Dress number 2….. and the magic of madder

I’ve made another Tina Given’s pattern, although I must admit to minor alternations due to my not reading the pattern thoroughly 😀 Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon happening…. the failure to follow directions. But it gives it a minor new twist, and also gives me the confidence to go my own way with a pattern in the future.

IMG_3862 IMG_3866

You’re wondering where the ‘madder’ comes into this? And the magic?

This yarn was dyed in the same dye pot!


Hard to believe, isn’t it?!

I had three skeins of wool mordanted with alum. Two went into the pot before I eco printed anything. They turned out a nice dark red. The third skein went into the pot after I had done a couple of pots full of eco print bundles. I was curious if the copper pipes would’ve changed the color. But the same red again appeared…. although a bit lighter.

So purple and red from the same dye bath! ha ha ha……. and I was going for orange! 😉

Maybe I’ll photograph this one on me too….. while I’m in Portland next month. Or get one of my kids to do it for me….. they are much better photographers than I!!


What a Hoot!

I have never really shot a self portrait. I rarely even have photos of me taken anymore! But today I made a foray to Red Tank Draw, to try and take a photo for Lilly to use in her upcoming yellow themed magazine.

Setting the timer on the camera…… then quickly moving to where it was focused…… all without tripping on the rocks (I am a klutz!).  It was hilarious. Needless to say, I had fun. Even if she choses not to use one of my photos, it was good for me to get out of my comfort zone.

I’ll share one of the photos here…..


Probably should’ve smiled a bit. Ah well.

I had planned on taking the photos up in Oak Creek Canyon, but there is a large forest fire burning in the upper canyon. It has been SO dry and windy here. Hopefully the winds will die down a bit and they can contain the fire soon (1000+ acres burned so far, and 0% contained).

Have another slip dress cut out and partially sewn…. it is soaking in rain water mixed with sea salt. Tomorrow I will dye it.


I’ve been working on a dress for Lilly’s magazine….. the theme of her first issue is “Yellow”.

I have the fabric that I dyed last week (with turmeric/soapnut)…… A good jumping off point! And I have a new pattern by Tina Givens.

You can see her patterns here:


An all yellow dress is a bit much for me. So I eco printed some strips to add contrast in the ruffles. And this is what I came up with. I’m happy with it!


The yellow is mellow, sort of a light ochre.


The little bit of eucalyptus dyed ruffle helps break up the monotony of the yellow (yes, it’s true, I’m not a ‘yellow’ person!)

But the fun thing is…. I had made a long shift dress a few weeks ago. I wasn’t happy with the eco printing, it was much too light. (I am planning on over printing it, when the leaves gather in a bit more pigment). This shift was on my dress form  and I threw the new dress over it yesterday  while we had company over for dinner. And I loved the way the two looked together!!

IMG_3807 IMG_3809

😀 now I have to figure out how to make an interesting photograph of the dress, for the magazine! With a real person in it…. probably me.

I also have cut out a little dress for Ellie. From two of the fabrics I posted last week. It will be interesting to see if the cochineal/avocado dyed purple fabric changes color when her nappies overflow!


Tricking the printer….

I’ve found if I quickly plug in my camera’s memory card, before the printer remembers it’s not working….. I can down load photos! 🙂

I wanted to post photos of Raggedy Ellie. She is now residing in Portland, with her new companion (who tries to eat her).

Remember the first photo?


Then she got hair….. madder dyed alpaca.


And clothes…. first her dress and bloomers


Then her apron


It was fun making her for Ellie…… and making it all out of naturally dyed and eco printed materials.

Here she is with her namesake…..

Ellie trying to eat Raggedy

I have also been dyeing some raw silk, for dresses.  Although, I dyed them before I got my ‘Tina Givens’ patterns…. and there is going to have to be some creative piecing, to get the fabric to fit the patterns. Silly me. Next time I’ll wait until the patterns arrive before dyeing/printing the fabric!

The solid colors are from cochineal and avocado pits (purple) and turmeric/soapnut (yellow)





This one I had rolled in an old window screen, hoping to get some cool rust patterns in it. Almost worked. I think that the screen was too fine. Next time I’ll use screening with a larger mesh.



I have also dyed an old cotton tee-shirt (which I am wearing right now) and another sleeveless silk shirt and a long raw silk shift. Will get photos of all of these in the next post. Hopefully along with the dress, or dresses, that the above silk is destined for!