english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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A Naturally Dyed Wardrobe Update

Woad Seeds
Woad Seeds

I’ve written a short post for The Fold Line blog today on natural dyeing.

It reminded me that I haven’t blogged about my #naturallydyedwardrobe project lately. I have done less natural dyeing recently, it’s not as tempting in the winter – even though there are still plenty of available plant materials. However, I have dyed fabrics with indigo and madder powder, and with onion skins – blog posts to follow.

At the start of 2015, I set myself a list of natural dyes I wanted to try. I didn’t find time to try all of them, but looking back I actually blogged about quite a few natural dyes last year:

Turmeric
Paprika
Biden
Indigo
Solar dyeing with fungi and biden
Madder
Marigold
Indigo and logwood
Plus, with my guild I took part in a dyeing day, and a natural dyes exhibition.

Dyers Chamomile Seeds
Dyers Chamomile Seeds

I’m planning to continue my #naturallydyedwardrobe project during 2016. As previously, I’d like to include dyes from plants I’ve grown, materials I’ve foraged, and from store cupboard items or dye extracts which I’ve purchased.

To get started, I planted four types of dye plant seeds during May:
♥ Woad
♥ Dyers Chamomile
♥ Dyers Coreopsis
♥ Weld

Dyers Coreopsis Seeds
Dyers Coreopsis Seeds

I purchased the seeds from Wild Colours, and followed the planting instructions on their website. The seeds are currently in trays inside a growhouse, so hopefully they will be sufficiently sheltered from the intermittent cold weather we are currently experiencing in the UK.

I’m aiming to blog about my #naturallydyedwardrobe project more regularly over the course of the year, including recommendations for books, online resources and tools, and about how these little seeds progress (if at all – last year my woad plants failed to materialise).

Weld Seeds
Weld Seeds

Natural Dye Seeds

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Elveden Forest Wildlife

Center Parcs Elveden Forest

A couple of weeks ago me and Phil went on holiday with family to Center Parcs Elveden Forest. I had a little break from crafting (and work) for a long weekend & spent the time bird/animal watching instead. These pictures were taken from the hide there. I saw some birds for the first time while there (inc. a Gold Crest, the UK’s smallest bird) and got some tips on increasing the number of birds visiting our garden by putting out better quality feed. Previously I’ve bought bags of mixed seed, but it tends to get ignored by the birds. One of the senior conservators at Elveden, who took us on a couple of great wildlife walks, told us that this will be because the seed mixtures are bulked up with lots of wheat & barley, which are only likely to be eaten by pigeons. I’m going to have a trip to the market soon & buy some bags of sunflower and other seeds which I can mix myself or put out in individual feeders.


Center Parcs Elveden Forest
Center Parcs Elveden Forest
Center Parcs Elveden Forest

Center Parcs Elveden Forest
Center Parcs Elveden Forest