Spring Style Blog Tour: Denim Jacket and Wide Leg Pants

To kick our Spring Style Tour 2017 I thought I would jump all in with a new spring jacket! The question was, which one? In perusing the spring styles in ready-to-wear two silhouettes kept jumping out at me, 1) a classic denim jacket and 2) a sporty bomber jacket.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect with release of Named’s spring collection and the Maisa denim jacket. That pretty much made the decision for me, along with the arrival of this amazing washed bleached selvage denim. A match made in sewing heaven!

Named Maisa Jacket Pattern and Washed Selvage Denim | Style Maker Fabrics

Sewing this denim jacket was definitely a step out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t something I could whip up in an afternoon but was one of the most rewarding projects I have ever sewn. I didn’t make any changes to the pattern and sewed a straight size 40. Not only does it look like something I bought at a department store, it is also something I never thought I ever could/would sew. I haven’t had a denim jacket in my wardrobe in many years and I am excited to say that this one is handmade!

Maisa Selvage Denim Jacket | Style Maker Fabrics

A couple words of wisdom when sewing a Denim Jacket:

  1. Stock up on top-stitching thread! It is amazing how much you will use as you topstitch just about every seam… TWICE. (I might have had three machines going for this project- regular thread, top stitching thread and serger)
  2. Stock up on needles! Some of those pesky areas where the denim is many layers think can be hard on sewing machines, needles and your patience.
  3. Take your time and don’t rush- patience pays off and it will all come together in the end. Even when you don’t think it will!

To finish off the look I sewed up Megan Nielsen’s new Flint pants. Wide leg and super comfy these cropped trousers are perfect for spring/summer here in the Pacific Northwest. They are also the perfect pairing for my cropped denim jacket in this drapey olive twill!

Rayon Twill Flint Pants Front | Style Maker Fabrics

Rayon Twill Flint Pants Back | Style Maker Fabrics

In sewing my Flint pants I did take in the legs a bit after sewing them together and trying them on before I added the waist band. The legs were a little too wide for me and my style. I tapered in, starting just below the pocket, angling down each side to about 1-1/2″ in from the side seam at the hem. This took each leg in a total of about 6″. That sounds like a lot but they are still plenty wide for me! I also trimmed the length 1″ and hemmed as directed.

Overall, I love how my new spring look turned out! It pushed me out of my sewing comfort zone and jump started my spring wardrobe. I have already sewn up another jacket (Rigel bomber) to go with these pants! Watch for another post coming soon with all the details.

Follow along with us as the Spring Style Tour 2017 continues tomorrow with Day Two! We will be traveling up to Canada to see what Rachel of Maker Style has planned for spring.

Happy Spring Sewing!

Michelle

P.S. New to our Style Blog Tours? Check our the recaps from last spring and fall, HERE and HERE!

Holiday Sewing with Itch to Stitch

All this week we have been following along with the Itch to Stitch Holiday Blog Tour! A month or so ago Leslie (Threadbear Garments) and Fleurine (Sew Mariefleur) reached out to us to see if we wanted to participate in a special holiday themed sewing tour. The answer was “Yes, of course!” and after talking thru some ideas we decided to sponsor the event along side Itch to Stitch patterns! We were getting ready to launch our holiday fabric collection and this partnership was not only perfect timing but also a great fit!

After helping some of the participants find fabrics for their holiday looks, it was time for me to pick something for my own look. One of my favorite new trends this fall is all of the amazing brocades! Elegant and sophisticated, it is amazing to see this traditional fabric show up in everything from dresses and skirts to pants and jackets. Looking through Kennis’ patterns I thought the Salamanca Cropped Jacket would be a great choice to pair with one of the brocades we have in ths shop. I went with a more modern choice, the triangle mosaic brocade— I love the colors, texture and design on this one and it is incredibly light weight!

My first hurdle with this jacket was the sizing. In looking at my measurements and the finished garment measurements I settled on making a size 6B. I first printed out a size 8B (my typical size) but the finished measurements just seemed too large so I stuck to my true measurements and went with the smaller size.

