Winter wardrobe: from white to wow!

Before I went to Mansfield (… a year ago!) I cut out a long sleeved knit top.  The last one I made, a few years back, was nibbled by moths before I even sewed it together, so this one has been safely in a ziplock bag for its quiet year in pieces.IMAG2026

In the end, it took me only an evening to sew it together.  Why did I wait so long? Last time, I had a lot of trouble with this top and hand finished a lot of it, hand inserting the zipper and hand sewing the hems. I think I was a bit intimidated by the job, sorry to admit.  This time it all came together on the machine although the zipper is not lying terribly flat.


Next morning, I was out in search of dye plants and visited one of my favourites (E Scoparia). The whole time I was collecting leaves I could hear clicking and popping sounds.  Eventually I realised there was a rosella (maybe more than one) very high up–more than 10 metres up) in the sugar gums on the other side of the street, nibbling on the gumnuts and then letting them fall onto the surface of the road (so that was beak clicking and the popping sound of gumnuts dropping on the hard surface)!


There has been so much wind and rain I hardly needed to cut anything from this tree.  I have learned enough to be able to pick the leaves of this tree out from all the others in the gutter (which I could not always do dependably in the past–I have learned some things!)IMAG2039

Deciding how to fold and wrap is always intriguing…


In the end I decided to dye a woven wool scarf at the same time. I spent time with a friend I don’t see very often recently and thought I might send her a gift. This will be part of it if it turns out well enough! I tucked some more leaves from my stash of dried leaves into the dye bath.


I love the transformation… and wish I could be more patient…


And I love the outcome!  Here is the front…


Here is the back… (the zipper looks pallid now but it was what I had, recycled and saved).


This has motivated me to make another, as my stock of winter warm work clothes is becoming pilled and threadbare, and I’ve had some lovely encouragement from friends lately.  Sometimes I think it is a shame I can’t get away with just wearing the same thing every day, as my tendency is clearly to make the same thing over and over again…


Filed under Eucalypts, Natural dyeing, Neighbourhood pleasures, Sewing

18 responses to “Winter wardrobe: from white to wow!

  1. SubmarineBells

    Wow, that is *beautiful*! I love the kaleidoscope effect that has developed in the finished piece. Your skills at contact-dyeing just grow and grow… each one seems to be more gorgeous than the last. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is truly gorgeous! I have got a dye bath on at the moment. A mix of eucalyptus leaves in a cochineal bath whilst I holiday on Kangaroo Island. Aren’t we lucky to be surrounded by such magnificent trees and flora!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. just wonderful… first E Scoparia is 20cm tall and will go in the ground in Spring !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wonderful! I planted my first little Scoparia-from-seed this week, behind a park bench. Fingers crossed for a long and tall life for that tree, and yours too. I have been collecting seed capsules as hard as I can go now I’ve grasped the patterns of the tree a bit better…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rebecca

    Extraordinary! It looks like alchemy to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing colors and patterns! And a technical question about the top: if it’s knit, couldn’t you get away without the zipper and have it just be a pullover, or is the neck too tight for that?


    • The neck is too tight for that, you are onto it. I could make something with a bigger neck but somehow I like this… I have been wearing winter turtlenecks for some years and I love them… this is a little bit lower than that but still snuggly. Thanks for your lovely comment…


  6. norma

    Fantastic results! I definitely need some dyeing inspiration like this at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. christicarterphotography

    Very lovely work, Mary!
    And I feel just like you do about wishing I could wear the same things every day ;>))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Christi! Glad to hear from someone else who feels this way… I did have one trip where I was away for weeks and realised I wanted to pack two pairs of jeans (identical) and two black t shirts (identical) and in the end, that is what I did… just one pair of very comfy boots… I find expectations of what women will wear and how fancy, new and ever changing it will be, more than I can get excited about.


  8. Susan

    wow is right! Love how it changes colour on the way down.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well done! Re the zip, it’s centrally placed (I know that was planned), and visible zips are so ‘on trend’ at present. Love your work.


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