getting the color right

have you seen the japanese pattern book drape drape by hisako sato yet? it's incredible. the garments are very flattering to curves, grecian in their draping, and look so comfy for the upcoming heat wave. it's a little unusual to see this type of sensibility from a japanese pattern book; from what i've seen boxy and um a little (dumpy) on curvy figures being more typical.

there are so many patterns i want to dive into and make. but i've managed to restrain myself and give #6 a try. so, a trip to the fabric store being necessary as i very rarely have over a yard of anything. i thought perhaps a solid, a large print, or a one color print would look nice. i first thought of using this really amazing faux-shibori grey silk, but it would need to be lined. and it would wrinkle as soon as i sat down in my car. egh. so then i thought perhaps a nice jersey, but what color? i went home and browsed around the internet for awhile. i came across a couple of yards of a mint blue cotton jersey. perfect.

or so i thought, until it arrived. it was more like an aquamarine ice blue. but that's okay, i can fix it. i would just need to overdye it with a yellow color to get the vespa mint blue green i was after. i also thought of perhaps bleaching it to lighten the intensity. so i snipped a bit of the selvedge, prewashed it, and cut it into 10 squares. i made three stained as is in a black tea bath (4 cups water per yard, 1 tea bag for each cup) for 5, 10 and 15 minutes, and six pieces paired up to be used in a bleach bath for three minutes (1:2, 1:3, 1:4 ratio bleach to water), then take three of each ratio and stain them in tea for 10 minutes. here's a photo of my results (from top to bottom; original, 5 min tea stained, 10 min tea stained, 15 min tea stained, bleached and tea stained, bleached in 1:2 ration, 1:3 ratio, 1:4 ratio):

the bleached bits had interesting little spots from the glue, so there's something to experiment with in the future, but not good for this project. there wasn't much difference in shade between the 5 minute tea stain and the 15 minute tea stain. but it was the perfect color. so i crossed my fingers, prewashed 2 yards, brewed up some tea, dumped the fabric in and let it soak for 10 minutes, and washed it again. it's drying now in the shower. it's more like a seafoam green then the previous ice blue, so pretty. hopefully i can get the pattern traced and cut out along with the fabric tomorrow. i don't think this will be a very slow project, so hopefully by next week i'll have a new pretty dress!


  1. Your dyeing talent is incredible! So cool to see the dips! :D

  2. thanks! it's mostly overdyeing though, which comes in handy when a color is too bright.