/experimental tritik tee


This tee was a total accident that started when I was overdyeing some black linen pants for a client. Yep, it was the perfect time to try out a tye-dye technique from Tie-Dye: Dye it, Wear it, Share it by Shabd Simon-Alexander! I am always poring over this gorgeous book and I want to try all the projects in it. So, I unearthed a small piece of what I think is cotton/modal and went to town. I decided on a stitch-resist method called tritik, where you fold the fabric like an accordion and stitch through all the layers with a thick thread. I used pearl cotton embroidery thread, which worked very well to define the design, and a large needle which did not work so well and resulted in more than a few giant holes in my final shirt. Live and learn.

The thing I like most about dyeing is that it's always really obvious what you should/could do differently next time.

I could
  • leave it in the dye bath longer
  • agitate it more to get the dye in the inside sections
  • make sure to smooth out weird folds and scrunches when folding (see just below neckline)
  • use a smaller needle, appropriate for the fabric

There's something really satisfying about trial and error with dyeing projects, because most of the time even the error is beautiful and potentially useful.  Enter: the Sewaholic Renfrew tee pattern. The resulting shirt is not on grain at all, I just cut according to the dye design, which I hadn't bothered to line up properly. As long as I was experimenting new techniques, why not add to the fun? I sewed twill tape to the outside shoulder seams instead of the inside, and to finish the neckline I cut a thin strip from the crossgrain and pulled it so it curled under, then applied it just on one side. The hem is pretty insane, but I decided I really liked the length and somewhat disheveled look.

I really love making total design-as-you-go projects, such a different process than planning every detail from the start. It makes me excited to think what potential still lurks in my fabric drawers! Have you ever tried switching up your process or sewing without expectations? Was it a success?

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