A Few Things…

Happy Wednesday!

A friend asked me to do some tutus and shirts for an upcoming event, so this week I have been madly knotting tulle and stressing over screen printing!

Guy and myself have decided that the collective term for “tutus” is “a cloud of tutus” this is quite fitting, wouldn’t you agree?

“a cloud of tutus”

As we speak, I have my whole living room set up as a print studio. I got out the fold up table so I could have everything spread out at once. For some one who doesn’t have a lot of experience screen printing, I went pretty bold, deciding on a two colour print! Only time will tell if I can pull this off!

My living room is a printing studio!

The weekend just gone saw the Old Bus Depot Markets hold their annual “wool expo”. This is a weekend I try not to miss! Its a good time to stock up on supplies, and find new people and shops to buy from.

Some wool to dye! From Glenora
Two new bobbins for my spinning wheel. From Glenora
I tried, but I could not resist! A pair of 30mm knitting needles! And I don’t even knit! From Yarn Hub
A lovely plait of purple to spin up! From the Coloured Wool and Fibre Company
I’m loving this mustard colour lately! And this plait is full of sparkle too! From Raxor Yarns

Guy and myself have also signed up for the Anytime Fitness Tread as One challenge.  We will be running for an hour at our local gym to support R U OK? on the 31st of May. It’s themed “Hollywood” so I suspect my next move is coming up with some kind of costume for it!

Mental health issues sure have hit pretty close to the heart in the last few years, and it’s important for people to know they can reach out. If you would like to donate you can follow this link 🙂
http://treadasone.gofundraise.com.au/page/cateruth

I have a busy day ahead of me! I must get these prints done and the tutus finished!

Have a creative week

<3 Cate

Dye, dye, dye all the things!

More dyeing from me this week!

A pile of white jeans, shoes and plastic bottles. All ready for more dyeing!

I found a large stash of white jeans at a factory seconds store and stockpiled. This week I started experimenting with dyeing them. So far I’ve dyed two pairs.

Front. This pair I did a simple circle tie kinda at knee level
back
front. I kinda consatina folded these and then striped the dye. Pretty happy how they turned out!
Back

I also dyed a set of serviettes for my sisters birthday. Everyone loved these! I think they might be on my Christmas make list. Or at the least, I will use serviettes to practice on so I can have some pretty ones on my dining table!

A set of serviettes for my sisters birthday!

Now I’m off to make tutus and t-shirts! I’ll be sure to share that adventure with you in a few weeks!

Have a creative week!
<3 Cate

It’s not always easy…

I’ve spent all morning trying to think of something to share with you all today. I’ve even spent the last few days trying to come up with something.

You see, what I’m working on at the moment is a little bit experimental (for me at least). And I think it has potential. But I also think it just isn’t there yet either.

But I have decided to share it with you anyways. Because, I think it’s important to give yourself the space to experiment, to test ideas, to develop your skill set. And I think we are so used to seeing polished work, that we forget that to get there, there were many hours of experimentation, tears, frustration and things that didn’t work out so good.

So this is my process so far…

I had a pile of black denim. Much of it had bleach marks. In its past life it was worn to work in a night club, and apparently they used a lot of bleach to clean stuff (which makes sense, cos those places are filthy!)

I started with a pile of black jeans with bleach marks

I had a vision. I wanted to make a bomber jacket with some extra bleached detailing. I sourced a pattern – McCall’s M7637. Heck I would love LOVE to be able to draft my own patterns. But I haven’t made many clothes in the past, so working with patterns will hopefully enable me to understand how clothing goes together a bit better before I go down that path!

McCall’s M7637 was the pattern I settled on to experiment sewing a bomber jacket.

I cut up all the jeans. I cut each leg off just below the crutch, then i cut up the inner leg seam, this then opened out into a nice big flat piece of fabric. I stitched these together as required to make pieces of fabric big enough to cut each pattern piece out of.

Once I had cut a back piece out, I jumped right into the bleaching process. I did minimal experiments on a small piece first, the went straight for the jacket piece. I used a white pencil to draw out a design. I filled a small bottle with a pointy bit with bleach gel, and used that to draw on top of the outlines.

This is the entirety of my testing things out before I jumped straight in. This whole process in one big experiment
I used a white pencil to draw out a pattern on the jacket piece before I used the bleach
I used gel bleach which I put in a small bottle with a fine nozzle. I also used hydrogen peroxide to neutralize the bleach was I was happy enough with the results
After bleaching, use a solution of hydrogen peroxide to neutralize the bleach. Any leftover white pencil markings will wash off too.

It’s not that I don’t like how it worked or even the design I did. It’s just that I’m not feeling it. I can’t see it all coming together in a cohesive piece. This is the point I sit on it for a few weeks. Often I have an “AHA!” moment and figure out a way to finish it, others I just knuckle down and get it done to get it off my plate and move on to something else. And there is always the pieces I still have in the cupboard 10 (20?) years later that never came together but I can’t bare to start over with.

The first jacket in pieces
The second jacket pieces. This one the denim has more inherent bleached areas. I’m still brainstorming how to work with these and the best patterns to add. I’ve started cutting out the lining for this one too. I am using an old bed sheet which I will dye after I have semi constructed it.

Some thoughts I’m having at the moment –

Would embroidery add a needed element?

Would applique give it some depth?

Does it just need more bleached patterning?

Am I game to touch the second jacket I have cut out?

Would adding more bleached areas and then dyeing back into it with colours work?

What am I actually going to do with these pieces once I finish them?

Some discharge and re-dyeing experiments. Holds potential.

Anyways, I have a lot to think about. And I’m going to give myself a week to work through those questions before I start more experiments. For the rest of this week I think I will be dyeing. I have a lot of white jeans and fabric to work through. Although, I think that will be another task that will raise more questions than answers! Wish me luck!

Have a Creative week

<3 Cate

Overalls!

I decided I desperately needed a pair of overalls in my life again. Because – who doesn’t?

So I channeled my high school days. That was the last time I remember owning a pair of overalls (They were black and spacious, I loved them!) and it was also a time in my life I was obsessed with up-cycling denim.

Denim is a pretty versatile fabric. Back in the days I used to make bags, quilts, pants, jackets and skirts out of it. It is cheap to buy at the op shop and often people will give it to you for free. It meant I could experiment without worrying about messing up expensive fabric. It also continued the life of this amazing textile.

I have been collecting every piece of denim that has come into my life since then. My small collection has been growing lately with cupboard clear outs and trips to the Green Shed to scour the free clothes bins.

So I chopped into the denim collection. Piecing together sections of fabric big enough for each pattern piece. The pattern I used was McCall’s M7547.

I pieced sections of fabric big enough to fit the pattern pieces onto
front view of overalls
Back view
I used pieces of an old sheet that I had cut up and practiced tie dyeing on to line the bib front and back

I learnt a lot making these. Like actually measure yourself before starting. These do not fit me (no matter how much Guy tries to persuade me they do). They are too tight across the thighs and belly.

No doubt I will try again in the near future, because I still really want a pair of overalls to wear!

What are working on this week?

<3 Cate