Sunday, 25 May 2014

Time For a Catch Up

It's about time I shared the results of our dyeing day earlier this month.  As you might expect, once washed and dried there was quite a change in the colours.

On the left above is the exchange dyeing (one piece is missing, left behind by mistake but soon to be reunited).  There is an 8 step change from yellow to blue and three pieces of white on white that I added to random dye baths.  On the right the largest piece is the linen that I dye painted and which has washed out to be considerably paler than it started.

The sumptuous purple pieces above were dyed with logwood.  I am delighted with the gorgeous apron that was parfait dyed in a jar and has some wonderful marks on it.  I was going to cut it up as it is very worn with many holes from wear but I am tempted to layer it over a support fabric to conserve it and then I might wear it!

While we're talking about dyeing I have made use of the Images of Egypt fabric that I bought at the Uttoxeter Show.  At Stitchcraft we have all been going a bit mad for tunics/tops so despite having always hated dressmaking I thought I would have a go at making one.  

The pattern is by Janet Clare and apart from being a bit fiddly on the shoulders is very easy to use.  It must be!  I managed to make it!  I made it with a lining and it could be reversible if you so wished.  I have made another one with the other fabric I bought at Uttoxeter but don't have a photo of that yet.

I think I've got the bug for dressmaking now and I am planning to make some more tops, hopefully using some of the linen I dyed.

I've been to two workshops at Stitchcraft, one to make a zipped bag and one to make infinity scarfs.

Mine is the second bag from the left and it's a great pattern.  The bag is a useful size and the zip opens it wide so you can get at what's inside.  The bag's official name is the Ellie Travel Case and the tutorial can be found on Heide Staples blog.  

On Friday I had a fun couple of hours making an infinity scarf.  

 I used a lovely piece of snowdyed fabric that had been sitting in my stash for several years.  Having made one scarf I had to make another for an upcoming friend's birthday:

I hope she likes green! 

The fabric above has also been turned into a scarf for my stepmum's birthday, although I am finding it hard to part with as it has another of my snowdyes in it and I love the flowery fabric which is by Rowan.  The selvedge shows it is a 2012 design by Melissa White (Amelie's Attic).  I don't usually go for flowery but this is really pretty.  Stitchcraft had it in their £2 box so I hope they've got a piece left when I go on Wednesday as I may have to make another scarf with it for myself.

It's May Bank Holiday weekend in the UK and as it rained all day yesterday I spent the day squaring up a load of blocks for my pinny quilt and hopefully tomorrow I will be sewing them together.  Whatever you are doing have a happy Monday and I'll be back soon to share our recent stay in Cheshire.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Dyeing Day

Yesterday our gang of four ladies got together at Jean's house for another playday and this time we were dyeing.  Wow!  I've not worked so hard at dyeing for a long time but it was a great fun day.  Sadly, the weather was against us so we mostly had to work inside but there was a break in the rain and Wendy and Tina were able to do some experimenting outside for a while.

When we arrived Jean had set everything up ready for us and it all started out very tidily but we gradually managed to get two rooms looking like a tornado had gone through.  We started by 'exchange' dyeing smallish pieces of fabrics in a series of 8 baths from a gorgeous acid yellow through to French blue.  Tina used a little of each colour to dye some fabric in a tall vase (parfait dyeing).
The utility room was set up with lots of dyes for us to play with and a saucepan of logwood natural dye to use too.  I've got some lovely mauves from that that I'll photograph and put on here soon.

We all tried our hand at space dyeing and Tina is going to have some lovely variegated thread.

I had taken along a two metre length of off white/lemony linen that I scrunched up and then painted dyes onto with a foam brush.  The dyes didn't move as much as I thought they would so Tina helped me turn the fabric over and I painted it again from the reverse side.  By today, after batching, the colours had merged so that there is hardly any plain cloth showing and I am currently wiating impatiently for it to dry a bit so I can iron it and see what I've got.  I need it dry for tomorrow as I want to make a top with it.

I shall be interested how Tina's swirly piece above turns out.  The lavender is a very delicate colour.

This piece of Wendy's above has been pushed into the rows of a CD holder (from Ikea) so that it should dye in stripes.

The rain eased off just long enough for Wendy to let gravity do its work with this piece of cloth and it looked very dramatic in real life.

The moment of truth for the exchange dyed fabrics and the tricky job of sorting out what belonged to who.  Fortunately we had all marked out fabrics with various scissor cuts (or no cut) in an effort to make the sorting easier.  

As well as the dyeing shown here I also parfait dyed a linen tablecloth that was an unused wedding present from about 40 years ago (am I really that old?!) and a ragged apron that had belonged to my friend Grace's brother and which is looking very exciting today now that the excess dye has been washed out.  Can't wait for that to dry to!

My DH has gallantly helped me with the rinsing out today so now I just have to be patient for a while to see the results.  So far the exchange dyeing is looking subtler than it appeared when taken out of the tubs.  I will be ironing it all later but I won't get any photos posted today as the light is terrible.  Just when I need a drying day outside it's pouring down!  C'est la vie!

Dig the pinny!