Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some quick clothes for work

I am a pretty casual person and in the past, my workplaces have been casual too. They kind of have to be when you are required to kneel on the ground, run after children, sit on very small stools etc. Hopefully I will be able to continue to wear casual at my new job - it is at a prep-12 college and I will be working with year 8 and 9 students, so maybe I will have to wear a button-up shirt or something. Scary thought.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday Dyeday

Not the same ring as Friday Dyeday but I dyed on Tuesday and can't wait that long to show off my stuff. As you can see, I don't bother with ironing my fabric until I go to use it!

This is 2 pieces of quilter's sateen that I painted with blue and yellow dye. This was the first time I have directly painted a whole piece of fabric and it is not so easy (for me). It is hard to tell what the result will be because the colours are so dark. But this is what I was aiming for and the colours are nicely blended.
These are some swirl dyed sateen pieces - I did them in a small tray, so the pieces are only tiny. They will be used as the wings on some butterflies I plan on appliquing onto a skirt. The one of the right is the clearest, because it was done first. I found you can reuse the base as long as the colours are similar, but it is not quite as crisp a marble. This is some pinwale cord I swirl dyed. See how the two cuts of pink/purple are so much clearer than the blue green. I will have to problem solve that soon, I think it is to do the ratio of blue dye pwder to water when making the dye stock.

Pinwale cord painted. This is the blue that I was trying to get in the above shot. Why it works on one method and not another is a complete mystery to me. The cords did not blend as much as the earlier sateen and since they are really thirsty, being thick and all, I found it hard to work fast enough to get it more blended.

Some other stuff from the dye pot - the turquoise romper was done low water immersed but it is not very mottled. The green was also LWIed but I just dumped in yellow and blue and stirred, so wasn't sure what sort of green I would end up with. This is very mottled. The piece on the right was my experiment to see how a print would look marbled - it was a very ugly thing with koalas that I throught could be turned from trash (being chucked out by one of my SIL's to treasure) but I am not sure I like it much. I was in too much of a hurry. Jalisa loves it and wants pants, a top and skirt made from it (mind you there is like 1m of the stuff, so maybe a top).
Whew, what an essay.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Swirl dyeing tute

Just thought I would point you in the right direction if you too want to start marbling or swirl dyeing. Check out Indigo Onion's instructions here, she has done an excellent resource up and seeing as it might be a book soon, I don't think it is fair doing up a tute that basically says the same thing. At a later stage I might add some pointers or something, but I am not a pro just yet and still very much experimenting and learning too.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New tee for me

This is a tee I made for myself using some of my dyed fabric. Pattern is one of my staples, Kwik Sew 3003 with my own jewel neck (sounds better than plain old crew neck).
I actually sewed this only using my overlocker and coverstitcher. See, when I first bought my OL, I used to sew tees with it, but I did not like how much necklines came out. For whatever reason, I have been avoiding my OL for knits because I felt more in control on my SM. But that may change this year. I ended up using some picot elastic to finish the neckline, so avoided the wonky neckline anyway.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yay - first sewing of the year, a dye and show and a GIVEAWAY

I finally got around to finishing off some shirts I started last year. Pattern is Ottobre.

I love collared shirts. I had planned on coordinating shorts but these will probably go with some shorts that I bought recently.
Okay, time for a essay! I have come to think that with dyeing, sometimes you have to prepare for the unexpected. When I decided to dye some 100% cotton jersey rompers/onesies, I thought they would turn out the same as the drill that I had been using the same day. Actually, I thought they would turn out better because I had actually had a chance to practice the marbling patterns. But when I took them out of the washer, I realised that most of the dye had run out and it only had very subtle pastel swirls.

Disappointed, I read through my notes and thought that they needed more time and the dye/shaving cream needed more colour. So the next day I made the colours stronger and lay them on the dye for 10 minutes each side. They looked so much more vivid when wet and the patterns I had done looked great. But again, they mostly washed out. Okay, so on Wednesday I decided the jersey I wanted to dye needed the stronger dye plus 20 minutes left on the dye plus longer than 4 hours to cure.

Guess what. I have come to the conclusion that, for the moment being, I am getting better results with the cotton wovens so I am going to concentrate on using them next time I dye.

Anyway, here are the results.

See the drill (folded up)- that was left on the dye for 5 minutes and cured for maybe 4 hours. It actually retained most of the colours I used. The jersey ended up with purple and some blue, when I had used blue, purple and pink, left it on the dye for 20 minutes and cured for 8 hours.
Here is the giveaway. A size 1 romper, marbled dyed pastel shades of yellow, blue and green. Just leave a comment and Jalisa will draw a name Friday night.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas presents from last year

In all the rush of the festive season, I never did get around to taking pictures of the handmade gifts that I made.

First, here are the butterfly wings in action. Jalisa was too busy rushing around for me to capture a good shot
I hand dyed the fabric, using shaving cream and dye. I fumbled along and made my own pattern/directions for the wings - I think they would make great presents so I might make a few more prototypes before passing them out.

Chalkcloth mat

The outside of the chalkcloth mat

Apron and oven gloves - the other apron is around somewhere...

Scott's I spy quilt - I still haven't done the binding. Not really sure what fabric to use.
I regret not taking photos of the Gratitude wraps that I made for friends - they looked really cool.