Indigo Kimono Jacket

Yes. Yet more indigo shibori. This lot is ultra fine ramie, dyed two years ago in a class run by the lovely Andrea Taylor  (Bittern by the Bug) through the excellent craft shop Opendrawer.

The floaty, transparent dyed lengths back when they were done. Foreground then background.

IMG_9122 IMG_9124

Most of these have been combined into a square boxy cut kimono jacket. I mean to wear it as an overshirt, either for slight warmth or as an anti-sun garment. Like a shawl that stays on more easily. The last and palest length might become a petticoat? perhaps?

The body, sleeves and neck band are simple rectangles except for the gentle neck cut out.

.

A detail shot of some of the patterns. Such fun. The neck band was a strip run (rather inexpertly and unevenly) through a smocking pleater and gathered up tightly before dyeing. Said neck band also has a strip of shirt weight plain white linen as interfacing.

IMG_7797

A single button fastening. It needed some kind of reinforcing for the loop attachment and I hadn’t put a label on yet. The machine stitching looks rather coarse at this enlarged scale.

.

It’s not my most flattering garment but it feels lovely and floaty. Worn today with my comfiest but rather worn trousers.

.

.

Advertisements

Indigo Heffalumps

IMG_7704

Another product of the indigo dyeing day a few months back. Not sashiko this time, just a plain overdye of what was cream coloured fine cotton voile, heavily embroidered with elephants, or as I have called them for years, “heffalumps”. Happily, the embroidery turned out to also be cotton.

.

The lumps of the heffalumps caused a few problems in the stitching. Lumpy fine voile, aieee. I persevered and got it done though.

The resulting shirt dress is intended as a lightweight anti sun garment. It could be worn as a tunic though. It’s a bit short for me to be comfy wearing it as a dress!

Here it is flung over what I happened to have on. I’m spending most of today brewing. I absolutely love the colour.

.

Blooper reel:
I’m quite pleased with the collar, or I was before I realised that the frill ended up different depths on each side.

.

I managed to cut all the pieces with the elephants the right way up, except the sleeves, sigh.

.

The dye coverage isn’t quite even, and to make that worse, I managed to sew the back skirt panel wrongside out. At least it’s the back!

Fastenings:
I kept the buttonholes away from the bulk of the waist seam, and put a little press stud in so it will still close neatly. It also has the loop and button trick for bringing in the fit if I want.

.

Fully closed and on me to show the fit.

.

Not quite by accident, it’s a lovely length to wear over the Tardis dress.

.

Indigo Spots / Accidental Tardis

.

The next piece made up from the last indigo dyeing day contained unexpected tardis qualities! I really didn’t intend the tardis look, and didn’t see it developing until the skirt was on the bodice.

It started as 2 metres of fine linen, folded in half widthways, then concertina folds one way, and the other. A resist disk was placed top and bottom. I don’t have a proper “before” photo because those ties were replaced by clamps before it went in the dyebath. Pity, a friend dubbed this the “madly flapping dove”, which name I love.

.

Anyway, this is how the dyed fabric came out:

IMG_6643

It seemed to want to be a sundress. Who was I to argue? I did put quite some care into the cutting, including paying attention to the placement of the pattern elements.

.

The bodice is a slightly altered version of this. My bit of pattern sneaking has paid off. The skirt is in two layers. The fabric is so fine that it needed lining anyway, so I decided to make the hem more interesting. Both layers have hem facings and the bodice is lined, all from the linen scrap box.

.

Again it’s made as a drop over the head number. I’ve used another variation of my side front fastening to close the fit.

.

.

I’m ruddy delighted with it. The fit is lovely, as is the length. It feels wonderful on, and it accidentally looks rather Tardis like! I’ll take that as a feature rather than a bug.

.

Indigo Rays

I’ve made up one of the planned garment pieces from the indigo dyeing day.

