Thursday, 18 August 2011

A new dobby top and a non-sewing question


You might remember that a while ago I made this top from white cotton dobby. You can never quite tell whether something will become an integral part of your daily wardrobe until some time has elapsed. Sometimes, you initially think something will be as versatile as the butter in your fridge, only to find that it's the equivalent of some rose-scented ginger jelly: a nice idea, but in reality it goes with nothing and festers at the back of the fridge. Well, happily, that top ended up being an essential (buttery) ingredient and has had at least one outing every week. Which made me worry that it might get used up. Or worn away. And that I really might need one in my favourite colour: navy. Unfortunately, no amount of trying turned up some navy blue fabric that was just right (which actually wasn't very much trying at all, as it's the school holidays which meant that I had less than five minutes in the fabric shop), so in the same five minutes as my exhaustive attempts to purchase this fabric took place, inspiration struck and I seized the original roll of white dobby cotton and also added some Dylon fabric dye to my basket (in Jeans Blue, in case you're interested. I've found the Navy dye has a tendency to turn things black) so that I could rustle up some blue fabric of my own at home.


Despite the fact that the white top is still a lovely fit, I made this blue one a little bigger as I am feeling more chunky armed and thicker-waisted than usual this holiday (something to do with not having eaten sugar for the past four months...how does that work? It may have had something to do with becoming the human version of Squirrel Nutkin and developing an almond fixation...I won't be making that mistake again).


I realised while this top was being photographed that it still needs a few loose threads cutting off it. I wonder if they have a loose thread checker in clothing factories?


Anyway, I also wanted to ask you about hair. Grey hair. I keep discovering them and while my feeling about them is now one more of curiosity than distress, I can see that at some point soon I may like to embark upon the process of covering them up. For reasons of thrift, and because I'm not yet convinced it's necessary to go to a colourist when it comes to very dark hair, I'm considering colouring it at home. Do you have any tips about which make to go for? I want something reasonably non-chemically (but not henna). Maybe something that lasts 6 weeks...or even a little longer? When I was very much younger I used to dye my hair black, but coming to it a second time I feel slightly overwhelmed by the choice. I want something that makes my hair just look like my own hair without that scary purplish tinge that I've been warned dark brown colour can sometimes give. I would love to hear your suggestions....


I'm off to the beach now. Wishing you a lovely weekend wherever you find yourself.

Florence x

31 comments:

  1. Lovely top, the colour is very soft and gentle. Hmm grey hairs, I have a few and it is harder on longer hair as you can see the roots so easily and longer hair has such a variety of tones because the ends are much older than the roots. I still have high lights and try and embrace the grey, I aim for long silver hair in the future-see latest Toast catalogue for inspiration! but for organic mineral dye see http://www.danielfieldmailorder.co.uk

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  2. Your new top is lovely! As for suggestions on your hair question, I have none. I’m almost 38, have lots and lots of gray hair and have decided not to colour it. I didn’t want to become a slave to a hair salon or to colouring my roots at home every six weeks, so instead I just embraced it. Yes, I look a bit older than I would if my black hair was still whole, but to be honest, it’s now my new normal. This of course is such a personal choice and I would not want to impose it on anyone else, so I hope you get some good suggestions from your other readers – good luck!

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  3. B.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l and very wearable. Looks great.

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  4. I covered my grey at home for many years with the "semi-permanent" (no peroxide--it turns dark hair red!)always picking a brown shade that had the word "ash" in it. That worked just fine until I got way too much grey. Now I've let it go and love the way the silver looks in my natural dark hair. I feel like I got my old complexion back.

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  5. Your top looks great! As for you hair I'd say try one of the non- permanent ones first. I think there is a brand that has both and the colors are similar. That way you can test out the color and it washes out eventually. My b/f has had grey hair since he was about 23-24, but he just shaves it off. So simple to be a guy :)

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  6. Um - can you make me one? I think I love it more than the white one. Perfect colour.

