Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Preview #3: Hand Dyed Appliqued Tees

This is actually LAST week's preview, which I postponed as I digested my new minivan ownership. Look tomorrow for another, BONUS preview post, and keep in mind that the preview with the highest total number of comments will be featured in a GIVEAWAY in early March!

I've done appliqued tees in the past, but I always struggled with the colors that were available. Somehow, it had escaped me that I could MAKE the colors I wanted, to go with the rest of the collection. This season, I've embarked on what may prove to be a huge experiment, and have hand dyed all the tees and knits in the collection, and am working my way through embellishing them to fit the "Woodland Picnic" thing I've got going on.

What was once a rack full of all white is now this:

I used two brands of dye and did things in lots of little batches. Then they were washed and dried and some of them washed again, just to be sure. Then they hung here for a while, as I admired the colors. I don't think I was going for an EXACT color with the dye here so much as I was going for a family of colors, none of which were adequately represented in what I saw out there. So, lots of limes and buttery yellows and teals and aqua and lilac. For the boys, some blue spruce and deep olives. Still a little white here and there, too. There are cap sleeved tees for girls, plus smocked A-line tops, babydoll tanks, ruffled snapsuits, and for the boys there are short sleeved tees and snapsuits, plus diaper covers with appliques on the bum! So many yummy shades of loverly colors--I'm really pleased with how well they turned out.

Then, the appliques. In the past, I've always done a straight satin stitch over all the exposed edges, and this time I wanted to try some other things. In some cases, I did a more open zig-zag stitch, leaving less thread (and therefore less color) along the edges. On other cases, I used a straight stitch to allow the edges to unravel and give the shirt a little three dimensionality. So far, I love love LOVE these a LOT more than any of the applique I've done in the past, so that's always a good sign.

I wanted to develop some designs that I could use over and over throughout the season, and I wanted each of those to be tied into the overall theme. So, we have lemons, for the lemonade:

Note the contrast stitching for the pith:

And we have a happy little teapot, because what's a picnic without sweet tea? At least, in the South, anyway.

Open zig-zag here, and I'm really liking the contrast.

Always plan for ants at your picnic, that's for sure:

I think this little guy needs a face. But no nose?

For the boys, I think we all know it's not really a picnic until someone gets out their guitar:

In the back pocket, he can keep his pick:

For the moments when he's overcome with the urge to play.

My husband thinks this touch is a little silly, but I think he means it's kicky and FUN.

More to come, but I don't want to reveal all the funnest bits at once! Would love feedback in the comments--am always looking to refine these and make them the bests they can be. Like, I really think the teapot needs some steam, don't you?


Blakely said...

I think the back pocket for the pick makes that shirt. I love the fabric you used on all of the shirts. Great job.

glam.spoon said...

I love mixing dyes and coming up with my own shades. It's like inventing a new crayon! great work.

dana said...

Cool! Thanks for the applique info! I like the variations you did on the edging.

Karin said...

Wow, i'm so impressed by your dye jobs! And love the idea of steam coming from the teapot -- I envisioned just some faint, curlicue-y strands...

But sorry, I'm fresh out of ideas beyond that this morning -- too little sleep last night.

Kari said...

Cute cute! I think some steam is definitely in order.