Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Experiments with Tie Dye

This weekend we took the older girls from our Guide unit away on an overnight to discuss them taking up the Baden Powell challenge, which for all those in the dark is the highest award that a Guide age girl can attain.  It was mainly all to do with what it means to be a patrol leader and sorting out which Go For Its and badges they would like to do and the new responsibilities they were taking on.  We did it with the older age group last year and it worked really well and got them all fired up for showing their patrols what they can do. 

As a little break from all the planning we usually do a crafty project that we wouldn't be able to do in the unit due to the larger numbers of girls.  I had some Dylon hand dye that I won in a Dylon facebook page competition (which is a page worth checking out as they do loads of giveaways and are very helpful) so I decided to do some tie dye with them.  This would have been more difficult with 25+ guides and I could see it getting very messy.  It would be a good camp project though as it could all be done outside and you wouldn't have to worry about fumes or spills.

We decided to dye 100% cotton handkerchiefs which were fairly large in size and were luckily in my other leaders stash.  The girls used elastic bands to block out where they dye wouldn't stick, making circles and stripes and basically whatever they wanted.  Then I set up 2 bowls on dye outside and followed the packet instructions.  They worked really well and each girl had a really different and unique project to take home with them.
My Guides lovely tie dye!
I used Ocean Blue and Tulip Red which is really quite pink and they are all really pretty.  Best of all I shared it on the facebook page and Dylon nominated me fan of the week!  My Guides will be thrilled that their work has won them a prize!  I can see more dying happening in the future!

Friday, 18 November 2011

What day is it? It must be Children in Need!

A non-sewing related post, unless you count the fact I was cutting out my Christmas party dress whilst I took the photo.  Pudsey Nails!  Although it is Children in Need we are not allowed to wear fancy dress to work so this is my little way of supporting the charity.  Also I am sure my guides will love it tonight!  
Don't forget to donate x

Monday, 14 November 2011

My First Attempt at Fabric Dyeing

I had a plan to make a copy of a certain Modcloth dress which I have been coveting for ages but just could not find the right fabric.  I then stumbled across what I thought would be perfect to match a border print I have found.  (I am being deliberately vague as this dress will appear in another post once I have gathered all materials.)  I thought I had fund the perfect thing, I was looking for a beige based fabric, sort of the colour of foundation to match the border print and I found a lovely cotton sateen on ebay for a bargain price.
Apricot cotton sateen
I took the gamble and this turned up.  It was a lot darker than I expected but I thought why not try it?  I put it next to my border and yuk it looked awful.  The border has yellows, reds and the foundation colour but this didn't go with any of them.  Worst of all it totally clashed with the red piping I wanted to use and I knew if I made it up I wouldn't want to wear it as it just wasn't a colour I would choose.  So back to the drawing board on finding my fabric choice.  I am thinking I am going to go a completely different way and get some lemony yellow instead as it ties in with the red better.

So then what to do with the apricot fabric?  As I decided not to use it for this project I didn't think I liked the colour enough to use it for something else.  I don't want to waste it so why not try dyeing it?  I won some Dylon dyes a while ago but I didn't have enough of a single colour so I picked some up from Wilkinsons.  Isn't that weird that they sell it there? 

I have had a plan for a Christmas party dress in my mind for a bit and thought if I could dye it a usable colour then it could become this.  The fabric did have some sort of treatment as it was slightly shiny and is fairly dark so I didn't think it would dye completely solid but hoped it would have some effect.

I had read about the pre-dye that Dylon has and thought that would be a good idea to try and strip the colour so here it is after following the instructions on the packet.
After pre-dye
It does looks significantly lighter in the photos, a little less so in real life but it didn't remove all the colour.  This made me think that the dye may not work as well as hoped but this was all pretty much an experiment anyway.  It also removed the treatment and was no longer shiny on one side so that is good. 

After Intense Violet
The dye I used was Intense Violet which is really very purple and did leave a bit of staining on the rubber of my washing machine so be careful of that.  You add salt too (not sure what this does) and I again followed the instructions.  It is not violet but is a really nice pinky-burgandy colour and much more wearable than the original.  One thing that happened was that the edges took the dye better than the rest so I have a ombre style finish.  I quite like this and would love to incorporate it into my outfit but as of yet I am not sure how.  I am pleased that the fabric is now more usable but if I did it again I would use a 100% cotton to get the full colour effect and be more aware that cotton mixtures don't take as well. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Home Made Caulifower Cheese Soup

A week ago I decided to try and be a bit healthier and to make some vegetable soups to eat through out the week.  It was not so successful as I first thought with 2 soups being complete fails, one because I got my pounds and grams conversion mixed up and it was too watery and one because once I made it I just didn't like it.  The bright side though. I discovered lovely cauliflower soup which has chunks of cheese sprinkled on top which melt into the lovely hot soup. 

Delicious!  If you want to try, the recipe it from the Good Food site I served it in bowls rather than mugs and got 4 bowls out of it.  I highly recommend and will make it again.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

What I am working on right now...

I have really fallen behind on my 12 in 12 challenge and I have a few months backed up now.  I have recently had other things on the go and have not had as much sewing motivation as usual which is a pain.  I just find that I am procrastinating and have even used cleaning to put off sewing which is not like me at all!  I do have a project on the go and here is a peak....
This is a secret Christmas project which I will do a finished post on but I will have to tell the recipient not to read it otherwise it will spoil it.  Hopefully she will listen and not peek heehee but this is also a little teaser for her.

One of the things I  have been doing in the mean time is making some jewellery and displaying it for a parents evening the my friend held where I made a grand total of £37!!  I am really happy with this at the last one I only made about £3 though that was only selling hair clips and this time I have earrings, necklaces and a few purses too.