Cutting all the pieces out and getting everything ready to sew went really quickly. I settled on a soft rayon challis for the lining— solid black, something that wouldn’t compete with the brocade. I know it probably won’t be seen but just in case… Construction was also really straight forward with Kennis’ easy to follow instructions. I love how it all came together— beautifully faced and it didn’t require some of those fussy steps that a lined jacket can call for. Probably the most time consuming step was tacking the hem and sleeve facings in place, but this was a great project to finish up on the couch watching TV.

Salamanaca Jacket in Geometric Brocade

I really like how these two fabrics paired together for this jacket. Both are nice and light weight making the finished jackets not too bulky, heavy or warm. The brocade also played beautifully with the pleats and gathers, giving the jacket a wonderful shape and body. The fit is great, the sleeves could be a little wider at the elbow (a normal problem for me), but over all this was a great size choice. I also really like the length but for another version I might make it hip length.

Closer Look at Salamanaca Sleeves and Front

For styling I headed to Pinterest for a few ideas. This jacket rides that line where it can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Most of my holiday get togethers are more casual so I settled on pairing it with a pair of dark skinny jeans, a grey tank and fun necklace. I can definitely see pairing this jacket with black pants and maybe a sequin top for a little bit dressier look. Lots of options!

Pinterest Inspiration for Holiday Style

Hopefully you have enjoyed following along with us this week! If you missed one of the stops, links to each one are included at the bottom of this post for easy reference. There are so many great looks perfect for your next holiday party you are sure to find one that suits your style! I know I added a few more projects to my ever growing list…

Styled Brocade Salamanaca Jacket

To help get you started on your own look Itch to Stitch is offering 16% off all patterns with code HOLIDAY16, valid only thru December 12th! As a special holiday treat we are offering $5 shipping on all US orders and discounted international shipping. Any order, any size ships for just $5! Shop this week and have your fabric in time to sew for Christmas!

ITCH TO STITCH HOLIDAY BLOG TOUR 2016

December 6th
December 9th
December 10th

Cozy Holiday Pajamas to Sew, Give and Enjoy

One of my favorite holiday traditions is spending all day Christmas day in my pajamas! For many years Christmas Day at our house has been off limits to visitors— is all about enjoying the day, munching/snacking and lounging in our pj’s watching movies or playing games that were under the tree. Since cozy lounge wear and pajamas plays such a key role this time of year, between Christmas and the cold winter days, I thought I would share one of my favorite patterns and a few tips for sewing your own this holiday season.

carolyn-pajamas-patter-cover

Pajamas and pillow cases are two of my favorite things to sew! Not only are they relatively easy, they also get used ALL the time and then normal wardrobe rules don’t apply. There are so many fun designs and colors that I would never wear out of the house but put them on an adorable set of pajama or a cute pillow case and I am in! Last Christmas I shared my go-to pillow case tutorial, so this year I thought I would sew up a couple new pajamas sets to help get you inspired. Since it’s release a couple of years ago, my favorite pj pattern is Closet Case’s Carolyn Pajamas— a modern take on a classic button-up pajama set. I love the fit and the kind of retro look and Heather makes construction a delight with her clear, detailed instructions. I sewed up my first set a while back in a soft cotton lawn and they are so comfy and cool, I wear them all the time! For this season’s set I decided to try a thick cotton jersey. I know the pattern doesn’t call for a knit but we recently got some left over fabrics from the Bedhead (RTW designer) so I thought I would create my own (less expensive) version of their adorable pajamas.

Finished Carolyn Pajamas in Bedhead Jersey Floral

Finished Carolyn Pajamas in Bedhead Jersey Floral

Even though I was using a knit, I decided to keep everything the same on the pattern. I didn’t size down or make any changes, I merely swapped out the fabric type. This plan worked perfectly! Construction I think may have been even easier as knits are a bit more forgiving with easing. My pajamas are the perfect fit, loose but still stylish and over the top comfortable! I highly recommend it! Oh my gosh it is like being wrapped in those cozy t-shirt sheets but even warmer!

Cozy Knit Carolyn Pajamas with the Official Blog Dog, Toby

Cozy Knit Carolyn Pajamas with the Official Blog Dog, Toby

I decided to pipe this set in a fun emerald rayon jersey to bring out the pop of color in the butterfly wings. Although I did cheat a little bit— I cut 1-1/2″ strips, folded them in half and included this in each seam. So much faster and didn’t add all the bulk the traditional piping can add. I questioned the color choice as first but it turned out to be the perfect complement.

