The skinny jeans are on the backburner for a variety of reasons so I decided to dive into my stash and sew up this retro print rayon from Fashionista fabrics instead. The pattern is a reuse, I made it originally for my Liberty print blouse and the pattern worked well for this soft rayon too. The only modification is the eyelet border insert as I wanted the dress to look vaguely retro, a mix of something art nouveau and a 1920’s summer’s blouse.
In the shop display the embroidered border was a little yellow, but it turned out it was just a tint caused by the sun. The actual border was stark white, which would have been too much contrast to the cream colored rayon. I knew I had to dye it, but finding a textile color in “unbleached” seemed unlikely so instead I had a flashback to my Project Runway watching days (there are a lot of those, I’ve seen every episode at least two times, as well as most non-US ones) and I recalled that some contestants used tea bags when dying fabrics.
Without any further research I brewed a strong cup of tea (using regular Ceylon tea) and let the border soak for 5 minutes. The result was great! The tea added a slight yellow/pinkish tone that looked pretty much exactly like what I’d hoped for. I rinsed the border several times afterwards to ensure that the dye was colorfast, and it was.
Speaking of Project Runway I often watch episodes as a way to motivate myself to sew. The thing is I don’t really enjoy the actual sewing all that much, I’m more of a concept person, so I need all the help I can get with the execution. So in order to find the motivation to finish this blouse I spent an hour listening to this great interview with season 2 finalist Daniel Vosovic. It might sound weird, but I swear that this method works. I guess it’s my equivalent of the motivational tapes that some athletes uses when prepping for a competition 🙂