Monday, November 5, 2018

Seasonal Changes

It is finally autumn here in the southeastern part of the US. And it feels a bit like we're heading into winter quickly. It always feels that way because I love the feel and look of fall and want it to stay a while.

Twice a year, I move my clothes from one closet to another. It is always a good time to assess the items I'm not wearing or items that need mending. And I find myself enjoying the making of small tweaks in a few items.

First up is this black cotton shirt with white sashiko, constructed 2 years ago. It is made in a medium weight cotton that feels a bit like washed linen. I traced the pattern while at Sew Kansas. It has never been published by the Sewing Workshop.

This neckline is not part of the pattern. I adapted it from the Egyptian shirt from Folkwear.
I like it a lot and have worn it often. Black pants; black top; done. No surprise that is began to look quite washed out after a number of washings. And I have all this black walnut juice around, so I thought, why not?

But I did not want to dye the white sashiko so I removed it. I let the top soak in a solution of black walnut juice and iron water for several days, simmering it on the stove from time to time. I think it did get a bit blacker. Afterwards I restitched the sashiko. Yes, I did. Who does that?!?

Next up was an unlined version of the the Sewing Workshop Tremont jacket. I have used this pattern more than once. It's a charming pattern, I think, with its asymmetrical fronts, set-in sleeves, and face-framing collar. This one was constructed using a hefty loosely-woven cotton ikat. I added some red accents that got in my way when I actually wanted to wear it. And it really should have been lined from the get-go.

I now see that the red accents are just about invisible. sigh.
So I removed the red accents and lined it. I used a soft light-weight cotton Ikat for lining the body and rayon Ambiance for the sleeves. I really like the weight of it now.

I also added a new closure using remnants from another cotton ikat project. I created frog knots per Sandra Betzina and simple loops on the other side.

And then I decided I didn't like that and removed the closures. Jeez.

Last weekend I signed up for an indigo dip at my local recreation center. I looked around and saw this nice white top I made with a French pattern, the Cezembre. I had already adjusted it once, as the cotton shirting was too tightly woven for the sleeves to fit smoothly into the armscye.

Cezembre before
I tried to create a gradiated indigo color with the darkest portion at the bottom. It was impossible (for me) to keep the upper portion white, so I dipped it all. I'm pretty happy with this color. I do love indigo blue.

Cezembre after
Ah, well. Two steps forward, three steps back. It's all about the joy of working with cloth in my hands.


  1. WOW! What a great refresher to those items!!!

  2. "It's all about the joy of working with cloth in my hands" - a wonderful statement and I totally understand. You make lovely clothes

  3. Wow, I'm impressed. I never would have taken the shashiko out and then restitched. Then again, I would not redyed it in the first place. Your garments are beautiful!