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.
How I made the pieced hoody in more detail
I’m exploring different shibori dyeing techniques at the moment. I love the beauty of shibori dyed fabric and the element of the unknown that is always in play when working with this dyeing technique.
For this project, I chose pole wrapping or Arashi (the Japanese word for storm) which uses a long pole and fabric compression to form a resist that leaves stripes on the fabric.
The fabric is wrapped around the pole in a specific way (depending on the desired pattern), fixed in place with rubber bands and/or polyester thread and squashed as far down to one end as possible.
As I knew I would cut up my fabric, I wasn’t too concerned about wrapping the fabric at a certain angle to create for instance diagonal stripes.
The pole is then submerged in a dye bath. I used Porcion MX Dyes, although the dyeing is a little more complex than using Dylon or Rit Fabric Dye (you need soda ash and salt for setting the dyes), I prefer this method, I find the colours are more vibrant and colorfastness is superior.
After drying the fabric I cut out 3 different square sizes and used them as my template for cutting out the pieces. I used my rotary cutter, which cuts through 2 to 3 layers of fabric, so it speeds up the process a bit.
Finally, I pieced the squares together, the bigger ones I used to create the fabric for the body, medium ones became the fabric for the sleeves and the smaller ones the hood. To create texture and interest, I decided on outside seams.
I get the sweat shirt fabric from Organic Textile Company, I usually buy it in cream but they have a few coloures available as well.