Tie dyed and block printed skirt and top

 

AW Tie Dye Skirt 3

AW Tie Dye Top 2

AW Tie Dye Skirt 4

 

I had been meaning to dye and decorate these for ages – a white T shirt and very pale denim skirt (white to pale blue dip die effect).

I used one of the old multipurpose Dylon dies in the washing machine (they now have an alternative formulation for natural fabrics such as cotton). I really didn’t spend a lot of time. I decided where I wanted the motifs and made a small mark with chalk. I placed a chop stick tip behind the placement mark and made a sort of tent shape. Then I simply wrapped it with elastic bands and pulled out the stick. I found this a really quick and easy method. I then dyed in the washing machine with salt (according to packet directions). I love the way that the polyester stitching didn’t pick up the die – nice design detail.

AW Tie Die Skirt 1

AW Tie Dye Top 1

Looking at the results the rings reminded my somewhat of floating jelly fish so I decided to block print and create a sort of ‘under the sea’ theme.

I over printed the design using iron fix fabric paints and printing blocks from Colouricious.

Upcycled skirt and top, dyed and block printed ready for summer

AW Upcycled printed skirt 1AW Upcycled printed skirt 2

Good morning. I have been doing a little more fabric dyeing and block printing of my clothes ready for summer. This one started off as a plain white skirt. It was a bargain charity shop buy at just £2 – but white is simply not me.

The fabric is 100% cotton with a fine metallic thread running through it at intervals – perfect for dyeing. I dyed it Flamingo Pink (Dylon) using the washing machine. Then I block printed with fabric paint and wooden print blocks (Blockwallah and Colouricious). Ta Da – a lovely revamped skirt ready for summer.

 

I also picked up another £2 bargain which started off as a pale pink knitted top. I dyed it in the same batch and it turned out fabulous. It was mainly viscose but also had a synthetic fibre component. You can see in the close up that it came out with a lovely mottled effect as the synthetic fibre remained undyed.

AW Dyed pink top

AW Dyed top pink 1

Upcycled and dyed polyester blouse

AW Blouse Before

AW Blouse After

Good morning. I am sharing an upcycled blouse which I dyed with old iron fix silk paints that were past their best. I got the blouse in a charity shop for just £2. I loved the style but I really am not a ‘cream blouse girl’. The blouse was 100% polyester which is generally difficult to colour – you really need to use specialist dyes for polyester or iron transfer paints (which you paint onto paper then iron to transfer the colour). However, I have found that iron fix fabric paints will stain polyester permanently. They are best watered down – otherwise most can leave a stiff finish on the fabric, especially sheer fabrics such as this blouse.

Sorting through my stash I found some very old silk paints (fluid formula) which were really past their best and they had some precipitation. They were no longer suitable for fine silk painting work. However, they are perfect for this sort of job. I find it best to pick up colour with a very damp sponge and simply dab it over the fabric allowing it to blend. Thicker iron fix paints, and even standard acrylic paints, also work well provided they are diluted out. Results are not predictable but that is the joy of this sort of project.

When finished I allowed the blouse to dry overnight. I also put it through a tumble dryer cycled (hot iron not suitable for this fabric). I then machine washed (virtually no colour came out in the wash).

Delighted with my new blouse.

Tiered Maxi Skirt made from a recycled bed sheet

AW Tiered Maxi Skirt 2

AW Tiered Maxi Skirt 4

AW Tiered Maxi Skirt 5

AW Tiered Maxi Skirt 6

 

 

Good afternoon. I am sharing a skirt that I made from an old double bed white sheet. I dyed the background and made up this simple tiered skirt. I simply measured my hips and cut the width of the top tier so that I could pull it on easily with an elasticated top band. I then added tiers of increasing width (approx. 1.5 to 2X the width of the previous tier). I used a remnant of embroidered fabric for the bottom frill.

Before adding the elastic to the waist I machine embroidered rows of decorative stitching and flourishes. I then block printed with various designs and heat set to make permanent. Summer here we come.

Materials:

White cotton double bed sheet, cotton ribbon for trim (dyed with sheet) and remnant of turquoise embroidered chiffon

Dylon multipurpose dye. This is now discontinued but they have a new formulation that is equivalent for use on natural fabrics (dyed in washing machine).

