Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Transformation from linen pants to future linen skirt with pockets

So, the linen pants which the squirrel stained for me, needed help.

 I collected black walnuts from the same place where the squirrels get them, and steeped them over night to release color, as you see above. 
Then I altered the pants before shibori wrapping them.  I cut out the inseams, trimmed down the resulting v shapes, cut off the ends of the legs, and wrapped the proceeds with rubber bands, soaked the whole lot overnight while the walnut dye was making.  

Since there's no way this dye can match the deep color created by traveling through a squirrel's innards, I still had to figure out some way of losing the stain.  

So the ends of the legs will become patch pockets, keeping the hems for the top of the pockets, and I'll see how to apply them to cover the stain if possible.  I will see about wearing the skirt the other way around, stain at front side, and see if that works.  At least it won't be in a place I can't embroider, if it comes to that.  

So here's the process to date, and after the skirt dries and I press it, I'll stitch up the seams with probably an opening at the bottom for walking ease, add the pockets and we'll see how it works. Those bits at the top of the hanger are the future pockets.

I originally got these pants at the thriftie as a cheap way of buying linen for stitching, so I guess they were destined one way or another to be a learning curve.  After I first tried them on and found they were a perfect fit, I temporarily abandoned the stitching idea and just wore them.  Until now, that is.  So I'd say they don't owe me anything.  And I can always overdye if it turns out a bit pale. Early in the season for collecting black walnuts, so they may be a bit underripe.


  1. Keep the hulls in a bucket in the garage to soak and ferment for a few weeks. I know walnuts should have enough tannin to work on cellulose fabric but a little alum wouldn't hurt!

  2. I love the dyeing result! Looking forward to seeing the finished garment.

  3. YG, thanks, excellent advice. Years ago I seem to vaguely recall that when I did the walnut dyeing it was in September, very full and ripe nuts, and several days on end of steeping and stirring! But I was impatient to see results this time. I've kept the nuts and liquid, though and can continue to macerate or whatever the term is.

    Q, I am too! it's all an experiment...

  4. this has worked well, I rather like that the dye has not taken too much, must have missed the post about the squirrel, hope the trousers were on the washing line and not on you when it happened. Have never converted trousers to a skirt what a good idea

  5. Judicious placement of squirrel-aided dye is a brilliant plan, to say nothing of getting a whole new garment as well. Clever you!


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