Couture Lunacy

Exploring Fashion One Thread At A Time

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Southwestern Top Finished!



I have stuck the sleeve up in the air so you can see the fit on this top. It has curves in all the right places, although I could wish I didn’t have quite so many 🙂



This view gives you a two-sided view of the line of the top. I like the fit on this a lot and will use this adapted pattern often. I used a twin needle to stitch the hems on the bottom and sleeves – pretty neat and looks “store-bought.”



This is the whole top with the drape from the bust line down and shows the flare at the bottom – that flare was obtained simply by doing a FBA on the pattern and rotating the extra dart amount to the bottom. Love it.



And here’s the back of the shirt – the same shape prevails and I like to think it is slimming – maybe not with this wild fabric, but slimming enough. I used my serger for all of the seams. I only needed the sewing machine for the hemming, applying the neckband and doing the shoulder seams because I added clear elastic to them to keep them from sagging. I’m very pleased with the serger and it makes everything neat and tidy.

On to the next wardrobe piece!


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A Wear With Everything Hoodie

Today I’ll finish hemming my new shirt and put it in the closet, ready to wear. It’s so nice to look through my closet and see that almost everything in there was made by me. It gives me a great feeling.

It’s turned cold here in a hurry, as is usual in Maine. I’m reminded that I’m going to need a nice warm jacket to throw on over everything before we get to the OMG I have to wear a coat weather. So next on my make it list is this:



I’ve made this pattern already in a red ponte with a hood lining that I’m not nuts about now, but I’ll wear it.



and the notion info on the pattern was wrong, so I bought a zipper two inches too short. The snap tape looks pretty cool though and since I have my new serger, I’m going to finish off all the seams again on the serger so it looks great inside too.

The one I’m going to start to wear everywhere will be in black double-knit with substantial body. I already have the zipper for it here:



which will just add that little quirky bit of difference to the hoodie that I’m looking to get. The rest of the hoodie will be black – not going to do any contrast fabric for the inside of the hood. Also this one will be in a size that actually fits me rather than oversized as is the red jacket!

Many more on the make list …………… I also have some fantastic faux leather that I want to use for a jacket too. This is it

white gold


This is outside my comfort zone weird wise. I think I can make it work though and the fabric is very soft and malleable so it will work up well. I think this calls for a Riri zipper – which is good because I need one for another outfit and I can get them together and save on shipping – more money for FABRIC!

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The Southwestern Top ……… Update



I put in the sleeves and sewed the side seams up – the top looks gorgeous. I’m hoping I can get a great picture for you tomorrow. The line from the bust, where the top is fitted, to the hem, which is flared – is beautiful and gives this top great shape. I hope to be able to show this well enough in the photo tomorrow.

I’m being told by my photographer son to get as much natural light as I can so the picture will be sharper and it won’t wash out details ……… I will try.

I had a spooky few minutes with this top – learning to use my serger to sew in the sleeves and do the side seams. I am a slow adapter so actually using my serger requires me to jump unknowingly into the project! It’s so silly ——- but I feel accomplished today after getting this much done. Now I just need to finish the edges and hem it and I will use a twin needle for that – I love twin needles!


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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Lace, Mesh and Your Bra Will Show ……….

I like fabrics with BLING. I want the fabric to do something – not just lie there.

I find using solid colors only works for me if I am doing an “outfit” and intend on wearing the solid with some nutso print

I also find that I love lace and mesh fabrics. I have some gorgeous – from Gorgeous Fabrics – stretch lace in a beautiful color combination of burgundy and beige. There are neat flowers all over – I bought 8 yards. I knew that I would need to double the fabric for a top – but I didn’t need 8 yards to do that – now I’m searching for the way to use the rest of this in something besides a top.

(Had to take a break to eat – I forget to do that in the morning until the coffee starts making me sick.)

Sewing any sheer fabric means your seams will show on the outside of your garment. You’ll be able to see through to the inside. I deal with this by using french seams – that way all that’s visible is a pretty finished seam with no raw edges. I find french seams add less weight than overcasting the edges of the seams. I have yet to try the lace or a sheer with my new serger. I have yet to try much of anything with my new serger!

With a busy fabric like stretch lace the pattern doesn’t need to be complicated and will actually detract from the fabric if it is complicated. I find a simple tee shirt with classic lines suits a stretch lace or mesh. I also double the fabric. I put two shirts inside one another. I put the right side on the outside (duh) and the right side of the inside tee against my skin. I connect them at the neckline just as if I were lining something. Which I am but with its own fabric.

Some of the mesh fabrics are still going to be see through even with doubling them. You’re going to need a camisole or a really nice bra (and this is for those who are 40 and under) that peeks out and looks cute! I am 61 – nobody wants to see my bra. So I would wear a cami under a sheer lace or mesh tee-shirt if the doubling doesn’t cover everything.

