Tuesday, 31 July 2012

the story so far

reboiled the dressBundle with a handful of fresh eucalyptus tossed in the pot as an "anti-microbial" and decided it was time

there was a lot of string to unwind
revealing

the front and the back
there was a lot of stuff stuck to the surface
notably many pohutukawa stamens
and
bay mud

so i decided [in the interests of science/curiosity/the need to see the bottom of the marmalade pot] to sling the dress into a washing machine to see what if anything would be retained underneath








observations :  and questions

+ most of the brilliant onionshell colour on the applied sample pieces had dissipated. could this have been related to the seawater dip? previous experience has shown seawater to be a "colour enhancer".

+ the Bay Mud had turned black in some places, bluegreen in others

+ where egg had been used as pre-mordant, the original sample colour remained true

+ the mahonia berries made brown marks on the cotton of the dress  previous dyeing with mahonia [on silk,  using seawater from the Bay as opposed to Baker Beach] has resulted in purple and blue

+ the splodges of milk applied to the surface prior to dyeing [of the attached samples] retained their colour [while "unmilked" areas lost solid colour and gained other marks


conclusions

applied mordants in order of effectiveness    Bay Mud [thank you Nikki], whole egg, milk   note:no iron was used

+ wrapping the whole around a steel pipe would probably have resulted in a darker colour [and made the tying much easier]

+ i have my suspicions that the bundle may have become overcooked [in the mould-killing process]


where to from here

while the results so far might not seem all that spectacular i am happy to have introduced some colour to previously snow-white cotton

for now i'm going to dry the dress [it holds water really well] and add a lot more stitching to the surface

and wait for it to tell me  

where it wants to go +X+ what it wants to do next

33 comments:

  1. Agreed, and I hope it eventually finds its voice. Thank you for sharing the ever-changing look of this dress.

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  2. seems like this dress has a lot to say. i await further conversations with a certain witch.

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  3. I love the way something "as simple as making a dress" can provide so much to explore, ponder and learn from and also be a thing of beauty at each stage of its journey, like Velma I look forward to the further conversations

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  4. Thank you for so carefully summarizing your methods and conclusions!

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  5. Soooo inspiring. Thanks for sharing, I was dyeing to see the results!

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  6. Thankyou for taking us on this journey :) The results so far are exciting...my head is spinning from all the questions and more questions thrown up by this experiment. But in the end you still have a unique and beautiful piece! I look forward to the next episode.

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    1. the beauty is that no matter what i do to the surface, the cut remains fabulous...

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  7. this dress is working through an incredible evolution - liking the window into this process.

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  8. I am loving the dramas of this dress, just so long as it doesnt go into holes too quickly, but I suppose that doesnt matter as you will sew around and over them, I loved the pre washed photo, but life is an experiment.
    Finally after days of drizzle the sun is out, I have a foul cold but am very heartened by a magpie warbling outside.

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  9. What a wonderful surprise. I thought we wouldn't be seeing the unwrapped dress for quite some time. RIght up my alley though. Can't wait to see it and feel it soon ; )

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    1. that's what i thought...but that small forest was growing as i watched it

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  10. corrrr what a rich tale - told in marks and words..... YUMMMMMM

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  11. . . and to top off all this - do you realise me dear - that crosses are on so many garments from the AW shows!! - you're ahead of yourself ! hx

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    1. Er, enlighten me please... What's an AW show?

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  12. While I'm sorry the forest growing on the dress prompted an early unwrapping and washing, it's fascinating to see the result. Would love to see a full "after" photo. Just curious, but do you think this dress will be accompanying you to Cleveland? Or will it want to stay home?

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    1. I have a feeling it will want to be traveling...

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  13. hope to see you wearing this beauty someday............
    thank you for sharing so much!
    XXXm

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  14. Such a meticulous description , it reads like an adventure novel !

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    1. It's a wearable story where you can read between the lines

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  15. I love the colors of your dress! You make me want to try someday to dye something other than wool (it wouldn't like bundling), and reading about your travels makes me smile (in a good way). Thank you.

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    1. i developed bundling techniques USING wool... it doesn't shrink when bundled as it's immobilized.

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  16. This was a great read - both your blog and the comments! I am learning so very much! I really appreciate your openness with your process, results, problem solving, etc.

    Thank you so much!

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  17. what an amazing dress it is alreadyt India..it just keeps getting better. What a story it is alrady telling us. You talk about the cut of the dfress..is that your own pattern or a bought one. i m just learning how to drssmake..so am very interested. Thanks for sharing `indiax lynda

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    1. As I have stated in almost every post about the dress the pattern is from Natalie Chanin's amazing studio sewing and design book. Check out www.alabamachanin.com for details

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    2. Don't know how l missed that..sorry and thanks for telling me Indiax

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  18. I love that you threw it into a washing machine...understanding that nothing is precious...but just another experiment...is a concept that most don't grasp....i love to keep adding layers forever....

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  19. I think the Frock is saying it wants to go to Maine, and perhaps take a dunk in the other sea.

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  20. I love the analysis! Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Love the way your dress turned out. The subtle colors are very pleasing for a garment. It will be interesting to see how you stitch onto it.
    best from Tunisia, nadia

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  22. ooooh India the dress is magikal and would love to wiggle my way in, can't wait to see where it's next journey takes it and the transformation it will undergo. happy stitching xx

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