Couture Lunacy

Exploring Fashion One Thread At A Time

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Working on a Sweater



Over the last couple of months, I have had no energy to start new projects. I’m treading water, waiting for enthusiasm to return. I don’t like being in these periods of stress, gloom and doom. But I am and there it is.

While I have toyed with ideas for shirts (gave it up), vests (gave it up), more shirts (gave it up), I have at least been able to continue knitting. It doesn’t require any effort for me. As long as I’m not under pressure for a deadline and as long as the knitting is easy. Very easy.

I started knitting around my birthday last year. I had learned the basic cast on and off technique as a teen, but I never followed a pattern or knit anything other than a scarf. It was so time-consuming! Now I am happy to be time-consumed because I have so much time on my hands.

This sweater is the Boxy by Joji from that I got from Ravelry. I had been working on a pink one but made so many mistakes that I knew I wouldn’t wear it. So I started this one – with the pattern and it’s requirements fresh in my mind. I know that I have to learn to do a three-needle bind off and I am committed to doing that. Doing it any other way distorts the pattern on the sleeves and shoulder.



I like this sweater a lot and I know once I conquer the binding off and getting all the pattern elements correct without making a major error, I will wear it.

Thank God knitting is something I can do to keep my hands, and my mind busy. Once again, having time off from visiting my husband at the nursing home, I’m in the sewing room waiting for inspiration to strike! With persistence, it will.


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Wow …………… this is hard ………

I spent almost all day yesterday learning to thread the serger. Or trying to thread the serger. I thought I had it done but when I tried to serge it just made a motor noise and wouldn’t move. Hopefully it will move once I get it threaded right. I want one of those Jet-Air threading sergers. What the hey it’s only $1700 more than this one ……. no I’ll learn this one.

I think if I ever get this threading down I will love it. I’ve determined that I will learn to thread this correctly now so that I don’t always want not to use it because it’s intimidating. Once I learn it I am going to be okay. Whimper.

I got my “jeez I shouldn’t have” load of fabric in Tuesday. It is wonderful and I can’t wait to get going on all of it. I have been busy with taking pictures and putting stuff up for sale on the web so I haven’t had much time.

I’ve also been into the attic to drag stuff out. DH is a packrat and we have so much stuff that hasn’t been out of boxes for years – and not just from our last move. It’s time to cull the madness. I finally gave up on my spinning idea too.

Last year I bought a spinning wheel thinking I could spin yarn and sell it to earn money for the overhead here at the Urban Zoo. I found out a couple of things – it is not easy to spin sea cell and soy silk — and you need a lot of accessories in order to spin what you want with a basic wheel. I really needed to add a jumbo sliding-hook flyer and bobbins and a three prong lazy kate. Not to mention I needed to buy fiber that isn’t sea cell and soy silk. The cost of fiber to spin enough yarn to make a sweater large enough for me – ! – would run around $125 and up, depending on the quality, softness and general loveliness of the fiber. Then I would need to spin it. Then I would need to dye the yarn ………

I am a new knitter having come back to the hobby after learning the basics many years ago. When I say basics, I mean basics. I could basically cast on, cast off and knit/purl straight. I never learned how to read a pattern, shaping a garment or different stitches. I am fascinated by knitting and have almost completed my first pullover in a dusty pink alpaca from Nordic Mart. I am using Joji’s Boxy pattern which you can find on Ravelry. It’s in the most popular sort method – like number 3 or 4. It is beautiful.

So between sewing and knitting I have enough to do what with DH needing a lot of attention during his waking hours. Now if I can only conquer this bad boy

My Mother's Day Present!

My Mother’s Day Present!

I ordered a Style Arc pattern too. Chloe offers a freebie every month with the purchase of any pattern. I would buy more if the shipping from Australia wasn’t so high. I love her patterns. They are full which means there’s none of this “cut two on fold” thing going on and they are on blueprint paper – not tissue. This makes it easier. I also love that there is one size per pattern. I don’t have to worry about all those other cutting lines. And they fit. I have two I make a lot. One is the Laura dress which I have altered to be a top. Somehow dresses with leggings don’t do it for me at the age of 61. I’m still a babe – I’m just an old babe. I also have the Cruise Club Kim dress which I lengthened to a maxi. That one I had to take in about 3″ on each underarm seam to keep it from bagging. Better I should have to make a pattern smaller than larger. I made the dress last spring out of a fantasically soft navy denim jersey. I love it and wear it with a cardigan I made from Miss Moneypenny’s Twinset by Hotpatterns. For that I used a panel print cotton knit in an abstract blue, black and cream with all sorts of pattern pieces and faces, etc. on it. I will have to get a picture of that.

So here’s my new patterns from Style Arc

Marie_Jacket_5109b2ef62024 MAY-13-Special

The top is going to be made out of this fabric


This is from Emma One Sock and it was in the order I received Monday. It is much prettier in real life. The Marie jacket – oh dear I have been haunting the online fabric shops for a digitally printed ponte. I found one at Tessuti Fabrics but it is now sold out. I need a ponte to hold the weight of the zipper. Back to searching ……….

I have more fabric coming. What you say? I will need to sneak this in when it arrives. Past the deadpan stare of DH and DS. Yes, I do need this fabric and yes I am worth it.



The last fabric will be a V-neck shirt from Vogue 1247


McCall's M6553 Fashion Star Pattern

McCall’s M6553 Fashion Star Pattern

This pattern is for the first fabric – the ODL print. I may make a jacket instead and if I do it will be a take on this look

Very wearable

Very wearable

Not however with my stomach showing. That would scare everyone – most of all me. But still a jacket, with sleeves, in this basic shape,

I also have three sewing books on their way

drapedrap3 pattern shapeshape

From drape drape 3 I am going to make this


and I found the perfect fabric for it at Gorgeous Fabrics

Whew this is cute

I should be all set for spring/summer clothes and on into the fall. I go back to work July 1 so I hope to have most of these done by then — here’s hoping!