While waiting for the weather to cool and inspire me to sew some of the patterned boiled wool that jumped into my stash recently, I sewed a blouse. I chose a pattern with a asymmetrical front band.
I have always wanted to make this Burda pattern from June 2007, style 111 and why not in a bright pink cotton fabric printed with white flamingos. Are there white flamingos I wondered? Yes. The feather color of flamingos is dependent on pigments from the algae and crustaceans they eat. And the lack of pigmented food during feather-growth results in white or very pale feathers. Flamingos lose color in captivity if they were not fed Flamen Oil or some other dietary beta-carotene color additive. Hmm. I guess you could say the flamingos on my fabric are "in captivity".
|Burda 6 2007 111|
The asymmetrical bands are easy to apply. They are sewn to the wrong side of the fabric and turned to the front. A couple thing to watch out for on the bands. You will need to make a separate pattern piece for each both the left and right band from the front pattern pieces. The bands are asymmetrical and shaped differently at the neckline. Yes, I tried the shortcut method it and it doesn’t work. Watch the grain line of the band. I didn’t, putting the long straight side of the bands on the straight of grain. This was probably a benefit when sewing the bands to the bias cut edge of the left and right fronts but it means the flamingos on the front band lean a bit . Only a close sewing friend would notice this.
I have been pursuing other creative endeavors lately. A 6 week Natural Dyeing of Yarn and Clothing class at the local art cooperative has been especially fun. For the dye, I have been collecting plant materials from my yard and other nearby sources. Color is extracted by simmering the plant material in water for an hour, removing the material from the liquid and using the liquid to dye wool and silk fabrics. Black walnut husks from my own back yard created a rich brown. Mushrooms collected in the heavily mulched beds under the trees at work yielded golden and dark browns. A coworker asked me if I was gathering my dinner. Golden Rod flowers collected under the right of way of the power lines dyed the fabric a beautiful golden yellow.
Tobacco leaves yielded a pale olive green color and Harlequin Glory Bower vine flowers (a houseplant that became invasive when planted in the yard) a great verdigris green. I treated my son and his girlfriend to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant that makes table side guacamole, so I could ask for all the trashed avocados seeds (dyes fabric pink). All of these dyes work especially well on protein fibers like wool and silk, not as well on cotton. Other class members had to scour the 2nd hand shops or order online for their wools and silk. The local JoAnn's certainly didn't have any. I wandered down to my stash cave and pulled out yards and yards of off white wools and silks. I knew there was a good reason I bought them long ago. Stash to the Rescue!
Hopefully I will have enough dyed fabric to create a garment of some kind by the time class is finished. What can I do with this new knowledge? Well, perhaps I can dye and sew authentic historical reenactment garments when I retire. DH and I are currently doing some financial and lifestyle planning for our upcoming retirement. I will probably become "that crazy old lady" who does odd stuff! You have been warned!