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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: dye, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 15 of 15
1. Overdyeing Silk

Dyeing things gives me such a rush. It feels like magic, and also like haha! I got what I wanted for next to nothing!

A sewing friend who was moving away (a long time ago now) gave me some silk (crepe de chine?) from her fabric stash. Silk! I’ve never sewed with silk before. But I was stumped. The colors are all very, very pale, and I just couldn’t imagine myself wearing them. Paleness tends to wash me out. Months later I had a brainflash. What if I dyed the silk? But silk. Silk! It took me a long time to work up my nerve.

Finally, months after that, I started with a small piece and used the old Easter egg/ Kool Aid dye technique.

Initially I was going to try some embroidery or resist or something to give it some more interest, but then decided to keep it simple. I ended up really liking the color. Warning, though—-this was German Easter egg dye. PAAS will work the same, but I find their colors to be a bit, well, Easter eggy—whereas this green was nice and grassy. You can always mix your PAAS or Kool-Aid colors to get something a bit more nuanced. I think there are even tutorials out there on mixing Kool-Aid colors—-usually with regards to yarn dyeing.

On to silk batch #2. I was a little bolder this time with several larger pieces of pale blue, and decided for an indigo color using two shades of Deka fabric dye.

I didn’t use a full load of dye, but the fabric didn’t take the color as deeply as I’d expected. The blue I ended up with was beautiful but dried a good bit lighter than I wanted:

I really liked the mottled effect I got in this first dye job:

I dyed it one more time to get a deeper color. It doesn’t show up quite true in this photo (below), but I really like the way it turned out–it’s just a tiny bit deeper than the middle tone. The mottled effect is gone, though. I’m planning to make another Anda dress out of the fabric. Wish me luck! My most recent sewing projects have not been going very well.

For tips on overdyeing, check out this previous post.  For more of my adventures in fiber art, click here.

3 Comments on Overdyeing Silk, last added: 3/16/2012
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2. Overdyed Pashmina Shawl

This was a fairly simple and oh-so-satisfying project. I bought the pashmina (silk and cashmere) for a few dollars at a thrift store and used it as a sort of throw in my son’s room when he was a baby. It was just the right color at the time, but after it outlived its usefulness, I felt obligated to wear it.

The problem was, it just wasn’t my color, so I never did. It seemed too luxurious to get rid of, so finally I decided to overdye it. I had to choose a color that was in the same vein but deeper. This coral color (Deka calls it “Hibiscus”) seemed just right, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. The color is very slightly uneven, but to me that’s just part of the charm of hand-dyeing.

I have to confess, though, that I’m still a little lost as to how to wear a pashmina shawl—maybe I should look for an online tute? The beading is also a little fancy for my taste. I could remove it, but that feels a little drastic. In the meantime, the shawl is keeping me warm at home.

For tips on overdyeing, see my post How to Overdye. If you’re in the US, I recommend dharma trading for supplies and directions. Remember: only try this with natural fibers, and please not with anything precious, because you never know what your results will be.

I threw in a few other things while the dye was ready, including this tablecloth from the thrift store here:

You may remember it from this earlier post. I love the dipped-in-Kool-Aid look it has here—so much more interesting than the brown on white. I’m planning to make some travel sacks for my daughter to pack her shoes and dirty laundry in. This always seems to be an issue when we travel, and it’s nice to have something handy and cute to use.

Speaking of fiber arts, the haiku sweater is off the needles (woowoo!) and Amy Karol had this great post on knitting attitudes the other day. And by the way she seems to have found a similar cookie thing like ours (where you can print letters) at Williams Sonoma. She’s a much more patient mommy than I am because she let the kids do a bajillion different words. I’m inspired.

Also, regarding fiber arts, I was totally happy to see the return of annekata. She had quit blogging for awhile, but she’s back!

