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Friday, 5 September 2014

Print swap - what I swapped and got!

The print swap is now complete and exchanged! So, what did we swap?

I printed on a cotton lawn fabric that I dyed using a pale blue dylon machine dye. I then stamped with my home made stamps using white, navy and black ink. I chose to keep the colours fairly neutral (well, my neutral anyway) and was as random with the print as I could be. It's quite hard to be random though, when you are conciously trying to be!


Seeing as the fabric was a little on the narrow side I printed 1.5 metres to send out. The print is not perfect and the stamps are patchy, but that's what hand printings all about isn't it? Rather than being too particular about the appearance of each stamp I just had fun and stamped, stamped, stamped. After several recent failures I heat fixed in the tumble dryer, which seems pretty fool proof.


It's got a bit of a 50's vibe to the shapes I think. Not intended, but definitely my favourite era for prints, so I'll go with that!

 Now onto the really good stuff...the print that I received! The lovely Carrie from 'oh, she dabbles' sent me this!


The impatient little madam that I am forgot to take lots of really good photos of Carries print before cutting it up, but here are some pictures of it made up. I did not want this consigned to the stash pile, as I knew 'the fear' would set in about cutting it if I let it lie.

This top is a 'sorbetto' hack. I had intended to use an alternative pattern, but as that wasn't happening I downloaded this and got altering instead. The stripes were printed down the fabric, but this fabric seems to stretch in all directions, so I cut it so the stripes went across (obviously, you're looking at it)


 Here are some more illustrative photos of what the top looks like on, although I confess that I am not feeling very much like appearing in front of the camera at the moment, what with a teething baby impairing my sleep and the fact that I am eating for Britain, but this top does not express it's shape very well on a hanger or even a mannequin.





As you can see this is hardly recognisable as a sorbetto any more, but that's what it started life as. I basically closed the dart to flare the front slightly and took the side shaping out to make it a straighter seam. I then added in the same flare and seam adjustment to the back for balance. The sleeves are just 2 semi circles cut from the remainders of the fabric.

I've found it really difficult to photograph both of these prints and translate the true beauty of the hand work that has gone into them, but they are really lovely and I am so pleased with the fabric I was sent. I was super suprised by the fact it was jersey. It didn't even enter my tiny brain to use a stretch fabric, but that's probably because I don't use it that much. I did try to break myself into jersey earlier in the year, as I generally don't feel confident sewing it, but this was the most enjoyable stretchy sew I have ever made!

Was the swap worth it?

Definitely and it's got my mind buzzing with all sorts of ideas on how to decorate my fabrics from now on. I'm feeling ultra inspired and really think that this is the next step for dress makers who really want to add a bit more identity to their hand made wardrobes.

I'll post a round-up of everyone elses prints once they have been revealed, but if you can't wait that long and you haven't already seen it then hop on over to Katies blog to see what she and Lucy swapped!

I'll just quickly share how I finished the edges, because I love it. I never feel I get a good enough neck or hem edge to stretchy's, so I went for a more relaxed finish with this. The print is kind of cool and a bit washed out looking, so I went for an unpolished binding.

I cut some strips of the plain jersey. I didn't measure, but I guess they are approx 1", maybe 1.5"


I simply folded it over the edge of the armhole whilst sat at the machine trying to make sure that the edge of the top was in the centre of the strip


I pulled the strip slightly, but not the top and stitched. I used a narrow zig zag stitch to top stitch


I just cut it off and overlapped slightly at the armhole seam and did the same for the neck edge ending at a shoulder seam.


Once it was tried on a few times and generally pulled about the binding edges all curled up nicely and have a sort of ready-to-wearness about them...

why is the colour so drained out? Grrr!
For the bottom hem and sleeves I simply overlocked using just 3 threads on my overlocker for a tidy, but not over done finish.

So, that's it! I'll so a round up of everyone elses prints wants they are all out there and in the words of Miranda's mum "such fun!"