Couture Lunacy

Exploring Fashion One Thread At A Time

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I’m in a butchering mood today ………..

Swirling around in my head – and I do mean swirling – are two things I want to copy. I will need to make the patterns myself – or adapt them from patterns I already have.

inspireThese are both from Gudruns Joden and way out of my budget. Here’s the other one.



Either of these look simple enough. Eeeeeek. Well maybe not ………..

Anyway today I am getting out the muslin and seeing what I can come up with. I have wonderful fabric that would make the top pattern beautifully – as well as the second. Once I do these, I can make them out of any cloth I want. As I keep saying – eeeeeek.

I’ve also considered using this pattern

McCall's 6605

McCall’s 6605

And adding the sleeves with a bias finish instead of cuffs. This would also be the direction I’m going with this. I want a nice, loose tunic to wear over a tee sort of like a smock. We’ll just see what I come up with! And maybe I’ll accidentally find the navy thread ………….




Wading Into The Swamp

A Flea Market in Paris

A Flea Market in Paris

Yesterday my son was uploading an animation to YouTube. It is huge, so it took from early in the morning until 4:30 pm. I was having withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from the internet, that is.

I had the brilliant and soul-fulfilling idea to organize my sewing patterns. I have several that I’ve adjusted and copied from books and I wanted to put them in something just in case I ever wanted to see them again in this lifetime. You see my sewing room is (was) a mess.

I proceeded to the sewing room with some envelopes and a marker. I looked around. If I was going to organize these patterns, where would I put them? Hmm. There was no more room on the shelves. I started looking at the shelves. There wasn’t a lot on them that I use with the exception of the printed patterns. Hmm.

I sighed. Then I went downstairs, got 10 garbage sacks from the kitchen and started pitching.

For some reason, ever since I was an art quilter, I have saved the teensiest bit of fabric – just in case. Who knows what I might need it for? Seriously! I’ve saved everything from the clothes I’ve made. The scraps were taking over two shelves.

I was merciless. If I looked at it and my first reaction was to pitch it, I pitched it. Sometimes I would grab it out of the bag and then put it right back in. I am serious about simplifying my life. I chided myself.

Most of my “good” fabric – stuff that I have recently purchased – was on the floor still in the original boxes. I cleaned out my pretty hot pink plastic storage bins, grabbed two more in the basement and started culling fabric. I may only have created another problem, since some stuff went into the old “spinning room” which is no longer a spinning room because I don’t spin and I sold my spinning wheel – but that room can wait – it needs a major re-order too.

I took all the fabric from their boxes and put them neatly in bins. I now can see what I have without standing on my head. I put all my little pieces of pattern tracing material in a box. Who knows? I may need a tiny piece here or there for a pattern. I think the same scrap hoarding disease may have hit again. No matter. I can control it. I can quit whenever I want.

I also had a pile of clothes/projects on the floor behind my door. Super nasty mess that it was, I went through that pile and pitched a ton of clothing I don’t want and can’t wear. I would like to tell you that I’m taking it to SA or GW but I’m not. Nobody would want this stuff. I am doing them a favor and throwing it out.

I cleaned under my sewing table. I removed 8 or 9 cardboard boxes and 6 full bags of trash. This from a room that is 10 x 12. Imagine if the room were bigger? What would I do?

I still have one shelving unit to sort. It is where I keep most of my notions, hand-sewing supplies, marking tools, interfacing – stuff like that. I have beads in a box, an old shawl I was making from felted wool, a doll I will never finish, a box for my iron, my Bernina sewing machine bag for when I jet to Paris and need to take my machine (I can’t imagine traveling with a sewing machine). And all sorts of other “stuff”. I have a bin full of Lumiere fabric paints and a box full of watercolor paints and another full of brushes. I have a huge box full of buttons from all over. Really nice buttons – I do love a bit of pizzazz! And all of this will be sorted, filed and controlled.

I will not give into the swamp. Today I will wade in again (because my two shelves that are clean look so pretty!) and I will conquer the other shelves, the table and finally get the patterns organized.

This is so strange and so soul-satisfying. For almost 3 years I haven’t had time to do anything other than working, caregiving or worrying. Let me tell ya, the worrying was sure a waste of time! I have managed this week to clean my bathroom storage closet of another huge bag of trash and now the sewing room looks like a real person lives there ————— I have offered to start on my son’s room – he won’t let me in…………………

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Now That You Have Skinny Pants – Guess What?

It should come as no surprise to those of us who love fashion that fashion changes. Like Heidi Klum says “One day you’re in. Next day you’re out.” Sometimes it doesn’t even take a day.

There are many unflattering clothing styles in fashion these days. Like those way below your waist pants that look ludicrous even on skinny tiny people. I don’t think showing everything from your pelvis up is pretty. Some of those stomachs look frightening! Seriously.

And skinny pants. Leggings. You know things that cling to your calves. Worn with baggy tops or not baggy tops. Whatever. Here’s my shape problem. I am overweight. No question about this, and I have been most of my life. I have large breasts, a large stomach and smaller hips. My shoulders wouldn’t look so wide if I was thinner. I am trying to get thinner. I ate tomatoes and cucumbers in a salad for lunch. My legs? They come from my grandmother. Grandma Hattie to be exact. My legs look almost atrophied, a fact which my doctor in PEI took great amusement in telling me.

I did not laugh. My thighs aren’t even large. My calves are small and my ankles are so small that when I buy ankle strap shoes, we have to punch a hole somewhere about 3 inches from the last hole so I can keep them on. I just bought a pair of ankle straps I had to return because they had velcro closings on the ankle strap and there wasn’t any velcro where I needed to close them.

This all means that walking around in skinny pants and a billowing top just accentuates my weird shape. If I were geometry, I would be a triangle. For the last few years, skinny pants and jeans have become the norm. I cannot wear them. I do have a pair of jean leggings. I wear these in the house. I do not wear them in public. I will not wear them in public.

I’m sure a lot of you have gone out and added skinny pants to your wardrobes. Wear them quickly. They are, like every fad, on their way out. Since most women are a size 14 or greater, these skinny pants do not flatter them. Luckily there are enough of us who will not bend to fashion fads and so we don’t have them wasting away in our closets. If you do, guess what the next trend is? How about wide legged pants? Here’s an assortment from fashion magazines, InStyle to be exact and a runway show or two.

The two examples on the bottom are Vogue patterns. The Chado Ralph Rucci is a new pattern from this spring’s collection. The Donna Karan pattern has been around a while.

These “new” wide legged pants are going to require different top treatments. They won’t look balanced with an oversized top and will probably require layering for me. I can see wearing these with a v-neck tee and a cardigan. The cardigan can be just a light jersey, something to balance out the pants.

I must say I’m much happier that wide legged pants are making a comeback. Maybe I’ll get out of my jeans . . . or find some wide legged ones!