Monday, November 17, 2014

DIY: Bleach Shibori...

I've been wanting to have a dabble with Shibori for a while. I particularly love all the indigo Shibori projects that are popping up all over. But I'm also a fan of using everyday household materials/supplies for creative projects. I guess I just love the idea that if the creative mood strikes, I can just have a rummage in my cupboards and whip something up from what's there. Rather than having to drive 40mins to my nearest craft store or order supplies online and wait with baited breath for them to arrive. This is one such project. Bleach, string, and a cotton kaftan top I had languishing in my stash, and hey presto....bleach Shibori!

Shibori is a method of dying pattern into cloth (or in these case a kind of reverse dyeing with bleach) through a process of folding, pleating, gathering, and binding. Bleaching works best on natural cellulose fibres as opposed to synthetics, so this cotton kaftan was the perfect subject to experiment with. I started with folding my garment in half, and then pleating it concertina style up from the hem...

....folded the whole thing in half, and then bound tightly with randomly wrapped string....

Place in bleach solution and weight down with bowls or similar to ensure it's fully submerged. I used a whole 79p bottle of bleach to about half a sink of water. That's about as technical as I get! I left it in for just under an hour, checking the colour lift intermittently....

...and this is how it came out after I'd removed the string! (That hole on the left? Managed to that when I cut the fabric along with the string! Duh!)

After that I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed again in cold water, hung to dry and pressed.  (I've since discovered that it's recommended to use a solution to neutralise the bleaching process as it continues even after washing apparently. So just a heads up if you're planning on replicating this. Google neutralising bleach. It seems a product called bleach stop aka Sodium Thiosulphate is quite popular. But also a solution of hydrogen peroxide in a 1:10 ratio with water will apparently do the same job.)

I think this turned out rather cute! I like the way the sleeve edges and hem carry the bulk of the lightening, and the slight "ink blot" effect down the centre that comes from folding the garment in half before bleaching, and I love the effect the string binding has given along the hem in particular, like a forest of sapling trees in silhouette :)

I'm already hatching plans for objects to use in more Shibori!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thrift Update....Winter Wardrobe Basics

Long term readers of this blog will know what an advocate of thrifting I am. But it's been a while since I posted any of my finds on here.  My new set up with working hours has afforded me a bit more time to indulge one of my favourite pastimes. Namely mooching and thrifting! And I intend for it to make a welcome return as a feature of this blog (along with all my usual sewing/refashioning/DIY). So I thought I'd share some recent additions to my winter wardrobe (a mix of vintage & high street basics) as a jumping off point....

Left to Right: Vintage Dereta Linen Kimono Jacket (£3) Vintage Nude Kimono Blouse (£1.50) Vintage Jaeger Grey/White Cotton Pinstripe Shirt (£1.50) M&S Cotton Jersey Boxy Tee (£1)

Left to Right: Vintage Cheesecloth Blouse (£2) Vintage Navy Rayon Polka Shirt Dress (£2) Wallis Cotton Knitted Sweater (£3) Longline Mauve Cardigan (£2)

Left to Right: Topshop Sheer Knit Sweatshirt (£1.50) Longline Khaki Cardigan (£2.50) Next Blush Tweed Wool Cardigan (£3) Polka Chambray Shirt (£2)

The majority of these are in regular rotation in my wardrobe already and I have refashion plans for a couple. (I picked my sewing machine and overlocker up from storage this weekend! Yay!). But to put this thrifting thing into perspective and explain why it's so awesome? That's 12 wardrobe basics for the price of one very modestly priced garment on the high street....!!!

Thrifting....seriously...why wouldn't you???!

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