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More Goodwill Finds and Dabbling in Textile Art

I’m not sure what I have been doing lately with dye and fabric paint can be considered art but I am slowly figuring it out. I have always been a bit intimidated by painting and dyeing which was unfounded, not because it is easy but because you can keep redoing and modifying your piece until it looks like you want. I know one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings has like seven hands where he kept repainting the hand. So I am working on dying some jersey knit that I got from the clearance bin at Walmart for 1.50 a yard, so not a huge loss if I ruin the fabric in the dying process. So far the result has not been what I wanted. I tried dying it a dark red color but it came out more wine color since I mixed bright red and dark brown. Then I tried adding stripes using tan dye a shibori technique from the rit dye website. It has not gone so well so not part of my fabric is just a darker hue of maroon. I think I am done trying to dye this fabric and I will proceed with making something with it, maybe a layered jersey pencil skirt. We will see how that turns out, it might just be 3.00 dollars lost. If nothing else it was worth three dollars to find out that I not an expert at dying fabric and to practice sewing knits with the sewing machine which I anticipate having a bit of a learning curve.

Ombre Dyed SkirtOn to talk about my successes of the last two weeks.  A moderate success was ombre dying a skirt I got at Goodwill. The color change is more subtle in the picture than it is in real life. I used a denim blue dye to ombre dye the skirt however it just tinted the fabric, which I anticipated because it is 60 percent polyester. I forgot to take pictures of the skirt before I proceeded with the dying process but it was a light grey-blue color with some spots that had faded to almost a yellow color. The faded spots are now gone and the color is a bit more vibrant than before. Dying this skirt was a risk because it is dry clean or hand wash only and 60 percent polyester both of which the rit dye website says should be avoided. But since I got the skirt for 3.75 at Goodwill if it was ruined in the process it would not be a huge monetary loss. Luckily I did not ruin the skirt; while, it did not turn out as ombre as I hoped, it is definitely something I will wear since I dyed it thus I consider it a moderate success.

Another finished project is galaxy painting a t-shirt I got at Walmart. Again I did not want to invest a lot of money into the shirt as I was unsure of the end result. I read several tutorials online about galaxy painting clothing. It seems that there are two approaches: fabric paint and fabric dye. I chose the fabric paint approach. Several tutorials talked about using acrylic paint and washing the clothing very carefully but I would rather invest a bit more in fabric paint than spend time hand washing a t-shirt. I bleached the shirt first with a half bleach and half water mixture in a spray bottle. It is important to spray the bleach and then wait for it to work otherwise it is possible to bleach the shirt way to much. It only took a few sprays. I washed and dried the shirt before I started painting. I started with the back and I used blue, black, gold, silver and a flesh tone color paint. Of course I also used white for the stars. I used some painting sponges to apply the paint. After I painted both sides of the shirt I washed and dried it. I was still not entirely pleased with the result so I applied more paint and painted the sides of the shirt. For the stars I put white paint on a paint brush and slung the paint so that the stars would be random. In a previous post I mentioned getting a black skirt from Goodwill that I was afraid to paint. But with the success of this shirt I think I will attempt to do that same to the skirt. However, I do not care for the texture of the fabric paint so I want to try the galaxy effect using rit dye and bleach. I will bleach it in two phases so that some of the bleached areas will be lighter than others and I will use blue and wine colored dye in spray bottles. For the stars I think I will try using a bleach pen. This project is far down the list though so it will be awhile before it shows up here. Before I undertake that project I need to finish many other projects that I have already begun.

I have been off my blog posting schedule. We were on vacation and we will be moving soon so I anticipate weekly postings being difficult to maintain. Although I hope that I will get some projects finished before we move.

A Most Excellent Trip to Goodwill and a Completed Skirt Refashioning

Last week I went to Goodwill looking for a few key pieces I need for some upcycling and refashioning plans I had. I was looking for a denim jacket, a couple large men’s t-shirts and some men’s dress pants. I left the store after spending 33 dollars, a large quantity of money at Goodwill, but I did not have any of the items for which I went into the store. Instead I found some amazing items in new or near new condition as you can see in the pictures below.

I got a black Gap skirt that I think had never been worn because the two back slits had never been opened. I bought this skirt with the plan to galaxy paint it however I can not bring myself to paint on this skirt. I also found a tea length brown linen skirt from the Gap, a blue high-waisted linen skirt, and two pair of pants to refashion into skirts one from Bass and one from Geoffrey Beane. I also got a black and white skirt from Banana Republic which I think was surrendered to Goodwill because the black lining shows a little bit at the bottom, as you can see in the picture. Lucky for me I know how to remedy this, I plan to hem the lining. As you can see in the last picture, I also got a long, green and black striped, faux wrap skirt with buttons on the side. Refashioned SkirtIt is a bit frumpy so I planned to hem it, then a moment of inspiration struck and I decided that instead of simply cutting it off and hemming it I would make it into a bubble skirt. This required several attempts because the faux wrap section of the skirt produced some hiccups. But the third time was the charm and I successfully converted it into a bubble skirt, which I think is much more stylish and actually something I will wear.

Another Goodwill find, I mentioned in a previous post, was a green vintage wool and fur swing coat. I thought I would share some pictures of this fabulous coat with everyone. It is by far my biggest Goodwill score to date, which is why I forked over 15 dollars for it. It needs a little work, that collar was sewn on by hand and is starting to come off on the edges, which can easily be mended. Also the buttons on the coat, which I assume are the original buttons, are heinous. I think they are quite possibly some of the ugliest buttons I have ever seen. Thus I plan to replace the buttons with some flat buttons that will match the fur collar. I will share the results once I get all the alterations made.

I hope that next week I will finally be finished hand hemming my two layered half circle skirt. I would hem it with the sewing machine but easing the fullness with the machine is beyond my current skill set and the fabric is polka dot so I have to switch thread color frequently. I don’t think I will ever undertake a full circle skirt just because of how long it will take to hem a full circle unless I learn to ease the fullness on the sewing machine. Next week, I also plan to share my first attempt at galaxy painting on a black t-shirt.

I also have some grand plans for future projects since Walmart has had white and off white jersey knit fabric on sale for 1.50 for the past week so I now have about 12 yards of jersey knit waiting to be dyed, painted and written upon then sewn into something fabulous. Thanks to Burda Fashion I have several patterns which I downloaded for free so I am ready to roll with the projects I have in mind. Now all I need is the most elusive part, time to work.

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