Dye-crazy again this summer! Three experimental projects

I like to play around with fabric dye, but I don't do it all that often because it's messy, risky, and full of unknowns! (Will the dye fade? Will it stain my sink or the next things I put in the washer? Will it come out speckly?) But last summer I went all out and made an amazing ombre dip-dyed tee and some dyed wedges. Still love them both, love the color, and love having brightly dyed shoes!!!

I did it again this time (as you may know if you've been seeing my Instagram)--why not dye several things at once, I figured. Yes, all the same color, but... I like the same colors most of the time anyway. ;)

So I had some liquid RIT dye that Kollabora had sent me when I was working on my book, and wanted to give it a go. (I've used fancier brands of dye before, but I wanted to try the liquid RIT--no risk of speckling, and a little easier to use!) I got a rush of inspiration and pulled out three items from my dresser that were no longer interesting in their current colors!

How I did it: I did the basic washing machine method--just threw everything in there and put the dye in the top. Then ran the load again, washing the clothes so that the dye won't run when I wear them!

The first I wanted to try was tie dying this tee. It's a fine basic white cotton tee, but it was starting to get a little grungy and not pure white anymore... so why not make it not white at all!?

I haven't tie dyed in ages, but I put together a simple stripe pattern on this one with some rubber bands. See?

You never know exactly how tie dye is going to turn out!! Maybe the inside won't get as much color, or maybe the rubber bands aren't tight enough, or... But this one turned out great. Perfect summery stripes. A little wavy here and there, but... adds to their charm, right? ;)

I also grabbed, from my dresser, these jeans which I had dyed yellow last spring (after prowling Goodwill for white jeans to try this out with for several months). They were fine, but the yellow wasn't quite as bright and bold as I'd hoped for, and they were a little splochy! So I figured I might as well try dying them again, with pink. See what happened. Not much to lose, since I wasn't wearing them as yellow jeans.

They turned out a nice peachy color (been seeing this color on jeans this year, like these!), but I can still see the sploches through... can you????

The third dye job was less of a success. But that's okay. I had these awkward length zipper bottom squash-yellow jeans from Forever 21 (also via Goodwill, bought when I was desperate for colored jeans!) and I was seriously not into the color. I'm not much into the fall tones right now, the warm goldenrod color... so I thought maybe I could make them orange!

But, no. I dyed them all the same, but these must have just been too dark to take much more color, and I could barely tell the difference. Probably wouldn't have known there was one if it wasn't for the "before" photo. They became slightly oranger. Not much help. I guess I like the color a little more.

Those are my dye adventures thus far this year! Have you been playing around with dying things to get the latest season's color? Have any tie dye successes to share?

6 comments

  1. does the color run afterwards when washing?

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  2. I love how the shirt turned out! I've been trying to muster the courage to try dye now that I finally have my own washing machine. My first project will be to dye a few black clothes black again. Boring, but I hope it will bring a few pieces back to life!

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  3. i don't notice the splotches in the peach picture!

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  4. I couldn't see any splotches on the first pair of jeans. The top turned out really cute as well.

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  5. No, I don't think it will since I ran them through the wash again once they had done the dye wash! Took a little extra color out but makes it colorfast!

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