Category Archives: Dye

In Search of Fabric or Forest for Trees

Oh my goodness, this past month was a total whirlwind, and my backlog of projects to photograph is bigger and better than ever before, just take my word on that. Travel from city to city and hosting friends in Mumbai was layered with furious working and sewing sessions, none of which has been conducive to blogging, but it has been a blast, I must say.

Projects I’ve completed include, but are not limited to, two pairs of Carolyn Pajamas from Closet Case Files, a bunch of Burda Style Jakob shirts for Mr. Struggle, curtains for our apartment, a bajillion Scout and Tiny Pocket tees, a Mission Maxi Dress, by Christina Hayes, a self-drafted box pleated maxi skirt, two more sleeveless Archer shirts, a Seamwork Adeline dress, at least three plantain tops, a McCalls M6696 shirt dress that I finished last night, oh god, the list goes on and on….

How do you guys do it? How do you get good consistent photos of your projects? This is something that has plagued me since I started blogging, how to get photos, how to make time for that, how to even like the way I LOOK in pictures, how to not feel embarrassed to ask other people. I left my tripod at home in the States, and I will say having one did make it a little easier to get photos of myself, but it’s always been an issue for me, getting photos of my projects. I love my friends, but I don’t always love their photos, and I get uncomfortable trying to get them to do what I want them to and usually give up halfway through and say, it’s fine, it’s fine, and never use the photos because they aren’t what I want. I think the trick is to take a million photos, because then about five of them work, but no matter how many times I assure people “just keep taking photos” or “tell me if I look weird” it is rare that either of those things actually happens. But given the kind of backlog I have, I think I need to find some kind of better solution here, because I have so much unblogged…I have the sewing part down, I like the writing part too, but the photography part, that’s the issue.

At any rate, here is a quick outfit and a lot of photos from my travels to the north. India is a great place for fabric, as you may know, but what you might not know, what I didn’t really know, was the amount of types of fabric that are produced all over the country, and the fact that every region has their specialities, their methods, their materials, their weaving and dying techniques. The floaty fine muslins that inspired such fervor in Regency England come from Bengal, things like this:

CIRC.30-1958

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The thick brocade silk weaves of Benares, now Varanasi, are duplicated all over the world, and they look like this:

4690031f78e536a21d7e34aacaa3156b banarasi-saree31

Chintz from the Coromandel Coast inflamed the European imagination, and we can see the influence of these patterns and dye techniques even today:

2012.22.15; wentke

But for many, when they think of Indian fabric, the first thing that pops into their head is hand block printed styles from the great state of Rajasthan, or Land of Kings. A central fabric producing hub since pre-Mughalite India, it wars with nearby Gujarat, the embroidery center and longstanding fabric powerhouse, for dominance of Northern styles, and it’s the place I wanted to take my friend Liz, (hi, Liz!) who was visiting me in India. A magnificent pattern maker and stitcher, although she loathes both (why oh why does the universe give such gifts to those who spur them?) Liz is a costume historian and she works at FIT. Despite her disinterest in sewing she does actually sew, and makes awesome beautifully constructed things I would kill to create, and she was excited to do some textile-based tourism in India. We toured the Anokhi Block Printing Museum (which I had detailed in this post), and even got to visit the amazing Rangotri Fabric Printing Workshop (a must for any Jaipur visitors interested in this form). We also did some damage at Delhi’s government emporiums, which are a fabric education in and of themselves, showing visitors the variety and magnificent quality of Indian textiles.

Check out our bounty:

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Block pints and ikats!

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Khadi forever. There is so much beauty in this simple cloth, I can’t get over it!

 

 

I know, I know, it’s excessive, but to be fair, half of this stuff is Liz’s….

Now, to show you the guts of the Rangotri Fabric Printing Workshop!

Headed by Vikram Joshi, who worked for Anokhi for a long time before heading out on his own, this company is amazing and does gorgeous work. Using traditional techniques and modern aesthetics, Joshi often enlarges a simple shape or design until it becomes something else entirely as a block, or uses older designs with different colors and combinations, to create something that is at once traditional and new. He does custom printing work as well for people, carving blocks and printing designs that look so unlike what you think of as wood block printing, it’s remarkable. With a workshop that includes all levels of production, from block carving to clothing stitching all in one place, the quality control and design is all supervised by Joshi, who was kind enough to give us a tour and set me loose in his overstock room, where I picked up more than one amazing piece of fabric….

