OneYearOneOutfit is really underway now I’ve sewn the Merchant & Mills top. It’s a bit dull at the moment because it’s waiting to go in the dye pot for solar dyeing. The mordant was a carton of sour milk and the first dye will be dock leaves unless I spot something better in the meantime.
The facts :
Fabric : undyed medium-weight Irish linen bought from a re-enactment trader on Ebay.
Thread: linen from the above fabric run through beeswax (bought from a Farmers’ Market). Obviously, it wasn’t possible to use thread like this in a sewing machine.
Seams : backstiched and then hand overcast to finish.
Hems: hemstitched by hand.
Pattern : Merchant & Mills long sleeved Curlew top from their Workbook. Lining omitted.
Next step: the dye pot!
It took me about 8 hours excluding cutting out – I should think 2 hours would be plenty if I were using a sewing machine. I really like the pattern by the way, and will make it up some other way when I get time.
Why am I doing all this?
I’m trying to make an outfit from my own “fibreshed”, which I believe to mean the British Isles.
So far, I’ve managed to get natural Irish linen fabric and very local undyed Welsh woollen fabric but I haven’t been able to buy threads.
For the linen fabric it seemed best to take short lengths from the fabric itself and wax it for smoothness and strength.
For the wool fabric, my generous friend has very kindly offered to spin me some local wool thread – I’ve had a go with her sample and it works well.
Dyes have to be natural and growing in the fibreshed for this project so I’ve opted for hedgerows, fields and gardens around my home village in mid Wales. I’ll probably keep overdyeing the linen top until I’ve got the colours I like.
If you’re interested in the project, take a look at the principles and the participants here.
Enjoy your week.