Tag Archives: ecoprints

It’s Time To Ecoprint

It’s that time of year when I have a little flurry of ecoprinting activity before the leaves fall.  As you will have read in my last post, like a squirrel building a dray I’m collecting leaves when I’m out and about, I’m also using what’s in my garden.

Ecoprints on paper just need framing upI do love this time of year, foraging gives me great pleasure and the fact I can capture the emotions I’ve had when I’m out somewhere (also memories) gives me a lasting connection to a place.

I’m saving the leaves from my walk last week to print some linen when it arrives, meanwhile  I’ve gathered leaves in the garden to print on paper.

The first batch of ecoprints were ok but not as good as I hoped for.

The next batch were made on a different paper, I didn’t use a mordant, just a rusty pan and some vinegar in my water. I love the results.

As I printed on both sides of the paper it’s difficult to decide which one I like best. Which do you like, A or B ?

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up

Ecoprints on paper just need framing upMy cotinus did a great job, this plant never ceases to amaze me, I’ve never had blue prints before, or yellow green. Most of the time it prints a dark colour, often purple. So far this year it hasn’t printed with much colour so I was delighted when I got this pretty blue.

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up
I shall be printing using mordants this week so watch this space 🙂

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up
Here’s just a few of this weeks prints, they are gradually making their way into my shop.
Ecoprints on paper just need framing up

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up

Ecoprints on paper just need framing up

My Upcycled Ecoprinted Top

My friend came over for a few days, we usually do something crafty, this time I decided to make a top where I’d eco printed the fabric myself. This has been on my to do list for a while so it was good to finally get round to it. It took 3 days to complete, on the first day I dyed the fabric. I downloaded a free pattern for the York top from Seamwork  

Upcycled ecoprinted top
The fabric is recycled 100% cotton ( I’ll tell you more at the end of this post), I cut the fabric slightly larger than the pattern pieces so there would be plenty wiggle room after dyeing just in case something didn’t work out and needed to be avoided.
Upcycled ecoprinted topThe fabric was rolled on copper pipes, tied with yarn and boiled for 2 1/2 hours. I threw a couple of handfuls of onion skins into the pot thinking I would get a golden brown colour.

Upcycled ecoprinted topI have to say I was surprised at the colour, which wasn’t brown, but I wasn’t too sure the leaves had printed very well. I left the fabric to dry overnight.
On assessment the next day I realised I had some lovely delicate green leaves as well as some darker cotinus prints. What I liked most was the patterning from the onion skin dye which ranged from pale lemon yellow to ochre. It’s hard to tell from my pictures but the light background colour is lemon not white.
Upcycled ecoprinted topOn the outside of my bundles serendipity gave me a lovely graded colour effect, also the pink yarn I’d used to tie my bundles had transferred to the fabric, I hoped to use this effect as a border at the hemline front and back and also on one edge of the cuffs when cutting my pattern pieces so I took care to match up the front and back so the ‘border’ was the same depth . There’s a lovely pattern centre front as well.
Upcycled ecoprinted top

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Mirror image cuffs,look how the geranium leaf front and back prints differently.Untitled

And sleeves
Upcycled ecoprinted topI haven’t made clothes in years but I was taught well by my mother who had served an apprenticeship as a dressmaker and who sewed and taught dressmaking all her working life. It all came back to me very quickly, it was like she was sitting on my shoulder telling me what to do next.

I  made my own bias binding for the neck.

Upcycled ecoprinted topI had to wait a day for this nifty little tool to arrive but it makes things so much easier.

You slot your strip of fabric into the tool, pin the end to the ironing board and as you pull the tool along you iron the fabric.

Upcycled ecoprinted top

Upcycled ecoprinted top

The pattern had a tie fastener at the back neck  but I thought it would be too bulky. In the middle of the night I woke up knowing how my Mum would finish the neck, with a thread loop which is barely visible. I don’t know if I have ever done this before but I had watched Mum do it many times in the past.

Using double thread I made a couple of loops which the button would go through but not too loose.

Upcycled ecoprinted top

Then I buttonhole stitched over the loops of thread and finished off the ends securely on the back.Upcycled ecoprinted topPerfect!

Upcycled ecoprinted topHere’s my finished top, I think it turned out well 🙂

Upcycled ecoprinted topIt’s a little on the large side but the next one will be perfect.

Upcycled ecoprinted topI have to say this turned out far better than my expectations, the top wouldn’t  look out of place in a boutique in Positano. I am looking forward to making more eco printed clothes, maybe a skirt or another top.

I said I would tell you about the cotton fabric at the end of this post. I’ll let you into my secret, it’s made from a cotton sheet that I used to cover my craft fair table, shhh don’t tell anyone 🙂

I’m wearing it to go out to dinner with my friend next week. 😀