Friday, June 14, 2019

Dye Removal

In a recent post, I mentioned a white blouse that had been ruined by bleeding red dye from another garment in the wash. It left pink splotches in various places on the shirt. I tried spot remover. Then I tried washing it with a dye catcher. Neither worked. I figured I would just dye it.

Ah, but you, dear readers, saved the white shirt!

There were several good suggestions. The first one I tried worked. I'm so pleased.

Barb made a winning suggestion and pointed me to a site with more detail. Thanks, Barb!

It's a tip from the quilting world. I soaked my blouse in very hot water with some Dawn dish washing detergent and left it overnight. When I pulled it out, all the dye was gone! I washed it with some sheets to remove any remaining detergent and it is perfect. Or as perfect as it ever was.

Barb pointed me to details on this here.

There were some other worthy suggestions. I had planned to try each one, but no need.

beckster suggested Rite Dye Remover and fadanista suggested a soda ash soak.

Thanks to you all! Sewers are the best.

West End Revisited

The first time I made these pants I was not happy with the look. I felt dumpy in them so it almost didn't matter how they really looked. Not to be defeated so easily, I made them into a skirt. I never wore that skirt and it disappeared at some point. Then I made them in linen and liked them better, mostly because I raised the hemline.

Just realized that they are culottes, not pants. I shortened them by 4 inches and poof - culottes. In my mind. If I had known they were culottes, I might have liked them better.

I like them now, at least this particular pair. I made them in a black rayon-linen blend (not Brussels Washer - more rayon than linen). It was easy to sew and I really like the fit quite a lot. The fabric has just enough drape to suit this pattern, I think.

Since this is the summer of dresses for me, I'll wear culottes too.

And the pockets are sooooo cute.

I think I'll make them again, maybe full length in silk. I think that would work!

I've also been packing for a mission trip to Belize (a.k.a. British Honduras from my youth). I am one of 4 chaperones for eleven 15- and 16-year-olds. I'm a little nervous, as I am more of a grandmother figure. But I pride myself on being low-maintenance. This trip should test that myth belief. I figured that out when I read that we are to bring our own sheets and towels and we must be able to climb and carry all our belongings. Oh my!

I may take these culottes. They are certainly comfortable and shouldn't be as hot as long pants will be. I have packed a pair of shorts, but, oh, my - shorts. Necessity dictates I wear them.

Using up some nervous energy, I made 3 bags yesterday.

This is going to be my watercolor and sketching bag. It's made of a stiff cotton canvas and trimmed with some selvage gifted to me at a sewing retreat.

I lined it with some quilt cotton.

Or this one might be my watercolor and sketching bag. It's made from a piece of fabric I free-motion quilted in a class - I need lots more practice. I had to hide some of the big goofs with little patches.

I also made a weight-less nylon back pack. Although this nylon is not waterproof, I'm hoping it'll dry quickly. It's the rainy season in Belize.

So here goes nothing!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A Little Alabama

When BSF and I visited the Alabama Chanin store in Florence AL, I decided I wanted to make a simple knit dress.

Maybe I was inspired by the adorable young woman who waited on us. She wore a high-low hemmed black knit dress and a black shrug. And she described how she had just started on her wedding gown, designed in total AC style. Oh my.

Or maybe I was a little inspired by the local college girl, modeling AC dresses for an upcoming fashion show.

Maybe I was inspired by the store, classroom and workroom (no pictures allowed in there).

The AC store front is not too inspiring, is it?
But mostly I was inspired by pure Alabama Chanin knits, chocked full of hand-sewing, mesmerizing and seductive. They have a newer line that is machine made but, of course, the hand-sewn pieces are the main event, IMO. Garments sell for lots of $$$, as they should. Many hours and lovely materials go into their construction

I purchased 2 yards of dark navy blue. It's so dark that black thread is the best match in my stash of threads. Yikes it was expensive - $26 per yard, maybe? I've blocked it. It is organically grown a stone's throw from my birthplace, processed into knit yardage and dyed, all here in the USA. So it's expensive. This makes sense.

