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Topic: Patchwork skirt and a rescued top!  (Read 3607 times)
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« on: April 17, 2010 04:13:50 AM »

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!  Grin 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.  Undecided
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010 04:19:47 AM »

Gorgeous skirt, and sometimes things happen for a reason - clearly that shirt was meant to be, it looks so beautiful with the tea dye and applique. Even better than planned!
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010 04:36:11 AM »

it's great!! it's prettier than the original.  as a certified (certifiable?) klutz, i know there are some of us that just shouldn't have white clothes.  in case she doesn't grow out of that, she will at least know how to rescue her white clothes, when you tell her this story!

i accidentally dyed a cloth with a white background beige by washing it with other things that ran.  it actually looked better beige (plus, what i said about me and white?!) but i had 2 pieces of that cloth and only one went in with the things that ran.  so i dyed the other piece with instant coffee and it seems to have worked.  i used a lot of vinegar while washing it.  see if you try that and it helps the shirt keep its color better?  and maybe wash it with just some unimportant but absorbent items the first time.

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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2010 04:42:01 AM »

The skirt and top are both gorgeous and you story made me smile.

« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2010 04:54:00 AM »

it's great!! it's prettier than the original.  as a certified (certifiable?) klutz, i know there are some of us that just shouldn't have white clothes.  in case she doesn't grow out of that, she will at least know how to rescue her white clothes, when you tell her this story!

I never buy white clothes for myself for exactly that reason. Why I thought a four year old would have better luck, I do not know...  Roll Eyes

Thank you for the vinegar tip, too, I'll try that.

And thank you to everyone for your kind comments! I do love making clothes for the kid, it's far less frustrating learning to set a sleeve than it is being faced with an entire department store's worth of Bleghh Pink.
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2010 05:45:03 AM »

What an adorable set and great save on the shirt!!  I actually buy my kids lots of white because it's usually easier to clean than colored clothing.  A bleach pen usually does the trick, but yes, we sometimes lose a top or two...  Of course, that happens with our colored clothing too.  KIDS!!!   Wink
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2010 06:54:27 AM »

great rescue!!! love the fairy  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2010 06:35:09 PM »

Quite a clever makeover!

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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2010 04:39:15 PM »

I loooooove the skirt! The shirt looks 100% better tea stained too, it matches the skirt perfectly now! 

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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2010 02:56:43 AM »

They both look amazing Cheesy Great job!

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