I love exploring new fibres for spinning yarn. Recently, I’ve noticed a lot of unusual fibres appearing in online wool shops, fibres made from seaweed, mint, corn, and banana plants. I’m just beginning to explore some of them.
Going through my fabric scraps, I came across lots of small pieces of sweat shirt fabric, the remains of my teen daughters obsession with hoody making over the past year.
So I thought what could I do with it, it’s a lovely soft organic cotton fabric, too precious to put into the bin. Well, I decided to create a new hoody with it, although a very different one to those my daughter made.
I gathered all the pieces, pole dyed them (a shibori technique), cut them out using three different sizes of squares to use up even the tiniest pieces and sewed them together again to create a new fabric.
Hand painting wool tops is so much fun. I completely lost myself for a couple of days in dyeing wool using many colours and experimenting with different wool blends and painting techniques.
Having cosy autumn garments really lifts my mood when days are getting colder, I especially need colours to brighten up grey days. Jackets and coats are my main focus these days.
Here is a top I made for my just turned 7 son, inspired by a wonderful book on stitched shibori (see more below). From the many projects in the book, I decided to make a stitched shibori flower to use as a centre piece decoration.
Winter is nearly over (happiness) and I’ve started to make new clothes for my children. For spring clothes I usually make something from knit jerseys, often taking old dresses apart to make new t-shirts or mixing up new and older fabrics.
This dress I made for my teenage daughter from organic cotton jersey.
The dress is a little challenging to make because of the 3 panels front and back, you have to attach them to the right places but other than that it comes together easily. I really like its shape and swing.
This wool coat I made for my six-year-old son, he loves fun and colourful clothes. Green is his favourite colour and if I always listened to him everything he wears would be green jumpers, trousers, socks, shoes, you get the picture….
I used a fabric called boiled wool, it’s 100% wool and available in many colours. The lining is of the same fabric, but a different colour, so it’s really cosy and warm.
Boiled wool is a woven fabric that has been felted and thickened, it’s warm, durable, windproof and water-resistant, which makes it a great fabric for winter kids clothes.
I cut the appliqué from handmade wool felt, it’s much thicker than the usual felt you can buy and a beautiful quality. The owl and fox I hand stitched onto the fabric. For the drawings inside the figures, I used chain stitch.
I love hand embroidery on denim because it transforms the rather plain fabric into something beautiful that you don’t see every day and many colours look bright and shiny on the dark blue background. Here I embroidered denim fabric which I then sewed into a pair of jeans.
I used very basic embroidery stitches like running stitch and lazy daisy stitch (also known as detached chain stitch). The thread I chose is a silk and rayon mix, it’s very shiny and special looking. I used five different colours and added tiny beads for extra sparkle.
I always look for a bit different fabric when I want to make a pair of trousers, so I was happy to find this really beautiful, slightly shiny, denim fabric with tiny dots. Although it’s not organic, it’s oeko-tex certified meaning that the fabric was tested for harmful substances and produced in an environmentally friendly and socially acceptable way.
There are other designs available (flowers, squares, bigger dots). The pants pattern is from Sew U: The Built by Wendy Guide to Making Your Own Wardrobe, which has detailed instructions on all the steps involved in creating the trousers. The smallest size XS fits my 12-year-old daughter. I made summer linen trousers with this pattern, have a look here. The denim fabric is from Dots N Stripes.
Here I stencil printed a design onto fabric with an airbrush gun. Spraying with an airbrush gun is like instant screen printing, the process is so much faster and easier too. I used createx airbrush paint pearl gold and for the upper wings, gold mixed with a few drops of red transparent.
If you don’t have an airbrush gun, you could use a recycled or new spray bottle with manually adjustable nozzles.