Ombre Woodgrain Sheath Dress

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I’m so glad I was able to wrest another garment out of this fantastic ombre-woodgrain fabric, despite the anatomical challenges it presented! I first made a romper with this fabric and now this dress.

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I wanted a very simple, fairly fitted dress without a lot of seams or fuss, so I used the basic pieces from V8904, a pattern that worked really well for me previously (see my asymmetrical layered dress, which was unofficially Suzanne-Sommers-approved!). Of course I omitted the diagonal over-layers and just used the basic pattern pieces: front, back, 2 sleeves, and a neckband. There aren’t even any darts on this.

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The sleeves on this pattern have a ton of ease, which is something I forgot since the last time I made it. (Must jot that down on the pattern cover or something for future reference.) So I found the sleeves were a bit fluttery for my liking, and instead of recutting them or doing a proper dart or something, I was super-lazy and just tacked down a little fold-over on each sleeve. My vacation departure date was approaching and there was a lot of sewing I wanted to get done before that, so I was all fuck it, lemme just do this lame hack.

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These pictures were taken on one of the first few days of my trip to Italy, and I was able to pose for the photos without passing out from holding my gut in. Let’s just say that this dress did not get a whole lot of wear towards the end of the 3 weeks I spent eating my way through Italy. 🙂

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Excuse me ma’am, there’s a little sumthn sumthn on your shirt

Notice anything unusual about this fabric? Look carefully. Or maybe not even that carefully.

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Yeah, that. I think it’s supposed to look like a knot in the wood grain. Alas, it calls to mind something else entirely.

I didn’t notice this when I bought the fabric…I was just excited about the ombré effect and the wood grain pattern. It wasn’t until I got it home and I stood draping it around myself in front of the full length mirror that I noticed a problem. In that moment, my pattern placement was, let’s say, bang-on.

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I’m bravely forging ahead regardless, making a romper using McCall’s 7099 — just placing the pattern pieces very carefully. I’ve got most of it sewn up and it should be ready for primetime after the usual hacking down by several sizes that seems to be a standard part of my sewing process. Details to come!

McCall's 7099 View A - Romper

McCall’s 7099 View A – Romper

A Bad Dye Job, but a Kick-Ass Dip-Dye Shirt

Recently I came across a post from Charity Shop Chic detailing how she took a plain white shirt and used a dip-dye process to turn it into a fabulous pink ombre shirt. I’m a big fan of anything with a colour gradient (aka ombre), and I had an oversized plain white cotton shirt that I rarely wore. The process looked easy, so off I went to G&S Dye on Dundas Street and came away with some hot pink dye powder and some soda ash.

Here’s the shirt before I started:

The white cotton shirt, before dyeing

The white cotton shirt, before dyeing

Here it is after I dipped it into the dye solution, poked it with my gloved fingers to ensure it was properly immersed, and then dripped from my fingers onto the collar, so I smeared some dye on the collar to make it look like I meant to do that, and in doing so got more drips of dye onto the part that I wanted to keep white. I’m such a “measure once, cut twice” kind of person so it’s no surprise this was quickly turning into a disaster!

The dip-dyeing disaster begins

The dip-dyeing disaster begins

I realized the ‘painted’ collar looked totally stupid so I gave the whole thing a quick dunk in the dye, hoping the initial dipping of the bottom half would result in a deeper shade on the bottom than the top…and it did. Here’s how it looked after rinsing:

Hanging to dry after rinsing

Hanging to dry after rinsing

I like it! But, there are a few problems due to my ill-considered rush job.

First, I think I put too much dye into the solution, and some of it did not dissolve properly before I put the shirt in. I had mixed it gently but it wasn’t enough to get rid of all the small blobs of undissolved powder. The result is some very dark splotches where hunks of powdered dye came in direct contact with the shirt.

Some splotches of undissolved dye

Some splotches of undissolved dye

There is also a spot or two where there’s a weird mottled look. I’m not sure what I did to make this happen, but I did notice that these spots appeared after I had set the dye by putting the whole thing in the microwave on high for 4 minutes as instructed. It seemed like the parts of the shirt that were on top and were not still completely soaked got these darkened mottles on them. Maybe you know why/how that happened?

Some unevenly dyed areas

Some unevenly dyed areas

Despite the problems, I really like this shirt! I love the intense flamingo pink colour. So will I wear it? Hells yeah! Look how cute this is! I put it with a sleeveless jersey dress from Joe Fresh and matching (matching!) heeled oxfords from Jump. It would make a great swimsuit cover up, and could be thrown on over shorts and a tank. In any case, this shirt will see a lot more wear now that it’s a crazy colour. Woo-hoo, crazy colour!

Hot damn, this dip-dyed shirt is cute!

Hot damn, this dip-dyed shirt is cute!

Dip-dyed shirt, jersey sundress from Joe Fresh, and Jump turquoise & white oxford shoes

Dip-dyed shirt, jersey sundress from Joe Fresh, and Jump turquoise & white oxford shoes

Ombre effect on the dip-dyed shirt

Ombre effect on the dip-dyed shirt