#OneYearOneOutfit Progress


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.

Norma x



Filed under #1year1outfit, Clothes, dressmaking, fashion, sewing, textiles

16 responses to “#OneYearOneOutfit Progress

  1. piecefulwendy

    You make it sound so easy. Looking forward to seeing it after it’s dyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The stitching is so even–I guess that comes from practice. Ditto on the sentiment that I can’t wait to see it dyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Norma, your tiny handsewn stitches are perfect You’ve advanced in these skills so much. Look forward to seeing how this top responds to dyeing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, you’ve done an amazing job so far and those hand stitches, so neat! Can’t wait to see how the dying process progresses. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a fellow participant who is limited pretty much to wool and wood, I envy you the linen. Your top is lovely and I can’t wait to see how the dyeing goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Yes, the linen is very useful because it avoids having to have wool mext to my skin. I know that since medieval times even ordinary people wore linen under layers so I suppose that’s an indication of what’s available naturally.


  6. Hi, I was given your information and told you wanted to know about our Edith Head and Company, on view now until August 14th in Lancaster, OH.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s beautiful! And your stitches are perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I had to go back and look at the photo with the stitching after I read the bit about not using your machine for this project. Wow, those are neat tiny stiches, in deed!

    I’m glad to read more about this interesting project. I love what you’re doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: More solar dyeing | She Sews You Know

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