Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Ice Dyed Mave Maxi Skirt

This is a long post with many tangents. But I have a challenge for you: can you spot the issue I'm trying to hide in this photo? 

Recently I spent a week at my sister's house hanging out and helping her around the house after knee surgery... I took advantage of her spacious grassy back yard to do some ice dyeing on the grass, a la Caramiya

My "yard" is a tiny brick patio with a tiny 3 foot by 3 foot garden and no grass, so my previous ice dyeing was in my basement in a small plastic bin, not ideal for larger pieces of fabric!

I wanted to experiment with ice dyeing using some different shades of Procion dye in black and shiitake mushroom colors after seeing Closet Core Patterns' single-color samples in their tutorial

I love how these shades split into their component colors. I tried New Black, Raven and Better Black, plus Shiitake, testing them on tea towels.

Unfortunately my experiments went awry when I neglected to mark the towels I was using to test each color, and then they all got tossed together in the wash. Doh!

But during the dyeing process I made a snap decision that I was liking how one was turning out more than the others and I went ahead and dyed 3 yards of cream colored rayon challis from my stash with it (why did I have cream rayon challis when that color makes me look like death warmed over? no idea.). 

I think it was the New Black that I ended up using for my rayon challis.

I just adore how the dyeing turned out on this fabric! 

Dramatic... lots of mauve and navy blue, with pops of magenta and gold, too. Beautiful. 

But what to make with it?! 

While I was doing my ice dyeing experiments and my sister was convalescing, we caught up on old favorite movies from the '80s, one of which was The Lost Boys

This movie (which is a delightful MTV-era horror comedy coolness confection) influenced my decision on how to use my fabric. 

One the characters, Star (who I pretty actively dislike as a character; she has no personality beyond being a vampire hanger-on/love interest and definitely does not pass the Bechdel test) has this sort of neo-hippie maxi skirt look going on. I decided was perfect for my swirly ice dyed fabric.

Conveniently, True Bias recently released the Mave Skirt pattern, a tiered, ruffly, elastic waist skirt that can be made in several different lengths and tier combos. Very broomstick skirt of my childhood, and very perfect for my Star skirt. 

I wasn't planning on buying this pattern because it was so simple and because I normally I avoid ruffles and gathering like the plague, both style-wise and construction-wise. But it was too spot-on for my fabric and inspiration. And my laziness knows no bounds during these pandemic times.

I made my Mave skirt in a size 20, which is in the larger size range, and it worked out great.

I opted for the 3-tier maxi skirt, for maximum drama. The skirt is designed for a 5'5" height, but I'm 5'7.5" so I added 2.5 inches to the middle (and shortest) tier. In retrospect, I could have added another inch to make it skim my feet. But maybe this length is fine so I don't trip on it going up the stairs!

I skipped the pockets because I thought they would be too floppy and lumpy in this fabric. I didn't topstitch the elastic waistband quite as many times as the pattern recommends. I found the waist tie to be extremely long.I may trim it down at some point, but I'll live with it for a while and see how it goes.

I am in love with my skirt! So twirly and fun and ridiculous. 

(Yes, if you've read this far, it was a stain smack on the front of my t-shirt I was trying to hide. I went ahead and took photos in it anyway since a) it matched, b) I don't care and c) I hoped the skirt would draw your attention away from my slovenly appearance)