Fabric dying with Kim Eichler-Messmer and making a dyed-Doe tank with it.

Kim Eichler-Messmer Studio

Kim Eichler-Messmer Studio


A couple of months back when I was in Kansas City, I was lucky to be able to do some fabric dying with my friend Kim. In addition to being a talented lady who is fun and easy to be around, she is also quite generous and let me come and hang out in her studio for a day. I’d never dyed anything before, so I arrived with an open mind and a bunch of different stuff to work with–mainly some stuff from Architextures and quite a bit from Doe.


We started by dying with a single color so that I could get a feel for that process. I chose yellow. That was fun. Then, I wanted to try some shibori. I like the idea of playing with pattern and could easily imagine how to use something like that in a quilt.


Folded Doe Wide_Carolyn Friedlander


Kim also happened to have an indigo bath mixed up from an event. We quickly started to make use of that with more shibori.


Dyed fabric out to dry


Dyed Doe Fabric by Kim Eichler Messmer


Red Shibori Doe Fabric_Carolyn Friedlander


Dyed Doe Fabrics_Carolyn Friedlander


Indigo Shibori Doe Wide_Carolyn Friedlander


I have to say that I loved both the shibori technique and using the indigo. With shibori, you have to let go and embrace having little control over an exact outcome. Unfolding your piece for the first time at the end was my favorite part of the process.


My favorite piece that day ended up being a complete accident. I randomly threw on a couple of clothes pins for clamps, and what resulted was a pleasant surprise.


Doe Fabric Dying_3_Carolyn Friedlander


The indigo color on the cream and white print from Doe resulted in such a great color combination that I wished I’d brought more to play with. Seeing how well they work together, I know that I’ll be exploring more with this combination in the future.


As for this piece, I’m still deciding on the perfect project for it…


Doe Fabric Dying_4_Carolyn Friedlander


Doe Fabric Dying_5_Carolyn Friedlander



I didn’t have a plan ahead of time for what I wanted to do with the fabric that I was going to be dying with Kim, except that I did bring at least one piece that was large enough for some type of garment sewing.


Doe Fabric Dying_1_Carolyn Friedlander


This was formally one of the white-on-white prints from Doe. I folded and clamped it, and then dipped it a few times in the dye bath. After unfolding it, I decided that I didn’t want any white left, so I left it unfolded and dipped the entire thing in for an all-over blue.


Doe Fabric Dying_2_Carolyn Friedlander


When I got back and assessed the situation, I decided that I would make a Wiksten Tank. This is a pattern that I love and make all of the time. Plus, as a garment, it’s a total staple for me.


Shibori Wiksten Tank_Carolyn Friedlander


With my previous tanks, the thought never occurred to me to do a contrasting pocket, but when I was auditioning how to lay out the pocket for this version, I realized that using a contrasting fabric would be a great accent. I used the navy bias check from Doe, and I’m really pleased with the combination. The bias trim that I used at the neck and armholes is another print from Doe. It’s one that I’ve already used in a dress and as bias tape before (in this pair of shorts).


Shibori Wiksten Tank trim_Carolyn Friedlander


Shibori Wiksten Tank pocket_Carolyn Friedlander


I wore this tank on the last day at Quilt Market. It was very fitting (and a good coincidence) that also on that day when I escaped to check out the quilts on display next door, I stumbled upon one of Kim’s quilts from her book (Modern Color)…


Kim Eichler Messmer quilt










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7 Responses to Fabric dying with Kim Eichler-Messmer and making a dyed-Doe tank with it.

  1. Kitty Wilkin November 21, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    What a gorgeous tank! The contrasting pocket is the perfect accent to the dying. I haven’t attempted garment sewing yet, but your fabric definitely inspires me to try. perhaps I will be REALLY brave and attempt a maternity top to wear to Quilt Con in February. I’ll be about 5 months pregnant, so I’ll have to make it spacious. Maybe that will make the “fit” less daunting? Thank you for the inspiration!

    • carolynfriedlander November 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

      Thanks, Kitty and congrats on your exciting news! My sister is pregnant and found the Made By Rae Ruby pattern to be a good one for her growing belly. 🙂 See you in February!

  2. Jeifner November 21, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    What a fun process. I’d love to do indigo dyeing but it’ll be years before I do it by myself. The pieces look so great and it’s so exciting to see how they came out!

  3. Sharon G November 22, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    I’ve always wanted to try some dying. I love the results you got!

  4. Kim November 22, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    That tank is so cute. I love the picture of you in front of my quilt. You will have to come back so we can dye more fabric!

  5. Cheryl Arkison November 25, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Love the tag made from a selvage!
    Also, can you make me all my clothes?


  1. My many Mercer tunics. - carolyn friedlander - July 15, 2015

    […] is usually a pair of shorts and some sort of sleeveless top. The Wiksten tank (a few examples here and here) has been my go-to for awhile, which is why I think I’ve been ready for a change of […]

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