After my first round of natural dying I was really bummed by the lack color that came through. For my 2nd round I would try to color my double gauze with the spice turmeric. It worked! Here is what I did!

I decided to soak my fabric in a mix of 4 quarts water to 1 quart vinegar for 3 hours to prime my fabric. It helps the color adhere to the fabric. Next, a spin cycle in my washing machine to get the excess water out. Previously, with the cherry juice concentrate, I used salt and water as the primer and it didn’t work so well.

Viking Apron Dress Tracy McElfresh

Next, I soaked my dress in 4 quarts of simmering water with 4 heaping tablespoons of turmeric for 2 hours. I repeated this process again with fresh turmeric for a total of 4 hours of soak time.

Last, a full wash. A little warning, some things can chemically react to the natural dye. After making the viking apron dress I used spray starch to press it and it made what looked like vintage rust spots all over the dress. Thank goodness it washed out.

I needed to find an awesome dress to make that is suitable with this soft, flowing fabric. I wanted to make something that had a bohemian festival look.

I stumbled across dozens of viking apron dresses, tutorials and patterns online.  I took one look at the layouts and decided I did not need a pattern for this dress.

After years of custom dresses my skill level has matured and I’ve become much better at working with no pattern. My technique is to simply take your chest measurement, divide it into 3 pieces and add seam allowance and ease. The extra scraps can all be used for bias strips and straps. The cool thing is there is almost no waste!

Tracy McElfresh

This is my layout.

Once my dress was made I wanted to add some girly bits. To figure out what colors look best I like to prance around like this for a few minutes. Some times it’s hard not to over do it.

Viking Apron Dress Tracy McElfresh

These are the colors I went with and I even made it into a heart shape. It was fun playing with all the trims and pinning until I got them all in the right places. Sewing it together was an entirely different story… it wasn’t as easy as play time!

Viking Apron Dress Tracy McElfresh

I found these cool buttons at the thrift store and added them to my viking apron dress. I used the copper family crest buttons.

Viking Apron Dress Tracy McElfresh

Here is my finished dress.

Behind the scenes~

Check out my new Etsy dress shop!

Thank you for reading!

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh
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