Ruana for Lillian

Well….. you can really tell when winter is here. Things slow down  somewhat.  You get sick. The holidays take up time. A new member of the family is born…. sweet little William (Eleanor’s baby brother) is born!!

I have made Lilly’s ruana….. seemed to take forever! Between the dyeing of the yarns, to the winding of the warp, the weaving and the sewing…a few months passed.

But finally…. it is done!!

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I used a nice alpaca/wool/silk for the warp.

Dyed with: Sequoia (brown).. cochineal (red).. logwood (purple).. kamala (yellow and olive)..madder/walnut (light coral) cutch (yellow).

The weft was Harrisville highland in sand.

It fulled up beautifully!! I love the hand on this!

Next project? Not sure. Am sewing a couple of new linen dresses for when the weather warms up (not eco printed) .

And am heading to California in couple of weeks to meet Boone (Lilly’s new little guy, He’s due the beginning of March).

Then…. on to Spring and eco printing!!





Trying out a new source for linen.

I had bought a bolt of linen from Dharma Trading last year….. nice linen, but it had some sort of finishing on it that made it hard to take up dye unless I triple washed it. Seemed like a waste of water and energy. So I bought three yards of linen from that said it was finish free. I will admit to washing it twice. Which isn’t a true test to see if it would dye more easily.

I liked the results. So perhaps my next bolt will come from there. AND if I buy some more laundry detergent from Dharma… I could probably get away with one washing.

This is the dress I made myself.

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Started with snakeweed dyed fabric that had shibori resists clamped onto it. I then used eucalyptus, liquid amber, guava and maple leaves….with a sprinkling of madder and logwood powders…. to create the patterns and color.

Soon (after the holidays?) I will start making fabric for Lilly to sew with.

Wrong combinations…

I need more sturdy jumpers for work….. to cover up my shirts that snag on something and become holy……we haven’t been able to tell what they are catching on, but it has happened to several of us. Alas, two of my new organic cotton winter tees already have holes!


I had some lovely cotton colorgrown  waffle weave fabric….bought awhile ago when it was on sale. Had planned on making pants out of it, but then decided that it would make a sturdy  jumper to protect my shirts!

I used Sonya Philips’ Dress #1 pattern…. an old stand-by.

Sewed the dress up…. even went the extra mile and finished ALL of the seams. Added some slant patch pockets. Was so proud of it!!

Then I tried it on. 😦 I looked like I was wearing a potato sack.

The fabric was a bit too heavy/stiff to fall nicely. And the very light brown color did nothing for me (took a scrap of fabric and tried boiling it in water with see if it would darken… not much).

What to do?

Why dye it of course!! I chose madder.

I mordanted the fabric, and then soaked it in salt water over night…. but still ended up with blotches 😦 😦

Tried to over dye it…. again with madder.

The splotches remain.

Am thinking, that whereas the dye pot was huge, and there was plenty of space for the fabric to move freely in it….. the pot I mordanted the dress/jumper in, wasn’t. Could be the splotches were from a poor mordanting job, rather than a poor dye job.

Ah well. I will wear it. Still doesn’t look wonderful on me, but it will protect my shirts.


splotches….. 😦


Before and after… color not quite true, the original cotton was a bit more paper bag color…. and the jumper is a bit deeper coral.



One for me….new autumn work outfit.

This outfit was a combination of natural colored linen with a resist shibori/eco print ruffle. The black splotches (caused by the rust water/egg white mixture I was dipping the maple leaves into) were my attempt to disguise the blob I accidentally got on the yellow trying to chase the kitten off. The jacquard linen pants where dyed in the same dye bath as the ruffle.

Tina Givens dress pattern. Sonya Philips pants pattern.

Wore it to work yesterday and I felt lovely! 🙂  (Didn’t wear with with the striped shirt, wore a black short sleeved shirt since it is still warm here).


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This photo by Lilly, of the girls in their ‘matching’ outfits, brings me great joy.

…. as fall approaches I always get a bit teary and sad (which is odd, as autumn used to be my favorite time of year!) And I miss my family.

But this blast of color makes me smile!!


photo by Lillian Short


“Matching” outfits for the granddaughters…. sort of.

This little project started out as a skirt for Eleanor. But there were left over pieces big enough to cut out a jumper for Josephine …… so I thought, matching outfits! Especially as they will be seeing each other this weekend.

I am hoping for a “COUSINS” photoshoot by Lilly!!

Organic cotton baby corduroy . Shibori dyed with Lac…. sprinkled with turmeric and logwood. Redbud, liquid amber and purple carrots.

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Jo and Ellie in their latest eco prints

photo by Lillian Short (edited a tiny bit by me)



Precut fabric for Lilly…..

The thought is in the air for doing some collaborative projects….. with me dyeing the fabric and Lilly sewing it into one of a kind garments.

Here is a dress blank that I dyed for her, using a 100actsofsewing pattern. The photos are a bit ‘rough’ as I was trying to take photos quickly with a camera whose battery needed recharging (wanted to get the package in the mail today).

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