Shibori Satsuki

So… I have a gigantic pile of natural-colored linen (used in my tunic) that I was going to use to make a couch slipcover with. I’m getting really sick of it. It’s an awkward weight (definitely too flimsy for a couch and maybe even outerwear) but it’s not quite lightweight and floaty. It’s also low-quality and seems to have been made with shorter, weaker fibers.

It’s become kind of a trial fabric for semi-fitted garments and fodder for shibori experiments.

I completed two such garments during my week off, the Satsuki tunic by Victory Patterns being the first. I’ve loved the design since the moment I laid eyes on it, and can’t believe it took me this long to make it! I used up some of the questionable linen and then dyed the crap out of it. Victory Patterns Satsuki

I did Version 1, with shoulder cutouts and a waist tie band that’s inserted through the sleeves via buttonholes (no awkwardly exposed skin). Victory Patterns Satsuki

I placed the buttonholes for the tie myself instead of following the pattern because I have a lower waist.

There isn’t much to fit, but in the dress version I’m making for my sister, I removed 1/2″ of with between the shoulder cutout and neckline. Given my broad shoulders, I expected to have to move the shoulder cutouts out, not back in. The bust on mine is a bit too commodious as well. The only other changes I made had to do with the construction of the neckline facing; I overlocked the trimmed raw edges and held the facing down with a couple tiny tacking stitches in the front and back as well stitching in the ditch at the shoulder seams. Victory Patterns Satsuki

I used Procion MX dyes, which are best for plant fibers. I followed the instructions on the package for tub dyeing. I dyed the whole tunic orange first, rinsed it out, and then scrunched the fabric up, bound it with string, and submerged it in a blue dye bath. I was nervous the dye would permeate the whole tunic, so I took it out a bit too soon. I draped the tunic over my dye bucket so only the bottom and sleeve hems were in it. The colors were not what I expected, but I like the final effect. I think the purply color is even better than the blue would have been. Victory Patterns Satsuki

Let me just note that dyeing garments in buckets in a bathtub is a young woman’s game. Lots of hunching, stirring and rinsing can really aggravate a person’s back! Especially when said person is picky enough to repeat the process three times to get the right color.

The hard-won end result: the perfect garment to wear when this movie comes to town.


34 thoughts on “Shibori Satsuki

  1. I love seeing you and Sallie Oh’s experiments with dyeing fabric – so inspiring! The fabric looks pretty perfect for the shape of the tunic, even if it isn’t the best quality, and I love the warm colours you chose.

  2. Fantastic top! The dyed fabric is very interesting. This wasn’t one of my favorite patterns from that release, but it has since really grown on me and is in my sewing queue for the dress version.

  3. This is by far my FAVORITE garment you have sewn thus far. This is gorgeous…I HAVE to find fabric to make this now!

      1. Now that’s an idea! That could be glorious with the right plants and or flowers. I recently picked up an art board and mallet to experiment with that technique again.

  4. GASP!! This is breathtakingly beautiful on you. The colour suits so well. Great timing too, I’m hoping to get stuck into this one soon so I’ll be checking back at your tips.

  5. love how you dyed the fabric, the colors are great! actually, i was eyeing this pattern recently. it’s completely different than what i usually wear, but the easy breezy quality seems to be calling me… beautiful job!

  6. Wow! This is stunning! Way to turn some kind of lame fabric into a really special top! Now I’m really curious about what your second project was….

  7. Agreed that the purplish colour has turned out beautifully and the colours really bring out the reds in your hair, which I hadn’t noticed in your other photos – I think this top will be so cool for the summer. I love linen so I would just dye it whatever colour I needed for my next project. I do my dying in a bucket to reduce back strain and make sure there is something interesting on the radio before I start. I am forbidden from using our washing machine, but that’s a story for another day!!

    1. Thanks, Philippa! I’ve been intrigued by washing machine dyeing but have been too afraid to try in our shared apartment laundry room!

  8. Oh, this is so pretty – the dyed fabric is perfect for this tunic – or is it vice versa, that the tunic is perfect for dyed fabric? Anyways, it´s a great looking garment, and you wear it well. Suits you perfectly! 🙂

  9. Ok, I was wondering how I missed this awesomeness?! But you posted it the day after I gave birth ;). I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!! What an awesome, awesome dye experiment. I actually want to try some shibori myself. I’ve been reading up on it and I bought an indigo dye kit which looks really interesting. One day! This top is incredible. A work of art.

    1. Ooh, I so want to work with indigo! I could see you really enjoying working with shibori given your art background and aesthetic!

  10. Just so so lovely! Your project gives me some inspiration for some of my stash. I love the colors, and wonder about some green palette, too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s