By the time February arrived I was well rested & ready to do some explorations into using NZ native plants for dyeing fabric & fibre.
The harakeke seed pods were at their best for harvesting for making a dye bath too & I was lucky enough to have my friend, Isla, walk me thru the process, which is very easy but it is a process which takes a few days.
Here's a link to a post on Isla's website which outlines the process we used; natural-dyeing-with-harakeke-seed-pods
What I hadn't considered was the extra shrinkage of the fabric courtesy of simmering for an hour in hot water.
I had already washed & dried the fabric BUT I do cold washes & line dry ! What a bastard trap for rookies !
I sewed up my top anyway & fortunately the pattern makes a generous size garment so the only problem area is the armhole depth which is a little too tight to be comfortable.
But I have a plan !
I think I'll open that seam, on each side, & insert a gusset just to give me a bit more space.
And now, finally, we get to the point of why I wanted to sew this particular top.
It's all about the bottom panel. Which is a separate piece.
A beautifully proportioned rectangle of fabric which lends itself to embellishment.
I was watching Sashiko Stitching taught by Lisa Solomon on Creativebug & in one part of the class she is wearing a top she has made with a sashiko embroidered bottom.