2 Comments on Overdyed Pashmina Shawl, last added: 1/27/2012
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3. Red Curtains and Tips on Overdyeing

I did this project a long time ago, but I thought of it recently after seeing this blog post about overdyed rugs. I made these curtains when I was first living in Boston. I moved there with no job, no furniture, and very little money. If you missed the post with paintings of my apartment there, check it out.

Cash was short, and fabric stores were really hard to get to for someone relying on public transportation, so I started sewing with things I found at the thrift store.

For some reason, I can’t remember why, I was determined to have red curtains for our living room. So determined the curtains be red that I dyed sheets and stitched curtains out of them by hand because I had no machine. Well, we did have some crazy boy neighbors who had a gigantic telescope which they swore they weren’t using to spy on us.

Anyway, tips on overdyeing.

1) Start with natural fibers in a pale color, or discharge first.

These sheets/ curtains are 100% cotton and were originally a peachy color. You can also start with a deeper color and opt to soak your fabric in a bleach solution to remove the original color. This is called discharging. If you’re going that route, you’ll be better off with a fabric that is still fairly new, as the bleach will weaken the fibers a good bit. And I wouldn’t try discharging fabric for a heavy-wear item, such as a handbag, or something that will need a lot of washing, because again, the fabric will be more fragile.

2) Select dye color carefully.

Remember that the color you start with, however pale, will influence the dye color, and the result will be different from what you’d get from dyeing plain white fabric. You’re layering color. A basic knowledge of the color wheel is useful here. As a general rule of thumb, overdyeing is going to work better if the original color is in the same color family as the dye color. For example, my peachy sheets and the red dye color are both warm colors. Had I chosen to dye them blue, the peach would have tempered that blue, making it a little muddy. Not necessarily a bad thing, but a little unpredictable.

3) Follow dye instructions.

I recommend skipping grocery store dye, which fades and bleeds a lot when you wash, and using procion dyes like those found at dharmatrading.

4) Have open-ended expectations.

This is not an exact science. Chances are, your end product will not look the way you pictured it, and it’s best if you’re okay with that from the beginning. Also, don’t dye something precious. That’s why thrift store-finds are a perfect choice here. If it doesn’t turn out, you don’t get your heart broken.

For more reading about dyeing, read my earlier posts about getting started with dyes here and here. Also check out these posts from ohfransson: discharging 4 Comments on Red Curtains and Tips on Overdyeing, last added: 2/28/2011

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4. Frühlingsfieber/ Patchwork Sneak Peek

Give me a couple of days of sunshiny, above-freezing weather, and I’m delirious with Fruehlingsfieber (spring fever). I’m superstitious even as I write this that Jack Frost is reading and will surely punish me for hoping spring is really on its way. I know the sunshine can’t last, but if gray weather will teach you anything (and actually, I think it can teach a lot, more on that some other time) it’s to make hay while the sun shines. Go out! Enjoy it! This is what the Germans do and so am I.

I’m also feeling the creative sap flowing. Recently I’ve been getting deeper and deeper back into my YA novel and motoring through chapters as fast as I can, trying not to look back and overpolish before I’ve got a complete draft. It’s a totally new way of working for me, and I have to ask myself why I never tried it before. I guess I just wasn’t ready.

Meanwhile I’m getting further and further along on the self-dyed patchwork I started awhile back. I’m so excited about the way it’s coming together. Hope I can share it in full soon. It’s for my son (3) and he’s loving it, which is just the best.

Above is a little peak from the back. Do you notice those finished edges? I realized since it wasn’t going to be quilted that I needed to do something to keep it from fraying. So I’m zigzagging every last little seam. Yep. Crazy, isn’t it? But somehow so satisfying. Aren’t you proud of me for being such a stickler?