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  7. Pretty pretty top. I have developed a teeny streak of grey in the last year and have been pondering the 'to dye or not' question. At the moment, the jury is in favour of embracing the grey. Mainly, because I refuse to be held hairdresser hostage by my roots (having very dark hair, I am sure they would be glaringly obvious).

    But I think I'm in the minority - most of the school Mummies seem to colour their hair. There's something hugely empowering though, about someone confident enough to embrace the natural ageing process. Hope I still feel that way as the streak gets wider...

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  8. If you want to avoid the nasty chemicals then henna is the only option. I have very dark brown hair and use natural henna (from Renaissance Henna). Because my hair is so dark it does not look bright red at all, just reddish brown and I have had unsolicited compliments so I think it is OK! I only redo it every 2 or 3 months, and you don't get a tidemark of regrowth as it just fades over time. There is a link on my blog to a photo of me which will demonstrate the effect!

    Pomona x

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  9. Beautiful top Florence!!
    As for the hair..pfff I just discovered two grey hairs and although a little freaked I'm not ready to give up my natural colour just yet. No help sorry!

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  10. I've started to dye my hair with non-permanent dye. In between salon visits I use hair mascara. For both I use a dark brown which makes it look very natural. I hope I can continue in the future, not ready for white hair yet

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  11. I'm very heartened to see all these comments that are a bit similar to what I'm going to say! After a conversation with a friend who said, in a rather pointed way and having just examined my hair, that she was going to dye hers "because it's not nice for young women to have grey hair", I thought I was on my own. My hair's black so the white ones really show, but I've decided to try not to mind. I don't want to start a battle which is going to require constant escalation of tactics and which I will inevitably lose. Robin Van Persie is now my hair hero (as well as a football one) - going very grey a 28 and not trying to hide it. Love the new top! Navy fabric seems hard to track down - I need some to bind a quilt, but I want it to be organic, and I can't find anything.

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  12. I love this top! It looks so comfortable too. Grey hair... well I am (ok, used to be) a very English dirty blonde.. but the grey crept in so now I use an off the shelf product.. but take a little tip.. don't think of it as 'dying your hair'...which sounds very drastic and aging.. instead tell anyone who asks that you don't dye it - you just 'restore it to it's former glory'... :)x

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  13. My hair is naturally a mid brown sort of colour, with the odd red and honey streak here and there during the summer. I have had a white Mallen streak above my left temple since I was about 11 years old, but only in the baby hair fuzz that encircles my face. I have had a few white hairs more recently though, in my main hair. I think I'll just leave them though. One odd thing that seems to happen when I am pregnant is that my hair colour changes to almost black, every time! So I think if I decide that the grey/white is too much, I'll just inject myself with pregnancy hormones! LOL

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  14. Flossie - I love the top too! In my mid 40's I'm fortunate not to have that much gray. Until recently I've used a non permanent at home color. My hair is dark brown. The color builds up over time so it hides the grays pretty well up to a point. I noticed my hair having reddish brown cast, which while not necessarily bad, I don't care for. I've decided not to color my hair anymore. ...for personal reasons. It took a long time to mull it over and decide that I was ok with that.

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  15. Your shirt is gorgeous! Did you use a pattern? If so, I must purchase it immediately :)
    I'm hoping that it is locally available as it is gorgeous.

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  16. Very creative to think of dyeing your fabric...I'm sure that would never have occurred to me. As for the grays, I'm in my early 40's and have had grays since 30 or so. I've been coloring it myself for years and my big tip is to go for a light brown "neutral" shade. This colors the grays without the dark, black buildup that using a dark brown shade would give. I use old school Clairol "Nice and Easy" shade 116..not sure if you can get it in the UK.