The pattern is the Swing Tee extended into a dress, as described in a tutorial from the Sewing Workshop. I followed the tutorial fairly closely on my first version of this, including the interesting pockets invisible in this print.

I was short on fabric for the 2nd one, so no pockets at all.

And on this 3rd one, I decided on patch pockets.

I added some AC touches to it though it's not full-on AC style. The leaves are hand-drawn using a white gel pen. Then I placed patches of off-white AC knit behind the drawn leaves in order to stitch and cut out the reverse appliques.

I also added some sashiko outlines to the neckline and sleeve edges.

The process is fun but a little hard on my thumb, for some reason. It's a little harder to push the needle through two layers of this cotton knit than I expected.

By AC standards, this is plain. I think it'll work for me just fine. I've worn the other two quite a lot. Yep, this must be the summer of dresses for me.

There has been a bit of other sewing going on. I made a ga-zillion (made=serged) napkins for Pentecost Sunday at my church.

And then there were left-overs just begging to become a rope bowl. Creating these makes me unreasonably happy.

Makers gotta make. Sewers gotta sew. Right?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Some Rehab

Me-Made-May generates the urge to rehab old clothes, for me. I've learned through social media that I am not alone. Here are a few of my recent rehab projects.

First up is this San Diego shirt. The pattern is from the Sewing Workshop (TSW), of course. The fabric is a wonderful silk-linen blend that I bought at Textile Fabric in Nashville TN many years ago. I love this shirt but it tended to pull open across the bust line. The one button holds it closed and there is a wide placket that extends to just under my bust. You can just see the top-stitching on that placket.

I simply sewed a rectangle of top-stitching above the bottom of the placket up past the bust line. Voila! Problem solved. And it still slips over my head.

This next one was a little more complicated but the final fix was super simple. It's a Zen shirt (from Now and Zen by TSW) made in my one-and-only Liberty of London piece of fabric. Zen is the one with the double collar.

The day I made this, I wanted to try to imitate the placket and cuff on David Coffin's book cover.

Unlike Coffin's lovely shear linen shirt, mine renders all that work invisible. More importantly I miscalculated the length of the sleeves and they were always too long. That's not a problem I usually have and it's not immediately obvious how to fix it without re-cutting the sleeve.

My first thought was to fold up a pleat or two above the placket before reattaching the under cuff. Since it is full-on summer here in Atlanta, I changed my mind. I cut off the plackets, gathered the sleeves onto a simple cuff.

For the new cuff, I used a cool Japanese remnant from a previous shirt, rather than the left-over cuff. Now the sleeves are 3/4 length.

I really like this slightly more feminine detail with such feminine fabric. And I balanced it a bit with the square on back.

Next was a white shirt made up in TSW's Liberty shirt. There were stains, probably tea.

I tried and tried to remove them to no avail.

The pin marks the top-most stain on the offending sleeve.

I brought this project with me to NH for a visit with DS and family. I knew I would have a good bit of free time. They let me set up a little work area in DS's guest room.

I had some remnants but none long enough for a new sleeve. If I cut and hemmed both sleeves at the place of the highest stain, then the sleeves would have been an awkward length. So I added these cuffs.

I can wear it with the cuffs down, but I prefer them up.

My original make included a self-drafted stand collar. It was always just a little too tall, especially for warm weather. So I opened up the top of the collar and shortened it about 1/2". You know, it's the little things...

I am quite happy with the result. I hope to wear this white blouse a few more times before I stain it with something else.

I have one more white shirt in need of rehab. I accidentally washed it with some red PJs that I had washed multiple times before. There was some free-floating dye and it attached in a number of places, staining more than one piece of the garment.

It's all across the shoulder, extending to the sleeve and front. This one will get dyed. Someday.

I also gave myself a little rehab.


After. I'm too lazy today to apply make-up.