buzzing summer

the tree and my dress in matching colors


This summer, I have been putting my sewing machine into good use. It is an older Singer sewing machine with tabletop and detachable discs for various types of stitch patterns. I had it for almost 10 years now–I remembered walking into a thrift store one day, in hope to find a sewing machine. A lady at the counter came up to me and asked if I wanted to buy a sewing machine. I was taken quite by surprise-how could she know that? Anyway, the price was within my budget and a very nice shopper, who happens to live on my street offered to load the sewing machine unto his truck and drove me home. How sweet of him!

So back to this post. This dress was made with viscose jersey fabric that had been pre-dyed with onions skin; bundled around an old rusty can; and boiled in eucalyptus and barks dye-bath. Initially, I wanted to make this dress from a Butterick pattern, but later decided to modified it to my own design. For a layered look, I’ve added a triangular piece of fabric along the side of the dress.

side view of the dress

more side view and my version of the layered look

shibori or tied dyed 3 starbursts in white, greyish and sage green in random twist and swirl pattern

not sure the name of these birds

enjoying the nice weather in Carmel

*Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melinda Tai and Obovate Designs with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you for visiting, I welcome all your comments.

“A smile is worth a thousand words, live happy, dye happier, sew happiest.”

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12 Responses to buzzing summer

  1. It does look like cypress bark!
    The dress is very striking….. I need to learn to play around with my patterns more, what you have done here turned a simple shift into a chic dress. I’m impressed!!


  2. Dani says:

    Very pretty 🙂


  3. Really fabulous Malinda! Love the drape of the fabric with the style you chose and the dying really makes it!


    • mltai says:

      Thank you Kit, the material is just wonderful to work with and takes the heat quite well. It does stretched abit, and I had to reshape the pattern accordingly.


  4. Ginny Huber says:

    Am really enjoying your posts-I just learned to sew last year..and am wanting to catch up a are inspiring me to see what I can do with my various eco print pieces.. You look great in this dress..


    • mltai says:

      Thanks Ginny, You are not joking about learning to sew…your felting work is wonderful. I am sure you will find lots of fun picking up your eco prints and creating something lovely….cant wait to see it Ginny


  5. Terriea says:

    I love the style, simply gorgeous and natural. You’re amazing! Also love your short hair style.


  6. The old cypress tree looks like it inspired the print. Gorgeous patterns and colours in your fabric….you must be so pleased with the result. Love the style of the dress too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mltai says:

      Thanks Angie, it was quite a coincidence to stumble upon the old cypress tree. When I saw the tree–I knew it would be perfect background for the dress.


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