Enhabiten + Dyeing

I’ve known about Liane of Enhabiten since I saw an Etsy video about her back in 2009.  I really love her work and, for whatever reason, I like knowing that she lives in NH (my home state). I especially admire the work she is doing lately. She is dying secondhand and vintage items, giving them new life.  Look at these gorgeous t-shirts.  I love the blues and grays, the marks and lines.

indietop

I would live in this gray t-shirt all summer long over a pair of black pants with a pair of Birks.

upcycled shirt on wall

Below is a close up of a chair pad she made.  Just lovely.  You can see more pictures of her chair pads on her blog.  You can also find them for sale in her Etsy shop.

pad4

I also love how she is dyeing vintage doilies and table runners.  I have so many of these types of things tucked away.  I would like them so much more if I dyed them mustard.

up6

mustard table runner

The project that she is working on that most delighted me is what she is doing with chenille.  I’ve seen chenille for sale in secondhand stores but never gave it a second thought.

When I saw these half moon pouches Liane was making I didn’t even recognize that they were made from secondhand chenille.  It looked to me like a material that she had embroidered.  Aren’t they lovely. She has a couple still available in her shop.

half moon pouch grey

half moon pouch indigoAll these images are from Liane’s blog – Enhabiten.  They are posted here with her permission.

Of course the other reason I have dyeing on the brain is because Shabd is coming to Kittery, Maine to teach a weekend workshop on dyeing.  It is scheduled for Mother’s Day weekend (May 10 + 11, 2014).  The registration page just when live yesterday.  Join the fun.  Email me at recovergirl360@gmail.com if you have any questions.

 

IDEA BOOK

Way back in 2005, before I started blogging and before Pinterest was on the scene — I kept an Idea book.  I cut and taped images and recipes into a journal.  While cleaning my craft room today, I came across three discs with scans of my entire 2005 Idea book.  Below is a collage of snippets from that journal.  And below that are links to three pdfs that include the scans of the entire journal.  Enjoy.

idear-book

2005 Idea Book Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

DYEING

I’m curious about tie-dyeing and natural dyeing.  I recently purchased TIE-DYE by Shabd.  My boys and I have done some simple tie-dye projects in the past.  This book will help us attempt some more challenging projects.

tie-dye-bookI’m also curious about natural dyes.  I checked out Harvesting Color by Rebecca Burgess from my local library.

harvesting-color-bookI’m particularly interested in this project called Spring Dye Starter.  Basically you get a sample of blossoms, place them under prepared fabric and whack it with a mallet. <see below> Let the fabric dry and then iron it to help it set. The dyed fabric swatch would make a precious keepsake or a lovely wrap for a tiny gift, tied up with string.   This project hits that sweet spot where kids would have fun and be learning at the same time.

spring-dye-starter

wrap dressing

I’m gearing up to sew this summer. I literally have not sewn a complete dress for 12 years.  I sewed a Marilyn Monroe white dress for my cousin for Halloween back in 2000.  I clearly remember cursing through the whole process.  I also remember thinking — no wonder fine clothing is so expensive — this is hard!!!  I’m going to start by sewing a version of the Swirl wrap dress. Partly because I love this style of dress but also because there is no zipper or sleeves involved.

swirl-dress-on-etsy-swanee grace

Images via SwaneeGrace. Click on the image to be taken to her shop on Etsy.

I bought three vintage patterns from Etsy.  I will sew something very similar to the dress above.vintage-patterns-from-etsy

I am getting ahead of myself but I already did buy fabric.  I just had to.  I bought this fabric by Sarah Watts.

sarah-watss-timber-and-leaf-450

I initially thought that I could sew a dress using vintage sheets but when I shopped around I couldn’t find anything I liked.  I’ll keep looking.  The green dress below is made from a vintage sheet.  I found it on Flickr.  I love it.  I’d live in that dress.  Both the dresses below are made by Wendy Hill.

textured-leaf-two-dresses

Images via Wendy Hill. Click on the image to be taken to her shop on Etsy.

These dresses below are also made with vintage sheets.  I think they are absolutely stunning.   They would look especially fabulous if they were  worn by a gaggle of bridesmaids.  They were designed and created by Naughty Shorts.

naughtyshorts-450

Image via Naughty Shorts. Click on the image to be taken to her blog.

And if all that isn’t enough inspiration for you — I’m also thinking of trying to knock-off the tie-front Mociun dress.  It has the same ease as the Swirl wrap dress.

There are a lot of sewing ladies on the interwebs doing their best to make their own version of that dress.  My favorite version is made by Sarah over on I wish I were Nancy Drew.

mociun-tie-front-dress

One last thing.  Remember when I wrote about how Lynda.com is the best new thing in the world?  Well — it still is, BUT I have discovered another best new thing — Creativebug.  Creativebug is like Lynda.com but for crafters.  I’m pretty sure I’ll watch some instructional videos before I start sewing.

xo jam

girl walk // all day

I went to the 3S Artspace Epic End of Summer Dance Party.  I wanted to challenge myself to take a decent picture in the dark.  I really admire night photography that captures mood — like this one.  I wasn’t very successful but I did learn some things not to do for next time.

The event was very cool.  I wished my sister was there so we could dance together.  What 3S did was project the AHmazing film Girl Walk // All Day on a big blow-up screen in the alley.  That film is incredible.  I can’t believe I had never seen or heard of it before.  My jaw was dropped for most of it.  I want to investigate the possibility of showing it during the 4th Annual Women’s Clothing Swap next spring.

The projector was on top of a car.  Gotta love that.

Here is a very short clip so you can get a sense of how cool this film is.

During the first screening people generally sat down and watched the film.  After it ended they played it a second time but instead of playing the sound for the film a DJ played a new mix of dance music.

When I got home my husband looked at my photographs with me and gave me pointers for next time.  I’d like to try to shoot the Portsmouth Halloween Parade next.

Felted Wool Sweater Wreath

The post I wrote about this wreath was the most popular post of all time on my blog (before I deleted the whole blog and started fresh).

I still get emails about it occasionally.  I figured it was worth posting again with a few words about how to make it.

Here is a close-up shot.

Create a collection of second-hand wool sweaters in various colors.  100% wool sweaters work best, but anything over 90% will pretty much work.  I tend to grab sweaters throughout the year when I’m shopping at thrift stores.  Wash the sweaters with soap and hot water so they felt up tight.  Cut a circle template out of paper.  I used the opening of a coffee cup as a guide.  Pin the paper circle to the sweaters and cut circles out, over and over again, until you have enough to fill a wire hanger.  You’ll need to untwist the hanger and shape it into a circle with your hands.  When you are done cutting out the circles lay them out on a table and start sorting them in a way that is pleasing to the eye.  Then lace all the circles onto the hanger.  This is the easiest part of the process and takes very little time.  Twist the hanger back closed and hang. You might want to bend the hook back a little with a tool so the wreath hangs flat against the wall.    The whole process is easy but time consuming. In the end you’ll have a colorful, modern, handmade wreath.