Friday, January 14, 2011

dyeing fabric fail and win

I know it's been ages, but honestly, most of you who read my blog know the general idea of what's going on anyway. So suffice it to say that we're fine, I just haven't been blogging. But now I want to tell you about my exciting fabric dyeing adventures! My big sis, the fiber artist, showed me her method for fabric dyeing, using Procion MX dyes. (Similar to Ann Johnston's method.) So then I bought some fun stuff and did some more dyeing at home. It's really fun! And addictive. Because as soon as you rinse the fabric and realize what color it's going to be, you want to jump right in and dye something a little bit different. Anyway, I've had some good success, but some surprises. Mainly the lovely picture above this text. See the great effects? Cool stripes and such. But so 70s, argh! Yeah, my yellow dye did not dissolve all the way before I put it on the fabric, so that tiny amount of red took over. (I was trying for a fabulous project in Ann Johnston's Color by Accident, but yeah ...) Instead of a yellow and green effect, we have crazy harvest colors going on. As I type, that fabric's in the dye bath again, trying to salvage it somehow. Sorry if you liked it. Oh, but I did keep the onesie -- I figure I'll applique a pumpkin on it or something.
A small break from the fabric. E sharing her milk with a puppy. My only child who actually likes dogs. A quote from her this week:
E- Mommy, Mommy, read me the Dora book.
Me - What's the magic word?
E - Abre.
(If you don't speak Spanish and don't watch Dora, it means "open". I think it must have appeared as a magic word in a Dora episode once, I'm not sure. E was very pleased to get such a good laugh, though.)
Here's some of the pretty fabric I've done. I've tried a range of different fabrics, including quilting cotton, cotton lawn, interlock knits, knit ribbing, even that patterned knit on the left. I didn't use rubber bands or anything. The effects are all from the fabric crinkles and the dyes themselves. The ribbing I've been using takes extra dye, and the lawn ends up lighter and softer than the others, but I think it's all beautiful. One of my favorite experiments was using the leftover dye water for a new piece of fabric -- after pulling out my finished fabric, I threw in a new piece, plus soda ash water (the fixative for these dyes). Voila, a lighter shade!
And here are a couple of items made with my pretty new fabric! This one features vintage trim -- a gift from my mom.
OK, so the only part of this I dyed is the light blue ribbing, but it's cute, no? From this free pattern. I was a bit skeptical, because of the sleeve design, mainly (no tapering, and unusual shape at the top, too), but knits can do anything! It turned out great. I accidentally cut out a back in E's size, so she's getting a dress, too. I didn't have enough fabric for a whole one, so she's got some color blocking going on. I'll post a pick once I'm done. If I don't disappear from blogland for another 6 months. A project in the works for my little boy, too. He's currently obsessed with the game Bohnanza. I highly recommend it. He likes to play the 2-player game with his dad, but especially loves it with more people, because the 2-player game doesn't have the trading that's the main component of the traditional game.