indigo pjs…………and other shibori bits

I got a lot out of the indigo dye pack

3 dresses
1 pj
2 pillowcases
1 white linen trousers
2 tee shirt dresses
a few lengths of fabric.

I had to keep running back to my workroom for more bits to dye as I didn’t think I would get so much out of one dye pack…………….

The pyjamas were made using the instruction from (link here).  The site gives basic pattern instruction but its also great for ideas (I am currently thinking of this coat), and even looking for the link again when I was typing this, I ended up bookmarking about 10 pages……….  

The pyjama pants were straightforward, I used an rough all-in-one pattern which I drafted from the trouser block by lying back and front side by side and leaving about 6cm between the front and back and cutting around.

I then used the little wooden squares from the kit and folded the pyjama top, and then dipped in water and ‘squeezed’ the water out, before dying.  The pyjama pants were tied at the hemline.

The pillowcases were similarly tied, and I should have done more of these.  I had a load of pillowcases leftover from an art project years ago, so the next time I am doing any indigo…………….they will all be for the blue!

sheets and shibori – dress 3 – vogue 7458

vogue 7568 shibori sheet dress

Of all pattern illustrations, these 70s vogues are my favourite.  I just love them, so ‘had’ to get this one when I saw it.

This dress is incredibly simple – big plus.  I made it up from a sheet to try it out, realistically I am unsure I would wear this low a v-neck- can you call it a v-neck?

The making of the dress was relatively easy, it is 4 triangles and a belt.  I should have put more interfacing on the belt to make it work better, ( but ultimately it would have worked better in a polyester or double knit to get the full effect).  The seams were finished with my new favourite,
e-bay purchase,  the pinking shears…… easy peasy and so fast.

vogue 7568 shibori sheet dress

I did the shibori effect, but was a bit lazy about the stitching.  I originally wanted to dip dye, but this would have been harder to manage and possibly a bit of a disaster, so I am glad I decided against.  I did a running tack stitch around the dress.  I changed threads every three rows so I was sure to be on the correct row.  This was unnecessary but was handy all the same.  I gathered each set of three threads from each side and tied and trimmed as I went down through each set (lower set of photos).    I worked on this dress inside out, so the dress went into the dye vat inside out which gave the right side of the dress a more textured effect which was a bonus.  

vogue 7568 shibori sheet dress
vogue 7568 shibori sheet dress

I hand stitched up the front and sides as they are cut so so low, but then undid the front as it seemed to take away from the overall effect!  Ultimately, the sheet fabric is too heavy for the dress,   However, like the other dresses, once it was dyed, it became infinitely more wearable, but I don’t anticipate wearing the low cut, and am thinking of using the fabric again to make a similar style but buttoned up…….perhaps.  

However, I won’t decide on this until next year and by which time I will ask my my curvy sister to try the dress on to see what the fit is like on her..

vogue 7568 shibori sheet dress

I am unsure as to which way I think the belt looks best……… I think I like the left view best.

vogue 7568 shibori sheet dress

sheets and shibori – dress 2 – calvin klein vogue 2690

sheet shibori dress vogue 2690 calvin klein

I am showing 2 friends of mine how to sew.  Sewing is a skill I take for granted, and sometimes I don’t even consider it a skill as its just something I have always done – and so, I am often a bit surprised when people profess to not being able to sew (as deep down I still think its innate!).   I had to learn to take a step back and slow down on what I am showing them, and concentrate on making sewing samples.  Originally, I had planned that we would start off with making some easy sleeveless tops with a button close, but I was really putting them under pressure, so, I showed them how to sew different seams,  and we made some yy bags.  

sheet shibori dress vogue 2690 calvin klein

I am hoping that we will try a simple dress soon, so I got this pattern to show them how to work from a commercial pattern and I was hoping also if I whipped one up, they would be inspired to give it a go.  I think this would work as a jumper dress in a heavier fabric, but this one started off as a sheet.

Its a handy pattern, no tricky openings and no darts.  The main shaping is a subtle boat neckline and slight cap sleeve.  The dress curves in a little bit towards the hem.  I graded out for my hips.  

