Category Archives: Sewing

Eucalypt dyeing

I love a good bundle… in this one, silky merino shows its capacity to take up eucalyptus dyes again. In this dye pot, a cowl that was ready for a dye bath, and a garment that had shrunk enough that I decided to turn it into other items…

My partner had requested a deep, narrow cowl that could be pulled up over her head and ears under her bike helmet. Her friend had made one from cotton knit, so I copied its dimensions. You can see all that remains of the neckline in the image below.

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Filed under Leaf prints, Natural dyeing, Sewing

Screen printing

I’ve returned to the screen printing. This stencil turned out to be the last one on the old, damaged screen. One day I decided to go buy a new one. I’ve been looking second hand for months and finally decided I’d like to be able to get a clean image to the extent my skills allow!

Oh my! The difference was immediate.

And they went directly to high vis for the large number of actions we’ve been running in the last couple of months.

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Filed under Craftivism, Sewing

What the well dressed rebel is wearing this season

I have been gradually applying some of my rough screen printing to our extensive collection of upcycled high vis vests.

We have quite a number in all kinds of high vis glory…

And it isn’t complicated sewing.

As you can see, they are not an entirely matched set!

However, they do the job and here is a stack of plastic fabric that is not going to landfill… even if still not exactly high fashion!

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And then there were masks. And more masks

Oh my. Some people, and all the ones I know about are women–have made a LOT of masks. Not me. I stayed out of it for a long while, and masks are still not required in my state, while they are now required in some other states. But eventually–I decided I needed to make some, and I got requests. The first ones were made from offcuts from a friends mother’s stash, and a short of mine that started out as a sarong, spent well over 10 years as a short, and now has ended up as masks and bag linings.

Next, some of the beautiful fabrics I bought in very small quantities in the Nishiki markets in Kyoto. In a different world, a couple of years ago! The ancestral hat elastic (made so it could be boiled!) joined contemporary hat elastic (hand wash only–hmm).

Remainders from a short I made, lined with pre-loved sheeting.

More fabric from Kyoto.

Some more of my shirt… These masks are 3 layers, the centre one made from fine silk.

Fabric left over from my mother-out-law’s frock, and some pretty ladybirds I could not resist… then mostly cut out in the right size fro lining rather than outer layer–uh, oh, user error!

Black linen left over after pants I made years ago (and below, their linings)…

And–some ladybirds. Thanks for the pattern to Craft Passion. She clearly posted mask patterns well before coronavirus came into existence, and has done so much to make them accessible. And if you are not too sure about the science on masks, feel free to go and listen to Coronacast and get the information from experts who know how to communicate. My masks have mostly gone to relatives and friends who live in places where they are required–and some more locally.

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And another thing

I made another pair of moko trews. This pair are lined with an indigo dyed t-shirt…

Which I thought worked rather well!

These ones did make it onto the grandbub (pictured here miraculously sleeping), hooray!

And another thing… There were offcuts, so a few more gauntlets happened.

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Filed under Natural dyeing, Sewing

Long sleeved knit top

With all this cutting up of my winter layers going on, I decided I needed to make some new long sleeved layers. And to think I used to be puzzled what I could make from knit fabrics!

I’d removed the zips from the old ones carefully, so I chose one for re-use.

There it is, in its new location. I didn’t think to dye my thread so I chose contrast. I just couldn’t wait once I’d started.

The back view.

And here is the front! For those who are interested: Vogue 9904. I’ve made this pattern more times than I can exactly count.

Is it perfect? Certainly not. Do I care? Not at all.

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Filed under Leaf prints, Natural dyeing, Sewing

The gauntlet series

I have accumulated scraps of knit fabrics that are precious–lovely, but also in some cases, expensive. And you know, I always want to use the last scrap, no matter what the fabric is! Anyway, I had the thought that I could attempt the Fingerless Gloves Master Pattern from Natalie Chanin’s Alabama Studio Sewing + Design.

