Monday, December 27, 2010

Sweater Transformation: Conclusion of the Non Bedazzler Edition

It's finished!

I really like the color and I found buttons that match it perfectly.
It was meant to be, because I had just the right number of buttons too!
I backed the placket with some leftover cotton I used on one of my earlier projects.

Just tacked it in by hand. I then stitched closed the button holes and
re-sewed them in a darker color.

Even removed the tags and uncovered some non dyed parts.

I'm very pleased by this whole process.
It's filling the knitwear gap I have in my wardrobe.

Right now I'm suffering from a head cold, and I'm so loaded up on water I feel like a sponge. The plus is I'll have great skin next week! :)
Once I feel better, I'll be back.

Thanks all!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Catalog Sunday

Hi all.
It's the last Sunday for Holiday offerings. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sweater Transformation: Non Bedazzler Edition pt 2

Fresh out of the dryer.

I even tossed in a white bed sheet to see if any dye came off. Both left the dryer unscathed. I'm quite pleased with the result. The navy is pretty true to navy. Its got a purple cast, and is not a 'bold' as one would expect. I like the subtle look of the color.

I'm also pleased the cotton shrank a bit and I don't look as doughy as I did prior to this ordeal. That had me in the dumps for the whole day. The suckie news is you can now tell where they used polyester thread on the garment. Its on the grosgrain around the collar and the button holes. Not to worry, I plan on adding more button holes and facing the placket with cotton so it won't stretch out.

Now I get to choose buttons! It's back to the button box!
Muhahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sweater Transformation: Non Bedazzler Edition.

My LL Bean sweaters came the other day. I was thrilled, until I tried them on. The first one, a ribbed cardigan, makes me look all doughy. Perhaps I am doughy, but come on!

The second one, the one with the pockets, is a better fit, but Ill have to alter that one as well as the cardi. I was thinking of returning them for a smaller size, but I got a size below me to begin with, and they were on sale, and they were out of the cardi last I looked.

So I'm stuck with them. It's not a bad stuck, more of a I have to work with these a lot stuck.

I left the house at 8:30am this morning with full intent on getting the supplies I needed to dye one of the sweaters today. I walked (I like to walk) to three stores looking for a stew pot and some dye. Previously someone mentioned a higher quality dye, and I would have tried that, but I'm already out nearly $100 for these all cotton sweaters, and i didn't want to shell out $30+ for dye when I already had to buy stuff.

After finding the dye at a grocery store up the street and two blocks down from where I first went, I couldn't find a stew pot large enough for the sweater. I wanted something that would give the fabric some room to swish, so I could be certain that the dye was evenly touching all the fibers.

My last stop was a Ross, a discount department store. It was a fairly picked over one that is in a complex above a grocery store and a DSW shoe warehouse. I know. Every time I go in, which isn't often, I'm disappointed. That trend continued today. I didn't find my stew pot, but I did find a rather large plastic Umbra garbage can that was just the right size and price.

$10, sold!

I got it home thinking all sorts of things:
How hot can I make the water so it does not harm the plastic and crack it?
Will this fit in the sink in case it cracks?
Can I pick it up with the water in it?

All these thoughts were running through my heat as I set it in the sink. It fit. *whew* I decided to use hot tap water and a kettle of boiling water to top it off.

I soaked the sweater in hot water and then added the dye to the trash can with half a package of salt. Once I mixed the soup, I added the sweater and it soaked up the dye in a flash. The water was a great temperature and was smoking for a good 30 minutes.

Now, the challenge for me was to pour out the dye water without splashing. I was up against hot water that would stain anything it touched, a heavy plastic container that was being used for a purpose it was not intended, a soaked dead weight piece of fabric that could plop out and splatter all over the counter, and plastic baggies covering my hands because I forgot to get gloves.

Success! I managed to pour out the water very, very slowly and it drained with no incident. Even the rinse water when I filled the bin (about 2/5th of the way max at all times) the first time. I then did a rinse a second and third time, salting the water to lock in the dye. After that, I washed the thing in the can, and rinsed it twice again.

The wash took out tons of dye and by the last rinse the water was very clear. I was so happy.

I squeezed out the water and now the sweater is hanging outside drying. After some time, I might throw it in the dryer and see if it shrinks a bit. I still plan on tailoring the thing later on.

Overall the process went smoothly and I could have messed up major. I kept thinking that the trash can was going to split and pour hot salted dye all over my rental floor. Man, that would have sucked.

My casualties were small. A few aftermath splatters on the paintjob and some will fade eventually stains on the counter.

Overall not too bad.

As for the color, I'm very pleased with the navy. For the other one, I plan on making it brown. Those two colors will go best with my wardrobe. Once the sweater is dry, I'm planing on adding more button holes. Stay tuned!

I don't think I'll dye the other one for a while.
I need brown dye first off.
That, and deying is exhausting.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My other artistic dimension.

Hi all, hope your week is going well.
As you all know, because I've said it to exhaustion, I'm a creative professional. Since all the kids are doing this whole blogging thing, I thought it was time to expand the updates part of my portfolio site and branch it into blog form.

Here I'll document the processes of my work, and post progress on projects. I hope it will be of interest to some of you, and to others something to at least check in on from time to time.

So spread the word, and thanks bunches!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Two-Tone Blouse Progress.

Last night I went to my holiday party and I was so happy I wore the stockings.

They matched great! And my shoes were not stained. Yay!

Onto other things.
I finally got off my butt and finished the sewing of the two tone blouse. I added the cuffs and pressed everything up nice and pretty. Now comes the fun part, choosing the buttons.

I don't know if I've ever shown you all this, but here is my button box.

Some people collect fabric, others sewing machines (wink, wink), me,
it's buttons, and I have a lot.

I wanted to see if I had any chartreuse buttons I could use that would accent that color I have in the fabric. I didn't have very many that could pass,
but I had a couple versions of it.

I'm leaning toward the set in the upper right because they will make the leaves in the fabric pop. Also, they are a good size and there is enough of them for the front of the blouse and the cuffs.

I'll be finished with it today and then I think it's day projects for the rest of the year. Perhaps another blouse, then day projects.

Yay sewing!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Catalog Sunday

This Sunday more Christmas images from my Chicago Mail Order.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rayon Blouse Progress....and other things.

My Christmas cards came the other day.
I spent an afternoon going through my list of folks to mail them to.
I love a big old pile of letters all ready for the mail.

Sent them out and now they are on their way to friends and family.
I also did the last wash of the cotton stockings.

They bled more than i thought they would have, but I finally managed to get them clean and now they are dry. Here they are paired with the two tone dress I want to wear them with. The stockings are a bit warmer than the red of the dress, but they will serve their purpose, and Im excited to wear them together.

I've also made progress on my new rayon blouse.

I constructed the bodice the other day.
I would have been further along but I wanted to get my cards out.

I'll admit what's been holding me up, laziness. I want to do a binding around the wrist opening this time instead of facing it because the the white rayon is so sheer. But I'm hesitating because I *hate* mitering corners and I'll have to. Bleck. I know it will most likely take me all of ten minutes, but it's the mental hurdle I have to get over.

Or I could just take a nap.
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