The fabric for this top was dyed during the Fibres West Retreat I attended in July, and was a pillowcase in its previous life. It was a pretty fancy pillowcase with lines of pintucks, some of which had come adrift and I discovered that I don’t have a pintucking foot so had to do the repairs the old fashioned way, which is not recommended. The pillowcase had also seen better days with the odd tear scattered through the fabric.
I didn’t use it for anything whilst I was on the retreat, but I did dye it whilst I was there, using a few eucalyptus twigs, steaming it in a pot of Marri bark which had come from our block, and I think I wrapped it round a piece of rusty rebar.
I so loved some of the detail I got and knew I couldn’t waste it. This is probably my favourite little bit and I had to do some visible mending because the fabric was pretty worn. However, I rather like all those stitching holes and patches.
I think I got this really good definition because I was able to roll it up really tightly with the aid of another participant.
I had the smallest amount of fabric as this was a really little pillowcase, so I had to hunt for a pattern that I could modify to make a cropped top. I had half a metre if I was lucky and used Vogue 8062, view B, which is a simple t-shirt with grown on short sleeves which I’ve had since 1990. I had to use bias binding on all the hems as I just didn’t have enough fabric to turn proper hems. The pattern has no darts or shaping so it was perfect for this fabric.
I was pleased to be able to wear this top today, in spite of the wintery weather, teamed with my merino ruched collar top and velvet jeans.
The back view isn’t quite as pretty as the front but I still really like it.
Little successes like this really feed my interest in natural dyeing and I think that I am going to do some linen next.
39 thoughts on “Pillowcase to dyed top”
You’re so sweet Sofia!
Smashing make, it looks terrific
thank you so much Christine!
This is a lovely top, and a great simple pattern to showcase the fabric.
Thank you Nicola, that is exactly what I was intending.
I love the results of your fabric dying experiments. Do you have links to sources on the techniques you have described.
I have multiple books and basically scour the web. I might have to do a post on resources. The problem is that many of the techniques are location specific. Where do you live?
Toowoomba, Southern Qld. I have a bush block too, so have access to similar resources.
Ah. There are a couple of Australian books. I shall find the names for you.
Natural Plant Dyes. Most books only talk about wool, which is a pain. The internet is a great source of info of course, and there are a couple of good Facebook groups – Printing Botanicals and Eco-dye-print-create.
Sorry, the book is by Judith Hallett. There is another one but I’ll have to find it.
Neat. She is local. I may even be able to take class. They sound like fun.
Oh, now I’m jealous!
Yes, this is the book you need to get.
Yes, I have some books. I have one on natural dyes, but it is British, so plants and mordants are not so helpful.
Besides the mosses, lichens, leaves, etc that you mention, we have weeds with bright berries, ochre rich rocks,
Is it the eco-dye-print-create that have info on the processes that create your wonderful results?
Also red cochineal beetle on prickly pear cactus.
Gorgeous. The dying experiment really turned out stunning. I love the visible mending too.
I am a big fan of visible mending!!
What a lovely pintuck top with a nice story behind and dyed so well! I think I like it most of your self dyed garments. Linen, too, would be gorgeous dyed like this!
Yes, I’m desperate to dye a big piece of linen! Thank you SaSa!
Great use of a tiny amount of fabric. As an aside, can you imagine the ridges in your face after sleeping on a pintucked pillow?
Lol, thought the same thing myself. I think this is a throwback to that time when pillows took up half the bed and had to be chucked on the floor when one wished to sleep!
Those little Eucalyptus flower prints are gorgeous. This is definitely a win!
thanks Meg, I really like this funny little top!
You are just having too much fun with these eco prints aren’t you Sue?! This one is just gorgeous with the visible mending and that exquisite little gumnut print. So precious.
Thanks so much Frances, although I’ve just looked at your beautiful paper and feel very inadequate!
What a great result! The flowers are really visible! I’m glad you were are to squeeze a top out of this little piece of fabric, the world needs to see this print! 🙂
You are so sweet Katharina, I am just hoping that I can somehow replicate this on better fabric.
Your dying adventures are such a joy to read with another beautiful and unique piece of clothing to show.. And your shoes: They are so gorgeous and a perfect match.
This is really pretty! It’s almost as if you painted the fabric yourself by hand – I think I can see a cat’s eye and a butterfly’s wing amongst the branches – now isn’t that poetic!!!
That is so poetic! Some of the sections almost look like a photograph. I really like it and can’t wait to do more.
This is such a cute top, the style and the dye are so much better here on the blog than on instagram. I love it.
Thanks so much Sharon, and it smells like the bush!
This one is right up my street! I love the little detail that almost looks like a face peering around the pin tuck. The repairs give it almost a boro feel.
I love this one too and can’t wait for spring so that I can wear it regularly. It has made the drawer smell amazing.