I love Amisha's blog. I don't tell her this enough. In fact, I usually spend a lot of time thinking about the comments I'm going to make, vowing to do it later, and then another post pops up and... comments all go unleft. She's spent a good deal of time on Alabama Stitch projects and with every one I think, "yeah... do I have it in me? I'm not so sure." Blair started the skirt (among other really great things) and then Paul went through his drawer cleaning out his ill-fitting/stained, white and grey undershirts and I figured that now was the time.
The grey shirts stayed plain but the white shirts got a load of violet iDye-- This is good stuff. I was very limited in my colour selection when I bought it (pdx peeps-- the Depot has a whole twirly rack of the stuff with lots of options) and might have gone with something a little less vibrant given the choice. With that said, the dye took to the 100% cotton like a dream. I've also used it on silk (which is a whole post on its own) and had mixed success, but I'm totally sold on it for cotton. It comes in a dissolvable packet that you toss in the washer/dye pot. I stenciled the leaves with Jacquard paint (it's what I use for Freezer Paper stencils).
The stitching took the weekend and was one of the most calming non-boring sewing activities I've undertaken in a while. I think it's because the stitching is so easy and you constantly move from leaf to leaf, taking a break to snip out the middles when you need a little instant gratification. I just kept thinking, my word, I could go camping and make clothes right there in the middle of the woods. There could be a blackout and I could make a fancy dress by the time the lights came on. It's not like I haven't considered this before while watching those back-to-the-land/pioneer shows, I just never considered the process as being fun or the outcome so cute.
So. This won't be my last project. I'm a little surprised-- I'm not sure I would've have ever claimed this as my aesthetic... and I'm not sure it is exactly. The skirt is about as done as I'd like it for now. But as Natalie Chanin writes in the book, you can keep going little by little with time. I'd planned to give you a modeled shot but here's the funny bit: it's too tight. After I felled/top-stitched the seams, I lost what little wiggle room I had given myself. I'm totally okay with that. Either it will become less tight over time with both the shrinking of my ass or the stretchiness of the cotton, OR I can cross another gift-to-give off of my list. Happiness either way.