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The floral on the left and the zebras and the blue bird are all from Rangotri.

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Cadfael modeling his personal favorite. Some of this has already been turned into a living room curtain but the rest is going to be an outfit so I can match my curtains a la Maria Von Trapp!

He also collects wooden blocks, and has an insane collection of textiles and pieces in his own personal little museum. I hope someday he makes a larger museum, because I would so be there….

Check it out!

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A block printer carving out a simple design or horizontal lines.

A block printer carving out a simple design or horizontal lines.

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A block and the dye.

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The block printing wardrobe. Watching these amazing printers quickly and perfectly place the blocks and print the fabric is insane, both hypnotic and awe-inspiring.

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A little close up for you. Most prints require a minimum of four blocks. Every time you see a color, that’s a block to distribute that color.

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Prepping a piece for printing.

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Once it’s printed, it’s hung, then later washed and dried.

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The “true” final color of the print above.

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Amazing that this is a block print, right? It looks painted, but it’s all coming from a carved piece of wood. Also, you can see what happens to the color after it’s processed, washed and hung. The colors on the bottom are the “true” final colors.

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This guy soaks and beats the cloth. Clearly he doesn’t need a gym membership. I can’t believe no pop-gym has adopted this as a work-out method yet….

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Quality control! Having the whole process in one place means immediate communication about the quality of the objects.

Rangotri produces a lot of home-goods fabrics, in fact, that’s most of what they do, which is sad, because I would buy ALL the fabric from them if it was commercially available. As it is, you have to go there and hope they left you pick up a piece or two. Still, it’s totally worth it!

And now, just because I have to get through this one way or another, a little outfit post for you:

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It’s a Scout Tee from Grainline Studios in a fabric I picked up in Kolkata and a pair of Butterick 5898 Patterns by Gertie pants in a stretchy crappy fabric I grabbed at Mumbai’s Mangaldas Market, which were great for Delhi in summer (it’s already summer here), because it helps to be more covered up in Delhi, a city where men actively stare at you wherever you go, although it’s so painful to be so in the scorching unforgiving sauna that is Delhi. Capris and loose-fitting tops like this help. They don’t ENTIRELY make it great, but they help!

 

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Oh! I also did Me Made May, of course, through my Instagram  but honestly, at this point in my life, I wear me-made every day, so I sort of have a me-made LIFE, really. I always enjoy seeing other people’s stuff, though!

Okay, I’m off to put my life back together post-travel, and try to figure out a way to photograph my excruciating backlog, sigh. Seriously, advice is welcome! Happy June, everyone. What are you sewing this summer?

 

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Filed under Butterick Patterns, Dye, Grainline Patterns, Life, Sewing, Travel

The Muslin Diaries: Volume 2: The Colette Pastille Dress

Here we go again, second verse, different from the first! (Jackie is a punk, Judy is a runt…no? Okay, never mind then. No Ramones fans in the audience. That’s cool!) Without further ado, I present to you, my Sew Colette Pastille Dress Muslin, in all it’s bright yellow glory:

I look so glum!

May I just say that I don’t think I really make a true muslin all that often. I either just make a bodice, or I make the whole damn thing with seam finishing (pinking) and heming and everything. I’m not one for the in-between. I recognize that this is not, in fact, the point of a muslin, but it’s my garment and I’ll pink if I want to (if you’re not into the Ramones I’m sure Lesley Gore is right up your alley).  So this is yet another “wearable” muslin, sue me.

I made this out of a sheet I had dyed yellow, because dying is fun. It’s a touch anemic on me, the color, I mean, but I think it will be cute for summer. Given my experience with the Meringue  Skirt,  I traced and cut a size 8 this time, which worked really nicely through the hips and rear etc, but was a bit snug in the bust and back:

I did not want to hear such as thing, because it makes me feel bad about myself, so I lashed out at my mother/photographer. Sorry, mom. But just like when she told me I couldn’t make my own soap because it’s dangerous for ten year olds to use lye, she was correct. It looks okay in this photo, but I can see that oh-so-adorable thing that happens when your bra strap cuts into your back and gives you imaginary but emotionally debilitating back fat.

The back zipper, she is wrinkled.

So, thoughts: I really like this dress. Unlike the Meringue, which, while adorable, and I like my final version (photos to come once I take them in San Juan!) isn’t really my jam, this is my kind of dress. It’s more fitted then my usual style, but I think that’s a good thing, and I like that it hugs my curves and highlights my waist. And I love the pleats and the sweetheart neckline, so that’s all to the good.