A few more random updates:

  • just finished The Hunger Games trilogy. Whew! What a ride! I can’t believe it took me so long to pick them up. Although, it’s kind of nice to be able to read the whole trilogy at once rather than wait for a year or so in between installments. This isn’t my “normal” favorite type of read, but these were way way awesome, very fine writing in addition to the exciting plotlines. They were also progressively engrossing. By the second half of the third novel the world just sort of fell away, dinner went uncooked, children made messes.
  • just discovered a new-to-me design-y/ crafty/ arty blog with a good sense of humor that I’m really enjoying: aesthetic outburst. Thanks go to Meg of elsie marley for the hot tip.
  • oh, um, in case you were trying to reach any of those links on my “projects” or “writing exercise” pages, they have now been fixed. Gotta tell me when these things are messed up, okay?
  • enjoyed this opinion piece by Mark Bittman in the NY Times re: the new dietary guidelines. It’s called “Is ‘Eat Real Food’ Unthinkable?”

1 Comments on Frühlingsfieber/ Patchwork Sneak Peek, last added: 2/10/2011
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5. The Golden Fleece Hand Warmers: Underwear to Outerwear
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By: Emily Smith Pearce, on 1/18/2011
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  Crafts, Fiber Arts, Sewing, arm warmers, craft, dye, expatriate, felt, felted sweater, felted wool, fiber art, Germany, Hannover, kool aid, kool-aid dye, shrink, Add a tag

These hand warmers began life as perhaps the most expensive children’s underclothes known to man.

Figuring out the right gear for the weather in Germany has been an ongoing education. When my three-year-old’s kind, dear kindergarten teacher told me he needed undershirts, I listened. He needed not just any undershirts, mind you, but silk-wool undershirts, from a boutique. I can’t even bear to tell you how much I paid for them.

Meanwhile, it’s very un-German of me, but I haven’t been able to kick the big ol’ energy-wasting American dryer addiction. Maybe there’s a 12-step program I can enroll in and by the time we leave here I’ll have cleaned up my act. Dryers do exist in Germany, but it’s much more common, regardless of income level, to use a drying rack. I do this some but not enough.

Sadly, this is what happened to one of the costly silk-wool undershirts:

Gasp! All those Euros gone to waste! I couldn’t handle it becoming just a doll shirt, and my daughter had been asking for a set of hand warmers. So I broke out the Kool-Aid (brought from the U.S.) and dyed it, using roughly these instructions.

If I had it to do over, I’d probably use one less packet of Kool-Aid to get a slightly lighter color, but oh well. It’s done. After that I just cut up the middle of the shirt and trimmed the top down so that the arm-piece of the shirt became the thumb-piece of the warmers.

I used an old T-shirt to line the arm warmers and finished them off with blanket stitching. Voila! You could certainly make a similar pair with a shrunken sweater, using the underarm corner as the under-thumb corner.

4 Comments on The Golden Fleece Hand Warmers: Underwear to Outerwear, last added: 1/21/2011
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6. Getting Started with Dyes, Part I: Animal Fibers
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By: Emily Smith Pearce, on 1/14/2011
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  Crafts, Fiber Arts, cashmere, craft, dip dye, dye, Easter egg dye, fabric, fiber, handmade, kids, kool aid, recycling, scarf, silk, sweater, thrift, wool, yarn, Add a tag

Want to try dyeing things but don’t know where to start?

A reader wrote me recently asking for help.

Where to start, what to read?

The easiest kind of dyeing to start with is food dye on animal fibers. I love this because you can do it in the kitchen with grocery-store items, the results are super-satisfying, and the kids can join in.

What are animal fibers? Wool, silk, cashmere, you get the idea

Wool and Cashmere:

You can do some beautiful things with Kool-Aid and wool, and IT WILL NEVER WASH OUT.

Kool-Aid (or Easter egg dye) and wool yarn is a perfect starter project, especially if you knit. You can dye it with a rainbow of colors, using your microwave. Check out this article for details. Lion Brand makes an undyed 100% wool yarn called Fisherman’s Yarn that is very reasonably priced. I used to buy it at Hobby Lobby, but it may also be available at Michael’s and other craft stores. Knitpicks also sells undyed yarn, in a wider variety of weights and variations. Their prices are very reasonable also, but you do have to order it. Also try dharmatrading.

