Saturday, August 30, 2008

Interview with the Tie Dye Diva


Thursday of solomode.com was kind enough to interview me for a feature on that site. Check out my interview here..

While you are there, check out the whimsical t-shirts and sweatshirts! I love the Defective Typewriter Monkeys one!



As an English major, I always thought I'd write for a living. Somehow I wound up as a lawyer, and then of course, in natural progression, a tie-dyeing mom. I always wonder about the road not taken and if it is too late to turn around and wander on back.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rockin' the VOTE

OK, not THAT vote, but I'll bug you about that one later. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a finalist in Etsy's Handmade Kids challenge for my original design Heart Belly Maternity Top. Yay, tie dye in the running! You can vote here:

http://www.etsy.com/voter_list.php?room_id=18






But wait! There's more! (Do I sound like a Ginsu knife commercial?) Every time you vote (once per category) you, the voter, get entered into a drawing to win an etsy shopping spree too. So go vote! Thank you!

Monday, August 11, 2008

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

OK, that's an overly poetic intro to making a bunch of white fabric turn purple but I thought you might like to see how it all happens here in the Tie Dye Diva studio. I was asked recently to dye some fabric for a customer from white with blue and pink stripes to kind of a grayish purple. Normally I cringe at the request to dye-to-match, but I agreed to give it a go, you know, in the name of keeping mauve alive. So armed with yards and yards and yards of this fabric:



And a wee little swatch of silk in the color I was to match



I headed off into the Journey Toward Puce. First I tried some swatches, three of them, just by eyeballing the swatch. I tried purple + brown, purple + a true red mixed from fuschia and orange, and "mixing blue" + true red. Oddly, purple + brown and purple + red were really similar.




Mixing blue (a deep cobalt) and red were way off, I won't even post that one. I chose the purple + brown as the best match. After some fifth-grade math to figure out how to adjust my proportions for the weight of the yardage as compared with the little swatches, I was ready to go.

So ... pasted-up dye sludge



(later diluted and filtered, steps impossible to photograph without a third or possibly a fourth hand)

plus a large non-reactive vat (yup, Sterilite bin)



plus 6 cups of regular, though non-iodized, table salt



plus 6 gallons of water and my cauldron stirrer .. heh heh, my pretty!



plus fabric, fed in carefully so that it was scrunched rather than overlapping (I have seen some dyers recommend accordion folding fabric in a vat, personally I find this makes the layers stick together and dye unevenly. And yes that is my ugly orange size 10 Croc. Want to make something of it?)



plus 20 minutes soak time



(plus mixing and then adding soda ash solution, again, alas, I have forgotten my third hand today)

plus an hour more

= time to rinse out! Here it is hose-rinsed and already looking pretty good.



Now, waiting for the washer to do its job, hot hot water, along with some professional textile detergent to remove all the loose dye molecules



And a tumble in the dryer =



Success! We have arrived at Pucey Taupe. Or maybe Mauvey-Puce. In any event, it's a match!

From flat ... to famous!

My friend Kate and I were very excited to have one of our children's clothing eBook patterns featured on a television spot featuring You Can Make This today! As soon as we knew our pattern would be featured, we set about designing the perfect "Back to School" dress to showcase the pattern. After a lot of emails and mock-ups, telephone calls and chat sessions, we decided on this:




Can you see the dress in there somewhere? We then worked together to whip it up into a dress for the model, had it make a very important stop at my good friend Fancy Pants Customs for the addition of machine embroidery, and got ready to be famous. Though neither of us live where we were able to see the show on TV, we caught the video clip on Good Morning Utah's website, check it out!




How cool is that? You can see the featured patterns, including ours, at www.youcanmakethis.com.
Coming up soon: follow me through dyeing a whole bunch of fabric purple.