Sky Dye blue dress

CTM detail

Have you seen Dawn Porters new tv show ‘This Old Thing’ yet? It’s an absolute must see for any vintage and upcycling clothing lover in which Dawn gives loads of tips and tricks to make your own brilliant personal wardrobe (and help convince any vintage-foob in your household to love the pre-loved).

In the very first episode they gave me a brilliant upcycling idea which I’ve successfully put to the test: dyeing a plain boring white dress into a vibrant blue piece. After the episode I walked into a local shop where they had fabric dye on offer, I’ve always wanted to try that so I took it as faith and bought a packet of blue dye.

blue fabric dye

Remember my 1950s / Call the Midwife dress I made last year out of white cotton, mainly to test the vintage pattern. Well I never got round to make a proper copy out of fancy fabric (partly because of the sheer amount of fabric involved, partly the work in it). But it being plain white it was a little too much ‘nurse’ for me to wear the dress out. The perfect piece to try some dying. Besides in Call the midwife the midwifes dresses are light blue so that would make it more like the show too.

CTM white dress

I filled a bucket with hot water as instructed (always follow the instructions and test on a scrap piece first), added about half the packet (I didn’t want a dark indigo as on the packet) and dropped a piece of scrap fabric in the dye. Taking it out after 15 minutes (long before the instructed 45 minutes) the fabric was way too bright blue for my liking, so for the actual dress I diluted the mixture a lot more.

On the show they did a brilliant job dip dyeing so the bottom was a lot darker than the top of the dress. I tried to do the same, but at the same time didn’t want the dress to turn too dark by leaving it in the bucket too long, so in the end only when you lay the top and bottom next to each other you see a colour difference. Still, I love the light blue colour it turned into.

CTM blue dress

Funny enough, because of the dyeing the originally blue decorative stitches turned a bit greyish, which makes them still stand out from the fabric. And the buttons, well they look like they were made for this colour all along.

x Ilse


Crochet midwife blanket

You might have noticed my love for bbc series ‘Call the Midwife’. In the last episode of season 2 they all work together to crochet a granny square blanket. I’ve been intending to learn to crochet for a while and as a couple of people on Tumblr started to make a Midwife crochet blanket I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

Someone referred to this youtube clip and this is finally one I completely understood and I can follow. My first attempt is still a bit wobbly, but I now get the technique so I’m hoping to make loads of squares over this summer.

Midwife crochet

With thanks to Gemma Garner,  Heliotrope-dreams, and mirandakatherinehart.

Call the midwife dress

A couple of months ago I bought an original dress pattern from late 1950s. As sizes have changed a lot over the last 60 years I decided to first try it out on a white bed sheet I never used.

Having finished it the size is pretty good. Only feels like quite a shame to just trow the white version out, so I decided to cheer it up with blue buttons and some embroidery stitches from my new (yes again, long story) sewing machine.
I do like the outcome, however 1950s, white and blue, makes it look like I could easily join the nurses from BBC series ‘Call the Midwife’.
Suggestions how to make this dress less ‘nurse’ are welcome. I might just cut up another sheet for a second dress, this time a stripy Cath Kidston one. Hoping it will look like the stripy dress on the pattern.