Week 11 Ice Dye Experiment

Every week is a new adventure for me, just some adventures started a long long time ago.  If you are following me on Instagram, you might remember about 10 weeks I posted a few pictures of my first attempt at ice dying. I came across this process of ice dye and had to attempt it. While the snow fell and winter still fought off spring, I took my children on an adventure to dig up a bucket full of snow. 

Following the steps on the blog (here is the link if you want step by step instructions) I folded my fabric, packed it with snow and sprinkled my two colours of packaged dye over top. The process itself was quite amazing to watch as the snow melted and the colours merged. I quickly realized that I used too much dye and two colours became one, resulting in fabric that was mostly purple. 

There were a few subtle images that emerged out of the dye, including a butterfly and what could be interpreted as a life size, nude woman. This larger image was too literal for me so I decided to try and create an hombre pattern by deconstructing the fabric.  I cut it into strips and got thinking about reconstructing it. 

My original plan was to create a banded dress.  But my boyish figure is only slowly returning after having two babies so I was not highly motivated to create a tight, form fitted garment. 
Then recently I came to know Tonle and love everything they do but even more, how they do it!! They embody zero-waste.  This inspired me to reconsider how to approach all my strips of fabric and create a poncho which quickly became a shirt made out of identical quarters, like a pinwheel. I am pleased with the details like the square neck line, puffy 3/4 sleeves and interesting lines. 
Wondering what to call this top, I kept considering the caterpillar top, since the rows of fabric reminded me of the hookah smoking caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. And I just now realize the irony of that since a butterfly emerged out of the dye. 

I recognize that each garment produced here is far from perfect but rather each piece is part of a greater exploration with the intention of getting comfortable and gaining knowledge of a particular fabric under a very confined set of constraints. Those constraints being again one yard of material and zero-waste design where the entire yard of material is utilized somehow in the garment. My hope is that with continued practice and commitment to this exploration, maybe just maybe, something magical will happen and one or even a few really successful designs will emerge from all the chaos.

Zero-waste design changes the way we design. It challenges traditional garment construction; seam allowance; finishing techniques; patterns; it is almost reverse engineering. To explain, in my view, it takes us back to when we as a species would use every part of an animal, not just for food, but for shelter, clothing, etc. From wearing a hide to making cloth, we slowly learned and developed new skills to add shape and color and pattern to our garments to give us a voice as individuals. Now, in the present day, we have all the technology and know how but we have forgotten how to "use the whole animal" so to speak.

I am that I am. 


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