Natural plant dyes

Alder identified closer 2018-04-28

Plants and trees that we can use in dye baths, with and without mordants (which make colours stronger) easily dye cotton, linen and silk.

Alder dye bath 2018-04-28

Just a simple collection and boiling of plant matter, then simmering with fabric steeped.

Nettle dyed lace, alder dyed linen2018-05-01 14.58.41

Very bright yellow, or ocre yellow achieved with Alder plant matter, leaves and twigs. A pre process mordant is soya milk which the centre linen was soaked in.  Its a little too bright for my taste so I would use without mordant.

The left lace is with nettle dyebath, a very subtle dark cream, with hint of yellow-green in reality.

Madder, measure out 2018-04-28

Flora used same weight as fabric.

Madder dyebath 2018-04-28

Samples Madder fold & crunch dyed 2018-05-01 - 002 - edited annotated

Left: Ahimsa silk, folded in triangles along folded strips, to create ‘resist’ non-dyed areas.

Right: Habotai silk scrunched and rubber band tied, to create abstract, cosmic or marbled effect.

Either of these can be used as a background, to hand paint over with other colours; this is a technique I will explore in the future as preparation for silk painting designs.  Flora’s workshop used plant based mordants (colour intensifiers) but metallic mordants would produce different shades.

Madder dye on lace fabrics 2018-05

Stripes achieved by folding fabric and using rubber bands to keep tight, preventing dye penetrating fabric.

Oak galls dyebath 2018-04-28

Fabric samples Oak gall dyeing, folded resist 2018-05 - 001 edited

Ahimsa silk folded and clamped to resist dye penetration, results in pattern.

Cotton lace rolled and 2 rubber bands used to achieve resist un-dyed stripes.

Fabric display, natural dyed 2018-04-28

Flora’s workshops can be booked at her website:

 

 

 

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Upcycle Green T-shirt to Dress

Upcycle ZZZ green dress new denim hem piece 2 - 001 - annotated - scaled1000
Finished joining of denim extended hem to green T-shirt

Large T-shirts make good short dresses for shorter people.  Hem uses two sleeves from an old denim blouse.  Thick warm cotton T-shirt from charity shop.

Upcycle B green dress, cut off denim blouse sleeves for hem addition - 001 - annotated, scale 1000
Cut off sleeves of old blouse or dress
Upcycle C green dress from T-shirt, needs lengthening - 001 - annotated scaled
Large T-shirt for dress
Upcycle E green dress, sleeves cut from denim blouse - 001 - annotated - scaled 650
Sleeves cut from denim blouse

Press sleeves flat, lay over each other and cut into long rectangles of equal length.

Upcycle G green dress, 4 piece hem addition, joined, sloping sides - 001 - annotated - scaled650
Sleeves cut to rectangles, joined with 4 seams.

Join seems to make false hem extension.  Make angles at the sides.

Upcycle H green dress, hem wider than T-shirt hem - 001- annotated scaled750
Extended hem ready to join to T-shirt

 

Upcycle I green dress, hem pieces joined, place centre to centre - 001 - annotated - scaled800
Extended hem ready to fit to dress, slightly gathered.

Turn one long side over twice, 1/4inch to make hem; steam press flat, machine stitch.

Upcycle J green dress position hem equally in quarters - 001 - annotated - scaled800
Pin extended hem to T-shirt behind T-shirt hem.

The extended hem needs to be a little larger than the t-shirt hem, to give an A-line flare.  In this case the hem width was decided by the length of the sleeves used from the blouse.

Upcycle K green dress inside pinned quarter of hem addition - 001 - annotated scaled800
Pin fabric into equal folds spread along hem section.

Work in quarter hem sections at a time, between front – sides, sides to back.

Upcycle L green dress machining hem extension over pins - 001 - scale 1000
Machining over pins, joining extended hem to T-shirt hem.

Stitch position leaves the last bit of T-shirt hem loose, for better visual effect.

Upcycle KA green dress hem machined and part pinned - 001 - annotated - scaled800
Part machined together; other side pinned, ready for machining.

If not sure how to machine over pins; (it can break your needles) then tack sides together first, before machining.

Upcycle M green dress inside hem machined, pressed - 001 - annotated scaled800
Press hem extension after machining
Upcycle N green dress pressed hem addition - 001 - annotated - scaled800
Finished machined hem.
Upcycle Z green dess hem addition side view mirror- 001 - annotated - scaled
Finished T-shirt dress, side view.

Dress is solely for home wear and not for sale.

Plum Velvet skirts with wool cummerbund

Inspiration started with the sumptuous velvet!  It started life as a large scarf.  Then I spotted the wool skirt with a lilac tone in and envisaged with wool cummerbund due to the lilac/beige colour harmony.

Floral voile insets also chosen for colour harmony.  An experimentation challenge with ‘V’ shaped cummerbund (lined) and cutting skirt sections to hang from the diagonal.

‘Plum Velvet’ Skirt No. 1 has 4 small triangular inserts, forming a fully circular skirt (great for dancing), and dark butterfly print hem frill.

‘Plum Velvet’ Skirt No. 2 has 2 triangular insets front and back and cream frill.

‘Plum Velvet’ Skirt No. 3 is made of many flared lilac and beige pieces (photo not showing).

plum-velvet-1-front-view-edited
Plum velvet skirt front
plum-velvet-1-side-floral-inset-panel-from-back-view-edited
Plum velvet skirt side inset
plum-velvet-1-front-floral-inset-edited
Plum velvet skirt back inset

Plum velvet skirt 2 side zip lace - edited .JPG‘Plum Velvet’ skirt No. 2 side insertion of invisible zip.

