Adventures in dying

This weekend I decided to try my hand at dying clothes. I went to Jo-ann Fabrics and got some Rit dye (on sale 40 percent off!) and then went by my local Goodwill up by City Park.

I picked out two things: one canvas jacket to dye dark blue (it started out teal but I forgot to take a picture) and an awkward-length green dress.

The jacket was a lot more effort than I expected.

Dying on the stove top

I boiled some water in a big pot I bought just for dying and then turned the heat off and added the dye. Then I ran the jacket under water and put it in the pot. I read that the longer you leave the clothing in the dye, the darker it would come out. So, I left the jacket in for about one-and-a-half hours, stirring about every 10 minutes.

I took it out and headed down to the laundromat because the instructions said to wash it until the water ran clear after dying. I stuck it in the washer excited to wear it home.

Then, disaster hit. As I pulled it out of the washer I noticed huge light spots all over. Upon further inspection, it looked completely tie-dyed, with areas of the full-on original teal color showing through. After freaking out and trying to scrub straight dye onto these areas to blend them in (resulting in dark-patched tie-dye), I decided to just re-dye the jacket on the stove top. So much for my evening.

Jacket | front

This time, I only left it in for about 30 minutes, but I stirred it constantly like the directions say, which resulted in the best workout I’ve had in months. When it was done, I placed it flat into a bathtub full of cold water (so as to rinse it as evenly as possible). Then I hung it up on a hanger to dry with a dark towel underneath.

The next day it was dry and looking good, but just in case I took it to the laundromat and ran it through a hot dryer once to set in the color. Then I washed and dried it again.

Now it’s looking pretty hot!


Now the dress – which was much easier. I wanted to make it into a nice shirt for Christmas. I started with an mid-calf-length dress with sleeves that didn’t quite make it to my wrists.

I immediately decided that it needed to be a shirt with 3/4 length sleeves. It also was a little big under the arms and on the shoulders, so I needed to take that in. After a lot of safety pinning (which I prefer to straight pins because I can try the clothes on with the pins in without getting stabbed), I figured out all the alterations I would need and began chopping some fabric off the bottom. I cut about a foot-and-a-half off.

Here’s the finished product:



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One response to “Adventures in dying

  1. Pingback: Thrifty Nola | New Orleans Uptown Girl

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