Two lengths of cotton/linen blend fabric, twice the length of the fabric width, seamed to make a huge square. Fold in half and manipulate into rough “sunray” pleats. This bit was harder than I expected but I managed it.

.

Tie off tightly at intervals with string you might like to have turn blue for later use. The wider bulgy bit was deliberate, to provide a darker circle for the hem.

IMG_6572

Wet it, pop into the dye batch for a while, then pull out, untie and hang to develop and dry. Then wash, rinse etc until it stops shedding colour.

20180818_125618

20180818_133409

Some months later, I’ve made a dress from it. Cut as big a circle as I could, cut the bodice etc from the corners. Cut a smaller circle from the centre of the big circle to match the bodice waist measurement.

.

My bodice has side bust darts, and I’ve used my trick of attaching ties from what would be the under bust dart position. This forms a casual and adjustable tuck when tied. In this case I’ve used buttons and hand sewn loops to attach them. I’m not fond of battling long ties in my laundry.

IMG_7447

A close up of the waist tie attachment:

IMG_7453

The bodice slit closure, featuring some rather manky machining that turned out to be caused by a bad needle. I changed that and the rest was much neater. See the edge stitching is much better.

.

The loops and buttons are sewn with the perle cotton used to tie the cloth for dyeing. Lovely matching blue string.

.

Pockets!

.

On me

.

.

Baggy Batik

A friend needed shirts and there were some pieces that appealed to his colourful tastes in my ridiculously large fabric stash. Hence….

.

Shirt #1
A crazy orange based batik piece that I think I bought in Malaysia? on a work trip if my memory serves.

.

I used some purple cotton (a stash gift from someone or other) to fill in the needed extra acreage.

.

Shirt #2
A really beautiful and interesting piece I bought in Sydney on a previous trip to the Fabric Cave.

.

This one has a self straight grain tape facing and extra sleeve fabric from a lovely bit of creamy cotton twill I had meant to make a work shirt from… um… about 15 years ago.

IMG_7234

Shirt/Poncho #3
These were all supposed to be from stash, but having said I’d make them, I fell over this piece in “The Sewing Basket” (the Fabric Cave by another name in their new location) on my recent Sydney trip. I knew my friend would absolutely love it, so there was no question. It got bought and duly made up.

.

This piece had no spare fabric at all, so I used a coordinating green piece from stash (actually yet another stash gift) for the facings.

IMG_7299

The side edges are just sewn up, with an opening left for the arms. I’ve added a reinforcing patch to prevent the seam ripping.

IMG_7305

Here is the last “shirt” on me, which isn’t the point, but I tried it on to make sure my (rather large) head fitted through the neckline. I found the shape unexpectedly fun.

.

Shoe strings

I’ve always liked shoe string straps, but as a woman with a not small bust, they are not feasible if one prefers to cover the required underwear. As a pinafore though! Woo hoo. I can have shoe string straps!

I loved this version of a slip pinafore as soon as i saw it. It’s a promo from The Fabric Store. So relaxed and fun. I grabbed the image but then couldn’t find it when I went to make a version, so I was working from memory. After I’d made this frock, I found the picture! I will probably have another go with the much deeper armhole and back that this has.

Merino-Turtleneck-Fabric-By-The-Fabric-Store-Buy-Fabric-Online-1

Here is my version, reclining on the couch.

IMG_7413

And a close up to show the print. It’s a rayon twill, from a friend’s (possibly the friend’s mother) rejected stash.

.

With my figure, to achieve even a relaxed look without it being a tent… one has to use significant pattern shaping. This is the bodice pattern. Two darts each side and enough length in the front to achieve a horizontal waist seam. I do not wish my bust away, but I sure wish it was easier to pattern for. I have an incompatible liking for simple garment shapes.

.

On me. It’s only fitted as much as is possible to be a pull on garment. I’m not actually quite as blocky in the figure as this image suggests. Sigh.

.

Thrifty customised stash hat

Making the thing I wanted from stuff already in the house.