Unfortunately, I fell at the first hurdle, enlarging the diagramme provided by 317%. It was during the period when I was not going out, so when I could not arrange this I guessed my way through it. The first one was too small. It had to go to a very petite friend.

Soon, though, I had a workable pattern and found this was a great use for leftover fabric from my run of undergarments.

So, I started turning them out! I used up a long sleeved t shirt and a pair of leggings that a friend had given me to use, once she had worn them out. Perfect linings for two layer gauntlets!

Once my leftovers were gone, I had the thought that some of my long sleeved home made tops that have shrunk too much to be dignified… could be transformed into these.

It was quite liberating to give up those shrunken tops, which I have been wearing under other things, for years in some cases. I kept the hems where I could.

And, that’s not really the last of it! I’ve not taken photos of some, and others I have made more recently. Some have been made more recently still… I pieced some together from smaller parts! But it might be enough for now.

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Filed under Eucalypts, Leaf prints, Natural dyeing, Sewing

Underwear stories

I have been astonished to realise that one of my friends who feels the cold profoundly has forgotten about the part where you wear a close fitting garment against your skin.

As a child, this was the way I was always dressed in winter–with a sleeveless underthing below my other layers. We called this garment a singlet. So I asked my friend whether she was wearing wool against her skin and her eyes popped. I went home and went to the dye pot with some knit silky merino. It dyes like a dream. I sewed the main seams with the overlocker and then hand finished the hems.

Here is the view from the back.

I made it nice and long, the better to keep her warm. She was so astonished by the difference this made, that I got a message asking how long she could wear it without washing it! So I made some more.

These two are both dyed with E Scoparia, but the two trees have very different leaves, as you can see. My friend’s beloved sent me a message to say she loves these so much she had created a gallery and hung them on the wall, and she is wearing them every single day. And feeling so warm!

In this period a clean up in the front room turned up a wool knit singlet bought from a chain store. Now, did a different friend buy it and give it to me to dye? Did I find it in an op shop and save it for later? Neither of us could remember, but here is the outcome (and I yes, gave it to her).

And there is the end of this underwear story!!

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Filed under Eucalypts, Leaf prints, Natural dyeing, Sewing

So much mending

Have I mentioned the mending? Sometimes one item a day, sometimes two! This is the sole of my beloved’s favourite slipper. But there is so much more.

The winter underthings have had a lot of mending. Some are now pretty ancient and well worn.

This one had a lot of mending after a m*th attack some time back, but this time… so much more.

This is the under arm seam of a long sleeved t shirt. Just a tiny hand stitched patch!

There are also the maxi-mends, this set on another undergarment. These are silky merino patches cut from sewing scraps, hand stitched onto a stretch wool garment. The speckle-stitches are on the right side, and the long stitches are on the inside.

Then there was mending a favourite old jumper for a friend. She had started mending it in red, and I had some matching sock yarn so…

Naturally, that’s just the start! Repeating the cycle of repairing ladders, stabilising holes and then knitting in a patch…

Until finally… and after some a blanket stitch intervention to stabilise threadbare and unravelling cuffs, followed by some crochet crab stitch over the top…

More maxi mending with patches inside… (and old mends clearly visible).

One day I realised these otherwise comfy socks had two threadbare patches and a big hole and were well past darning really, so stitched in some silky merino scraps to keep them in service (this is what happens when you have a lot of Zoom meetings and a lot of holey clothes, I reckon).

And beside all this there has been regular old brown on brown mends in jumpers and the restitching on facings onto collars and all the usual. Mend on, my friends!

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Filed under Crochet, Knitting, Leaf prints, Natural dyeing, Sewing

Soft shoes

I made another pair of soft shoes, with leather scrap soles from the stash, and a nice old pair of tracksuit pants providing insulation. I guess-graded up the Spoonflower pattern to the growing foot of the grandbub…

These seemed to be some kind of sample–each labeled with a colour, like a paint swatch card! I figured the bub wouldn’t care. The outers are little scraps from a hand printed table runner I bought at Oxfam and converted to a beautiful bag. Now the final scraps have gone to a lovely use too.

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