Monday, January 5, 2009

A little experiment...or, the fun things you can do with Kool-aid!

A little experiment
Originally uploaded by li'l miss muffett

I love to dye things. It's just so darn fun...

So, I did a little experiment the other day. Now, dyeing with Kool-aid is way cool because you don't have to worry about wearing layers of protective gear or worry that your childrens' hair will fall out or their fingers will fall off.

I've dyed wool yarn with Kool-aid and it really comes out beautiful! Nylon can be dyed in this way also and I've seen several Etsy sellers that dye vintage slips or girdles, etc. and it looks soooo GOOD!

Anyhoo, I pulled out a scrap of white nylon tricot (the kind used for slips, panties and bras) that was about the size of an average pair of panties and cut about a yard of white stretch lace. This will kinda give you a reference for how much dye is needed for your fabric/lace/undies.

Here's how it went if you want to try it:

The first go around, I filled a large saucepan with water and brought it to a boil. I dunked in the nylon and lace and then sprinkled the Kool-aid on top (my mistake, apparently) and stirred and squished it with a potato masher until the water started to look clear, water simmering all the while. Then I removed the fabric and lace, rinsed till the water ran clear, and hung them up to dry. By doing it this way I came up with a really groovy tie-dyed effect. Although it was really pretty, it wasn't quite what I was going for. So I started another pot of water and this time added the Kool-aid first. This produced a much more uniform spread of color but still a little tie-dyeish. This could be due to the fact that it was swirly to begin with.

The color is really hard for the camera to pick up but it's a really pretty pinky-purple with swirls of blue. The lace picked up the colors differently as you can see in the picture. Some parts took more of the Kool-aid's blue dye and others took more of the pink.

My next color was going to be cherry red but a certain munchkin living in my house made it in to an actual drink. Dammit!

This is a very "KOOL" experiment to do with you kids too!
Have fun!

EDIT: After posting this I found out that you don't have to boil the fabric and in fact it's not too nice on the elastic in the lace. Instead bring your water to a simmer and then turn off the heat. Add the kool aid, stir, then add the fabric. Continue to stir/mash until the water is clear or you get the color desired!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

I think many people share my opinion that 2008 flew by rather quickly. For me, Conner starting preschool escalated time consdiderably! I miss him in the mornings but don't regret our decision one bit. He is a completely changed li'l fella and the speech therapy has been a Godsend.

Anyhoo, we got our New Year off to a rocky start with everyone (except Gene, of course) getting a horrible tummy bug. I even spent an evening in the ER ('cause I fainted and freaked Gene out). Whoo hoo! We're all okay now though! The ER doc did say my blood sugar was too high so I need to follow up with my doctor. I'm not really looking forward to that little bit of business but my MIL has Diabetes so I know not to fool with it.

Christmas was really nice and we got to spend time with lots of family. Gene bought me Beverly Johnson's book on bra making and I'm itching to dive into it. Also got a couple Merckverdigh bra patterns and the Rebecca pattern by Sewy. They're all in German and I just don't remember enough to get me through. I emailed Michaela and she sent me her English translations and even a step-by-step photo tutorial for the Rebecca pattern! She has really been so helpful and friendly, even offering to help me more if I get stuck. I definitely recommend her shop and will be buying some bra kits in the future.

I've sewn about 5 bras so far (Kwik Sew and Ann St Clair's) but still need to work on the sizing for me. I have a rather difficult size (38L or 40J) and finding bra patterns is about as difficult as finding RTW (ready to wear) bras! The patterns I mentioned above come highly recommended and also in larger bust sizes! So we'll see....

Here is the bra set I made my sister for Christmas:

I was very proud of how it turned out and she loved it! And it fit her!!! Yay! Her hubby approved tremendously as well. LOL!!! The bra is Kwik Sew 3594 and the panties are both from Jalie 2568. The fabric is a periwinkle lycra knit that is sooo soft and slinky! I seriously need to make me some panties out of it. It was a real bear to sew because it kept rolling up on me but well worth it (I did line it with 50 denier tricot for support)! The white panties are wide stretch lace and the simplest thing to sew. I swear it takes like a total of 15 minutes to cut them out and sew. Since the lace is finished on both sides there is no finishing! No elastic waistband, no elastic on the legs... awesome!
I've also started sewing some custom lingerie! That has been really fun but I must admit it has made me think about lingerie all the time now! Sounds kinda naughty but really my thoughts run more towards the technical. I find myself daydreaming about how to build a better bra or how to embellish panties and slips with lace, etc. Really, if you have never tried making your own undies or at least buying handmade, you should! They are so much more comfortable than RTW! They're the first thing I reach for in my lingerie drawer.
There will most definitely be more lingerie sewing show-and-tell here on my blog so watch out! I'm really concentrating on that for now and for-who-knows-how-long?!
Wishing you all a healthy and properous 2009!


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