Couture Lunacy

Exploring Fashion One Thread At A Time

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My Beautiful Dining Room


They’re done! All four dining room chairs have a new life with new cushion covers. It’s so nice to have CLEAN cushion covers. I don’t know how many times I’ve washed the old ones but they never looked clean.

I always like when I wear something I’ve made and I feel great in it. That’s the way with this shirt


which I wore again on my last nursing home visit with DH. It’s very loose and comfortable and perfect for a 95 degree day with high humidity. I was comfortable. I’m going to make this again. Right now though I’m going to concentrate on getting some things done that I will want for work. Yes, you heard me, work.

I feel very blessed to work for a company that you can tell in July you can’t come back and then you can call them 3 weeks later to see if there’s anything open. I did and there was. I start back at LL Bean on August 28. This time, I’m doing the second shift. I think this will be a better fit for me because I dislike getting up by an alarm and rushing to get ready. This way I can wake up normally, putz around, get dressed and get to work without all the rush.

My work attire includes jeans. I can always wear something else, but jeans are so comfortable and you can relax and feel good working. I don’t know what it is about denim that makes us all feel like we’re on holiday! But I love it and everything I sew usually hinges around how it will look with jeans.

There are more patterns from the Drape Drape 3 book that are on my wish list. This one I love



And this pattern from Style Arc



Both of these will be seriously comfortable. The tee shirt will be flattering on me and thankfully Chloe drafts these patterns by hand. This means it will actually fit! I don’t need to do any adjusting. Just cut it out and sew it up.

The bubble top is very cute and would look great out of a sheer or a silk. I have plenty of both. I have a Milly print that was used in a handbag and a dress and sold in stores for an enormous amount of money. It’s this print



and I have it in silk with enough yardage to make the bubble top. I love this print.

I found the fabric for my lower cabinet curtains in the kitchen hiding in my stash. Well not hiding. It’s a beautiful bright blue and periwinkle print on white. I brought it down to the kitchen to see if it looked good with the Martha Stewart Enamel paint color. It looks fantastic. Thank God because I can’t afford to buy more fabric just yet. I have some white muslin my mother had to make quilt backings and I’m going to make the kitchen curtains out of that. Even though the windows are new, I’m going to cover them with insulating shades too in the winter. Every little bit helps.

And every little bit needs to help. I wanted to sell a bunch of stuff through an auction this summer. I haven’t had any luck with the three or four I’ve contacted. One agreed they could sell the stuff but they aren’t coming up here at any time in the future as far as I can tell and it’s way too much for me to haul in the back of a Subaru. So I wait. I spoke with another auctioneer and he flatly said nothing in the price range of what I have will bring any price at all. So here I sit. I have a huge $2300 oil bill from last year to find the cash for. Plus I will need oil this winter if only to keep the water hot. My dream of an on-demand hot water heater just went whoosh out the door.

There are many things that need fixing in the house and I have to take them one by one. Not having my husband be able to fix things since 2010 has been a rude awakening for me. I’m going to get very good at handyman work. Or else.

I’m going to leave with some pictures of the nursing home where DH is living now. It’s out in the country – which isn’t far at all from my small little town.



Sad as it is that he has to be there, it’s  a beautiful place!






It is Almost a Sweater!


I have crossed a milestone and am in the home stretch! My Boxy by Joji is almost done. I am shaping the back and shoulders now. Only a few more rows and I can put the shoulder seams together – I have to learn how to do a 3-needle cast off – and then I do the neck edging and add the sleeves and cuffs!

The color of my Boxy is this

dusty pink

This is alpaca and it has spoiled any other fiber for me. It is super soft and light and makes a beautiful fabric. I tried knitting with some wool and alpaca blend – which I will do – but it was scratchier than alpaca. I am hooked on this yarn. Luckily I can get it at Nordic Mart in California and it comes in lovely colors.

On the sewing front, the fabrics are washed, the table is cleaned off, I’ve done my countertop work for this morning and now I can cut something out. Ready to rock with the serger for sure!

I am grabbing the camera after I wash up – since Gigi of Rethinking Reality wants pictures – and I will post a bunch here in a few minutes! Time to get breakfast on for DH. Luckily he eats cold cereal …………….




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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The Daily Prompt today was say your name. Well no my name isn’t Guinevere actually but Jennifer – a derivative of Guinevere.

I was called Jenny until I was 19. My boyfriend’s mother’s name was Virginia and they called her Ginny. So they couldn’t yell for one of us without getting the both of us. My boyfriend’s father started calling me Jennifer.

Thank God I no longer am anywhere near that boyfriend. His parents were a hell of a lot better than he. He was a skirt chaser and he drove me nuts. Luckily he went out on me one night and I caught him in a bar with this really short, ugly chick. He and I were engaged at the time. Well the ring ended up on the dance floor and I almost killed him. He was 6’2″ and weighed about 250. I should have killed him come to think about it.

He married that ugly girl. I am so happy for her and I know exactly how many times he’s cheated on her. Every chance he could get cause that’s the way he is. I love it – revenge IS a dish best eaten cold. That was 42 years ago …..

I never liked my name. Ever. Jennifer is okay – Jenny makes me see red and Jen makes me hurl. Mom always yelled Jennifer Lee when I was about to get smacked, so there like ah aren’t nice memories of my name.

Oddly enough I am a psychic. Early on in my reading career, one of my psychic buddies told me in  reading that I am a one name person and I should have one name for reading. Not two and not Jennifer.

I chose Rachael and everyone called me Rachael – my friends, my family and my clients. When I quit doing private readings I lost Rachael somewhere and went back to my legal name. I’m used to it now and don’t mind it but there are way too many Jennifers out there.

Mom named me after Jennifer Jones the actress. I lived across the road from a British lady named Jennifer and she was named after Jennifer Jones too. Mom told stories of how I didn’t get my name for 3 days because the nuns didn’t like the name Jennifer. They wanted Mom to name me Ruth or Katherine – which was her sister’s name – Katherine Ruth – or Anne – another sister’s name.

My paternal grandparents wanted me named after them – using their middle names. I would have been Ethel Belle – Grandpa’s name was Carey Ethel and Grandma was Hattie Belle. Yutz.

And my Great-Uncle Jack wanted Mom to name me Jacqueline after him. Do you think she listened? Hell no. I would have like Jacqueline. I would probably even be thin and svelte if I was Jacqueline. You know, hot.

I’m 61 now and the only greatest thing about my name is that it is in the records of the social security administration and they’ll be sending me my first check come February 2014. I MADE IT!gwinny