Handmade Fashion from Bamboo Yarn

A pixie hat I created with bamboo yarn.

One of my first experiences with bamboo fiber came in the form of yarn. As an avid fiber artist, my yarn addiction compels me to peruse the shelves and bins of every yarn shop in a three county radius. These shopping expeditions consist of me poking, prodding, and petting countless skeins of yarn until I find one specimen that I simply cannot put down. The day I fell in love with a nubby, sage green bamboo yarn is a day I will never forget. Having knitted with wool and cotton for years, bamboo seemed like an exotic treat. I was completely fascinated that the same material that was durable enough to create human dwellings could create a fiber that rivaled silk in luster and texture. Three skins of that yarn came home with me and were soon transformed into a charming pixie cap.
Since that time, I have created a wide variety of projects with bamboo and bamboo blend yarns. Due to its amazing beauty bamboo is always a treat to work with, but like all fibers it is not ideal for every project. For starters, 100% bamboo and bamboo silk and/or cotton blends tend to split easily making them less than ideal for beginning artists. They can even be a challenging stitch for intermediate artist and are best worked using wood or bamboo needles/hooks. Additionally, most bamboo yarns are hand wash only and do not lend themselves well to the creation of children’s clothing.

Great Adirondack Lolita Yarn: superwash merino/bamboo
photo property of yarn.com

Unlike bamboo fabric, bamboo yarn is readily available on the retail market. Chain craft stores and yarn shops usually have at least a small selection, while there are online stores that carry vast selections. Two of the best online selections I have found are Yarn and Bamboo Fabric Store. Buying on line will never replace to joy of wandering through a yarn shop, but it is a viable option when looking for specialty items. Whenever possible, choose to have your purchases delivered by the USPS. They have an impressive green initiative and their carriers will be stopping by your house six days a week anyway, so your delivery does not require the use of additional resources.

To read more about the properties of bamboo as a fiber read my archived post ’bout Bamboo.

Dreams of summer

It’s time to think about summer!  I love to use vintage sheet fabric, and here’s a great way!  Using two sheets and two 5-packs of boys tank-top undershirts I came out with ten super-cute nighties for under $20.  Here’s how I made them:

     cut the undershirts to the length you’d like (they are ordinarily quite long!)

     make a pattern (similar to mine if you want them super-twirly) and cut out the skirt pieces

     stitch the skirt pieces together and then to the tank top (stretch the tank top as you go and it’ll gather the skirt itself)

     cut out a cute picture from the sheet and quickly machine-applique it onto the tank top (if you want it cutesy!)

     hem

     . . .and wear!

These are so easy, inexpensive, and enjoyable to wear!

Here’s my pattern/diagram if you’re so inclined to try it yourself!
       

SO the measurement at the top is about 1/4 of your waist measurement, plus a little bit for comfort.  The A measurement equals the B measurement to keep the length uniform.  Cut it out on the fold, and make two per nightie.

🙂 Give it a try!
Sheila (my blog: troutwife)