Wednesday, June 6, 2012

summer traveling sewing kit...

welcome june and sitting by the pool, traveling in the car, and enjoying a cool summer evening.
what i need is a little traveling sewing kit to tuck in my purse at a moments notice.

it all started with this bag of horrible embroidery floss i bought at the thrift store for $3.99.
this mess was tucked in an old Bucilla embroidery kit. usually i would just pass on that nightmare
but there were a couple of vintage thread skeins in colors i just loved...
so i bought the bag and decided before i threw the 'uglies' away i would give them a second chance.
warning~ hideous before photo~

i had a bowl of coffee on the counter i was using to dye some fabric pieces so i experimented a bit.
a more concentrated coffee or tea will create a deeper color, a watered down mixture gives you just a hint of color.

i use gloves to protect my hands from the dye (bad experience in the past) they actually work really well. i wrapped the floss around my fingers and dipped it in the dye bath. after working the dye in the threads i squeezed out the extra liquid and blotted it with a paper towel.
to heat set the dye i placed the floss on a paper towel and microwaved it until it was dry.

check your samples every 20 seconds or so to avoid overcooking them. i really liked almost every color.

the rest of the awful thread mess i just threw in the dye, labels and all. i left that bunch a while to soak. i squeezed out the extra dye and placed in on the counter. the darker colors were mostly unchanged, a few were still so awful i just tossed them out. but surprisingly after i microwaved the rest i was thrilled! biggest surprises were the variegated threads, they will be so fun to sew with. ~after photo~

all wrapped up pretty and tucked in my traveling sewing kit.

here is one of the pieces i embroidered using a piece of linen for the base, vintage millinery stems, and dyed wool and cotton embroidery threads. a blossom passing fair.....

here we are with our graduate, love to her and happy june all,
julie collings


  1. love the post, the threads are so cool, they go perfectly in the sewing kit. I can't believe the colors you ended up with. Congrats on the graduate, I can still see her little face sitting in the high chair when we would come back from running.
    Happy art day.

  2. What a cool idea Julie! Is that an Altoids tin or some neat-o vintage case for your kit? LOVE!

  3. So inspiring!!! :)

  4. I can't wait to find another mish-mash of threads at a junk sale!!! Now I won't feel overwhelmed - because there's hope!

  5. Leave it up to you Julie to re-claim and rescue a bunch of messed up threads and give them new life!

    I've never used a pair of gloves in dying things...great idea, I should of thought of that long ago.

  6. julie i think you would have a good laugh if you saw the mess that my threads are... all crumpled and tangled in a plastic bag- quite sad actually. i love that you have your threads so neatly tucked in a little container with that sweet pin cushion and you tea stained them????? of course you did- you are amazing!

  7. Julie, you remind me of one of my favorite children's books: "Something from Nothing." You always amaze me with your ability to pull a bunch of scraps together and make something lovely. You inspire me, dear friend.

    xoxo Rena

  8. Never thought of dying colored thread. I am always picking up "uglies" to sort through at our local thrift shop. I will be trying this next time!