Friday, March 7, 2008

Sew What? And Then You Dye Anyway

Remember my eighties plaid that needed overdyeing?

I joined the selvages, then closed the top and bottom of the tube in preparation for fulling. I threw it in the washer and dryer with two loads of washing on warm, and then once by itself on hot. It fulled somewhat, but not as much as I'd hoped, and was of course still Hopelessly Eighties.

The jacket I wanted to make was Vogue 8430, but I had no pattern, and wasn't about to buy one, due to the current Austerity Measures in place, so I managed to find a comparably-fitting jacket in my closet, something with set-in sleeves, but not too tailored or structured - my sewing pattern stash wasn't too helpful - and traced off the pattern, focusing on shoulders and armholes and sleeves, as I'd be redoing the neck shaping anyway.

The above pattern extends the back neck to form a back collar, and the front neck too, resulting in collar seams that extend the shoulder seams, and although I was a bit dubious, I decided to try it anyway, rather than my first instinct, which was to mimic an integral shawl collar, which extends the front collar to meet at the back neck, though I might try that next time, if there is a next time.

The thing about plaid is that it has this nice grid for laying out pattern pieces and matching the grain, but the other thing about plaid is that it screams at you when the fabric didn't full evenly; in other words, when part of it shrunk more than the rest, so you have to choose between cutting out the body of the jacket according to either the grid (plaid) or the pattern, but not both.

Disgusted, I left it on the floor and beaded instead.

Then my recruiter/head-hunter called me yesterday and warned me not to wear a suit to the interview this morning, but instead to dress "business casual, say a pants suit" which posed a bit of a problem for me, as I've always worn jeans to work. I have clothes I wear to the ballet or a nice restaurant or the theatre, and I have an Interview Suit, but I most emphatically do not own a pants suit of any flavour, so I was stuck. I needed a sort of dressy-casual jacket, badly.

I examined the other couple of yards of fulled plaid and discovered that the shrink discrepancy was limited to only part of the yardage, and I had enough that had fulled evenly, so I was set.

I was concerned about dyeing the yardage evenly, and had solicited and received suggestions that I dye the jacket pieces before sewing them together, but that seemed no more efficient than dyeing the finished jacket, which is what I attempted.

My plan was to overdye the magenta, cobalt, grass green and purple with a burnt orange, but it didn't seem intense enough, and didn't appear to be depinkifying the magenta enough, so I added quite a bit of black and navy to goth it up, which I did, quite successfully.

It's actually even darker than it looks in the picture,  but if I adjust the image any more, all you'll see is black with a splotch of eighties barf, and that's neither attractive nor illustrative.

Due to my usual casual attitude towards gloves while dyeing, I did show up to the interview with somewhat stained fingers on my right hand, but I don't think they noticed.

I'm sure they were all blown away by my new jacket.


Amy said...

Nice dye job! You very successfully banished the 80's. Care to dye some of my memories while you're on a roll?? Wish it was so easy....

Hope the interview pans out the way you want it to....either way.


NeedleDancer said...

Wow. It's gorgeous!
And good luck with the interview...

Katie B said...

Did you hear anything after the interview? am I reading backwards too slow?

And by the way, I am loving your necklaces!
katie b

Charlene said...

Heh, slow, mmm, perhaps.

I start the new job next Monday. Sigh. Only a few more days of the beloved sloth and indolence.