For the month of July, the focus of The Modern Natural Dyer Work-Along is The Field and Forest Dress. This is one of my favorite projects in the book! I always enjoy sewing a new dress, and this pattern is particularly easy to make and fun to wear. Plus, it is zero-waste, which means you use every scrap of fabric, so nothing goes to waste!
I love creating patterns which are basic and create a canvas to modify, so you can really make it your own through choice of fabric, dye, length, and other modifications, like adding pockets! The dress would be beautiful made from a variety of fabrics. Everything from a cotton lawn (imagine this in Liberty), to linen, to even light-weight wool blends. Also, it can be shortened, to make a shirt, or lengthened, for a floor length dress.
The first step in making this project is to sew the dress. Then, comes the dyeing process: scouring, mordanting, dyeing, and washing.
One of my favorite collections we've made in the studio is the one featured in the photo on p.89 - which features a row of Field and Forest Dresses all dyed with materials fairly easy to find across North America; walnut, yarrow, osage, eucalyptus, and oak galls. This project discusses the amounts of these materials you will need to make a variety of shades. I love seeing the range of color which can be made from the local forest. A great companion book to The Modern Natural Dyer, which features many plants foraged from across the United States, is Harvesting Color, by friend and local dyer Rebecca Burgess.
Have you made the Field and Forest dress? If so, ping me on Instagram and make sure to hashtag your photo with #themodernnaturaldyerworkalong - so we can keep up with your progress!
Thanks for reading!