Sometimes I need a little blog break for mental sanity. The last couple of weeks I’ve tried hard to spend less time on the internet, more time using my hands, for things like… picking flowers! May signals the end of the early spring wildflowers in Austin, so I’ve been rummaging around the garden dead matter in search of the last bluebonnets, poppies and sweet peas. And then of course taking bunches of photos of the pickings (my other favorite pastime).
Who doesn’t love poppies…
The explosion of spring color inspired me to keep up my dyeing adventures. Pale peaches, mink browns, lemons… And mint is next. Except I can’t decide if I want a seafoam mint or a kind of pale cucumber-y mint.
I won’t lie, dyeing takes time, especially if you’re as exacting about color as I am. And all that stirring can get laborious, but it’s so worth the results. Washer-dyeing is a way out of all the stirring, but unfortunately, my washer is front-loading and doesn’t pause on a soak or agitate cycle. For these fabrics, I used fiber reactive dyes from Dharma Trading. They’re carrying some lovely colors inspired by the Pantone palettes for spring and fall. One of my Pantone favorites at the moment is “Linen”, a sort of peached-up ivory. It reminds me my fading roses…
The funny thing with dyes is that they mix really differently than I am used to with paint. And if I’m using a mixed rather than primary color, some parts of the dye can “stick” faster than other parts. Dyeing fans always say it’s part science, part art, and now I can see why. So my “linen” came out more pink than I had hoped but I found a way to use it. These are cotton and modal knits I’d stashed for possible t-shirt projects, but they’re very soft for some simple summer lingerie. I’ve got my eye on some Tencel knits, too. I love soft knitted underwear especially in the hot months.
All of this dyeing led up to samples of several lingerie projects. And that’s another place my hands have been–sewing, sewing, testing, more sewing. I love making things for myself but over the last year I got an itch to do something more with my sewing and designing. It was an itch that wouldn’t go away. My business ideas are still in the nascent stages but the more I plunge into them, the more I realize that designing clothes and patterns is something I’ve dreamed about for many years. I would never have guessed it’d be lingerie!
Anyway, promise I’ll be back with some of the finished projects. Some of them aren’t too exciting; I’m working on developing my distinct style and then there’s just a lot of me trying to improve at handling elastic and stretch. And then some of them are downright secrets until they’re ready. And that’s what lingerie is about, right?