Floral Jersey Carolyn Pajama Set

Floral Jersey Carolyn Pajama Set

I couldn’t stop at one new set of pajamas so I added another pair of Carolyn pants to my sewing list along with a matching jersey knit top. For this set I was mostly inspired by the fabric— these fun metallic starts were just too cute to pass up. I used some silver metallic for the piping accent as well as on the neckline on a basic black Hemlock tee. To tie things together I used the pocket pattern from the Carolyn top and added that to my black tee for an extra pop of the fun print. A really quick sew and almost as cute as my jersey floral Carolyn set!

Star Carolyn Pajama Pants and Matching Knit Top

Star Carolyn Pajama Pants and Matching Knit Top

Hopefully both of these have inspired you to sew your own pajamas this season, and not just for yourself! Pajamas and lounge wear make amazing gifts for the holidays. They are typically very forgiving with their relaxed fit and let’s face it, the comfier the better, right! You can also make each piece unique to the person you are gifting them to or make matching pjs for the whole family. The options are endless— with fun prints, bright colors and different fabrics types to choose from you can’t go wrong! For my next pair I’m thinking flannel

bedhead

Other Pajama Fabric Ideas – Find more HERE

There is still plenty of time to sew up a few pieces for the holidays and here are a couple of tips to make it fast and painless.

  • Assembly line sewing is your friend! Get everything cut out and then put the machines to work. This will save time reading directions between steps and let you get everything done in about the same amount of time it would have taken to sew one set.
  • Pick a neutral thread. Save yourself from changing threads by picking something neutral for both the machine and serger. Lucky for me black was a perfect choice!
  • Be sure to label all of your pieces with the size or who it is for. That way if you are sewing multiple garments in the same fabric you won’t get mixed up.
  • Want another time saver? Skip the piping and just hem the pants. This will save you a couple more fussy steps and they still look great!

In the shop we put together a fun collection of fabrics and patterns perfect for holiday lounge wear sewing! Be sure to check it out— lots of unusual knits, cozy French terry, sweatshirt fleece and a few other surprises. Take a look HERE.

Now time to get sewing! The holidays will be here before you know it!

~Michelle

Suede Farrow Dress for the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner and I am ready! I love this time of year— the weather, the food, the decorations, all of it! It is also an amazing excuse to sew something new and festive to enjoy during the season. I have been playing around with a few different ideas but when a new shipment of suede shirtings arrived my decision was made for me. Kind of a perfect storm— a new pattern and a new fabric arriving about the same time and they are a match made in heaven!

Grainline Studio's Farrow Dress Pattern

Grainline Studio’s Farrow Dress was released a couple of weeks ago and it is the perfect go-to dress to make for any special occasion. A classic and elegant A-line shape with flattering diagonal seams and handy concealed pockets. The pattern calls for light to medium weight fabrics such as linen, wool or cotton. Along those lines I though why not a suede shirting? Suede dresses and shirts are all over the runways and ready to wear and I love this look and the beautiful texture.

Farrow Dress Inspiration and Suede Shirting Colors

Farrow Dress Inspiration (Pinterest) and Suede Shirting Colors

For color I decided on the gorgeous jade green suede for my Farrow Dress. The perfect jewel tone for the holidays and one of my favorites to wear all year. As this faux suede is 100% polyester I didn’t take the time to pre-wash as there isn’t really a fear of shrinkage. Normally I pre-wash everything but I was a bit antsy to get sewing!

To get started I first took a look at all the pattern measurements to find the right size and check the finished garment lengths. In Grainline’s patterns I am almost always a size 8 and I often make a few slight adjustments in the length. For the Farrow, I left the length of the dress alone (as that would have involved moving pockets) but I did lengthen the sleeves by 3 inches. I also checked the sleeve width, with woven sleeves I often find them too tight when I bend my elbow. The Farrow’s sleeves were a bit narrow and I ended up widening them by 1″ which also led me to lengthening the sleeve facings to match.

