Yay a semester down and so ready to take a break. I apologize for not posting but this semester I had a full course load and couldn’t scrape in the time to write a post. But now that everything is done I am ready to do a post. Yay we’ve made it to the other side of the rainbow!
(and at the end of that rainbow you find a Marshall kitty sitting on a dock)
So this semester I had a fibres class that was all painting and dyeing. I really enjoyed the class and all the methods that we learned but one (Bokashi I’m looking at you with your runny acid dyes that bleed everywhere). A few of the techniques I already knew. Such as the natural dyeing and shibori indigo dyeing. As well as the basis for discharge. However I felt like I really got to expand and get into the nitty gritty parts and details of those techniques. The other techniques that were learned were: rusting, Japanese stencils, and bokashi. I’m ready to catch up on some sleep now that classes are done, sleeping in until dare I say eight in the morning (that’s late for me but early to most).
For this class I made a shirt for one of my projects. And to no surprise I uses natural dyes, and mordants to get the different colours. For the bodice I dyed the fabric with thyme and fennel for that pale yellow colour. Next I used some palangi tying techniques (palangi is a form of quick twisting and tying of fabric for resists) before I put that fabric into any mordants. My plan here was to put many different mordants on the fabric so that I would have a couple of different colours going on… However this plan did not go as planned.. Most of my mordants didn’t do very much… In fact it looked like they didn’t do anything at all. Tin.. Nothing. Alum.. Nothing (I didn’t expect much from alum anyways). Chrome.. Nothing. Tannic acid..Nothing. It wasn’t until I added the iron that I got any form of visible results. But later on when I went to cut out the pattern I noticed that I didn’t have enough fabric for the straps so I pulled some fabric from the last shirt I made that used the same yellow dye and took that to the studio to mordant. It was then that I realized that the silver colour was a mixture of Tannic acid and Iron together. There’s science for you.
(a close up of the bodice, the palangi-mordant effects really change depending on the light)
The belt of the shirt is dyed using Lac. I have fallen in love with this burgundy colour and just want to use it on everything. I find it quite mesmerizing.
Then for the skirt I used the bundle dye method that I used in my post about the curtains I dyed: here. But I added the same mordants to the top layer to tie the two halves together.
Again the pattern is pulling off of Edwardian ladies fashion. I used the same pattern as in my last post but I made a few alterations. First I took off the chiffon layer that was on the bodice, I altered the skirt so that it opened up at the front (caused some stress in the back of the shirt when I went to put in the zipper) and finally, which I think is most important at least for me is that I fitted it so that the shirt fit in the waist. So far all of the shirts I have made besides the first one, which had an elastic belt, have been huge on me through the waist which is not the look I want to go for. Call me vain or vapid or what not but I like to show that my waist is smaller than my chest. I think it makes my clothing look less like a potato sack.
And is one of the main reasons I want to make my own clothes. So in conclusion, yay I have a shirt that fits my waist!
(a close up on how I finished the zipper, not perfect but good enough for me)
Now in my blissful holiday mindset I’m currently watching High Fidelity while writing this. My Dad can’t stand this film as the main character is incredibly selfish and a bit of an idiot. Perhaps this film isn’t for the been married for 40 years people… I’m not sure but as a young childless person I really like the film. I like John Cusack’s characters matureness at the end of the film (when he tells Laura that he is tired of the fantasy) despite the fact that he probably won’t change all that much in the long term. I also like all of the top five lists that the characters make throughout the film. My feelings are the same for the book by Nick Hornby although I do prefer the Chicago setting of the movie over the London book setting.
(also maybe John Cusack’s good hair in the film adds on to my liking it)
Anyways besides that I have other plans today involving dyeing. I have a few experiments that I would like to try out. I have plans for another shirt that I would like to experiment with. I have the basic idea figured out: logwood belt and overlay, then a bleeding watercolour-like or splattered underskirt and bodice using other deep purples and pale yellows.
(the overlay and belt fabric so far, I still have some adjustments before its final)
I find that when I create a shirt in my head I do a really basic sketch that isn’t coloured then I go in and write a bunch of notes on the colours and dye techniques I want to use. I think its because I have what I want pictured in my head thoroughly but if I need to explain what I’m doing to someone else for help (aka Mom) they need a visual.
The other day I got my order from Maiwa and a few other dye supplies and I’m really excited. I ordered a number of things. I got a collection of brushes (a wax resist brush, two dye brushes, and a irosashi brush),
shinshi poles for stretching fabric, logwood extract, lac dye, dried soy beans, guar gum and emulsified wax with its respective thickener. And I’m excited to try these things out in my experiments. Let’s just hope I get some interesting results. I’ll share them in a few days along with some other updates.
I also bought some cashmere-wool fabric to make a winter coat with recently. I’m not sure what colour I want to dye it..
I’m thinking either a pale grey-blue or the colour of lac dye.. Either way I know that it will be fitted, cover my bum, and riff of of the 1910’s of course. I’m thinking of a mix between these two coats:
On a final note I’ll just say that I’m proud of myself for making it through my drawing class this semester as I am not a drawer at all. But I just want to share my final project that I’m pretty proud of. Its a hat that is natural dye materials based and inspired by Edwardian fashion as well as John Galliano’s amazing designs (he is by far my favourite designer as he has a real understanding on how fabric works).