I did a ‘spider web’ shibori effect by winding around some button thread and tying it, and dampened the dress before dying  It was pretty quick to do, and very effective in the end!.  This was dyed right side out, and the one thing I have noticed about the indigo dying, is the inside out produces a less even effect, which can be more pleasing a more textured look is the aim.  (below is a photo of the inside).

sheet shibori dress vogue 2690 calvin klein

Quite pleased with this one, as it took no time to make, and required the least effort.  As a plain white dress it was fine, but highly unlikely that I would have worn it, as it still had the sheet quality, however, its a completely different look as the indigo, especially as the sheet has the worn soft quality, and so wearable….. love it love it love it – feels so summery and beachy  – don’t think this summer will turn around but beach ready for next year! below is the side and back view

sheet shibori dress vogue 2690 calvin klein

sheets and shibori – dress 1 – asymmetric sheets

The last few weeks I have been so preoccupied by the Irish Dancing dress.  For the most part, its been trying to get embroidery drawings together and staring at black pages.   Its still not fully figured out, but most of the embroidery drawings are done, but they are currently hand-drawn, which in my case means they are not perfectly symmetrical, so I have to fix, and scan, and then try to get using an embroidery machine if I can. 

In between times, and as a bit of a distraction, I started making up some sheet dresses to shibori dye.   I got an indigo dye kit on amazon, as I have never used indigo before, and made some dresses up in patterns I wanted to try out, and lots of white sheets waiting……..

sheet dress shibori

When I decided to remake the chevron halter from the last post, and a totally different dress started to evolve.  It was a straight across halter instead of a v, a cross-back-straps instead of neck tie, and an asymmetric front.    I drafted a pattern and used one of the front darts as a seam, I don’t know if I should have distributed the darts differently but the pattern I drafted fits.  (I am not fully happy with the dart locations).  the skirt is a drop waist, and a-line at the back and the front drop is flared out.  The original back of the dress was too low, so I added a panel.  I think the drop waist may be an inch lower than it should be, but I will think about that again.

sheet dress shibori

I folded in the side front seam and did one line of running stitch up, and this made the shibori effect ‘ori nui’.  I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out.  The indigo is a small bit blotchy in parts but in all, its blotchy/textured throughout so I am hoping this adds to its appeal!  I have to finish straps and hem, as I figured I would wait till it was dyed to work out the final details.
sheet dress shibori

The indigo dye was so interesting but I should have probably prepared better.  I did it a day sooner than I intended as the weather here has been very damp and last Thursday (yesterday) was dry and a tiny bit sunny, so I took my chances.  I didn’t have a 5 gallon bucket, so I used the bin liner (as I had a ‘lid’ that fitted over it) and I worked outside.  The dye goes a long way so after doing the pieces I needed, I scurried to dig out some other fabric bits and kept going.  I was so amazed at the oxidization process, it comes out of the dye vat a green yellow, and turns blue in the next 5 minutes.  The dye times were hard to figure out, (most pieces were left in for a few minutes) as was the amount of ‘bloom’ at the top of the dye mix but I kept going none-the-less.  By the time I did all my pieces, ! went up to the work room and got more to dye, the garden was full of fabric hanging everywhere and the sky clouding over.   I should have had a rinse basin going earlier, but I didn’t have one at all.  I finished the pieces by putting them in the washing machine to rinse and spin.  I was well glad I decided to work outside as the clean up was far easier, but  I have a few reminders for ‘next time’

1 – use a shallower basin (I only used the bin bucket as I forgot about another container) and use a garden sieve to keep the sediment to the bottom perhaps (I was conscious of not letting go of the fabric
2 – have a rinse basin to hand
3 – not to empty the dye for 12 hours – there is a white patch on a pair of trousers I hadn’t seen
4 – find out how the actual times and perhaps use a timer !

It would be very interesting to do a workshop in one with someone who works with indigo and I am considering that perhaps for next year, I have not come across one before, but then again, I was not looking.  I am quite pleased with the results, but if I had to dye larger quantities I would probably stay using dylon machine dye to get a more even result.  

and if anyone has used shibori, I would love to know any tips you may have …….