Sunday, December 28, 2014

It Had Seen Better Days

This 1980's Guess Jeans shirt served my ex-husband well for many years until he decided to donate it to my school for the students to wear as an apron when they threw on the potter's wheels.
Three decades and several washings later,
my T.A. Josh Berger used it as a mop to clean up Kaili Hamada's accidental tye-dye spill
after I tossed it to him and I said "Hurry before the dye spreads all over the floor".
This all transpired last school year.
So I saved the shirt hoping to do something special with it.
During our Eco-Dye unit this year I looked at the beautiful color in the shirt 
and felt like experimenting over top it with eco-bundling to see what would happen.
I went to my home garden and found lots of possibilities for dye pigment.
 gardenia leaves, 
mandevilla blossoms,
and other interesting plants and flowers.
I bundled it over a copper tube
 and steamed it for a couple hours,
then let it sit outside the classroom door for a couple of weeks to stew and do it's thing.
After a couple more washings,
with many hours spent stitching embroidery designs on collar,
pocket top lapels,
and cuffs...
I gave this bad boy to Josh this year for his Christmas present.
(he has since graduated and is now my second paid assistant,
coming in a couple hours a week to help me with the heavy stuff)
Below is a better pix of the colors. 

It was worn thru in a couple of places,
so I did a bit of Boro stitching to patch it back together.

And since the eye enjoys asymmetry, 
I stitched a bit differently on each section,
but still managed to tie it all together visually...
thru repetition and color.
The bits of cotton sting I used to stitch with were actually eco-dyed right with the shirt so they would flow.
I told Josh he couldn't open his present till Xmas with his family, 
so I'm hoping he will like it,
and that it fits.
Wouldn't it be cool it he wears it when he comes back in January?
These are my favorite kinds of surprises to give at the Holidays.

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