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  17. Henna will not cover stubborn greys! (and may turn them bright orange!) It is horrible having grey hair and feeling you have to do something about it. I get quite rose-tinted about it myself and if left to my own devices might leave it alone. However, I do look reasonably young for my years and the grey would not fit how the rest of me looks so due to that and the nagging from my daughter I do dye it. I started at about 37 when I could no longer pretend that I had 'highlights' (the only person who was ever convinced was me). Dyes come in levels. Level one just pretty much sits on the surface of the hair and will hardly cover grey at all - OK if you have a minimal amount. I found it made my hair feel a bit rough too. Level 2 or semi permanent will handle quite a lot of grey and this is what I use. It comes with decent conditioner and doesn't seem to mess up the hair too much. Another name for it is tone on tone. In other words it puts colour onto the colour of your own hair. It has some chemicals so it does penetrate into the hair - which is needed to cover greys. My hair grows very quickly so I have to re-do every 2-3 weeks to catch the roots (you get told that semi permanent dye, which lasts 6-8 weeks will fade so you don't get 'unsightly roots'. Well I do because it doesn't get time to fade!)The level 3 is the permanent stuff and contains peroxide. Your own colour is stripped out at the same time as the uniform dye colour is put in. This is the stuff that can mess up your hair as the chemicals are pretty harsh. I'm hoping not to have to use it and go from semi permanent to natural when I feel suitably aged. I could not possibly afford 2 visits a month to the hairdresser so doing it at home is my only option.

    From what I have read there are just as many 'incidents' at salons as at home - colour disasters, leaving it on too long, allergies etc. When you are just starting out I would use the most natural product that does the job.Something like the Daniel Field colour which has been suggested. The darker the hair, the more likely allergies are to occur because of the greater depth of penetration needed for the darker colour, plus the amount of colours needed to go into the dye mix to get the right shade. As can be imagined, blond has the least.

    I would put off dying your hair until you are really self conscious about your greys and feel you need to cover them up asap. It really is a miserable chore once you start. But at the end of the day I guess vanity wins out!

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  18. Henna will not cover stubborn greys! (and may turn them bright orange!) It is horrible having grey hair and feeling you have to do something about it. I get quite rose-tinted about it myself and if left to my own devices might leave it alone. However, I do look reasonably young for my years and the grey would not fit how the rest of me looks so due to that and the nagging from my daughter I do dye it. I started at about 37 when I could no longer pretend that I had 'highlights' (the only person who was ever convinced was me). Dyes come in levels. Level one just pretty much sits on the surface of the hair and will hardly cover grey at all - OK if you have a minimal amount. I found it made my hair feel a bit rough too. Level 2 or semi permanent will handle quite a lot of grey and this is what I use. It comes with decent conditioner and doesn't seem to mess up the hair too much. Another name for it is tone on tone. In other words it puts colour onto the colour of your own hair. It has some chemicals so it does penetrate into the hair - which is needed to cover greys. My hair grows very quickly so I have to re-do every 2-3 weeks to catch the roots (you get told that semi permanent dye, which lasts 6-8 weeks will fade so you don't get 'unsightly roots'. Well I do because it doesn't get time to fade!)The level 3 is the permanent stuff and contains peroxide. Your own colour is stripped out at the same time as the uniform dye colour is put in. This is the stuff that can mess up your hair as the chemicals are pretty harsh. I'm hoping not to have to use it and go from semi permanent to natural when I feel suitably aged. I could not possibly afford 2 visits a month to the hairdresser so doing it at home is my only option.

    From what I have read there are just as many 'incidents' at salons as at home - colour disasters, leaving it on too long, allergies etc. When you are just starting out I would use the most natural product that does the job.Something like the Daniel Field colour which has been suggested. The darker the hair, the more likely allergies are to occur because of the greater depth of penetration needed for the darker colour, plus the amount of colours needed to go into the dye mix to get the right shade. As can be imagined, blond has the least.

    I would put off dying your hair until you are really self conscious about your greys and feel you need to cover them up asap. It really is a miserable chore once you start. But at the end of the day I guess vanity wins out!

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  19. Sorry for the double comment - was editing it and it went off by itself! I was trying to prune it back not give it to you twice. Please do delete if you know how to.

