The Japanese fabric manufacturer Kokka produces a beautiful line of fabric by the designer Naomi Ito. I love her designs, and in the past have purchased some of her ‘pocho’ designs for projects. The fabric is hard to come by in the US, though, and also quite expensive. Since the ‘poncho’ designs are often just handmade-looking, repeating dots, I thought; ‘how hard would it be to just print my fabric that way on my own?’
Another favorite fabric designer, Lotta Jansdotter, did a whole book on DIY fabric printing techniques. One I’d always been intrigued by was bleach printing. When I first laid out the fabric and started pockmarking it using a pencil eraser in a small amount of bleach, it did feel transgressive…. Like I was tagging it. I followed the Instructables tutorial here (less scary with a guide!) and though the results ended up being more elliptoid than polka dot (possibly I has too much bleach on my eraser?) I think the ultimate result adds interest to the fabric.
I did also have to come to terms with the reality that I wasn’t going to be able to finish this project with the 1.5 yards of fabric I had. Happily I live walking distance from an amazing supplier of upscale quilting fabric… Sew Modern. I had one free yard of kona cotton to cash in from their rewards program. It was almost like I didn’t have to buy fabric for this project 😉