I like the fit right now, in general, and I think with some adjustments it will be just perfect. I think I ought to do a full bust adjustment, which is something that, believe it or not, I’ve never actually done. I know. And my chest? Is not small. I’m a D, if you must know, but somehow I’ve just never had to do one….so that’s interesting. But Sarai has a guide in the book, and there are scores of tutorials on the internet, so I’m not concerned. The back is a bit more perplexing, though, and I’m not sure what to do to fix that. Do I cut a bigger size just for the back? Let out the darts? Any thoughts, friends? All suggestions would be welcome!

The length is good, the sleeves are cute, but next time, when I make this for real for real, I might have to break down and line it, at least in the bodice. I just hate facings, people, I hate them. I think they are evil. They never really stay down unless you tack the hell out of them and then you can see the stitches on the right side which was the WHOLE POINT OF A FACING, SO THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN. Facings and I, not best friends forever.

So there you  have it. In other news, I’m currently working on a pair of Denim clovers, yay, and I’ve finally gotten together all the pieces I will need for my spring jacket! More on that to come. What are you working on? Any other Sew Coletters out there?

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Filed under Clothing, Colette Patterns, Dye, Sewing

The Capogiro Top

Good afternoon, gentle readers! And how are you this fine day? The heat wave has FINALLY broken in Philadelphia and today is exactly what the second day of June should be like, breezy, slightly warm, perfectly sunny. It’s ALWAYS sunny in Philadelphia! Man, that show is the best. “Guys, I wrote a musical!” “Who’s the mark?” “There’s no mark, it’s a musical!” “Yeah, but who versus? Who versus?” Genius. And sadly so true. I love my city and will defend it to my dying day, but I have met people who are literally exactly like the entire cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and I am including Rickety Cricket and the McPoyles in that list. Many of them are close friends….

But enough of that, onto the outfit! And the outfit includes another brand new just sewn hot off the ironing board item! Just last week I was expressing my love for the new FREE PATTERN released by Colette patterns, The Sorbetto top. So I searched through my stash (this is my stash busting summer, after all!) and came up with a buttery soft ancient sheet from my grandfather’s attic collection that I had dyed pale aqua (idye in turquoise) and some sherberty orange bias tape I snagged from a 2.99 grab bag at my beloved Pennsylvania fabric outlet, and four hours later (they say two, but guys, I’m super slow) my Sorbetto Top was born! And I love it! And my mom loves it! And it’s just a touch too tight in the bust, sigh. But to be fair, my chest is not small, so when I make this again (and mark my words, I WILL be making this again) I will adjust accordingly.

Ah, the sun!

So you might be asking yourself, what the hell is Capogiro? Why, it’s my favorite gelatoria! Right here in downtown Philadelphia! One of their three stores is actually two blocks from my office which is DANGEROUS, guys, seriously. My friend Sarah and I just adore Capogiro, so whenever she comes back into town from Peru or Madagascar or Montana (she likes to travel…) we go over and have a grilled panini and the best damn gelato in town. And it is insane. With flavors like bourbon caramel, pineapple and mint, goat milk and rosemary with honey, it is my favorite addiction, all house made, all the time. Swoon.

What can I say? I love this top! The only change I made to the pattern was to shorten it by 3 inches, because I like my shirts a little longer then the pattern.

I stitched french seams and finished with bias tape, as directed, which makes this garment one of the nicest interiors I’ve yet to construct.

I love me some bias tape

So of course in modeling this shirt I felt the need to actually go to Capogiro itself and pick out some delightful sorbetto to sample in my photos. The nice people of Capogiro politely ignored what a crazy struggle I am and helped me pick out sorbettos that we felt matched my new blouse:

What? You want to try some? Are you crazy?

It’s mine, I tell you! All mine!

I’m just kidding. I shared some with my Mama.

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Filed under Clothing, Colette Patterns, Dye, Sewing

The Dumb Luck Dress

Hello, and welcome to Me Made June, a magical time in which sewers the world over show off their hand crafted clothing! And thank you, Zoe, for making this happen! This is my first ever Me Made event, and I think I’m ready. It also coincides with my one year sewversery, which techinally came and went  at the end of May. However, I was still on crutches at the time and in no mood to celebrate, so we will just pretend it’s the first of June. Okay? Okay.