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  20. I'm with Kerry on this although my once dark hair is quite grey and I'm only in my early 40's. My Mums family all have a grey streak at the front and that's how mine started - bit Mortisha like! I've since had a fringe cut in and love the white fringe and sides. But at a recent trip to the haidressers I noticed the hair on my lap was far more grey than I thought I was.
    I think its striking to see long hair - you don't see it often but then I'm lucky mine is straight and not frizzy.
    I always think once you start dying it'll be hard to stop as you will still be going grey underneath.

    Lovely top too I'm always dying stuff - it gives new life to old things!
    G
    x

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  21. I love the top in the navy as well as the white. Please do a pattern for this one.
    I have no experience of colouring hair, I watched my mum do hers from her late 30's and always said I couldnt do it, I did have it cropped short though as the grey hairs are much more wirey than the rest and I love it short and grey. I'm heading towards 50 now and I'm still shocked by how white it is when I get it cut.
    Such a personal thing though and nearly all the mums in the playground colour their hair, just not for me.

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  22. My hair is the same colour as yours and I have a few greys ( actually they are more like silver white ) they seem to hang about in little groups. I probably don't need to dye my hair yet, I think i'm really the only one who notices. As my hair grows about an inch a month a permanent hair colour seems pointless, so I use a semi in "iced chocolate" the colour is exactly the same as my own colour and does not have burgundy/purple tones. Having said that I have a friend who is embracing the grey and she looks amazing.
    Your top is lovely as are all the clothes you make. You have inspired me to try navy on myself too, thank you.
    Emma x

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  23. L'oreal casting creme gloss, it's only semi permanent and makes your hair really shiny I love it! Lovely top too x

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  24. I have dark brown, nearly black, hair. I started using Daniel Field Watercolour a few months ago (after resisting for a long time). You have to go up a couple of shades as it will only make your hair darker, not lighter, so I used chestnut brown. I love it. It doesn't smell like other hair dyes ( I tried Nice n Easy) and, those who have noticed, say it looks natural. It doesn't stick as well as other dyes perhaps and needs topping up every month. You can buy it online.
    Oh, I've just seen somebody else has recommended it too.
    Jo

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  25. I really love this top. Do you have a pattern?! I'd love to make something similar. Sorry... no ideas on the hair. Mine is light in colour, and so far I haven't spotted a grey... x

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  26. I had a top just like that in white and wore it til it was thread bare, i loved it! I'm now wishing i'd used it as a pattern to make one too. Any chance we could all share the pattern it seems there's lots of interest?!!

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  27. awesome top! as for the grey... I pull them out for now. I will most certainly be coloring those hairs when I can no longer pull them out! xo amy

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  28. Thank you so much for all your comments - I so appreciate them! I'll post about which option I eventually take.

    I'm really flattered by your interest in the top being made into a pattern and it's now on my (long) to do list!

    x

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  29. Wow loving the top, love the colour and style too, very nice. I can see that before long you'll have them in several colours :-)

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  30. ooh ooh ooh! I was thinking of dye-ing some white dobby but was afraid the spots might not take the dye - thank you for doing it first! :) That's a great top!
    I have grey bits (at 46 it's allowed) but because I was quite fair it isn't immediately obvious except at my temples. I occasionally add a purple streak just for the fun of it but I don't want to be sucked into constant all over dye-jobs.

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  31. I love your top. I aspire to being able to make clothes but as of yet I've never managed to make anything I'd want to go out wearing in public!

    I have dark hair too. I've been told that as I don't have too much grey - just a few threads - enough to make it look dull. That I should use a semi permanent. Friends use Garnier nutresse so I did the same. If you get a colour close to your own the grow out looks minimal. I would advise always doing the patch test prior to putting anything on your hair. You can suddenly become allergic and black henna tatoos (I think) if used in the past can make people allergic. If you want a low cost option I'd advise against highlights. Several hairdressers have told me once you start that you'll need to keep having it done. If you really haven't got much grey you may get away with applying some just to affected areas with a tooth brush.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x