I ordered this dress from Athleta on super sale.
It was only $20 (down from $69!), and it was a size Medium Tall, which I do not usually find in the sale sections. So, I bought it hoping to dye it.
All the dyeing I have done in the past has been with Dharma’s Procion dyes. Procion dyes are really easy to use. Unfortunately, this dress is a nylon/spandex blend, 75/25. This sent me into the scary world of Jacquard Acid Dyes.
This is a scary thing, right? ACID dyes.
As it turns out, it really is not scary. First, I had to find a stainless steel pan that I was willing to never use for food, and it had to be big enough to hold the dress with room to move around. I picked up one secondhand for $10. That seemed like kind of a lot, but I have been scouting the second hand shops for a while, and apparently big stainless steel pans either go fast or don’t get donated very often.
The thing that makes it an acid dye is that you use vinegar. Vinegar is not scary.
First step is to put hot water in a pan (stainless steel or ceramic) and turn on the stove. Then you add the dye to the pot. I used half an ounce of dye, because that was how much I had. Dharma recommends 1/3-2/3 oz per pound of fabric. After mixing the dye in the water so it seemed well dissolved, I put the wet dress in.
After it had been in there for a while and the whole mess was almost boiling (but not, because it is not supposed to actually boil), I poured in 1/4 cup of vinegar. I just used regular white vinegar from my kitchen cabinet. It was only smelly for a minute or so. The directions say not to pour the vinegar on the fabric, so I just kind of mushed the dress over while I poured in the vinegar.
After all that, I just stirred it for half an hour. Pretty easy. And not scary.
Now, the directions are pretty clear in saying that you should keep the temperature between 185-200, and not boiling. I did not have a thermometer that I wanted to put in the dye bath, so I just tried to keep it from boiling. It is possible that once it did get hotter than it was supposed to and I had to turn it down a whole bunch. However, it seems to have turned out okay, so try not to panic if you do this and that happens.
After the half hour, I dumped the whole thing in my laundry sink. There was momentary panic when I saw some of the color completely running off. Then I remembered that the lining of the dress is polyester, so that part was not expected to hold the dye. Whew!
The wooly nylon used in the stitching dyed, but the thread in the needles was likely polyester, that did not hold the dye at all. I think the contrast with the navy blue is okay, though.
I tossed it in the washer with some Synthrapol and hoped for the best.
No blue bubbles, thank goodness.
Here it is all done. It really is a nice navy blue.
Have you used acid dyes? It was much easier than I expected. I am thinking about picking up a purple acid dye and giving tie-dye a try on the second dress I bought.
Some time back, I posted about Jack’s (unfinished) quilt.
This project has been hanging over my head for years. It’s beyond ridiculous. I need it out of my sewing space and out of the space it has been occupying on my mental to-do list.
A week or so ago, I cut and pieced the back, which we have now decided is the front.
After all, no self-respecting third grade boy wants an i-spy quilt. (Actually, they do, they just do not want everyone else to know that they do. So, the i-spy side will hide on the back where only the 8 year old owner can see it and secretly spy matching squares.)
The steps are 6″x12″ finished size. I cut them using the 6.5″ strip cutter on my Accuquilt Studio and then just cut apart 12.5″ rectangles from the strip. Very efficient.
I used chalk to mark the lines for quilting.
Fortunately(?), I spent about 11 hours in the car when we went to my parents’ house for my dad’s birthday. This was plenty of time to hand sew the binding to finish it up. I am sooooo happy to be done with this one! Jack’s pretty happy, too.
And, in the spirit of embracing imperfection, I am even going to let you see the quilting up close. And then I will tell you what I learned.
This was quilted on my home sewing machine. It is a Bernina Virtuosa 155. In doing this, I pretty much quilted it in the worst possible direction. First, I quilted the straight line across the middle.
That would have been fine, except that I then stitched the one to the left.
And then I continued to the left until that whole side was done.
This meant when I got to that far left side, I had the whole quilt bunched up in the throat of my machine. Now, you may be thinking this does not matter, because after all, at some point I would have had it all bunched up there, right? But if I had been smarter and instead moved to the right first, when I did the left side and it was all bunched up, it also would have already been quilted, which would have made it much more stable and compressed over there. (ie, less bunchy and loose and more cooperative!)
So, it would have been better if I had done the right side first.
Lesson learned – think ahead about where the quilt will be with respect to the machine when quilting!
I also learned that it is much harder to keep my stitch length consistent on a big quilt than on a mini quilt. Guess I need more practice! I am okay with that.
Here it is hanging from his top bunk. Quilts are for fort making, you know. :)
All in all, I am happy with the result, and Jack is happy to have his own mom made quilt.
This issue looked good when the previews went up some weeks ago, but I am even more excited about it now that I have it in hand.
