Friday, June 22, 2012

The Big Reveal

I know everyone has been dying to find out how the Great Bathroom Fix of 2012 went! So without further ado:


Ta-Dah! Yeah, I know it doesn’t actually seem like it took more than 2 weeks of hard work. But trust me – we’re both exhausted! Sorry about the awkward shot. The room is so small that there’s nowhere to take most of it in except from the doorway. The wall colour shows best at the left there by the mirror. It’s called “Red Stone” but it’s more like chocolate syrup. We were a little disappointed in the fact that it’s very shiny even though the base is semi-gloss. The trim (window, door, inside cupboards and drawers) is called “Moonlight White” and it’s a yellow-based near-white. It’s a properly semi-gloss finish. Go figure. Both are Behr paints.

Anyway we’re quite pleased with the revamp even though it really doesn’t look a whole lot different. Except cleaner and brighter. We know how much work we put into it in places you can’t see like the pipes, caulking and sink replacements. And the places you can see like the painting, oiling the wood and scrubbing and waxing the floor. See how shiny it is?


I love the way the tiles resemble a quilt. T says he isn’t quite done yet however. He wants to put some quarter-round edging under the counter and in a few other spots just to “finish it off”. And add a plastic shelf on the window sill for my jewel orchids which are currently banished to the living room. Personally I’m waiting for the paint smells to abate. I’m quite done with this project.

In other news, I finished another discharged silk crepe scarf:


This one is long and narrow instead of square. I used 2 CD’s clamped onto the folded fabric. But not without first melting 2 of T’Man’s plastic clamps in the simmering thiox solution! Grumble. Whereupon I switched to my metal ones which I obviously should have used in the first place. Then the CD’s started to break down too. Obviously I’m not very good at this discharge thing! There’s a reason the Japanese itajime tradition used wood and string, no? You can see where one CD split there on the left circular shape. I left this scarf in the solution a lot longer this time and although I kept adding more thiox a little at a time, the process went very slowly. Or maybe I was more patient in spite of the “mechanical breakdown” issues. Regardless, I’m quite happy with the outcome. Even if I now need to replace T’s favourite clamps.

I also finally managed to finish this project:

Pleat-Neck Blouse


Completed:  June 2012

Fabric:  a vintage 100% cotton sheet, light pinkish-mauve.BS09-2011-128_line Dyed after sewing.

Notions:  Gutermann cotton sewing thread, natural. Mettler poly sewing thread, light brown. 5 buttons, light brown.

Pattern:  BurdaStyle 09-2011, #128

Comments:  I think this blouse turned out all right! It started out as a muslin because I was quite unsure of the shoulders and armholes and whether I could get this pattern to fit me. As usual I traced a smaller size for that area and went wider for the bottom of the blouse. I also brought the underarm higher by a whole inch because the model seemed to have gaping issues there. In fitting the blouse on my body I added back darts to shape the boxy back a little. I’m boxy enough without bringing attention to the fact. A bit of shaping is much more flattering:


Notice in the photos there’s still a bit of an issue with folds appearing at the armholes. I couldn’t figure out on the odd pattern shapes how to slope them enough for my ski-slope shoulders! I think it’s not too much of a drawback however. Because of the raised underarm seam there isn’t much gaping going on.

Even though this was supposed to be a muslin, early on I decided to make it wearable by sewing with cotton thread so it would take dye later. (I left off the buttons and buttonholes until after the dyebath.) There was no way I was ever going to wear a pinkish blouse so over-dyeing was the only option. Luckily I’ve had lots of experience with that! Here’s the nearly finished blouse scrunched into the dyepot:


Cool reflections in the very shiny stainless steel! Then I sprinkled on enough warm water to get it all wet. Maybe a cup or so total. I mixed up 3 dyestocks: 1/2 tsp moss (a Maiwa mix) in 1/2 c. hot water, 1/4 tsp chino (a ProChem mix) in 1/4 c. hot water and 1/4 c. scarlet (Maiwa base colour) in 1/4 c. hot water. That equalled 1 tsp total dye in 1 cup water. Pouring them over was fun:


After 15 minutes I added the soda ash (1-3/4 tsp in 1 cup hot water) over top. I didn’t mix much but just pressed and poked a bit with a gloved hand. Then I covered the pot and went away for the rest of the day. Later on I rinsed first in cool water a couple of times and then into the washing machine on hot with a dash of Synthrapol. When it was finished it went in the dryer. It came out damp and wrinkly so I ironed it right away. The finished colours are always a lot lighter than they seem in the dyepot:


My own personal “camo”. When worn with my green Sweat Skirt, the outfit matches my new Romika shoes perfectly!

In case you thought I’ve forgotten all about knitting, I’m on the last round of T’s Ten-Stitch Blanket. I also started a new project: a dress for Rosebud. She won’t be wearing it until next autumn so I hope it will still fit the growing girl by then.

More on this anon. I’m off to get out in the garden while it’s not raining. We were going to go camping in Manning Park this weekend with T’s brother and sis-in-law but the forecast for the mountains is frankly depressing. Rain, rain, and more rain. So we decided to sit this one out. (Either that or I’m just to lazy to pack up the van!) However, so far it’s not bad out there at all. Mother Nature is such a tease.


Dixie said...

You've been a busy gal! The bathroom looks great. I bet it feels good to have finished it.
Your shirt is nice, too. Thanks for showing the steps for dying. I haven't worked with dye and should probably give it a whirl this summer.
Isn't it great to have knitting to do when one tires of painting a bathroom, sewing, dying, and gardening? Whatever else would you do with so much idle time?!

Louisa said...

Thanks for the kind words, hon'! I did forget to mention that the dyes are Procion MX, cool water fibre reactive dyes for cellulose (cotton, linen, rayon, hemp etc.) Let me know if you decide to play with them and have any questions.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous bathroom & a lovely blouse!

Louisa said...

Thanks, Beentsy! I'm hoping my cleaning mojo won't desert me and we can start on another room very soon.

Heather said...

The bathroom looks great and the blouse is very flattering. Lovely for summer.

Trapunto said...

Meant to say earlier how impressed I am with your paint choice. I'd have never had the chutzpah to go with a dark color, but the window and fixtures just glow from it, and it looks both warm for winter and cool and sheltered for summer.

And I can sympathize with how long it took. Last fall I painted my first bathroom. What with the patching and sanding from the noodleheads who covered the walls with pepto pink paint, wallpaper, and crappy little shelves screwed straight into the crumbly sheetrock . . . took me a solid two weeks.