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Sunday, October 5, 2014

This weeks news...



 This week has been one of those inbetween sewing project type weeks, mainly because I am working on my last assignment for the semester - and it is quite demanding - the subject matter is all new and very important to understand.  On the plus side, I do at least find this assignment interesting:).

What I do in these periods is accept the reality, work out what my main priorities are and fit in sewing around that.  As the weather is warming up, I decided to go through the wardrobe to see what needed altering or revamping.  Two garments did, and two skirts that are never worn are going to the Op Shop.

The dress shown above was made last year from a craft cotton purchased at Spotlight.  This is the original dress:

New Look 6095
I found this a really useful summer dress, but unfortunately the fabric faded quickly.  Spotlight craft cottons aren't good quality.  Luckily I bought the fabric in a sale for $4.00 per metre.  I could have worn the dress as a house dress, but I really like it, so I dyed it.

I used a Dylon dye in colour Jeans Blue: 

It claims to be permanent.  Now, I am a bit wary about dying clothes after my last Dylon dying disaster.  I had a pair of lightweight linen pants, black, that had faded.  I was visiting Adelaide in February, and Adelaide can get really hot then.  So I thought baggy black linen pants would be just right, with a baggy white top.  The mercury was predicted to hit 47degrees C, and did.  Now, I tolerate heat quite well - I don't like it, but I do know how to operate in heat, having lived in Perth and Alice Springs.  Not so the dyed pants.  When I took them off that night, I found my legs and pants were also quite black. Yes, black and streaky.  Mottled black.  All over.  Down to my ankles. Then skintone feet.  Not a colourfast dye it seems.  I decided to bin the pants and learn from the experience. 

So I have been wary of dye ever since.  I decided to live bravely though, and risk another attempt. The fabric does look lovely in this shade:

  

 Now, although Dylon makes a big noise about this dye being new and improved and permanent, guess what?

It isn't colourfast. And although I scoured instructions and the website for any indication that a fixative was needed, there wasn't any suggestion it was needed for this dye.

So now I have a choice.  Wear black or navy underwear or don't wear the dress when it's hot.  Or sacrifice an old bra and do a testrun, or rather test whether the dress runs by wearing it for a test run, on a hot day.

Probably I'll wear black undies.  Which means I have to go on a black bra hunt.  Not my favourite thing.  I looked at what I would need to make them, and decided that making bras is not in my immediate sewing future. - one day, but it seems I need a stash of things like elastics, power net, hooks and sliders, shoulder straps, underwires, underwire casings and so on.

As dye is not cheap at $14.99 a packet, when I finished dying the dress, I decided to dye some fabric that had run when I washed it.  I purchased some black and white knit, and navy and white knit at Spotlight.  Not cheap.  I was miffed when the colours bled during the pre-shrinking.  $25.00 of fabric I liked down the drain, so to speak.

I had kept it, intending to use it for t-shirt muslins.  Then I decided it might look okay dyed.  So I used the rest of the dye tinting this knit.  The results are of course less vibrant, as the dress took up much of the pigment.  But this muted look is just right, and goes with the colour runs - it tones and blends them in nicely:


In fact, I think this colour is a great improvement and will suit me more.  Win!
                                    *****
The other little job I tackled this week was adding pockets to a  RTW summer dressing gown I have had for years:

  While I like this dressing gown, I have never like wearing it as without pockets, where do you put tissues?  And tissues are a standard accoutrement for anyone,who, like me,  suffers from hay fever.  So, finally, I collected the bits - I chose a green homespun to match a lace trim on the arm, and a periwinkle cotton for stitching to match the piping on the gown:

So, finally, after some years of grumbling about the lack of pockets, I did something about it:

And now I have a gown I will more happily wear:

Satisfaction!

Have a great week everyone: 


30 comments:

  1. Best wishes on your studies..
    Like your gown that you added the pockets.. Got to have my pockets..

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    1. Thank you - yes, pockets are essential :)

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  2. Pockets are vital! Nice work with the dyeing, I've never been game to attempt it.

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    1. Aren't they :). Dying is something I risk if I think the odds are worth it :)

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  3. Funny post ~ I can just imagine your blotchy black legs from the first dye experience! And isn't it funny how 2 squares of fabric can make such a difference to the wearability of a dressing gown ~ a definite must-have ... J

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    1. I did hope one or two of you would have a chuckle :).

      Yes, and two pockets make this now a highly wearable garment :)

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  4. I've not tried dyeing fabric yet. I'm scared to! I do like the "new" color of the fabric. And so smart to add pockets!!

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    1. It's hard to believe you are scared of anything sewing related with your jump in, doing to do, attitude :). I'll have to teach you all one day.

