Cap Sleeve Tunic

fullsizerenderA cap-sleeved tunic.  That’s the dressy-description.  It combines denim pieces and dyed fabric.  Including two pieces that are pre-printed…one is white and white and the other is black on white.  Then both were over-dyed.

And, I included a stencil of the logo of the Women’s March.  A personal statement.

On a garment that’s a personal statement!





fullsizerenderFront and fullsizerenderback views.



Sharp(ie) Flowers

A Moya shirt made fullsizerender-3with dyed and printed fabric.

I’ve been experimenting with other ways to add color.  There are wonderful black on white fabric, some with large flowers.  I used Sharpie pens here.  Quick to color and definitely permanent!

The button is a found pebble with a hole–like a geode without the sparkle.



Back of sharpie shirt

Back of sharpie shirt

Here’s a view of the back.

Several printed fabrics were included…dyed over white or gold on white fabric.

The fabric is a gold print of palm trees–makes me think of the South Carolina icon.

Someone saw my newest shirt and said that it looked like me.  (Hummmm.  They assured me that this was a good thing.)

Front (closed) of sharpie shirt

Front (closed) of sharpie shirt




Another view of the front, with the overlay closed–overlay sounds better than flap 🙂






Mickey Mouse Shirt


Mickey Mouse back

Mickey Mouse back

Just finished my Mickey Mouse shirt.  Depending how it’s said…that’s good, or bad!  

This uses a series of shirts with various graphics and dyed blue/green.  And, there are some shibori dyed pieces.

Someone enjoyed their trip to Disneyland…I enjoy their shirt!  And one of my favorites is the sheep that gets the middle spot.




Mickey Mouse front

Mickey Mouse front

Do what works…good words to live by. Think the toon green creature is freaked out by his neighbors or just freaky 🙂









They gave me a t-shirt

The nice folks at Shared Harvest gave me a gift as a thank you for volunteering.  Their t-shirt was a generous gift.  But, it was lacking.

They gave me a tshirt

They gave me a tshirt

It needed some color.  It needed to be warmer to wear in the warehouse in the winter.  It needed COLOR.

So, I cut it up and dyed it…adding color using shibori techniques.  And, I combined it with other fabric friends to make a warm winter tunic.

Part of the Feeding America network, Shared Harvest works very hard to help feed the food insecure in Butler and the nearby counties.   As a food warehouse they provide food to local pantries.  And, they have special programs (Backpack and Senior food box) to feed the young and the old.

Shared Harvest hasn’t offered me another t-shirt.

Fitton Art CenterThe Fitton Art Center in Hamilton asked me to volunteer for an Open House.  So, I dyed up some fabric and made a vest in which I incorporated the Fitton logo.

The Fitton is a community arts center right on the Miami River amid downtown Hamilton.  There are lovely galleries that display work of artists from all over.  A theater and ballroom present musical and theatrical pieces and the Fitton offers a variety of classes.  The Fitton is a hub of the Hamilton arts scene.  Currently the Fitton is partnering with the city to paint murals on several downtown buildings.

The Fitton folks said they were going to give me a t-shirt.  But they didn’t.  Maybe they knew what happens to t-shirts that are given to me.


Duck and Denim

Dyed and Denim Jacket

Dyed and Denim Jacket

My new dyed jacket is a combination of hand-dyed duck* cloth and upcycled denim*.

The dyed part uses a shibori folded method…it’s a two part process.  The first dye gives the color splotches and the folding gives the blue lines.

It’s made using Vogue pattern 9153.

*Duck is from the dutch doek or “linen canvas”.   And denim?  That’s jean material, aka serge de Nîmes or twill from Nîmes in France.

Silk Striped shirt

Silk Stripe

Silky Stripes…uses a fun of silk fabrics and a lovely chambray shirt that I promptly cut up for (part of) the sleeves and the collar.

I used Butterick pattern 5218 for this shirt.

Both of these (jacket and shirt) were made with french/flat felled seams.  Sometimes, I line the garment. Or I serge.  With the number of pieces of fabric that I put in the crazy garments I do something to stop the fabric from fraying away.


Zippy Jackets to De-Stash

De-Stash!!  That’s my new mission.  Pull out that fabric and use it.  Some fabric is hand-dyed/printed/tied and some is commercial.  Some big pieces and some small.  Most are pieced–like a quilt, I combine fabrics helping them play well with others!

Indigo ikat woven

Peppy Blue

Two zipper-front jackets used different fabrics for different effects.

Peppy Blue was made with a combination of cotton fabrics.  The body of the jacket was handwoven using ikat-indigo dyed yarn.  Ikat gives the white areas–that’s where the yarn was tied so the indigo couldn’t get in.  The handwoven is soft and has a nice drape.  The sleeves are commercial, also indigo dyed.

The jacket is zipper front–the white zipper works well with the ikat white spots.