Grainline's Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

Grainline’s Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

Remember that suede is directional! I took extra care to make sure each piece was cut out in the same orientation with the grain of the suede going up the garment for the best color. Once I had everything cut out I got to sewing! I used a coordinating jade thread and a Microtex sharp needle in my machine. I finished all the seams and raw edges with my serger for clean look. Construction was straight forward and easy to understand with the directions included in the pattern. It also went together quite quickly. I was just about done in one afternoon.

Love the Farrow's Pockets!

Love the Farrow’s Pockets!

Once I had the whole dress sewn together I tried it on for fit. I loved the overall shape and style but due to the structure of the fabric it didn’t drape as closely to my body as a light weight cotton lawn probably would. I decided to take it in a bit on the sides to give a bit more definition to the the silhouette. First I tapered in the natural waist about 1/2″ on each side. I then tapered in about 1″ at the pockets and continued in to 2″ at the hem. To clean things up a bit I gave the low hem of the back a fresh curve and I was set hem and add the finishing touches. Note: The measurements are from the original seam line so total the waist came in 2″, hips 4″ and hem 8″.

Front View Look at Suede Farrow Dress

Front View Look at Suede Farrow Dress

The results were perfect! I love the clean lines and look with the suede. It is just like some of the A-line suede dresses that I have been admiring on Pinterest. This fabric was a great choice of a winter Farrow— a little more substantial but still has great drape and movement. There is also nothing better than the soft feel of suede, even if it is faux suede! My favorite feature of the dress is the high neck line— perfect for showing off a statement necklace! I also paired mine with black leggings and boots for the cool weather and will definitely be wearing this on Thanksgiving Day this coming week.

Compete Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

Compete Farrow Dress in Jade Suede

I would highly recommend this pattern. I can definitely see how this one can become a favorite to sew up year-round, dress it up or down to suit the event. Just one other note about the fit, it is a bit tight across the shoulders so you might want to muslin the bodice and sleeves to check the fit before you begin.

Happy Fall Sewing!

Michelle

Staying Cozy This Fall With Toaster Sweaters

Fall is in full swing and it is my favorite season to sew for! I love all rich colors and textures autumn brings and being able to mix ‘n match or layer them up to stay cozy warm all season long. Lucky for me Sew House Seven released a brand new pattern perfect for my fall wardrobe!

Way back in July, I stumbled across a perfect pullover sweater in a soft double knit at the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale (while I pretty much stay away from purchasing RTW garments nowadays I still like to look!). I immediately thought that pullover sweater would be a great staple for the coming season in a lot of our new fall fabrics. The only problem was to find a pattern…

Sew House Seven Toaster Sweaters Pattern

Sew House Seven Toaster Sweaters Pattern

Enter Peggy from Sew House Seven! Last month she released a pattern, the Toaster Sweaters, for almost the exact pullover I saw in the department store. It’s all about timing, right? Her new pattern includes two great versions, one more fitted with cuffs and a waistband and the other more relaxed with a high-low hem. This past week I made fall sewing a priority and sewed up both styles!

Double Face Quilted Knit

Double Face Quilted Knit

I decided to start with Toasters Sweater #1 and sew it up in this double face quilted knit. I love the texture of the stitching and it is wonderfully warm and soft without being bulky. After reading Peggy’s blog post about the fit on both sweaters and looking at a few versions posted on Instagram knew that I needed to add a couple inches to the length. I traced out a Size Medium and lengthened the front and back pieces by 2″ at the natural waist. Based on the finished garment measurements the sleeves looked like they would be the right length so I left those pieces along. Cutting and sewing only took about an hour using only my serger! Love projects like that, especially when they turn out like this!

toaster-1-front

Finished Toaster Sweater Version #1

The fit of my Toaster Sweater is pretty much spot on for my 5′ 9″ frame. I love the style and it is so comfortable to wear. I may have even worn it 3 times this week… For another version, I might try lengthening it a bit more (maybe 2″) and possibly taper it out to the next size at the hips. The raglan sleeves ended up being the perfect length and they look great on this style pullover— plus they make construction a breeze!