So in honor of both of these momentous events I present to you not one, not two, but THREE items I have made that I am currently wearing! Yes, it’s a whole outfit, with accessories and everything! Now, don’t you go getting used to this sort of thing. I think I can just scrape by wearing one me-made outfit a day, but any more then that is dicey. We will just wait and see how I do, shall we? And hats off (I should make a hat!) to Zoe, who even makes her own underwear, or as she calls them, pants. Ah, the UK, where nothing is as it seems.

Now, you might be curious, why is this dress, the main event, so to speak, called The Dumb Luck Dress? Well, to those of you who Burda Style it up, you may recognize this little pattern haunting the blogosphere:

BurdaStyle Pattern #101 from 2/2011

It’s cute, right? It’s super cute. It’s a nice classic shape. And you would think everyone would love it, no? Well, people do love it. Or at least, people have tried it. And everyone has a different complaint. To begin with, when you buy the pattern you actually just get a bodice pattern, the skirt is just rectangles, which I think is okay, but I can understand being indignant over paying for a pattern and only getting the top part. But then the nice ladies of Sew Weekly tried it out, and everyone had a fresh gripe, it’s too revealing, it fits weirdly, it’s unflattering, so on and so forth. So with this in mind, you would think I would stay the hell away from this pattern, or at least make several thousand muslins before I tried it, right? Wrong. I just made the damn thing. And you know what?

I like it! I really like!

See? Look how happy I am in the dress with which everyone has an issue! And in my walking cast, no less! Perhaps I’m just really happy to be off my crutches?

No. It’s the dress! I really like this dress, guys, I’m even making a second one for my theater company’s premiere of our spring show on Monday! It’s going to look so good with my bootie. What with the 80 degree weather here and the sexiness of the boot, I am just going to be beating them off with a stick. Oh, well, it’s a musical, it’s not like any guy there will be swinging my way anyway.  So, wonder of wonders, this bodice actually fits me quite well!

The material is actually a bedsheet that I dyed with Jacquard idye in Royal Blue. The packet is deceptively dark, whereas the final result is rather paler then I’d imagined, but I still like it! It almost looks like chambray, right? So in that sense the whole dress is a muslin, it was made from cheap materials etc, but it’s a wearable muslin, if you believe in such things. In some circles that’s quite a debate.

So what did I change from the original pattern? Well, I added pockets, obviously, because they improve all things. And I moved the zipper from the side to the back, and used a visible zipper rather then an invisible one. My request for zippers to live free and be visible continues. And I also said no to a gathered skirt and yes to a circle skirt, because I had enough fabric, and because it’s fun to do this:

I also made the headband:

And I made the bag! And the bag was my VERY FIRST PROJECT. EVER. Well, since I started really sewing and not just messing around. It was the project I made in my Spool intro to sewing class! And since have made, like, 10. For friends. It’s a great bag to give to people! And it’s reversible! Which is dope, or would be, if I was the kind of person who said things are dope. It’s funny, because Karen Did You Make That showed off her first project on Tilly’s blog (just go with it) and of course it’s a lovely blouse. Karen is a rockstar. I am but a lowly groupie, however, so I made a bag. And you better like it, because you are going to be seeing a hell of a lot of it this month, folks.

So there it is, my first day of Me Made June, my first attempt at the dress everyone has something to say about, and my very first project, a year later. Struggle, 1, June, 0.

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Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Dye, Sewing

The Storm At Sea Jacket

So, a while ago you may recall that I wrote about my foray into the world of DIY shibori, and my plans for the fabric I had dyed. Well, the truth is, I completed a project with that fabric over a month ago, but I had wanted to do a very cool “photo shoot” in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, because they have an amazing Japanese Tea Room fully recreated on the top floor of the museum, and I thought that would be the perfect setting to photograph the kimono style jacket I  had made with my shibori flavored fabric and the BurdaStyle Naomi FREE PATTERN pattern. And it would have been, really, but I couldn’t get anyone to come with me and do the thing, and the one time I made it to the museum last month was for the Roberto Capucci show, and given that I was drugged up on cold medication and looking at something the cat wouldn’t even bother dragging in, I didn’t think that would be the optimal modeling opportunity. But I also didn’t want to wait and wait and drag it out and have you think that I couldn’t get it together to make this jacket when in fact I had already slaved over the beautifully silly completely useless thing for a full week! Can you see my quandry here?

