Ok, so I've never been one to be too scared of experimenting with fabrics. I like to play. If I mess up -- it's FABRIC. No one dies, I may have spent a bit of money and time -- but, um, nothing seriously wrong happens. (if you know of an exception to this one -- I'd love to hear about it -- though, on second thought, maybe you shouldn't burst my bubble).
So, when the pattern for my daughter's Christmas gift called for something I've never done -- wooo hoo -- time to experiment. Time to venture into the kitchen and play with some tea dying. (for those of you who have done this a million times -- um, yep -- I'm late coming to the party on this one) And of course, since I'm prone to overly complicating relatively simple things, I had to not just tea dye but play with it. I wanted to get a "peachy" color to the fabric. This is, after all, supposed to be a doll right? So -- black tea should give a brownish tinge -- what will give more of a flesh tone? How about a "red" tea?
And, just in case the whole -- it should be black tea thing is necessary. How about another length that has both red and black teas combined? So far looking promising no? A nice peachy color here -- even given that tea dying is going to be MUCH lighter when it gets washed -- still, looking good!
Anyone get the feeling that this isn't going to turn out the way I want it to? You should be -- I mean, I did end up getting tea dyed fabric. It's darker/duskier than the original white -- but, the whole color thing I was going for? Not sure. It could be the detergent I used. I used Dreft, which is a wonderful product. Really. There's even a blurb on it in the current Quilter's Home magazine for this issue's product test -- they rated it REALLY highly for washing quilts, just below the specialty product Soak (and for the rating -- a darned sight cheaper as well). But, you see, I forgot one *little* thing -- the reason I still use Dreft for my daughter's laundry even though she's 2? Um -- this stuff WORKS. I mean, really works. Gets out stains I thought wouldn't come out works. As in as soon as I poured it into the washing machine it started changing the color of the fabrics -- fast!
Soooo -- this is what I ended up with. The red tea is on the left, the red/black is in the middle and that far right piece is another experiment with green tea meant for some stitchery ideas (too coarse to want to use for the doll body. The fabric across the bottom is the original white. Not sure how happy I am with these.
And just for a shot with another color reference -- here's a shot with my hand in it. I mean -- it could be the detergent (probable) -- it could just be that the red color in the tea I used doesn't stain enough (possible) -- could be that I used warm water to wash it in (also possible but not as likely as the first two) -- could be that I didn't use enough tea bags to get good color (though, look at the before pictures, I think I got enough color on there)-- etc., etc., etc. So the question is -- do I attempt the experiment again? Do I change one of the likely culprit variables and attempt to re-stain the fabrics? Do I say well -- I got stained fabric and just go with what I've got?
Am I over thinking and over complicating something that doesn't need to be? *sigh* probably to the last one. But I'm still unsure about the use or redye question. I still think the red tea idea should work -- but, really, does it matter? What do you think? Redo or use what I have so my daughter can have her doll for THIS Christmas?
And to end on a happier note -- the pincushions are coming along. Two completely done -- five more that need buttons added to them, but that's a good nighttime project. One of these is actually already at its destination -- one of dd's teachers is leaving today. I added a bit of scented oil soaked in a cotton ball to the stuffing and it's a pretty sachet if she doesn't need a pincushion. As for the others -- well, stay tuned for further announcements :0).
I've been getting some nice compliments on the Christmas ornaments from my last post -- if anyone is interested in being Megged -- I know Tammy was planning on kiting these up with the pattern and a fabric pack. I'm not sure if they're up on her site or not or if she's gotten them done yet -- but if you are interested you could shoot her an email. Just doing my part to ensure a vital global economy :0).