Making procedure:

The velvet was cut to allow for 8 pieces, 4 in each skirt,
(2 back, 2 front).  Velvet piece positioned to cummerbund
on dummy, gathered, using straight edge, allow to hang,
then cut straight hem at base.  Remove and cut 3 more for
first skirt.
Once they were all cut, I placed the second group of
4 velvet pieces the other way up, i.e. placing the bias
along the cummerbund edge, allowing the straight edge to
become the hem. (It was necessary to use straight edge to
begin with to allow natural fall before cutting
fabric at hem).
n-pinning-velvet-to-cummerbund-roughly
Below are two pieces after cutting shapes (from hanging
on dummy), laid out with triangle gap, to cut inserts out.
cutting-triangle-fabric-for-inset-larger-than-spacejpg
Cutting triangle insert for velvet front backs.
pin-lace-to-triange-inset-after-stretch-zigzagging-the-showing-edge-jpg
Triangle inset: lace detail (strip cut from blouse)
is stretched with zig-zag stitching to make flared
edge then machined to inset side.
Then join inset to main skirt part:either zig-zag on
top of right side or make seam with right sides
together then press flat well.

machine-inset-right-sides-together-on-to-velvetMachining right sides together, joining inset to velvet

c-cummerbund-front-and-back-make-darts

Cummerbund front and back - cut and darted.
Measure your waist or dropped waist above hip,
at position required: (e.g. 26") then allow
1.5 inches extra for waist darts on each piece,
(which allows for dart take-up).  Machine, press.
e-machine-lining-to-wool-cummerbund-leave-sides-open-for-seaming
Lining also cut on bias and darted.
Iron-on interfacing won't need darts if just 2
inches deep.  Lay on and cut curved shapes.
Machine half inch at waist. Clip waist.
g-press-lining-and-wool-at-seam-linePress lining inwards leaving seam space for
closed side and zipped side. Finnish waist machine
line into fold/seam edge point of lining fold.
F. Snip waiste seams for ease, before turning to press.JPG

Snip inside waist top seams including stiffening.
k-stitch-side-seams-both-sidesMachine both side seams along wool seam and
lining seam all in one go.
Press seam flat, (snip waist seams as above),
then fold lining inwards and steam-press flat.
m-one-side-joined-pressed-one-open-for-zip
Cummerbund lining pressed inside. One side
left open for zip when skirt
section is attached.

front-sections-cut-to-allow-gathers-inset-joined-to-velvetVelvet and insets skirt section all joined:
ready to pin and tack to cummerbund,
tacking before machining.

front-and-back-insets-seamed-in-between-velvetAll skirt sections joined.  Top of lace strips are
folded in and excess cut off, then machined
down while top-stitching with zig-zag
around inserts to avoid bulky seams.

p-pinned-to-cummerbund-equalizing-fullness-between-pins-before-joiningHand gather between pins, after positioning
velvet to cummerbund, right sides together.
Machine along gather line,
removing pins as you go.

machining-hem-zig-zag-prior-to-adding-frill-behindZig-zagging hem, pulling slightly,
to create slight flare.

cream-frill-top-edge-pressed-then-pinned-to-underside-of-skirt-velvetAttaching frill behind skirt(underside view):
Join strips of satin, silk, or polyester lining
fabric (best cut on bias) twice length needed.
Press over top edge quarter inch,
pin to inside of skirt, half inch above hem.
Zig-zag machine frill to skirt,removing pins as you go.
Zig-zag frill hem from front.

 

 

SILK PAINTING DESIGNS ‘Hopi Bird Dance’. Three dresses with similar silk painted design in 3 colourways.

Image

When I coordinate found fabrics to recycle together into a new look garment, I enjoy imagining a new decorative design with them; to contrast with the many plain cottons and linens I use. Hand painting designs on silk is the obvious solution, taking inspiration from the existing colours and any print coordinated with the plains. I was busting to get back to silk painting which I’d developed as a technique in my first Devon workshop back in 1995!

When designing, one has to start from somewhere; taking a few elements and putting them together. I began again, exactly where I had left off, with the inspirations I’d had for the last paint on paper furnishing design I’d done. I’ve always been intrigued by Native American design and recently found images of abstract bird designs of the Hopi Indians applied to pottery. They reached a height of decorative abstraction, distorting their bird designs to fit over any curved pottery surface; a brilliant applied design.

Image

I have kept these ‘curved’ surface designs almost exactly as the originals, but applied them to a two dimensional surface of Habotai silk. It was an obvious decision to put feathers around the Hopi birds but I needed another element. I decided on a selection of Native American quotations intended to stand out in cream.  However, I wrote them with a water based gutta resist, and they were mostly blurred or lost during the steam fixing process; so I embroidered over them. By happy accident this gives another texture, although time consuming. A spirit based gutta may work better next time.

Image

For the FIRST HOPI BIRD DESIGN I kept to the natural colours from the pottery inspirations; beige, orange, terracotta and brown, adding a stronger pink. I teamed the final piece with brown cottons and viscose from recycled skirts to make an unusual but charming pinafore dress showing off the silk design in the bib top and apron.

Quotations:

After dark all cats are leopards” ~ Zumi

Continue reading “SILK PAINTING DESIGNS ‘Hopi Bird Dance’. Three dresses with similar silk painted design in 3 colourways.”