First, the wool coat. I think this could easily work with a good quality heavyweight fleece as well. Perhaps Polartec® WindPro or 300 weight fleece?
I am not sure if I am brave enough to tackle the button down shirt, but I do love the idea of it.
And this hoodie, I am thinking about skipping the pockets and making it waist length rather than tunic length. It looks like it would be super comfortable with jeans. But tunic length is really cute with the skirt it is pictured with, which I had not even noticed when I looked at the previews.
Then there is the diagonal zip front hoodie – LOVE THIS!!
The tee with scrunched up sides is a nice update to the basic t-shirt, and there is a tunic top with leggings that looks really comfortable for weekend wear.
There’s an a-line dress and also a more boxy dress made from either jersey or linen, as well as two more jackets, workout pants, a knife pleated skirt and peasant style top, a pair of jeggings and a pair of jeans in this issue. OH! And there is a body shaping full slip and a spaghetti strap tank top, too.
There are twenty patterns in this issue. TWENTY patterns. With the exception of the jeans, which come in sizes 34-46, all the patterns include sizes 34-52. If you aren’t a subscriber, you can buy single issues directly from Ottobre Design by visiting them here.
And no, this is not a paid post in any way, shape or form. I am just REALLY excited about this issue!! Hope you love it, too!
Happy Sewing! Can’t wait to see your creations on the Sewing Mamas Runway!
Knitted dishcloths are one of my favorite things. Plus, they are really good to practice on. (And I really need practice!) This is last night’s work:
Super simple pattern:
R2: K2, yo, K to end
Repeat R2 until you have 48 stitches
R3: K1, K2tog, yo, K2tog, K to end
Repeat R3 until you have 4 stitches
I used a pair of size 8 needles, but a little smaller or bigger is okay. This one is about 8.5″ square, or mostly kinda square. I’m still pretty new to knitting. The dirty dishes don’t mind that things are a little off.
Since you are knitting it on the diagonal, you can move to R3 whenever you decide the size is good for you. Every stitch you add will mean two more diagonal rows in your dishcloth.
What are you making?
This tutorial was created by Barb, who is fw221 in the Sewing Mamas forums. Thanks Barb!
- 2/3 yard of 60″ wide fabric for exterior
2/3 yard of 60″ wide fabric for interior
1 yard of 44″ wide fabric for exterior
1 yard of 44″ wide fabric for interior
- Thread to match
If you want to use a lighter weight fabric, be sure to match it with a heavier weight. Two light weights won’t be substantial enough without interfacing. Two heavyweight fabrics will be tough on your machine (but not impossible).
Part One: Cut Your Fabric!
We’ll need from each fabric:
two cuts of 15″ (tall) x 18″ (wide)
one cut of 13″ (tall) x 15″ (wide)
one 3″ wide strip across the entire length of the fabric (we’ll cut this down later)
Part Two: Boxing
With the exterior fabric, take the two cuts of 15″x18″ and sew around three sides (15 – 18 – 15). Seam allowance should be 1/4″ to 3/8″, just be consistent. Be sure to secure the beginning and end by sewing back & forth a few times.
With the interior fabric, take the two cuts of 15″x18″ and sew around three sides (15 – 18 – 15) BUT leave a hole around 3″ wide in the middle of the 18″ length to turn the bag.
Press both pieces FLAT.
Pinch the corner and put seams together. Flatten out the corner on a grid and draw a diagonal line (My grid is 0.5″, so measure your diagonal at 2″ on each side).
Pin to keep in place, then take to sewing machine and sew along the line.
Cut excess off.
Do this for both corners on interior and exterior fabrics.
Press what seams you can.
This is what the corners will look like now:
Part 3: The Flap
Put interior & exterior fabrics right side together. Round off the bottom corners (flap will be 15″ wide by 13″ tall). I used a CD to round the corners, but a plate or glass will work too.
Sew around 3 sides and clip the corner.
Turn right side out and press!
Topstitch and then press again.
Part Four: The Strap
Place right sides together and sew up the long sides. Turn in your favorite fashion (I have a Turn-It-All set).
Press and topstitch.
Cut to desired length. I used 42″.
Part Five: Putting it all together
This will come as a great surprise… Press everything again!
Center the flap onto bag interior, like fabrics together and pin.
Center the strap ends to the seams, like fabrics together and pin.
Stick the exterior of the bag inside the interior, right sides together and pin.
Sew the whole thing shut.
Check the seam to make sure you sewed through all the layers. Then turn right side out through the hole you left in the bottom of the interior fabric.
Sew the bottom shut. I used my machine to sew right next to the seam, but hand stitching looks better.
Put the interior inside the exterior and press again
A HUGE THANK YOU to Barb for taking the time to put together this fabulous tutorial. Hope you have fun creating your own messenger bag!