My Mom in My Shirt
My Mom is 82 years old and I think she looks terrific in this new piece I just finished. (She did take her glasses off for the photo, I must admit.) The tunic is made of a wonderful scrunchy silk doubleweave fabric with just a bit of Lycra -- purchased for a fairly hefty price from Thai Silks, but it was well worth it. The reason: this fabric is very giving and forgiving as you sew it and when you wear it. My mom usually wears a size large, even though she's not a big person -- but I think that this top can easily fit someone who is used to wearing extra large.
I dyed the fabric several times: first, immersing it in madder; second, clamping some discs in it to get a shibori resist and dipping it in indigo. The results were too bland, a very muted blue, so I clamped the discs on again and immersed it one more time -- this time in an MX Fiber Reactive dye, Bright Red. I did think twice about the aesthetics of mixing natural dyes with man-made dyes, but I decided not to worry about being a purist. Results were what I wanted and I'm pretty happy about the way the colors worked out.