Being a bit of a William Morris nut, I have a bad habit of collecting fabrics based on his designs. So when I saw a charm square pack of Morris fabrics (pretty sure they were Moda), it seemed like a perfect opportunity to do the indietutes patchwork skirt for my wee elflet!
The top shown with the skirt was one I picked up in a shop, just because it seemed like it would go so well... and it did, right until aforementioned elflet managed to cover it in brown stains that WOULD NOT COME OUT, even soaked in neat bleach.
So, I decided to rescue the top with a little judicious tea-dyeing and embellishment!
Tea dyeing went roughly as follows:
1. Go to make cup of tea, realise one is out of teabags. Sigh. Go to make pot of tea the hard way, realise loose leaf tea is stale. Shriek.
2. Decide that when life gives you stale tea, it is the perfect opportunity to "do something" with that stained shirt that's hanging around the sewing table being irritating.
3. Look tea-dyeing up on the internet, assimilate basic principles, make it up from there.
4. Throw handfuls of tea into a bucket, add plenty of salt. Fill bucket with hottest of hot water.
5. Taste, wish you hadn't. Resolve to buy more tea at soonest opportunity.
6. Throw in shirt, leave to soak all afternoon, poking and stirring occasionally.
7. Rinse. Rinse, and rinse some more.
8. Throw in dryer, in vague notion of "setting" the colour with the heat.
Ta da! One brown shirt... that still had visible stains on it. Dammit.
So, I found adorable Cicely Mary Barker fabric (this is the "Autumn Fairies Panels", Plane Tree Fairy panel), and appliqued that on the front over the worst of the stains, with double-sided interfacing and the zigzag on my sewing machine. Then I hand sewed on a fabric yoyo from another random crafting experiment, and a few ribbon roses. I don't think you can see, but the thread used for the zigzag is the same burgundy colour as the roses.
Ta da! One brown shirt with additional fairy and flowers, and only stained if you're looking REALLY HARD. I win! It still goes with the skirt (in a busier, fussier kind of way), and best of all, the elflet adores it.
I have yet to wash the shirt... will let you know how that goes.