Friday, August 05, 2011

August and Autumn start the same way

The first days of August have begun with heavy fog. It's not that delightful sharp-edged winter mist which drapes over the valley in feathery swathes like an image from Lord of The Rings, it's a dank, cold, thick fug. Guaranteed to turn my hair into a fuzzy ball and cause my car to stop and start, stop and start all the way down the farm road. It's enough to give me Seasonal Affective Disorder!

But it's a definite warning that autumn is on its way. Time to put away the patterns for cute halter-neck tops and check the stash for tweeds.

I remember purging my wardrobe when I performed the Seasonal Switchover. I already know that I need to replenish my stock of thermal vests. But I think I need a more planned approach to my cold-weather wear. I know that I need layers... so maybe I should sew items that are intended to be worn one on top of the other, but which still work independently?

The latest Wrap catalogue came through the letterbox the other day. I haven't bought anything from them for years, because they suddenly developed a very beige aesthetic and multiplied their prices by a factor of 4. But this time, a few intriguing pieces caught my eye.

Exhibit A: Long sleeved peter pan double-collared blouse with matching camisole undergarment: Liv, £79. Also in khaki or purple.

Through the joy of the zoom facility, I can see that the back frill, camisole and under-collar are a plain-weave fabric, while the body, sleeves and upper collar layer are in a fabric close to a dobby dot. I suspect that it was dyed after it was sewn together.

Ooh! I still have a large piece of white swiss-dot leftover from my Portfolio blouse, and plain white cotton isn't hard to find. I could make something very similar and over-dye it with that interesting murky brown dye I found in the kitchen drawer the other day!

Which brings me to Exhibit B: The over-dyed linen jersey lace sampler top, Kristy, £55

I have never seen linen jersey for sale by the yard, but Wrap seems to be keeping the factory in business this season. This one has stripes of different laces hooping the body. They also do a very simple lace-edged tee in this fabric.

By dye-ing the garents after they are made, all the trims match perfectly - well, duh! I can learn from this!

So I have two inspirations whirling round my head right now:

(1) To take a series of natural, differently-textured fabrics and trims, sew them into a set of layered garments, then overdye-ing them all the same colour.

(2) To take a single fabric and sew several mix-and-match tops that can be layered over each other, dye-ing some and leaving others natural.

What do you think? It's worth a try!

P.S. have you seen Colette pattern's autumn sneak peek? Could it be that they are going to release the pattern for the perfect Capri pants? And a boat neck dress? Swoon!


ashley0107 said...

I've never dyed anything before, and had never thought about dying a sewing project! Go for it, I can't wait to see how it turns out :)
Ashley x

Anna said...

It will depend on what your trims and fabric are made of and what colour they are to begin with whether it will all match after dyeing it after making it. Some fabric takes dye better than others and laces will tend to have synthetics in them which won't hold dye at all.

I know there are expensive dyes that claim to dye any fibre but your bog standard Dylon just won't do it! I've dyed twill with cotton knit in the washing machine together, all 100% cotton and bright white only for the fabrics to come out completely different shades that don't match each other!

Anyway, the garments look lovely so I can't wait to see them made up and I hope your dyeing experiences are good, I love the magic of changing the colour of something!

Roobeedoo said...

Good advice Anna! I think I will start on a small scale and test-dye my fabric and trims on a camisole.

Minnado said...

The dyeing experiment sounds interesting. Maybe you already know this but, There is a company called George Weil Fibrecrafts who specialise in materials for craft dyers, spinners, weavers, papermakers etc. They have someinteresting and (I would think)good quality dyes. Their catalogue is fascinating to me. I use them for papermaking supplies and find the customer service excellent. Just a thought for you. Here is the link:
Also I was looking (and drooling a bit)at the plumo sale online yesterday. have you seen it? Don't know why but I thought of you!

blue hands said...

Once again someone has beaten me to it with advice about not assuming that if you dye things together they will come out the same colour. You also need to be careful with your thread. I thought I was giving a white skirt a wonderful new lease of life by dyeing it bottle green only to find that the polyester thread stayed white, so I had hideous white top stitching all over a green skirt. xx

Roobeedoo said...

Oh no - thanks for the warning re polyester thread! Maybe I need to dye the fabric and then sew it togerther with matching thread...?

Amy said...

This is going to be a fun project to watch you work on! You've got some great advice already! I was going to mention the poly thread problem. I'd probably dye everything first--that way you can be sure how it's all going to turn out and then sew it together with matching thread. It also doesn't hurt to dye small samples for practice.

christinelaennec said...

I'm intrigued by seeing how you are taking inspiration and working out your own way to create a garment. I have no advice to offer at all, but am rooting for you!

Saffi said...

My local fabric shop had some linen jersey last time I was in there. It's called Fabrics Galore and is in south west London. They don't sell things online but might be able to take an order by phone.

Roobeedoo said...

Saffi - thank you! I have read a lot of good things about that shop around the blogs - I might make a list and ring them up! ;)

Saffi said...

If you don't have any luck ordering by phone, let me know. I'm happy to take a parcel to the post office for you, and it's certainly no hardship to visit the shop!

Scruffybadger said...

I'm going to watch & learn! All I knew about dying was the polyester thread issue from when I used to play around with dylon machine dye. But I have seen a few bloggers showing off their dying achievements & I absolutely love the garments that you have picked as inspiration! By the way - I thought the same as you when I saw the Colette blog!