Madiera Rayon embroidery thread – variegated golds and browns

Wooden printing blocks:

Owl (Blockwallah), small leaves, floral sprig, daisy flower, leafy spiral (Colouricious), paisley and floral Border (unknown brand)

High density foam mat – to lay underneath as block print (Colouricious)

Fabric paints – heat set with iron (to make permanent):

White Gold Starlights Fabric Paint (Imagination Crafts), Chestnut Brown Multipurpose Satin Paint (Martha Stewart), Turquoise blue mixed to match fabric – Opaque White (Jacquard), Metallic Turquoise and Blue (Vallejo from Colouricious)

Crochet scarf embellished with Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die cut flowers

AW Crochet Scarf

AW crochet Scarf Close 3

AW Crochet Scarf Close 1

 

I embellished this plain scarf with die cut flowers as a gift for a friend – she was delighted.

I used Tim Holtz Tattered Florals BigZ die to cut flowers from felt. I chose pastel colours and used the smallest of the flowers to give a delicate and pretty spring feel which co-ordinated with the soft and delicate yarn. I stitched them in place with a small sequin and seed bead in the centre to give a little shimmer.

Cufflinks created from vintage brass buttons revamped with Pebeo Prisme and Moon paints

AW Cufflinks

 

Good evening. I thought that you might like to see some cufflinks that I created from vintage brass buttons decorated using speciality Prisme and Moon paints from Pebeo. I love these paints. Perfect for upcycling these plain buttons.

Patchwork Bag Created from Vintage Fabric Lyon Silk Samples

I made this bag a little while ago but thought that I would share. A friend gave me a lovely fabric pattern book of samples containing beautiful embroidered vintage silks from Lyon (c 1960’s ?).

Stunning fabric samples but how was I going to use lots of smaller offcuts? I decided to create a patchwork bag. I hope that you like it.

vintage bag Finished

Firstly I cut out 22 X 4.5 inch squares using a quilting ruler and rotary cutter. Every square was a different combination of background and embroidery colour, many with a cream background and others with a variety of pastel colours. The embroidery also varied from pastel shades through to intense browns, greys and purples. I laid them all out to decide how best to combine them together. I also decided to alternate the embroidered flower orientation – just thought it looked better.

Vintage bag layout

Next I joined rows of the squares stitching with a quarter inch seam allowance, creating 4 inch finished patchworked square blocks. I stitched them on my overlocker to ensure that the seams were well finished and edges enclosed. Silk can fray easily and I needed it to be hard wearing for a bag. Many domestic sewing machines will also have a version of an overlock stitch for finishing the seams.

Looking at the picture I joined the top left squares to create a row of 2 blocks. Working down from the top left I then stitched a row of 4 squares, then 2 rows of 5 squares, another row of 4, and finally a row of 2 squares from the bottom right. Next I joined the rows lining up the seams to ensure neat aligned junctions where the points of the squares join.

Vintage bag quilting in progress

To make the patchwork fabric more robust and stable to function as a bag I then pinned it to some cotton curtain interlining (think it is called cotton bump) and added quilting. I used a variegated embroidery rayon and quilted swirling contour patterns following the outline shape of the embroidered elements. To achieve this I dropped the feed dogs on my machine and used free machine embroidery/quilting with a fine polyester thread in my bobbin.

Vintage bag quilting in progress 1

On the upper left of the pic is a sneak peak of some other embroidered fabric samples in my stash – I really must make something with them soon.

Quilting around the embroidered elements made them puff up slightly. This then gave me the idea to accentuate this. I made small snips in the backing fabric and stuffed the back of the embroidered flowers with a little polyester stuffing. I then hand stitched the holes with herringbone stitch to hold in the stuffing. Finally I trimmed away the excess cotton bump from the edges.

Vintage bag quilted close up

Vintage bag quilted texture

I made a quilted lining in cream fabric to match the shape of the front fabric. I added some pockets for the inside.

I sewed small leftover blocks of fabric together to create the handles, 2 inches wide by approx. 20 inches long. Again I quilted these using cotton bump as a backing. I cut strips of lining to match and stitched them together with right sides facing, and turned them through (finished size 1.5 inch X approx. 20 inch).

Vintage bag construction process

The construction of the bag is not what you might expect. I got the idea from a lovely book by Sue Hawkins (Heavenly Handmade Bags 2006). Looking at the picture: First join edges A together, again with a quarter inch seam, repeating for each bag side. This forms the base of the bag. Then join D to D leaving block edge E free. Finally join B to B, and C to C – stitch across as one seam. Repeat on each side. You now have the bag shape.

I constructed my lining shape in a similar way but left one of the A to A sections unstitched. With right sides together and handles in position at the points on the bag top I then stitched the bag and lining together and turned through the gap left in the lining. The gap was then hand sewn using a ladder stitch (so not visible).

I was delighted with my bag and being able to show off those lovely vintage fabrics.