I know that last week, when I blogged about the evilness of pintucking, before life and a lack of internet derailed the blog, I promised to tell you what the pintucks had taught me.
But that’s the wrong way to tell the story of Emily’s dress, because before you can pintuck fabric you have to have the right fabric.
I already told you about the quest to figure out the correct term for the fabric type, and then to find a modern replacement, and that I ended up buying white silk taffeta. Obviously Emily’s dress is extremely pink, not white.
So, how to get extremely pink fabric? Dye it!
When I went to dye Emily’s fabric, I was a little scared. It was a very precise colour, and a LOT of fabric to dye at once.
I kept trying to put it off, but when I looked out the window I noticed that our camellia bush had put out its first bloom of the year, and it was exactly the right shade of pink. Obviously a good omen. Time to dye.
Unfortunately, in the unhappy computer problems of the last week, I lost my images of the undyed fabric 🙁
So you are just going to have to imagine huge swathes of white taffeta.
To prepare the fabric, I prewashed it. This is a mistake. I know the dye packet says to, but when you prewash silk it crumples and then doesn’t dye evenly, and I get caught up in the prep and what the dye packet says and forget this, and then have to dry and iron my washed silk before I can dye it.
Do you know how much time it takes to iron 10 metres of silk taffeta that has been washed? Yeah, total stupid time waster.
For my colour I used a packet of idye pink dye (sidenote: why does idye come in 5 shades of yellow and 7 shades of blue, but only one shade of pink?). Since I wanted a slightly coral-y pink, I added a bit of yellow dye to my dyepot.
Like any sensible dyer, I tried a small piece of my fabric first. It came out icky sicky cold blue-pink.
So I added a bunch more yellow to my dye pot, and tried again. Success!
Can I add at this point that ‘trying again’ means dyeing the fabric, hanging it out, waiting for it to dry, ironing it, and then deciding if it will do. Not a short process.
So, after two whole trials, I was ready to go.
Masses of fabric shoved in dye pot, frantic stirring and turning and trying to get huge swathes of steaming fabric out of boiling dye all at once got dye all over my kitchen.
And boiling dye for an hour got steam all over my windows.
And the fabric hanging out on my line freaked me out. It looked ombre!
But at least it was a gorgeous shade of ombre pink. Still very Emily, but with the icky bubble-gum shades taken out.
Once it dried, and I ironed it, it was good. Still some very slight variants in colour, but the pintucks hide that beautifully.
I guess pintucks aren’t all evil 😉