dye i made it

Dye Experiments

I had to take a day off work Monday for a meeting, but ended up with a whole free afternoon. My recent Dharma order – bolt of muslin! chemicals! more dyes! – was gnawing at me, so I made a trip to the hardware store – buckets! stirrers! tarp! – organized my new dye cabinet, and got cracking in the basement on some simple experiments. Each is two yards by 48″ (or was it 45″?)

First up, two shades of black and one shade of blue created this grey beastie:

Second, two different greens combined with one black:

And finally, grey on grey.

Forgive my blurriness (I was standing on a twirly desk chair) and Alfie’s intrusions. She loves to help. Speaking of which, here’s a video.

(If I was using the floor as a pin table, she’d come over to investigate, and then pull out the ball-topped pins. I finally bought a box of the bent safety pins, thinking it’d deter her.. Little did I know she’d just try to make off with the entire box. Terrible!)

dye i made it

A second bag.

I made the second version of the pleatness bag. It features corduroy with the metric system print and two different cottons I dyed in green and orange.

The fabrics here are much stronger than the ones I used in the other bag. I also added interfacing to the liner pieces for even more strength. It has been keeping its shape well. The original tutorial gives no seam allowances and skips over some other measurements that would have been helpful, so I just kind of went with what I had. It also never mentions any kind of trimming or anything.. I dunno. This time at least the top fit together.. it’s STILL not entirely correct, but it’s leagues ahead of the other one, since that one ended up not even closing! Oh, and I did a WAY better job of pleating this time.

I really wanted to make the liner out of all the same green cotton, but I just didn’t have a big enough piece. I’d picked up the orange to do the pockets, but it ended up also being the bottom and the short sides. I like my pen holder! Dozens of pens and markers are always floating around my bags.. It was great when I was carrying a backpack, but now it just makes me look crazy. Haha.

There are still some things I need to fix, but overall I am pretty happy with this bag and have used it most of this week.

dye i made it

Crossing things off my list

I made a list of things I think I should accomplish this year.. Sort of a “stuff to make and do” list, rather than resolutions. And it’s not all ART ART ART stuff, there are some simpler things that, while the projects themselves aren’t ART ART ART, they will just be more experience/skillbuilding that could help in the future.

One of those things was to make a new purse. I’ve been using this mustard yellow fake leather thing from H&M for a while now – two years maybe? – and it is starting to come apart, as $16 sweatshop-constructed accessories are wont to do. I have neither found a bag in a store I liked enough nor been able to convince myself that it would be OK to purchase one – I made four small totes to choose from for Christmas gifts! There is no justification for not making something myself if I can!

So over to Craftster it was. A quick search for tutorials, and I found one called “pleatness.” It’s about the same size as my H&M bag, sounds good.

I ended up dyeing a bunch of cotton duck in red and green to match up to some prints I was thinking of using. Which should I use, HMM HMM?

red with space?

green with metrics?

I ended up using the red/space. I learned a lot about the pattern from making this first one, and made a few mistakes.


A space print inside, too.

This was a good decision, sort of: I’ve been carrying the thing around for two weeks now. The rocket print is flannel, which is an unusual choice for a bag.. It’s not fraying at all, BUT the front is starting to pill and get reeeally dirty. Ack. My top wasn’t wide enough to match up with the end panels, so I ended up just overlocking the ends and leaving them open. I also figured out I really need pockets inside!

Now I’m torn between making another bag with the green/metric print with the pleating, or replacing the pleated panels with quilted panels. Quilted bits would add nice structure, I think.. I’m just not sure what I want to do! I love the metric stuff, but it’s corduroy and I don’t want to quilt that..!