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  5. This statement, "What I do in these periods is accept the reality," wise and SO hard to do. I'm learning the hard way...

    I'm glad you were able to get some sewing in. I loathe writing but can do it well if the topic interests me. =)

    I'm scared to dye fabric too because of the risk of the dye not setting and ruining other fabric. After my last fabric bled like crazy just from pre-washing, dying fabric is the last thing I'd want to do!

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    1. Learning always seems to be the hard way, and I've had my share of reality learning, believe you me :) Helps me understand other people's experiences a small amount.

      Yes, colour run is a hazard with dying, but I will make sure to wash this only with black clothes, that way it won't matter. I took this into consideration with this dress. Usually I toss non colour fast material, but I did not want to toss the dress. Ergo, it may be worth the risk :)

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  6. I tried dyeing fabric once, 20 years ago. Never since.

    Glad to hear this assignment is interesting, that does help! Also good to see someone sewing successfully. Reminds me that it is possible, I've had a few waders of late.

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    1. Ohh, I would love to hear the dying story!

      Sorry to hear about the wadders - nothing quite as disheartening as a run of them.

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  7. I can only imagine the horror on of finding your legs streaked black. Bummer. I have dyed clothes with success but have never used Dylon.

    Semester is almost over for you -- that must be exciting. Good luck with the last major push.

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    1. Yes, it was a bit of an Arrggghh moment :) I'd love to know more about your dying efforts one day.

      Yes, can't wait for semester break (and results - maybe not so much!!).

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  8. Good luck with your assignment - it helps when it's interesting. I haven't tried dyeing yet - I've been tempted but I'm too apprehensive, really. I bought my middle daughter a lovely dressing gown in deep purple fleece type fabric, for the cold weather. What I didn't realise was, it had no pockets. She's asked me to add them so I've bought some pink similar fabric. Haven't got around to it yet, though, and I think she's away with the dressing gown now. Oh well.

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    1. Lots of RTW dressing gowns seem to have no pockets - I guess it's more work, and more cost. I hate having to alter or add things - it seems almost easier to start from scratch.

      Dying is quite a skill - I did learn years ago in various classes, but really, I think like any craft, if you are going to do it seriously, you need to be set up for it.

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  9. Great job on the dyeing; it is definitely a clever way to revamp old clothes. And yes, pockets are a necessity. I love wearing clothes with pockets.

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    1. Thank you :). Seems to be a thing with sewers -pockets!

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  10. You are gamer then me I an still too hesitant to try dyeing but it keeps tempting me. Interesting how simple pockets can make a garment perfect.

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    1. Do try one day Sharon, on something that you are not invested in - old t-shirts or garments that have faded and you will not wear are a pretty good way to test the waters, so to speak.

      Pocket perfection - I agree :)

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  11. Yes, definitely need pockets for tissues, and I am a fellow hay-fever sufferer, especially in the mornings. Well done with the dyeing; I tried it years ago with similar disappointing results. Like most crafts, it is appears to be a case of learning the best way and practice.

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    1. I agree, all crafts need knowledge and practice :)

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  12. Always enjoy reading about your 'thought process' in posts like this! Not to mention that you get so much accomplished in your 'in-between' sewing time. Love the pockets too.... nice and deep.... and the story of your dye process. I like your 'new' fabric and garment. Have a good week with your assignment!

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    1. The key to doing things "in-between" is planning - it's amazing what you can do with a few minutes if it is all thought out beforehand :)

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  13. Sarah Liz, you must add a fixative. Can you order from Dharma Trading? They have a good selection of dyes and fixatives...and some article links. I love the new color.

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    1. Thank you for this Mary - I looked at Dharma trading and it looks as though Australia doesn't allow the imports - but I found that a certain fixative agent is what is needed, and have ordered it from Fishpond!

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  14. What an adventure with dyeing! I've never tried it but you've given me something to consider.

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    1. Yes, Mary (see above in comments) has also shared information, so I'll post an update when I have fixed the dye :)

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  15. Hi Sarah! I am surprised by a couple of things...first that you have to pay so much for a packet of dye! I use the exact same dye for my jeans and pay less than $5 for it! That's terrible. The other surprise to me is that the dye runs...I dye my favorite jeans about once a year and haven't had that problem. I do leave them in the dye for a long time and then put them through the wash. Most RTW dark jeans will rub some dye off though, they even warn you of that on the tags.

    Nice save on the fabric, can't wait to see what you so with it!

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    1. Hi Margo -firstly, things are more expensive here, reflecting our wage structure, I think - retail staff get paid a lot more than in the U.S. so these costs get passed on. Also, in Oz it is well known now that we tend to get fleeced by retailers. That is why many of us shop online now and bring it in from overseas. Sometimes it's much cheaper. Thanks for your hints too :)

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