Woad-dyed Sewing Project

Recently, I made my first woad vat and–although the vat depleted too quickly for my taste–I did get a few pieces of cloth for my efforts.  I had in mind a sleeveless summer top made from woad-dyed organic jersey knit, which turned out to be just enough for the project.

In the past, I have struggled with sewing any kind of knit fabric and have experimented with different methods of sewing, including using a ball point needle, a twin needle, and zigzag stitching.  At one point, I became so frustrated with the process that I decided to sew a garment by hand.

This time, I once again consulted my Janome sewing machine manual; but this time, I discovered a new page (an insert to the manual) I had not noticed before.  It showed appropriate stitches for various projects and the proper settings, and there was something called “knit stitch.”  I tried it and it worked.  It basically looks to me like a “serger”stitch, that overcasting stitch seen on some sports apparel (see below)  The only problem I found with this stitch is that it gobbles up an amazing amount of thread, and I have subsequently almost run out of my Gutermann light blue thread.

Next time:  The finished woad dyed knit tunic.

woad-dyed cotton jersey


Second dyeing with woad: organic cotton jersey on left, linen yardage on right.

knit stitch on cotton jersey


Eco-Prints + Fabric Stash = Win/Win

As the new eco-print and natural dyeing season approaches in Chicago, I  have begun to focus on incorporating last season’s eco-printed fabric to my current wardrobe.  One special piece continues to attract my attention. This was a scrap of silk which I eco-dyed with eucalyptus and rose leaves.

I gave serious thought about how I might use this piece to its best advantage.  In the meantime, I remembered I had purchased organic cotton jersey, which I had used to make a few scarves.

This silk scrap seemed to go better with my purchased fabric.  I am thinking of a tunic.  The fabric needs to be washed first.  I also found some naturally-dyed lace from last season, and if I decide to go ultra-feminine, there might be some lace added as well.  Stay tuned!