Sunday, 25 October 2015

Fabric dyeing experiments: Flour Paste

 In the last couple of days of my summer holidays way back in September I decided that I wanted to make a Papercut Patterns Waver jacket. And it had to be purple. I didn't have any purple fabric in the stash so I decided that it would be cheaper to dye some white fabric that I already had. And then I thought, why not make this extremely complicated, but also 100 times more interesting? So I did some research on different dyeing techniques and this tutorial on how to make a flour paste crackle effect caught my eye. It looked very cool and I decided to give it a try on a much larger scale, doing it with 1.5m of fabric, rather than 20cm.
I did make a small sample first just to check that it worked. I used fabric paint instead of dye, because it was on a much smaller scale. It looked pretty cool so I went full steam ahead with the real fabric.
I laid the fabric out on top of a ground sheet and some plastic sheeting and held it down with various things that were lying around. I then made a huge bowl of flour and water paste and set to it. It took quite a few bowls of flour paste to cover all of the fabric. Then I left it to dry.
When it was dry, I crushed it into a ball and started stamping all over it to get it to crack. The more cracks you have, the more dye you will be able to see. I did try using sandpaper but that was a bad idea because it wore holes in the fabric.
When you are done, it should look something like this:
Then it was time for dyeing. I used 2 sachets of purple dye from Harrison and Dunn. The colour in the end turned out to be a pretty light purple, so perhaps I should have left it in for longer. After dying it's time to rinse all of the excess dye out and all of the flour paste off. I had a friend over at this point and it took FOREVER. Mind you, there was a lot of fabric to be de-pasted. After we were sure that all of the paste was gone, we stuck it in the washing machine, hung it on the washing line and it was done!
I think it turned out so well! I'm super happy, and can't wait to make a Waver jacket with it. I had so much fun dyeing the fabric, and I can't wait to do more experiments in the future!
Thanks so much for reading, and to Meghan for standing in front of the sink with me for hours trying to get all of that paste out!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Floral Jersey Kielo Wrap Dress

Hello all! It's time for another Minerva Crafts project. Today I have to share with you my new favourite dress. It's so easy to wear and I never fail to recieve compliments when wearing it. If that doesn't make it a winner, I don't know what does.
The pattern I used was Named's Kielo wrap dress, which consists of 2 pattern pieces which are sewn together at shoulders and side seams and is then wrapped however you like. I've demonstrated how it looks unwrapped below. It was the first time I've used an overlapped pattern that needed tracing which I found fairly confusing, but sorted out in the end. 
I tend to wrap it across the front, bring the ties round the back and then knot them in the front, although you can also wear it unwrapped with the ties tied loosely in the back. I found that the underside of the wrap sometimes peeks out so I topstitched down the side seam to try and keep it at bay.
The pattern states that knit or woven fabrics can be used, and a used a beautiful knit that is both classy and comfortable. It's a fairly lightweight fabric and is silky smooth to the touch. I wouldn't know it was polyester by the feel of it. It drapes beautifully for the dress and the colour palette is all my favourites in one! Clear elastic was used to stabilize the shoulders and neckline.
Kielo is of course a maxi dress, but I decided that a shortened version would get a lot more wear. I eliminated the split at the center back because I can move perfectly fine without it. Because I was working with a knit, I finished the neckline with a band instead of turning it under. I turned the armholes under as specified in the instructions and regretted it. Next time, I'll do bands for the armholes as well. I also eliminated all of the darts because there didn't seem much point doing them with a knit fabric.
I think that's pretty much all I have to say about this dress! Thanks very much to Minerva Crafts for providing the materials for this dress and to Matt for taking blog photos for me!
Lauren xx

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Dotty Ginger Jeans

Hello all! I made some new jeans, and they are awesome. I seem to be going through a trouser phase and these jeans have been fulfilling my trouser needs perfectly. 
I used Heather's Ginger Jeans pattern again, this time sticking to the skinny leg. I love my flares, but I needed some skinny jeans for variety. I added 1 inch to the waist so they would be more highwaisted on me, but I would add even more next time as they still don't quite sit at my natural waist.
The fabric is a lovely stretch denim from Goldhawk Road, and 1.5m cost me £9. The dots were originally white, but in the pre-wash they turned a shade of light blue. Maybe one of those colour catchers would have prevented that? The slightly stretchier nature of the fabric means that they are more comfortable to wear than my flares. Because of this I made no changes to the pattern, although the legs were too tight last time, but that was a mistake. The legs came out too tight again at the knee, so I unpicked and sewed with a teeny tiny seam allowance. Next time, add some extra room at the knee!
I didn't have any top-stitching thread on hand, so I just used a navy regular thread and didn't make much of a feature of it. I used a contrasting floral for the waistband but really should have stuck with the denim, because it peeks out at the side of the fly. The pocket bags were cut out from scraps of gingham that I had lying around. All raw edges were overlocked. I didn't do flat-felled seams this time around.
As soon as I find some more denim I'm going to make some more, because these have been such a workhorse over the last couple of weeks. And I need some new tops to wear with them! As always, thanks very much for reading and to Edward for taking the pictures!!
Lauren xx