Closer Look at the Toaster Sweater #1

Closer Look at the Toaster Sweater #1

As the knit that I used is a bit softer and doesn’t have a ton of structure the neck ended up being a bit more slouchy than I think the pattern was designed. I like the look, more like a small funnel neck, but you could interface the back of the piece if you wanted it to stand up a bit more. This wouldn’t be an issue with a more stable double knit, ponte knit or even a thick sweater knit.

I loved my first Toaster Sweater so much I immediately cut out Version #2! I again traced out a Size Medium and lengthened the front and back by 2″ using lengthen/shorten lines provided on the pieces. For this version I selected an extra warm wool blend in a fun argyle plaid. At first I thought I would take the time to match the plaid but that quickly went out the window. Since the pattern is so small and more of an allover texture I decided it wasn’t worth the stress!

Finished Toaster Sweater Version #2

Finished Toaster Sweater Version #2

Version #2 features the more traditional set in sleeves and a split high-low hem, it is fitted across the shoulders and nice and loose at the waist. With the added length it hits me about mid-hip. While this is great, I think I would lengthen it another 3 or 4″ on my next version. I guess it will just depend on my fabric choice and what style I’m going for.

Side View of Toaster Sweater #2

Side View of Toaster Sweater #2

This version also took a little bit more time and required me to break out the regular sewing machine. The directions for the split hem are very clear and I love how crisp and clean it turned out. There is also a step-by-step sewalong on Sew House Seven’s blog if you need it, always a great reference to have. I think I like the neckline on Version #1 but this structured “boat neck” is a unique look that was fun to try.

toaster-2-neck

Closer Look at the Toaster Sweater #2

Both of these Toaster Sweaters lived up to all of my hopes for this pattern and gave me exactly what I was looking for! I will definitely be sewing up a few more versions and maybe play with the length some more and experiment with other fabric choices. I think the style of this pattern can really be dressed up or down based on the fabric— maybe try sweatshirt fleece for something more casual and athletic or a sophisticated double knit for a look suitable for a night out. Oh, the possibilities!

Happy Fall Sewing!

Michelle

End of Summer Projects with Hand Dyed Fabrics

Summer is winding down and it is time to share my last two summer sewing projects. Fall is just around the corner, I even have my first fall project on the cutting table, and what better way to end the summer than with items that can transition into the next season! Perfect for the September weather that can still be warm but very unpredictable.

If you have been following along with our summer projects you know that we have been experimenting with shibori indigo dyeing. It’s time to finally cut into one of these stunning pieces! Since its release earlier this year I have had my eye on Christine Haynes’ Lottie pattern which is the perfect pattern for my hand dyed linen/rayon blend.

Christine Haynes' Lottie Pattern

Christine Haynes’ Lottie Pattern

With eighteen different combinations included in the Lottie, I decided to go with the a hybrid of View A and B- with three-quarter length sleeves in the shorter top length. Based on the pattern measurements I went with a size eight, although I did decide to lengthen the body by three inches at the given lengthen/shorten line.

The pattern was really fast to prep and cut out with only seven pieces, four of which are for the lengthened sleeves. I did take some extra time to really think about the shibori design on the fabric and how I wanted to feature it on the finished garment. For the sleeve pieces, especially, I chose to highlight some of the richest indigo streaks.

Lottie Top- Closer Look at the Side View

Lottie Top- Closer Look at the Side View

Construction took no time at all, start-to-finish my Lottie was done in one evening (less than three hours). Complete with top stitching, under stitching and hemming for an amazing result! I am especially loving the side vents and pieced sleeves- the perfect added touch and Christine made them so easy to sew.

Completed Lottie Top

Completed Lottie Top

The combination of the abstract shibori pattern with the gorgeous texture of the linen/rayon create the perfect distressed look- casual but refined. Great drape and body but still has that soft, wrinkly texture of linen. I also love the length, not quite tunic length but just long enough to hit about mid-hip on my 5′ 9″ frame. I’m already dreaming about another version in a soft flannel for this fall!

One More Look- Back of Lottie Top

One More Look- Back of Lottie Top

Last but not least, my Stowe Bag from Grainline Studio and The Fringe Supply Co! I originally dyed this white twill with this bag in mind. It has been on my “To Make” list for a while now just waiting for the perfect fabric. Again, I took my time planning out the pieces before I actually cut into my dyed fabric.

