Sunday, 30 November 2014

Denim, bleach and francoise mark 2

I've been playing with the bleach again! I'm not sure why, but I look a bit annoyed in these photos even though I wasn't.

I totally stuck to my word in my last Francoise post and made another dress from Tillys new pattern straight away. I surprised myself actually, but I had some denim, saw this shirt and a plan started to formulate.

Denim and me are so good together. I just love it and the depth of colour and texture you can create just from wearing it. When you dismantle a pair of worn jeans, the seams start to expose the original dark colour of the denim. If you remove a pocket it leaves behind a shadow of where it once was. Denim tells a story like no other fabric. Am I going on too much? Probably, but I love that kind of story telling in a garment. Obviously the above shirt is completely fake, in that its story is manufactured, but that's what made me want to experiment. I wanted to create my own shades, depth and tones.

Where to start? I cut all my dress pieces out for the long sleeved version (minus the collar and lengthened by 6cm) and started to think about what I wanted to highlight. I started with the collar, because although I like the collar shape, it's perhaps a bit too pretty for me. instead I masked this shape off with parcel tape on the dress front. I also masked the hems of the sleeve fronts and dress front with a plan to bleach out the entirety of these pieces apart from these masked areas. I wanted it to kind of look like a collar had been there once, but later unpicked and that the hems had been let down revealing the true, original dark blue.

I didn't extend these features round to the back. The front was to be mostly bleached out, so I left most of the back piece dark to add contrast to the side seam. The back sleeve pieces are mostly bleached though with a dark blue stripe running down the top seam (like the seam's been let out). The final feature was a bleach stripe running down the centre back where the zip is situated and down the raglan shape. Here's some pictures of the finished garment to give you a better understanding.

As you can see the effect is not perfect, but it's definitely given me something to work on. I started applying the bleach diluted and in a spray bottle in an attempt to get clean lines between the light and the dark, but this didn't lighten the fabric at all. I think the solution was just too weak. It wasn't until I started pouring thick bleach directly onto the denim and rubbing it in with a sponge (rubber gloves on and done outside on the pavement) that I started to see any change in colour. It was very messy, did bleed beyond the tape (especially on the back) and has come out patchy. You can see where the bleach was poured onto the fabric and has gone lighter than the rest on the front of the dress.

Am I happy? Yes! I would definitely have preferred a more uniform colour or maybe an ombre effect, but that wasn't happening for me and I had to be quick, as there are few oppurtunities for using bottles of bleach in a house with two very small children.

It's kind of got a sporty look to it on the back which I like and I think it looks good with my boots. I'm not sure what my next Francoise will look like, but it seems highly likely that there will be one!