I find mesh fabric or stretch lace to be pretty reasonably priced too. Fabric is SO expensive if you are buying good fabric that the mesh and lace is refreshingly affordable. I find great choices at Gorgeous Fabrics, Marcy Tilton, Mood – anywhere you can imagine. Denver Fabrics has some great stretch lace too as does the New York Fashion Fabric website. I buy these whenever I find them knowing I will use them. When it is a lace or a mesh I usually get 4 yards thinking two will make a tee-shirt if I want it long and I will need double that to make the sheer not so sheer. Of course 3 would do or 2 if you’re tiny. You can always leave the sleeves just one layer – which is what I do. Sheer sleeves show no bad things.

Here are some ideas of fabrics that are currently available –

and here are some super inexpensive ones from Denver Fabrics

Denver Fabrics has great quality fabric and the prices are so low they’re scary! They have dance fabric, swimwear fabric – every kind of fabric out there – plus even yarn and notion and books and ……

Have fun finding your own SHEER magic – ha!

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No Sewing Room Time Today

Did I get into the sewing room? No I did not. We had the physical therapist in and the speech therapist in and that lasted until almost 3.

For some reason they want me around. I was pleased that DH could say words today for things the speech therapist would point at and start to form the word. He has no trouble understanding – he just can’t remember anything and he can’t generate the word even though he knows it.

She’s going to bring him an alphabet board so he can point to the letters of the word he’s trying to say. That will make communication so much easier. I’ve been around so long I can almost know exactly what he’s saying but sometimes I can’t. And I let her know that English is his third language. That was important because he didn’t learn English until he was 11 going on 12.

He’s still frail as heck. The physical therapist is going to see about a leg brace for his right leg which drags. That’s causing him lots of trouble walking because it catches on everything. He’s going to check with the doctor and see if she thinks that would help.

I’m going to the nursing home for a tour on Tuesday. DH doesn’t want to go and this makes it so hard. I wouldn’t want to go either and I wish there were a way I could say I could keep doing this longer. I already feel guilty. God I wish it would just be easier. He will be better taken care of there – but he doesn’t see that I don’t think. And I won’t have to run all over and have so many chores I can’t keep up. I can’t lift him out of bed or help him off the floor if he falls – I’m big but not strong in that way.

So I didn’t get into the sewing room. It was almost 90 degrees here today – the first hot day we’ve had all year. It went from the 60s to the 90s in a day. Maine‘s like that. We have another couple of days of warm weather and then we’re back to the high 60s, low 70s.

I need to check on the moon – I think it’s full – it feels like it – sewing time tomorrow?

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Taking the Day Off!

I have been BUSY. I’ve been selling stuff  like hotcakes and I have been packing, shipping and haunting the internet.

I have a million things to do. I’m still working on my lovely fuchsia sari silk blouse. We’re at the putting the back and front together step. The front button band is done and it looks lovely. I can’t wait to finish this.

As you all know – I received my first serger as a gift this week! What excitement! Yesterday – after only two days – I successfully mastered threading it – and this was the biggest drawback to me actually getting a serger all these years. Voila’ I now can serge!

I’ve been reading blogs where someone has liked another sewing blog – and then they say the sewing blogger has been sewing for three years and is an expert. Non. Sorry. Hate to disagree. I’ve looked at the items the expert has made and they don’t fit. They look homemade on the outside – I can’t imagine what the inside looks like.

Sewing – like every other worthwhile pursuit – takes time and experience. This may be just sour grapes – I have a lot of those little buggers hanging around which I try to kill regularly. But I have learned to really sew well over 50 years. There is no garment or design I cannot master. There are a few I won’t make – like jeans. As long as I can find foxy fitting jeans somewhere – I’m not going to mess with those. I also don’t make my underwear – and that’s about it – I make everything else – including coats.

Here’s one I made a couple of years ago – I love the pattern. It is an Issey Miyake and I’ve made the shirt too – not the pants yet but they are on the burner.

V1476This coat needs to be made out of fabric that is not heavy. It isn’t appropriate in a heavy coating fabric because the coat is so heavy you can’t wear it! That’s unfortunately what I did in this photo


I love the coat but I tried to wear it a couple of times and whew it is super duper heavy. So next I am going to make it out of a lighter fabric and maybe even raincoating. Speaking of rainwear – I am getting this fabric for another project here

M6531I’m making view D which is the furthest on the right. And I’m using this


Fabric like this is why I shop at Emma One Sock. This is absolutely knock down drop dead gorgeous! My serger will come in handy on this project!

Today I am going to sew, do laundry, fold laundry (it’s been sitting around forever) cook a decent supper – we’ve had pizza a lot lately – and chill. I packed up my spinning wheel – it was as much trouble to take apart as it was to put together. It is leaving today for California. If I ever decide to spin again I am going to get the top of the line wheel rather than a basic one. I want the Majacraft Aura

maj-0114.detailand when I have $1100 or more to blow – it will come here. I haven’t given up (I never do) but I need a better wheel if this is going to work ………………… have fun – and keep on sewing~