Titchy Thread’s new pattern the Rain Dance Romper is released today from tiny baby to size 4 yrs. I tested the pattern, making a 0-2 month size for my friend’s new baby. I’d been admiring the style for as long as Laura has been developing it, however I initially put it down as a style that would work best for babies/toddlers.
After I’d tested the baby size, Laura was short on testers for the larger sizes so I also made a quick muslin to check the fit on my 4yr old. When she tried it on she (and I) liked it so much she requested a ‘real’ one but with the very specific requirements of it being pink with prehistoric flying reptiles (not dinosaurs – something she’s keen to point out to anyone who’ll listen). I don’t normally like to indulge too many specific requests but her idea sounded like a great one, so I was keen to oblige.
To achieve the colour I dyed some linen/viscose with avocado stones. Apparently they contain tannins which act as a natural mordant so I just boiled up the stones added the fabric and simmered and stirred. Again I used a slightly too small pot (but the largest I had) so the colour ended up a little uneven. Time will tell how fast the colour really is.
The next step was the print design, – my daughter drew a mixture of reptiles – pterosaurs, pteranodon and pterodactyl, or something like them, which I scanned into the computer and resized to a small, even size. We googled some images so she had something to look at while drawing. All the pictures we looked at showed the reptiles flyings sideways but she drew them all flying upwards, – apparently they are all about to swoop down and catch fish from the sea!
I traced the designs onto a fairly worn out screen printing screen with drawing fluid. When the drawing fluid (blue) was dry I then covered the whole screen in a masking fluid (red). When this fluid was dry the drawing fluid washed away with cold water leaving only the red masking fluid ready for printing.
As the screen is fairly worse for wear, the tension really isn’t very good, making the print a bit patchy. Once it had dried I touched up missing parts with a paintbrush, and ironed to set the paint.
I graded between a size 3 in width and a 4 in height with a little extra length in the legs for growth (or turn-ups) and added the optional shoulder frills.
The finishes included in the pattern are really beautiful – french seams throughout and bindings for the arm and neck openings that fit perfectly.
Back to my first test version – size 0-2 months in jazzy pineapple cotton. Making this version was actually far more time consuming as the optional (but essentially for babies in nappies) crotch snap plackets take more time as does the fiddliness of making such a small size.
You might had guessed already how much I love this design, but in case further proof was needed, I also made another two versions for my nieces’ first birthdays. One in linen/viscose and one in grey double gauze. Alarmingly. although I sent them nearly 4 weeks ago, they have yet to appear stateside.