The disappointing results with trying to discharge Fabric 01
vertically striped; 100% cotton; equal to medium weight denim
had me contemplating dying and painting the entire fabric. However, I’m not an expert in either dying or painting. As a matter of fact, I’m hardly a novice with either one. I knew I could ask the experts at Stitchers Guild, if I had a question to ask. Just asking “what can I do?” would most likely garner replies that I couldn’t or wouldn’t do. I too have limitations of time, money, skill, and inclination. I thought it might be easiest to simply paint stripes in a variety of widths which would, hopefully, completely cover the color. At least, I thought, lots of painted stripes would push that muted aqua-green into the background where it would be less noticeable.

It occurred to me that what I choose to do color wise could be dependent upon what I chose to do shapewise. I.E. I’m a lot more experimental and willing to do much more to a 18×36″ table runner than I am to 3 yards of garment cloth. Especially, if I intend the garment-cloth to become clothing for myself. I contemplated the fabric itself. I’m willing to wear this fabric (forget the color for the moment) as summer-pants, a long-sleeve shirt, a jacket or a vest. I don’t wear many skirts and I’m not willing to make great effort for any garment I don’t/wont’ wear much. But pants are out. I do very little to pants. For many years I’ve kept my pants quite plain. I want all your attention to shift from my generous pear-shaped bottom up to my top. I maintain very few jackets. I don’t need them. I don’t wear jackets often. A jacket –OUT. Because it’s approaching summer, even here in South Dakota, I had pretty much settled upon a vest. Had we been approaching autumn or winter, the blouse would have had greater preference except for one undeniable and hard to surmount fact: I have 2.5 yards of 36″ wide fabric. I might have had difficulty cutting a long-sleeve blouse. So my thoughts began centering upon a vest. Except–

I just disposed of a white vest with nearly the same aqua-green colored embroidery. It languished in my closet for over 3 years. It languished because I had few coordinating garments. It was disposed of because the few times I did wear it the white accumulated stains that were not removable even after a 7-day soak in the Biz-Bucket. Pretty much, 7-days is my limit. If Biz can’t remove it in 7-days, I figure the stain is there for eternity. So I’m asking myself, do I really want another vest in the same/similar color? Is there a way to change the color so the vest would be worn more often? Hence, the effort at color discharge and the thoughts of paint and dye.

I want to ask for help from SG. But I want to ask the right question; and while I’m not an expert with dye/paint I do have a lot of experience and preferences for embroidery threads. My thought was to experiment with embroidery threads to determine which color(s) I’d like to achieve and then ask the experts. I cut larger fabric samples (maybe 5×7 or8″), and backed them with a soft paper. I spent some time with the samples, my Marathon Color Card and my color wheels.

Yes that was plural on the wheels. I puzzled with the primary color wheel for many years, but was never really comfortable with it.  A little over a year ago, I happened upon a color wheel in muted/grayed colors. Working with the richness of the muted color wheel was a light bulb experience. So many of the uncertainties that I experienced before; so many of the questions that weren’t completely answered; so many of the color puzzles I just couldn’t complete were suddenly clear. Suddenly answered. Suddenly made sense. I understand the need for working with the primary colors, but it was working with the sophisticated muted colors along with the primaries that made it all click for me.

I selected a number of threads based upon a complimentary and split complimentary color scheme.  My original thought was stripes i.e. what stripes could I paint upon the fabric, but I choose a variety of stitches to test the colors on my fabric.
I consider this playing time, also time to use up those half-filled bobbins. My fabric was cooperative from standpoint of having “lines” already drawn. Where the two types of weave met, a nice definitive line emerged. But I still needed to draw additional lines so that my sample could be filled with stitching.

In my second sample, I switched from decorative stitches to plainer lines.
I’m still thinking of placing masking tape upon the fabric and using a brayer to paint nice crisp lines. I did note that satin stitching of nearly any width did more to “cover up” the fabric’s color. And I narrowed my color choices even further. I found that the aqua that were more blue, only made my fabric look greener. Whilst the more green, did nothing to achieve my desire to change the color. While I still wanted to change the fabric color, I was most fond of the sample with complimentary orange and brown threads.
Which started me pondering. Did I really have to make a vest? A vest has the limitation of needing to be worn with two other garments; needing to coordinate with at last 2 other garments. A sleeveless blouse OTOH, would only need to coordinate with the summer bottom with which it was worn.

And then I remembered a Louise Cutting Classic 22547, Your Everyday Drifter.
This pattern was most famous for it’s tailored shirt. But I never made that. I was fascinated by the “vest” which accompanied the shirt. I’ve made this vest twice before (see here); once as a vest and once as a sleeveless top.  It is converted to a super summer top very easily.  I believe I stitched the side seams another 2″ up into the armscyes and added buttonholes and buttons to the front.  What is even nicer, is that the fabric used for the first top is similar in fiber, weight, drape and care to the fabric I’m struggling with right now. The beauty of it is, that I can wear the current fabric as a top with numerous bottoms already in my closet.  It will not languish in the closet and when it’s worn out; well it’s good fabric for rags.  And with that my thinking and experimenting took a new direction.


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