Monday, September 14, 2015

Sewing Bee Round Two -- Embellished Fabric

So I made it to round two of the sewing bee on Pattern Review.  We now have 10 days to create an garment out of embellished fabric.  Meaning, you take a piece of fabric and you paint, embroider, quilt, dye, or change it in some way.  Originally I was thinking about making an Ukrainian style shirt, which is called a vyshyvanka, as they are usually heavily embroidered.  There were two faults with this idea, the silk I am using is too flimsy for that amount of embroidery, and I couldn't find a suitable .pdf pattern. 
This is the base fabric.  It is a washed silk.  The color is a little off in this picture, it is more green than blue.  I decided to simplify the garment part, to showcase the embellishment.  I remembered that about two years ago, I made a shirt out of By Hand London's Anna dress.  I decided this would be perfect- with the addition of a button placket.  Now for the design...

I knew that I wanted to do poppies, as the red looks awesome against the green, but I needed more than just painting/drawing flowers if I wanted to move on to round three.  I am aiming for the big prize a smaller Bernina.  (I would like a second machine so I don't have to change thread as much while say topstitching and it would be awesome to not have to buy one.)  So I was thinking in my arsenal of fabric design and I remembered this:

 Pinstripes!  I absolutely love pinstripes.  Many years ago, I took a shibori class and learned the art of Japanese tie-dying.  I really enjoyed the class, but I never wanted my folds to be haphazard, so I figured out how to make fairly even folds and then dye just the edges to make a stripe. I thought if I used a darker green it would simulate the stems of the poppies.

Here is how you make the pinstripes. First you decide how far apart you want the pinstripes, I decided on one inch.  I then used two strips of masking tape to mark the one inch.  Next time, I'll clear off my sewing table and use that for the ironing.  It was a little bit difficult to keep the fabric from slipping.  I did move my ironing board into the living room so I could hang out with the kiddos while working.  So you fold the fabric like an accordion, between the two pieces of tape.  Try your best to keep them even.  
 You'll end up an inch wide stack of fabric, now take some white thread and baste through all the layers.  As it's silk, it wasn't hard to do.  Then mix your dye or paint.  As the only fabric dyes I have are blue, I decided to use Lumiere and Neopaque fabric paints and water it down.  I used equal parts royal blue, yellow, and gold.  Add some water, I think I added the same amount of water as paint.  I used one of my son's baby food containers, so I could save the leftovers.
Now paint one side, trying to just keep to the edges of the folds.  This is why you want it to be even, so it is easier to paint just the edges.  It's not going to be perfect.  I painted one side of each piece, waited a couple minutes and then painted the other side.
This is what it should look like when done.  Now wait 24 hours, and then set the paint/dye how the manufacture suggests.  For the Lumiere/Neopaque it says to use an iron on the wrong side (I think for three minutes).  It also says you can heat it in the dryer for 45 minutes on the hottest setting your fabric will handle.  I will likely do that, as the pieces are larger, and I am pressed for time.  Tomorrow, I will paint the flowers.  I think that I might use my new Inktense pigments, which are set with just water!  Anyway, I will decide tomorrow, but now I must draw some poppies for the buttons.  Yup, I am even making my own buttons.

Don't worry though, I am also working on husband's birthday present.  Muslin 1 is done and fitted.  The size 40 was as feared, two sizes too big.  However, it was evenly two sizes too big- except for the arms, which were ridiculously long.  Who knew that my husband was secretly a t-rex.  Until next time happy sewing.

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