Marcy Tilton V8779


The pattern that I used was from Vogue-Marcy Tilton.  #8779  It’s a great pattern–looks boxey, but with the right fabric it makes a fun, jacket with different fits/drapes.  Unfortunately, it’s now out of print (:

Because of the loose structure of the Bias Bindinghandwoven fabric, I finished some of the Peppy Blue seams with bias binding.


Print and Upcycled denim

Basic Shapes

Another jacket with a different look is Basic Shapes.

I had a good sized piece of a fabric that I had printed in a workshop.  It sat in the stash box for years–too fun to throw, but not right for any project that was at hand.

I used the same pattern (V8779) and paired the printed fabric with denim.  I have a project that needed lots of denim–so I purchased used jeans from my local consignment/thrift store.  Now I have a big pile.

So, they’re going into clothing.  Cut and pieced.  One of the fronts I sewed with “outie” seams that I clipped.  After washing, the seams fuzz up–like chenille.  I modified the jacket a bit.  I like longer jackets (to cover my butt when I’m wearing leggings) but it was a bit long in the front, so I made a circular cut in the front.  Yup it’s shorter in the front–but not so visible in my pic.

This jacket is lined–that’s my choice when there are lots of seams.

Switch Gears

Time to switch gears.

Indigo patches

I’ve been posting about dyeing and using natural dyes.  I’ve searched my backyard and I’ve walked the neighborhood.  I’ve purchased dyes that were sustainable, and shipped from the other side of the world.  Fun to see what plants and some critters (cochineal) can do on fiber.  Here’s a shirt that’s pieced using indigo dyed fabric.

But after a while, I realized that most of what I was getting from my backyard was backyard yellow.  Yup, nice colors and fun to collect.   Combined with other dyes they give greens and oranges.  But, mostly yellows.

One day it occurred to me that I missed that burst of color that synthetic dyes give.  Bright colors.  Instant gratification.

So, I’m back to using synthetics.  Bright colors.  Combining lights and darks.  Mixing and matching.

Catalyst for Change

Catalyst for Change

And, along the way I got into t-shirts, especially upcycled tees.  I’ve been rediscovering shibori–folding, tyeing, pressing to get patterns.

That’s fun.  And, the words and pictures on tee-shirts.  What fun to combine the words and graphics.  More funky!

Here’s one that is most appropriate–Catalyst for Change.

So, onward to new fun!

Coreopsis Printing for summer tops

Pick it out of the trash
Take it from your cache
What can be done with your stash?

Using a “print paste” I’ve been putting coreopsis on fabrics.  Playing with the color and designs, I’ve been building up a stash.  Now, I’ve turned the stash into blouses…

Coreopsis and rust printing

Coreopsis and iron printing

This spring, I took a class on mandelas which work nicely in their variety.  The range of hues come from a mix of an alum-based paste, combined with more or less

Coreopsis and rust printing

Coreopsis and iron printing (front)

Coreopsis and rust printing

Coreopsis and iron printing (back)

ferrous sulfate (iron.)  Then the piece is dipped in a “vat” of coreopsis dye-liquor.  (My vats are really small pots–maybe a cup or two of liquid depending on the number of coreopsis blooms that I harvested that day!)

One challenge is to amp the coreopsis color.  My goal is the deep orange that I get from a small sample, but I’ll be happy with a lighter, but definite orange.  I’m thinking that the coreopsis contains enough tannin so when the iron comes into contact, it changes the color of the dye bath.  I’m experimenting with a pre-dip of tannin, or coreopsis liquid to fix the iron and then re-dip with more coreopsis liquid.

Who’d a thunk, that I’d be spending weeks on one flower!

Yellow and blue make…surprises!

Combining colors should be an easy process.  Yellow and blue make green, or they should. But, it’s a challenge to get greens with natural dyes.  Should be easy…nature has greens all round!  Here’s a shirt that I upcycled and dyed with clover, crown vetch and indigo.

Clover and Indigo DSC01507


Clover and indigo

I experimented with crown vetch first.  I dyed a piece of cotton muslin with flowers and then overdipped it with indigo.  I was very pleased with the yellow and more pleased with the greens.  So, on to the shirt.  I’m pleased with the shirt, but the yellow isn’t as pale and the green isn’t as “kelly.”  My first dye of the shirt was more gold.  Was it the amount of fabric?  Or the fabric was linen?  Or it had been printed already–although most was still offwhite.  So, I collected some clover flowers and the yellow was more what I had in mind.  (I started to type, the yellow was more yellow 🙂 )

I had switched to crown vetch because the flowers are bigger, so less to harvest!!  But, I went back to clover.  Yup, that little white flower.







pomegranateAnother green experiment.  I had been saving some pomegranate rinds…keeping them in the fridge like gold:)  I had used them this winter and the color was a pleasing gold.  I was cleaning my fridge… so, I pulled them out and dyed a piece of muslin.  The color from the pomegranate was more gold.  When I over-dyed that with the indigo…not a green.  More of a brown.  Actually nice!