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