Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

posted in: Feltmaker & Artist | 5

Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

On occasion I pop along to the local auction centre to browse.  In the hope of finding something of interest and worthy of a bid. One particular afternoon I spied a heap of fabric sitting on a large table. At first glance I could not work out what it was but on closer inspection it turned out to be two wedding dresses. One made of silk and the other of satin. Both had lace and beadwork bodices. My main concern was that they could end up in someone’s garage as rag and that would be an awful waste.  So I put in a bid.


I was delighted to hear next day that I had been successful with my bid and I went off with a large carrier bag to collect my dresses.

Over Christmas they remained in the bag but more recently I found time to sit down and begin the process of dis-assembling them. The hardest decision was where to begin and to make that first cut with the dress-making scissors. But once I got started it was not long before I had a fresh stack of fabric neatly folded and taking up much less space.

My Wedding Dress

After consideration I decided to take out my own wedding dress which has been tucked away in the depths of my wardrobe for 30 years. It was a silk and lace dress which I had made myself.   The fate of this dress was now in my hands. So I dis-assembled this also and added the wonderful fabric to my ever-growing pile of re-useable material.


Last week I started dyeing the fabric. I am not a scientist when it comes to exact measurements and weights so each piece is now quite unique. I also added some wools to the dye pots too – Merino and some Devon and Cornwall Longwool. Without making a conscious decision my first batch of colour was blue. 

The Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

I still have lots of fabric to colour, and like the lives of the original brides it is a wonderful way to celebrate those special occasions further down the years. I have creative ideas for the fabrics and will keep you posted on their progress and change in future posts.  From something old, I have something new.  I haven’t borrowed anything yet and I certainly have something blue to work with.


5 Responses

    • admin

      Hello Jo

      I don’t think you should do anything with your wedding dress – far too precious. It might disintegrate in the dye bath, so I wouldn’t want to take a chance. x

  1. Viv

    Hi Bettina we dyed cotton by tieing it randomly or folding it and using bull dog clips to hold it together ,and then layering them in a Kilmer jar and sprinkling the dye already mixed with salt into the jar and then adding the water . When the cotton was removed those pieces at the bottom are paler than those on the top and you also add different colours together

    • admin

      Hi Viv – the possibilities are endless. I did tie some of my pieces before dyeing them and now have some great marks to work with. But I will note this technique too for future reference. Thank you

  2. Rae Durrant

    This sounds fantastic, and so great so see the fabric sewn into art panels in the shop!

    I will be on the lookout for silk now!

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