Continuing on from my last post where the #Sewingsansfrontieres team had a challenge going where we made things from bed linen for the Make a Garment a Month sew along, I thought I would use more of the bed skirt from which I made the triangle top.
This time I used the plain part of the bed skirt (the part that sits under the mattress) and dyed it with onion skins and assorted flora from our holiday place.
I mordant with soy milk prior to dyeing and leave the fabric wet from the last dip.
I use a large copper pot over an open fire, and allow the onion skins to circulate with the fabric, which means that they can stick to the fabric, but I don’t mind that, especially if they leave a mark.
I made parcels from fabric which I had cut out into the shapes I wanted to make up and then threw whatever was left over and a piece of random linen in as well. These are my parcels after having sat in the onion water overnight. It should be noted that the fabric is 100% cotton.
I don’t cut the string when I unwrap the parcels, I keep it to use again as I love that it absorbs and releases the colours.
Here are a few closeups showing some of the colours and patterns I managed to get. This sort of dyeing can be hit and miss for me. I tend to cut out the pattern prior to dyeing as I can be sure that I’m not going to waste any of the patterning, and the smaller pieces make it more likely that I will get nice patterning all the way through. Even with this, you can see that the middle of the fabric pieces don’t get much colour compared with the outside.
and a montage showing how those patterns were placed on the garments. Notice the pale sections which were inside the parcels?
I made the tops from Vogue 1653, a 1977 Chloe pattern. One is a kimono sleeved t-shirt, very simple and perfect for this experiment. I also made the vest to go over it, which I love on the pattern, but, as always, the wrap does not suit my very short body.
The top worked well. I love the border effect where the onion skin dye was stronger, and I really like some of the colours I managed to achieve. It’s hard to see the patterning from a distance; it’s very subtle.
A quick note about the shorts. Suzy from @sewing_in_spain alerted me to this free pattern from Purl Soho. They are called the City Gym Shorts and I have to say that they suit my lifestyle perfectly. There are only two pattern pieces and they are extremely simple to make. There is quite a bit of bias binding and I managed to sew it on with one row of stitching by pressing a crease through the middle so that the fabric could just sit into it. These shorts were made from the random scraps I threw in the dye pot with the bundles. Note the much deeper colour as the fabric was allowed to move round freely. I bound them with the tiny scraps of paprika linen left over from my Megan Nielsen Tania culottes, fabric also from Megan Nielsen.
Back view with obligatory stray thread! I really like the contrast in the colours, but looking at this photo, I am going to roll the sleeves up as I don’t like the length of them.
Here it is with the wrap vest over the top. I have to be honest, I don’t think I’ll be wearing this, so it will be turned into something else. Pity as it has miles of home made bias binding in it.
I felt that these shorts were a smidge too big, so I used a bigger seam allowance in the next pair and the fit is much better.
I used the frill part of the bed skirt for this pair so they match my triangle top from the last post. I am really pleased with them and can’t wait for summer to wear them.
I used the reverse side of the fabric for the waistband but decided not to sacrifice more fabric for self-binding so used some vintage cotton bias from my stash. It’s a bit narrow which makes me a nervous about its ability to cling on to the raw edge of the fabric, but I like the strong contrast.
I had a few random triangles left over from my extension to the back of the top, so I fashioned them into a pocket which perfectly fits my phone. I will wear this outfit for walking in the summer and I do like somewhere to put my phone.
I still have a section of the patterned part of the bedskirt left, and have plans for it, but I have tiny scraps only of the onion dyed cotton left, so I’m really happy with that. This bed skirt cost me 50 cents at the op shop, and I think I’ve done it justice. Each outfit has cost me a few cents and I’ve made things I love and will wear a lot (except for the vest, which I shall find a use for), and I have the #sewoutofbed challenge on Instagram to thank for giving me the shove I needed to make these.