You can dye pieces of old wool or cashmere sweaters in a similar way, but it’s a little tricky—-you should be prepared for uneven results.  Here’s a project of mine with Easter egg dye on cashmere. I would recommend starting with a light-colored sweater and dyeing smaller pieces (an arm or less) at a time, as a sweater acts like a sponge to the dye, absorbing the color before it gets the chance to circulate around the fabric.

The process is similar to the yarn-dyeing project, but use a larger amount of dye and a larger container, on the stove instead of the microwave. I used my big soup pot. The same process should work for wool and cashmere wovens, though I’ve never tried it.


Kool-Aid, Easter egg dye, or food coloring also works well on silk. I’ve used it to make playsilks, with the directions here. I’ve also dip-dyed silk scarves, which you can see here. After heat-setting, these dyes are not quite as colorfast as in wool and cashmere, so I would recommend hand-washing, but the bleeding is very little. Also, dry out of direct sunlight.

With any dyeing project, there’s a certain amount of risk involved. You never know exactly what your finished project is going to look like, and for me, that’s part of the thrill. Be prepared for that uncertainty, because even if your project turns out beautifully, chances are it won’t be exactly as you  envisioned.

More about other kinds of dyeing soon.

1 Comments on Getting Started with Dyes, Part I: Animal Fibers, last added: 1/14/2011
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7. Hand-Dyed Patchwork in Progress
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By: Emily Smith Pearce, on 9/13/2010
Blog: Emily Smith Pearce (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  Crafts, Fiber Arts, Sewing, craft, dye, expatriate, fabric, Germany, Hannover, patchwork, recycle, recycling, Add a tag

I hadn’t planned to share from this work-in-progress until it was done, but then I was inspired by this post, which challenges bloggers (quilting bloggers in particular) to share more of their process, not just finished projects.

So, here I am, showing you a strip from a large patchwork I’m working on. When I do patchwork, I’m not usually interested in following a traditional pattern or in measuring. Some people call this “liberated quilting.” For me it’s about being able to enjoy the process (I hate measuring) and also something we used to talk about it in art class called “showing the artist’s hand.” In painting this often means that the artist has let the brushstrokes show. I enjoy having my patchwork look handmade at first glance. If you’re familiar with the Gee’s Bend quilts, it’s that kind of aesthetic I’m going for.

I also prefer to work with mostly used or scrap fabrics in my patchwork (I keep saying patchwork rather than quilting because this piece is not actually going to be quilted). I think it’s because historically that’s what quilts were made from, and that thriftiness and ingenuity is part of what attracts me to patchwork in the first place. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a beautiful quilt made from new fabrics—-this is just a rule I give myself (and sometimes break, of course). The history of the fabric creates a story behind the project, and it also provides an extra challenge, kind of like painting a still life using only four tubes of paint.

This patchwork is for my son’s duvet cover, and it’s made from his crib sheets, most of which I hand-dyed, and also from the fabric I used in a failed attempt at making a shopping cart cover. You can see one of his crib sheets in this blog post. There’s also a bit of fabric left from making the curtains in his room.

When I was pregnant with my son, I went snorkeling for the first time and was inspired to create a nursery mural of a very simple school of white fish on a grayish-teal backdrop—blogged here. Now that he’s in a big-boy bed, I wanted to make him a new bedcover with a similar theme. I didn’t want to make literal fish but  wanted to keep the feeling of simple white shapes moving over the space. Here’s my sketch for the piece—although I didn’t color it all in so you really can’t tell at this point which parts are going to be white. That part’s in my head. I may or may not follow the sketch entirely.

In addition to the Gee’s Bend quilters, another influence is the work of Malka Dubrawksy, a fiber artist, quilting blogger, and author I admire. Check out her gorgeous work made with fabrics she batiks and dyes herself.

