february challenge accomplished!

my big resolution this year is to work from my stash instead of buying new stuff that i really do not need. harder than it sounds! but i seriously have loads of fabric (and loads of yarn, and... and... and...) and i even have loads of fabric that has been cut and pinned and bundled neatly together with the required notions. all i need is time and motivation!

i had the day off work yesterday to do some volunteering at the kiddo's school, so i decided to spend the morning on something i'd wanted to do for ages. a couple of years ago i found a great deal on a lightweight wool in a classic prince-of-wales check. for only two dollars a yard! how to resist? i bought the six remaining yards they had in stock.

now, i had a lot of ideas for this fabric, and one of those ideas was to try my hand at dying, seeing as i had lots of fabric to play with, don't really need multiple identical skirts, and wool is an excellent fibre for dying.

so yesterday was the day. i followed all the instructions carefully. weigh the fabric, wash it, leave damp, dissolve dye in 500 ml warm water, dissolve salt in 6 litres warm water, stir dye into salt water. wearing rubber gloves, add fabric and stir for 15 minutes continually, then let steep for another 45 minutes stirring frequently.

what i didn't realise?

one of my rubber gloves had a hole in it.

i took that pic after washing and scrubbing my hand with a pumice. my son says it's great zombie makeup.

anyway, i got the fabric nicely dyed! in the past i've had issues with blotchiness when dying. it's a long long time since i've even tried, for that very reason. i think that this time worked better in part because, being cold water dye, i was able to work the fabric with my hands to make sure the dye was evenly distributed. also, i cut out the fabric before dying, so i didn't waste any dye on fabric that would just end up as scraps anyway.

here's a before pic to compare:

i also got skirts made! well, almost.

this one still needs to be hemmed:

but this one is done and i'm wearing it today!

it's fully faced in cotton voile, to give the fabric a bit more structure (i think a pencil skirt needs to look fairly "tailored") and so that i can wear it in the summer without a slip. love all-season wool! i tried (and failed repeatedly) to take a pic of the skirt in action; this, sadly, is the best i could do:

the february challenge on the ravelry vintage sewing machine group is to make something from scraps or stash. so excited to have completed the challenge before the month is even half over! maybe i'll get some shirts made, too.

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