When the fabric isn’t quite what you want…

…Change it! 

One of the challenges of buying fabric online is that it’s hard to know the exact colours until you see it in person. I bought a cotton from Amy Butler’s Soul Blossoms collection a few years ago, but in person I find it almost fluorescent. It’s not exactly like this one below, but it’s similar! 

Ideally I’d like to make a sundress out of it, even though it is quilting cotton. 

I also bought this coordinating cotton at the time: 

Again, there is a lot I love about it, but some of the colours are just to bright for me! 

So, what to do? Change the fabric! I just wanted to tone things down a bit, so I tried tea-dying it. My family drinks a lot of tea, so it was simple to boil up a pot of very strong tea, and dunk the fabric in!

Tea dying fabric

I left it in for about 10 minutes, then wrung it out and threw it in the wash. Here’s how it turned out!

tea-dyed fabric

It’s an improvement… but I’m still wondering about taking it further. I could bleach it – but I’d have to test which colours would actually fade. I could buy proper dye… but really, what colour would I dye it? 

In the meantime, I’ve found a good use for just a wee bit of it! A friend asked if I could do an interpretation of an Old Navy linen scarf with fluorescent trim. (Sorry, I can’t find the picture now!) I hope this fits the bill!

scarf full

I just used 2”x2m strip from along the selvedge, and sewed it into the seam of a jersey scarf. With my new serger (!!!!!) it only took a few minutes 

I’m curious: What do you do when you aren’t in love with a fabric? Give it away? Save it for later? Dye it or bleach it? What other creative solutions have you tried?


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