A Little Dye Can Fix That

   I got to wondering if I could tone down the neon pink in the dress from my last post if I dipped it in a black dye bath, so I gave it a try last night.  I knew that my fabric was synthetic, and probably wouldn't take a lot of dye, but if it had a hint of nylon in it, it would absorb something.  Here's what it looked like in the bath: 

I used a standard RIT dye with vinegar and hot water.  Most of the dye washed out, and what I was left with was slightly more purple and less neon than the original.  It also changed the black and white houndstooth to black and grey.  My daughter saw it this morning, and absolutely loved it, so she's wearing it to work today.

 It's hard to capture the neon-ness of the pink in the photos, but this is what it was before:

I've used dye a few times now to make a garment more to my liking, and it's really fun.  It does take some time, as you've got to stir, stir, stir, and then rinse, rinse, rinse.  But, since I've already put the time in sewing the garment, it makes sense to put the time into the dyeing as well.

And on a completely unrelated topic, I have been interested in finding a Needle Board for years, but they have been too expensive.  A needle board is  just like the name implies- a board with a whole bunch of pins sticking up.  It is used for pressing velvet, or other fabrics that have a pile that you don't want to flatten.  Well, I was at Tuesday Morning, picking up some toggles that Kathy from Kathy Sews had talked about on her blog.  And low and behold, there was a needle board for $14.99!  They only had two in my store, but if you have a Tuesday Morning, you might want to run out and see if they have one in your store too, as that is a fantastic price.  This is what it looks like:

Happy Sewing!


An Ordinary Day Dress from Ottobre Woman

Some pattern companies identify their patterns by numbers, some give them names- often a female first name.  But Ottobre gives each design a a name that often describes the item, or the situation it will be worn in.   This design was called "An Ordinary Day".  This dress is anything but ordinary!  I would have called it "A Very Crazy Day".  Just what you need to wear when everything around you is chaotic.  Here's the line drawing from the issue- this is the Fall/Winter 2015 Ottobre Woman- available here.  In looking at this again, I didn't get it quite right!  My front center panel goes all of the way.  Darn it!

Let's start from the beginning- the tracing.   This is basically the same design as another dress in this issue- #1- Twig.  I made Twig when I first got this issue here, and wanted to test the fit of it before I delved into the pieced version.  But while tracing Twig, I also traced the lines for the Ordinary Day pieces.  This is what my initial front piece looked like:

So, for making it out of one fabric, you just place this on the fold, and cut on the outside line- ignoring all of the other lines.  But for piecing it, you need to trace separate pieces for each section, making sure to flip the pattern over where the section crosses into the other half of the dress.  I thought that that one line was a grainline, so I should have checked against the line drawing before I was done.  But, it all did fit together, so it's okay.  So, my pieces for the front pieced version look like this:
Here's the initial back:

And here are the back pieced pieces:

I used plastic painter's cloth to trace over the initial piece.  I hope that I'm not scaring anyone with these pictures, as it isn't hard.  I actually enjoyed it- like putting a puzzle piece together in reverse.  You do have to pay attention to right versus left, which I have never been good at.  I always get them mixed up.

I don't know about you, but I generally keep my scraps if they are over 3/4 yd long.  Why 3/4?  Because that is about how much I would need for a bodice or a sleeve or even a skirt.  All of these pieces are scraps from previous projects.  The pink is a lightweight jersey, the print is a scuba, and the skirt is a sweatshirt fleece.  The black is the reverse side of the scuba.

Even though they were all different weights, they all were knit, and went together well. The sweatshirt fleece is perhaps a bit thick for this, as it doesn't want to drape very well, but it will do.

I really like the pocket, and chose to use the print for both the binding and the pocket itself.

Now, after all of the fun that I had making this one, I decided to pull a few more scraps and make a second one.  I used a neon pink knit, a black and white houndstooth, a magenta and black ponte.  I think that I went a little too crazy on this one.  If I had just used solids with the neon pink, maybe then it would have been just the right amount of crazy, but mixing the prints with the neon, I think went too far.  Oh, well.  What do you guys think?

I think it looks a little like activewear, and it may grow on me.  Perhaps if I wore it with a black sweater to cover up some of the pink, that would tone it down enough.  Or one of my twenty-something daughters may be braver than I and take it on.  We'll have to see!  I think that the pockets are super cute on this one. 

But I do like my first version quite a bit and highly recommend it!  You could also make it from a single color, and use some decorative stitching to highlight the seamlines, if you want a more tranquil version.

If you don't have this issue and would like to make your own Very Crazy Day dress, here's a link to it on our website.

Happy Sewing!