So this morning I broke down and in the beautiful light of the rising sun I had my mother take some photos in our newly green and verdant garden, near our patch of irises. I thought, irises at least are fitting, right? Enough chit chat, you say, onto the photos! Well, without further ado, I present my Naomi jacket with my own hand dyed shibori style fabric. Look, ye mortals, and wonder:

Is what you are wondering, where the hell is she ever going to wear that? Well, so am I….but it sure is pretty….

When I told my friend Victoria that this style of shibori, arashi, is supposed to resemble storms, she said it looks more like a storm at sea. Hence the name.

I really do adore that it has pockets:

Honestly, this wasn’t that difficult of a project to sew, but it was a bit tricky to cut. There are so many pattern pieces and most of them you only cut one of, so I have no idea how you could cut this efficiently, but maybe that’s not the point, it is a rather decadent jacket, after all. Luckily I had dyed two full bedsheets, so I wasn’t worried about running out of material. I still have some left, come to think about it.

Of course, I made it extremely difficult for myself because the nature of this kind of dyeing is that the fabric doesn’t all dye evenly, there are different effects over the fabric and so I tried to cut so there was an omberized look, the bottom being darker then the top. That…KIND of worked…

Don’t you think?

I’ll be honest, I could have gone down a size, or 2. This isn’t exactly a fitted garment, and it’s a bit large on me, but that’s all part of it’s pseudo-kimono charm, I suppose. I do really like this design, it has some lovely details, like the aforementioned pockets:

And side ties:

And a lovely asymmetrical neckline:

I can’t help but adore this jacket. It’s just extremely gratifying to have envisioned the jacket, researched the dye process, dyed the cloth, cut the cloth, stitched up the pattern and then put it on. It just makes me feel like I have complete ownership of this garment, even though I have no idea where/when I could possibly wear it…

That being said, not a day goes by when I don’t get invited to a tea party in Feudal Japan, so maybe I can wear it there. Samurai sword is optional.

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Filed under Buttrick Patterns, Clothing, Dye, Fabric, Sewing

You’re Turning Violet, Violet!: Refashioned Men’s Shirt

Here you have it, folks, step right up and see my second attempt at remaking a man’s shirt into a woman’s blouse. I don’t know why, but I always assume that it’s going to take me far less time to refashion something then is does to make it from scratch. And on some level that’s true, because I don’t have to put together the pattern (assuming I downloaded it rather then had it sent to me) and cut out all the pieces and read the instructions six million times until I have some idea about what’s going on, but refashioning doesn’t make me the five minutes I feel that it should, and I’m left thinking, oh, my, where did the time go?

Nevertheless, it’s still worth it. I do so adore the idea of taking something and making a completely different looking garment out of it so that you can look at the end result and not understand how you got from point A to point B (or point Z, as the case may be). In this case, there were several steps. I really should have taken a photo of the original shirt, but I didn’t, because I’m the worst. So you will just have to trust me when I tell you that my father gave me a shirt that was a sort of pale lame lavender color. And that simply would not do. So I dyed it, and I came out with this:

Better in color, but still a large men’s shirt. So I cut and sewed and tucked and pleated and I came out with this:

What’s with the bow, you might ask? Well, I had to add some material in at the sides so that the shirt actually covers my bra and doesn’t leave me with a dreadful side breast situation. And then I added a bow in the same material so it seemed like a choice and not an act of desperation.

See? I’m footloose and fancy free.

Tucks! They really make a difference. And I pleated the collar, which I believe turned out pretty well!

I don’t look pleased, but I am, I promise you. I used the cuffs of the shirt for little sleeves, I got the idea from a BurdaStyle user whose name I don’t know, but THANK YOU, kind stranger!

I forced my friend Selin to take these photos after we stopped at my house on Saturday after our trip to Sazz Vintage Warehouse, which is AMAZING. It’s this enormous warehouse of vintage clothing and it’s usually wholesale only but on Saturdays and Monday’s it’s open to the public to buy at retail prices. It’s totally overwhelming and exciting and you need to bring a buddy or you may never emerge from the haven of 80’s polyester, 40’s sweaters, 70’s maxi dresses and SHOES. I got some great things, some of which I will refashion and some of which I will wash and wear with pride.

Obligatory indie shots:

Thanks, Selin! These are awesome. Go forth, and refashion, folks, but remember, it takes more time the you think! Still, I have an adorable new top that came from something old. Win.

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You say Tomato, I say Shibori!

