Playing with dye

First of all, thank you for your kind words about my grandfather’s passing. It was a rough week, particularly on Saturday when we had the funeral. My mom’s side of the family in particular has stayed pretty close throughout the years, even now that all but one of my cousins is college-aged or older (I’m the oldest of 12 on that side, not counting the several spouses that have been added over the last 5ish years), and we still get together every few months for holidays and things. So it did help to have that time after the funeral to hang out with them and my aunts and uncles and laugh and reminisce. Thanksgiving is going to be strange this year, since we also lost my dad’s father a few months ago, but I’m hopeful that there will still be some good times with my family to look forward to. 

I was off of my retail job most of last week, since it was the lull between pumpkin season and the Christmas tree rush, and working on my second Doctor Who Sewalong project was a welcome distraction. (Incidentally, I was also glad to have the 50th anniversary to look forward to on Saturday night! I originally had more elaborate plans to make themed food and all, but in the end, my husband and best friend and I just ordered Chinese food and sat around in our Whovian t-shirts to watch the later showing. LOVED it. Anyway.) But this post is about the one day I took off from that sewing project! I do enjoy fiddling around with fabric dye, even though my last experiment didn’t go well at all. So when several sewcialists on Twitter decided that November should be “play with dye” month, I thought it would be fun to join in. I still have several projects in mind to do, though I think some of them will have to wait for warmer weather and/or other sewing projects. But here’s what I decided to fiddle around with.

IMG_0883I started off with these–a thrifted, all-cotton cabled sweater, a cotton/viscose rib knit cardigan that I got for free at a girls’ night swap, and this cotton gauze shirt that I made several years ago and barely wear because I don’t like the way the color looks on me (or how see-through the light fabric is!) Not pictured here is the yardish of silk dupioni left over from the outside of my wedding dress, since I didn’t find it until after I took the picture, but I threw that in, too. I know silk can sometimes shift colors when using the Procrion dyes, since I tried to dye some silk lining brown several years ago and it turned pink instead, but I figured that with the color I picked (Grecian Sea, from Dharma Trading Company), I figured the worst that would happen is it would be some shade mixture of blue, green or yellow. I could live with that. And the fabric on its own was just so….bridal, you know?

I read the directions more carefully than the last time, and spent most of my morning running up and down the stairs to make sure that the washing machine was still agitating but not draining the dye too soon. So not only did I get a great workout (for once), the results were much better!

IMG_0884I lost a lot of the silk to fraying–I probably should have taken the time to just stitch the edges, but I was in a hurry because by the time I found it, my clothes were nearly done pre-washing. So I think I may have just barely enough for a Sorbetto or some other kind of camisole top. The texture of the silk is also much different now, from all of the washing, but I’m ok with that. As for the clothes, I’m really happy with how they turned out! It’s really interesting how the different fabrics react to the same color. It shows up best on the gauze top, since the crocheted lace is so much darker and the polyester ribbon didn’t take it at all. I may end up just taking the ribbon out–what do you think?

It got stupid cold* yesterday, so I’ve already debuted my cable sweater. The blue matched perfectly with one of the stripes in this thrifted double-gauze plaid buttondown that I have. I’d normally not wear it this time of year, since it also has 3/4 sleeves. Maybe with a cardigan at most. But I figured it would be a good candidate for that sweater-layered-with-a-longer-buttondown look that I keep seeing on Pinterest and whatnot. The only picture I had time for was this Twitter selfie, so you can’t really see the whole outfit, but it worked, I think. Nice to know I have another cold-weather option for at least one piece in my wardrobe.

// even though that sweater is too short to wear on its own, the color makes me happy, and I’m sure that I’ll be reaching for it a lot more this winter.

IMG_0885While we’re talking blue things, I’ll leave you with a sneak preview of my sewalong project. Let’s say inspired-by and not exact replica, ok? I’ll explain more next time. The sleeves are basically sewed together, but I need to sew them on the shirt. And then there’s the matter of buttonholes and hemming. But I’m getting pretty close. This is a new-to-me pattern from a Burda magazine, and I didn’t bother with a muslin, so I may have to fiddle with the buttonhole placement to get it to fit.

(*Stupid cold: When it’s cold enough that being outside for more than a minute makes your face hurt, and there’s no snow on the horizon. See all of last winter in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.)


3 thoughts on “Playing with dye

  1. Aww man, I'm so sorry for your loss. I missed a bunch of posts last week, so I didn't see that, but I'm glad you at least got some good time in with your family. 😦

    Your dyeing projects turned out nicely– I really like the color you ended up with. It's so pretty! It's still stupid cold today… I guess I need to dig out all the long johns/mittens/hats that I stowed away last spring. I've been in denial that winter's really here, but man, it's here with a vengeance!


  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. 😦
    My grandmother passed away last month and it was very difficult for the whole family, so I understand exactly what you're talking about.

    The dye looks great on the sweater, and I love the plaid fabric you're using in the blouse.


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