Thursday, January 31, 2013

You Can Tell

I am definitely feeling much better. For starters, I got my hair cut! It turned out really cute this time too. Probably helped that I had lots of hair for my hairdresser to play with, huh? At least now I’m not drowning in my bangs. I could just hear my dear old dad grumping at me from my teenaged years, “Get that hair out of your eyes!” It was looking exactly like it did when I was 15. Thanks, Poppy.

I also dyed my fabric for my next dress. I did all the usual things. First I soaked the already washed cotton/lycra interlock. Surprisingly more magenta dye was still bleeding out so I changed the soaking water a couple of times. Then I arranged it in my big stainless steel buffet tray. Of course it had to be scrunched up to fit:


I mixed a teaspoon (approx. 5 gm) of each Procion MX dye into its own plastic cup and dissolved it with warm water. I used yellow-gold, emerald (a proprietary Maiwa colour), and navy. I began by drizzling over the yellow-gold and then the emerald (a quite bluish-green). Then I mixed up soda ash at 10% of the weight of the fabric (which was 750g x 10% = 75g) and dissolved it in hot water. I sprinkled about 2/3s of this soda solution over the fabric in the tray and poked it all in with a gloved hand. Lastly I used a teaspoon to splash some navy on anywhere where it was looking pale. By this point the fabric was very dark. I covered it all up with plastic so nothing would dry out:


Since there was some of the navy dye and soda ash left, I stuffed a small plastic pail with a wet piece of cotton t-shirt knit, another one of the freebee fabrics from my former neighbour. I added a little warm water and the leftover navy dye. After about 15 minutes I added the rest of the soda ash solution and covered up the bucket with a lid.

The two dye containers were left overnight – not that they needed that long but because I ran out of time. Yesterday morning I rinsed out the fabric from the tray in cold water quite a few times. There’s always some wash-off of excess dye but this took a number of rinsings before it seemed to slow down. Then I plopped the fabric into the biggest dyepot with a splash of Synthrapol (which helps a lot with removing excess dye) and brought it up to a simmer on the dye stove. I also added the blue piece to the pot after rinsing it a few times too. It takes about 10 minutes at a simmer to remove any more excess dye:


Lastly I squeezed out the water and put it the fabrics in the washing machine and ran them through a regular wash and then into the dryer.

The results were somewhat disappointing because one of the dyes I used (the emerald Procion MX) was D.E.A.D. I was wondering why there was so much green washing out in the rinse water! Unfortunately I figured it out around about 5 minutes into the simmering step. Doh. The emerald dye had been in the stash for quite awhile and was pretty old. Possibly decades. So I don’t really blame it for kicking the bucket. The other colours I used (yellow-gold and navy) stuck nicely. However that left a lot of magenta areas on the fabric. Yes, several of my Faithful Readers. You may now do the happy dance. Damselfly has fabric that is not Dull and Muddy! One must be accepting of the results that one achieves, right? Besides, it’s kinda pretty:


That’s just one little section to give you a hint. Now I can’t wait to make the dress. However, instead I’ve been stuck back into the Bra Wars. You know things are bad when you dream of bra pieces all night long! But darn it, I’m still not there yet. The cradle is good; the wires are fine but the cups…not so much. I made a tester bra and as I suspected I need to go back to the drawing board (literally) on the cups. I also need to pick out the cups and wires from the tester cradle in order to try again with new cups. Sigh. Why is it that I just can’t get this right? I’m so envious of the other lovely lingerie I’ve seen others make and I SO WANT SOME!! Grrrr….


Dixie said...

The fabric turned out great, as I knew it would. It will look really nice with that dress pattern.
Hang in there with the bra making. I know you can do it!

pao said...

Ha! I surrendered and am no longer on active duty in the Bra Wars. I hardly even got started, but looking at/reading everyone's comments was enough to get me AWOL fast. I got as far as tracing the pattern out and adding on the different seam allowances. Then I didn't know what to use for a toile. Enough. I'm happily back to sewing stuff I can conceivably accomplish and wear. More power to ya!

Louisa said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Dixie! And sorry you gave up so soon, Pat. The sewing of bras is not really that hard, just a bit fiddly. It's the pattern that's giving me trouble - probably because I'm...ahem...non-standard. But I am NOT giving up!

Sharon in Surrey said...

Hah - some color at last!! I'll be awaiting the dress. And the Bra Wars - well, been there, tried that, hated wires, decided a corset was the only way to go to get everything repositioned!! Today, I don't give a damn, Descent Exposures makes mine in comfy stay-dry fabric with no wires or hardware - yeah, it looks like a sports bra but it's comfortable enough to sleep in. And I have them in Magenta, Plum, Turquoise, Grey & Nude. I could add lace if I wanted.