Can’t wait to get some more done so I can show you my progress. Hopefully I’ll finish this before the little man goes to college. And if he doesn’t like it, I’ll hang it on the wall!

4 Comments on Hand-Dyed Patchwork in Progress, last added: 9/15/2010
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8. Seven Impossible Things interview
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By: Linda S. Wingerter, on 4/9/2007
Blog: Blue Rose Girls (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  referral, interview, Add a tag

It's been a fun, packed weekend once again, and this one included another fabulous trip to Mystic to visit Libby for a Blue Rose Girls Easter celebration, including not one, but TWO Easter egg hunts. But I didn't get back to NY till late last night and even though I have a lot of things I want to blog about (I was asked to write about this Library Preview from the editor's point of view, I have a bunch of Spring books that are out now that I'd like to talk about, and I also want to continue my "How I Know" series...), I'm a little too tired right now. I'll try to write more later today or this week, but for now I'll leave you with my Seven Impossible Things to Do Before Breakfast interview which was just posted today.

Go here.

Thanks Eisha and Jules! That was fun.

2 Comments on Seven Impossible Things interview, last added: 4/9/2007
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9. dye from walnut tree // diófa pác
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By: Irisz Agocs, on 3/22/2007
Blog: artista how to (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  supplies, dye, Add a tag

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10. dye from cherry tree // cseresznye fapác
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By: Irisz Agocs, on 3/22/2007
Blog: artista how to (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  supplies, dye, Add a tag

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11. mordant dye II. // fapácok II.
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By: Irisz Agocs, on 3/22/2007
Blog: artista how to (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  supplies, dye, Add a tag

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12. mordant dye // fapácok
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By: Irisz Agocs, on 3/22/2007
Blog: artista how to (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  supplies, dye, Add a tag

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13. Speaking of editorial letters...
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By: Linda S. Wingerter, on 7/25/2007
Blog: Blue Rose Girls (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  referral, editing, Add a tag

My former colleague Amy Lin (formerly Amy Hsu) has launched editomato, " a small, online business offering developmental editorial services to children's book writers aiming to be published in the trade market." Amy is an incredibly fantastic and well-respected editor with superb taste, and when we worked together, I relied on her heavily for editorial advice and support. She left the company to move away to where her husband lives. How dare she.

Amy was responsible for getting Patrick McDonnell on our list, and edited his NY Times Bestselling The Gift of Nothing. She has edited such beautiful books as What Are You So Grumpy About? by Tom Lichtenheld, Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo by Greg Leitich Smith, The Geography of Girlhood by Kirsten Smith, and after her departure freelance edited Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass and Exploratopia by the Exploratorium.

So, if you want a great editorial letter, check out her site! It's adorable and nicely designed, to boot. Plus, she's a great friend!

4 Comments on Speaking of editorial letters..., last added: 7/30/2007
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14. A few step // Néhány lépés
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By: Irisz Agocs, on 7/26/2007
Blog: artista how to (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  step by step, dye, pencil, watercolour, step by step, painting, dye, Add a tag

I was starting to make a step by step painting picture, but after few step I just snapped into painting and forgot to take photos, and accidentally I finished the illustration. But here some photos, and the result.
Nekiálltam egy lépésrôl lépésre festôs dolgot megfotózni, de néhány lépés után belejöttem a festésbe és megfeledkeztem a fotózásról, és véletlenül hipphopp kész lett az illusztráció.
De íme néhány fotó és a végeredmény.

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15. 7 differences // 7 különbség
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By: Irisz Agocs, on 8/10/2010
Blog: artista how to (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags:  design, sketch, drawing, dye, Add a tag

This is a sample for designing own characters, the first sketch is after a photo, and then my own lion.

Egy egyszerű példa a saját karakter alakítására, az első vázlat egy fotó alapján készült, a második kép már a saját oroszlánom a vázlat után.

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