For 2016, I have been on a long flowing bohemian kick. Last week I thought I would give natural dying a try as part of my solids challenges for 2016.\n\nI used a 1970s pattern for my Dayton Dressmakers Club Meet Up’s pattern swap.

Tracy McElfresh Natural Dying

My idea was to buy our white Cotton and Steel double gauze and make a romantic light pink peasant dress with cream color lace on its borders. It’s a good thing I go with the flow and if it doesn’t turn out the way I think it will I do not get upset or give up.

Tracy McElfresh

Then I looked at everyone’s natural dye blogs to learn what food and veggies will turn fabric different colors and how the process worked. I saw if you want pink use cherries or strawberries. Throwing some beats in would surly stain my fabric too, right?

I learned I needed to prime my fabric to get it ready to soak up the dye by soaking it for an hour in vinegar or salt.

I went to my grocery store and picked out beets and black cherry juice concentrate for my first experience.

After soaking my fabric in the priming solution of salt. I gave the fabric a good spin in the washer. I think I should of used vinegar.

Tracy McElfresh Natural Dying

Next, I juiced the beats and put the pulp in cheese cloth. Took all of that and boiled my fabric in the solution for 1 hour, my first mistake. My first attempt was a light tan.

My second attempt turned out much better. I soaked it over night.Tracy McElfresh Natural Dying

After making my dress I sewed two rows of black Venice lace together to give this peasant dress a Game of Thrones look.

Tracy McElfresh Natural Dying

Here is my finished dress!!

Tracy McElfresh Natural Dying Tracy McElfresh Natural Dying

Next week I will blog about dying the same Cotton and Steel gauze fabric with turmeric and I am making a Viking apron dress.

In other news~ I went to Amy Kollar Anderson’s artist reception at my husbands brewery (he is the master brewer at Yellow Springs Brewery). This is me in front of the painting I inspired her to paint, my butterfly dress.

Thank you for reading!

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh is the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio LLC.
Tracy McElfresh

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