Life Sew Beautiful

my little handmade corner of the world

Fabric Dyeing August 27, 2010

Filed under: around the home,Recycle/Repurpose — faithandfamily @ 1:31 am

A month or so ago I found this tutorial on dyeing fabric and knew it was something I’d have to try sooner or later. Well, this was the week!

I started going around the house, looking for things to dye, and I felt the same ravenous feeling as when I’m going around the house looking for stuff to stick in a garage sale. (In other words, my kids were trembling in their boots and hiding all their stuff. :)) Ok, I’m joking about that part. They were actually timidly excited and my son wanted to make sure that I had something of his to stick in the dye. So, here is the before picture:

The pink shirt was the impetus that got it all started. I had bought it for my daughter several months ago, and the first time I washed it, I put it in the washer with some new jeans. Yep–you guessed it. The new pink shirt has blue streaks in several places that wouldn’t come out. It was ruined unless I could do something creative to rescue it.

The white jacket is something I’ve had for 8-ish years and have hardly worn, mostly because it’s white. One brush against the car door and it’s filthy; one hug from a sticky-fingered child and it’s stained. I decided that since it just sits in the closet, nothing could be lost from trying to dye it.

The onesie was kind of stained, and the hand towel was too plain, and the shorts were thrown in just so my son could be represented. (Plus, I thought it would be fun to see what would happen to a darker garment.) I was so excited to try dyeing, and I must say that my first experience was a winner!

I used half the bottle of Rit dye and after about four hours I took the towel, shorts, and onesie out of the dye. I was trying to make room for the jacket and shirt because both appeared to have lighter spots on them from being sort of wadded up in the bucket I used. The wiser part of me had told myself not to fill the bucket so full of clothes, and the tight-wad part of me (which won out) had told myself to put as many things in the bucket as I could fit. Well, the wiser part of me (along with the advice of my wise husband) decided to, after four hours, get a bigger bucket out of the crawl space and use the other half of the bottle to make sure the jacket and shirt had lots of room to spread out and the best chance of turning out well. So, I soaked those two things for an extra hour, and that did the trick. They look great!

The shirt was probably the greatest success. It looks like it was made to be brown. I’m not sure yet what I think about the jacket. I haven’t decided whether I did something really cool or whether I turned my once-delicate-and-feminine white jacket into something that looks kind of Carhartt-ish. Oh well. Nothing lost. It was a fun process, and I’ll be test-driving the jacket for a little while before the final verdict is in.


One Response to “Fabric Dyeing”

  1. MMOM Says:

    You are very daring!

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