Have you ever fallen in love for a fabric for one reason or another only to conclude that it looked good on precisely no one? Yeah, me too. This knit was one of those fabrics. I loved the graphic floral print, but the beige tan of the background against the dark grey is ghastly.
So I stuffed it away in my stash and pulled it out only to go through the same process. I’d pull it out and think, “Yay, what a fun print! Ugh, it’s the color of Silly Putty.” Repeat the process at least 5 times, and it was time to explore a different avenue.
Solution: DYE IT
Problem: it’s 50% polyester, so the dye just runs off it like a teflon pan.
Then I came across a tip on a Cosplay forum about dyeing polyester with rubbing alcohol instead of water. Essentially, you dip the fabric first in the alcohol, then in the dye that has been diluted 7:1 in alcohol, not water. Then you let the fabric dry and heat set it with your iron, forcing the dye to basically melt into the poly. The alternative is to boil the peewaddilydoo out of the poly in dye. In retrospect, that would have been a much better solution as the alcohol gave off awful fumes. Also, despite my efforts, the dye ultimately did not soak into the right side of the fabric either. It did however make a slight color change on the wrong side of the fabric.
As for the pattern, I went back to Jalie’s Raglan Tee (Jalie 3245) and decided to add a peplum. I marked where I wanted the waist seam to be and measured how deep I wanted the peplum to be (I decided 1″ longer than I typically make tees). I drafted the piece using Deepika’s hack. I’ve never tried this style on me before, and since the fabric is experimental, I knew I wouldn’t be crushed if I hated it.
I love it when multiple variable experiments are occasionally fruitful. Favoring the wrong side of the fabric softened the intensity of the dove grey–a color (and every other form of black) that makes me look jaundiced. I’m glad at least that I was able to salvage a fabric that I had a love/hate relationship with.
I decided that I kind of like the whole peplum idea, too. By this point, I’ve seen literally every kind and shape of woman look great in a peplum. It flatters your waist and the skirt is so utterly feminine. contrasting the femininity of the peplum with the rather masculine (I think) lines of a raglan is kind of fun too.
What are your crazy experiments that have turned out well?