Hand Dyed Shibori Stowe Bag

Hand Dyed Shibori Stowe Bag

Another quick sew, although I did make the whole project much more labor intensive by deciding to finish all of the seams using the Hong Kong finishing method. Extra work, but totally worth it! It really helps finish off the professional look of the bag and doesn’t try to compete or take away from the star of the show, the shibori. I also decided to finish the bias binding around the top edge to the inside, again shifting the focus back to the dyeing and fabric.

Sneak Peak Inside the Shibori Stowe Bag

Sneak Peak Inside the Shibori Stowe Bag

This size is perfect for a trip to the market or to bring your hand sewing or knitting project along with you for the day. I might even have enough extra of my shibori dyed twill to make one more small Stowe if I cut carefully. I definitely want to try making the larger size as well, maybe in some suiting or denim for a great fall carry-all purse. What do you think?

Shibori Stowe Bag- Side View

Shibori Stowe Bag- Side View with Looped Handles

Well that wraps up my summer sewing! Time to shift gears and start planning for my favorite season- FALL!!! We have so many amazing fabrics arriving and lots of plans coming later this month, including the Fall Style Blog Tour!

-Michelle

 

How To: Shibori Dyeing Large Pieces

As I continued to experiment with shibori dyeing I began to wonder how to approach dyeing large pieces of fabric. In our last post I shared a variety of dyeing techniques each resulting in a very unique look, but all of my pieces were quite small- about 14″ square. While small pieces like this are great for napkins, pillows or patchwork, they aren’t so great for garment making!

Line Drying Shibori Pieces

Line Drying Shibori Pieces

In thinking about taking on larger pieces for garment sewing I figured there are two ways to approach it- 1) dye the finished garment or 2) dye the yardage required for the garment I want to make. Either seem like a valid approach and I can think of advantages and disadvantages for both.

After pondering it a while, I settled on dyeing the yardage. While this will produce a bit more waste, use more dye and be a bit harder to handle, I will have more control of the overall outcome of the piece. It is easier to manipulate and anticipate what will happen at large rectangle rather than a finished top or dress. Right? You can also then fussy cut your garment pieces from the larger fabric giving you more control to your finished look as well.

Time start planning fabric and pattern choices! I, of course, started with the fabric and may have gone a little overboard by picking five very different fabric types. The natural indygo dye kit that I am using calls for natural fibers- preferably plant based- so rayon, linen, cotton, bamboo, etc. Since I wanted to make a variety of projects I selected on the following: a more structured cotton twill, a drapey linen/rayon blend and a soft tencel/cotton shirting all in white/vanilla (it is shibori after all!).

1 | 2 | 3

I also picked a couple of reach fabrics, choices that are a bit less conventional. The first is a white-on-white printed gauze, I wasn’t sure how the synthetic printing would react but I thought I would give it a try. The second is a cotton/silk blend– the manufacture of my kit says silk may not react well in the dye vat due to the basic environment. I figured, the blend is more than 50% cotton and the results will be amazing if it works so why not?

1 | 2

For pattern choices I was mostly thinking about tunics and tops and settled on dyeing 2 to 2-1/2 yards of each piece except for the twill, which I only dyed 1 yd. I did’t finalize my pattern choices ahead of time because I wanted to see how each piece turned out and pick the pattern to really show off the stunning shibori designs.

Now let’s get to the fun part- methods and results! I decided to dye each piece differently and chose the technique based on what I thought would look best with that particular fabric.

1) Japanese Tencel Shirting + Mokume Shibori (Stitched)

This was probably the most time intensive piece to prepare. With two yards of 45″ wide fabric, we marked a 1″ grid across the entire piece using a washable fabric pen. My mom then spent an entire afternoon stitching each of the rows (thank you mom)! Based on the results of our test run, I knew the basting stitches needed to run selvage to selvage so that the resulting lines would run the length of the fabric.

Once all the stitches were in place, I pulled each of the strings gathering the fabric up and tied them off. This gave me a 72″ long snake of gathered fabric that was actually pretty easy to maneuver in the dye vat. After a series of dips, I rinsed the piece and began popping the strings to open it up. I didn’t wait for the piece to dry completely because I wanted a more fluid look and the results were amazing!

