Tag Archives: dresses

Blackberry Dye Update

This is the dress after rinsing. A sort of dusky pink.

This is the old pillowcase I used to strain the dye. Tie dye look and some lovely purple. I’ll use this in a quilt, I think.

The blackberries were wild. I picked the on the ground ones that no one ever wants. It’s a good year for blackberries so I will pick some more for dyeing as well as those I need for jam & wine.

The dress will go away when dry so as to allow the dye to take well.

I’ve been dyeing lots this summer and I’ve sewn and even done some secret knitting. I’ll be showing some of this stuff soon. If I haven’t visited your blog recently I’ll be around soon. Sorry to have been so out of touch.

Have fun!

Norma x

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Filed under #1year1outfit, Clothes, dresses, dyeing, fashion, slow dyeing, slow fashion

Blackberry Dye

This is the linen Merchant & Mills Curlew dress previously tea dyed.

I’ve worn it in its previous incarnation and decided the colour is not for me as a dress.

Maybe as a top I’d like it better.

It was mordanted in sour milk originally and the tea and the wash it had after wearing should also act as mordants.

I will dry without rinsing and leave it to cure for a week or two before washing.

Apologies for the photo quality – I’m having to use my phone.

Enjoy your week.

Norma

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Filed under Clothes, dressmaking, dyeing, fashion, slow dyeing, slow fashion, textiles

Some Dyeing and some Dresses

My Merchant & Mills Curlew dress.

The colour is more realistic in the photo taken on the stairs. It’s made of the undyed Irish linen and I’ve used Earl Grey tea to get the gold colour – I am so pleased with it!

The Facts:

Pattern Changes: I shortened the sleeves. I made the top so I didn’t make a toile.

Sewing: I sewed most of the seams by hand and the rest using my 1930s hand cranked Singer. The dress is bias cut so my wonky handsewing holds it quite well. I could have used my modern Pfaff with its zigzag stitch but I wanted to take my time over it.

Dyeing

I made the dress first

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This is the original colour.

Then I made Earl Grey tea with about fifteen used bags (store them in the freezer until you have enough), strained the tea and heated the dress with the tea. Left the dress to cool in the tea and then hung it in the shade to dry. Left it two days and then rinsed it, spun it gently and left it to dry in the shade.

I like the Earl Grey colour better than the more orangey shades of English Breakfast tea and I think I’ll try it again for something else.

I don’t usually post everything I make but I like this batik dress. it’s getting a lot of wear in the warmer weather we’ve been having.

The Merchant & Mills Bantam dress.

I’ve also made tops from this pattern. They are really good with jeans and don’t take much fabric so leftovers are used up.

The Bantam has a shirt style so the back is lower than the front. I quite like that, what do you think?

And here’s one of my attempts to cheer up every day wear.

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Just added for fun!

No pattern. This is just rectangles tucked to fit.

And for those of you waiting for the tunic

The colour doesn’t show up well on the actual tunic so I’ve included the parcel I made for leaf printing to get a better idea.

The sage leaves became blobs (pretty deep yellow blobs though!) rather than leaves when I tried to print with them. I don’t think I bundled them up tightly enough. If I had enough sage I would use it to dye a whole garment – the yellow really is beautiful.

I got interested in the marks the copper pipes from the hot water tank – so I made some more by wrapping the tunic around the pipes. I think the copper enhanced the yellow rather than made a dye themselves, although if you know about this I’d be glad to hear from you.

The tunic is in store waiting to be decorated further. I think it would benefit from fancy threads to enhance the pattern the copper pipes made.  I’m thinking about it.

So that’s it. I haven’t been keeping up with what you’ve been up to so I’ll be around to your blog to check up on your activities very soon.

Have a lovely week.

Norma x

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Filed under Clothes, dressmaking, dyeing, fashion, sewing, slow dyeing, slow fashion, solar dyeing, stashbusting, textiles

I’m on a Mission….Stashbusting!

Scrap blocks

I found the three inch windmill blocks in a drawer. I cannot remember when they were put together, but it must be a long time ago as I’m a bit better at matching points now. The individual pieces are tiny so I don’t think errors like that will show up – the quilt will be double bed size and these blocks make up only a tiny part of the whole.

I’m trying to clear myself some space in the room where I sit and sew. The amount of stuff I have in cupboards and drawers is invading my head as well as the room. If only I could get rid of my chest of drawers ….. so I’m on a stash busting mission. I went through all my scrap boxes and slightly bigger boxes trying to get fabrics which would blend. There are dressmaking leftovers from the late 1980s and early 1990s, recent leftovers, tiny bits of quilt fabric and because there wasn’t quite enough, my solar dyed pieces.

I’ll machine piece into 3 inch blocks before assembly. I want to produce one of those really old fashioned unplanned quilts such as our foremothers made out of every last leftover bit of fabric. And just in case you’re wondering, I am still hand sewing the tumbling blocks but that’s only for when a bit of hand sewing is needed.

After reading this post from Kate I am going to piece the wadding too and maybe the good bits of my stashed old sheets for the backing.

 

Remember the solar dyeing? Remember the summer?????

These were previously leftover pieces, some of them very small. I’ve cut them all up to include in this scrap quilt and I’m fascinated that every tiny piece is different. So much more interesting than the bits of commercial plain fabric I cut up.

1930s Dress Update

I am toying with the idea of dyeing my own fabric for my 1930s dress and maybe trying to get some shade variation. Only trouble is I think I want lavender or maybe purple and I don’t think I’ll get that with a natural dye. I’ll keep on thinking.

1,000 mile update

74 miles by foot and bike this month – weather forced me into the gym instead and I don’t count indoor miles.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

 

 

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Filed under 1,000 mile challenge, 1930s, dressmaking, dyeing, patchwork, quilts, sewing, solar dyeing, stashbusting, textiles, traditional quilts

Sewing a Bit of History

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Sewing 1930s – I’ve a few sewing books from this era and a keen interest in the clothes. I don’t think clothes from the 1930s necessarily translate well into modern times but I’m anxious to have a go at just that over the next few months.

I’ve made the dress before as a rather unsatisfactory wearable toile and I’ll be using the old version to improve the fit and workmanship on this one.

I am thinking of wool / wool mix crepe in a plain colour but I’ve got to  find some first. I’ll be attempting to sew using original methods – no zigzag seam finish for instance – that way I’ll get a better feel for the techniques. Living history!

Emily Ann Frances from Retro Glam is also going to be sewing 1930s and we’re going to discuss problems, progress and triumphs on our blogs. If you are also keen to sew 1930s then why not join us – there’s no deadline (and no rules).

Norma x

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Filed under 1930s, dresses, dressmaking, history, sewing, textiles, Uncategorized, Vogue Patterns