What could be better than creating your own custom fabric?

Download, Watch, Learn, Create!

Last week, I wrote about my sewing resolution to learn printmaking and start making my own custom fabrics. Along with printmaking, I also want to learn simple dyeing. The idea of designing my own fabrics is so enticing! But dyeing has always seemed a bit intimidating. While other more tech-savvy folks will try their hand at digital printing their own fabric designs, I'm old school (and well, a bit tech phobic, let's be honest) and prefer hands-on art materials to spending more hours at my laptop. So I'm determined to learn how to dye my own fabrics.

Create custom fabric for your next project with easy dye methods! 

So I'm happy to report that I have found a way to learn hands-on fabric dyeing AND get over my tech-phobic tendencies, enjoying the best of both worlds. 

Dyeing is one of those techniques that I don't feel comfortable teaching myself and would prefer to have someone else show me how to do it in a workshop or class setting. So that's why I'm a fan of our Quilting Arts Workshop videos because it's the next best thing to taking a class in person with my favorite artists. I can watch a video as many times as I need to, pause, go back and review specific steps at my leisure, and follow along at my own pace. However, I don't have a television and DVD player near my crafting table. So that's where my laptop comes in handy. I can download the videos straight to my laptop, which is small enough to sit on the shelf next to my worktable. Art and technology working together. Brilliant!

Take Shape Shifting: Using Shibori to Mimic Pieced and Appliquéd Shapes, an informative and inspiring workshop video download on basic shibori dyeing by Malka Dubrawsky. Malka is one of my favorite designers and fabric artists and a frequent contributor to Stitch magazine. She makes wonderful quilted pieces using fabrics she dyes herself using overdyeing and bleach-resist techniques. Sounds fancy I know, but she really breaks down her simple techniques into manageable steps, so it definitely made me get over being intimidated about working with dyes.

It only took a minute and a half to download the 45-minute video and there was Malka on my computer telling me how easy it is to create my own dyed fabrics! She shows how to create different dyed shapes on your fabrics that look like appliqué or pieced shapes. It's a totally cool technique. It's easy to see how you could use this technique on fabric for quilts and patchwork items, but you could also use it on scarves, bags, kid items, pillows, and more. She focuses on dyeing small amounts of fabric, which makes it more manageable and also gets you in the mood to experiment. If your crafting space looks like mine, you probably don't have a huge amount of space for dye basins, so focusing on small fabric pieces keeps it all under control.

Malka will walk you step by step through the dye process. 

Once you watch the video, I guarantee you will be hooked! What could be better than creating your own custom fabric? Best of all Malka shows dyeing on commercial printed and solid fabrics so you can take fabrics from your stash and instantly update them and make them uniquely your own. Best part–you can download the video and have it ready for the second you are inspired to begin. I can't wait to see the creative projects you make with your one-of-a-kind fabrics!

Happy sewing,


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Sewing Fabric & Fabric Basics