Bonjour, since my last post I have since finished the shirt that I was working on and I have moved onto another one as well as the winter coat (I am still trying to get lining out of the Pepto Bismol colour realm… I’m thinking of adding logwood next since at this point purple is closer to the colour I want than). And I have done a few dye experiments, which I haven’t been able to do for a while.
(Isn’t this iris nice? I love this picture even though it is a few years old. It was a proud gardener moment)
So to start off here is a picture of the finished shirt!
(Hopefully a better picture will come later on with better lighting)
So this is the first time in a while that I have made some new pattern pieces. I made the sash/bow, the belt (though you can’t tell that it’s new) and the top layer of the skirt for this piece.
I personally really like the bow and was inspired by this dress:
But you can’t see the bow most of the time since it is covered by my cardigan (I usually wear one and rarely take it off while I am out). But it is a nice detail and I think I will add it to more shirts in the future. And for the belt I attempted to do something more ruched and while it is ruched a bit it isn’t as much as I wanted it initially. And for the skirt layer I made an extended version of my normal skirt pattern. I was basing this off of things that I read about doing gathered skirts and what not but I think it was unnecessary to do the extension as I cut off a lot of length in the end. I think truly to do this sort of thing with chiffon you just need to adjust the edge of the fabric to be more slanted and keep the usual length (maybe adding on just and inch or two opposed to six). And by slanted I mean like this:
So it slants out and picks up the hem shortening the layer.
With all this sewing, and between the spinning, painting, school work, and the other things I am doing I felt like I have been neglecting my dyeing. Dye testing to be exact. Which it really what the end goal of most of items I make. My garments are a way for me to show off natural dyes and I am hoping to spin enough yarn so that I can dye it and make something wearable out of it someday. So this week and next week I am conducting some dye tests. AsI’ve been collecting a variety of potential dye plants for a while and I thought I might as well start doing some tests.
(Jars lined up and ready to go)
Testing is not my favourite thing to do but it is a necessity, and I do get a joy out of my dye swatch journal. I think my dislike for them comes out of the fact that I have had quite a few failures. But that’s what this blog is about. A flash back to last year when I spent a few hours picking out the pollen stamens in a fern peony bath only to botch the whole dye by heating it in the end…
(The evidence… The truly graphic photos are withed for fear of shocking the audience)
I have since then learned not to heat a frozen dye bath. Just let it thaw out.
So for the tests this week I decided to try fennel, carrot tops, and dried pomegranate skins. The first two had been stored in the freezer and the last one just air dried. So for the lot of them I just placed them in separate jars with water and let them soak for a few days, then strained of the plant matter and then added different fabric swatches to each jar and left that for a day or two.
I chose these plants because I read that they would produce colour (although the books state wild fennel…but I used the tops of ones bought at the grocery store… and I think there is a reason it states wild fennel but I don’t know where to find any near me… but more on that later). The pomegranate skins are a sort of tan colour, and the other two are a sort of yellow. I will share the results next week!
I feel like I need to change things up a bit on this blog so I am thinking of doing some posts on collections of things, like all the shirts I have made and so on and so fourth. Maybe that will be next weeks post. (It would also be an excuse for me to photograph all my garments properly… And in better lighting)
That’s all for now, enjoy!
P.s I dyed my coat lining with logwood and it is now a lot more purple (not the original plan) but it is out of medicinal pink and I’m just happy with that and will go with it!