Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Paper Dyes

Continuing on from my experiments the other day, I've dyed a whole stack of postcards with tea-based natural dyes. The colours are so lovely and turned out really well on the paper as my earlier experiments had indicated they would. Paired with my naturally dyed wools, they look amazing and promise to be something really beautiful...

The naturally dyed postcards with some of my previous woollen experiments.

The postcards alone. Each postcard has a different depth of colour and different dye mark.

Another view of the wool and postcards, just because they are so lovely.

And the balls of wool do remind me of scoops of icecream...

Fabric Necklaces

The construction industry is very wasteful. Samples of products are ordered, arrive, are used or simply sit around and are then thrown away when they get out of date (which is often).

This necklace is made out of curtain fabric which was a sample piece being thrown away from a design office. My quick-thinking friend saved me a whole bag of fabric samples. This is my first 'sample' necklace. Squares of polyester net with knit cotton strap. Black back-stitched together. Recycling can be pretty too.

Left over from my three rectangle jacket, this striped fabric asked only that I cut it into strips and knot it together. Simple but nice.

Even the underside of this knit fabric looks great. Stripes make me happy too. Recycling is fun. I'm going to do some more...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another sneak peek...

These are two experiments from a new project I'm working on. The left is dyed using black tea, the right is dyed using Starbucks berry tea. The paper is a delicious heavy-weight watercolour paper that absorbs my natural dyes like they were made for each other. The wonderful thing about this paper is that it absorbs the dye over 24 hours without turning into a soggy mush like most paper would. Unfortunately the berry pink doesn't last and it fades to a musty rose brown. Still nice, but not so pretty. Such is the way with berries. Their delights are fleeting!


I picked up this piece of grey woolen fabric at a factory outlet in Melbourne and the beige linen is from a Muji pillowcase. This skirt really is a rectangle, with linen on the inside and wool on the outside. I draped and folded it around myself to find the optimum angle for the drape and chalked it out and sewed it. The top is fastened with studs. I was going to make it reversible but I didn't like the beige on my skin-tone and the wool would be very scratchy against the skin. I'm very happy with the combination of textures and colours and being grey, it goes nicely with pretty much everything else in my wardrobe. Thus continues my fascination for the colour grey and its friends beige and black.

The whole skirt with its asymmetrical hemline

The linen flap drapes over the wool when worn

Stitching and fabric detail - I'm getting better at sewing straight!

The side seam and studs - normally hidden under the fold flap

Detail of the studs - the first time I've used studs and it worked out nicely

T-Shirt Reconstructions

I've recently been going through a phase of weekend reconstruction madness. My latest love has been reconstructing old t-shirts into dresses, new t-shirts and a jacket. For the most part this has worked excellently well and I'm enjoying my 'new' wardrobe. Some of these t-shirts were new t-shirts and some were old ones that were too big for me. The up-cycling of goods makes sense to me as a way to stem consumption & waste. This process gives new life to old t-shirts and adds value to cheap over-sized t-shirts that would be otherwise worn and discarded. I like the idea of perpetually re-making things into new items and keeping renewing their value and potential usage.

Two 2 t-shirt jacket

How I'm wearing it: with matching necklace & blue t-shirt

Necklace detail

This necklace is a prototype for future necklaces

2 Grey t-shirts joined to make a dress, one striped and one plain. A happy harmony of greys!

2 t-shirts to make a dress: small beige t-shirt from Topshop, large black t-shirt from Uniqlo with my socking necklace. Skirt inspired by this dress.

T-shirt brooch made from remnants

Reconstructed over-sized t-shirt to a fitted 3/4 sleeve t-shirt with matching brooch and vintage black necklace

Detail of the screen printing (done by Lasalle students) and the boat-neckline

Reconstructed t-shirt with double stitched scoop neckline