The ‘Toning It Down’ Dress | Veronica Darling
Fabric: Thrifted bedsheet, 2 for $4, but I only used 1/2 of a sheet.
Pattern: Sew Simple Style 3009, thrifted, 10c
Notions: none, just thread
Time to complete: 2 hours or sewing and 1 hour of dying/stirring
First worn: September 2011
Wear again? Totally!
Total Cost: $1.10
Since I've been platinum proper (instead of natural goldie blonde) I've found my hair colour doesn't go really well with brighter shades of lemon yellow. So for over 3 years, I've had lots of unused yellow floral in my fabric stash, and so this theme was perfect to try some dye and stashbust! My mother darling sent me a packet of dye for my birthday (How convenient!) and it was an olive green shade, so I thought I'd try to tone down the yellows in this double bedsheet of bright summertime florals.
I think the only time I've dyed something was before I became a seamstress (Hee hee!), when I wanted 'Cherry Ripe' bedsheets and there was no brown (as the chocolate) sheets in the shops to match my bright red bedspread doona! I can't really remember much about the process of dying, so I just followed the Dylon instructions and took it to the laundry sink.
The results weren't as olive as I'd have liked, but I did dye an entire double bedsheet and only used half of it for this dress, so maybe I should have made the dress first, and then dyed it? I do like the vintage washed out look it's created and the hue is better for my hair (in my opinion, colour is so weird and different to individual's eyes).
This pattern is a bit of a surprise though!
I pretty much chose this old 1980s Style pattern because it's way simple in style (LOL) and with the toned down colour I thought the little bodice bow would look cute and 'country gal' kinda vintage. It came from a roadtrip though northern Victoria where a whole bunch of patterns were 10c each. I bought at many as I could carry, of course, but didn't check the sizings and this is a Junior/Teen sizing that is a little bit smaller than my measurements.
The bodices are all bias cut and with built in bow element, and I thought because of the smaller size, I'd cut a little 'extra' along the side seams as there's no darting (I guess because of the bias cut? Or maybe Junior Teens don't have boobs?). After sewing it all up bar the zipper, I threw it on for a fitting, and realised 'I can do a Mena Test!' which is one of my favourite sayings!
'Doing a Mena Test' (in my sewing room) is where you sew up the back without the zipper (I use the gather stitch, 5 on my machine) to test out if you can pull the dress on without having to sew the zipper in. And by gosh, the Mena Test totally proved that I didn't need to sew in a zipper! I could even make it a bit smaller and it still slips on without one!
It MUST be because of the bias bodice right? So this is totally my favourite pattern now for springtime dresses. My surprise pattern! It was also completely uncut too, so thank you secondhand godmother fairy who sent this to me! Lucky I didn't need a zipper because I didn't really have the right kind of colour to match this 'olive' springtime number, I was kinda going to risk an aqua blue. It's not really grey, not really green, it's just kind of Toned Down.
I'm quite interested in dying now though, so might keep an eye across other natural methods for dying fabrics! I've heard beetroot (of course!) and gumleaves are great for a natural boiling up dye look! Have you used any natural dying techniques before?