Monday, April 27, 2015

Sheet to Shirt

I came across an incredible quilt maker on Pinterest last week, Maura Grace Ambrose who sells quilts under the brand Folk Fibers.
She dyes cotton and linen fabric with natural plant dyes like pomegranate, walnut, osage orange and madder to create beautiful variations of tone which she then carefully stitches into geometric quilts.
The results are amazing and you can see them here.

I was so inspired by Ms. Ambrose that I just had to do some dyeing! Luckily I'm the kind of person who has lots of stuff on hand. My mum used to do a lot of dyeing and batik when I was a kid and she passed down some of her leftover dyes and equipment a few years ago. I had thought about getting rid of those dyes about a year ago, now I'm so glad I didn't!

I'm pretty impatient when I get an idea in my head, I like to do it straight away. So I didn't have any white read-to-dye fabric, I did, however have a number of vintage cotton sheets that have been hanging around too long. So I cut one up into two pieces and went to work.

I used Procion MX Jet Black dye, oddly it turned out to be a perfect indigo which suits me fine.
I also had a pretty daggy floral quilt that needed some modernising, so I folded it then bound it up with garden twine.

I found instructions for dying online here, and went to work.

I taped down plastic sheets onto the laundry bench and had an old hand towel at the ready to mop up splashes.

A few hours later I rinsed out my quilt and sheeting according to the instructions then I ran them through a wash cycle just to make sure all the dye was out.
This is how the quilt looks now, this is the reverse side which was calico:

And the vintage sheeting look even better! I dyed one piece for 30 mins and the other for 60 mins so I would have varying tones. I was planning on making the sheet fabric into a quilt but it is so beautiful I decided to make a top from it first and hope there would be some left over for a quilt (there is!). My favourite  part of the fabric is the little white printed dots that I hadn't even noticed before dyeing.

I spied this top on Pinterest recently and added it to my Makin' board as it looked simple enough for me to sew. 
Tessuti Alice tunic top

My version of the Tessuti Alice top
Indigo Tunic top made from over dyed vintage sheet