ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Wardrobe Addition

I confess I used to be a clothes horse a long time ago in another life. This year I kinda set the challenge for myself to go an entire year without purchasing anything to wear on my body. I say "kinda" because I wanted to leave open the possibility that I could purchase an item if it was something I absolutely had to have. Haven't seen anything like that this year, but I confess I haven't set foot in a woman's clothing store in 2011. I made it a little past 4 months with no purchases, until this past week when I picked up the neatest white jeans jacket at Walmart for $25. I don't shop at Walmart much. I don't care for stores that are the size of a warehouse and I worry about all those people who were paid next to nothing for the goods they produced that we so cheaply purchase and that we so cavalierly throw out. I know this is a contradiction when I shop for classroom dyeing supplies (cups, spoons, plates, etc) at Dollarama!!! However, this jacket fit perfectly, was nicely constructed, and I had visions of turning it into a piece of wearable art with dyes and soy wax batik. After bringing the jacket home, I realized I also had a casual black jacket hanging around my closet that I had bought for $8.00 on a sales rack at Winners about 8 years ago. Wouldn't it be fun to discharge it with bleach? Yipee, an evening of creating a few new wardrobe items on only $25! What better way to distract myself from the studio and from preparing for the next 3 days of teaching. Well that was last Thursday, and as it turns out the once white jacket didn't turn out so great. I think I can still salvage it but it will likely be something different from what I envisioned. I am, however, VERY happy with the discharged jacket. It seems these days that most black cottons (most of which are produced in China) discharge to an orange colour, but I was delighted as I watched this one turn to a lovely taupe colour. I don't know if this information will help, but this jacket was manufactured in Bangladesh, so maybe that accounts for the nice colour it discharged to. I folded the jacket down the middle, then fan folded each side, then bound it with plastic twine. Tossed it into a solution of 50% bleach and 50% water. It only took about 5-10 minutes before the bleach had done its work. After a rinse, a soak in Anti Chlor, and a wash, I have a new jacket for only the cost of a bottle of bleach. What do you think?

Rear View:
Rear detail view:
Front view:
Front detail view:


  1. It's beautiful, and I know you had fun anticipating how it would turn out! Enjoy wearing your one-of-a-kind jacket!


Your posts are important to me. Due to a huge amount of SPAM on my blog recently, I have decided to moderate comments, at least for the time being. Please be patient, your post will be approved as soon as I can get to it.