Stitched Mokume Shibori with Japanese Tencel Shirting

Stitched Mokume Shibori with Japanese Tencel Shirting

I have no idea yet what I want to make with this pieces but I love how this technique and the fabric paired together. This tight stitching method looks amazing with lighter weight fabrics where you can gather it easily and tightly. We used a 1″ grid, but I would love to see what a larger grid and stitches would do- similar look but wider lines and more indigo, maybe?

2) Radiance Cotton/Silk + Kanoko Shibori (Bound)

For my cotton/silk blend I was thinking a soft camisole and thought large bursts would be really interesting. I settled on binding it with rubber bands as I liked the bolder lines and patterns it created in our trial.

I randomly started pinching bits of fabric and binding it with rubber bands. It was incredible how small 2 yards of fabric can shrink into in a matter of a few minutes! I just kept binding until there wasn’t any fabric left to grab.

Prepared Cotton/Silk and Linen/Rayon Pieces Ready to Dye

Prepared Cotton/Silk (Right) and Linen/Rayon (Left) Pieces Ready to Dye

Again, I used a series of dips to get the density of dye that I wanted and untied it before it dried. I love the randomness of the bursts and the variability in the indigo color. The subtle shine the silk gives the piece is really unusual and striking look as well.

Cotton/Silk

Bound Kanoko Shibori with Radiance Cotton/Silk Sateen

3) Linen/Rayon Blend + Itajime Shibori and 4) Cotton Twill + Itajime Shibori (Folded Resistance)

With the heavier fabrics I thought it would be easiest to use a folding technique and go for a larger geometric design. I had no idea how the folds would translate but decided to take the techniques I learned from before and apply them in a larger scale. Rather than 2 inch folds, go for 8 inch folds or whatever they would end up being.

For the linen, I accordion folded the fabric in eighths across the width of the fabric giving me a 2 yard giant fan. I then folded one corner up into a triangle and continued alternating the triangle fold from the front to the back across the entire length of the piece. Bound with 2 rubber bands, I ended up with a tight little triangle bundle (shown in photo above). When dyed I knew the edges of these triangles would be what would take on the most dye creating a triangle or diamond pattern.

Fold Resistance Shibori with a Linen/Rayon Blend

Fold Resistance Shibori with Linen/Rayon Blend

The results were a bit different from what I expected, I think because of the thickness of the fabric. There was also more white than I wanted in the final piece so I ended up over-dying the whole piece again to give it more a blue color. I love the resulting distressed look! P.S. Don’t ask how the fold pattern turned from the triangle/diamond print to squares, I have not idea but it still looks cool and totally unique! I’m dreaming of the Lottie Pattern for this piece (pattern from Christine Haynes), it will be fun to plan out where the pieces will go and what design elements to highlight.

For the twill I did a similar technique, a bit easier to do since the piece was only one yardm  and used the folding instructions included in the kit for a chevron pattern. The results gave me more of an arrow pattern, I think it could have used a lot longer in the vat to let more dye absorb, but I love the look. Perfect for the Stowe Bag I have planned for it!

dfhsoif

Folded Resistance Shibori with Cotton Twill

5) Printed Gauze + Dip Dyed

Rather than compete with the pattern already on this fabric, I decided to dip dye it as a whole piece and see what it looks like. The biggest challenge with this was keeping it as small as possible while still letting it flow and open up so that the dye would apply evenly. Remember the goal is overall, even coverage.

After a series of dips I ended up with this amazing indigo piece with great texture from the printed leaves. The printing took on less dye giving it a slightly lighter shade and produced a really cool effect.

Indigo Dip Dyed Cotton Gauze

Indigo Dip Dyed Cotton Gauze

So simple, but very impressive all the same. This will be perfect for a summer tunic or cover up! Light weight and airy and a beautiful shade of medium blue!

Each piece turned out better than I imagined. I thought dyeing larger pieces would be much more difficult. While they do take a bit more planning and have some limitations, it is so impressible to open up your two yard piece and reveal the amazing shibori pattern you created. I can’t wait to get sewing with these pieces- I think my linen/rayon Lottie will be up first. If you have any other pattern suggestions please leave them in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you would make!

~Michelle

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