Wednesday, April 9, 2014

project run & play week 3 - design your own fabric

Let me just start out by saying that I don't design my own fabric!  I figure there are so many sources for beautiful fabric that is already well designed and ready to sew that there is really no need to make my own :)  But challenges are always fun, so I decided to play along anyway.


And then I decided to play along some more and made not one but two shirts.  And although I didn't change the fabric much for the second one, it's perhaps a bit more my style!


I found this beautiful organic bamboo french terry knit (in one of my overstuffed filing turned fabric cabinets!) and decided I would make the entire outfit from this single piece of fabric.


I started with a self drafted pattern for the sweatshirt.  I've been wanting to make Mae a slouchy, oversized sweatshirt tunic for a while, and had even drafted a pattern several weeks ago but then never got any further than that.  So I dug out the pattern pieces ... like seriously dug them out.  I have no idea how things can get so buried in just a matter of weeks :)


I decided to try my hand at tie dying which is something I have not done since a rather botched attempt when I was about six :)  I googled how to tie dye a heart shape and found some generic directions but then ended up just trying my own method instead, which, much to my surprise, actually worked pretty well.  I'll try to throw together a basic tutorial later this week.


I've always been fascinated with natural dying techniques, so instead of store bought dye I pulled my tin of turmeric out of my cupboard.  I added about 1/4 cup to about 3 gallons of water, brought it to a boil and then removed it from the heat.  I dipped my bamboo fabric in cold water, wrung it out and then put it in to the turmeric bath.  I let it soak for about 30 minutes and ended up with a very vivid yellow color.  So to tone it down a bit I immediately tossed it in the washing machine with a bit of Tide powder.  Then it turned dark pumpkin orange!  Apparently the turmeric and Tide react with each other and produce some kind of chemical reaction that I should probably understand since I took several years of Chemistry :)  Fortunately after two rinses I ended up with this lovely warm yellow color.


After I sewed all the pieces together I still felt like something was missing so I individually attached gold sequins to the front.  I figured my kids love bling so it would probably be a big hit whether I liked it or not :)  And by this point in time I was so far out of my comfort zone anyway with the tie dying that a few sequins certainly weren't going to change anything! 


After the tie dying adventure I moved on to the pants.  I grabbed the Hosh Pants pattern by Lou Bee Patterns (which is great BTW) and cut out a size 18 months with the 2T length.  Then I used painters tape and fabric paint to create 1 1/2" stripes.  Other than the time it took to dry the whole process was quick and simple!


Since I wasn't sure if I actually liked the tie dyed top at first, I opted to make one more tunic, this time using the Nessie Top pattern from Craftiness is Not Optional.  I made a size 3T since I wanted a loose fit and used the colorblock bodice option so I could add some embellishment.  I pulled out the sequins again and this time just attached them in a basic grid pattern.


The only changes I made to the pattern were to widen the sleeve a bit and to add little side vents along the hem.  I loved the shape of the rest of the pattern too much to make any changes to it ... at least this time!  This top is much more representative of my usual style and will probably get worn more often than the first one, but I really do like them both.  And, just as a side note, I am now jealous of my two year old because I really want this second top for myself :)


Materials:
Fabric - Bamboo French Terry from Nature's Fabrics
Sequins - Joann's
Boots - H&M

18 comments :

  1. how fun! I love that you used Tumeric. I have thought about using beets, every time I do any cooking with them my fingers turn red!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was going to try beets as well one of these days. I hate the taste of them anyway, so I might as well dye something with them :)

      Delete
  2. Oh gosh - I love both looks! Awesome job - and they look so comfy! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Comfy is exactly what I was going for! Thanks!

      Delete
  3. I didn't realise you did the stripes until I read it. Great job! I love your style.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Magda! The stripes were by far the easier part. I can actually see myself doing something like that again :)

      Delete
  4. I love how this doesn't look hand dyed. It's very polished looking. I never would have guessed about the turmeric and stripes.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love both shirts! And great job with the dyes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sara! I think the dye was just beginner's luck :)

      Delete
  6. Oh, the outfit's great! Sounds like fun :) And it does look very professional.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It was kind of fun although I'm not sure I would want to do it again :)

      Delete
  7. Ahhhhhhh dorable! I love this whole ensemble! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah! I love the Hosh Pants pattern!

      Delete
  8. adorable! all of it!! (but I'm partial to the nessie, lol!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jess! The Nessie is a great pattern :)

      Delete
  9. This is so good and it definitely looks professionally dyed! I love the little leggings. So adorable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ajaire! I still think it's beginner's luck. I'm sure if I tried again it wouldn't come out at all :)

      Delete