Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The colors of summer

Getting ready for the Green Gala Fashion Show at the Berkeley Botanical Gardens, it all starts off with a walk in Nicasio at Marin Carbon Project. My daughter Camille and her friend Morgana volunteer to come harvest with me. Rebecca Burggess brings us on this journey to save these prickly dye plants, an invasive species whose removal saves our wild lands from unnecessary chemical sprays from  unnecessary chemical sprays. This is my process of dying with Wooly distaff thistle,  Pretty exciting! 

Jullian is my assistant, obviously he is doing all of the work and loving every minute of it.

The distaff plant is prickly and the color that it gives is a very bright yellow, I wanted it to have more green in it. Rebecca advised to put copper in the pot.

Soaking the fabric in water.

My first piece for the fashion show is called Ready for Anything! Using reclaimed denim, I am dying the pockets and some accent pieces on the back with distaff and then the sewing is done by hand. I'm making this a tradition even though this is only my second year of being in this show. I love to feel the real time it takes to make something useful excluding the time it took to grow the cotton, mill it, spin it and then weave it. Oops, there are a lot of steps even before I start to sew. I think we forget how much time and effort actually goes into making something. Always bragging I got it for $9.99 at Target. YIKES!! I think I would rather live with less.

The beginning idea

After a long boil, I had to remove some plant to make room for fabric, hemp webbing and twill tape.

My other piece is reminiscent of an apron that is the same on the front and back and ties on the side. I creating my version with a distaff yellow fade, working on it here! oh ya!

Annabel, Jullian and I watched as the soda ash from Rebbeca's stash instantly brings out this amazing Brighter color. Do you see the beautiful reflection of the redwood trees in the smaller pot?


Tricia Rose Rough Linen said...

Hey Molly, I was thinking of you because I have a pile of white linen, mostly 10" strips but some wider, would be great for dyeing, could you use them? I could drop them at the Center for you~

Molly de Vries said...

I would love.. hope to see you soon!