I knew when I made the tartan pinafore that it wasn’t in my current usual colours. As a result, I didn’t have quite the warm hat I wanted to wear with it. This possum merino beret is really lovely to wear. So light, yet warm. I had lots of the yarn left, but of course it was the wrong colour. So I took the greener of the two teals and overdyed it as close to black as I could manage (food colour again). The creamy colour on the right is the original yarn.

IMG_6859

My aim was a cream and near-black striped beanie with a single red stripe. So I still needed the red. I thought I didn’t have enough of the cream possum/merino to steal some for the red, so I overdyed some apricot merino/cashmere yarn out of stash.

.

This is the combination I ended up with. None of the colours quite match, but they are pretty good when separated appropriately in the wearing.

.

Having fun with ways to arrange a very floppy beanie to have it’s picture taken. I really like the single red stripe.

.

.

.

Wish I’d thought to look up how to make jogless stripes at the beginning. You can see where I made the change! That was a technique worth learning.

.

A picture of it on. I think I like it. In a reversal from some recent posts, this outfit was donned only briefly for the picture. Too warm to wear for long today.

.

Finished!

Celebrate with me if you will. The Liberty lattice quilt is finally done. Finished. Complete.

.

From the concept and set up back in December 2016. Nearly a year of patchworking, then a summer laid aside while it waited for cooler weather. Then the quiltening, which I had to talk myself into. It’s the patchworking that brings me joy. The quilting just had to be done despite me not loving the process. The centre needed a tiny bit of quilting, so it got a little flower for interest, fun and the ceremony of the last stitches in such a long project.

IMG_7204

The pre binding experiment worked well enough. I found I needed to run a line of quilting right next to it to catch all the layers together before trimming off the excess batting and backing. I think I did stretch the edge of the top slightly in applying the binding in the first place, which is not ideal but the finished piece is tolerably flat.

IMG_7230

On the bed! The black squares and the black bed frame work so well together. Yet the overall effect is light, bright and neat. I’m so pleased.

IMG_7211

Timely Memory

I’m going to an anniversary party where we have been asked to dress to the theme of “weddings”. After much thought and rejecting a few tempting ideas, I settled on making a new dress to go with my “wedding hat”. I didn’t get married in it, but I have worn it to a lot of weddings. It’s such a happy little confection of a hat.

.

After the first wedding or two (but many years ago), I made a bag to go with it. The hat is straw with straw and cotton embroidery. The bag is coarse raw silk, embroidered in cotton and lined with coral pink dupion silk. I was pretty pleased with the approximate match. My embroidery is really a bit too neat to match the hat properly!

IMG_7198

Packing for the trip, I suddenly remembered the bag. It had fallen out of my head. Very glad I remembered it’s existence in time to use it.

IMG_7195

Pictures of the new dress are being withheld until after it’s debut.

Overall Dress

New dress just finished, and accidentally being written up on my second blogiversary. Doesn’t look much on the hanger but I think it might get a lot of wear. I was after a cross between a pinafore dress and a pair of overalls. I reckon it worked. The pattern is a cross between several I’ve used lately. The fabric is a charcoal almost denim. It has some synthetic component, which I wasn’t seeking. I’ve heard this sort of thing called “travel denim”. So I’ll enjoy the good  it offers (less creasing, faster drying) and try not to buy any more.

.

The front bodice has a big pocket, with a narrow section for pens and things even. It also serves to make the darts less noticeable. The back is narrowed to make the straps sit more securely, and to reduce heat capture. I want to be able to wear this in warm weather as well as cool.

.   IMG_6963

I’m pleased with how the bodice fits. The skirt is just a little fuller than it needs to be. I didn’t crop this picture because I quite liked the accidental composition. Stripes, colours, placement. That’s Rufus the draft excluding fox on the chair. I’m not into stuffed animals but he was a gift from my brother and earns his place by being all of: sentimental, appealing and useful.

.

See, pockets!

.