I need to let you in on a dirty little secret. I hate tie dye. Like, with a passion. I think it looks silly and messy and reminds me of summers spent in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains where I attended horse ridding camp, like you do. And those summers were great, honestly, except for the tie dye. This isn’t a Grateful Dead revival, people, come on. And I think that it actually does look good on a lot of people, boho chicks with huge bags (to be fair, my own bag is huge, but not all fringey) and long hair and toe rings look GREAT in tie dye. Blake Lively, or as the Fug Girls so aptly title her, Boobs McLeggy, would look amazing in a floor length tie dye business with a braided belt on, like, a horse or something. I feel like I’ve even seen that sort of thing in a perfume ad, “Wind Swept Hippie” by Dior.

But I live my life along the lines of WWJHD (What Would Joan Holloway/Harris Do?). Don’t get me wrong, I love Peggy, I do, but girlfriend has made some BAD decisions. (DUCK PHILLIPS? PETE CAMPBELL? COME ON, Peggy, shape the hell up!). But while bad things have happened to Joan, Joan in general makes really great life choices, and therein lies the difference. Generally, I say, generally, because Greg Harris is the worst, even though the actor who plays him is DREAMY. SEE? But the point is, would Joan wear tie dye? Or would Joan turn up her nose and utter something cutting, cigarette in hand? I think we all know the answer to these questions.

So all of this is here to explain the fact that the craft project I did last weekend was not, I repeat, was NOT tie dye. No, not at all. It was Shibori, the Japanese art of dying with indigo that dates back to the 8th century. See, it’s historical. It’s cultural. It’s foreign. It certainly isn’t tie dye. Agreed? Agreed.

I got the idea from the fantastic ladies over at Honestly…WTF, who post amazing tutorials as well as fashion tips and inspiration photos. If you’ve never been over there check them out, they throw beautiful photos and ideas up there all the time, I love this post on miniature worlds. And they published this lovely and helpful tutorial on Shibori dying, which seemed intriguing to me. You see, I have this FREE PATTERN from Burda Style, the Naomi jacket, and I wanted to make it but I couldn’t find a fabric that I thought would be perfect for this lovely and complicated kimono inspired jacket. So I thought, I’ve got some sheets lying around, why not just MAKE a fabric that works? And so I did. Any then I went a little crazy and dyed myself and my mother and my father some items so that we can all look like Japanese nobility of the 8th century. Like you do.

So I bought this kit:

And followed all the instructions so kindly supplied by Erica and Lauren on their DIY tutorial. I prepared my vat of dye as instructed, which put me in mind of the witches cauldron from Robin Hood, Men in Tights (a highly undervalued piece of cinema, I must say), and the smell is rather terrible, but I let it sit and had a murky bucket of green-yellow dye on my hands. Indigo turns blue when it oxidizes, which I find endlessly cool. Go, science. Here is my vat:

This was a gift I got for my older brother, like, five Hannukahs ago. It was a cooler, but I removed the Styrofoam, so now it’s just a bucket. He left it here when he moved from Philadelphia, so I just assumed he knew I would someday need it for dying purposes. Thanks, brother! The box says this is a group activity, but literally none of my friends had any interest in doing this with me, and my cats, well, they don’t have opposible thumbs, so…they did this instead:

I really loved the Arashi or Storm technique so I thought I would do some experiments with that for the bedsheets turned material:

I folded the fabric in two difference ways and bound it with twine and rubber bands and then dyed it twice. I’m pretty thrilled with the results:

This is actually three different sheets I dyed in different ways. The left and top portion were bound and the bottom right was just wrapped and dyed in a weaker dye solution, giving it a gently ombred effect. The box says the vat will last for days, but in my case it grew significantly weakened after one day and had to be thrown away after my second dying attempt. It probably oxidized too much, oh well. Here is a view of the most Arashi effected area:

Stormy, no? And I ran to H and M to pick up some white garments for my family to get all indigoy. I made a t-shirt using the Kumo method in which you bind the fabric with found objects, in my case pebbles, and wrap twine or rubber bands around it:

And it makes little spider like circles:

And then I did a little Itajime, ” a shape-resist technique”. Basically you fold up the fabric or clothing item and bind it with wooden blocks or boards and see what happens:

This photo is cool because you can kind of see it turning from green to blue. And the results?:

We are clearly a gorgeous family. But I can see now why shibori masters train for 15 years at least to master this art, it’s hard, people! But fun. So if anyone wants in, I’ll give it another go this summer! Any takers, fellow Philadelphians? I’ll even, gasp, take a Jerseyite, but you have to bring wine, that’s the rule.

 

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