lifting makeup today! Wow and it looks good – I got a color that matches my skin tone perfectly. I am kind of light-skinned for a brunette but I have sallow undertones – isn’t all of this thrilling reading? I was at the Bean for only an hour and I can’t wait to go back. I got a pass to the Employee Store too – and maybe I can sneak out of here for a trip to Freeport on my own before the pass runs out ……………… it would be funnier than fun.

I love LL Bean clothes especially for the guys. If they would make their jeans longer ???? I could wear them too. The cute clothes don’t always come in my size. So I wear Eddie Bauer and work at LL Bean –

I will be doing CS 2 again as soon as they open up the position. That will probably be in September. I loved CS 2 work. I got all the escalated customers and I made them happy after they talked to me. Well most of them anyway. The guy that wanted me to tell my supervisor to get off her ass and go to the warehouse and ship out a coat in time for Christmas – and he was calling on a Sunday the 23rd – he wasn’t happy. Tee hee.

I wore these shoes today


and now that I know from actually going to a shoe store – Lamey Wellehan’s here in Bangor – that I am a size 9 not a size 8 – well these are an 8 and they aren’t all that comfie. Especially across the vamp part. I may have to send them back. Luckily Eddie Bauer has the same return policy as LL Bean.

Good news! We got out heat pump loan and we’re ready to get it put in. This is SO GOING TO HELP THE OIL BILL! I wish I’d got two – but one will do for now and for the upstairs we will just leave the furnace set at 55 and get under blankets. I’m going to work on getting a Rinnai on demand gas water heater too. I need $2700 for that. Any contributions would be welcome ………. maybe I’ll do an Indiegogo campaign – oh wait – that doesn’t work unless you are weird and are doing utube videos or something. Maybe I’ll win the lottery – that would be easier.

Had a big spat with Ebay today which you can read about on A Little Fluff. Man I’m still pissed off but I did Meditation and Yoga Nidra and I’m a calm pissed off. I’m also off Ebay – let someone else deal with those $#%%#$# buyers.

Tomorrow I have nowhere to go. Thank god. I also planted some plants in the first VegTrug today and hopefully we can put the second one together tomorrow. I need a third and will get that the first of June. I’m going to get the large one with six legs. It will have more room and I need it.


Tomorrow I’m in the sewing room. I will do nothing else. I will not even do laundry – mopping – cooking – or any other stupid thing I don’t want to – but I will write in the morning!

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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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Will Work for Yarn

Picture this. A 61-year-old on the corner with a cardboard sign saying “Will Work for Yarn.” Kind of like the depression – only really depressed because she NEEDS yarn. And lots of it. Or fiber to spin – that’s good too. Food would be good – she spent all the grocery money on fabric …………….

Such is my life. While trying to adhere to the spiritually simple life and not accumulating everything I see and don’t need – I. CANNOT. STOP.

I am actively selling stuff  I no longer want on Ebay in order to buy stuff I probably don’t need. Thank God I don’t use credit cards. It’s fun until you get to your credit limit (in about a day) and then the fun stops. I want them to make a credit card with flexible payments. That would get a lot of people using them again. Bad idea.

It’s not bad enough that I honestly will work for yarn – I get frustrated when my favorite yarns start selling out and I can’t buy them. There was a sale last month on Knitting Fever Silk for $15.99 a skein. Yes, that’s a sale – it’s 34.99 usually. Well all the colors I liked were gone gone gone by payday. Whimper.

Sigh. I thought I’d give you all some pictures to drool over – just in case you have a yarn obsession too. And these are all silk so hey they’d be great to knit in summer – under the apple tree in a comfy chair with Leonard Cohen on the iPod ……………… maybe a nice glass of wine next to your chair ……………….. and your family fixing dinner for you so you can finish faster …………… and everyone cleaning house so you can finish faster. And then a yarn fairy drops down beside you and says “You can buy all the yarn you want”any time you see it”, causing you to swoon …………….